The Ceaseless Lies of Eva Bartlett; or, The Partisan Scrubbing of Western Consciousness.

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “The question is whether privileged elites should dominate mass-communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely, to impose necessary illusions, manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena.”

“Popular culture is a place where pity is called compassion, flattery is called love, propaganda is called knowledge, tension is called peace, gossip is called news, and auto-tune is called singing.”

Criss Jami, from “Killosophy”

“Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

Noam Chomsky, from “Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda”

I don’t think you would get anywhere by arguing that living in a democracy means your leaders always tell you the truth – and let you and your fellow voters decide, based on that truth, whether you want to go further down the road under their leadership or come to a parting of the ways, and go forward without them. There is no written promise that leaders will not lie, just as there is no statement of ethics which forbids a free press from lying to its readers, whether deliberately or because it was itself deceived by liars.

Nonetheless, the obvious repugnance and disgust expressed by generations of western journalists for the manipulative propaganda of Nazi poster-boy Goebbels and the overly-motivational exhortations of the Communist Soviet Union’s five-year planners strongly suggested the west at all levels disapproves of lying in order to manipulate public perception.

Can we agree, then, that western philosophy – by which I mean the propounded creed of NATO and various western temporary and semi-permanent alliances over the years since the Second World War – encourages a belief that the creation and dissemination of propaganda is wrong? That western journalism strives for an impression that propagandists are also liars, and that an informed populace can handle the truth?

That’s pretty much what I thought.

I was reminded of the western appetite for being hoodwinked recently in a comment by regular reader Julius Skoolafish, celebrating the bring-the-mountain-to Mohammed journalism of Eva Bartlett. Like a few other courageous women in the profession – Abby Martin, Lizzie Phelan, Vanessa Beely – Bartlett frequently goes to trouble spots for lengthy periods and reports on events there. There’s no particular reason to assume everything she says is true, any more than you would believe total honesty of everyone you don’t know. However, her interpretation is often very different from mainstream narratives. And the curious thing is,  the mainstream narrative hardly varies at all; cruel dictator, killing his own people, who are crying out for freedom from his crushing oppression, western obligation to bring freedom and democracy. Check, check, and check. And that narrative has been verifiably demonstrated to be utter horseshit, time and time again. Iraq is only the best example, because the events are fairly fresh in the collective consciousness, the barefaced lying by western leaders – chiefly those of the United States and the UK – was so over the top, and the reckoning was paid solely by the victims of the operation. Not one western leader was penalized in any way, and British leader Tony Blair was elevated to a jet-about-the-world envoy, smiling his bland assurances of western benevolence for generous paychecks. The neoconservative manipulators caught red-handed lying and lying and lying some more were just folded into future governments, where there is no reason to imagine their story-spinning did not continue.

But if you google up the Wikipedia entry on Eva Bartlett, you get this:

Eva Karene Bartlett is a Canadian activist and blogger who is known for promoting conspiracy theories about Syria. She writes op-eds for the television network RT. Bartlett describes herself as an “independent writer and rights activist.” Critics contend that her advocacy amounts to support for the Assad regime, and she has promoted the falsehood that the White Helmets stage rescues and “recycle” children in its videos.

So much calculated venom in such a short bio. Known for promoting conspiracy theories. Writes for RT, which is a common synonym these days for ‘known liar’. Supports the ‘Assad regime’. Tells porkie-pie lies about those nice White Helmets, almost always pictured digging groaning, barely-alive victims out of shattered concrete rubble, their honest, broad features sombre with anguish and sorrow at the ceaseless inhumanity of man toward his fellows.

What a wicked, wicked woman.

Another curiosity of propaganda and its marketing is that certain people and agencies can seemingly get away with it forever, based on the principle that people believe statements which make them feel good about themselves when good things are done in their names. Taking the White Helmets as an example, those conspiracy-theorist liars at the state-funded British Broadcasting Corporation themselves remarked upon a supposed rescue operation conducted in Syria in November of 2016 by the famous White Helmets, in which they appeared in a selfie with their supposed rescued victim in what was apparently a subsequent shot; far from crushed by the jagged rubble, he appeared in perfect health.

The video itself is quite a clumsy effort, but it is a feature of propaganda that when you are telling people that their tax dollars and donations are supporting magnificent examples of selfless courage in far-off lands where the leader of the fuzzie-wuzzies is murdering his own, they don’t require much convincing. We see the two brave White Helmets – not a speck of dust blemishing their spotless uniforms – pausing to get everything just right before the actual extrication process begins. The victim, covered with concrete dust, remains passive until some unseen director apparently says, “aaaannnd…Action!”, at which moment he begins to thrash and shout with pain and panic. The noble White Helmets work away silently as if unmoved by the danger of their situation and the pitiful struggles of the victim. Which appears to be the case, in fact, as he appears in a photo with them taken apparently moments later – since he is wearing the same clothes and is still covered with concrete dust (give you silicosis, that) – but miraculously whole and apparently relaxed.

@RussiaConnects twitter comment

That’ll be one for his actor portfolio. It’s eerie, the way rubble-pinned victims calm down immediately after rescue by the White Helmets. Perhaps they’re magic.

On that occasion, even the doyen of western citizen-journalist fakery, Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins, was moved to comment that this was just not on, chaps, not on at all, and it only lent credibility to western useful-idiot conspiracy theorists (like Bartlett, presumably) when such distressingly clumsy fakes were exposed. For their part, the White Helmets were quick to apologize – sorry, Guv, we don’t know what we wuz thinking. The leadership of the White Helmets was definitely not involved, and in fact didn’t even know about it, we was just carryin’ on, like.

This might be a good place to comment on that White Helmets leader and co-founder; former British Army intelligence officer James le Mesurier. Because he was found dead in the street outside his home in Istanbul, apparently having fallen from his balcony in the wee small hours of the morning. If so, he must have made a mighty effort to fly to the opposite rooftop, because his body was discovered across the street from his balcony. But British investigators assure us everything was on the level; he died due to bursting of a blood vessel in his aorta, possibly due to stress because he owed rather a large amount of money – they even have video of him falling, thanks to a conveniently-placed security camera.

Anyway, back to Eva Bartlett and her mendacious lies about the honest White Helmets ‘recycling’ child actors and using them over and over in fabricated ‘rescues’ or for post-disaster clips that move western potential donors to bitter tears and getting out their wallets. This was conclusively and decisively debunked by that western paragon to truth in journalism, The Guardian.

Why, anyone can see these three images do not depict the same child – she’s…she’s wearing different clothes, for one thing! And this, this is the clincher, so embarrassing for Bartlett, really: she’s wearing the same bracelet…but it’s on the opposite arm!! Yes, she apparently missed that, the silly cow. And her hair is different! In one picture, it’s all messed up and sticking everywhere, but in the photo of her lying on a bed or cot, it’s smoothed down and curly! And pictures show her nearly buried by heavy rubble! That’d be almost impossible to stage!

“Someone would have had to have buried a screaming child up to their chest in rubble and carefully assembled a large amount of heavy wreckage around and on top of her – an extraordinary logistical challenge and an extraordinary collective act of child abuse.”

Perhaps in Britain assembling a large amount of wreckage around and on top of a person so they appear to be in mortal danger but are in fact not hurt at all is an extraordinary logistical challenge; air strikes on British cities are sort of rare. But many Syrian cities have been almost razed to the ground, and great chunks of concrete are lying around in the most ubiquitous fashion.

Similar and classic is the fake of the ‘chemical attack’ at Douma in the spring of 2018. An actor at the center of the production, 11-year-old Hassan Diab, claimed he was hustled into the hospital and sprayed with water in an apparent fabricated ‘decontamination’, but there had never been anything wrong with him. His father claimed the same – that radicals in Douma had staged the video and that there had not been any chemical attack. Hospital staff, ditto. No symptoms of chemical attack displayed by any of the ‘victims’, and the props still in place at the hospital for anyone who wanted to look. The western response? A ‘despicable’ put-up job by the Russians, to attempt to justify their presence in Syria where they were invited by its democratically-elected leader, whereas the western forces just invited themselves in and worked under the radar as much as they could to support the fundamentalist radical ‘rebels’. Where the ‘last hospital in Aleppo’ was bombed by the Russians so many times, but always raised itself from the ashes so it could be bombed again.

Even the ridiculous filming of the man first shown roaring in agony only to be seen in a selfie with his ‘rescuers’ moments later was excused by the western press; France 24 claimed the depiction was never meant to portray an actual rescue. No, it was just the White Helmets doing their version of the popular ‘Mannequin Challenge’, to raise awareness about the horrific conditions in Syria. The White Helmets were sorry to have given propagandists the opportunity to portray their genuine and selfless efforts as fake, but you just can’t predict what low-lifes some people can be.

“Some people have alleged that this footage shows a rescue being staged. But here’s the truth of the matter: Yes, it was made by the White Helmets. Yes, it was staged. However, the White Helmets were transparent about their intentions because this is a rather awkward example of the Mannequin Challenge.

The idea behind the challenge, which was started by high schoolers in the United States, is to show a scene frozen for several seconds before leaping into action again.”

Well, that’s believable, surely? Much more believable than the actual victims of chemical attacks in Douma being flown to the Hague to testify they had never been involved in any chemical attack, and the whole show a fabrication by radical ‘rebels’, in another despicable head-fake by the Russians. God only knows what those poor people were promised in exchange for their lies – maybe a lakeside palace next to Putin’s.

The absurdity of the excuses offered boggles the mind. The fact that allegedly-fake videos by the White Helmets are ‘widely shared’ is proof that they are harmless, and that certain people are just determined to beat up on the White Helmets. Video of an alleged former White Helmet confessing that their disaster rescues are staged is a fake because you can tell from the way his eyes move that he is reading from a script. The testimony of the President of France’s Emergency Firefighters and First Responders International that rescued children often bear no trace of dust or dirt after having been ‘rescued’ from rubble is batted aside in favour of the word of some anonymous yob who is nevertheless credited as an ‘expert’ in urban search and rescue, who claims;

“The fact that the children aren’t covered with dust doesn’t prove that this video has been staged. It’s possible that the children were in a pocket of air, which wasn’t filled with dust or smoke.”

Fucking incredible. The fact that children rescued from an environment swirling with dust and dirt emerge clean as if they just stepped out of J.C. Penney’s display window might also indicate they had just been beamed in from the holodeck of the Starship ENTERPRISE. It’s just as believable as their having been trapped in a pocket in which there was plenty of air but no dust, as if explosions and building collapses miraculously preserve occupants of such pockets from dirt. And the word of the president of a renowned urban-extraction organization is summarily dismissed as twaddle, Not because it is,  but because it did not support the desired conclusion. Children who appear in other respects identical must be different children because they are wearing different clothes, and the fact that they are pictured carried by different men just means they were being handed down a human chain, like a bucket brigade. I can describe the whole environment in which the knee-jerk exculpatory western media operates in just two words, and the first is ‘Wilful’ and the second is ‘Ignorance’.

The same media which pours scorn on any suggestion that the White Helmets are a bunch of PR fakes employed for the dual purposes of raising money for the Syrian opposition and justifying a western intervention is perfectly willing to accept that Russia altered the results of the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States by way of less than $100,000.00 in Facebook ads and social-media posts while the candidates’ expenditure of Billions was to no avail, even after documentary evidence proved the FBI conspired to suborn testimony and entrap witnesses. It really, unfortunately, portrays westerners as beyond gullible – almost childlike – in their apparent willing ingestion of crude propaganda. Meanwhile, the reference material we rely upon to make our respective cases is ideologically purged on a daily basis so that its narrative reflects a western society which is honest and good, and in which elements among the people who shout “No – this is wrong! It’s all a lie!” are lunatics and droolers and mendacious fabricators who want to subvert the west in its ongoing do-gooding. Disgraceful, and only the more so because we willingly participate in the ridiculous charade with our hearts and conversation and wallets.

“We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else, whether it is a business, an economic theory, a political party, the White House, Newsworld or CNN.”

B. W. Powe, from “Towards a Canada of Light”

1,645 thoughts on “The Ceaseless Lies of Eva Bartlett; or, The Partisan Scrubbing of Western Consciousness.

  1. The US MSM is a giant propaganda machine used by the elites to control major narratives in the heads of the public. They have learned the lesson well from the British and US Empires: divide and conquer – keep the people in fear and hatred fighting with each other so the elites can continue to acquire more power and money and wars while they drop crumbs to the people. The elites have bought off everything in the US – that is the gift of turbo charged capitalist neoliberal economics which went on a privatization tear after the end of Cold War v1. They made millions on the outsourcing of jobs and industry to Asia but now that the pickings are getting slim and China is going its own way they are running demonization narratives on China to march the American people into another Cold War while they make more millions (since they are still the insiders pushing the buttons). And most Americans are just childlike and ignorant enough to march along blaming China for their jobs going overseas. This will go on until US elites have turned America into a dried out husk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let us not forget the critical role of Hollyweird. Yes, there are quite a few who stand out and reject and mock the narrative/authority (Wag the Dog for example), but the flipside is the love of story, simple Good v. Bad emotional, heart-wrenching stuff, particularly if you can have kids in it. That all plays in to the Do Something of the Humanitarian figleaf crowd that magicaly segues with state foreign policy.

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  2. of the 90%+ western press international propaganda lies consisting of story lines (10% truth e.g. they don’t claim the helmets are pink, can you imagine that!?!) here and there a few western story lines are turned on their heads by a Russian propaganda trick I call ‘the flip.’ And when the Russians run with with a western story to ‘flip it’, it is usually one of the west’s biggest ‘whoppers.’

    whopper |ˈ(h)wäpər|
    noun informal
    • a gross or blatant lie.

    https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2020/07/14/propaganda-corona-virus/

    Naughty Russians!

    ps, Eva Bartlett is spot on re the al Qaida rescue services…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the link to your site Ronald – well done – following with interest

      To further fill in some of the background to all this propaganda and psychobabble, I would recommend the following viewing and reading. One then doesn’t need to struggle and thrash about trying to understand it or correct it as you realise that our whole ‘reality’ is being fabricated. You don’t accept it, but you can then develop strategies to navigate through it and do what you can to inform family and friends.

      • The Century of the Self – featuring Bernays et al
      https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/

      “The first episode Happiness Machines concerns Edward Bernays, Freud’s nephew and one of the most influential pioneers in public relations. Appealing to what his uncle believed were the aggressive and prurient forces hidden inside of all mankind, Bernays manipulated these inner desires to promote group thinking – first in drumming up the patriotic support of U.S. citizens during World War I and later in the realm of advertising.”

      • John Coleman – The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations
      https://archive.org/details/Tavistock_201601

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      1. “The Century of the Self” can also be viewed here in four parts

        • The Century of the Self – Part 1: “Happiness Machines”
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnPmg0R1M04

        • The Century of the Self – Part 2: “The Engineering of Consent”
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEsPOt8MG7E

        • The Century of the Self – Part 3: “There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads; He Must Be Destroyed.”
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub2LB2MaGoM

        • The Century of the Self – Part 4: “Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering”
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VouaAz5mQAs

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  3. Great timely article – I will be contributing and sharing with enthusiasm

    I cannot think of two more admirable women …

    … than the First Lady of Syria, Mrs **Asma al-Assad**, and the intrepid independent Canadian journalist **Eva K Bartlett**.

    (I will also add **Vanessa Beeley** to that list for her work on 21st Century Wire in exposing the ’White Helmets’.)

    Eva just published this masterpiece on notes taken following a personal meeting with Mrs al-Assad (the Lioness of Damascus –Rose in the Desert)

    *Impressions from An Informal Meeting With Asma Al-Assad, Syria’s First Lady*

    https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2020/07/29/impressions-from-an-informal-meeting-with-asma-al-assad-syrias-first-lady/

    While I gather more, a couple of my favourite clips featuring Asma al-Assad that put all the qualities of this wonderful woman on display:

    • *Asma Al-Assad during the reception made to the participants in ” Woman For Peace ” Bicycle Ride*
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc4ZZ-yXaOQ

    *• I love Asma Al Assad*
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xLRKaqU1cg

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  4. First Lady Asma al Assad was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2018 …

    • Our prayers are with you, Mrs Asma Assad
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoBOGZB6AsU

    Her first major interview after treatment and being cleared of the cancer – it is in Arabic so I would go full screen and read the subtitles. You won’t be disappointed. Talk about stoicism, morality and gratitude – Asma al Assad is the essence of grace and dignity!!

    • Asma al Assad tells of her struggle against cancer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYe4rffV3Dg

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    1. I daresay Asma al Assad would be an ideal person to succeed her husband as President should he decide to stand down in 2021 or (more likely) vacate the position of Presidency in 2028 as required by the 2012 Syrian Constitution. Her health is a concern though.

      Of course there are other women politicians who could succeed Dr Assad in 2021 though they are not young: the Vice President could (I forget her name) or his advisor Bouthayna Shaaban.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes – there are several very eminent and qualified ladies in the Syrian Government/cabinet. I would also ‘nominate’ Bashar Jaafari, the current Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the UN Headquarters – very impressive.

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  5. I am just going to copy & paste this from a compilation I had shared privately:

    • Investigative journalists with Integrity – Eva K Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley

    Here are two of the most courageous women I have come across – there are quite a few others (for another time) but we are not permitted to hear their reporting … ??Why??.

    • Eva K Bartlett
    • Vanessa Beeley

    I cannot speak highly enough of their integrity, courage and heroism in bringing the truth from the ground in Syria and other places.

    Here Eva and Vanessa meet up for a chat and to compare notes

    Eva’s youtube channel is “Eva K Bartlett” and her blog site is “ingaza.wordpress.com” (she started her heroic work in Gaza speaking out for the Palestinian people.)

    A typical article:
    • Pulse of Life, Syria: Damascus International Fair, Syrian Hero War Photographer – by Eva K Bartlett
    https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2018/09/13/pulse-of-life-syria-damascus-international-fair-syrian-hero-war-photographer/

    Eva brings us countless first-hand reports from the ground in Syria (as well as Gaza and DPRK) with interviews with a variety of people from all walks of life. She brings us the human perspective and utterly debunks the conspiracies of the controlled propaganda media channels and the scripted narratives of our conscienceless [Sacha Stone uses the term “unensouled”] senior politicians.

    This happens to be her latest as at 18 February 2020:

    • So-Called “Rebels” (Terrorists) Tortured & Point-Blank Executed Syrian
    https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2020/02/17/so-called-rebels-tortured-point-blank-executed-syrian-civilians-all-over-syria/

    Vanessa’s youtube channel is “vanessa beeley” and she is (?was) Associate Editor of “21stcenturywire.com” https://21stcenturywire.com/

    Vanessa is the classic investigative journalist who brings us hard-hitting articles. Apart from her extraordinarily thorough exposé on the White Helmets in Syria, she also reports on Yemen and more recently on the Yellow Vests.

    For example – everything one needs to know about the ‘White Helmets’ is here:

    • The White Helmets Files – by Vanessa Beeley
    https://21stcenturywire.com/tag/White-Helmets/

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  6. Continuing the “Russian Mercenaries” arrested in Belorussian story that was so eagerly snapped up by one contributor this site:

    Deutsche Welle

    Opinion: Lukashenko is playing games to keep his grip on power

    Belarus stunned Moscow by arresting a group of Russian mercenaries, accusing them of destabilizing the country’s political situation. But President Lukashenko is just trying to save himself, says DW’s Konstantin Eggert.

    Some details of the behavior of the 32 detainees, as revealed by Belarussian state media, verge on the absurd. The heavily-muscled Russians allegedly stood out to the security services because, unlike normal Russian tourists, they did not drink alcohol or indulge in any entertainment. They also wore military-style clothing.

    The group had only three suitcases between them, but they were so heavy that they needed several people at a time to carry them. The mercenaries also wore patches with slogans such as “Our business is death, and business is going well.”

    Anonymous representatives of the Belarussian security services told state TV that the detainees belonged to “Russian power structures” — a term used to describe the army and security services in Russian parlance.

    The article offers three possible interpretations of events as reported from Minsk

    The first is the official one: That Russian mercenaries indeed came to blow up the situation in Belarus and overthrow President Lukashenko. But that’s not very believable. After all, potential participants in coups d’état usually operate quietly and are not caught wearing crazy patches on their clothing.

    https://p.dw.com/p/3gEI0

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find this story confusing. I am still not clear on what is motivating Lukashenko.

      Wasn’t he just in Moscow recently at the parade?

      How long were these Mercenaries in Belarus before they were captured?

      It’s clear Lukashenko wants to stay in power – But is there votes in being anti-Russian?

      Or is this an appeal to patriotism?

      Are we seeing another Ukraine scenario here – a turn to the west – hostility to Russia and then poverty for the people and civil unrest

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        1. I submit there is yet another possibility, and it might be that they are there to prevent an opposition staged uprising to remove Lukashenko; in that scenario, their ‘detention’ might only be for the purpose of advertising that they are present. That looks unlikely, though, and it is apparent that nobody really knows. Not even, evidently, Lukashenko.

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      1. There certainly is theatre going on but The Moscow Times and Konstantin Eggert (or Konstantin von Eggert, whatever he is) are not helping to clarify anything by putting their own spin on who or what the mercenaries, if they are mercenaries, are up to, and on Lukashenko’s reasoning and behaviour. It’s probably best to try to follow what Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are actually doing to resolve the issue of what to do with the detainees and what the detainees themselves might admit to being and doing. If what eventually happens serves to obfuscate the aims of the US or some other nation to derail Lukashenko somehow and ensure victory in the upcoming polls to Svetlana Tikhonovskaya , that should be considered a bonus.

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        1. And Deutsche Welle throws in its two-penn’orth:

          The men are officially accused of plotting a terrorist attack, and authorities have said they belong to the Wagner Group, a private Kremlin-linked security and paramilitary organization.

          Kremlin-linked!

          You don’t say!

          Evidence? Or simply hearsay?

          The Wagner Group is led by Dmitriy Utkin, a former officer with the Russian military intelligence agency GRU. The organization has left traces of its activities in eastern Ukraine, Syria and, most recently, Libya. Paramilitary groups are officially banned in Russia, but in reality they’re not just tolerated but often benefit from state financing. Officially, the existence of such mercenary groups is denied, as is any state involvement, but there exists indirect proof that the Russian Defense Ministry has given its full support to the Wagner Group.

          Indirect proof!

          You don’t say!

          You mean, they’re all Russians — something like that?

          Article written by Belorussians or Yukitards, I suspect.

          Indirect proof: their names.

          Having written the above, though, the DW journalists basically say that the whole show is a load of bollocks, a typical pre-election ploy of Lukoshrnko. The journalists even refer to aNovaya Gazeta journalist’s take on the affair, which is surprisingly skeptical:

          Iryna Khalip , a well-known journalist with the Novaya Gazeta, is convinced the arrests were a “spectacle” for the West, pointing out that it wasn’t something that could be “served up to the local audience.” Khalip said Lukashenko was aiming to warn the West that the Wagner Group had infiltrated the country, that the “little green men” were coming to occupy Belarus. With that message, he hopes to convince the West to help Minsk in its fight against the Kremlin — instead of calling for Belarus to release political prisoners and threatening sanctions.

          See:
          Belarus: Lukashenko accuses Russian mercenaries, critics of plotting attack

          Alexander Lukashenko has accused 33 detained Russians of plotting a terror attack shortly before the presidential vote in early August. But amid sagging public support for the president, many Belarusians are skeptical.

          https://p.dw.com/p/3gFa5

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          1. What gets me about the Evil Putin is that if he were really so evil, why doesn’t he simply order that a “wet job” be carried out against Lukashenko and have it done with the slimy rat who thinks he’s the great manipulator, the Erdogan of Eastern Europe, jumping ostensibly from one side to the other.

            If I were the evil oppressor of Russia and boss of my own mafia state, there are quite a few wet jobs I would order, and non of this poisoning crap with nerve agents and radioactive isotopes that, in Harding’s words, “leave a trail directly to the Kremlin”.

            God, I drool at the very idea of rubbing certain bastards out! I think I should visit a shrink

            By the way, my son was 21 yesterday. And like the true Russian patriot (with a British passport) that he is, he’s buggered off with his girlfriend, the delightful Anastasia, whom he assures me shall soon be my daughter-in-law, to the Crimea for a fortnight.

            Bloody suave lounge lizard!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Speaking of Crimea, I acknowledge Graham Phillips (aka ‘Truth Speaker’) who has done some great reporting.

              For example – some of his lighter stuff

              • Artek – Huge INTERNATIONAL Kids’ Event!!
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhHbo8em574

              • Crimea! A Stroll in central Simferopol
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaZtpkId4-k

              • RUSSIAN BEACH HOLIDAY?? A Day on the Beach in Sudak….
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVEzrKXPDIw

              • Crimea Beach FINALE: Ukrainian Girls, Sandy Beach
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhp9vmgYO3s

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            2. Happy Birthday, Vova! Yes, it’s as if the Russians never heard of murder by automobile, in which a nondescript vehicle whose occupant’s identity is impossible to verify runs down the hapless target in the street, or a sniper wastes him with a common-calibre western bullet from a high vantage point in a nearby hotel, from a room rented under an assumed name like “Michael D. Mouse”. Nope, none of the techniques that might actually make the investigative services work for a living where the Russians are concerned – they like to advertise their involvement. Just so they can deny it.

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            3. …why doesn’t he simply order that a “wet job”..

              I would say that if you have a toolbox you chose the right tool for the job. It’s not just the result that counts, its how that result is acheived, particularly if you have an eye to legitimacy/deniability.

              From what I have read over the years, Putin plays the (v.) long game. I would say that he is letting Lukashenko stew in his own juice, and will make some kind of move when the time is right, but as ‘help’ for the Byleorussian people. The whole mercenary thing is a bit odd so I would expect Russia to follow this line and not feed Lukashenko’s narrative. Strategic patience, innit?

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          2. “The Cabinet of Ministers said that the bill goes against Russia’s constitution. Section 5 article 13 of the Russian constitution prohibits the creation and activity of public unions whose goals and activities are directed at the creation of armed formations. Article 71 stipulates that matters of defense and security, war and peace, foreign policy and Russia’s international relations are to be handled by the state.

            The bill was also not ratified by the Defense Ministry, Finance Ministry, Foreign Ministry, National Guard, FSB, Foreign Intelligence Service, Federal Protective Service, Office of Prosecutor General or Justice Ministry.”

            https://uawire.org/russia-will-not-legalize-mercenaries

            Lukashenko is a retard if he thinks the west will do anything for Belarus, and he needs look no further than Ukraine to see an example of western selfishness and manipulation. Perhaps he is thinking the west will do great things for him, Lukashenko, and to hell with Belarus – if so, he still needs to look no further than Ukraine and this time Poroshenko, to see how the west gradually began to allow news items on Poroshenko’s oligarchical excesses to enter the narrative as he became proportionally less useful.

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      2. News stories now are meant to be like alternative literature; you know, like Len Deighton’s “SS-GB” what-if-the-Germans-had-won tale. Quotes are frequently attributed to anonymous persons, lending the weight of eyewitness testimony while removing the possibility of enlarging upon what was said – believe it, or don’t. The whole item is framed as if nobody really knows exactly what happened, and there are competing narratives and an air of unreality. We have only the word of the source media that anything happened at all. It could be that nothing happened, and some entity merely wants to introduce tension between Russia and Belarus. But as I best understand it, these mercenaries – who were obviously military or paramilitary from their bearing, overall fitness as compared with the general civilian public and their wearing of military-style uniform with distinctive allegiance/employment badges – were in transit from somewhere to somewhere else, upon which journey Belarus was only a through station. Lukashenko’s administration had them arrested; if there was a specific charge, I have not heard it. Speculation immediately swirled that they were in Belarus to influence the election against Lukashenko, although to the best of my knowledge Lukashenko did not say so himself.

        Russia officially denies the existence of Wagner, saying that private armies are against the constitution, as indeed they are. As indeed they are in Ukraine as well, although that proved no impediment at all to Kolomoisky raising, equipping, arming and training his own army, Dnipro Battalion. But mercenaries are by definition paramilitary forces for hire – remember “The Wild Geese”? Who hired them this time, if they exist, and for what purpose? Theoretically, if they are for hire by those who can pay, their paymaster could be the US State Department, through several layers of middlemen. Theoretically, they could be working to bring down Lukashenko for a client who wants him gone, although it would be hard to imagine Russia wanting Lukashenko removed to make way for a Belarusian Zelensky. But any number of international troublemakers could want Lukashenko deposed. And while we do not even know for sure if Wagner exists, it seems pretty likely that if it does, and is hiring itself out to international customers for destabilization ops, Russia would stamp them out itself; they are supposed to operate from Russia. Or Lukashenko could be operating under someone else’s instruction, tweaking the Bear’s nose. Or the whole thing could be a stunt for attention. It’s difficult to say. The first I ever heard of Wagner was when hundreds of them were supposedly killed by the Americans in Syria. I never saw any bodies or ID, although mercenaries traditionally like to keep their alliances ambiguous – better for business. In fact, I find it hard to believe such people are traipsing around in public wearing patches that say “Our business is Death, and Business is Good”. A little like walking around in a T-Shirt that reads “F-18 Pilot”, with a picture of the fighter, and then pretending to not know which end of a plane is the cockpit. Mercenaries are typically completely incognito, not even traveling as a group and distinguishable only by their level of fitness, alertness and sense of controlled menace. They usually do not advertise unless there is a purpose for getting attention or they are operating in a country where they know it doesn’t matter.

        So I haven’t told you what happened; only that I don’t know, either, and it might be nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It looks to me that Lukashenko’s space for manoeuvere is shrinking.

      It was not so long ago that he was boasting of closer relations with the west, and u-Rope was holding off sanctions to see how far he would put his toe over the line. Now that it is yet another election shennanigans the EU has been strangely guarded compared to earlier ones (except for maybe the famously gobshite u-Ropean Parliament which is mostly a seat warmer until they can be back in government back home, pay-off and second-hand politician club.

      Add to this that the lo-land of Po-land is proud to say that it does not buy any Russian gas, the Yamal pipeline almost empty, thus not only a giant show of self-sacrifice by losing out on normally guaranteed gas transit fees but maybe more importantly killing gas transit fees for Byelorussia, something which is probably felt quite keenly.

      Thus, Lukashenko is being squeezed by both sides (Putin losing patience with his schtick), though I assume the Polish side is in concert with the US who want to continue to their STB (S/t The Bed) strategy of creating a wasteland far from home and close to their enemies’ borders if it cannot get what it wants by its classical Soft Power(TM). They can’t just admit defeat and go home, then need to leave a toxic legacy.

      I still think the west is dumb enough to try ‘democratize’ Byelorussia but as we have seen over the years, their efforts have become more and more incompetent & lazy. It’s almost as if they don’t care one way or the other!

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      1. Yes, I certainly could not come up with any better analysis of the situation than that, so I cannot but agree wholeheartedly. For somebody who is such a wily and experienced manager of pressure in the right amount at the right time and the right place, Lukashenko is curiously unable to recognize the technique now. Maybe he’s really getting old and tired. But I guess it is also true that those who try to be all things to all people eventually burn themselves out; it’s hard work, and maybe in the end you don’t know who you are yourself.

        It has been apparent for some time that Lukashenko intends the leadership of Belarus to be a family business, and that his young lad takes over when his strength fails. But he’s really not in a good place right now, certainly not in a torch-passing position. I think there still is easily enough support in Belarus for him to win again, and the ‘opposition’ is bigged up out of all proportion to reality by western news-fakers, as is their custom in targeted countries…but he seems confused and off his game this time.

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        1. Speaking of slippery survivors, Borissov of Bulgaria looks to have been caught short by recent domestic events. I wouldn’t count him out. In -Srael Gantz has said (!) there’s no way he’d go in to coalition with Nut&Yahoo as the country looks like it is heading to yet another election in 2020. Heads may not be falling but plenty are looking shaky. What a year!

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  7. I am just going to drop this series of links in (not sure if they all still work) to illustrate further just how deep the pit of MSM depravity goes.

    These sketch the ‘saga’ of Omran Daqneesh (‘Aleppo Boy’ – now living safely in liberated Aleppo)

    • Omran Daqneesh’s Father Exposes the MSM !
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rE0emXxJTo

    • The Truth About the #Syrianboy Viral Photo. Its really a story of two boys. #OmranDaqneesh
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jifS0fi9WB8 (Distressing)

    • Aleppo Boy’s father supports Assad, slams US propaganda
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gha4jkiSlRw

    • ‘Media used my son for their purposes’: CNN’s Amanpour challenged to go talk to ‘Aleppo boy’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAMLF-EI2ls

    • The Father Of Omran Daqneesh Says Terrorists Used His Son’s Photo For Propaganda
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylXf0UCkh4A

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    1. I will believe it when I see it; I agree that completion is inevitable because the major parties are committed to going ahead with it, while the United States has committed to a strategy of inflicting economic punishments to make them stop which instead only incur resentment. However, Washington is not dissuaded by stage failures and so long as any possibility remains to stop it before the last band is welded in Germany and the valve is opened to start gas flow, it will keep trying. Even though the nation will soon be distracted by the election, which may be the most contentious in its history, righteous ideologues who hold that the United States must not be disobeyed will be completely focused on strategies for stopping Nord Stream II. The only critical factor is that Germany does not weaken. Russia certainly will not, and the EU lacks both the legal mandate and the nerve to deter Germany. So long as Germany remains resolute, the deal will go down. But, as I have often said, it would not be such a bad thing if Europe had to contend with at least a few months of depending only on existing pipelines exclusive of Ukraine and whatever LNG it could get shipped over, to teach it a lesson on gas prices in a crisis, the actual altruism of the American gas-marketing system (sorry to be a spoiler, but the answer is ‘none whatsoever’) and the extent to which Russian gas makes sense for Europe.

      It strikes me that what America hates more than anything else is being ignored.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t use the word ‘inevitable’, but I could well imagine tha tthe NS2 partners (EU) that have put serious moolah in to it will f/k Denmark/Brussels in to 3021. The only way Brussels could get out of it is if it yet again changed the rules and was backed up the ECJ, which is not going to happen and at worst last for years.

        It’s far more likely Bru/whatever will fold. If I was a EU NS2 partner, I’d be already filing for compensation against Brussels/whomever due to the delay and no doubt loans that I would have taken out to fund my slice.

        And that is a perfect example of where yet again omission of information/PR/whatever tells us more than anything else at the moment. There’s been barely a peep from the NS2 partners. There’s a reason for that.

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        1. Gazprom ceased to be owner of the pipe laying vessel a few days ago. Another company now owns it — officially: all part of the preparation for Pompeo’s latest hurling of sanctions from on high, like an irate fat Jove with his thunderbolts.

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  8. Rainsford of the BBC on events in Belorussia.:

    Belarus: The mother challenging an authoritarian president

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53574014

    Interesting observation:

    Rainsford begins her article by mentioning that her “housewife heroine” fries “cutlets”.

    Is it really possible that Rainsford is unaware that Russian “kotlety” [колеты] are not “cutlets”?

    “Kotlety” are a staple of everyday Russian life — a staple, that is, if you are not bourgeois or a member of the “elite”.

    “Kotlety” are what are known in the UK as “rissoles” — I think they are called “meat patties” in North American English — and are, basically, a mini-burger.

    Could it be possible that Rainsford has never partaken in a dish of “kotlety” with macaroni in the company of Russian proles?

    Probably she hasn’t, because a very large proportion of those who eat “kotlety” with macaroni vote for Putin and voted for the amendments in the constitution, and if she had indeed ever had a postprandial chinwag with such types, her dining partners would certainly not have voiced the opinions that she has been instructed by her august employer to report back to the world.

    So when Rainsford either read or heard the word “kotlety”, written or uttered by her her housewife heroine, she assumed that the word means “cutlets”.

    And the reason why she thought this is because, in my very proletarian English, she hasn’t got a fucking clue!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We eat them on a weekly basis, so I guess we are Putin-supporting proles. Mama prepares them with breadcrumbs to hold extra moisture, and the texture is softer than a burger, almost like a meat pâté, except served hot, of course. The folks grind their own meat from a mixture of pork tenderloins (dead cheap here while the Chinese are punishing the Canadian and American pork-export industries, and few restaurants are operating) and beef cuts.

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      1. When my children were much younger and thought McDonald’s was the best thing since sliced bread, never missing an opportunity to demand a visit to that ubiquitous fast food establishment, I used to admonish them by saying “Mama’s kotlety are much better — and you can see what goes into them!”

        Anyway, Vova has since that time maintained that “Burger King” is better.

        I”ll stick to Mrs. Exile’s kotlety.

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        1. I agree that Burger King is better than McDonalds, but that hardly amounts to an endorsement; I rarely eat fast food (except when I am working Route 1, Victoria to Vancouver, because it’s a lot easier to get a burger than bring your own food and heat it in the microwave or eat it cold, and employees get half off), and of the fast-food outlets McDonalds is the refuge of last resort.

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  9. This comment may upset some readers so let me state that this is not about taking sides – just trying to find out the historical truth – as with the Katyn Forest massacre for example.

    I have been reading as much as I can about the Bolshevik takeover of Russia in 1917, the murder of the Romanov family and their four attendees (17-18 July), and how WWI and its continuation into WWII were actually contrived, initiated and prolonged. [The very heavily in debt and often drunk Churchill for example was a great fan of War and Death.] What President Putin says about the Bolshevik era always impresses me, as does the resurgence of Orthodox Russia under his extraordinary leadership.

    The video “Debunking a Century of Lies” by James Corbett is a good appetiser for context.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw0-ASR4sr8

    From the article:

    “That western journalism strives for an impression that propagandists are also liars, and that an informed populace can handle the truth?”

    Precisely. Now let’s look at what [the always misquoted] Goebbels actually did say.

    • “Good propaganda does not need to lie, indeed it may not lie. It has no reason to fear the truth. **It is a mistake to believe that people cannot take the truth.** They can. It is only a matter of presenting the truth to people in a way that they will be able to understand. A propaganda that lies proves that it has a bad cause. It cannot be successful in the long run.”

    Source:
    • Goebbels at Nuremberg Rally, 1934
    http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/goeb59.htm

    In fact if you also read his essay Communism With the Mask Off,
    https://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/goeb58.htm

    you will see that the National Socialists were concerned about Bolshevism spreading to the rest of Europe as per the stated policy of the Comintern. It was never ‘Germans versus Russians’. In fact Goebbels was desperately concerned for the Russian people

    “**Millions of workers on hunger-wages such as are not thought of in western Europe, millions of afflicted and sorrowing peasants who have been robbed of their land, which is being completely ruined by the stupid experiment of a paralysing collectivism, famine which claims millions of victims year after year** in a country of such vast extent that it might serve as a granary for the whole of Europe, the formation and equipping of an army which, according to the claims of all leading Bolshevists, is to be used for carrying out the world revolution, the brutal and merciless domination of this madly-led apparatus of State and Party at the hands of a small terrorist minority which is mostly Jewish—all this speaks another language, a language which the world cannot listen to permanently because **it [Bolshevism] rings with the story of nameless suffering and indescribable hardships borne by a nation of a hundred-and-sixty million people**.”

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    1. Problem is, though, the constant effort that “The Holocaust” never be forgotten notwithstanding, is that also classed as Untermenschen according to Nazi race ideology were ALL Slavs.

      Far more Slavs were murdered by the Nazis and their sycophants than were the alleged 6 million European Jews that they “cleansed” Europe of, which, of course, does not lessen the crimes of the Nazis perpetrated against Jews.

      But how come then that it is argued that Goebbels had a bleeding heart as regards the Russian SLAV masses who suffered so at the hands of the Jewish Bolsheviks.

      For Nazis, Jews and Slavs were equally worthless, subhuman shite and a waste of space.

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      1. I guess the thing is that I read such things expecting to find a million (or six) smoking guns to confirm the ‘history’ we have been taught and I keep proving the opposite – Katyn, “Holocaust” ™ ….

        I honestly don’t know anything about the relationship or tensions between Germans and Slavs, that is, between ordinary people on the ground. I have read a bit about Sudetenland (and the Treaty of Versailles), and books like “Tell The Truth and Shame the Devil” (Gerard Menuhin) and “An Eye for an Eye” (John Sack) and listened to “witnesses” like Elie Wiesel, Irene Zisblatt, Herman Rosenblat, Joseph Hirt et al – and I keep coming up with the same conclusion – we have been lied to – our fathers and grandfathers were sent not to sacrifice for our freedom but to be ritually sacrificed – and look what we have now – global tyranny by the winners over an even greater hoax in the form of The Virus ™.

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/24/holocaust-survivor-lied-joseph-hirt-auschwitz

        Still reading – all pointers appreciated.

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        1. British imperialist Rudyard Kipling was coming in his pants when the British Empire declared war against the German Empire in 1914 and urged his only son John to join up.

          His son, in fact, suffered severe eyesight problems and was unfit for military service, but Kipling pulled strings in order to get him commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the British Expeditionary Force that was sent to France.

          John Kipling fell at the Battle of Loos, 1915.

          Kipling was understandably grief stricken over the loss of his 18-year-old son son and later, in his poem “Epitaphs of the War,” wrote:

          “If any question why we died,
          Tell them, because our fathers lied”.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Nobody could make me dislike Kipling, no matter what he was; there probably never was such a talent for artful and evocative verse, and certainly never has been since his passing.

            It’s hard to imagine now that there ever was such a thing as a professional poet, who put his life into it and invested as much effort into his work as composers of symphonies; like A.J. Cronin’s character Stephen Desmonde in “A Thing of Beauty”, who painted because he could not make himself do anything else, despite the complete lack of encouragement from the professional community and even a mother who paid reviewers to assess that he was ‘born to be a painter…of houses’, in an attempt to discourage him and make him take the path she had mapped out for him. ‘Modern verse’ is almost exclusively insipid and deep as a birdbath, and poetry has become a hobby which competes for time with betting on the market or knitting sweaters.

            Kipling once at least had competition. Modern poetry could not shine his shoes.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Joseph Goebbels was known to be a big fan of Edward Bernays, the American advertising and public relations executive who plundered his uncle Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theories for inspiration on how to manipulate people. You need to keep Goebbels’ admiration for Bernays in mind when reading his speeches – they are aimed at appealing to people’s gut feelings and the details of what he says about “Bolsheviks” and “Communists” may be based on rumours which Goebbels likely knew were false but which he chose deliberately to get his audience on side with him. Horst Wessel may have been real but he was also the subject of a deification cult by the Nazis.

          What sort of reputation does Calvin University (a private Protestant Christian university) have? Is this a credible academic institution? It may have an interest in presenting Goebbels’ speeches in a way that makes his pronouncements look harmless.

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          1. I didn’t mean this get partisan or awkward – if I have any agenda it is that Germans AND Russians are not to blame for the past conflicts and indeed have a common enemy. An analogy would be that those in positions of power in the current Australian regime do not represent Australians (the latest example being Payne and Reynolds signing a [Five-Eyes] ‘mutual aggression pack’ with Pompeo and Esper against Chinese sovereignty in its one regional backyard).

            So let’s aim for a win-win by sharing information and insights rather than debating as such.

            That Calvin site presents those documents as “Nazi [look what those horrible people said] Propaganda”. I was merely quoting directly what he did say (assuming a reasonable translation) – and it just isn’t the smoking gun I was expecting.

            Elsewhere in those archived documents Goebbels also said:
            • “It is not only a matter of doing the right thing; the people must understand that the right thing is the right thing. Propaganda includes everything that helps the people to realize this.”
            • “The truth is always stronger than the lie.”
            • “We would never make propaganda so far from the truth.”
            • “This is a struggle between light and dark, between truth and falsehood, between true humanity and inhuman barbarism.”
            • “The truth cannot be stopped by lies or force. It will get through.”
            • “a truth is no less valid because it is expressed daily.”

            In contrast, the following attributed to Sefton Delmer (I can’t fact check it any deeper):

            • “**Atrocity propaganda is how we won the war**. And we’re only really beginning with it now! We will continue this atrocity propaganda, we will escalate it until nobody will accept even a good word from the Germans, until all the sympathy they may still have abroad will have been destroyed and they themselves will be so confused that they will no longer know what they are doing. Once that has been achieved, once they begin to run down their own country and their own people, not reluctantly but with eagerness to please the victors, only then will our victory be complete. It will never be final.
            • **Re-education needs careful tending, like an English lawn. Even one moment of negligence and the weeds crop up again – those historical weeds of historical truth**.”

            Sefton Delmer – former Jewish British chief of ‘Black propaganda’ in a conversation with Dr Friedrich Grimm (German Professor of International Law)

            As far as Goebbels’ ‘obsession’ with Bernays goes, it seems that this was more of an awareness of the power of propaganda as advocated by Bernays. If there was an obsession it would have been by the likes of the Jew Kurt Lewin who ‘fled’ Germany to pursue his ‘interest’ in brainwashing and mind control as head of Tavistock in the US.

            Goebbels would no doubt have been aware (and I seem to recall he alludes to the same) of the ’Babies on Bayonets’ propaganda campaign of 1914-15, promoted largely by the “Bryce Report” (authored by Viscount James Bryce).

            https://archive.org/details/reportofcommitte00grea/page/n3

            The formula never gets old – think Nayirah al Sabah {Kuwait incubators) or Colin Powell’s vial of ‘deadly anthrax’ as a prop in pushing the Iraq WMD narrative.

            Back to Kurt Lewin: From his own Wiki entry:

            • “Lewin is often recognized as the **”founder of social psychology”** and was one of the first to study **group dynamics and organizational development**.”

            • He [Lewin] served as a professor at the University of Berlin from 1926 to 1932, during which time he conducted **experiments about tension states**, needs, motivation, and learning.

            • In 1933, Lewin had tried to negotiate a teaching position as the chair of psychology as well as the creation of a research institute at the Hebrew University. Lewin often associated with the early Frankfurt School, originated by an influential group of largely Jewish Marxists at the Institute for Social Research in Germany. But when Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933 the Institute members had to disband, moving to England and then to America. In that year, he met with Eric Trist, of the London Tavistock Clinic. Trist was impressed with his theories and went on to use them in his studies on soldiers during the Second World War.”

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            1. One problem is that we have to know what Goebbels believed in and where he was coming from to know or figure out what he meant by “the right thing”, “the truth” or what “light” and “dark” represented for him. The context in which he made these statements is important too: who was his intended audience, when did he make these statements and why, and what was he aiming to achieve with these statements.

              Sometimes to advance our understanding of an issue, we have to take an opposing view or play Devil’s advocate. No offence is meant towards you.

              Liked by 1 person

        3. “I honestly don’t know anything about the relationship or tensions between Germans and Slavs, that is, between ordinary people on the ground.”

          I’ve got Adolf’s book, the one where he says “When we speak of land in Europe today, we can have in mind primarily only Russia and her vassal border states.”

          His Chief of the German general staff, Colonel-General Franz Halder in his war diary characterized Operation Barbarossa, then being planned, as a war of extermination.

          In conference in January 1942, Adolf laid out that the Slavic peoples of the USSR should be treated like the Americans treated the “redskins”

          And yes, he used that word. He was a fan of the novels of Kurt May, set in the American West, describing the American westward expansion, and its consequences for the indigenous peoples.

          So between 22 June 1941 and 9 May 1945, the German armed forces waged a war of racial extermination against the Jew-Bolshevik Slavic untermenschen then infesting the land of the USSR.

          Clear enough?

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          1. Too late tonight to dig up the references, however based on “letters from the front” the average German soldier eagerly took part in the extermination of Russians of all ages – men, women and children not to mention wanton destruction of property. Frankly, I thought that was common knowledge but there is ample research that confirms.

            To complete the thought, Russians showed a remarkable restraint as they conquered Germany despite claims of widespread rapes and other invisible or hard to document crimes. What was clear was that Russian forces did not seek revenge on a mass scale that they had every right to extract.

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          2. And that book was written — more exactly, dictated — by Hitler some 17 years years before the Nazi Invasion of the USSR.

            If there’s one thing that I will concede to Hitler, it is that he did not lack consistency in his beliefs and did indeed try to put into practice what he preached and had been preaching in Germany since the end of WWI.

            And the rule of the Nazi party was that it had only one leader whose word was sacrosanct.

            So how come Goebbels had a soft spot for those poor Slavs in the USSR who were suffering such horrors under the Jewish-Bolshevik yoke.?

            Do I get a whiff of attempted historical revisionism here?

            Or simply a remoulding of Nazi propaganda — you know, they, the German nation under the leadership of the Führer — were on a crusade against the Asiatic hordes of the East on a mission to defend Western Christendom by exterminating the heathen and seizing his land for the “German plough?”

            Oh, yes! And only “Aryans” need partake in this crusade and benefit from this noble mission.

            Slavs are not Aryans, according to Nazi “race ideology”.

            Reichskommissariat Ukraine Erich Koch:

            ”We are a master race, which must remember that the lowliest German worker is racially and biologically a thousand times more valuable than the population here”
            Erich Koch, 5 March 1943

            I repeat: The Nazis considered the Slavs as Non-Aryan Untermenschen (sub-humans) who were to be enslaved and exterminated by Germans.

            As for the ridiculous hundred million Slavs, we will mould the best of them as we see fit, and we will isolate the rest of them in their own pig-styes; and anyone who talks about cherishing the local inhabitants and civilising them, goes straight off into a concentration camp!
            A. Hitler

            Source: H. R. Trevor-Roper; Gerhard L. Weinberg (18 October 2013). Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944: Secret Conversations. Enigma Books. p. 466. ISBN 978-1-936274-93-2

            Need I go further?

            If anyone doubts any of the above, I refer him to Generalplan Ost, the Nazi German government Master Plan for the East, which entailed the genocide and ethnic cleansing and colonization of Central and Eastern Europe by Germans.

            This plan was to be undertaken in territories occupied by Germany during WWII. The plan resulted indirectly and directly in millions of deaths of ethnic Slavs by shootings, starvation, disease, or extermination through forced Labour.

            Alleys klar?

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          3. Here am I praising Putin and impressed (and hoping) that Russians have their beloved Russia back (from the Bolsheviks) and trying to understand things by seeing the good in all people and you come out with that response, quite tremulous with your enthusiasm.
            The why would the Jew, John Sack write the following in “An Eye For an Eye”?

            • “They [what Sack calls the ‘Asiatic’ Russians – entering Gleiwitz] shot some doctors, lawyers, tailors, nurses, carpenters, sculptors, coiffeurs, auditors, watch-store owners, cigar-store owners, shoemakers, bookbinders, principals, miners, even a few escapees from Auschwitz, even Jews. In their cellars the Germans poured schnapps down the drains so the Russians couldn’t become drunker, and the women cut off their hair so the Russians wouldn’t rape them. “Frau komm! Woman come!” the Russians said anyhow, as they lined up to rape even eight-year-olds and eighty-year-old nuns.”
            and elsewhere Sack writes …
            • “… they shouted at German homes and, on entering, robbed the men, raped the women, played with the children, washed in the toilet bowls, and got even drunker, telling the Germans to drink and say, “Long live Stalin!”

            Sack seems to write these sickening passages with an almost boastful orgasmic glee – or is it only the ‘other bits’ we are supposed to believe?

            Happy to quote from the Jew Theodore N. Kaufman if you wish.

            But please, let’s change the subject – Mark Chapman wrote “We’re All in This Together, Chook!”
            There are people (and it is not the Germans or the Russians) trying to enslave our children and grandchildren a la Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World with The Virus ™ hoax and the satanic ritualistic submission with face masks and social distancing.

            Sacha Stone describes them as follows:

            “all of this kind of Babylonian shit that is going to be flicked in our face by these Molochite, Bathomet worshipping – […] Sabbatean elements that needfully ae working themselves out like the detritus that they are – […] the “unensouled”.

            It is this unensouled detritus that have caused all the wars of at least the last century and have now subverted “The West” after what they did to Russia over 100 years ago. Indeed, “We’re All in This Together, Chook!”

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            1. “Here am I praising Putin”

              He’s worthy of praise, IMO, having brought Russia out of the grave the drunken incompetent comprador buffoon Yeltsin dug for her.

              “and impressed (and hoping) that Russians have their beloved Russia back (from the Bolsheviks)”

              Adolf would have plucked a White Russia like a ripe tomato. In both WWI & the RCW, the Whites demonstrated their complete incapacity to successfully wage war against a competent enemy, her victories coming only at the expense of the Franz Joseph & Abdul Hamid II’s, whose empires were as ramshackle & sclerotic as Nicky II’s.

              Iosif I on the other hand, went 2-0 in 20th Century industrial warfare.

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            2. Thought there was something totally whiffy and familiar in Julius Skoolafish’s comments and I was thinking, oh no, seems like ThatJ with his anti-Semitism trash talk and constant references to The Occidental Observer is here again.

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              1. +1. It’s the standard ingratiate; spam & then drop the other (disgusting) shoe that is their real interest. History repeats itself on this site yet again.

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                1. My main concern is that while it is extremely difficult to counter such diarrhetic entities, search engine algorithms will link this blog to other f/ked up shit. That is one thing the Edward Snowden revelations really brought to the fore, the real value and importance of metadata, i.e. that the relationships between entities which can easily be at least as valuable and often more so than actual content. It allows you to deduce plenty of other things that could be actionable.

                  From there you can extrapolate and particularly in this current climate where politicians with an eye to being in the media are demanding that SocMed does something, however retrograde, retarded, damaging or just plain stupid. Their outlook is at most a year. Nothing more interests them until there are new elections. Point at some other big bad makes for a convenient distraction from them doing f/k all for years before when those same companies were raking it in and making political contributions to all the right people…

                  Like

              2. No, I don’t think so. He seems earnest enough. And in truth it has always puzzled me how Russia and Germany can have such a comparatively warm relationship now considering the German people were once solidly behind the eradication of Russia as a state.

                Like

                1. Not a warm relationship but perhaps an expedient one. Germany does realize that hopes of European conquest by military means and economic domination will not happen if Europe is defined as including Russia. Given the foregoing, Germany has handled its demotion much better than the UK but, on the other hand, Germany was whipped by Russia in WW II and now would be little more than a speed bump in a military confrontation while the UK still has its lamprey-like mouth stuck to the side of the US. The Germans smell the coffee or sauerkraut or whatever.

                  Not that my opinion should dissuade Julius from posting but he does have a tinge of Karl; just not nearly as lazy and obvious. Peddling claims that the Nazis were trying to free Russians from the Bolsheviks was offensive and stupid. However he would receive a much better reception at Russia Insider.

                  Like

                2. I should like to add that in my experience Russians — I mean “ethnic Russians“, Eastern Slavs. — do not display a deeply embedded dislike for Germans per se, a dislike that has been passed down in Russia from generation to generation, much as has a dislike — dare I even say “hatred”? —for the English that has been nurtured down through generations of many of those in the USA who are descendants of Irish immigrants.

                  When I lived in the USSR, I quickly noticed how in Soviet history books, those who waged a war of extermination against the Soviet peoples were never called “Germans” but “Fascists” (which they were not: the Italian allies of the Germans were fascists, as were the Romanians and Croatians and Hungarians — all non-Aryans in Nazi eyes) or “Hitlerites”. On hearing this terminology, I simply thought that this was just Communist-speak, signifying that the ordinary German soldier was just a misguided and exploited “worker” in uniform, exploited by capitalists, a reminder to me of the Communist Party of Great Britain anti-war slogan that a “bayonet is a weapon with a worker on each end”. However, on my return to Russia in 1993, since when that land has been my home (I can pronounce “Sheremetevo” as Yulia Ioffe once reminded a US talk show host, and as the propagandist Harding of the Guardian likes to bluster: “You don’t understand: I have
                  lived in Russia and I know what it’s like!”)I noticed that these synonyms for the German invaders of 1941 were and still are in use.

                  I mentioned this to my old workmate, who, with his wife, took a Sankt-Peterbug — Moskva river/canal cruise last summer and visited me when they arrived in the capital. When in the Northern Capital, they went on an excursion devoted to the Nazi siege of that city and my old friend commented to me when we met last August that what I had already mentioned to him several years ago was true, namely that he had noticed during his trip to Russia that his excursion guides, when speaking of the horrors of the Great Patriotic War, never described the foe as “Germans” but as “Nazis”.

                  The Great Patriotic War lasted for approximately 3 years and 11 months. Over 22 million Soviet lives were lost during that war of extermination that was waged against the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany and still I do not feel here a hatred towards the Germans. That in no way means that the Russians have not forgotten what the Germans did here when they were Nazis.

                  Russia’s Investigative Committee Opened a Case on the Genocide of the Population of the Pskov Region During WW2
                  Stalker Zone

                  https://www.stalkerzone.org/russias-investigative-committee-opened-a-case-on-the-genocide-of-the-population-of-the-pskov-region-during-ww2/

                  Like

                3. “That in no way means that the Russians have not forgotten what the Germans did here when they were Nazis” should have been:

                  That in no way means that the Russians have forgotten what the Germans did here when they were Nazis.

                  Bloody double negative!!!

                  Russians use them though: perfectly acceptable — in fact, grammatically necessary — to use them in Russian and say, for example: “I never said nothing to no one nowhere!”

                  Like

                4. @ ME – that was a fascinating point that Russians do not harbor hatred for the German people (although there must be some exceptions). How unlike the West where hatred of Easter Slavs and now, COMMUNIST CHINESE (they are one and the same) is now the norm. That helps explain the comparative restraint of the Soviet forces towards civilians in taking Germany. Folks like Karl viewed such behavior as weakness but others regard it as strength.

                  Like

                5. Above should be:

                  . . . much as there is a dislike — dare I even say “hatred”? —for the English that has been nurtured down through generations of many of those in the USA who are descendants of Irish immigrants

                  Like

            3. Well, when I wrote that I was being sarcastic, though. Far from all being in this together by choice and common purpose, as the authorities would have it, we are all in this together as authority tries to force new rules and an abandonment of our old lives on us, under the banner of caring for our fellows. ‘We’re All In This Together’ is a carefully-selected motivational brand that is supposed to induce a wartime mentality which will ‘bring out the best in us all’, like ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’, or ‘Keep Your Pecker Up’. All just a smokescreen devised to make the population latch on to empty heroics while the Big Wheels do a little social tinkering.

              Like

      2. Millions of workers on hunger wages?

        How did they have the strength then to build such places in the 1930s as the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Plant, modeled on steel plants that were in Gary, Ohio, and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA, and complete huge civil engineering projects such as the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station dam, 1927-1932?

        Interestingly, following the completion of that dam, the Soviet government awarded six American engineers with the Order of the “Red Banner of Labour” for “the outstanding work in the construction of DniproHES”.

        I wonder if those American engineers noticed that the workers on that huge project were starving?

        And then the Soviets blew up the dam, the pride of the USSR, in 1941 so as to hinder the Nazi onslaught during the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945.

        They then rebuilt it, starting its reconstruction in 1944 after the UkSSR had been liberated by the Ref Army — or occupied, as brain dead Yukie Svidomites insist.

        Like

      3. And, as often discussed here, the Vatican had a major role in the genocide of Slavs, especially those in Orthodox countries. Certainly, communism scared the west but religious/cultural vales contrary to those of the west run much deeper than ideology and economics. Genocide was the preferred solution by the Vatican and by the west until those commies developed nuclear weapons.

        Like

      4. So, the propaganda technique is to engage the narcissistic side of human behavior. No wonder such techniques are so effective in the west.

        Like

  10. Denmark states that there are currently no seasonal obstacles to resumption of construction, such as spawning of cod.

    The deadline for appeals ends on August 3, and then you can start.

    We draw the conclusion: if on August 3-5 the vessel with dynamic positioning “Akademik Chersky” and the anchor barge “Fortuna” do head out to sea and do not start laying pipes, it means our side has surrendered and the USA has won.

    Could tis really happen?

    Russian blog:

    3-5 августа решится судьба «Северного потока-2». Последние ходы сделаны

    On August 3-5, the fate of Nord Stream 2 will be decided. The last moves are now being made

    https://zen.yandex.ru/media/vg_saveliev/35-avgusta-reshitsia-sudba-severnogo-potoka2-poslednie-hody-sdelany-5f240a199a3c83714acffd2d

    Like

    1. Dear me; what a delightfully simple-minded and ill-informed view. Who is ‘we’? Some liberal Russian blogger determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? I would love to hear how the inexorable alignment of legal judgments in Russia’s favour is anything other than the slow but ceaseless pinning of Uncle Sam’s arm to the mat. As I suggested earlier, that does not mean the Americans will abandon the effort; far from it. But so far they have gone pretty much without a win of any description, and have racked up only spastic delays which were disproportionately costly in soft power and international goodwill.

      Leaping into action as the second hand hits the dot is just what you would expect weaponizers of energy to do, while a more measured approach is rubbing America’s nose in its own dung. There really is no hurry; if it is not completed in what remains of summer – and I frankly doubt it, given the Russian side’s inexperience – it will be finished next spring. The swan song for Ukraine’s Brotherhood pipeline is no less assured for the leisure of its advance. I would expect Russia to do some work, but I think it is unlikely to be completed by winter unless (a) the Russians show a spectacularly steep learning curve, or (b) the region has an exceptionally mild and lengthy autumn. There is probably a solid three months work left.

      But it is just like some Russians to set an unrealistic goal and then, when it is not met, to wail that all is lost and everyone should have known the dumb ass-scratching apes were no match for the clever Americans. The USA has not won a single battle – it is difficult to imagine them winning the war.

      Like

  11. Harding has totally blown ‘em!!!

    See RT:

    Outcry over Lebedev’s peerage is predictable. ‘Russians under the bed’ focus easier than seeing issues with UK political system

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/496848-lebedev-peerage-outcry-predictable/

    A clear indication of Putin’s “long game”: Lebedev has lived in the UK since he was 8-years-old.

    Like

    1. Yeah, a very long game:

      Born in Moscow, [1980] Lebedev is the son of Alexander Lebedev, a part owner of the Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta and former spy for the KGB and later its successor the FSB, and his first wife Natalia Sokolova. He moved to London at the age of eight, when his father began working for the KGB. His father was in the First Chief Directorate of the KGB, where he worked until 1992. In London, he had the diplomatic cover of an economic attaché.

      Lebedev attended St Barnabas and St Philip’s Church of England Primary School in Kensington, followed by Holland Park comprehensive and Mill Hill boarding school. He then went on to study the history of art at Christie’s in London. He has lived in the UK ever since, and became a British citizen (with dual nationality) in 2010. — Wiki

      Nice one, Vova!

      Like

    2. Whew! For a second there, I misread it and thought BoJo had so recognized the elder Lebedev, the former KGB spy (whose work, we are regularly reminded, consisted mostly of just reading British newspapers, nothing sinister at all, and quite healthy so long as it is not done to the accompaniment of bacon and beans on toast not more than three days of the week.

      Whoopty-doo, a Lord in today’s floundering and rudderless UK. What a spectacular reward. Doubtless it will expand the awestruck pool of gape-mouthed yokels he can lord it over (see what I did there?), but it’s hard to think too many would be jealous of yet another meaningless British title. Why not make him Keeper of the Royal Longbow, or Purveyor of the Royal Pool-Cleaner?

      Like

    3. Harding never misses an opportunity to try to flog off his books. Maybe the warehouses that are storing them have just hit him with bill for keeping them and it’s huge.

      Like

      1. A 27% reduction on RRP at Amazon — Harding’s latest fantasy:

        Shadow State: Murder, Mayhem and Russia’s Remaking of the West

        Check out the reviews!

        The first, very lengthy one, praises the contents, churning out the usual shite. Could have been posted by one of those agencies that vigilantly defend our freedoms:

        Be Vigilant
        A fabulous piece of investigative journalism. It is not a new story but is recounted in a coherent and very readable way, supported by up to date and thorough research. It presents a disturbing picture of the vectors directed at western democracy by Putin’s criminal state, sowing division and destabilisation in fellow permanent members of the UN security council and elsewhere.

        Sowing divisions, eh?

        Sow me a cliché!

        Not a new story indeed, but the same old same old from Western propagandists, such as is Be Vigilant, I suspect.

        But scroll further down and there is the following:

        Shadow State can stay in the shade
        Not the most exciting read – a lot of repetition of news items that have been readily available for months. Most of the book deals with Trump and gets boring. I was broadly disappointed and could not really recommend this book.

        Like

        1. Fake review generation has become a cottage industry. The style of the first review suggests a semipro ad writer’s work (not a professional level due to the cliche-ridden and gushiness of the praise). I would give that appraisal a C-. The fact that it was also the first appraisal suggests a planned placement (i.e. meant to be the first) rather than a thoughtful response after a careful read.

          Like

          1. Yep! I thought the same.

            The other reviews — all from the UK, I noticed — had grammatical errors that are common amongst English native speakers who have jotted something off. The long-winded first review might even be from a template.

            Like

            1. Fascinating – I had not read that, nor heard of it. A stellar example of the western technique; deny, deny, deny until there is no sense in denying any more because it is obvious that if it was going to work, they would have given up by now. Can you blame someone else? No? Shit!! Well, nothing else for it now – say you had a breakdown, were under a lot of strain, maybe some will feel sorry for you.

              Like

              1. In 2012, Orlando Figes was involved in another controversy regarding the Russian-language translation of his book “The Whisperers”, a book purporting to chronicle private life in Stalinist-era USSR and based on interviews with relatives of gulag survivors. After the book (in Russian) was given to Memorial, the human rights organisation representing gulag survivors’ families, for a pre-publication check, the organisation noticed numerous errors, inaccuracies and misrepresentations: so many in fact that the book had to be withdrawn from publication in Russia.

                This controversy and the Amazon book review controversy in which Figes wrote glowing reviews of his own books and rubbished other historians’ books, then threatened legal action on those historians who called him out, are part of a pattern of suspect research, plagiarism, grandstanding on his own behalf and an anti-Russian agenda. If Figes dislikes Russian politics and culture so much, why does he write so many books on Russian and Soviet history, and in particular on those historical events that are either sensitive or controversial for Russian people?

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Hello Jen – just chipping in – I have no knowledge or opinion about Figes, but I have read “Secondhand Time” by Svetlana Alexievich.

                  “Svetlana Alexievich was born in Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine, in 1948 and had spent most of her life in the Soviet Union depression present-day Belarus.”

                  While she does seem to come across as being somewhat anti-Putin towards the end (I have no idea why – maybe that’s why she was awarded the Nobel Prize in ?2015), the rest of the book is without comment – merely a compilation of first hand testimonies as recorded, I found it a very frank compilation of testimonies of people from all walks of life and on both (all) sides – pro/anti Stalin, pro/anti communism –families divided – of people living in the pre-90s Soviet Union.
                  Any thoughts or comments from readers here more familiar and directly experienced with the topic than I would be most appreciated.

                  Like

                2. Alekseivich is a darling of the West, in that she continuously throws shit at Russia, hence her Nobel laureate.

                  And where she was born only became part of the USSR 2 years before she was born.

                  Her hometown has another name, a Polish name, it having been situated in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was originally in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth before becoming an Austrian Hapsburg possession following the partition of Poland by Austria, Prussia and the Russian Empire.

                  You seldom hear Poles whining about how the two latter annexed chunks of Poland, only about how the wicked Moskals did that.

                  Liked by 1 person

                3. I’ve never read anything by Svetlana Alexiyevich but I should think with writers like Alexiyevich, who use their research skills and tools as historians to collect people’s accounts of their experiences during war or living in the Soviet Union in peacetime as well as war – and then to organise those accounts in such a way as to tell a particular story or narrative that would never have existed if those factual accounts had remained separate within their own particular contexts and not put together outside their original contexts – you have to be very careful and ask: why does this writer use actual historical experiences to tell a different story; is the writer aware of what s/he is doing; and if so, what is the story the writer is telling. The story that ends up being told could be something very different from what the people whose accounts were collected by Alexiyevich might actually believe in.

                  Here also we must consider the possibility that Alexiyevich collected a huge number of people’s accounts and then cherry-picked those accounts that might have agreed with whatever she wished to portray. This is how a “history” can be fabricated from particular stories that in themselves are neutral or entirely innocent but when stripped of their context can be made to say something else.

                  Liked by 1 person

                4. I had heard of him, of course, but I don’t think I ever read any of his work, and I have to be in a certain mood – kind of a rueful amusement – to read the bumbling hatchet-jobs of dyed-in-the-wool Russophobes who hate the place and just want it gone, but have to preserve the impression of caring deeply about the people and just wanting to help them experience freedom. However, a simple answer as to why he does it – though not necessarily the right one, I couldn’t claim to know his motives – is that it is one of the few fields in which you can claim vast expertise without ever having to demonstrate any. Moreover, the popular press will run interference for you, intercepting angry people who know better and are trying to set the record straight, and calling them useful idiots and Putinbots and lauding your work as the last word in pragmatic, honest reporting.

                  Like

                5. Figes wrote “A People’s Tragedy”, a thick tome about the tragedy of a certain people, obviously.

                  Guess which people.

                  That’s right!

                  Subtitle:

                  “The Russian Revolution 1891-1924”

                  Won loads of literary prizes, it did.

                  I have a copy gathering dust here In my dacha library.

                  Only read it once. I usually read non-fiction books more than once if I like them.

                  Like

                1. If I remember rightly, Figes had a historian’s scrap with another Russophobic shit-slinger, the US-Polack academic Pipes, who claimed Figes had plagiarized some of his shite.

                  Like

                2. From an old Independent article back in 2010:

                  “… In 1997, the American historian Richard Pipes claimed that Figes had “quoted copiously but not always generously” from his own book, Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, pointing out seven examples in Figes’s book A People’s Tragedy that, he claimed, bore resemblance to his own. The Sunday Times reported the allegations, but ultimately was obliged to print an apology to Figes. Figes then wrote a piece explaining the similarities, saying, “There are bound to be minor similarities of expression in two such large works on the same subject.”…”

                  “Copiously but not always generously” must be Pipes’ own generous description of Figes’ plagiarism.

                  Like

        2. One person who won’t be in a position to review “Shadow State …”, not that he needs to be as he had the measure of Harding in a review of a past Harding work “The Snowden Files” and has more urgent and important things to contend with – like his current trial being presided over by bullying and mediocre judge Vanessa Baraitser – is Julian Assange.

          “Assange: How ‘The Guardian’ Milked Edward Snowden’s Story”

          “… The Snowden Files is a walloping fraud, written by frauds to be praised by frauds. Michiko Kakutani, the renowned New York Times book critic, wrote that it “reads like a le Carré novel crossed with something by Kafka.” Really? It’s more Tom Clancy meets Dan Brown, but without the crowd-pleasing plot, a thriller without thrills by the man who wasn’t there.

          That a work so artless, so exploitative, so self-congratulatory, so cynical, so perfectly mediocre as The Snowden Files could receive such blinding praise from such a reputed critic completes the farce. The Snowden Files is—in effect if not in substance—a window into the tiny, shrinking world of industrial journalism and the swindling hacks that live in it …”

          Like

          1. Thanks for that Newsweek link, Jen: it was a delight to read!

            I fear I have developed an unhealthy obsession about that self-styled author employed by that odious rag the Guardian ever since he commented in one of that so-called newspaper’s “Comment is Free” threads that I “probably work for the FSB”.

            Remember a comment that I made earlier in this thread that I think I should consult a shrink about my “wet job” fantasies — you know, if I were the Evil Tyrant here? Well, no prizes given for guessing who would be at the top of my hit-list.

            Having said that though, in my present fevered state of mind, I think that Pompeo has recently nudged the self-styled Guardian journalist and author out of top position.

            Like

            1. I’m sure there are plenty of people at the top of your hit-list, in an ever-shifting line-up – even the recent birthday boy when he is recording his hip-hop music at 3 am in the morning probably scores a few seconds there.

              Like

      2. Harding is to be commended for his determination; he keeps writing more books although the demand for the ones already written can’t be very high, considering he’s always offering discounts. Kind of like Erno Rubik still obsessively making thousands of cubes.

        Like

  12. My favorite headline of recent times.

    Antiwar.com: US Africa Command Told to Prepare to Move Out of Germany
    https://news.antiwar.com/2020/07/31/us-africa-command-told-to-prepare-to-move-out-of-germany/

    Officials say planning will take ‘several months’

    …This was bound to happen, as there has long been a suggestion that Africa Command might make more sense being based in Africa. Djibouti has been considered a possible host, since they are close to active operations in Somalia…
    ####

    I thought Djibouti was France’s bag?

    Escadron de chasse 3/11 Corse based at BA 188 Djibouti

    Like

    1. I can imagine the reaction of minor American diplomats and high-ranking military officers accustomed to swanning about in beautiful old Europe, where you can’t swing a cat by the tail without hitting a castle, to a plan to up sticks and move to Djibouti where it is hot as a forge and dry as a popcorn fart. Perfect. Watch the requests for transfers pour in. Of course they knew it was ridiculous having Africa Command in Europe, but it was a pretty jammy posting for all of that.

      Djibouti. Best unpack that lovely cable-knit the girlfriend gave you for a present, Colonel. It would have been just the thing for those cool September mornings in Beerland, but it won’t be very useful where the average September temperatures are around 36.5 Celsius. Although that’s probably a bit nippy for the Djiboutians, considering August’s average is 41.

      https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-Rainfall-Temperature-Sunshine,Djibouti,Djibouti

      Like

      1. I lived in the “American Zone” of the former “West Germany” for a while, in Wiesbaden. You could spot US servicemen off duty there a mile away: they always wore camo-gear!

        I got the impressions that your regular Fritz treated them with polite disdain — sort of looked right through them in a polite sort of way.

        In the “British Zone” however, members of HM forces were only identifiable when on leave by their haircuts and general demeanour. They also socialized more with the Fritzes, it seemed to me, namely they used to guzzle German ale in German boozers.

        My nephew got wed in Germany at his Queens Own Hairy-Arsed Dragoons base — or whatever his re-amalgamated 100 bloody times armoured regiment is now called.

        I couldn’t go, unfortunately, as I only had a single entry visa to Russia at the time.

        Anyway, my brother-in-law did some mooching around the area before and after the nuptials, doing some research into the varieties of beer on offer, and told me that there were a surprising number of pubs there run by ex-squaddies who had fallen in love mit dem Vaterland, which, indeed, I had also done, before I was seduced by a Russian woman.

        My nephew told me that when his regiment upped sticks in Germany, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth by the locals and the Butgermeister had pleaded with HM Govt. that they not leave.

        Beer sales must have dropped drastically in that part of Nord Rhein-Westfalen now.

        The Osnabrück region it was, if I rightly remember.

        Like

        1. In Niedersachsen, actually — “Lower Saxony” — not Nord Rhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia).

          I lived in both German Federal states, and in Hessen, in Wiesbaden, the capital of Hessen — “Hesse” auf Englisch.

          Ye gods! Over 30 years ago already!

          Still prefer to live in Mordor though.

          Like

        2. Burgermeister FFS again!!!!!

          It’s that tosser of a spellchecker, I tell ya!

          It just changed again “Burgermeister” above to “Butgermeister”.

          What the fuck is a “Butgermeister”????

          And it changed “tosser” above (it just did again here!) to “tossed”, because US vernacular-based spellcheckers do not “know” what a “tosser” is.

          “That jerk of a spell checker” unchanged, of course.

          Like

          1. And in any case, I should have written “Bürgermeister“ but I couldn’t be arsed in changing my keyboard in order to write “u-umlaut”.

            Ha! I’ve just realized why “Butgermeister”: fat-finger syndrome!

            The keys “”r” and “t” are adjacent.

            Like

              1. That is pretty slick – very watchable. All part of the we’re-in-a-war-boys ambience which has given rise to saccharine branding like “We’re all in this together”. And it works very well; already, if you’re not in, you’re out. You’re either a bona-fide mask-wearing devotee of WHO dogma, or you’re a maskhole and a covidiot. The politics of divide-and-conquer never really get old.

                Like

          2. I think it is most likely an MI6 virus inserted into your electronic devices for the purpose of making you appear to be an unlettered boob who cannot spell, so that any potential traitors-to-the-crown buddies you might have will not believe what you say.

            All to no avail, I assure you.

            Like

            1. Let me remind you again, sir, that once in the Guardian feature “Comment is Free”, some arsehole of a fellow countryman replied to one of my comments to say that my English was “quite good — for a Russian”.

              Like

                1. Indiana! Don’t know why I wrote “Ohio”. Brain malfunction.

                  Anyway, the MMK — the Magnitogorsk Metal Kombinat [Магнитогорский металлургический комбинат], namely the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, is still thriving, whereas Gary is situated in the USA “Rust Belt”.

                  See: http://www.mmk.ru

                  Like

        1. That, I admit, had not occurred to me. But now you mention it, it might also be the opposite – even further prodding by the Trump neocons to pressure Germany to change its course on Nord Stream II and the import of American LNG. Look – we’re deserting you. And you know you can’t defend yourselves. Wise up; before it’s too late.

          Like

  13. Tass Press Review: Press review: Arrest spat impacts Minsk-Moscow ties and will Russia grill its tech giants
    https://tass.com/pressreview/1184351

    Top stories in the Russian press on Friday, July 31

    …Kommersant: Trump drops idea of dragging China into in arms control talks

    …The last day of the talks was marked by a small sensation. The United States, it seems, no longer insists on China’s involvement in arms control, Kommersant wrote…
    ####

    Is there no further political capital to be made from this stand then or does Washington think some ‘Good News(TM)’ in extending START is in order. I don’t believe anything in an American erection year any more.

    Like

  14. Deutsche Welle:

    Russia says alleged mercenaries are ‘in no way connected’ with Belarus

    The Russians detained near Minsk were heading to Istanbul and have nothing to do with the elections in Belarus, Russian authorities said. Belarus claims they are mercenaries sent in to destabilize the country.

    https://p.dw.com/p/3gEcn

    Like

    1. Perhaps they just really, really believe in Furgal’s innocence, and that he is being sent down the river. And if you, you know, let one innocent person be railroaded, it’s the same as turning your back on everyone it happens to.

      I read a Letter to the Editor in the local paper yesterday from some animal activist; the draft horses downtown who pull carriages for Victoria Carriage Tours, which operate downtown in the James Bay area, are popular targets for these activists and protesters since a team of them fell a couple of years ago and their struggles to get up (difficult when harnessed together) outraged those who are always looking for a new outlet for their outrage.

      Drivers for the company, which does scenic tours at a slow amble (vehicle traffic has learned to either avoid the area or be patient and stay away from the animals) in about a six-block area around the downtown center on lightly-traveled residential streets, complained that the protesters were harassing them in the pursuit of their daily bread by shouting at them and waving signs and disturbing the horses as well.

      The letter-writer claimed that she had participated in such protests herself, and that what was said was not true even a little bit; they always kept well back from the horses and drivers and were most circumspect in their attention-getting efforts. And she is from Nanaimo, two hours drive from here.

      Two things – one, we all know protesting is most effective when you can interrupt and disturb the normal course of events by getting in people’s way and making them notice you, in hopes they will think about your message. No protesters ever got anywhere standing meekly in ‘designated protest areas’ far from normal foot and vehicle traffic, which is why the Bush administration developed them so protesters were no longer allowed to disturb Republican gatherings. Two, the protesters themselves are the first who would drop everything and rush to the aid of someone who said they were being harassed, loudly shouting that harassment is in the eye of the harassed, and that harassers are of course going to say “What I did is not harassment”.

      It’s funny how the rules bend and change depending on whether or not they favour your side.

      Like

  15. Shock, horrors!

    Russia threat: Putin desperate for Scottish independence – to wreck UK nuclear capability
    VLADIMIR Putin sees Scottish independence as way a of splitting up the UK, undermining the nation’s nuclear deterrent, and seriously weakening NATO, a defence expert has warned.

    By CIARAN MCGRATH
    08:00, Sun, Aug 2, 2020 | UPDATED: 08:59, Sun, Aug 2, 2020

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1317179/russia-news-nuclear-weapons-scotland-independence-snp-nicola-sturgeon

    Putin “desperate”!!!

    Like

    1. Mark mentioned a hierarchy of Kremlin reactions to brilliant Western strategies which can be expanded per the following:
      – furious
      – fuming
      – angry
      – raging
      – seething
      – desperate
      No proof or analysis required for the MSM – just insert adjective from the above list. Best to use a different one for each article to maintain the appearance of having thoroughly researched the topic.

      Like

    2. That man (Putin, I mean) needs to calm down. He’s always desperate about something that he is trying to make happen as a rotten, last-ditch effort in peaceful benign countries that mean him no harm, or ‘scrambling’ to remake his shattered economy, or ‘furious’ over some smug PR campaign introduced by the aforementioned peaceful benign countries that mean Russia no harm. He must know he is getting into the age group where stress is a killer.

      The trouble is, he’s so damned good at hiding it. Whenever you see him in public, he looks about as stressed as a cat in front of a crackling fireplace. Good job that UK journalists can see right through him.

      The usual transparent UK government attempt at psychology – if you don’t vote against Scottish independence, it’s a vote for Putin. If the government wanted to cut the Scottish adrift, it’d be the opposite; Putin desperately wants Scotland to remain part of the UK, because that’s his ‘in’ door for meddling in UK affairs. So vote for them to be kicked to the curb, or it’s a vote for Putin. Childish. But that’s the standard we have come to expect.

      Like

      1. This is funny as the Scottish themselves didn’t want independence.
        55% voted to remain part of the union .

        So they don’t need a Russia scare story.

        The Scots have already convinced themselves to remain.

        And anyone who observes the Scottish Nationalist Party, will see that they are quite comfortable with the status quo; being the majority party in Scotland gives them a lot of power – and they can blame England when things go wrong.

        Like

      2. It’s all bollocks about the UK having a weakened nuclear capability if Scotland became independent. I think that even if Scotland were to become independent, there would still be a joint British defence force in existence.

        I don’t think that on Scottish independence, British army regiments will be disbanded in Scotland and a Scottish independent military created, as happened in the Republic of Ireland (to be precise — the Irish Free State, a sovereign state which was still a British dominion) in 1922.

        I cannot see a Scottish army, Air Force and Navy being created, although I can imagine a Royal Scottish Air Force and Navy coming into existence. But a Scottish army? Fully independent with its own general staff?

        And the Scottish army regiments that are now part of the British army?

        They have a 400-year-old history, albeit now much reduced in number and amalgamated. But disband the Black Watch, for example?

        Or maybe it has already been disbanded?

        No it hasn’t — sort of.

        The Black Watch is now the 3rd battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

        And another thing: the head of state of England and Scotland is one and the same person and has been so since 1601. So when or if Scotland becomes an independent kingdom in Britain, will there be a new Scottish head of state, be he a monarch or a president of a republic?

        I had best give my pal Volodya in the Kremlin a call on my hotline: he has all the answers to these questions: after all, he already meticulously planned all the options years ago when he was flying a KGB desk in Leipzig.

        Like

  16. A comment on the recent “Someone Is Lying About Covid” article at Colonel Lang’s site:

    “The only COVID inoculation I will allow to be administered in my body will the be the Russian inoculation, in no-way-shape-or-form will I allow the Gates associated U.S. inoculation to be administered, period!

    Posted by: J | 02 August 2020 at 12:29 AM”

    The lack of trust in US Big Pharma and its Big Tech promoters is interesting. Almost as though the Cultural Collapse of Orlov is underway.

    Like

  17. Khabarovsk Is Tired of Protests: Less Than 3,000 Participants, a Lot of Passersby, Freaks, & Children
    Stalker Zone
    August 2, 2020

    The protest itself may have started as a spontaneous one: most people come from the best of motives, they feel that they were deceived by the arrest of Furgal. But there are also citizens who clearly create images and news stories for the western media. For example, a girl in a striped prison suit with a balloon that says “Average day” on one side and “Russians Lives Matter” on the other. She was willing to give interviews to DW and other foreign journalists in Russian and English. The main message that she conveyed was that all Russians live in conditions of terrible lack of freedom, suffer very much without western democracy, and we need to introduce this democracy to Russia as soon as possible.

    https://www.stalkerzone.org/khabarovsk-is-tired-of-protests-less-than-3000-participants-a-lot-of-passersby-freaks-children/

    Like

      1. And the 19-year-old Petersburger in the above C/Z article is wrong: she has lived “under Putin” for two periods of her life: for 7 years, during the first two terms of Putin’s presidential office (2000 – 2004 / 2004 – 2008) and for 8 years following Putin was again elected as President in 2012 for a third, non-consecutive 6-year term of office and then re-elected in 2018 for a consecutive 6-year term of office.

        Merkel has been Chancellor since 2005 — without any break in office.

        And she, unlike Putin, was not elected to that office by popular mandate: she was appointed to it by the Bundestag.

        Nor was the German head of state elected by popular mandate: he was again appointed by his legislature cronies.

        Like

  18. Польша наложила на «Газпром» максимальный штраф за «Северный поток-2»
    3rd August 2020, 09:40

    Poland imposes maximum fine on Gazprom for Nord Stream 2
    The reason for the imposition of a fine in the amount of 213 million zlots was the refusal of Gazprom to provide the data requested by the Polish regulator, Warsaw reported.

    The Polish Office for the Protection of Competition and Consumer Rights (UOKiK) has fined Gazprom 213 million zlotys, which is equivalent to € 50 million, the antimonopoly office said.

    The reason for the imposition of such a an enormous fine was the refusal of Gazprom to provide UOKiK with data requested by the regulator on contracts concluded by its subsidiary Nord Stream 2 with European companies financing the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. In November 2019, the French company Engie was fined 172 million zlotys for “persistent and unjustified refusal” to provide the requested documents regarding participation in the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline construction project. At that time, UOKiK called the fine the biggest in its history, but now Gazprom has been demanded that it pay an even larger amount.

    https://www.rbc.ru/business/03/08/2020/5f27adb29a794785833bbcc9?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com%2F%3Ffrom%3Dspecial&utm_source=YandexZenSpecial

    Nice one, Polacks!

    I wonder if the Frogs have paid the fine yet?

    Like

    1. Go fuck yourself, Poland. Why should Gazprom do your work for you – call yourself a regulator? Surely that information is available in the public domain, and if Gazprom won’t tell you (and I’d have to see legal documentation which says it must disclose such information to a Polish regulator despite the contracts not necessarily being with Poland), I guess you have to demand from every contractor who might reasonably be a customer an accounting of their contracts with Gazprom. More than one way to skin a kot, what? Do I have to think of everything myself? If they won’t tell you, you can fine them all – think of the money!! Polish children will be able to make mud pies with real cream, you’ll be so rich.

      Information available suggests Dr. Peter’s Diagnosis.

      Idiot.

      I wonder if the EU ever envisioned Poland would be such an obstreperous child when they were all gaga about welcoming it into the family, holding their breath with controlled pleasure in anticipation of seeing the Kremlin ‘fume’.

      Like

      1. Fox? The East Kilbride Tory?

        I’m surprised that he is still around in the “Mother of Parliaments”.

        Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, really . . .

        In the 2009 expenses scandal, he was the Shadow Cabinet minister found to have the largest over-claim on expenses and, as a result, was forced to repay the most money. In 2010, he was appointed Defence Secretary by Prime Minister David Cameron, a position from which he resigned on 14 October 2011 over allegations that he had given a close friend, lobbyist Adam Werritty, inappropriate access to the Ministry of Defence and allowed him to join official trips overseas. — Wiki.

        What’s that catch phrase again that Navalny used to repeat ad nauseam about a political party here?

        Like

        1. The above refers to Dr. Liam Fox MP and should have been below Et Al’s comment further down about the allegation that the wicked Russians had hacked Fox’s emails.

          Fox does not represent East Kilbride in Westminster, by the way: it is where he was born and bred.

          Like

    2. Gazprom:

      “It is important to note that the information requested by the Polish Antimonopoly Office had nothing to do with the subject of the antitrust investigation. Earlier, PJSC Gazprom in its response had asked UOKiK to provide justification for the legality of the request for relevant information, but had not receive such justification … After the study of the official decision of UOKiK has been completed, PJSC Gazprom will take measures to protect its interests, including appealing the decision in court, where UOKiK will be required prove the validity of its position. In the event of a court appeal against the fine, it will not be subject to collection until the entry into force of the relevant court decision”, the information department of Gazprom told reporters (quoted by Interfax).

      Source: Kommersant

      https://kommersant-ru.turbopages.org/s/kommersant.ru/doc/4441962?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile

      Like

      1. Well, there you are, then; it is as I thought – the Poles mean to cast a wide net, and obtain privileged information to which they have no right of access. On their appeal to “Go fuck yourself, Poland”, the ruling stands. Go fuck yourself, Poland. Gazprom’s position seems unassailable – the Poles must first demonstrate that they have (a) the need to know, and (b) the appropriate security clearance, just as in the substantiated release of classified information in the military.

        Like

        1. Fair trade in a free market anyone?

          Stanislav Mitrahovich, an expert at the National Energy Security Fund, predicted the fate of Nord Stream 2 after a fine of 57 million euros was issued by the Polish authorities, writes “Evening Moscow”.

          According to the expert, the fine imposed will not interfere with the construction of the gas pipeline, despite the fact that Warsaw has made a lot of efforts over this. Mitrahovich believes that the Polish authorities are looking for loopholes so as to prevent the Russian side from implementing the project.

          “It has been Poland that has brought forward this argument that it is not possible to create a consortium company that would be able build Nord Stream 2 without the consent of Warsaw, because those companies that would be constructing the pipeline would also be working in Poland”, the expert noted.

          Предсказана судьба «Северного потока-2» после польского штрафа

          Following the Polish fine, the fate of Nord Stream 2 predicted

          https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/lenta.ru/news/2020/08/04/sevpotok/?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

          Like

          1. Nord Stream 2 не представил утром 3 августа нового графика прокладки труб

            On the morning of 3rd August a new pipe laying timetable for Nord Stream 2 has not been put forward

            https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/tass.ru/ekonomika/9112257?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

            STOCKHOLM, August 3. / TASS /. Nord Stream 2 AG has not yet presented a new pipeline schedule for the unfinished section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to the Danish Energy Agency (DEA), which is required so as to resume work. This was reported to TASS correspondent on Monday by the government department.

            “I checked this morning, and at the present time the DEA has not received an updated schedule”, said DEA spokesman Louise Albeck Jensen.

            Earlier, the regulator noted that immediately after the expiration of the 3 August deadline for appealing against the permission to use vessels with anchor positioning at the Danish Energy Board of Appeal, regardless of whether there were appeals, work would be allowed to resume. A complaint “has no immediate suspensive effect, unless the council decides otherwise”, the DEA explained. At the same time, before starting work, Nord Stream should submit to the DEA “a new project schedule, including the estimated time for laying the pipelines”, but the agency does not have to approve the schedule.

            “We will communicate our next steps in a timely manner”, Nord Stream said in response to the question about the new schedule.

            Like

          2. Oh, I think that might have been a mistake. I doubt the business any of those consortium companies are doing in Poland has anything like the potential of Nord Stream II, and those companies could probably afford to suggest that if their business bothers Poland, they would not be averse to removing it from there.

            However, it is easy to see quick-study Poland copying the American playbook here, too – levy what amounts to extraterritorial sanctions by leveraging domestic business. The result will likely be the same in both cases; a reluctance by potential international partners to commit resources to either country that they could not afford to lose, with the consequent benefit to other investment opportunities elsewhere. Mark my words, that sanctions policy is going to cost America down the road.

            Like

    3. The Poles are copying the American ‘playbook’, i.e. whatever deal you sign with them is a) open to interpretation; b) leaves them under no obligation to try and f/k you over elsewhere again and again.

      So, revisiting the deal Gazprom signed with Brussels so that it drew a line under continual threats and dickswinging from Brussels for the former, and saving itself embarassment before the ECJ for making up rules that only affect Gazprom (completely illegal trade discrimnation), years of great legal expense and general bad pr for Brussels, that’s a deal.

      But, earlier agreeing to pay supposed ‘over-charging’ from the Balts and the lo-land of Po-land, has in contrast only whetted their appetite that Gazprom is there to be milked because they think that they have the upper hand and Gazprom is afraid of them rather than Gazprom taking a long view as they had done with Brussels.

      Is this move also to make up for lost gas transit revenues now that Warsaw trumpets that it is not buying Russian gas? It’s not a lot if that’s the case thus yet again it is a PR stunt poke-in-the-eye to make the ruling PiS look good to its voters, yet again the same kind of schtick that Washington uses.

      Like

  19. al-beeb s’Allah: VaticanRussian hackers stole trade papers from Liam Fox email
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-53642923

    Documents on UK-US trade talks, leaked ahead of the 2019 general election, were stolen from an email account belonging to Conservative MP Liam Fox, it has emerged.

    …The UK government has said the PopeRussians almost certainly sought to interfere in the election through the documents. ..

    Last month, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government had “reasonable confidence” that Russian actors…

    ####

    Headline unequivocal. Article body equivocal.

    Yes, that well known, cast iron legal argument almost certainly that has swayed the ‘jury’ of public opinion with its undeniable basis in fact and proven evidence. Again.

    It’s also that well known and world famous British legal standard habemus papama, i.e. the Pope is guilty, we’ll find the evidence later that is the envy of the rest of the world. JFC!

    Like

    1. The only ‘Russian hackers’ story they ever had to sell hard was the first one. Forever afterward, ‘reasonable confidence’ was an easy standard to reach, based on ‘precedent’.

      Personally, I find it a bit disquieting that the west, with all its vaunted cutting-edge technology, cannot prevent the uncouth Russians who do not make anything from plucking leisurely through our ‘private’ electronic communications at will. Doesn’t the west have, like, the most cyber-security agencies and private companies of any region on the planet? Might be fun to find out – it’s not as if they could stop us, obviously.

      Like

  20. Just sharing this private communication with a friend re our mutual reading interest – comments, suggestions most welcome for an enthusiastic ‘newbie’.

    *Putin’s Plan to Restore the Romanovs – Paul Gilbert*

    Not sure if I mentioned that I ordered two new books last week:

    By Matthew Raphael Johnson – I have been watching many of his videos and collected and reading his articles on https://www.rusjournal.org/
    • The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism & Orthodoxy
    • The Russian Populist: The Political Thought of Vladimir Putin

    Meanwhile I am just over half way through “The Romanov Royal Martyrs: What Silence Could Not Conceal“ (St. John the Forerunner Monastery – various researchers and contributors) with a couple of others (by Helen Azar) on the shelf and ordered.

    This morning I received notification of this blog by Paul Gilbert – one of the contributors to the Martyrs book project.
    https://tsarnicholas.org/2020/08/03/putins-plan-to-restore-the-romanovs/

    He links a three-part essay by a Dr. Matthew Dal Santo which is most interesting (albeit a few years old now).

    A related link I tracked down
    • Putin’s Philosopher – Ivan Ilyin
    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/putins-philosopher/

    Happy reading 😊

    Like

  21. Putin’s plan to restore the Romanovs!!!

    Whoever wrote that hasn’t got a clue.

    Over the past 25 years I have asked Russian neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances whether they they thought a monarchy would ever be restored here. All most vehemently have stated that the very idea was ludicrous.

    However, I have met some “Russians” who do toy with the idea. None of these people live in Russia. I dare say that many of them have neither been to Russia nor speak a word of Russian. They were all descendants of Russian bourgeois that had fled post-1917 Russia.

    The last time I spoke with such “Russian” monarchists was Easter 1994 — in Москва-на-Темзе [Moscow-on—Thames]. I was there with “Natasha No.1”, who had just experienced her “Road to Damascus” and insisted that we attend the Easter Vigil at the Russian Orthodox cathedral, which is in Knightsbridge, if I rightly remember rightly. Figures!

    And there I stood from 11 o’clock in the evening until about 3 o’clock the following morning with a throng of wannabe Russian Orthodox faithful, though I should add that there were there some real Orcs who had already started to colonize London.

    I clearly remember how several of these “Russian” monarchists there were dressed like the toffs they were and spoke very “far back”. My memory is rather hazy now how I got talking to them. We were outside.

    That’s right! I had gone outside to stretch my legs because I was stiff through standing inside for a couple of hours (remember: no benches in Orthodox churches) and I spotted these “Russian” Hooray-Henrys standing outside having a smoke. They were all dressed in evening suits and conversing in plummy English accents. And then Natasha No.1 appeared. She had gone in search of me and on seeing me started ratting away at me in Russian. And then she went off back inside and I got talking to these pseudo-Fussians, who all then thought I was an Orc who could speak fluent English in a strange accent.

    They were members of the London “Russian Aristocratic Society” or whatever, and they had come to the Easter service dressed to the nines — probably from some bloody nearby flash club by the looks of it.

    Back in Mordor, though, such poseurs would be looked upon as being somewhat eccentric, to say the very least.

    Like

    1. The Lost Generation: The End of the Russian Aristocracy

      https://newrepublic.com/article/110864/end-russian-aristocracy-nobility-tsar-nicholas-lenin

      Article possibly written by one of their descendents in the “Land of the Free”,

      I should add that not all Russian aristos were profligate, venal, cruel oppressors of the enslaved peasantry: there quite a few enlightened ones, such as Count Leo Tolstoy

      Which reminds me: it’s 8 a.m. already. I shall have to set off from my country residence shortly in order to see what those idle bastards of mine are not doing in the fields

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Looking for suggestions – should I be reading more of Douglas Smith? I found in “Rasputin …“ he rather tiptoes around the elephant in places.

        As far is ’fiction’/literature goes I certainly appreciate Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky (and certainly Bulgakov) but have more to read – and I am really looking forward to Gogol.

        I have a list of Putin’s recommended reading somewhere that I must find – it certainly includes Solzhenitsyn.

        Like

    2. I think that title is to be read metaphorically in the context of the classic Russian triad (Tsar/Head of State, Church, People).

      There are certainly some interesting passages in those linked articles – especially relating to the way Putin is rather dismissive of Ulyanov as a mere ‘revolutionary’ while respectfully quoting the statesman Stolypin “You, gentlemen, are in need of great upheavals; we are in need of a Great Russia.”

      (Stolypin, too, was assassinated for his reform efforts which were a threat to the revolutionary climate.)

      Like

      1. “I think that title is to be read metaphorically”

        So where’s the metaphor in “restore the Romanovs”?

        There is a Romanov clan camped out in Western Europe. Their chief is based in Paris, I think. And there is a fat frau former spouse of the “King of Prussia” FFS, whose great-grandfather or whoever was a son of Tsar Aleksandr II, I think, and who is more Georgian than anything, and whose rotund son she claims is the true heir to the Romanov throne.

        Fuck them all off, I say!!!!

        Like

      2. I’m sure Putin has had plenty of time to mull over removing Lenin’s remains and shutting down his mausoleum in Red Square if Lenin is nothing more than a “mere revolutionary”. That Lenin’s body remains embalmed and the mausoleum is still open to the public might say something about how much respect Putin still has for public opinion in Russia, regardless of what he personally thinks of Lenin.

        Don’t forget also that Putin has made statements in the past rueing the collapse of the Soviet Union and that if there was one historical event in Russia that he would have liked to change, it was that particular event.

        If there is anything to take away from Putin’s statements, it is rather that Putin prefers gradual evolution and progress, rather than sudden change that sweeps everything out, good as well as bad, leaving a figurative vacuum behind in which a new tug-of-war of ideologies develops and new conflicts, some of which rehash old conflicts, have to be fought.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. • “You know, we have a really dark time in our country’s history, at the beginning of the Soviet era, where many believers were killed – not only Christian Orthodox, but also Muslims and representatives of other religions. The Soviet state, in its early stage, was very cruel to religious authorities. Many of our Churches were completely destroyed, our traditional religions denominations suffered massively.
          • But the role of the State is to protect the people “

          President Putin (in the context of the “Pussy Riots”)

          I totally agree with what you have written – Putin himself clarifies these points perfectly:
          • Putin: Lenin Was Not a Statesman, He Was a Bolshevik Revolutionary Who Made Anti-Russian Mistakes
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ2NAfXB0rI

          Putin at 1:05: “Regarding Lenin and his role in our history… I believe that he was a revolutionary rather than a statesman”
          […]
          So why delve deep into that? We just need to move forward and grow. That is all.”

          Like

          1. That’s very true what Putin said. However, what still surprises me is how many churches and monasteries were still left standing after the October Revolution — at least in Moscow.

            There’s barely a street in the centre of Moscow,where there is not a church. And there are still old synagogues and mosques.

            When my sister first visited me in Moscow in 1999, I took her to one of the monasteries that are within walking distance from where I live in central Moscow. It was a Sunday and she stayed for a Sunday service in the cathedral within the monastery — not a cathedral but what the Russians call a khram [храм], which translates as “temple”, but in English, “temple” doesn’t sound right: it’s a Christian place of worship.

            The place was packed with Orthodox faithful. And my convent educated sister was gobsmacked.

            “They always told us that the Russians destroyed all the churches, that you were sent to prison if you went to church, that they shot all the priests!” she said.

            Well, that’s what the nuns at her convent told her. And there was repression of religion, but it was not forbidden.

            And here’s an anomaly — or what would seem to be one to most indoctrinated about Russia Westerners: my wife was born in 1965 in Moscow in the USSR. She was a member of the Communist party for only 2 years before it was dissolved by the drunkard Yeltsin’s government. She was also christened in the year of her birth in a 300-year-old church near to where she was born on Bolshaya Tatarskaya Street in the centre of Moscow. Her grandfather, who was still alive when she was christened, was an Old Bolshevik— the real deal: he had been a 20-year-old Red Guard in 1917 Petrograd.

            Liked by 1 person

    3. Natalia Poklonskaya, the waiflike beauty also known as “the Prosecutie”, former State Prosecutor of Crimea (2014-2016), was known to have a soft spot for Tsar Nicky and to hang about that ridiculous fat pretender to the Romanov succession; it was pretty much her only fault.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s amazing what financial contributions to British political parties gets you. It’s not like real corruption of other countries that hand out passports if you spend/invest/whatever enough (well laundered) money there. It’s competely different. Us and Them.

      Like

  22. *Putin: A Russian Spy Story*

    A couple of old school friends just sent me a message that Part 3 of “Putin: A Russian Spy Story” is on (Australian) ABC TV tonight. I have not bothered with Part 2 but at their request I watched Part 1 a couple of weeks ago. In the first few scenes I recognised Litvinenko, the Skripals and that poor misunderstood victim, William Browder (FFS). I knew this was going to be good and so I gave them a retrospective scene by scene commentary.

    Regarding the Skripals – where it is the VICTIMS who are now under permanent solitary confinement – Go figure 😊.

    This was the programme:

    *Putin: A Russian Spy Story*
    *Series 1 Episode 1 The Rise of Putin*

    https://iview.abc.net.au/show/putin-a-russian-spy-story

    To help explain how ‘reality’ works I cited a similar programme I had seen spewing [I mean espousing] Browder’s narrative on the Magnitsky affair on Channel 9’s Sunday Night (29 July 2018}. I managed to find an upload.

    • *Dirty Money: Russia’s largest tax refund laundered into foreign banks | Sunday Night*

    Very slick and very convincing for the uninitiated … until you consider this …

    • *The Magnitsky Act: Behind The Scenes (Andrei Nekrasov)*

    copy on Bitchute here …
    https://www.bitchute.com/video/NlrR5zFDoTRj/

    As I stated to my colleagues – The reason this comes to mind is the equally false narrative that is being thrust upon us as ‘reality’ regarding the coronavirus and all its ramifications. The Magnitsky ‘affair’ illustrates this perfectly – and we can ponder many, many other scenarios in this post-truth world. At least two more awakees …

    Like

  23. Is it just me, or does the whole TikTok thing look completely contrived? t-Rump needs to change the narrative regularly in erection year (100% domestic audience) and this is an easy target, wails from China seem to be quite disproportionate for what is very high profile yet small fry that ultmately paints the US as a corporate raider (sic MoonOfAlabama writes*) and a country that lashes out and thus cannot be trusted abroad. Yet, I read that the so-called Phase One US-China trade deal is still on and large imports of American agricultural goods have picked up again after the Corona pause.

    * https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/08/trump-presses-microsoft-tiktok-into-a-deal-that-neither-wants-who-profits-from-it.html

    Like

    1. It’s a load of dog’s bollocks, as my old workmate used to say.

      I could never fathom out why: “bollocks” — yes, but why “dog’s bollocks”.

      Like

      1. …but why “dog’s bollocks”

        Maybe because dogs can lick their own bollocks if they so chose (more disgusting), but men can’t? Don’t worry, I have not mused upon this for longer than a sip of Cotes du Rhone.

        Like

    2. That’s very interesting. It is even harder for the United States to hide its government-sponsored corporate raiding under Trump, because he can’t even spell ‘subtlety’, never mind exercise it. He just opens his mouth, and all the things his advisors diplomatically said, “Might be better if you didn’t mention this, if you take my meaning…” tumble right out.

      The US government bullies a foreign private company into selling out by threatening to cut off its business – and then openly demands its cut from the winner. Who ever thought we would see the day?

      Like

    3. DJT is running out of time as President to pull off The Deal of the Century. It just won’t be The Deal of the Century as he thinks it will be.

      Pushing Microsoft into making a purchase it neither needs nor wants and then forcing the company to pay the White House a cut through US Treasury? That is some … deal. {:-(

      Like

  24. Dances with Bears: MI6 CHIEF YOUNGER FOLLOWS CABINET AND NATIONAL SECURITY CHIEF SEDWILL OUT THE DOOR — SECOND SKRIPAL PLOTTER HAS BEEN OUSTED
    http://johnhelmer.net/mi6-chief-younger-follows-cabinet-and-national-security-chief-sedwill-out-the-door-second-skripal-plotter-has-been-ousted/

    …It might have been their greatest humiliation when Sergei Skripal, one of their double agent recruits from Russian military intelligence, tried to do a runner for Moscow in a GRU exfiltration operation. Had that succeeded, Skripal would have been exposed as a triple agent, escaping with a treasure trove of secrets of British chemical warfare preparations at Porton Down, plus fresh MI6 identities and operations…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    What do you lot think of this?

    I don’t see how Skripal would have had anything of real value for Russia. Like other exiles (Berezovsky) etc. I do believe that he wanted to return to Russia because he has discovered how souless the west is. I can believe that for this to happen he had to show a) that this wasn’t just a cover for something more nefarious; b) provide something that could be used as ‘insurance’ against him in case of ‘a’. That insurance was supposed to have been dead-dropped (successful?) before everything went wrong. No-one ever trusts traitors, so everyone would have had contingency plans in place (quelle surprise). The simplest explanations don’t really lend well to the world of espionage though.

    Like

    1. I think he could have had tremendous value to Russia, and they might not have had to say very much. They could just have diplomatically leaked that Skripal says differently in cases of foaming Russophobia by the UK, and implied he would make a public statement and name names. The British are as arrogant and full of themselves, officially, as ever a people was, and I imagine they delighted in showing Skripal what they ‘knew’ about Russia and how they came to get it, even as he likely played the wide-eyed dissident blown away by the surveillance powers of his new homeland.

      Mind you, we will never know what he told the British about Russia himself, and there is every possibility some of the ridiculous accusations they have made were backed by Skripal. He was a pain out of all proportion to his actual worth to either side, and if he has actually popped his clogs it would probably be for the best, the old git.

      Like

      1. Of course, the family (extended or otherwise) brings multi-generational stability. Ideologies come and go like clothing and hair styles; all with the same amount of lasting impact. Add religion and you now have a social gyroscope that mitigates the impact of invasion or coups.

        Family and religion are likely the major reasons Russia recovered quickly from its brief descent into insanity and why the US will not. Orlov has made this point with great insight and eloquence (will dig up a few quotes).

        Like

  25. Vis t-Rump moving troops out of Germany to places like Poland and Belgium, this segues with the new US-Poland EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement), but surely this will not have gone amiss in Minsk? The pick-a-fight with Germany looks like an extremely convenient way to re-deploy American assets elsewhere where they maybe more useful, say a military back for a political decaptiation mission to Poland’s east. It’s not so much the number, but who and what equipment goes where. Pre-placing logistics and capabilities, i.e. a ‘build-up’ needs to be masked these days and particularly in areas where your opponents are no dummies/walkovers and surprise is considered a key requirement.

    As I wrote earlier that it appears Lukashnko’s space for manoeuver looks to be shrinking considering he’s p*ssed off both east and west at the same time, would the US with Poland not look to take advantage of any vacuum/delay in Russia reaction if ‘events’ were to take a turn? We are in august after all which seems to be a traditional month for stuff to go crazy…

    Like

  26. The Russian parliament has commented on a statement by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki that the financing of Nord Stream 2 means the sponsorship of Russian weapons.

    Earlier, the prime minister said that European money for this pipeline would sponsor Russian weapons. This was a criticism of Germany’s decision. Also, according to Moravetsky, the project will allow Moscow to cut off the Ukraine from gas supplies to Europe, and then to do whatever it wants with that country.

    “This position of Warsaw is 100% due to the fact that tough anti-Russian sentiments dominate there”, said the head of the international committee of the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev, quoted by RIA Novosti.

    The consequence of this, he said, was “indiscriminate support for the Ukraine, including silence about the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists against the Poles during the war.”

    В Совфеде и Госдуме оценили позицию Польши по “Северному потоку-2”

    The Federation Council and the State Duma assessed Poland’s position on Nord Stream 2

    https://rg.ru/2020/08/04/v-gosdume-ocenili-poziciiu-polskogo-premera-po-severnomu-potoku-2.html

    The Jackal of Europe?

    Like

        1. NATO does not care if you have good schoolin’ – just that you can be relied upon to back up their conclusions with ‘analysis’ and your ‘citizen journalists’ moniker has a nice feelgood flavour on the public tongue.

          Like

  27. Antiwar.com: National Guard Reorganizes to Prepare for War With Russia and China
    https://news.antiwar.com/2020/08/02/national-guard-reorganizes-to-prepare-for-war-with-russia-and-china/

    The move reflects US shift towards ‘great power competition’ as outlined in 2018 National Defense Strategy

    The Army National Guard is reorganizing its brigades, moving most of them under the command of its eight-division headquarters to prepare for large-scale conflicts with Russia or China. The move will increase the Army’s fully manned divisions that it can deploy from 10 to 18…
    ####

    Dumb and Dumber Tree!

    Must. Do. Something. However stupid and pointless. Maybe the idea is to put all the poor and unemployed in the NG so they won’t clutter up the streets and hospitals and use them liberally as cannon fodder in another useless war?

    Like

  28. Rt.com: Putin signs law legalizing Bitcoin & other cryptocurrencies, lifting them out of Russian legal ‘grey-zone’
    https://www.rt.com/russia/496959-russia-legalizes-cryptocurrencies/

    …The law signed by President Vladimir Putin on Friday recognizes the existence of bitcoin, tokens and other digital assets. However, it does not remove restrictions to allow individuals to use cryptocurrency as a legal tender…

    …The law does not give cryptocurrencies the same rights that the ruble or any other fiat currency have. After the new law comes into force, it will still be impossible for individuals to use digital currencies as legal tender in Russia. Only financial organizations hand-picked by the Central Bank, as well as stock exchanges, will be able to do so.

    Still, the new law reiterates that no punishment for operations with bitcoin is envisaged…
    ####

    Use at your own risk then.

    In the past, people could pay with Beetcoin, i.e. with bags of beetroot. The bonus being that a) they are tasty; b) nice in the hands; c) leaves your tounge red; d) ultimately can be use to make borsch which is a well known love potion! I’ll stop drinking now.

    Like

  29. Big boom in Beirut:

    https://www.rt.com/news/497107-lebanon-beirut-explosions-thousands-injured/

    Two blasts struck the port area of Beirut, with the first hitting at around 6pm local time. The second appeared much stronger, sending a huge mushroom cloud-shaped plume of smoke and debris high overhead.

    Videos were awe inspiring but the carnage was tragic. Speculation included accidental detonation of a stock pile of old explosive (in the middle of a major city?) to a stock pile of fertilizer (ammonia based type no doubt).

    Per RT, the Idiot-in-Chief has added to the speculation that it was an attack:

    <i? President Trump has claimed the blast that rocked Beirut was likely an “attack,” citing US military officials who “seem to believe” the explosion was not accidental, despite widespread reports it was a chemical warehouse accident.

    The blast erupted at a port warehouse in the Lebanese capital on Tuesday, killing at least 70 people and leaving

    Where the wheel of blame stops, nobody knows (well, it would actually stop pointing at Iran or Russia of course).

    Like

    1. Australian TV news is following the details of that Beirut ammonium nitrate blast very closely, not least because the Australian embassy suffered damage and also a large Lebanese population (of whom a slight majority is Christian, of whom I think most are Maronite Catholics) lives in Australia. Last I heard is that at least 100 have died and 4,000 suffered injuries. More people are likely to die over the coming weeks as the hospital system in Beirut was barely coping with a COVID-19 outbreak before the accident.

      One issue surrounding the blast is why the fertiliser was being held in storage in the area where it was, surrounded by densely populated districts in which most people live in apartment blocks; another is how the explosion was set off and if it was deliberate; and the third has to be how and why Donald Trump thinks the explosion was no accident at all, that it was an attack, and whether even now the White House is trying to politicise the incident and blame it all on Hezbollah and its allies in Syria and Iran.

      Like

      1. Various news reports including videos indicated a significant fire had broken out near the storage area. Incredibly, fireworks were stored nearby which may have contributed to a rapid spread of the fire. It simply seems to be an accident exacerbated by carelessness on many levels and over several years.

        Trump does seem to be grandstanding with his hints of terrorist involvement to gain some points with someone. Saying it was a missile attack simply shows how bonkers he is – probably drew that conclusion after seeing a video of the explosion without any comprehensive of the amount of explosives involved.

        BTW, Moon of Alabama provides a very good technical discussion on explosion and how that amount of explosives can to be located near downtown Beirut. The explosive equivalent was about 400 tons of TNT.

        Like

  30. In the Russian media yesterday and the BBC this morning:

    Belarus ruler Lukashenko says Russia lying over ‘mercenaries’

    “All this about Istanbul, Venezuela, Africa and Libya – it’s a lie. These people – they have already given testimony – were sent into Belarus on purpose. The order was to wait,” Mr Lukashenko said, in his televised annual address.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53648640

    Like

    1. The west will eagerly exploit this as the division between Lukashenko and Putin they have been waiting for – maybe it will not be necessary to regime-change Lukashenko after all! Perhaps Belarus could use some freedom, but if Putin and Lukashenko are fighting, maybe the old fool is worth hanging onto for a bit.

      Like

      1. He went really over the top in his speech yesterday. I read it in the Russian press yesterday. I was going to post it but held my fire because I was pretty sure it would be reported in the Western media, and lo and behold! — when I got up early this morning, the BBC had it up on site.

        Like

        1. It would appear that all the candidates in this election in Belarus are playing the Nationalist/ pro west / anti- Russian card.

          Suggesting that the (majority of voters) population is in favour of this agenda and they each are competing for this vote

          Will Belarus become like Ukraine?

          Like

          1. I frankly doubt it. While Lukashenko is able to play the nationalist card, a strong internal nationalist movement does not exist in Belarus to anything like the degree it did and does in Ukraine, in which the Belorussians blame all of their problems on Russia and envision a future in which their own leaders will lead them to prosperity. Also, they have the stinking example of Ukraine to warn them what happens when you give the keys to the west and climb into the back seat.

            I don’t know what kind of game Lukashenko is playing, but he must know Russia did not send mercenaries to Belarus for the purpose of overthrowing him or rigging the election against him. Why he is saying publicly that is the case remains to be seen, but I suspect Russia is just about all out of patience with him.

            Like

        2. Deutsche Welle:

          Belarus President Lukashenko slams Moscow ‘lies’ as row with Russia escalates

          Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko has said Moscow and Minsk would always be allies — but also called on Russia to stop “lying” about alleged mercenaries detained in Belarus. Russia has dismissed it as a “spectacle.”

          https://p.dw.com/p/3gPuu

          Like

  31. The face mask just might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back of public patience.

    https://theduran.com/london-protests-berlin-protests-and-melbourne-lockdown-video/

    Europe is frantically invoking the dreaded ‘second wave’ in a struggle to force obedience, and pulling out all the virtue stops in its efforts to shame people into masking-up ‘for others’, but it looks as if the public has had enough with the unscientific placebos and pandering to the zealots with wartime branding like “We’re All In This Together, Chook!”

    Like

  32. An interesting perspective; apparently Mark Esper said that peace in Europe should be prevented. A verbal typo, or a slip of the tongue?

    https://www.stalkerzone.org/the-us-is-preparing-middle-east-style-chaos-for-europe/

    Personally I thought it sounded like he just flubbed his line and didn’t mean to say that. But the importance of dominating Germany for the United States is critical, since it is the central power-broker of Europe. And if the USA loses its hold on Germany, there goes the ball game. People will begin to wonder why they need a country far away telling them what to do. And to lose that over gas exports that probably will peter out in the next few years in the USA anyway, as the ‘shale revolution’ gasps to an ignominious conclusion, seems the height of arrogant folly – America is trying to force Europe into dependence on an American resource that its own organizations tell it cannot sustain their frenetic pace of production.

    Stay tuned for another monstrous Russian atrocity, as Washington tries to maneuver Germany back into the corral.

    Like

  33. США рассказали, что нужно сделать России для отмены санкций
    3 августа 2020

    The USA has said what Russia needs to do in order that sanctions be lifted
    August 3, 2020

    If Russia refrains from aggression abroad and becomes a partner of Europe and the United States, Washington’s sanctions against Moscow will not be needed. This statement was made by the adviser to the President of the United States for national security Robert O’Brien in an article for The Washington Post.

    In the article, O’Brien named the numerous sanctions that the Donald Trump administration has imposed against the Russian Federation.

    Since the days of Ronald Reagan, the adviser said no president has shown Russia so much decisiveness. President Trump is seeking a new path in relations with Moscow – when Russia refrains from aggression abroad and becomes a friendly partner of Europe and the United States. In this case, O’Brien believes, anti-Russian sanctions will not be needed, and trade between the countries will develop. Americans, Russians, and the whole world will only benefit from such a relationship.
    Earlier, Moscow rejected accusations of aggression by Western countries, RIA Novosti recalls.

    Robert O’Brien noted that in the coming months the United States and the Russian Federation may hold a dialogue on the topic of combating terrorism. Also, Trump’s adviser stressed: the United States of America hopes for an agreement with China and Russia, which will limit all nuclear weapons.

    Source:

    https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/vesti.ru/article/2436085?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com%2F%3Ffrom%3Dspecial&utm_source=YandexZenSpecial

    Like

    1. All of which above begs the question that Russia does indeed follow a policy of aggression abroad and does not wish to become a partner of Europe and the United States,

      Like

    2. Mmmm….yes. The United States is always to be regarded with the utmost suspicion when it is pretending it wants to be reasonable. This is quite a long way from Russia must return Crimea to Ukraine and Russia must get out of Donbas (not that it is in Donbas in any significant way, but it must give its promise that it will not intervene if a combined western/Ukrainian military effort rolls it up and returns the captive remnants to Kuh-yiv’s control), apologize for shooting down MH-17, abandon Nord Stream II…have I left anything out? Just ‘it must not start any new aggression abroad’, which I suppose means it must abandon Assad to his fate as well.

      And in return for this turning of a new leaf, Russia can expect…what? That the United States will lift the sanctions which are not greatly hurting Russia anyway, and are instead wrecking relations between the USA and Europe?

      Too late to get ambitious now, Washington.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I devoutly hope Moscow is all finished ‘dealing’ with the United States. Left to its own devices and without conquests and wealthy allies to milk, it will collapse, as its financial model of ‘take from the poor and give to the rich’ trickle-down economics is unsustainable. Just do as you have done for the past 5 years, Russia – stop taking its calls and ignore it to the extent that is possible. If you want to keep throwing that ‘our American partners’ phrase into your diplo-speak, knock yourselves out. Just as long as it is not accompanied by any meaningful engagement.

          Like

  34. the Independent: Beirut explosions: Where did the ‘floating bomb’ cargo come from and is Russia connected?
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/beirut-explosion-port-ammonium-nitrate-floating-bomb-russia-lebanon-a9654906.html

    Captain of arrested ship warned of ‘powder keg’ cargo back in 2014

    ####

    Ever happy to pour fuel on to flame for the mentally obese russophobic prick known as Oliver Carrol. There’s nothing low enough even for him.

    And remember that the Independent (Evening Standard/London Live tc channel) is owned by Evgeny Lebedev, soon to be ‘Sir’ as nominated by one Doris Johnson.

    Like

    1. Not “Sir”!

      Lebedev is not going to be knighted: he is going to be made a life peer and, therefore, a baron.

      He will not be addressed as “Sir Evgeny” but formally as the “ Right Honourable Lord Lebedev of the Kremlin” or whatever.

      Like

      1. Thanks for the elucidation ME. For some reason I saw them as linked.

        Meanwhile in the same newspaper you have a proper Beirut based journalist of world renown.

        the Independent: Beirut has suffered a catastrophe that will live long in the memory – and the repeated betrayal of its citizens is a travesty
        https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/beirut-explosions-death-toll-blast-lebanon-a9654651.html

        Lebanon’s people face a terrible mix of long-term economic ruin, a pandemic and now a devastating explosion. All presided over by a ‘government’ unworthy of the name, says Robert Fisk
        ####

        You don’t have to agree with him, but he doesn’t try to palm off responsibility to outside Lebanon like the s/t Carrol does.

        Like

        1. Carroll’s name has been taken, as that ratbag of a US ambassador to the UN during the Obama presidency was wont to say.

          His name is on my list — along with Harding, Poroshenko, Hairy Balls, the Ukraine Pastor of Death etc., etc.

          Like

  35. Russian Aviation Insider: Aeroflot airline to reinvent its fleet with Airbus’ new generation aircraft only
    http://www.rusaviainsider.com/aeroflot-airline-to-reinvent-its-fleet-with-airbus-new-generation-aircraft-only/

    Russian Aviation Insider: Russia’s LCC Pobeda develops new fleet plan focused around A321neo
    http://www.rusaviainsider.com/russias-lcc-pobeda-develops-new-fleet-plan-focused-around-a321neo/

    ####

    So the bad news is that Aeroflot is still buying western airliners. The good news is that they are buying Arbus rather than Boing. S7 operates a mixed fleet including the MAX.

    In good news:

    Russian Aviation Insider: UEC starts testing PD-35 fan demonstrator using composite blades, Russia’s first
    http://www.rusaviainsider.com/uec-starts-testing-pd-35-fan-demonstrator-using-composite-blades-russias-first/
    ####

    Other blade manufacturers have discovered that pure carbonfiber blades aren’t resistant enough (bird strikes etc.) and require titanium/steel leading edges so I would expect the PD-35 to have it too. Apparently it’s not worth using carbon fiber for smaller turbines as not much weight is saved.

    https://www.ge.com/news/reports/the-art-of-engineering-the-worlds-largest-jet-engine-shows-off-composite-curves

    Like

  36. Moskovsky Komsomolets, 4 August, 2020:

    Vessels which will have to finish off the last kilometres of the route, have long been ready to start up the work. At this rate, Nord Stream 2, which Gazprom originally intended to put into operation in December last year, will be brought to the coast of Germany no later than in three months‘ time. However, experts believe that it will be possible to launch the gas pipeline at full capacity no earlier than autumn 2022: both technological reasons and foreign policy circumstances threaten to establish its full operation.

    https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/mk.ru/economics/2020/08/04/pusk-severnogo-potoka-2-otlozhat-na-dva-goda.html

    Like

  37. Another spammer thrown into the works:

    Арендатор «Фортуны» отказался достраивать «Северный поток – 2»
    5 августа 2020

    The lessee of the “Fortuna” has refused to complete the construction of Nord Stream-2
    5 August 2020

    The lessee of the pipe-laying barge “Fortuna”, which is capable of completing the construction of Nord Stream-2, is not going to take part in the laying of the gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea.

    As a representative of the “Fortuna” lessee Mezhregiontruboprovodstroy (MRTS) has told RBC, the company “does not intend to provide the “Fortuna” pipe-laying barge for completing the construction of the Russian export gas pipeline Nord Stream-2, which has become a target of US sanctions”.

    MRTS has also clarified that the company has never been the owner of the “Fortuna” barge, but leases it “under a charter agreement for use in other projects”.
    Completion of Nord Stream-2 is possible with the use of an anchor pipelayer accompanied by another vessel with a dynamic positioning system that is able to hold the vessel at a desired position without anchors and mooring. Anchor barge “Fortuna” of the “MRTS” company was stated to be one of such vessels that can complete the construction of the gas pipeline. If the barge does not participate in the completion of Nord Stream 2, it is not clear what will lay the pipes in the remaining Danish offshore section. The only suitable candidate is the “Akademik Chersky” pipelayer.

    On July 21, the House of Representatives of the US Congress approved the draft defense budget for the 2021 fiscal year, which included extended sanctions against Nord Stream-2.

    Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov noted that the sanctions are unacceptable and contrary to law.

    Source: “Vzglyad”

    https://vz-ru.turbopages.org/s/vz.ru/news/2020/8/5/1053401.html?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

    Like

    1. All this jumping about by the United States creates the appearance of purposeful activity, but if it believes it will stop the construction of the pipeline, it is mistaken. All it is really accomplishing by all this eye-poking is irritation of Germany and Europe.

      Like

  38. So why has the “Fortuna” been sitting in a German Baltic port alongside “Akademik Chersky” for a couple of months or so.

    Has the “Fortuna” lessee been got at?

    Like

  39. RT

    Polling suggests ‘regime change’ in Russia would lead to far-right or Communist Kremlin, pro-Western liberals have no support

    https://www.rt.com/russia/497193-regime-change-far-right-communist-kremlin/

    Anyone with a modicum of knowledge concerning present day Russian politics could have told you that which is in the above linked article.

    Rainsford and Rosenberg of the BBC are either pig ignorant of the situation described in the above article or just mendacious about the political state of affairs here.

    I suspect the latter.

    Same goes for the likes of Harding and Carroll.

    Actually, I shouldn’t really call them “mendacious”: I prefer to call them all lying twats.

    Like

  40. Every so often, the veneer of righteous and nothing-but-good is peeled back to reveiw the black monstrous heart at the center of the US deep state:

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/497096-john-pilger-hiroshima-china-us/

    The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an act of premeditated mass murder that unleashed a weapon of intrinsic criminality. It was justified by lies that form the bedrock of America’s war propaganda in the 21st century, casting a new enemy, and target – China.

    During the 75 years since Hiroshima, the most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war in the Pacific and to save lives.

    “Even without the atomic bombing attacks,” concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, “air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion.

    “Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that … Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war [against Japan] and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

    The National Archives in Washington contains documented Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US made clear the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including “capitulation even if the terms were hard.” Nothing was done.

    The US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US Air Force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength.” Stimson later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the [atomic] bomb”.

    Like

    1. The National Archives in Washington contains documented Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943

      I bet that didn’t include giving up Manchuria/mainland China. After all, one (empire) always needs a place in the sun….

      Like

      1. I bet that the US would not have strongly objected to that on any “moral” or legal grounds as it would keep China divided and weak. But, the US was too greedy as they certainly were aware that a US military victory was assured and no deals with Japan were needed other than unconditional surrender.

        Like

  41. Гордон сообщил о согласии Лукашенко выдать Киеву задержанных россиян
    6 августа 2020

    Gordon has announced Lukashenko’s consent to extradite detained Russians to Kiev
    6 August 2020

    President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has agreed to extradite some of the detained Russians to the Ukraine, Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon has said in an interview with Radio Liberty. According to the journalist, the head of Belarus told him about his decision in an interview.

    Which way is Lukashenko going to jump next?

    Like

    1. I’ll tell you, if he keeps fucking around and being openly antagonistic, he IS going to find himself regime-changed out of office. What is the reason for extraditing them to Ukraine? Is it a prized Belarusian ally now? Remember, if he goes through with it – and if this is not another of his little play-both-ends-against-the-middle leverage games – Lukashenko is responsible for whatever happens to them. If he extradites them to Kuh-yiv and the Ukies decide to keep them, kill them or ransom them, it’s Lukashenko’s ass. They have said publicly enough times that Ukraine and Russia are enemies, so he can’t go all who-ever-thought-that-would-happen?

      Maybe it is time for Russia to apply a little leverage of its own. Belarus is a poor country, and Russia is by far its largest trading partner.

      https://oec.world/en/profile/country/blr/

      Like

        1. And finally – for the politics and media buzz, do not forget about the facts:

          • the area of Belarus is 207,595 square km;

          • the population of Belarus is 9,491,823 persons;

          • budget 2018: revenues – $10.24 billion, expenditures – $9.88 billion.

          ——————————————————————

          • the area of the Sverdlovsk region is 194,800 square km;

          • the population of the Sverdlovsk region — 4,329,341 people;

          • budget 2018: revenues – $3.62 billion, expenditures – $3.82 billion.

          See:

          Russia & Lukashenko – Love for Money
          Stalker Zone
          July 31, 2020

          https://www.stalkerzone.org/russia-lukashenko-love-for-money/

          Like

        2. Yes, it seems designed to drive a wedge between Byelorussia and Russia, yet another attempt to encourage Russia to make emotional actions that would undermine Lukashenko which in reality would undermine both and leave ‘The Opposition’ as the party with the least visible dirt on their hands.

          All this seems to tie in with loss of gas transit revenues for Minsk, and as there is not much more that the West can do to undermine Minsk without it pushing it in to Moscow’s arms further, so rather have Russia’s much larger potential leverage turned against it.

          So yes, Russia is reacting cautiously to Lukashenko’s stupid behavior. It will be in a better position once Lukashenko realizes that the game has changed and he’s shot off his own leg.

          With that in mind, this looks like a more sophisticated than usual attempt at regime change, not the usual ham-fisted mess that we have seen over the last few years. As others have mentioned, in the event of Biden becoming President, you should expect more competent regime change efforts.

          Russia needs the Byelorussian security aparatus on its side on the one hand, and an offer too good to resist from the rest of the civilian population. Here I’m thinking of the benefits Tartarstan carved out for itself in the early 1990s with Moscow and now is much more solid for Moscow since it bailed them out a few years ago.

          I’m not convinced that this is a regime change attempt but when you look at more factors, the stars do look like they are aligning and we know for sure that the West is more than happy to leave a wasteland on Russia’s doorstep. If you can’t have it, blow it up and walk away.

          Like

          1. One thing I am relatively confident in is that the west does not entertain any notions of pulling Belarus into its orbit and making it a prosperous western-leaning market democracy so as to set an alluring example for Russians to encourage them to overthrow their leader, and deal themselves in for some western-style prosperity themselves. Why not? Because American prosperity – for its biggest component, the middle class – is largely a carefully-cultured illusion. While the stock market goes up and up and up, totally divorced from reality as it is stoked by the investor class which exclusively benefits from it, the standard of living for those who do not have the disposable income to invest in the market peaked in the spring of 2008.

            Per capita disposal personal income – a key indicator of the standard of living – peaked in the spring of 2008, at $33,794 (measured as after-tax income). As of the second quarter of 2011, it was $32,479 – almost a 4 percent drop. If per capita disposable income had continued to grow at its normal pace, it would have been more than $34,000 a year by now.

            Oh, but that’s old information – nine years ago, now. Things have certainly gotten better for the American middle class since then.

            Have they?

            https://www.cnbc.com/id/44962589

            Well, well – look at that. The share of collective US wealth for the top 1% increased from 17.6% in 1990 to 25.5% in 2019. While the share held by the middle class decreased from 12.2% to 7.2% over the same period. The only groups who increased their share of the wealth were the top 1% and the top 20%.

            https://usafacts.org/state-of-the-union/standard-living/

            Like

        3. As usual, the poster-bearers and sign-wavers are mostly kids too young to vote. It is easy to make an ideologue of a sixteen-year-old. Tell him it will be fun, and all the cool crowd will be doing it. You want to be cool, don’t you?

          Like

              1. Oh, always the long face and the howl of anguish! All is lost! What makes you think that? Or is disaster for Russia and a steadily-tightening concentric ring of iron around it just the default assumption? Did you not notice that Russia is Belarus’s largest trading partner, both ways? Or that there is not the loud nationalist anti-Russian movement in Belarus that was present in Ukraine? Belarus is already poor – do you imagine that is so satisfying for its inhabitants that they wish to be poorer, as would be the case if they chose ‘western association’? Why the automatic assumption that if you get with NATO, you will grow rich? Has Ukraine? Will it ever?

                Like

              2. KIEV, 6 Aug – RIA Novosti. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko announced that he would not extradite the Russians detained in the country until the Ukraine proves their guilt.

                “I have never even had such a question and I don’t think I will. We have international agreements with Russia and the Ukraine. The bottom line is that the Prosecutor General of the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, the law enforcement systems are in contact, they are working … so that there is a clear picture. Nobody will betray anyone until guilt is established, and the party that requests must prove the guilt of these people that this one killed him, that they shot and so on”, Lukashenka said in an interview with journalist Dmitry Gordon, whose video was published on Thursday on the journalist’s Youtube channel, answering the question whether Belarus will extradite these people to the Ukraine.

                “It’s not just offensive. It’s unacceptable and disgusting. Especially if it happens from the side of your own friends”, Lukashenka said.

                https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/ria.ru/20200806/1575464427.html?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile

                Like

                1. Typical Lukashenko, affecting to have been grievously misunderstood while talking out of both sides of his mouth. He is so clearly for sale to the highest bidder that I would support his being housecleaned out of office if only there was a pragmatic and unaligned candidate to take his place who would make clearheaded choices for Belarus. Unfortunately, in such a politically-charged world where everything is governed by someone else’s foreign-policy aspirations, all candidates are either pro-western or pro-Russian. I need hardly say that pro-western for Belarus is a recipe for social disintegration.

                  Like

            1. Nothing less than a powerful nuclear strike, just to show them who has balls in this room. No, really – it’s a fair question. What would be your plan, Karl? Please keep it realistic, and bear risk in mind. If you’re going to go with a military attack, specify the units and strength you would use and where you would get them from (just in general terms is okay) and your offset plan in case of western reaction. Who knows; maybe it’s doable, and Putin will take note! It could end up being called “The Haushofer Gambit”!

              Like

  42. Further to the Kommersant article linked above:

    “He (Alexander Lukashenko. – Kommersant) said that Zelensky had asked him to hand over to the Ukraine those who had participated in the battles in Donbass against the Ukraine, including Ukrainians. He said that the green light would be given to the prosecutor’s office and other law enforcement agencies of Belarus, which, in accordance with Belarusian laws, would do everything necessary to hand over the guilty to both Russia and the Ukraine”, said Mr. Gordon.

    Note the use of the term “the guilty” in “to hand over the guilty” [передать виновных].

    He’s going to instruct the prosecutor to hand over “the guilty”!

    They have not been tried yet!

    A strange fish is Gordon. His father’s name was Harry Gordon, where “Gordon” is pronounced so as to rhyme with “anon”.

    The full name of Alexander Gordon’s father is Harry Borisovich Gordon [Гарри Борисович Гордон], born July 12, 1941, Odessa, Ukrainian SSR, USSR), a Soviet, Ukrainian and Russian poet and prose writer and artist.

    Harry Borisovich’s father was lawyer Boris Isaakovich Gordon (real name Averbukh) 1894-1964.

    I do not know how or why Alexander Gordon became a US citizen.

    Like

  43. A translation comment as regards the linked above Stalker Zone article “Who Is Curating the “Pigeon Maidan” in Khabarovsk?”

    The protesters in Khabarovsk are not chanting “We are the power here!”

    It’s that Russian word власть again!

    Better translation:

    “We are the government here!”

    It’s one of Navalny’s catchphrases: he intersperses his harangues with it and his lemmings shout it back.

    And the “revolutionary” Romanov’s comment: “ What’s next – and figs it knows!“ has a literal translation of the Russian expression: на фигу — “What the fuck!”

    So Romanov should really be quoted as saying something like: “What’s next — who the fuck knows!”

    Like

  44. RT

    US State Department ‘Russian disinformation’ report aims to stop normalisation of relations, discredit alternative media – embassy
    August 6, 2020, 09:26

    https://www.rt.com/russia/497231-us-russian-disinformation-report-stop-normalisation/

    The US already has a government-controlled foreign broadcasting arm, the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which operates the Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Free Europe, and their various branches. The operation is entirely funded from the US budget, with its current expenses amounting to around $800 million annually, according to Voice of America. This is more than two and a half times what Russia spends on RT.

    Like

    1. Now don’t forget, folks: on the one hand, Russia is using its cyber technology to wage clandestine hybrid warfare against the mighty leader of the world community, whist on the other hand, Russia is a technologically backward, bankrupt state full of evil moronic drunkards.

      Why is the USA seemingly so fearful of Russia? *

      Of course, they deny this, but the powers that be in the Shining City on the Hill certainly give me that impression.

      The other impression is that of …. I don’t know, childishness, perhaps: a peevish childishness. Like a big soft kid who hasn’t quite grown up and is forever throwing tantrums and issuing threats because other kids have started ignoring him.

      * Because Russia is capable of waging nuclear warfare against the USA, but as the someone who makes occasional sneering visits here would say: They won’t, because “Rasha — weak; Amerika — stronk!“

      Like

      1. Why is the USA seemingly so fearful of Russia?

        The USA has a centuries-long tradition of be terrified by internal conspiracies supported by malign external powers plus paranoia about foreign powers. Russia is just the most recent in a long line. Among others there was the Illuminati, the Catholic Church, the Austro-Hungarian Empire supported by the Jesuits, the German Empire, and so on. See The Paranoid Style in American Politics for some of them.

        In the case of Russia, very few Americans seem to have grasped that Russia != USSR. For example I think President Obama was under the impression that Putin was head of the KGB; many US politicians know that Russia is a godless Communist country.

        Most Americans, including federal-level politicians have very little real knowledge of the world outside the USA. I know a professor in New York City who teaches a course on medieval Europe. The first thing he checks is can his students find Europe on a map and, then, can they find France.

        It seems that the USA cannot function without fearing someone. Paranoia is a condition of existence. Machete wielding campasinos from Nicaragua or evil Communists from the USSR, it does not seem to matter as long as there is a focus for their fear.

        We may be seeing some real cognitive dissonance rising at the moment with competing candidates, China vs Russia, as the sinister external threat.

        Like

        1. Just skimmed the Harper’s article but it seems to conclude that paranoia is predominantly if not exclusively a “conservative” or “right wing” condition.

          How quickly we forget the Russiagate paranoia and the stolen election insanity promoted by virtually every liberal MSM outlet and most politicians. It may be a manufactured paranoia as the perpetrators knew that they were making it all up to, dare I say, as part of a conspiracy to remove Trump from office and to discredit the deplorables in general.

          The Covid-19 response promoted by the liberal media may be another example of manufactured paranoia.

          Unfounded fear thrives on ignorance and is there a country that has a larger fraction of an ignorant and sheltered population than the US?

          Like

  45. Igor Grechushkin: Who is the Russian businessman who owned a ‘floating bomb’ in Beirut’s port?
    Native of Russia’s Far East was confirmed as owner of Rhosus ship by state media on Thursday

    Oliver Carroll Moscow @olliecarroll
    38 minutes ago

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/igor-grechushkin-beirut-port-russia-floating-bomb-ammonium-nitrate-a9657816.html

    Well done Carroll! You’ve identified the Russian owner, ergo it was the Russians wot done it.

    Like

  46. Check this out , Carroll…..

    DW
    Beirut deadly blast: What makes ammonium nitrate so dangerous?

    The huge explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital on Tuesday is thought to have been caused by ammonium nitrate. The chemical is often used as fertilizer — and in explosives.

    https://p.dw.com/p/3gTVd

    So who is responsible for the explosion?

    The ship owner, clearly — because he is a Russian?

    And the “Kremlin” of course.

    Like

    1. British Journalist Formula For Success: (1) identify newsworthy happening. (2) Determine if it is (a)good or (b)bad. (3) If it is (2)(a), identify a British or American connection, no matter how tenuous, and attribute. (4) If it is (2)(b), identify a Russian connection, no matter how tenuous, and attribute. Mawkish plaudits in the case of (2)(a), and hyperbolic terror and disgust in the case of (2)(b) are encouraged.

      Like

  47. Politico.com: Little-known U.S. firm secures deal for Syrian oil
    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/03/delta-crescent-energy-syrian-oil-391033

    Former diplomat and special forces soldier got green light to work with Kurds to develop crude in northeastern Syria.

    …However, the Pentagon and State Department have long been working to enable the Syrian Kurds to harness the crude oil in the region, a former Trump administration official told POLITICO. The idea is that revenue from the oil could help the Kurds deal with the dire humanitarian situation in the war-torn country, including overflowing refugee camps from years of civil war, the person said.

    “The goal is to get the production back up to where it was before the civil war and sanctions,” said Ambassador Cain…
    #####

    Pigs in s/t. Not to mention that the Kurds have a long history of autof/kery. How many times do they have to learn the same lesson that promises from far away powers dissolve quickly and leave them in a much worse position than before. It’s beyond tragic, it’s beyond simple incompetence. But then the goal has f/k all to do about helping the Kurds rather than using them as a tool to divide and rule in the region. The USDoS can dress it up in all sorts of ‘Humanitarian’ bs, but it doesn’t even start to pay for the damage that the US has unleashed in the region in the first place. The Kurds are reduced to depending on scraps from America. Independence indeed.

    Like

    1. The oil resources belong to the people of Syria – among whom the Kurds are one group, all administered from a central presidency, which is not in Washington – and the Kurdish leaders have zero authority to be issuing contracts for exploitation of resources to the exclusive benefit of one ethnic group. It would be like the Wet’su Weten Hereditary Chiefs, without whose munificent wisdom no government decisions could be made in British Columbia before the ‘pandemic’ arrived to distract everyone, signing a contract with Peru to develop a pipeline in Canada to carry BC oil to a shipping point. And it would take no time at all for the actual provincial government – never mind the federal – to inquire, “Uhhh….just what the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

      Washington is surely well aware of this, but it likes to just do shit to see what will happen, like maybe the national government will be too weak to stop it, or be so embarrassed by American ignorance of etiquette that it will downplay it and try to work out a compromise that will let Americans keep the deal. If you were looking for what made America Great in the first place, you wouldn’t go far wrong by assuming that policy.

      Like

  48. HuffPo via Antiwar.com: DNC Delegates Call Biden Foreign Policy Team ‘A Horror Show’ And Ask For New Hires
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/biden-foreign-policy-dnc_n_5f2adbd3c5b64d7a55ed7fd7

    Many supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders are pushing back against Joe Biden’s advisers’ track records of supporting military intervention.

    …A widely circulated message promoting the letter, which is already signed by more than 275 delegates — almost all of whom were pledged to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — says Biden’s current circle is “a horror show” of advisers with track records of supporting “disastrous” U.S. military interventions.

    The letter, obtained by HuffPost, attacks the “poor judgment” of former Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who’s rumored to be on Biden’s short list of vice presidential candidates, and Antony Blinken, Biden’s long-time chief aide on foreign affairs, as well as several other prominent advisers who would likely be in line for cabinet-level appointments in a Biden administration…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Hardly any of us are surprised by this particularly since Rice popped up in the media with an opinion piece. These Dems clearly think they are smarter than the Republicans and that it is only the method of execution that they question rather than the conclusion or even questioning the soundess of basic strategic conceptions that have not changed for decades despite the rest of theworld changing massively. I worry that a big dumb war will be more likely under the Dems than under t-Rump, not that there is much to chose between then when it comes to foreign policy, the former more accomplished at window dressing their crimes to the applause of so called liberals and the latter not caring in the slightest how it looks. The same side of the coin.

    Like

  49. Politico.eu: Pompeo expected to tour EU to discuss troop moves
    https://www.politico.eu/article/mike-pompeo-expected-to-tour-eu-to-discuss-troop-moves/

    The Pentagon plans to shift nearly 12,000 troops out of Germany.

    …There are fears in Europe though that Washington is using the troop redeployment to pit EU member countries against each other. “It seems the intention is to further offset the pullout decision with bilateral agreements with some member states,” said a senior EU diplomat…
    ####

    Who’s going to pay for this? Even the rabid pro-US PiS who run Poland refused to pony up the $4b for Fort Trump that Washington was demanding, so if some of these troops will end up in the Balts, they need to be put somewhere and need to be paid for. It won’t be long before they start upsetting the locals as they have done elsewhere..

    On reflection, this is a brilliant plan that will make US troops unwelcome in even the EU most America friendly nations. Great. In fact, Pump up the volume to max. It will make a great catalyst.

    Like

  50. Well, well – imagine that: Trump might have been on to something when he pushed hydroxychloroquine as a short-term response to COVID-19. Who poured cold water on the idea? Doctor throws-like-a-girl at the WHO, the same guy for whom masks are either useless or essential, depending on what month it is.

    https://fort-russ.com/2020/08/these-two-charts-should-land-dr-fauci-in-prison/

    I’m not quite as ready to draw conclusions as the author at Fort Russ – this isn’t evidence, and there could be many other reasons for the significantly higher mortality rates in countries which banned the use of hydroxychloroquine. Like the use of face masks, the efficacy of this drug is controversial, and the higher mortality rates could also be attributed to the apparent eagerness in western countries to attribute all possible deaths to COVID, sloppy accounting in some countries with dramatically lower rates, or any number of other factors. But while the case for the whole exercise having been a lunge for profitable global vaccination regimes remains circumstantial, I don’t see any compelling evidence to make it appear ridiculous, either, and Fauci looks more like a shitheel the more scrutiny focuses on him.

    But of course nothing will happen to him in the way of correction or chastisement, so the sub-headline is overly dramatic.

    Like

    1. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) are a collection of right-wing, complete, whack-jobs. They are a bit like the medical equivalent of the NRA but nuttier

      You might want to have a quick look at their wiki AAPS.

      Here is a post discussing them at the Respectful Insolence blog that may help give a taste of their craziness AAPS

      I have read a least one review of the “study” and it was not favourable. I may have to haul out a copy of the paper and have a look if it is not behind a paywall.

      There have been a number of well-done random, double-blinded studies done including a couple of Chinese ones, the US Veterans Affairs one, and IIRC a mammoth UK NHS one. None have shown positive results. One or two had to be cancelled due to rather bad adverse reactions (i.e. they were afraid they were going to kill the patients).

      Hydroxychloroquine started out as a malaria drug but has been replaced by better and much safer drugs. It is used to treat lupus and certain kinds of arthritis that do not respond to other drugs but it needs to be carefully monitored. It can be a very dangerous drug.

      Interestingly enough, in France where it is, (or was until the pandemic and Didier Raoult’s incompetent and unethical study), an over-the-counter drug, it is the drug of choice for suicide.

      Like

      1. I believe they mentioned in the article that the tests had involved very high doses which did indeed cause adverse reactions, but that it was considerably safer to take in lighter doses. I certainly don’t know, I had never heard of it before the great COVID plague. But I am so accustomed now to being lied to that anything that contradicts the liars sounds like truth to me.

        Like

        1. I am so accustomed now to being lied to that anything that contradicts the liars sounds like truth to me.

          You are getting a little bit paranoid there . Keep it up.

          In my case I believe everything the New York Times tells me. Oh, and of course I believe the US ONI report on China, Russia and Iran”s meddling in the Us election. They missed the Duchy of Grand Fenwick and the Papal See.

          I have been fairly closely following the “Hydroxychloroquine Saga” since the execrable first paper out of Didier Raoult’s lab in France. I have enough research design training to see how shitty the papers supporting hydroxychloroquine effectiveness are.

          Like

          1. The Covid-19 death statistics appear shitty as well and in a manner that exaggerates the virus’s lethality.

            There are many factors motivating such exaggerations – hospital revenue, bureaucratic power grabs, the upcoming elections, etc. It seems that any news hinting that the virus is not a threat to human survival is branded as fake.

            Medical personnel are making vast sums of money off of the virus. For example, I was told by someone that his wife, a nurse, was earning $5,000/week (with overtime and hazard pay) at the peak of the crisis. Nurses, being at the bottom of the food chain, only hint at the money being made in the upper echelons of the medical industry.

            Further to the misleading claims of the virus’s impact on hospital capacity, per several nurses, a cause of the sporadic shortage of ICU beds is simply dealing with the backlog of deferred surgeries. Hospitals seek to maximize ICU usage for revenue generation, thus tend to schedule surgeries to keep usage at a high level whenever possible. Even a small unscheduled need results in a shortage. It’s simply optimization of capacity to maximize revenue. That’s all.

            Like

  51. An interesting graphic included, which depicts the funding by Bill Gates to various principals of the COVID ‘pandemic’. For instance – to the Imperial College, London, which was responsible for the whack computer model which panicked world leaders into economically-catastrophic lockdowns and doling out borrowed money; over $280 Million. To the WHO; over $4.3 Billion. To GAVI, the global vaccine alliance, $3 Billion. GAVI is also the co-developer (with Microsoft; no introductions necessary, I’m sure) of digital ID technology intended to be used with mass vaccination.

    https://muchadoaboutcorona.ca/god-of-covid/

    Like

  52. Nord Stream 2 назвал домыслами информацию в германских СМИ о начале работ по проекту
    СМИ выступили с предположением, что работы по завершению строительства последней части “Северного потока – 2” уже могут идти втайне от общественности, чтобы не привлекать внимание и избежать санкций США

    5 августа 2020

    Nord Stream 2 has stated that it is speculation in the German media about the start of work on the project
    The media has suggested that work to complete the construction of the last part of Nord Stream 2 may already be going on in secret, so as not to attract attention and avoid US sanctions

    5 August 2020

    MOSCOW, August 5. / TASS /. Nord Stream 2, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 project, has described information published by the German publication “Focus Online” about the possible start of work to complete the construction of the gas pipeline as speculation, according to a comment made by the company for TASS

    “We are aware of various speculations about possible options for completing the project, and we do not comment on them. We shall inform about our plans in due time”, the operator said.

    Earlier on Wednesday, “Focus Online” published an article stating that the vessel “Rossini”, which has small housing units for construction workers, has been in the port of Sassnitz in northern Germany for several weeks. The publication noted that, according to the Ostsee-Zeitung newspaper, it moored there in early June, and on board there are living about 140 workers who are allegedly preparing to lay the last section of the gas pipeline. They are delivered daily by buses to the nearby Mukran ferry harbour, where the “Akademik Chersky” pipe-laying vessel is moored, which is said to be able to complete Nord Stream 2. Pipes for completing the pipeline are also stored there in Mukran.

    The publication also notes that all parties — workers and local authorities — are trying not to attract attention, and representatives of the ports are not making any comments. Against this background, the newspaper has come out with the assumption that work on the completion of the construction of the last part of Nord Stream 2 may already be going on in secret from the public, so as not to attract attention and thereby avoid US sanctions.

    https://tass-ru.turbopages.org/s/tass.ru/ekonomika/9129649?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

    Like

  53. Последнее предупреждение. Американцы угрожают Германии «сокрушительными санкциями» за поддержку «Северного потока – 2» | EDGENEWS.RU

    One last warning. Americans threaten Germany with “crushing sanctions” for supporting Nord Stream 2 | EDGENEWS.RU
    Today

    Three US senators have threatened the authorities of the German port of Sassnitz that if further assistance is provided for the construction of Nord Stream 2, the port, authorities and employees will face severe sanctions.

    Will a crushing sanction hit German ports?

    Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Ron Johnson, in a letter to Fährhafen Sassnitz GmbH, the port manager of Sassnitz and Mukran, which are the logistics hub of the Nord Stream 2 project, warn that further cooperation with Nord Stream 2 AG will cause irreparable damage to the German port and city. According to the senators, these restrictions will “destroy” the profitability of the German port business. However, according to the senators, there is a way out — refusal to cooperate on the Nord Stream-2 project within the framework of contractual procedures. According to the senators, this letter is a final warning and should be considered a formal legal note.

    The senators emphasize that every action by the “Akademik Chersky”ship and the “Fortuna” barge to implement the Nord Stream 2 project will lead to the imposition of sanctions against the German port. The letter also mentioned the transitional period given to companies to exit the project within 30 days after the sanctions had taken effect — “In your case, after so many warnings from our government, so many calls from Congress and public declarations by Russians that they will continue construction of Nord Stream 2, it is difficult to imagine any goodwill associated with suspension of sanctions on your business”, reads the text of the letter.

    In December 2019, Senator Cruz sent a similar letter to representatives of Allseas, which was constructing the gas pipeline in question. In the past few weeks, the United States has significantly increased pressure on the Nord Stream 2 project. On the one hand, the Department of State updated the guidelines for CAATSA that allow for retroactive caps, on the other hand, Congress passed a new version of PEESA that was incorporated into the NDAA, that is, the Pentagon Budget Act.

    https://zen.yandex.ru/media/killnews/poslednee-preduprejdenie-amerikancy-ugrojaiut-germanii-sokrushitelnymi-sankciiami-za-podderjku-severnogo-potoka-2-5f2c6d5c61d4921a7b2a2c31

    Let the freedom molecules flow!

    Like

    1. I wonder if the Germans can dredge up the spine to tell America to go fuck itself. On what grounds are they threatening the port of Sassnitz? Does a lot of business with the United States, does it? How about if Germany tells Coca-Cola and Caterpillar to clear out their desks by Friday and get out of the country? Maybe high-rollers in Washington can learn to love the PT Cruiser instead of BMW and Mercedes? What, exactly, is Washington going to sanction? And does it actually realize what a world-class dick it is looking like to its allies?

      Perhaps Germany should send a letter of response to the USA, and say for every day that you do not withdraw this threat and apologize for your absurd behavior, we will take another LNG terminal off the list, until they’re all gone? You want to play chicken, mother-plucker?

      Like

      1. One well-known German politician won’t buy in to the US demands (the video is embedded in the Saker’s posting)

        https://thesaker.is/russia-and-the-next-presidential-election-in-the-usa/

        She gets everything right except for concluding Russia is not a military rival as its military budget is a small fraction of the NATO countries. Such a claim is OK with me as the conclusion is what counts – Russia is not threatening to use its military against anyone.

        She raised a good point that the US bases in Germany are there mostly to serve as forward bases in the US (illegal) wars in the Middle East thus will never be voluntarily removed from German soil. She may have suggested that the recent removal of the US African command from Germany was Germany’s idea.

        One more thing,

        https://www.rt.com/news/497054-germany-us-troops-withdrawl-trump/

        Around 47 percent of participants in research conducted by pollster YouGov on behalf of DPA news agency, said they were in favor of the Pentagon’s decision to pull out almost 12,000 American soldiers from Germany.
        Moreover, one in four surveyed Germans insisted that the US military presence in the country should be reduced to zero.

        Only 28 percent thought that the 36,000-strong contingent must remain as it is, while four percent said that they wanted more American soldiers. The others declined to answer.

        Like

    2. Stiff letters from stiff politicians. If you have to tell someone that you are powerful rather than just display it, well…. DO SOMETHING! Usually stupid, ill thought out with disasterous consequences for many. Traditional, innit?

      Like

    1. I’m sure with assistance from the United States. Why would Lukashenko trust Kiev wholly unless he had a brainfart? Rule no.1 is to be sceptical of single sources and always look for corroborating information from elsewhere that is not connected to the original source. That may have been the Byelorussian KGB which screwed up or an operative within to help it along.

      So wither now for Lukashenko if he finally understands that this is a direct provocation from his western neighbor? He has not only shaved away further sympathy from Russian experts who prefer a soft hand with Minsk, his behaviors must raise questions within the Byelorussian power ministries questioning if he has lost the plot and may himself be a growing risk to the state. Like I wrote earlier, it looks like Lukashenko’s room for (his usual) manoeuver is shrinking. But, like others he is a survivor and may well blame whomever corroborated the Ukranian lies and use it as an excuse for a clear out. Or someone may be dumb enough to take it as a ‘now or never’ moment. We wait. And watch.

      Like

      1. Yes, I completely agree with your estimation – Luka fell for bait, and over-committed. But he must have not bothered to consult his economists at all, because trade priorities alone should have dictated caution – does he think Ukraine would make up trade losses if he stuck his thumb in Russia’s eye? Ah ha ha hahahahaha! Ukraine is struggling with its own precipitous drop in living standards. Western organizations like the World Bank keep chunnering on about how great things are going in Ukraine, amazing growth, bla bla reforms bla bla, but acknowledge the flood of investment that was supposed to enable Investors Ukrainians to get rich never materialized, and now Ukraine needs to sell off its land and its energy system in order to meet the crushing debt burden it has magically acquired when it thought the west was gibbing moneys, rather than ‘loaning’.

        https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2019/05/23/ukraine-economic-update-spring-2019

        2% and 2.5% ‘growth’ when your currency has devalued by more than 30% is not growth, and I’m sure the World Bank knows it perfectly well; it just can’t bring itself to say it.

        Anyway, the point is Ukraine’s dwindling usefulness to the west means it has to engage in provocations like this either to support its creditors, or to attract their attention if they are not already involved. The implied prosperity never materialized, and it never will, which suggests Ukraine will eventually be drawn back into Russia’s orbit when the people have had enough – they have no more in common with the Europeans than the Poles do, who are still thought as outsiders and a cheap-labour pool although Poland has been part of the EU for more than 15 years.

        There is no real need for Belarus to follow the same course, as it will end the same way if it does. It is a poor country, but it will not become a rich country by courting the west; only a poor country that is used as a front-line provocateur against Russia, at which point it will lose its Russian trade as well, just as Ukraine has.

        Like

        1. Another possibility is that this is Byelorussian-Russian theatre and the attempt was spotted early and left to play out to expose the actors, making it easier to sweep them up. Over at Moon of Alabama* he points out that the tickets were reserved in a fake Kiev travel agency which is very wierd as it is clearly one of the weakest parts of the plot . I would expect a half competent intelligence agency to check stuff like that immediately, so we can only speculate and there we endup staring at wheels within wheels and even more possibilities.

          We must rememer that omission and disinformation is a fundamental part of the Dark Arts(TM), but it’s risky to appear weaker than you are because strong opponents may then launch something much tougher that may succeed. One thing we do know is that the West keeps on pushing, its only the intesity of the effort that changes depending on how much risk has been assessed and what nutters are directing the efforts.

          * https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/08/the-russian-coup-plot-in-belarus-was-faked-by-ukraine.html

          Like

          1. The men believed they were hired to be security guards for Rosneft, and they were not a little uneasy at wearing uniforms bearing patches which read “Death is Our Business, and Business is Good”? Since when is killing all in a day’s work for Rosneft security guards? Come on.

            Like

          2. Et Al, you’re assuming that the SBU and the CIA together are at least half-competent?

            Somehow the incident involving Arkady Babchenko’s faked murder comes to mind. Recall that his staged assassination was a cover for a real SBU attempt to intimidate a local Ukrainian businessman whose enterprise was selling parts for sniper rifles to the SBU. Might this scheme to entrap Russians be cover for another scheme cooked up the SBU to sneak snipers into Belarus to cause trouble after the Belarus elections should Lukashenko win again and “protests” spontaneously start in Minsk and other parts of the country?

            Like

              1. Nobody knows more about creating fake narratives and cooking up disinformation to cover up strange murders or disappearances in country towns or mansions than the British do and yet the patch-up job that British intel agencies tried to put up around the disappearance of the Skripals smacked of amateurism and ineptness from the very start and just kept trundling along, picking up more inconsistencies and defying the laws of physics, chemistry and biology.

                Like

                1. I have always wondered if it was a CIA operation and the Brits were scrambling to cover up the CIAs bumbling?

                  Like

                2. Okay, maybe I should have qualified that a little better; nobody has such sufficient and recent experience of violent regime change that they would be prepared to take it beyond the discussion-table phase, and actually do it, as the Ukrainians. Lots of people like to talk about it, but they usually decide it would be too risky, especially if they ever got caught. The Ukrainians know they cannot ‘get caught’ because Uncle Sam’s Cloaking Device prevents that from happening. That and the constant yapping from the British about how noble all the Slavs are except for Russians.

                  Like

            1. Jen, it just seems like a really odd bit of the plan to slip up on. That’s all I’m saying. It’s so mundane, but critical.

              Like

              1. The plan was probably never intended to be more complex than it had to be to achieve its objective/s, and what that was, or those were, is the issue. The SBU could be laughing their heads off that Lukashenko and the people who signed up to their ruse fell hook, line and sinker for it. A ruse that aims to get several birds with one stone is probably not going to be too well planned down to the details and it will look more like a school-kid’s prank than something sophisticated.

                The various 600+ ruses the CIA cooked up in the past to kill off Fidel Castro, including the exploding cigars and getting his girlfriend to shoot him or putting poison in her night cream, were hardly worthy of an intel agency getting millions in taxpayer money each year. Not to mention the $20 million spent annually by the CIA investigating the paranormal in the past.

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                1. True. Also the lack of consequences. Can Lukashenko afford to more than merely slap the wrist of Kiev? I don’t see it.

                  Like

  54. And on and on it goes …

    Белоруссия получила от Украины сигнал о проникновении “боевиков” с юга
    Интерфакс, 6 августа 2020

    Belarus received a signal from Ukraine about the penetration of “militants” from the south</b
    Interfax, 6 August 2020

    President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that Minsk had received information from the Ukrainian authorities about the penetration of another group of “militants” into Belarusian territory from the south.

    “The Ukrainians (Ukrainian special services – IF) warned us that another group entered the southern border. We are now looking for them all over Belarus,”

    Lukashenko said in an interview with Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon:

    “True, I don’t really believe that 30 people really crossed the border there. We would have found them already. Unless, of course, they left for Russia or returned to the Ukraine,” he said.

    https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/interfax.ru/world/720649?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile

    Like

    1. The arrest of 33 Russians in Minsk has turned out to be a provocation by the Ukrainian special services

      “Komsomolskaya Pravda” has become aware of the sensational details of how the spies of the “Independent” [The Ukraine — ME] tried to embroil Belarus and Russia. Investigation by Alexander Kots

      https://m.kp.ru/daily/217165/4266019/

      Russia will do nothing.

      Like

  55. Russia has “lost” Belorus?

    It’s too late to do anything about it?

    And even if Russia could do anything about it, it wouldn’t?

    Russia needn’t do anything. It need only sit and watch the japes of the Yukie FSB and the jumping from one side to the other done by Lukashenko.

    Both parties will stew in their own juice.

    Like

  56. Russia backed “Wagner” mercenaries entering Belorus in order to create political instability there a Ukraine FSB provocation? — Apparently so.

    Ukraine FSB disinformation about MH17 — indubitably so.

    The Skripal affair a Ukraine FSB provocation? — Very likely, to use a well worn cliché.

    As regards the Skripal case, George Galloway stated in an RT article that an unnamed British army officer had confided to him that in his opinion the Ukraine FSB had a hand in it.

    Like

  57. Saw €µ on the tv in Beirut being cheered by the locals and then telling Lebanon to take resonsibility for itself and clean up corruption. Not a shred of humility, recognition of hypocrisy or anything. Today on tv Jack Lang* (currently working in the Arab World Institute wanktank) was interviewed about the country and like the diharretic libtard that he is, managed to get in that part of saving Lebanon and the region is to stop i-Ran and Russia. Other western press is quoting i-Sraeli ‘sources’ that Hezbollah had some Ammonium Nitrate stored there too. What complete aholes. As if the Lebanese will run in to their arms…

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Lang_(French_politician)

    Like

  58. Russia Observer: RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 6 AUGUST 2020
    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2020/08/06/russian-federation-sitrep-6-august-2020/

    RUSSIA AND COVID. Latest numbers: total cases 870K; total deaths 14,606; tests per 1 million 203K. Russia has done 29.7 million tests (third after China and USA); among countries with populations over 10M it’s second in tests per million and of those over 100M first. The Health Minister says mass vaccinations will begin by October. Has Russia really won the vaccine race? this researcher believes so and gives his explanation. …
    ####

    A lot more at the link.

    In other news I read that t-Rump’s actions have led to $71b of value to be wiped off Chian (Tencent/whatever) shares though most of it has recovered. This is of course meaningless, but makes for great PR Big Man news.

    Like

    1. So Danchenko, Christopher Steele’s ‘primary sub-source’, an entirely unreliable and unverified dipturd was Fiona Hill’s student and they both worked at the Brookings Insane Asylum. Is Fiona Hill a secret Eminence Grise?

      Like

    1. Always assuming the incident unfolded as described, and is not another exercise in narrative-shaping, which is a question we must ask ourselves when reading all but the most mundane news items these days. But it would be hard not to draw the conclusion that America’s madness has spread to the streets, and that social collapse is a very real risk.

      Like

    2. Yes, on the assumption that the scene has occurred as the tweet suggests, the woman’s confrontation with the BLM protesters is reminiscent of scenes in Hong Kong last year between elderly people and the black-clad Umbrella protesters. In one such ugly scene, the protesters dumped kerosene on a 50-something-aged man and set him alight. He was later taken to hospital but I do not know if he is still alive. The parallels that can be drawn between the HK protesters and the BLM movement might suggest both are taking advice in tactics (and possibly money as well) from the same or similar sources.

      Like

      1. Astute observations Mark and Jen. The collapse of respect for anyone and everyone and rise of infantilism is in full swing. A society can not survive this trend for long

        Like

        1. I have resolved today to stop reading the newspaper at work; it only infuriates me. Every day it is full of articles by busybodies who are having the time of their lives in the grim battle against COVID, and imploring the authorities to impose more restrictions and please, please make everyone wear a mask. It’s mandatory on buses but not enforced, and Wal-Mart Canada was the latest to capitulate and make its customers wear a mask. So that’s me all done shopping there. But the mask busybodies sense victory, and won’t feel really, really safe until everyone has to wear a mask everywhere they go, and even in bed at night, just to be sure. And you know new studies indicate they do you no harm, so won’t you please wear one to show you care for others? They are practically begging for more government regulation, and when the new vaccine comes – Canada has already bought options for 75 million doses, more than twice the country’s population, from Pfizer and some other US drug giant whose name I forget – the lines will be around the block with eager COVID warriors with their sleeves already rolled up. The enormous transfer of wealth from the taxpayers to Bill Gates’ Pharma companies is all but a done deal.

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          1. A politician (perhaps in Michigan) was urging everyone to wear masks while at home. One could imagine a law to that effect with no-knock search warrants looking for offenders. Far-fetched certainly, but, what we are seeing today was almost inconceivable at the beginning of the year.

            Yes, busy-body/junior grade social justice warriors are in hog-heaven as the MSM, “science” and liberal politicians are in perfect alignment with their innate desire to pose and posture.

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            1. This is why I have decided to stop (1) voting, and (2) supporting national charities. Voting – which will not mark much of a change from me, since I rarely voted anyway, only when I saw a candidate who looked like he/she might actually try to do a good job – only results in leadership that will lie right to your face, or throw in its lot with the mass-media bullshitters who swear there is tons of proof of a state-sponsored doping program among Russian athletes, to use a fairly-recent example. You may remember I wrote to the federal minister responsible for sport on that occasion, and was assured the country would box clever and only cite conclusions supported by evidence. That’s what voting gets you. Parts of Beacon Hill Park, one of Victoria’s crown jewels for natural beauty, was given over to the homeless as a campground because the ‘persons at risk’ could not count on their usual merciful solaces during the Great Plague, by Victoria’s mayor, who feels the plight of the homeless so keenly that it’s surprising she doesn’t come and put her own can of beans on the fire along with them. Figuratively speaking; they’re not allowed fires, I don’t think. Anyway, elements among them promptly set up a chop shop in the bushes for fencing stolen bicycle parts, and locals now avoid the park because of drug-raddled lunatics pestering them for money, and dropping their wastes wherever the spirit moves them – as nature no doubt intended they should. Decisions like this as well as Troodledoo’s former fascination with courting tribal Chiefs who have held no real power for more than a century so as to get their stamp of approval on everything have convinced me – a former dyed-in-the-wool liberal with a soft spot in my heart for everyone – that as soon as you empower a formerly-marginalized group, they put their boot on your neck and start dictating. Democracy is a sugarplum delusion, and a variety of special-interest groups are always sparring for their moment when they will get to craft policy to favour themselves. So fuck that. Now the province is essentially run by its Chief Medical Officer, who is the subject of heroic songs by people who can’t carry a tune in a bucket and consequently lean toward maudlin lyrics, and she might be up for sainthood any day now, as she endorses mask-wearing and social-distancing presumably until we can all get The Blessed Needle. The world has gone to shit for free people, and the ignorant proles are in charge.

              Like

  59. Euractiv avec afp: Paris, Berlin and Warsaw urge ‘free and fair’ Belarus vote
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/paris-berlin-and-warsaw-urge-free-and-fair-belarus-vote/

    …“We urge the Belarus authorities to conduct the presidential election in a free and fair way, especially by ensuring independent surveillance of the vote by local observers,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, Heiko Maas and Jacek Czaputowicz said in the statement.

    The OSCE’s absence will be the first for a national election in Belarus since 2001, due to the lack of an invitation from the government. The results of the last four presidential elections were not recognised as fair by OSCE observers…,

    ..The three foreign ministers called for the release of prisoners detained for political reasons, and urged the government to refrain from any violence or violations of “civil and political freedoms”.

    They also warned against further deterioration of EU-Belarus relations, after “a difficult but promising dialogue” in recent years.
    ####

    The EU’s been fairly quiet about this election so far. Even this isn’t up to their usual standard. Have they actually learned a lesson or are they just being careful?

    Like

    1. “The OSCE’s absence will be the first for a national election in Belarus since 2001, due to the lack of an invitation from the government. The results of the last four presidential elections were not recognised as fair by OSCE observers…”

      You see a pattern emerging there, OSCE? Let me see…we attended the last four elections, and pronounced them all unfair…and this year, he didn’t invite us!!

      Ummm…let me guess – so you could make him 0 for 5? It is probably plain to Lukashenko – who is not an idiot ALL the time – that his victories will never be suitable to the OSCE even if he goes on TV and invites voters to cast their ballots for the opposition. And just in case the OSCE is the slowest to get it, western organizations have lost quite a bit of credibility in the last decade-ish, and their imprimatur of approval is not the cachet it once was.

      Like

  60. Eureactiv: Zelenskiy’s oligarch friend accused by US of stealing, laundering billions
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/zelenskiys-oligarch-friend-accused-by-us-of-stealing-laundering-billions/

    ####

    Surely this is good news? He’s not the only one that should be taken out of the equation.

    & this:

    Euractiv: Strategic gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria on bumpy road
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/strategic-gas-interconnector-greece-bulgaria-on-bumpy-road/

    The construction of a strategic EU-supported pipeline which is expected to break the monopoly of Russian gas on the Bulgarian market has hit a snag.

    Dozens of Bulgarian workers building the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB, also known as Stara Zagora-Komotini pipeline) protested on Thursday (6 August) in Haskovo, Bulgaria. The workers say they have not been paid for the last three months and threaten to quit their jobs if they do not receive their salaries immediately….
    ####

    But I thought that the gas has to have democratic credentials? The alternative comes from the dictatorship known as Azerbaidjan that Brussels treats with kid gloves and the media shies away from pointing out this hypocrisy and famously non-competitive LNG. But then again we are being bombarded with ‘Chinese Uigher Concentration Camps’ but almost complete silence about India taking full control and locking down Kashmir not that you’d know from reading the media. Remember kids, this is about democracy, not at all about strategic interests.

    Like

  61. The ordinary housewife who opposes Lukashenko: and the US Department of State connection:

    It is interesting to see the dynamics of events, which changed radically several times. But one conclusion can be drawn: Lukashenko understood what he had done. True, this does not make it easier for Russia.

    So, in the first days of the detention of our 33 guys, political scientists trumpeted that the “Wagnerites” had arrived in Belarus to carry out a coup d’etat. The guys were associated with the opposition candidate Tikhanovskaya, although this in itself is nonsense. A certain political strategist Shklyarov, who worked at the headquarters of Tikhanovskaya, was identified as the connecting link. Shklyarov, by the way, was also detained. Here I will note that Shklyarov is indeed a Russian citizen, but a traitor who works for the US State Department (no kidding). Shklyarov’s wife has American citizenship and works at the American Embassy. Shklyarov worked in the election campaigns of our liberals Sobchak, Gudkov, Besedina. Shklyarov was taken to work, but detained exactly on the same day with the Wagnerites. The goal is to connect Tikhanovskaya and 33 Russians.

    https://zen.yandex.ru/media/dvinsy/lukashenko-nachinaet-opravdyvatsia-no-rubikon-uje-proiden-5f2d162430edfc6c963248a7?from=feed&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com&rid=818838826.536.1596860969228.85517&integration=izenkit_yandex_browser&place=export&secdata=CIe218m8LiABMAJQLQ%3D%3D

    Like

  62. BBC

    US election 2020: China, Russia and Iran ‘trying to influence’ vote
    13 minutes ago

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2020-53702872

    I wonder what they would think in the USA if a member of a presidential candidate’s campaign staff had dual US/Russian citizenship and worked at the Russian embassy and was employed by the Russian Foreign Office?

    Nothing said, though, about Shklyarov in Belorus, because he’s on the side of freedom and democracy: that’s what the USA always promotes in its own and the world community interests, which most certainly is not interference in the internal politics of a sovereign state.

    Like

    1. They missed North Korea and Venezuela. The intelligence community (ha ha) has concluded that Russia is pulling the strings for Trump and China for Biden. Hence, the election results will be solely determined by which foreign power was better able to control the process. I agree that the election has been outsourced but to the MSM and their deep state owners.

      Like

      1. The funniest part is that it does not remotely matter who wins – leadership by an idiot is guaranteed. A self-absorbed egotistical idiot, or a dementia patient who lives in his dreams of yesteryear and outsources his decision-making to his Vice-President.

        Like

  63. a member of a presidential candidate’s campaign staff had dual US/Russian citizenship and worked at the Russian embassy should have read:

    …. a member of a presidential candidate’s campaign staff had dual US/Russian citizenship and WHOSE RUSSIAN WIFE worked at the Russian embassy.

    Like

  64. MoA is back in form with his posting regarding the US addiction to nuclear weapons:

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/08/addicted-to-nuclear-weapons-why-us-policies-never-change-.html#more

    The desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons is certainly noble but highly unlikely; they are just too easy to hide or to make in secret. Better to have caps on the number and types of weapons to reduce economic waste and potential for accidents while preserving the deterrence capability offered by such weapons.

    The fact that the major powers have nuclear weapons has brought a form of global peace. Countries without nuclear weapons will tend to align themselves with a major power but more likely for economic, political and cultural reasons than solely to have a nuclear umbrella.

    To paraphrase the NRA – if you outlaw nuclear weapons, only outlaws will have nuclear weapons.

    Like

    1. However, all countries have seen that having a nuclear weapon or two is pretty good insurance against cowboy takeovers by the US State Department. Consequently, all countries that prefer to make their own policies rather than have them written in Washington are ambitious to acquire nuclear weapons, or are already America’s slaves.

      Like

      1. I was musing about a new business opportunity – lease a nuke. Contract length would be 5 or 10 years and the leaser would be free to use the nuke against anyone other than the lessor. It would not be cheap bu what is your nation’s sovereignty worth? Will require quite a bit of fine print.

        Like

  65. 07 августа 2020 15:54
    Автор расследования ареста россиян в Минске сразу понял, что “за этим торчат уши СБУ”

    07 August 2020 15:54
    The author of the investigation into the arrest of Russians in Minsk immediately realized that “the ears of the SBU are sticking out rom behind of this”.

    It was not a brilliant operation by the SBU, but a brilliant prank that went too far, said on the Russia 1 TV channel Komsomolskaya Pravda special correspondent Aleksandr Kots the author of a sensational investigation into 33 detained in Minsk Russians who had become victims of a provocation by the Ukrainian special services

    According to him, in terms of technologies, the Ukrainians did not do anything new. Russian prankers have already tested similar technologies on the Ukrainian special services for a long time. There are a lot of examples of such divorces. But here the ultimate goal was much higher, the journalist noted, stressing that the special services of the Ukraine set themselves several tasks at once: “On the one hand, to drive a wedge into Russian-Belarusian relations; on the other hand, to cast a shadow over Russian PMCs. But the main goal of this operation was to draw people into Belarus territory, then set them up and try to take them to Kiev, in order that they be put on trial later”.

    Alexander Kots told in detail how this special operation was prepared and carried out, paying particular attention to a number of inconsistencies that caught his eye. “I immediately thought: too much indicates that the ears of the security service of Ukraine are sticking out behind this detention”, the correspondent said. Most of the group arrested in Belarus fought in the Donbass; some of them have Ukrainian passports.

    Kots also drew attention to the strange purpose of the trip — the protection of oil rigs in Venezuela. “I have been in Venezuela at Russian oil facilities: completely different structures are engaged in security there. It is simply impossible for some completely unknown PMC to wedge in there”, he explained. In this story, of course, there is a certain handwriting of the SBU, the journalist summed up.

    Everything has gone too far. The situation has turned in such a way that now it is not the Russian side that needs to get out of it with dignity, but the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Alexander Kots believes. “But it seems to me that he will not apologize in front of the camera and shake hands with each of the 33 detainees. I think nothing will be done before the elections, and after that the story will be released slowly”, he suggested.

    The journalist expressed hope that the President of Belarus would soon return the detained Russians to their mother country. “We will be satisfied with any option, even if Lukashenko passes it off it as a gesture of goodwill. The main thing is that all Russian citizens return home unharmed”, Alexander Kots concluded.

    Law enforcement agencies found out that the arrest of 33 Russians in Minsk was one big provocation by the Ukrainian special services. Thus, Kiev wanted to take advantage of the heat of the pre-election Belarusian passions. The presidential elections in Belarus are scheduled for August 9, early voting has been conducted since August 4.

    https://www.vesti.ru/article/2437781?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com%2F%3Ffrom%3Dspecial&utm_campaign=dbr&utm_source=YandexZenSpecial

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    1. Even if this is true And it was all done by Ukraine – it does not explain Lukashenko behaviour.
      He is the one that blew it up and made it into a scandal.
      The fact remains that lukashenko was stoking anti Russian government feelings.

      Like

      1. Yes, that’s absolutely correct, and Lukashenko evidently hopes a few semi-conciliatory statements will make that all go away. Maybe it will, in the interests of ‘brotherhood’, just as Russia will one day forgive Ukraine and re-form a fraternal alliance with it; Ukraine perhaps does not realize it, and some may still hold out dreams of acceptance into the EU and automatic generous pensions and money for nothing and a slow drive down Easy Street. But that is not going to happen, unless the EU suddenly comes into a huge fortune and has money to burn or else the rules of finance change so that you can just print as much money as you want and it still holds its value – the EU can’t afford it.

        I’m sure Moscow is just as keen to implant Kremlin-friendly leaders in countries around the world – with an emphasis on regional powers – as is Washington; they just don’t go about it the same way, with CIA-driven takeovers carried out by the Department of State. One day the wheel will come ’round again, and a candidate more amenable to Russia will stand for election in Ukraine, and win. The American game is to get a western stooge in the driver’s seat and then paint every challenge to his/her leadership as a Kremlin coup attempt. But unless the west is prepared to follow through on its promises of easy money and the good life, ordinary people will eventually awake to the realization that they are no better off under the new master, perhaps a little worse, and have been artfully isolated from fellow Slavs who speak a common language, even as all their native assets are being sold out from under them to foreign investors. There’s a limit to how dumb you can be and still walk around under your own power and recognizance.

        Lukashenko is making a series of disastrous mistakes, and I suppose his plan is to bequeath his private empire to his son while preserving a both-ends-against-the-middle policy which gives the young lad the most options. But what is more likely to happen is the whole Lukashenko family being bundled out of the presidential residence, if he does not wise up. It is not in the nature of modern alliances to allow leaders a generation to make up their minds.

        Like

    1. Ha, ha!! I didn’t even need to look. I did look, of course, to verify my guess, but I guessed Vasiliyeva. She’s starting to rival The Bullshitter himself for attention and acclaim from the west. Lost in the fog of war, no doubt, is the fact that she’s an opthamologist by training and profession – it’s enough that she’s a doctor, doctors know all. Just like nobody in the west knows Navalny was trained as a real-estate lawyer – he’s the Russian F. Lee Bailey.

      Westerners like to be fooled. They like to be told that if they wear a bandana or a cloth mask with a cat-face on it, it will ‘protect others’ from getting an airborne viral infection from them if they are an asymptomatic carrier, and that the ‘science’ now reveals that these viruses are actually carried by ‘droplets’ in their breath which can be stopped by an ordinary piece of cloth. They like to be fooled that the Russians are just trying to run another ambitious con on the world, and are not really close to developing a vaccine, a subject I could not find less interesting anyway since the whole push for a vaccine is a fabricated panic, people will still catch infections every year and some will still die. But most will believe they dodged a bullet. and if not for the vaccine the human race would have been wiped out, themselves included. So it’s important that Americans discover it first, and that everyone else’s vaccine be a cheap hoax; otherwise pharma stocks might not be the new Exxon-Mobil.

      It does not matter very much if a vaccine is discovered, or even if it works, because it is in the nature of viruses to mutate and reshape themselves so as to be able to infect a resistant host. So your new ‘flu-shot’ will protect you until next year – maybe – and then you’ll need another, for the new-new-new coronavirus. And so it will go, virtually cradle to grave, because for some reason kids don’t get it although they are in the group that is least careful of decontamination measures and rolls about in the closest proximity. That is, until it is expedient for it to mutate and begin to take children, because everyone fears for their kids.

      All in all, a truly astounding coup which has resulted in slightly better than half of western society clamoring for more restrictions and greater government regulation which will make it illegal to stick your nose outside your door without a cloth mask on it. I can’t see the new digital-id-cum-virus-passport having much difficulty being accepted in that environment, can you? After all, what’s it worth for all of us to feel really, really safe?

      I forgot to mention yesterday that the paper had included an initiative to make the speed limit on all side streets 40 kph, meaning all residential areas which do not front on a highway. You can hit 40 kph on a bike. There’ll be a trial period, but of course all the old gummers who don’t drive will write in to say what a great thing it is for society and how safe it makes them feel, maybe they’ll live to be 150! The Rise Of The Nanny State – except they only call it ‘nanny state’ when they want to make a cute statement about over-regulation – when they’re being serioous, they call it ‘totalitarianism’.

      the western authorities have finally refined, after several tries, the magic formula that is proof against ‘unwise democratic choices’. Run a massive fear campaign, and get a majority who believe that government is the only thing that will let them have a little bit of the normal life they once had. After that, well, majority rules, bub.

      Like

      1. Fear of commies has run its course, space alien invasion would be too hard to pull off technically as well as to sustain (joking there) but fear of a virus was perfect!

        I think there was a lot of fumbling around on the messaging initially (masks were worthless, remember that?) but they got things dialed in when realizing that masks were a highly visible marker able to create a Pavlovian response in the fear-based portion of the population.

        The fear ideology did not take root in Serbia or Russia from what I understand. However, the Russian vaccine is needed to unwind the mess made by the initial response to the virus – sort of a placation for those people who got in a tizzy over this matter. This is not to say that the vaccine will not have value as it would be appropriate for the elderly and others susceptible to such infections as well as health care workers to prevent transmission to their vulnerable patients.

        There is little doubt that the Russian vaccine would be rejected by the West but it could be a big hit in Iran and possibly India.

        Like

        1. There is little doubt that the Russian vaccine would be rejected by the West but it could be a big hit in Iran and possibly India.

          Well I am in Canada but I doubt I’d go near it without one heck of a forensic medical audit. Iranian and Indian doctors and researchers are unlikely to go near it either.

          The time scale is too short for it to be believable. Assuming Russian researchers started working on Jan 11—China made the SARS-CoV2 sequenced data available to WHO on Jan 10— the idea that they can develop a drug and work through all three Phases of a drug trial in seven and a half months screams scam or blind ignorance on the part of the minister. Hopefully he has just misunderstood what his scientists have told him.

          Here is an RT article about the successful completion of a Phase I trial by University’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology. https://www.rt.com/news/495943-russian-coronavirus-vaccine-breakthrough-sechenov/

          Note Dr. Tarasov’s discussion of a successful Phase I trial. Also if you read it, note that the reporter is cluelessThe problem if you skip a stage is that about the subject area so it is a confusing read.

          This is excellent news and fast progress. There are two more trial phases to go. Usually a Phase I should be the fastest as all it does is do preliminary testing on a small number (20-50?)for safety. It checks to make sure the vaccine does not kill you you or turn you into a vegetable or gibbering idiot. These are extreme results but they happen.

          The next two trials take longer and require much larger numbers of participants. I have heard some suggestions that we might see a vaccine by October but I’m guessing sometime in 2021 if we do see one at all.

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          1. I would give Russian biotech more respect and not characterize their efforts and claims as representing a scam. IIRC, they were successful in developing an Ebola vaccine fairly rapidly. The ability to develop vaccines may be a product of a capability developed to overcome potential biological attacks by bad Western actors (keeping with the parlance of the day).

            The West has a habit of denigrating Russian technology and capability in general (thinking of many examples from their military success in Syria to the Crimea bridge to the Sochi Olympics to the World Cup). Their vaccine effort may or may not come up short but I think they will not embarrass themselves either.

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            1. I would give Russian biotech more respect

              I am sorry, I was not clear. I do not know much about Russian biotech but it seems world class to me. I certainly did not intent to insult Russian biotech researchers.

              I was implying a political scam or straight-forward misunderstanding by the Minister or his advisors. My Russian is at the “Read the street sign” level so I am dependent on mainly English sources and translation can be dicey but I wonder if I am not missing something due to a bad R-> E translation?

              If you read what Dr. Tarasov says in the RT article (if you get over the bad reporting) it is exactly what one expects of a leading research lab. He even points out the 20 years of research that enabled these fast results. And he was discussing a successful Phase I trial morphing into a Phase II which fits the likely time line for a fast response of a top-notch research institute. He is extremely credible.

              It is the minister’s statement, if reported accurately, that is dubious.

              The Crimea bridge? You mean that rickety pile of logs? 🙂

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            2. https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-chooses-less-testing-faster-090237928.html

              “Russia traditionally has been very strong in vaccines,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is financing the vaccine trials, in an interview with NBC News. “The vaccine we have is actually sort of a copycat of an Ebola vaccine that was developed five years ago by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow.”

              According to Dmitriev, who took part in the vaccine’s early clinical trials, Russia’s vaccine was able to race ahead because it is a tweaked version of an earlier vaccine against the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, which first appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and is closely related to COVID-19. The MERS vaccine itself was created by using the Ebola virus as its foundation.

              Russia is moving forward before completing similar trials, a move Dmitriev says is made possible by the fact that Russia’s vaccine — despite being similar to Oxford’s — is based on vaccine technologies already tested in Russia. Both use a so-called adenoviral vector, Dmitriev said. But where Oxford uses a monkey adenovirus, Russia’s vaccine uses a human adenovirus.

              The article also claimed that Russia is not conducting enough trials to ensure safety. Time will tell if the Russian strategy is successful. I will reiterate that Iran may be the first foreign recipient of the vaccine after the urgent demand in Russia has been satisfied. However, with Russia as the likely suppler, the West will feel compelled to offer their vaccine (with strings attached) for propaganda and then expect the offer will be rejected by Iran. Look! Iran is denying its long-suffering population desperately needed help from the West! More sanctions are needed!

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              1. Ah, thanks for that link.

                If they are piggybacking on an Ebola vaccine then that may explain the speed. I am no expert in the field but it makes some sense in that it may cut down bench time greatly, just as Dr Tarasov was pointing out.

                On the other hand I am not reassured that the spokesperson is Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund rather than the head of research. Venture capitalists are not my ideal source of scientific information.

                I will remain dubious until I hear of some scientific publications or, at least pre-prints, and some informed comment.

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              2. EVERYBODY is racing for a vaccine. I submit the difference is that Russia does not expect to profit from it in any significant way, or even for it to gain broad acceptance or recognition. While the western drug companies lathering their horses in pursuit of a vaccine absolutely expect to gain fantastic profits; many countries have reserved options in advance for purchase of millions of doses, and money is apparently no object since price has not even been discussed.

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      2. As a long-time cyclist I applaud the 40km/hr limit though 30km/hr would be much better. Crash survivability for cyclists and pedestrians drops off precipitously at automobile speeds over 30km/hr.

        It might help the old gummers but it helps the 12 year-old crossing the street too. Heck, I have not seen any research on it but it may help keep the family dog alive, assuming a fairly big dog.

        Given that, when cycling, I have at least twice in the last 5 years I have had some half-blind, cretinous, homicidal sociopath driver stare directly at me and then pull out in front of me, I like the idea of anything that may help improve my survival chances.

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        1. Yes, but, you see, interest groups always argue their own corner, and could care less what the other side thinks. There remains a distinct majority that has to use cars to get to work because it’s too far to walk or use a bike (I’d have to leave home about 2 hours before work to make it) or because they don’t fancy balancing six bags of groceries on a bicycle or carrying them while walking, and Victoria is a spiderweb of residential roads before you can get anywhere near a highway. Having no cars on the roads would doubtless please a lot of people, but there are a great deal more who use them and that is supposed to be how a democracy works. But not any more in Canada – it seems to be if you are loud enough and passionate enough, your opinion is given greater weight, equivalent to more votes for you regardless of your numbers. If we are going to abandon ‘democracy’ in favour of loud agitation, fine, say I. Just as long as we know where we are and that everyone has to use the same tactics.

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          1. I am not complaining about cars on the road, that’s for another post. For the foreseeable future they are a necessary evil but come the revolution!

            I am just pointing out a reduced speed-limit in residential and built-up commercial areas may make a lot of sense in terms of cyclist and pedestrian safety, and possibly for car occupants.

            A 40km/hr speed limit on a highway or even a major 4 or 6 lane street is crazy. Everyone there, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians adjust behaviour appropriately.

            BTW have you ever checked your mean speed point to point on those residential streets?

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            1. Cycle Nazis? Cycling is a good form of recreation and may have a utilitarian value. as well. Years ago, I bicycled to work over about a mile although I would just as frequently walk. Speaking of which, those damn cyclists think that they own the sidewalls and the roads! They should be banned from sidewalks without exception. The same applies to most roads.

              Bicycle paths are fairly common in many cities and provide a safe environment for cyclists. Many paths are abandoned rights of ways for railroads (rail infrastructure removed). As such, the paths are level and have a minimum number of street crossings.

              Placing oneself in harm’s way is a personal decision. If a cyclist wishes to create an inherently dangerous situation, so be it, but please be ready to accept the consequences. Slightly tangential to this topic, a manager where I worked those years ago, struck and killed a woman cyclist with her car who was the mother of three children. Although this accident happened after I left the organization, I understand that the the manager was devastated psychologically. I do not know who was at fault.

              Cycling does seem rather dangerous versus the perceived benefit. Given the aggregate miles of bicycle travel, the number of fatalities seem high at 857 versus 4,985 for motorcyclists in the US for 2019.:

              https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety
              https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety

              It would be reasonable to assume that the aggregate miles for motorcycles are many many times greater than for cyclists and involve far more diverse and challenging driving environments. Most people shy away from motorcycles as being too dangerous yet apparently do not realize that cycling (on the streets versus bike paths) may expose the rider to a higher likelihood of serious injury or death. A brief internet search turned up contradictory information so I will simply say cycling is inherently dangerous and efforts to make it less so must be carefully considered

              Hampering the use and efficiency of automobiles is not a cost-effective way to improve rider safety. More “bike only “paths, mandatory helmet use and even licensing of cyclists seem to be reasonable ways to increase rider safety.

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              1. Cycle Nazis?
                I resent that. Cycling socialist please.

                Sorry but now I am no longer polite.
                Your points show that you know nothing at all about cycling.

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                1. No offense intended; just a play on words. Not an expert on cycling but I do know how to ride a bike and, while driving, occasionally see kids on bikes on major roads behaving very badly. My comments, other than the word play, were constructive and balanced in my opinion. This topic has run its course for me.

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                2. I am a cyclist. Not because I am a fitness freak but because I don’t drive — never have done, never will, don’t know how.

                  So I use public transport: electric trains, trams, trolley buses and now electric buses in Moscow.

                  I fly seldom: 5 times to the UK and back in the past 25 years, once to Cyprus and once to France.

                  The electrical power in the part of Russia where I live comes from gas-fired power stations. Most power stations in Russia are gas-fired; most of the remainder are nuclear power stations. There are hydro electrical power stations in Russia, of course. I have never seen a coal-fired power station here, though I am sure there are some.

                  I see plenty of coal exported, though — coal from Siberia that is transported by rail past where I am living now. These coal trains are extremely long and drawn by 4 huge electric locomotives. They go to some port in Latvia and thence the coal is exported to the “green” and “free world”, which green, clean, free world seems to need a lot of the stuff.

                  Some of it even goes to my home country, where I worked as a coal miner and where, ironically, the government closed down all the coal mines, starting with massive close-downs in 1985, which continued relentlessly until the very last and highly profitable British coal mine was closed a couple of years ago.

                  These British coal mines were all deep mines: you had to go down shafts in order to reach the coal seams. These mines were not open-cast excavations, which the media calls “mines”, e.g. “strip mines”, the largest of which is in Wyoming, USA. These “mines” are holes in the ground.

                  For me, a “mine” is underground.

                  Why do they strip coal in Wyoming, in the beautiful clean, green, free world of the West?
                  I thought Wyoming was a beautiful place with Native American reservations, a wide open country with National Parks.

                  Western “Greens”?

                  I’ve shat ‘em!

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              2. IMO cycling only really works if the city’s area is large enough (but not too large) to enable separate cycling paths and networks to be used and which don’t interfere with other forms of traffic including both private and public transport modes. Pedestrian walks and paths have to be separate from cycling paths as well.

                Where I live in northern Sydney, the physical geography is too hilly for cycling to be a viable form of transport for most commuters unless they’re fit enough that they could compete in the Tour de France. There are roads in my area that until the last decade or so people could treat as if they were rollercoasters, they are steep enough. After San Francisco, Sydney is the hilliest city in the world.

                Also Sydney is very spread out with not very many smaller satellite cities between the main CBD / downtown area and the commuter belt. It’s not unusual for people to live more than 20 km and as far as 50 km from the CBD. The situation may change in the post-COVID19 world when it finally dawns on federal, state and local governments that they should have spent money and encouraged more businesses and government agencies in the past to move out of the Big Smoke and into satellite cities, both established places like Parramatta and suburbs that look as if they may become future urban nodes.

                So the paradox is that cycling as a major form of transport works when a city is large enough to support the infrastructure but is not so large that other forms of transport look more attractive and convenient. Population density and the mix of housing types (apartment blocks, townhouses and duplex-style housing versus stand-alone housing blocks) become important factors as well.

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              3. I have been on both sides; when I was in the military I cycled to and from work daily, about 24 km total per day. When I worked construction downtown, it was a little further.

                The thing that irritated me most as a cyclist, about car drivers, is that when I was going down a hill in some areas, I could easily reach or exceed the speed limit. But cars would have to pass me, just because I was a bicycle. They didn’t need to go any faster because they would be speeding, but they would do it because it is like a law or something that a car cannot be behind a bicycle. When you are going that fast on two wheels, you do not need some asshole on four trying to squeeze by you.

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                1. The same happens here. And the other day, I was cycling back from the nearest “settlement” (they have various classes of human habitation here: not a village, not a town, just a рабочий посёлок [worker settlement])— a railway station with what I would call a “hamlet” surrounding it, which has a market and a couple of supermarkets — and quite quickly in top gear on a good asphalt surface, when some boorish motorist overtook me much too closely and shouted out of the window: “Get off the road!”

                  About 200 yards ahead, he turned off to the left and I was sorely tempted to follow him, and if he had parked up, I would have had the strong urge to flop him, my advanced years notwithstanding.

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                2. As I said drivers !
                  Here in in Ontario there in no speed limit for bicycles (or wheelchairs for that matter) or there was not the last time I checked the code .

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            2. Perhaps I was unintentionally misleading. There is no intent that I have ever heard of to reduce the speed limit on highways or major arteries, and on the highway in Victoria the maximum is 90. That sounds fast, but it’s in kilometers, which is only, what? 65 mph? When I was a lad and we used miles per hour and car speedometers were calibrated in that scale, only old ladies drove less than 50 mph.

              When I am driving in the residential area in which I live, I try to stay down around 40, but I find it painfully slow. There is one area in which the local authorities arbitrarily reduced the speed to 30, and that is painful. My wife got a speeding ticket there last year, because the police like to slot in between two parked cars so you can’t see them, and peer through the bushes with their little radar gun. I am sure she was not going very fast because she’s a careful driver, but their aim was likely to drive home the point that for a few blocks, the limit is now 10 kph less. The reason? There’s a little park there, where kids play, and a crosswalk. Apparently 40 kph is like psycho speed or something, and was judged to be far too dangerous. So far as I am aware, nobody has ever been killed there or even injured. But the nanny state loves to invent hazards that it can eliminate, rersulting in the impression of cocoon-like safety.

              Anyway, it accomplished its purpose, I suppose, because now I don’t drive through that area any more; I take a side street and avoid it altogether. A narrow side street, whereas the area where the little park is is a wide boulevard with plenty of illumination and good visibility.

              I have gotten one speeding ticket in the last 20 years – coincidentally, just a week or two after my wife. I picked up my daughter from school, and we were headed to a restaurant to celebrate the first day of school. I should have known the cops would be swarming like flies, because the first day of school is their day to bust speeders so they can show that it’s all about the kids. I exceeded the limit while rolling downhill, what a criminal.

              There was a horrible accident here a year or two ago, in which a little girl was struck by a car as she was crossing a residential street. However, the driver in that case, a girl, was doing over 90, texting at the same time and had pulled out around other cars which had stopped to let the child cross. That’s the kind of reckless driving that everybody wants to see curtailed.

              Here’s the article on the reduced speed limit.

              https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/speed-limit-could-drop-to-40-km-h-in-three-year-side-roads-test-1.24181791

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                1. Yes, that’s right; I don’t know what I was thinking – 100 kph is supposed to be 65 mph, or so it is registered on speedometers which are calibrated for both. Even that is a bit of a cheat on the side of ‘safety’ – it’s a bit over 62 mph.

                  There actually is a stretch of highway on Vancouver Island where the legal limit is 110, and I was surprised to learn (you can find anything on the Internet) that it used to be 120! But 110 kph is only around 74 mph, which is kid stuff; when I was a new driver in Nova Scotia, the ordinary highway limit was 80 mph, which is a tear-assing 128 kph, which I am pretty sure you cannot find anywhere in Canada now – not even on the Jean Lesage Parkway in Quebec, which runs straight as a die for miles and miles so that you could drive at 120 kph and steer with your knees.

                  https://www.vicnews.com/news/inland-island-highway-speed-reduced-to-110-km-h-from-parksville-to-campbell-river/

                  For what I am sure are obvious reasons in today’s climate of silly fear and advocacy, I am suspicious of anything the authorities try to sell as ‘for your own safety’, and do not believe without checking that ‘crashes were on the rise’ and do not believe at all that there is a significant survival differential between a crash at 110 kph and one at 120 kph. It is pretty much transparent to me anyway, because I would not see permission to drive at 120 kph as an imperative to do so, and I seldom exceed 100 kph now. But it seems silly to build cars that will go over 200 kph and fit them with speedometers that display those speeds if there is nowhere in the country you can go faster than 110 kph.

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  66. This article by Dejevsky in the Independent (wall) really pisses me off:

    We have perhaps come to the final chapter of the Soviet Union. What’s next for Belarus?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/voices/soviet-union-belarus-alexander-lukashenko-svetlana-tikhanovskaya-election-a9657686.h

    The journalist goes on and in about how former Soviet republics declared their independence from the Evil Empire, aka the USSR, and the last of such states to do this will be Belorus.

    I wish to fuck journalists would get this right — and Dejevsky of all people bloody well should have!

    RUSSIA” also declared independence from theSoviet Union as did other Soviet republics, in that “Russia” was the RSFSR — the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic —and was also one of the Soviet republics, albeit the biggest of them by far.

    The present “independent Russia” is the Russian Federation, which was previously the RSFSR.

    This pig ignorance as regards what is meant by the word “Russia” drives me mad, because Western propagandists always treat that word as synonymous with the USSR.

    And one thing these Western propagandists hardly ever mention is that the “independent Russia” took on all the debts of the former Soviet republics, which all started off their glorious independence from “Russia/USSR” with a clean sheet and which independent former SU republics are all now, by the way, near bankrupt (the Ukraine IS bankrupt in reality!), the generosity of the former RSFSR notwithstanding.

    Present day Russia — INDEPENDENT RUSSIA —also is legally the inheritor state to the USSR.

    Russia accepts its inheritance, warts and all, which is very convenient for the other former Soviet republics — especially Yukie Svidomites, who can claim for example, that they liberated Auschwitz but can shrug off Western propaganda as regards “Russian” bestiality in WWII by saying: “Not us! The Russians did that! They did the same to us! They occupied our country …” etc., etc.

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  67. Well, well: it was not Skripal who was the source of Russian ‘information’ used in the Steele Dossier. No – apparently it was Igor Danchenko, a former Brookings Institute analyst with a somewhat colourful past.

    “The 42-year-old Danchenko, who was hired by Steele in 2016 to deploy a network of sources to dig up dirt on Trump and Russia for the Hillary Clinton campaign, was arrested, jailed and convicted years earlier on multiple public drunkenness and disorderly conduct charges in the Washington area and ordered to undergo substance-abuse and mental-health counseling, according to criminal records.”

    You know, stuff like this doesn’t even really surprise me anymore.

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/07/24/meet_steele_dossiers_primary_subsource_fabulist_russian_at_us_think_tank_whose_boozy_past_the_fbi_ignored_124601.html

    Originally sourced from Patrick’s recent Russia Sitrep.

    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2020/08/06/russian-federation-sitrep-6-august-2020/

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  68. 9 August, 13:02

    Александр Лукашенко рассказал о письме Владимира Путина на 5 страницах

    https://www.kp.ru/daily/217166.5/4267128/

    Alexander Lukashenko spoke about Vladimir Putin’s 5-page letter
    And about how relations with Russia will be built in the future

    The current president of Belarus has given details of his telephone conversation (it took place on Friday, August 7) ​​with Vladimir Putin. And he answered how relations with Moscow would be built in the future.

    “Relations will be built as normal”, Lukashenko said. “Yes, I reproached Russia for switching from fraternal to partnership relations. But the President of Russia (in a telephone conversation – ed.) Clearly stated: “We will build fraternal relations with you. And what is happening, Alexander Grigorievich, let’s figure it out in detail. I will send you the information that we have today”.

    The President of Belarus said that the next day he received a letter from Putin, “In my opinion, five pages. With a statement of all the facts”. This means the point of view of Moscow — what actually could happen to the 33 Russians detained in Minsk.

    “Komsomolskaya Pravda” wrote about this in detail with reference to its sources in the special services in the article: “The arrest of 33 Russians in Minsk has turned out to be a provocation of the Ukrainian special services”.

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  69. CRap via Antiwar.com: Is France helping Lebanon, or trying to reconquer it?
    https://apnews.com/8eab366aa599b101eb2aad10f9e6528d

    It was almost as if Emmanuel Macron forgot that Lebanon is no longer a French protectorate.

    Visiting explosion-ravaged Beirut this week, France’s leader comforted distraught crowds, promised to rebuild the city and claimed that the blast pierced France’s own heart. “France will never let Lebanon go,” Macron said. “The heart of the French people still beats to the pulse of Beirut.”…

    …But to many, the visit was seen as patronizing. Some lashed out at the petition and those celebrating “France, the tender mother.”….
    ####

    It’s low-hanging political capital for €µ and a welcome distraction from COVID-19 and other problems back home. If you want, it it the personficition of Le coq gallois (the Rooster, France’s unofficial symbol). Arrogant, preening etc. I much prefer La Marianne because french politicians can really be gigantic tits!*

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne#Models

    …From 1969, however, they began to take on the features of famous women, starting with the actress Brigitte Bardot.[3] She was followed by Mireille Mathieu (1978), Catherine Deneuve (1985), Inès de La Fressange (1989), Laetitia Casta (2000) and Évelyne Thomas (2003)…

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    1. Micron seems to expect to be received with ecstatic screams everywhere he goes. He’s not even the statesman Sarkozy was, and I reckoned Sarkozy was an eejit. Micron just gets caught up in his own emotional rhetoric. Mind you, there’s a small possibility he is playing it smart, because countries around the world are pledging disaster aid to help get Lebanon back on its feet, and perhaps Micron figures France can stake its claim early while everyone else helps pay for it. But France has plenty of problems of its own without running off to play absentee landowner.

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  70. RT.com: White NYT reporter tells black people they didn’t vote for Hillary in sufficient numbers because Russia duped them
    https://www.rt.com/usa/497547-russia-duped-black-voters-perlroth/

    https://twitter.com/aaronjmate/status/1292637512813481984?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    So, it wasn’t that some black voters possibly genuinely disliked Clinton or disagreed with her policies. There can only be one explanation for the decision of many to stay home, and it’s the same answer that Clinton herself and other Democrats often turn to when explaining undesirable outcomes that might otherwise be attributed to their own shortcomings: It’s Russia, obviously….
    ####

    Well that is spektakula!

    Will she a) simply make a short apology; b) fake apologize (aka gaslight) that her words/intent were ‘misunderstood’; c) stay silent; d) be fired (no!); or e) cancel herself? Or some other half-shite?

    This is the problem with the Hate Russia/Russia’s Fault cult. The person themself may be perfectly normal, but when everyone around you says it and it is normalized, you are primed, charged and become an active participant promoter.

    Apart from that, this is yet another clear example that politicians will say one thing to your face/political grouping and something entirely different behind your back. They still want your vote. Scum.

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