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    The killing of three people in the south of France by a man claiming allegiance to Isis will make people doubt if this murderous cult is as dead as governments had announced and people had hoped. The answer is that the attack in the Carcassonne region by a single gunman, said to be a Moroccan...
  • ISIS fighters should not be allowed to surrender. Eliminating them would help cleanse the gene pool of its stupidest elements.

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  • It’s only a force where Muslims are. Like rape gangs that abuse tens of thousands of girls. Neither would be a problem if there were no Muslims living here.

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  • So it looks like the British reaction to The Skripal Affair is assuming very serious proportions, especially with the most recent allegations that the nerve agent in question was Novichok. (Incidentally, it is a gas so potent - an order of magnitude more so than VX - that carpet bombing a middle-sized city with it...
  • @Randal

    People here love to believe only critical, free thinkers tend to gather here. No.
     
    Do many people think that?

    I would have thought most simply recognise that the zealots of both sides on pretty much any issue are free to make their points here. Which is the whole point of free speech of course.

    Does that particularly attract "critical freethinkers". Well yes, but no more than it attracts zealots, especially of causes that are elsewhere censored and their arguments suppressed.

    The only redeeming, and I keep admitting, great factor is the owner and the mods.

    That’s the only difference when you compare this zine with the rest of the Internet, or public written/spoken word. Opposing views are, still, allowed.
     
    Yes.

    Zealots and free/critical thinkers only, you say, apparently.
    Not……..quite that simple.

    You also have a “healthy” dose of egomaniacs, weirdos, creeps, sociopaths, and, I just have a feeling, even a couple of pure psychopaths.

    Honestly, often the best part visiting this site is “watching” all that…. mini-society. And people posting here, at least, have some brains, expertise, skills, attitude. And then you look around in “real” life.
    And, one person, one vote.
    Great, a?

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  • @peterAUS
    I think you are missing the point here.

    The start of the point is the concentrated effort by the "Team Russia" here. Nor that important, though.

    The point is that we see here the same approach we see from "teams", fanboys and groupies everywhere. Everywhere.

    People here love to believe only critical, free thinkers tend to gather here. No.

    Bottom line: we.........here....are as full of shit as everywhere else.
    Agendas, egos, fanboys, groupies and the rest of human (psych ) excrement.
    Including me, of course.

    The only redeeming, and I keep admitting, great factor is the owner and the mods.

    That's the only difference when you compare this zine with the rest of the Internet, or public written/spoken word. Opposing views are, still, allowed.

    All the rest........hehe....not much reason to be too proud about.

    People here love to believe only critical, free thinkers tend to gather here. No.

    Do many people think that?

    I would have thought most simply recognise that the zealots of both sides on pretty much any issue are free to make their points here. Which is the whole point of free speech of course.

    Does that particularly attract “critical freethinkers”. Well yes, but no more than it attracts zealots, especially of causes that are elsewhere censored and their arguments suppressed.

    The only redeeming, and I keep admitting, great factor is the owner and the mods.

    That’s the only difference when you compare this zine with the rest of the Internet, or public written/spoken word. Opposing views are, still, allowed.

    Yes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Zealots and free/critical thinkers only, you say, apparently.
    Not........quite that simple.

    You also have a "healthy" dose of egomaniacs, weirdos, creeps, sociopaths, and, I just have a feeling, even a couple of pure psychopaths.

    Honestly, often the best part visiting this site is "watching" all that.... mini-society. And people posting here, at least, have some brains, expertise, skills, attitude. And then you look around in "real" life.
    And, one person, one vote.
    Great, a?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    Just for the record, let me draw your attention to the fact that for example yours truly never said it was impossible that the Russians did it. I just had my doubts about such a quick proclamation of guilt before the investigation was over. Also the behavior of the UK raised some suspicions.

    At this moment I have my doubts about the Russians, too. They deny ever having developed (or trying to develop) such weapons. Which I tend to believe to be untrue.

    I think you are missing the point here.

    The start of the point is the concentrated effort by the “Team Russia” here. Nor that important, though.

    The point is that we see here the same approach we see from “teams”, fanboys and groupies everywhere. Everywhere.

    People here love to believe only critical, free thinkers tend to gather here. No.

    Bottom line: we………here….are as full of shit as everywhere else.
    Agendas, egos, fanboys, groupies and the rest of human (psych ) excrement.
    Including me, of course.

    The only redeeming, and I keep admitting, great factor is the owner and the mods.

    That’s the only difference when you compare this zine with the rest of the Internet, or public written/spoken word. Opposing views are, still, allowed.

    All the rest……..hehe….not much reason to be too proud about.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    People here love to believe only critical, free thinkers tend to gather here. No.
     
    Do many people think that?

    I would have thought most simply recognise that the zealots of both sides on pretty much any issue are free to make their points here. Which is the whole point of free speech of course.

    Does that particularly attract "critical freethinkers". Well yes, but no more than it attracts zealots, especially of causes that are elsewhere censored and their arguments suppressed.

    The only redeeming, and I keep admitting, great factor is the owner and the mods.

    That’s the only difference when you compare this zine with the rest of the Internet, or public written/spoken word. Opposing views are, still, allowed.
     
    Yes.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS
    It can't be RF security services and related outfits. Especially those where the line between the state and organized crime gets blurred. Just can not.

    It's all dem Joos, closely working with US Deep State with a little help from M.I-5, 6, S.A.S. and the rest of H.M.G. related acronyms.

    Just.......not..........Russians. Ever.

    Or at least that's what the majority here will explain to you, shortly.

    Just for the record, let me draw your attention to the fact that for example yours truly never said it was impossible that the Russians did it. I just had my doubts about such a quick proclamation of guilt before the investigation was over. Also the behavior of the UK raised some suspicions.

    At this moment I have my doubts about the Russians, too. They deny ever having developed (or trying to develop) such weapons. Which I tend to believe to be untrue.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    I think you are missing the point here.

    The start of the point is the concentrated effort by the "Team Russia" here. Nor that important, though.

    The point is that we see here the same approach we see from "teams", fanboys and groupies everywhere. Everywhere.

    People here love to believe only critical, free thinkers tend to gather here. No.

    Bottom line: we.........here....are as full of shit as everywhere else.
    Agendas, egos, fanboys, groupies and the rest of human (psych ) excrement.
    Including me, of course.

    The only redeeming, and I keep admitting, great factor is the owner and the mods.

    That's the only difference when you compare this zine with the rest of the Internet, or public written/spoken word. Opposing views are, still, allowed.

    All the rest........hehe....not much reason to be too proud about.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    The death of Gareth Williams has been brought up on a closed Hungarian discussion group. His death is also attributed to the Russians.

    It's now also a topic du jour in the UK:

    Did Vladimir Putin order execution of British 'Spy in Bag' found dead in MI6 safehouse?

    THE investigation into the death of "Spy in the Bag" Gareth Williams should be re-opened to see if there was any Russian involvement in the mysterious case, an MP has claimed. Chris Evans, MP for Islwyn in South Wales, has said the bizarre circumstances surrounding the death of Welshman Gareth Williams should be re-examined in the wake of the Salisbury nerve gas attack.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/932861/UK-Russia-Vladimir-Putin-kill-Spy-in-Bag-Gareth-Williams-Sergei-Skripal
     

    I can easily imagine it was done by them. It has the fingerprints of a professional intelligence service on it, which is to say, no fingerprints at all. It’s interesting that it caused no hysteria at all. But I guess Putin just couldn’t resist doing something eviler.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    The death of Gareth Williams has been brought up on a closed Hungarian discussion group. His death is also attributed to the Russians. To be honest, I can imagine that it was so. But how very different it was! No nuclear isotope was used. He might have been poisoned (even, who knows, Novichok?), but no trace of the poison was found. (I don’t know if Novichok is easy to detect.) The victim was killed in his own home, under mysterious circumstances, no civilians were killed or injured. His death was found out days later. His body was inside a plastic bag (which I guess hastened decomposition). Again, difficult to detect.

    Anyway, it caused very little scandal (it certainly escaped me at the time) and no diplomatic retaliation. I guess this is how an intelligence service might kill someone, though there’s no conclusive evidence that it was the Russian (or any other) intelligence service who killed him. Such lack of evidence is also part of the fingerprint of an intelligence service (or other professional murderers), I guess.

    Polonium, or a very unique (yet ineffectual) nerve gas, on the other hand... not so much.

    The death of Gareth Williams has been brought up on a closed Hungarian discussion group. His death is also attributed to the Russians.

    It’s now also a topic du jour in the UK:

    Did Vladimir Putin order execution of British ‘Spy in Bag’ found dead in MI6 safehouse?

    THE investigation into the death of “Spy in the Bag” Gareth Williams should be re-opened to see if there was any Russian involvement in the mysterious case, an MP has claimed. Chris Evans, MP for Islwyn in South Wales, has said the bizarre circumstances surrounding the death of Welshman Gareth Williams should be re-examined in the wake of the Salisbury nerve gas attack.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/932861/UK-Russia-Vladimir-Putin-kill-Spy-in-Bag-Gareth-Williams-Sergei-Skripal

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I can easily imagine it was done by them. It has the fingerprints of a professional intelligence service on it, which is to say, no fingerprints at all. It’s interesting that it caused no hysteria at all. But I guess Putin just couldn’t resist doing something eviler.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sean

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/16/counter-terror-police-launched-murder-investigation-confirming/

    A fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, who was found dead at his south London home earlier this week, was murdered, police have said, amid fears of a second Russia-sponsored attack on British soil.

    Businessman, Nikolai Glushkov, 68, who was granted asylum in the UK after fleeing Moscow in 2006, was strangled to death, Scotland Yard has confirmed.

    The former right-hand man of deceased oligarch, Boris Berezovsky, his death came just over a week after Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury.

    The former boss of the state airline Aeroflot, Mr Glushkov had told friends he feared he was on a Kremlin hit-list. Wish suspicion falling again on Moscow, police have reportedly started contacting a number of Russian exiles to discuss their safety.
     
    The Russian deep state is staging a series of provocations and trying to make the West turn its back on Russia.

    It can’t be RF security services and related outfits. Especially those where the line between the state and organized crime gets blurred. Just can not.

    It’s all dem Joos, closely working with US Deep State with a little help from M.I-5, 6, S.A.S. and the rest of H.M.G. related acronyms.

    Just…….not……….Russians. Ever.

    Or at least that’s what the majority here will explain to you, shortly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Just for the record, let me draw your attention to the fact that for example yours truly never said it was impossible that the Russians did it. I just had my doubts about such a quick proclamation of guilt before the investigation was over. Also the behavior of the UK raised some suspicions.

    At this moment I have my doubts about the Russians, too. They deny ever having developed (or trying to develop) such weapons. Which I tend to believe to be untrue.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Dmitry
    The Western actions, are the 'unknown' part of the equation.

    But I have some faith that they are not so crazy as they might sometimes appear. The UK itself, even with a hysteria in the media atmosphere, will I think not take any serious actions. Their economy relies on Russia money. There's an article on vox.com today which analyses that the UK cannot take any serious economic actions, because they would undermine their own economy which does that. They cite a figure of tens of billions of dollars a year of trade with the UK economy.

    One can certainly hope so. But there’s the cautionary tale of the First World War.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    I don’t believe Russians would initiate the conflict itself, but I can imagine them first using nuclear weapons.

    Anyway, let’s hope we won’t find out.

    The Western actions, are the ‘unknown’ part of the equation.

    But I have some faith that they are not so crazy as they might sometimes appear. The UK itself, even with a hysteria in the media atmosphere, will I think not take any serious actions. Their economy relies on Russia money. There’s an article on vox.com today which analyses that the UK cannot take any serious economic actions, because they would undermine their own economy which does that. They cite a figure of tens of billions of dollars a year of trade with the UK economy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    One can certainly hope so. But there’s the cautionary tale of the First World War.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The death of Gareth Williams has been brought up on a closed Hungarian discussion group. His death is also attributed to the Russians. To be honest, I can imagine that it was so. But how very different it was! No nuclear isotope was used. He might have been poisoned (even, who knows, Novichok?), but no trace of the poison was found. (I don’t know if Novichok is easy to detect.) The victim was killed in his own home, under mysterious circumstances, no civilians were killed or injured. His death was found out days later. His body was inside a plastic bag (which I guess hastened decomposition). Again, difficult to detect.

    Anyway, it caused very little scandal (it certainly escaped me at the time) and no diplomatic retaliation. I guess this is how an intelligence service might kill someone, though there’s no conclusive evidence that it was the Russian (or any other) intelligence service who killed him. Such lack of evidence is also part of the fingerprint of an intelligence service (or other professional murderers), I guess.

    Polonium, or a very unique (yet ineffectual) nerve gas, on the other hand… not so much.

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    The death of Gareth Williams has been brought up on a closed Hungarian discussion group. His death is also attributed to the Russians.

    It's now also a topic du jour in the UK:

    Did Vladimir Putin order execution of British 'Spy in Bag' found dead in MI6 safehouse?

    THE investigation into the death of "Spy in the Bag" Gareth Williams should be re-opened to see if there was any Russian involvement in the mysterious case, an MP has claimed. Chris Evans, MP for Islwyn in South Wales, has said the bizarre circumstances surrounding the death of Welshman Gareth Williams should be re-examined in the wake of the Salisbury nerve gas attack.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/932861/UK-Russia-Vladimir-Putin-kill-Spy-in-Bag-Gareth-Williams-Sergei-Skripal
     
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Dmitry

    I guess they’d repatriate their citizens (especially their own children) right before it starts.

    In 1917 the German Kaiser OK’d sending hundreds of revolutionaries to Russia, who would then go on to execute his cousin the Empress. In any event, the elites truly had little reason to hate each other, certainly less than the little rubes, who at least weren’t that closely related to each other and even had different customs, like a Russian vs. a German peasant certainly had different clothes etc. The Russian and the German emperors, on the other hand, were probably much more similar to each other in any respect. Both were of German blood…
     
    And why would you want to repatriate all your children, after your family invested fortunes in tuition fee and property in the country. It's a completely undesirable situation.

    There won't be any crazy or irrational moves from the Russian-side, because the situation of 'small conflict' is exactly what is wanted.

    A low-level of conflict with the West is desirable, and is felt a politically and culturally beneficial.

    But a high-level conflict with the West is undesirable, since it will start to lower seriously living standards of the decision makers.

    At the same time, a lack of conflict is also undesirable, and would be felt as dissolving a lot of government raison d'etre, and threat to the image of independent country and culture.

    -

    Relation between Russia and West, is similar to relation between Jews and antisemitism.

    Jewish community does not want to be loved and embraced by non-Jews, because this would be a threat to their identity and lead to complete dissolution of their separate identity. If you try to embrace them too much, they will not react positively. (You saw recently the fake news circulated about Putin).

    At the same time, Jewish community does not want to be hated, to the extent that they will be murdered like in the Muslim world, or too much lowered the quality of life.

    The ideal situation for Jewish community, is a mild level of antisemitism - not too much, not too little.

    Something like this is how Russia's decision makers - like to relate to the West. Not embraced and loved, and not hated and at war.

    The ideal is a mild conflict. Nobody wants to escalate to a big conflict, and neither do they want a happy peace and lack of all conflict (which would be felt as some kind of subjugation).

    As for the Western side, that is a different matter, and if any crazy moves come, it will be from their side.

    I don’t believe Russians would initiate the conflict itself, but I can imagine them first using nuclear weapons.

    Anyway, let’s hope we won’t find out.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    The Western actions, are the 'unknown' part of the equation.

    But I have some faith that they are not so crazy as they might sometimes appear. The UK itself, even with a hysteria in the media atmosphere, will I think not take any serious actions. Their economy relies on Russia money. There's an article on vox.com today which analyses that the UK cannot take any serious economic actions, because they would undermine their own economy which does that. They cite a figure of tens of billions of dollars a year of trade with the UK economy.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Interesting…

    https://www.rt.com/news/421591-uk-produce-novichok-agent/

    The substance used in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal may have originated from the countries studying the “Novichok” nerve agent, including the UK, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Sweden, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

    The most likely source of origin of the toxin are the countries which have been carrying out intense research on the substances from the ‘Novichok’ program, approximately since the end of the 1990s until the present time, and this project is not the creation of Russia or the Soviet Union,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday. She listed the UK, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Sweden among the countries involved.

    The US should also “be put under question,” Zakharova said in an interview with the state broadcaster VGTRK.

    “How did they come to the conclusion about a Russian ‘footprint’ if they didn’t give us those samples? Logically they shouldn’t have this substance. Which samples have they compared with to draw such a conclusion?” she went on. “Questions arise: then, they should have samples, which they conceal, or it is a lie from start to finish.”

    “If the UK prime minister and other British experts give the formula, then it will be clear which countries have been developing these agents,” Zakharova said.

    Zakharova’s remarks echo those of Russia’s representative at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Aleksandr Shulgin, who said the ‘Novichok’ research was taken out of the Soviet Union following its collapse. While Shulgin didn’t name where the program was smuggled, he said the source of the substance used in Salisbury is “concealed in one of the countries where this research continued and achieved certain success.”

    Earlier, the OPCW said none of its member states has declared possession of the Novichok group of nerve agents.

    The Russian-UK double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned on March 4. Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of being responsible, with a major diplomatic row deepening.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    I guess they'd repatriate their citizens (especially their own children) right before it starts.

    In 1917 the German Kaiser OK'd sending hundreds of revolutionaries to Russia, who would then go on to execute his cousin the Empress. In any event, the elites truly had little reason to hate each other, certainly less than the little rubes, who at least weren't that closely related to each other and even had different customs, like a Russian vs. a German peasant certainly had different clothes etc. The Russian and the German emperors, on the other hand, were probably much more similar to each other in any respect. Both were of German blood...

    I guess they’d repatriate their citizens (especially their own children) right before it starts.

    In 1917 the German Kaiser OK’d sending hundreds of revolutionaries to Russia, who would then go on to execute his cousin the Empress. In any event, the elites truly had little reason to hate each other, certainly less than the little rubes, who at least weren’t that closely related to each other and even had different customs, like a Russian vs. a German peasant certainly had different clothes etc. The Russian and the German emperors, on the other hand, were probably much more similar to each other in any respect. Both were of German blood…

    And why would you want to repatriate all your children, after your family invested fortunes in tuition fee and property in the country. It’s a completely undesirable situation.

    There won’t be any crazy or irrational moves from the Russian-side, because the situation of ‘small conflict’ is exactly what is wanted.

    A low-level of conflict with the West is desirable, and is felt a politically and culturally beneficial.

    But a high-level conflict with the West is undesirable, since it will start to lower seriously living standards of the decision makers.

    At the same time, a lack of conflict is also undesirable, and would be felt as dissolving a lot of government raison d’etre, and threat to the image of independent country and culture.

    -

    Relation between Russia and West, is similar to relation between Jews and antisemitism.

    Jewish community does not want to be loved and embraced by non-Jews, because this would be a threat to their identity and lead to complete dissolution of their separate identity. If you try to embrace them too much, they will not react positively. (You saw recently the fake news circulated about Putin).

    At the same time, Jewish community does not want to be hated, to the extent that they will be murdered like in the Muslim world, or too much lowered the quality of life.

    The ideal situation for Jewish community, is a mild level of antisemitism – not too much, not too little.

    Something like this is how Russia’s decision makers – like to relate to the West. Not embraced and loved, and not hated and at war.

    The ideal is a mild conflict. Nobody wants to escalate to a big conflict, and neither do they want a happy peace and lack of all conflict (which would be felt as some kind of subjugation).

    As for the Western side, that is a different matter, and if any crazy moves come, it will be from their side.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I don’t believe Russians would initiate the conflict itself, but I can imagine them first using nuclear weapons.

    Anyway, let’s hope we won’t find out.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    Because they see all Russian military actions as aggressions, they therefore also think that it is the Russians who are responsible for any military confrontation that might follow. If you try to argue with Atlanticists that an attack on Russian forces might result in a nuclear war, then they reply that “Wow, Putin is such a madman! Truly like Hitler! Only to continue his aggression, he is willing to start a nuclear war!” Then they will be even more committed to confronting the “madman.” (It has actually happened to me in an IRL argument.) They don’t even realize that it’s them and not the Russians who is committing aggression. As you wrote, like little children. Or psychopaths.

    That’s why it’s crucial to fight against the establishment-controlled, corporate Western MSM of today. Today’s Western (Anglosphere + West Europe) MSM is the PRIME AGENT in deceiving, dumbing down and zombifying entire populaces, and making sure that their understanding of world events stays at sub-kindergarten level (what the kindergartens of a normal, sane society would be, that is….) Without the collusion and participation of this MSM, most of the evil crap wouldn’t work. Today’s Western MSM deals in lies, fabrications, Orwellian black-is-white concepts, hypocrisy, deliberately-fostered cognitive dissonance, ignorance, mass emotional manipulation, mass psychopathy – and above all, constant hate, war propaganda, and pushing of a semi-covert agenda at all times. It does NOT practice honest, fact-based journalism (except in reporting some strictly local happenings). Ideally, the bulk of today’s Western MSM should be shut down or radically restructured; and the lying criminal presstitutes hitherto forming the majority of its “reporters” and editors should receive appropriate punishment.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/16/counter-terror-police-launched-murder-investigation-confirming/

    A fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, who was found dead at his south London home earlier this week, was murdered, police have said, amid fears of a second Russia-sponsored attack on British soil.

    Businessman, Nikolai Glushkov, 68, who was granted asylum in the UK after fleeing Moscow in 2006, was strangled to death, Scotland Yard has confirmed.

    The former right-hand man of deceased oligarch, Boris Berezovsky, his death came just over a week after Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury.

    The former boss of the state airline Aeroflot, Mr Glushkov had told friends he feared he was on a Kremlin hit-list. Wish suspicion falling again on Moscow, police have reportedly started contacting a number of Russian exiles to discuss their safety.

    The Russian deep state is staging a series of provocations and trying to make the West turn its back on Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    It can't be RF security services and related outfits. Especially those where the line between the state and organized crime gets blurred. Just can not.

    It's all dem Joos, closely working with US Deep State with a little help from M.I-5, 6, S.A.S. and the rest of H.M.G. related acronyms.

    Just.......not..........Russians. Ever.

    Or at least that's what the majority here will explain to you, shortly.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Because they see all Russian military actions as aggressions, they therefore also think that it is the Russians who are responsible for any military confrontation that might follow. If you try to argue with Atlanticists that an attack on Russian forces might result in a nuclear war, then they reply that “Wow, Putin is such a madman! Truly like Hitler! Only to continue his aggression, he is willing to start a nuclear war!” Then they will be even more committed to confronting the “madman.” (It has actually happened to me in an IRL argument.) They don’t even realize that it’s them and not the Russians who is committing aggression. As you wrote, like little children. Or psychopaths.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Parbes
    That's why it's crucial to fight against the establishment-controlled, corporate Western MSM of today. Today's Western (Anglosphere + West Europe) MSM is the PRIME AGENT in deceiving, dumbing down and zombifying entire populaces, and making sure that their understanding of world events stays at sub-kindergarten level (what the kindergartens of a normal, sane society would be, that is....) Without the collusion and participation of this MSM, most of the evil crap wouldn't work. Today's Western MSM deals in lies, fabrications, Orwellian black-is-white concepts, hypocrisy, deliberately-fostered cognitive dissonance, ignorance, mass emotional manipulation, mass psychopathy - and above all, constant hate, war propaganda, and pushing of a semi-covert agenda at all times. It does NOT practice honest, fact-based journalism (except in reporting some strictly local happenings). Ideally, the bulk of today's Western MSM should be shut down or radically restructured; and the lying criminal presstitutes hitherto forming the majority of its "reporters" and editors should receive appropriate punishment.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @dfordoom

    I also believe that in their minds the Russian intervention in Syria is somehow an “aggression.” Just as the Georgian War is now a “Russian aggression,” too.
     
    Because the Russians are the Black Hats and they're evil so everything Russia does has to be an aggression.

    When you're considering U.S. foreign policy you have to remember that you're dealing with people who see the world the way small children see it.

    people who see the world the way small children see it.

    Small children or psychopaths.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    By “casualties,” I meant “losing a few planes while destroying the whole Russian expeditionary force, after which Putin will fold.” I have heard this argument. The Wagner incident was also used as an example of how Putin won’t do anything.

    I also believe that in their minds the Russian intervention in Syria is somehow an “aggression.” Just as the Georgian War is now a “Russian aggression,” too.

    I also believe that in their minds the Russian intervention in Syria is somehow an “aggression.” Just as the Georgian War is now a “Russian aggression,” too.

    Because the Russians are the Black Hats and they’re evil so everything Russia does has to be an aggression.

    When you’re considering U.S. foreign policy you have to remember that you’re dealing with people who see the world the way small children see it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    people who see the world the way small children see it.
     
    Small children or psychopaths.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @dfordoom

    One additional thought. You wrote that it felt like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. I agree, but it seems like it isn’t really Syria in the crosshairs, but rather it’s Russia. The hysteria is ramped ever higher. Which is needed, because I guess in case they truly got into a military confrontation with Russia, they would truly have to expect some casualties, and make the public accept it.
     
    But the problem is that many Americans, including politicians, media types and even ordinary people, genuinely believe that defeating Russia will be just as easy as defeating Iraq. It will be Desert Storm all over again. They believe that American casualties will be negligible and that the Russians will simply collapse. They really believe that.

    So they don't believe they're running any real risk by provoking war with Russia.

    Ordinary Americans aren't worried because they've been told it will be a cakewalk.

    By “casualties,” I meant “losing a few planes while destroying the whole Russian expeditionary force, after which Putin will fold.” I have heard this argument. The Wagner incident was also used as an example of how Putin won’t do anything.

    I also believe that in their minds the Russian intervention in Syria is somehow an “aggression.” Just as the Georgian War is now a “Russian aggression,” too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    I also believe that in their minds the Russian intervention in Syria is somehow an “aggression.” Just as the Georgian War is now a “Russian aggression,” too.
     
    Because the Russians are the Black Hats and they're evil so everything Russia does has to be an aggression.

    When you're considering U.S. foreign policy you have to remember that you're dealing with people who see the world the way small children see it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Philip Owen
    Putin was gratuitously offense about the UK in the run up to his 2004 election and the whole thing has spiralled ever since.

    What did he do?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    One additional thought. You wrote that it felt like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. I agree, but it seems like it isn’t really Syria in the crosshairs, but rather it’s Russia. The hysteria is ramped ever higher. Which is needed, because I guess in case they truly got into a military confrontation with Russia, they would truly have to expect some casualties, and make the public accept it.

    Anyway, this ever-growing hysteria is getting truly frightening. I’d appreciate if they ramped it down.

    One additional thought. You wrote that it felt like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. I agree, but it seems like it isn’t really Syria in the crosshairs, but rather it’s Russia. The hysteria is ramped ever higher. Which is needed, because I guess in case they truly got into a military confrontation with Russia, they would truly have to expect some casualties, and make the public accept it.

    But the problem is that many Americans, including politicians, media types and even ordinary people, genuinely believe that defeating Russia will be just as easy as defeating Iraq. It will be Desert Storm all over again. They believe that American casualties will be negligible and that the Russians will simply collapse. They really believe that.

    So they don’t believe they’re running any real risk by provoking war with Russia.

    Ordinary Americans aren’t worried because they’ve been told it will be a cakewalk.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    By “casualties,” I meant “losing a few planes while destroying the whole Russian expeditionary force, after which Putin will fold.” I have heard this argument. The Wagner incident was also used as an example of how Putin won’t do anything.

    I also believe that in their minds the Russian intervention in Syria is somehow an “aggression.” Just as the Georgian War is now a “Russian aggression,” too.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sean

    This is why Russia’s development of China ties has been Putin’s single greatest foreign policy success, besides which everything happening in Syria is basically irrelevant. No wonder that this development has been consistently decried by the liberal fifth column.
     
    Are you suggesting that with an eye to the future and to prevent another Yeltsin, Putin has deliberately staged a provocation in order to get the West to pivot away from Russia, and thus insulate the country's elites from Liberal cultural and economic infiltration?

    No, I think Mr. Karlin meant the words he wrote.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal
    This is a real problem for patriots when your own government misbehaves.

    It's clear the UK government was gratuitously and deliberately offensive to the Russians, over and above any claimed belief that the Russians had supposedly committed a crime, and in that sense deserves everything it gets in response. But as is usually the case, it's the government that misbehaves but the country that pays the price.

    Serves us right I suppose for electing such noxious pricks into parliament and government, and for accepting such a compliant, manipulated and manipulating media. This is where I sympathise with Rurik when he argues that Americans shouldn't be blamed for their government's warmongering aggression, because they are victims of the consequences of manipulation, though Americans time and again elect and re-elect the ilk of McCain, Lieberman or Bush to office.

    Putin was gratuitously offense about the UK in the run up to his 2004 election and the whole thing has spiralled ever since.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    What did he do?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • This is why Russia’s development of China ties has been Putin’s single greatest foreign policy success, besides which everything happening in Syria is basically irrelevant. No wonder that this development has been consistently decried by the liberal fifth column.

    Are you suggesting that with an eye to the future and to prevent another Yeltsin, Putin has deliberately staged a provocation in order to get the West to pivot away from Russia, and thus insulate the country’s elites from Liberal cultural and economic infiltration?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    No, I think Mr. Karlin meant the words he wrote.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    Boris Johnson says it is 'overwhelmingly likely' Putin himself ordered nerve agent attack on former Russian spy

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-putin-order-salisbury-nerve-agent-attack-russia-spy-poisoning-sergei-skripal-a8259086.html

    Bojo promised we could have £350m a week for the NHS as a result of Brexit.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Dmitry

    The same argument was used before the First World War. The German Kaiser was first cousins with both the King of England and the Empress of Russia. They had much more to lose from a war than a normal average person. The world was globalized.

    Yet they started a war.
     

    They were sending people (from one or two generations younger than themselves) onto the battlefield. They weren't sending missiles at their possessions and children.

    If Western governments starting firing missiles directly on the country (which would be more likely than vice-versa), then there will be some kind of automatic retaliation procedure, and missiles would be fired back on the Western countries that started firing. But otherwise, there will never be an attempt to fire missiles onto Western important areas. The current conflict situation is more accurately characterized by the words 'mutual trolling', or 'trolling each other without actually fighting'. Both sides have some interest in low-level conflict, but that's where it will stay. It will not go to a high-level conflict, and neither will it go to a no-level of conflict anytime soon.

    I guess they’d repatriate their citizens (especially their own children) right before it starts.

    In 1917 the German Kaiser OK’d sending hundreds of revolutionaries to Russia, who would then go on to execute his cousin the Empress. In any event, the elites truly had little reason to hate each other, certainly less than the little rubes, who at least weren’t that closely related to each other and even had different customs, like a Russian vs. a German peasant certainly had different clothes etc. The Russian and the German emperors, on the other hand, were probably much more similar to each other in any respect. Both were of German blood…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    I guess they’d repatriate their citizens (especially their own children) right before it starts.

    In 1917 the German Kaiser OK’d sending hundreds of revolutionaries to Russia, who would then go on to execute his cousin the Empress. In any event, the elites truly had little reason to hate each other, certainly less than the little rubes, who at least weren’t that closely related to each other and even had different customs, like a Russian vs. a German peasant certainly had different clothes etc. The Russian and the German emperors, on the other hand, were probably much more similar to each other in any respect. Both were of German blood…
     
    And why would you want to repatriate all your children, after your family invested fortunes in tuition fee and property in the country. It's a completely undesirable situation.

    There won't be any crazy or irrational moves from the Russian-side, because the situation of 'small conflict' is exactly what is wanted.

    A low-level of conflict with the West is desirable, and is felt a politically and culturally beneficial.

    But a high-level conflict with the West is undesirable, since it will start to lower seriously living standards of the decision makers.

    At the same time, a lack of conflict is also undesirable, and would be felt as dissolving a lot of government raison d'etre, and threat to the image of independent country and culture.

    -

    Relation between Russia and West, is similar to relation between Jews and antisemitism.

    Jewish community does not want to be loved and embraced by non-Jews, because this would be a threat to their identity and lead to complete dissolution of their separate identity. If you try to embrace them too much, they will not react positively. (You saw recently the fake news circulated about Putin).

    At the same time, Jewish community does not want to be hated, to the extent that they will be murdered like in the Muslim world, or too much lowered the quality of life.

    The ideal situation for Jewish community, is a mild level of antisemitism - not too much, not too little.

    Something like this is how Russia's decision makers - like to relate to the West. Not embraced and loved, and not hated and at war.

    The ideal is a mild conflict. Nobody wants to escalate to a big conflict, and neither do they want a happy peace and lack of all conflict (which would be felt as some kind of subjugation).

    As for the Western side, that is a different matter, and if any crazy moves come, it will be from their side.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    Now it makes no sense for the Syrians to use chemical weapons.

    Let's put it this way: it makes equal sense for the Syrians to use chemical weapons as for the Russians. All the preceding Syrian gas attacks were "false flags", imho.

    That’s what I’d put my money on, especially with Khan Shaykhun. But even East Ghouta.

    Of course there’s always the possibility of the Syrians being stupid. I don’t believe they’d be that stupid now.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Now it makes no sense for the Syrians to use chemical weapons.

    Let’s put it this way: it makes equal sense for the Syrians to use chemical weapons as for the Russians. All the preceding Syrian gas attacks were “false flags”, imho.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    That’s what I’d put my money on, especially with Khan Shaykhun. But even East Ghouta.

    Of course there’s always the possibility of the Syrians being stupid. I don’t believe they’d be that stupid now.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    France’s Foreign Ministry Tells Reporters to Stop All Travel to Syria

    And this:

    Syrie: La France serait capable de frapper «en autonomie», déclare le chef d'Etat-Major français

    France would be capable of striking "by itself", declares the French chief of staff-- if Syria crosses the "red line" established by Macron for use of chemical weapons (hint, hint).

    https://www.20minutes.fr/monde/2239027-20180316-syrie-france-capable-frapper-autonomie-declare-chef-etat-major-francais

    Now it makes no sense for the Syrians to use chemical weapons. They are winning the war anyway. They know that this was declared to be a casus belli by the major western governments. So if it happens, we know what the most likely explanation will be.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal

    You wrote that it felt like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. I agree, but it seems like it isn’t really Syria in the crosshairs, but rather it’s Russia
     
    Yes. Syria is the stalking horse to get Russia, in the minds of the neocon and Russophobe nutters.


    Anyway, this ever-growing hysteria is getting truly frightening. I’d appreciate if they ramped it down.
     
    Another straw in the wind:

    France's Foreign Ministry Tells Reporters to Stop All Travel to Syria

    There seem to be burning straws floating everywhere you look at the moment. Confirmation bias or a real thing?

    Time will tell.

    France’s Foreign Ministry Tells Reporters to Stop All Travel to Syria

    And this:

    Syrie: La France serait capable de frapper «en autonomie», déclare le chef d’Etat-Major français

    France would be capable of striking “by itself”, declares the French chief of staff– if Syria crosses the “red line” established by Macron for use of chemical weapons (hint, hint).

    https://www.20minutes.fr/monde/2239027-20180316-syrie-france-capable-frapper-autonomie-declare-chef-etat-major-francais

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Now it makes no sense for the Syrians to use chemical weapons. They are winning the war anyway. They know that this was declared to be a casus belli by the major western governments. So if it happens, we know what the most likely explanation will be.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal

    There are generally accepted, unwritten rules in the world of spooks. One of them is that when a spy is caught, and then traded, it is expected that he completely retires from the game and finds an alternate profession. He got a very favorable outcome considering the circumstances.

    Apparently, Skripal, together with his British handlers, broke this rule. Skripal continued to work for MI6 gathering intelligence, including meeting with former colleagues when they happened to be in London. He explained his interest in information as the desire to get “inside” for some or another business venture. His former colleagues believed his explanation, assuming he was sticking to the unspoken bargain. When it got out that the information had been passed on to the Brits, heads started to roll. That would mean certain aggrieved agents with the means and the motive for a revenge killing.
     
    Yes, I've see that one floated (in the comments on Craig Murray's page, actually). I'm sure it's around elsewhere as well.

    I don't take it seriously because of the complete lack of any apparent concern by British intelligence for Skripal's safety. If he really was doing something out of the ordinary for an exchanged former spy, and it was known that this put him in a position where he was likely to be targeted by Russian security, then at least they'd have concealed his location and identity, or given him some protection.

    Imo it's just another superficially plausible argument meme, probably put out there intentionally to try to defend the imperilled narrative, that doesn't stand up to any real scrutiny.

    (In addition to the above point - not that I think anything more is required to refute it - it still makes no sense for the Russians to use a method that they know would cause them the absolute maximum of diplomatic, propaganda and soft power difficulties. If they want to "send a message" they could as easily do it by shooting the guy in the back of the head - you can be pretty sure other agents and Russophobes would get the message perfectly well once a couple of such executions had been varied out - and avoid most of those costs.)

    I agree, but sometimes people make stupid decisions. Or it could be that we lack so much information that it makes no sense to us but would make sense to others. Who knows?

    Anyway, the behavior of the Russian government is consistent with them being innocent. The behavior of the British government, on the other hand… less so.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • +1 idea I’ve seen floated online now: Kill Snowden, presumably as a tit-for-tat to kill a “pro-Russian agent” who has taken up refuge inside Russia.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @JL
    I go back and forth on that one, the extent to which a populace is ultimately responsible for its government's behavior. I think the US is, in a lot of ways, a truly amazing and dynamic place with a lot of wonderful people. But even many of these people treat viewpoints out of the mainstream narrative as something not even worth considering.

    On a different note, I actually heard, for the first time, an at least superficially plausible explanation for why "the Russians" might have actually done it. It goes something like this: There are generally accepted, unwritten rules in the world of spooks. One of them is that when a spy is caught, and then traded, it is expected that he completely retires from the game and finds an alternate profession. He got a very favorable outcome considering the circumstances.

    Apparently, Skripal, together with his British handlers, broke this rule. Skripal continued to work for MI6 gathering intelligence, including meeting with former colleagues when they happened to be in London. He explained his interest in information as the desire to get "inside" for some or another business venture. His former colleagues believed his explanation, assuming he was sticking to the unspoken bargain. When it got out that the information had been passed on to the Brits, heads started to roll. That would mean certain aggrieved agents with the means and the motive for a revenge killing.

    Anyway, I'm sure this theory can also be shot through with holes. I should also note that I don't buy it either. But I'm at least willing to entertain it as a possibility.

    There are generally accepted, unwritten rules in the world of spooks. One of them is that when a spy is caught, and then traded, it is expected that he completely retires from the game and finds an alternate profession. He got a very favorable outcome considering the circumstances.

    Apparently, Skripal, together with his British handlers, broke this rule. Skripal continued to work for MI6 gathering intelligence, including meeting with former colleagues when they happened to be in London. He explained his interest in information as the desire to get “inside” for some or another business venture. His former colleagues believed his explanation, assuming he was sticking to the unspoken bargain. When it got out that the information had been passed on to the Brits, heads started to roll. That would mean certain aggrieved agents with the means and the motive for a revenge killing.

    Yes, I’ve see that one floated (in the comments on Craig Murray’s page, actually). I’m sure it’s around elsewhere as well.

    I don’t take it seriously because of the complete lack of any apparent concern by British intelligence for Skripal’s safety. If he really was doing something out of the ordinary for an exchanged former spy, and it was known that this put him in a position where he was likely to be targeted by Russian security, then at least they’d have concealed his location and identity, or given him some protection.

    Imo it’s just another superficially plausible argument meme, probably put out there intentionally to try to defend the imperilled narrative, that doesn’t stand up to any real scrutiny.

    (In addition to the above point – not that I think anything more is required to refute it – it still makes no sense for the Russians to use a method that they know would cause them the absolute maximum of diplomatic, propaganda and soft power difficulties. If they want to “send a message” they could as easily do it by shooting the guy in the back of the head – you can be pretty sure other agents and Russophobes would get the message perfectly well once a couple of such executions had been varied out – and avoid most of those costs.)

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I agree, but sometimes people make stupid decisions. Or it could be that we lack so much information that it makes no sense to us but would make sense to others. Who knows?

    Anyway, the behavior of the Russian government is consistent with them being innocent. The behavior of the British government, on the other hand... less so.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @JL
    I go back and forth on that one, the extent to which a populace is ultimately responsible for its government's behavior. I think the US is, in a lot of ways, a truly amazing and dynamic place with a lot of wonderful people. But even many of these people treat viewpoints out of the mainstream narrative as something not even worth considering.

    On a different note, I actually heard, for the first time, an at least superficially plausible explanation for why "the Russians" might have actually done it. It goes something like this: There are generally accepted, unwritten rules in the world of spooks. One of them is that when a spy is caught, and then traded, it is expected that he completely retires from the game and finds an alternate profession. He got a very favorable outcome considering the circumstances.

    Apparently, Skripal, together with his British handlers, broke this rule. Skripal continued to work for MI6 gathering intelligence, including meeting with former colleagues when they happened to be in London. He explained his interest in information as the desire to get "inside" for some or another business venture. His former colleagues believed his explanation, assuming he was sticking to the unspoken bargain. When it got out that the information had been passed on to the Brits, heads started to roll. That would mean certain aggrieved agents with the means and the motive for a revenge killing.

    Anyway, I'm sure this theory can also be shot through with holes. I should also note that I don't buy it either. But I'm at least willing to entertain it as a possibility.

    As I wrote, it’s possible that they did it. I don’t think it’s the most outrageous thing in the world if they did it, but it’s definitely not nice.

    Anyway, no one presented yet any evidence for this (or any other) theory.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    One additional thought. You wrote that it felt like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. I agree, but it seems like it isn’t really Syria in the crosshairs, but rather it’s Russia. The hysteria is ramped ever higher. Which is needed, because I guess in case they truly got into a military confrontation with Russia, they would truly have to expect some casualties, and make the public accept it.

    Anyway, this ever-growing hysteria is getting truly frightening. I’d appreciate if they ramped it down.

    You wrote that it felt like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. I agree, but it seems like it isn’t really Syria in the crosshairs, but rather it’s Russia

    Yes. Syria is the stalking horse to get Russia, in the minds of the neocon and Russophobe nutters.

    Anyway, this ever-growing hysteria is getting truly frightening. I’d appreciate if they ramped it down.

    Another straw in the wind:

    France’s Foreign Ministry Tells Reporters to Stop All Travel to Syria

    There seem to be burning straws floating everywhere you look at the moment. Confirmation bias or a real thing?

    Time will tell.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    France’s Foreign Ministry Tells Reporters to Stop All Travel to Syria

    And this:

    Syrie: La France serait capable de frapper «en autonomie», déclare le chef d'Etat-Major français

    France would be capable of striking "by itself", declares the French chief of staff-- if Syria crosses the "red line" established by Macron for use of chemical weapons (hint, hint).

    https://www.20minutes.fr/monde/2239027-20180316-syrie-france-capable-frapper-autonomie-declare-chef-etat-major-francais
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    The same argument was used before the First World War. The German Kaiser was first cousins with both the King of England and the Empress of Russia. They had much more to lose from a war than a normal average person. The world was globalized.

    Yet they started a war.

    The same argument was used before the First World War. The German Kaiser was first cousins with both the King of England and the Empress of Russia. They had much more to lose from a war than a normal average person. The world was globalized.

    Yet they started a war.

    They were sending people (from one or two generations younger than themselves) onto the battlefield. They weren’t sending missiles at their possessions and children.

    If Western governments starting firing missiles directly on the country (which would be more likely than vice-versa), then there will be some kind of automatic retaliation procedure, and missiles would be fired back on the Western countries that started firing. But otherwise, there will never be an attempt to fire missiles onto Western important areas. The current conflict situation is more accurately characterized by the words ‘mutual trolling’, or ‘trolling each other without actually fighting’. Both sides have some interest in low-level conflict, but that’s where it will stay. It will not go to a high-level conflict, and neither will it go to a no-level of conflict anytime soon.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I guess they'd repatriate their citizens (especially their own children) right before it starts.

    In 1917 the German Kaiser OK'd sending hundreds of revolutionaries to Russia, who would then go on to execute his cousin the Empress. In any event, the elites truly had little reason to hate each other, certainly less than the little rubes, who at least weren't that closely related to each other and even had different customs, like a Russian vs. a German peasant certainly had different clothes etc. The Russian and the German emperors, on the other hand, were probably much more similar to each other in any respect. Both were of German blood...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • JL says:
    @Randal
    This is a real problem for patriots when your own government misbehaves.

    It's clear the UK government was gratuitously and deliberately offensive to the Russians, over and above any claimed belief that the Russians had supposedly committed a crime, and in that sense deserves everything it gets in response. But as is usually the case, it's the government that misbehaves but the country that pays the price.

    Serves us right I suppose for electing such noxious pricks into parliament and government, and for accepting such a compliant, manipulated and manipulating media. This is where I sympathise with Rurik when he argues that Americans shouldn't be blamed for their government's warmongering aggression, because they are victims of the consequences of manipulation, though Americans time and again elect and re-elect the ilk of McCain, Lieberman or Bush to office.

    I go back and forth on that one, the extent to which a populace is ultimately responsible for its government’s behavior. I think the US is, in a lot of ways, a truly amazing and dynamic place with a lot of wonderful people. But even many of these people treat viewpoints out of the mainstream narrative as something not even worth considering.

    On a different note, I actually heard, for the first time, an at least superficially plausible explanation for why “the Russians” might have actually done it. It goes something like this: There are generally accepted, unwritten rules in the world of spooks. One of them is that when a spy is caught, and then traded, it is expected that he completely retires from the game and finds an alternate profession. He got a very favorable outcome considering the circumstances.

    Apparently, Skripal, together with his British handlers, broke this rule. Skripal continued to work for MI6 gathering intelligence, including meeting with former colleagues when they happened to be in London. He explained his interest in information as the desire to get “inside” for some or another business venture. His former colleagues believed his explanation, assuming he was sticking to the unspoken bargain. When it got out that the information had been passed on to the Brits, heads started to roll. That would mean certain aggrieved agents with the means and the motive for a revenge killing.

    Anyway, I’m sure this theory can also be shot through with holes. I should also note that I don’t buy it either. But I’m at least willing to entertain it as a possibility.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    As I wrote, it’s possible that they did it. I don’t think it’s the most outrageous thing in the world if they did it, but it’s definitely not nice.

    Anyway, no one presented yet any evidence for this (or any other) theory.
    , @Randal

    There are generally accepted, unwritten rules in the world of spooks. One of them is that when a spy is caught, and then traded, it is expected that he completely retires from the game and finds an alternate profession. He got a very favorable outcome considering the circumstances.

    Apparently, Skripal, together with his British handlers, broke this rule. Skripal continued to work for MI6 gathering intelligence, including meeting with former colleagues when they happened to be in London. He explained his interest in information as the desire to get “inside” for some or another business venture. His former colleagues believed his explanation, assuming he was sticking to the unspoken bargain. When it got out that the information had been passed on to the Brits, heads started to roll. That would mean certain aggrieved agents with the means and the motive for a revenge killing.
     
    Yes, I've see that one floated (in the comments on Craig Murray's page, actually). I'm sure it's around elsewhere as well.

    I don't take it seriously because of the complete lack of any apparent concern by British intelligence for Skripal's safety. If he really was doing something out of the ordinary for an exchanged former spy, and it was known that this put him in a position where he was likely to be targeted by Russian security, then at least they'd have concealed his location and identity, or given him some protection.

    Imo it's just another superficially plausible argument meme, probably put out there intentionally to try to defend the imperilled narrative, that doesn't stand up to any real scrutiny.

    (In addition to the above point - not that I think anything more is required to refute it - it still makes no sense for the Russians to use a method that they know would cause them the absolute maximum of diplomatic, propaganda and soft power difficulties. If they want to "send a message" they could as easily do it by shooting the guy in the back of the head - you can be pretty sure other agents and Russophobes would get the message perfectly well once a couple of such executions had been varied out - and avoid most of those costs.)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal

    Basically piecemeal escalation means capitulation, unless Russian weapon systems prove to be highly effective against the Americans.
     
    The hope would be that at each point enough damage could be done to give pause to the decision maker on the other side. That doesn't require any magical wunderwaffen or any remarkable effectiveness, necessarily. It just needs the point to be made that costs will be higher than hoped by the optimists on the other side, shifting the balance of influence amongst the various advisers and in the mind of the decision maker.

    I agree that the best use of the Hitler analogy and the related arguments against appeasement (I make no stipulation here that those arguments were necessarily valid in relation to Hitler, but they are so in received establishment opinion) in the modern world is to apply it to the US. The US is the powerful unappeasable aggressor, that will never be satisfied or stop voluntarily and in practice must be confronted at some point. I believe the Russians realised that in the late 1990s/early 2000s and took steps to enact it in Georgia in 2008 and onwards (Russians argue that the realisation and preparatory steps came long before that, and perhaps they are right, but 2008 was when it became clear to the global public, those who were watching.) But the fact is that confronting the US is dangerous and a tricky task. If not quite the Saker's "monkey playing with a hand grenade", certainly there are dangerous people around the US regime who if empowered too far and given free reign with the sheer power of the US will do even more disastrous things for the world than we have seen so far.

    We are talking about the situation of a reckless American attack on the Syrian Russian forces (which is just one step above what our beloved Nimrata already promised), which means the Americans are certainly playing a game of chicken.

    This is my additional argument: in a game of chicken the only way to win is to prove yourself reckless. The more reckless the better.
     
    One of the corollaries of the nuclear peace is never, ever, to get in a game of chicken.

    If the Americans launch an all out attack on Russian forces then that is indeed pretty much where we would be. That's one reason why I think it's unlikely they will do that, and expect a more punctuated escalation to that point.

    I have no doubt nevertheless there are voices around the US regime pressing for exactly that - an all out attack on Russian forces in Syria and damn the torpedoes. We just have to hope there are still enough grownups, or at least adolescents, around to keep them in their box.

    One additional thought. You wrote that it felt like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. I agree, but it seems like it isn’t really Syria in the crosshairs, but rather it’s Russia. The hysteria is ramped ever higher. Which is needed, because I guess in case they truly got into a military confrontation with Russia, they would truly have to expect some casualties, and make the public accept it.

    Anyway, this ever-growing hysteria is getting truly frightening. I’d appreciate if they ramped it down.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    You wrote that it felt like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. I agree, but it seems like it isn’t really Syria in the crosshairs, but rather it’s Russia
     
    Yes. Syria is the stalking horse to get Russia, in the minds of the neocon and Russophobe nutters.


    Anyway, this ever-growing hysteria is getting truly frightening. I’d appreciate if they ramped it down.
     
    Another straw in the wind:

    France's Foreign Ministry Tells Reporters to Stop All Travel to Syria

    There seem to be burning straws floating everywhere you look at the moment. Confirmation bias or a real thing?

    Time will tell.
    , @dfordoom

    One additional thought. You wrote that it felt like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. I agree, but it seems like it isn’t really Syria in the crosshairs, but rather it’s Russia. The hysteria is ramped ever higher. Which is needed, because I guess in case they truly got into a military confrontation with Russia, they would truly have to expect some casualties, and make the public accept it.
     
    But the problem is that many Americans, including politicians, media types and even ordinary people, genuinely believe that defeating Russia will be just as easy as defeating Iraq. It will be Desert Storm all over again. They believe that American casualties will be negligible and that the Russians will simply collapse. They really believe that.

    So they don't believe they're running any real risk by provoking war with Russia.

    Ordinary Americans aren't worried because they've been told it will be a cakewalk.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    One needs to keep in mind that the OPCW (like its nuclear counterpart IAEA) has an unfortunate history of capitulating to the powers that be. The most flagrant example was the forced removal of its Director General in 2002 by John Bolton (a name still in the news, widely rumored to become National Security Adviser in the near future). This is confirmed by the New York Times, of all people:

    To Ousted Boss, Arms Watchdog Was Seen as an Obstacle in Iraq

    More than a decade before the international agency that monitors chemical weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize [2013], John R. Bolton marched into the office of its boss to inform him that he would be fired.

    “He told me I had 24 hours to resign,” said José Bustani, who was director general of the agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. “And if I didn’t I would have to face the consequences.”

    Mr. Bolton, then an under secretary of state and later the American ambassador to the United Nations, told Mr. Bustani that the Bush administration was unhappy with his management style.

    But Mr. Bustani, 68, who had been re-elected unanimously just 11 months earlier, refused, and weeks later, on April 22, 2002, he was ousted in a special session of the 145-nation chemical weapons watchdog.

    The story behind his ouster has been the subject of interpretation and speculation for years, and Mr. Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat, has kept a low profile since then. But with the agency thrust into the spotlight with news of the Nobel Prize last week, Mr. Bustani agreed to discuss what he said was the real reason: the Bush administration’s fear that chemical weapons inspections in Iraq would conflict with Washington’s rationale for invading it. Several officials involved in the events, some speaking publicly about them for the first time, confirmed his account.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/world/to-ousted-boss-arms-watchdog-was-seen-as-an-obstacle-in-iraq.html?mtrref=www.google.co.uk
     

    The bosses of such organisations know not to cross the US too often or too openly.

    Recall the famous Wikileaks revelation of what it takes to get to be Director General of the IAEA:

    Amano reminded [the] ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77 [the developing countries group], which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/julian-borger-global-security-blog/2010/nov/30/iaea-wikileaks

    Those pesky other states and their quaint notions of being “fair-minded and independent”, eh? Who do they think they are, anyway?

    Read More
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  • @reiner Tor
    I don’t think so, unless you mean the “of a type developed by Russia” vs. “by liars.”

    By liars = plural of Bliar?

    unless you mean the “of a type developed by Russia”

    Yes, that’s what I was referring to.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.

    I assume you got the pun?

    I don’t think so, unless you mean the “of a type developed by Russia” vs. “by liars.”

    By liars = plural of Bliar?

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    unless you mean the “of a type developed by Russia”

    Yes, that's what I was referring to.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal

    Basically piecemeal escalation means capitulation, unless Russian weapon systems prove to be highly effective against the Americans.
     
    The hope would be that at each point enough damage could be done to give pause to the decision maker on the other side. That doesn't require any magical wunderwaffen or any remarkable effectiveness, necessarily. It just needs the point to be made that costs will be higher than hoped by the optimists on the other side, shifting the balance of influence amongst the various advisers and in the mind of the decision maker.

    I agree that the best use of the Hitler analogy and the related arguments against appeasement (I make no stipulation here that those arguments were necessarily valid in relation to Hitler, but they are so in received establishment opinion) in the modern world is to apply it to the US. The US is the powerful unappeasable aggressor, that will never be satisfied or stop voluntarily and in practice must be confronted at some point. I believe the Russians realised that in the late 1990s/early 2000s and took steps to enact it in Georgia in 2008 and onwards (Russians argue that the realisation and preparatory steps came long before that, and perhaps they are right, but 2008 was when it became clear to the global public, those who were watching.) But the fact is that confronting the US is dangerous and a tricky task. If not quite the Saker's "monkey playing with a hand grenade", certainly there are dangerous people around the US regime who if empowered too far and given free reign with the sheer power of the US will do even more disastrous things for the world than we have seen so far.

    We are talking about the situation of a reckless American attack on the Syrian Russian forces (which is just one step above what our beloved Nimrata already promised), which means the Americans are certainly playing a game of chicken.

    This is my additional argument: in a game of chicken the only way to win is to prove yourself reckless. The more reckless the better.
     
    One of the corollaries of the nuclear peace is never, ever, to get in a game of chicken.

    If the Americans launch an all out attack on Russian forces then that is indeed pretty much where we would be. That's one reason why I think it's unlikely they will do that, and expect a more punctuated escalation to that point.

    I have no doubt nevertheless there are voices around the US regime pressing for exactly that - an all out attack on Russian forces in Syria and damn the torpedoes. We just have to hope there are still enough grownups, or at least adolescents, around to keep them in their box.

    I don’t think there’s a lot of difference in how we view these things. Mainly you are writing about a piecemeal American escalation, and the optimal response to that, while I’m writing about the response to a more or less sudden American attack to wipe out the Russian contingent.

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  • @Randal
    Murray has done absolutely sterling work on this.

    An interesting update:

    UPDATE

    This post prompted another old colleague to get in touch. On the bright side, the FCO have persuaded Boris he has to let the OPCW investigate a sample. But not just yet. The expectation is the inquiry committee will be chaired by a Chinese delegate. The Boris plan is to get the OPCW also to sign up to the “as developed by Russia” formula, and diplomacy to this end is being undertaken in Beijing right now.

    I don’t suppose there is any sign of the BBC doing any actual journalism on this?
     
    If the Chinese do anything other than refuse point blank any dirty dealings with the British regime over this, then the Russians would be justified in regarding it as a serious stab in the back.

    One needs to keep in mind that the OPCW (like its nuclear counterpart IAEA) has an unfortunate history of capitulating to the powers that be. The most flagrant example was the forced removal of its Director General in 2002 by John Bolton (a name still in the news, widely rumored to become National Security Adviser in the near future). This is confirmed by the New York Times, of all people:

    To Ousted Boss, Arms Watchdog Was Seen as an Obstacle in Iraq

    More than a decade before the international agency that monitors chemical weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize [2013], John R. Bolton marched into the office of its boss to inform him that he would be fired.

    “He told me I had 24 hours to resign,” said José Bustani, who was director general of the agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. “And if I didn’t I would have to face the consequences.”

    Mr. Bolton, then an under secretary of state and later the American ambassador to the United Nations, told Mr. Bustani that the Bush administration was unhappy with his management style.

    But Mr. Bustani, 68, who had been re-elected unanimously just 11 months earlier, refused, and weeks later, on April 22, 2002, he was ousted in a special session of the 145-nation chemical weapons watchdog.

    The story behind his ouster has been the subject of interpretation and speculation for years, and Mr. Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat, has kept a low profile since then. But with the agency thrust into the spotlight with news of the Nobel Prize last week, Mr. Bustani agreed to discuss what he said was the real reason: the Bush administration’s fear that chemical weapons inspections in Iraq would conflict with Washington’s rationale for invading it. Several officials involved in the events, some speaking publicly about them for the first time, confirmed his account.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/world/to-ousted-boss-arms-watchdog-was-seen-as-an-obstacle-in-iraq.html?mtrref=www.google.co.uk

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    The bosses of such organisations know not to cross the US too often or too openly.

    Recall the famous Wikileaks revelation of what it takes to get to be Director General of the IAEA:

    Amano reminded [the] ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77 [the developing countries group], which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.
     
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/julian-borger-global-security-blog/2010/nov/30/iaea-wikileaks

    Those pesky other states and their quaint notions of being "fair-minded and independent", eh? Who do they think they are, anyway?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @JL
    I don't know if this was reported in English language media, but the comments by Russia's ambassador in London were uncharacteristically harsh. He said Russia will exert maximum pressure on the British authorities and will not let them out of the rut they've put themselves in.

    https://lenta.ru/news/2018/03/16/podnyalos_davlenie/

    This is a real problem for patriots when your own government misbehaves.

    It’s clear the UK government was gratuitously and deliberately offensive to the Russians, over and above any claimed belief that the Russians had supposedly committed a crime, and in that sense deserves everything it gets in response. But as is usually the case, it’s the government that misbehaves but the country that pays the price.

    Serves us right I suppose for electing such noxious pricks into parliament and government, and for accepting such a compliant, manipulated and manipulating media. This is where I sympathise with Rurik when he argues that Americans shouldn’t be blamed for their government’s warmongering aggression, because they are victims of the consequences of manipulation, though Americans time and again elect and re-elect the ilk of McCain, Lieberman or Bush to office.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JL
    I go back and forth on that one, the extent to which a populace is ultimately responsible for its government's behavior. I think the US is, in a lot of ways, a truly amazing and dynamic place with a lot of wonderful people. But even many of these people treat viewpoints out of the mainstream narrative as something not even worth considering.

    On a different note, I actually heard, for the first time, an at least superficially plausible explanation for why "the Russians" might have actually done it. It goes something like this: There are generally accepted, unwritten rules in the world of spooks. One of them is that when a spy is caught, and then traded, it is expected that he completely retires from the game and finds an alternate profession. He got a very favorable outcome considering the circumstances.

    Apparently, Skripal, together with his British handlers, broke this rule. Skripal continued to work for MI6 gathering intelligence, including meeting with former colleagues when they happened to be in London. He explained his interest in information as the desire to get "inside" for some or another business venture. His former colleagues believed his explanation, assuming he was sticking to the unspoken bargain. When it got out that the information had been passed on to the Brits, heads started to roll. That would mean certain aggrieved agents with the means and the motive for a revenge killing.

    Anyway, I'm sure this theory can also be shot through with holes. I should also note that I don't buy it either. But I'm at least willing to entertain it as a possibility.
    , @Philip Owen
    Putin was gratuitously offense about the UK in the run up to his 2004 election and the whole thing has spiralled ever since.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • JL says:

    I don’t know if this was reported in English language media, but the comments by Russia’s ambassador in London were uncharacteristically harsh. He said Russia will exert maximum pressure on the British authorities and will not let them out of the rut they’ve put themselves in.

    https://lenta.ru/news/2018/03/16/podnyalos_davlenie/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    This is a real problem for patriots when your own government misbehaves.

    It's clear the UK government was gratuitously and deliberately offensive to the Russians, over and above any claimed belief that the Russians had supposedly committed a crime, and in that sense deserves everything it gets in response. But as is usually the case, it's the government that misbehaves but the country that pays the price.

    Serves us right I suppose for electing such noxious pricks into parliament and government, and for accepting such a compliant, manipulated and manipulating media. This is where I sympathise with Rurik when he argues that Americans shouldn't be blamed for their government's warmongering aggression, because they are victims of the consequences of manipulation, though Americans time and again elect and re-elect the ilk of McCain, Lieberman or Bush to office.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Daniel Chieh
    I imagine that they will attempt to mothball it in eternal inquiry hell, though that will also be used as evidence to discredit the utility of the OPCW. Pretty much there's no positive solution there.

    If you mean the Chinese, most likely all they need to do is play it absolutely straight.

    Based on past experience with US sphere manipulation of UN bodies over Iraq and Iran, there will be huge pressure including all kinds of dirty dealings and personal manipulation on individual representatives to try to ensure that the precise wording that emerges suits US sphere purposes, or can be twisted to do so in a compliant media.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    Basically piecemeal escalation means capitulation, unless Russian weapon systems prove to be highly effective against the Americans.

    We are talking about the situation of a reckless American attack on the Syrian Russian forces (which is just one step above what our beloved Nimrata already promised), which means the Americans are certainly playing a game of chicken.

    This is my additional argument: in a game of chicken the only way to win is to prove yourself reckless. The more reckless the better.

    The American escalation proves that they are reckless, which gives them the upper hand. (Unless Martyanov is right and the Russian weapons prove vastly superior. But it’d be highly irresponsible to bank on that.) The only way to deter them is to show them the Russians are prepared to plunge into a nuclear war. (Again, we’re talking about the situation after a reckless attack on the Russian forces in Syria.)

    A capitulation might not save the world from a nuclear war, because of course the Americans would keep going after that. In a few years or a couple decades we could be facing the very same situation, but one in which the Americans were analyzing the lessons of their “bold” (in reality reckless) victory in Syria.

    I know the Munich analogy is overused for totally different situations, but the American Empire’s behavior is, even if slower, reminiscent of Hitler’s behavior before the war: it’s reckless, unwilling to be deterred, and the only way to prevent a war is to give it what it wants without a fight. It’s also unwilling to put a boundary on its ambitions. The Americans could probably have Syria if they were willing to recognize, say, the former USSR as Russia’s natural sphere of influence. But they obviously won’t stop at all.

    The only reason they don’t attack Syria by military force is because they fear a nuclear war. Not reacting to a conventional attack on Russian forces with maximum force will show them what you guys are arguing for: namely, that the use of nuclear weapons is unthinkable. But if it is, then of course they can attack. And they will attack. They will keep doing so until someone shows them the willingness to use nukes.

    And here’s the rub: once you back up, it will be much much more difficult to convince them next time. If you backed down in Syria, perhaps you’ll back down in Crimea, too? In Volgograd as well? It’d really be a Churchillean moment of choosing shame over war, and then not avoiding war later on.

    Basically piecemeal escalation means capitulation, unless Russian weapon systems prove to be highly effective against the Americans.

    The hope would be that at each point enough damage could be done to give pause to the decision maker on the other side. That doesn’t require any magical wunderwaffen or any remarkable effectiveness, necessarily. It just needs the point to be made that costs will be higher than hoped by the optimists on the other side, shifting the balance of influence amongst the various advisers and in the mind of the decision maker.

    I agree that the best use of the Hitler analogy and the related arguments against appeasement (I make no stipulation here that those arguments were necessarily valid in relation to Hitler, but they are so in received establishment opinion) in the modern world is to apply it to the US. The US is the powerful unappeasable aggressor, that will never be satisfied or stop voluntarily and in practice must be confronted at some point. I believe the Russians realised that in the late 1990s/early 2000s and took steps to enact it in Georgia in 2008 and onwards (Russians argue that the realisation and preparatory steps came long before that, and perhaps they are right, but 2008 was when it became clear to the global public, those who were watching.) But the fact is that confronting the US is dangerous and a tricky task. If not quite the Saker’s “monkey playing with a hand grenade”, certainly there are dangerous people around the US regime who if empowered too far and given free reign with the sheer power of the US will do even more disastrous things for the world than we have seen so far.

    We are talking about the situation of a reckless American attack on the Syrian Russian forces (which is just one step above what our beloved Nimrata already promised), which means the Americans are certainly playing a game of chicken.

    This is my additional argument: in a game of chicken the only way to win is to prove yourself reckless. The more reckless the better.

    One of the corollaries of the nuclear peace is never, ever, to get in a game of chicken.

    If the Americans launch an all out attack on Russian forces then that is indeed pretty much where we would be. That’s one reason why I think it’s unlikely they will do that, and expect a more punctuated escalation to that point.

    I have no doubt nevertheless there are voices around the US regime pressing for exactly that – an all out attack on Russian forces in Syria and damn the torpedoes. We just have to hope there are still enough grownups, or at least adolescents, around to keep them in their box.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I don't think there's a lot of difference in how we view these things. Mainly you are writing about a piecemeal American escalation, and the optimal response to that, while I'm writing about the response to a more or less sudden American attack to wipe out the Russian contingent.
    , @reiner Tor
    One additional thought. You wrote that it felt like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. I agree, but it seems like it isn’t really Syria in the crosshairs, but rather it’s Russia. The hysteria is ramped ever higher. Which is needed, because I guess in case they truly got into a military confrontation with Russia, they would truly have to expect some casualties, and make the public accept it.

    Anyway, this ever-growing hysteria is getting truly frightening. I’d appreciate if they ramped it down.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor

    It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.
     
    Indeed.

    It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.

    I assume you got the pun?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I don’t think so, unless you mean the “of a type developed by Russia” vs. “by liars.”

    By liars = plural of Bliar?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal
    Murray has done absolutely sterling work on this.

    An interesting update:

    UPDATE

    This post prompted another old colleague to get in touch. On the bright side, the FCO have persuaded Boris he has to let the OPCW investigate a sample. But not just yet. The expectation is the inquiry committee will be chaired by a Chinese delegate. The Boris plan is to get the OPCW also to sign up to the “as developed by Russia” formula, and diplomacy to this end is being undertaken in Beijing right now.

    I don’t suppose there is any sign of the BBC doing any actual journalism on this?
     
    If the Chinese do anything other than refuse point blank any dirty dealings with the British regime over this, then the Russians would be justified in regarding it as a serious stab in the back.

    I imagine that they will attempt to mothball it in eternal inquiry hell, though that will also be used as evidence to discredit the utility of the OPCW. Pretty much there’s no positive solution there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    If you mean the Chinese, most likely all they need to do is play it absolutely straight.

    Based on past experience with US sphere manipulation of UN bodies over Iraq and Iran, there will be huge pressure including all kinds of dirty dealings and personal manipulation on individual representatives to try to ensure that the precise wording that emerges suits US sphere purposes, or can be twisted to do so in a compliant media.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor

    It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.
     
    Indeed.

    That’s great writing by Murray.

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  • @for-the-record
    From Craig Murray today:

    I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

    To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days. The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, “of a type developed by Russia” is the precise phrase used in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany yesterday:

    "This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War."

    . . . It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.
     
    There's more as well

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

    Murray has done absolutely sterling work on this.

    An interesting update:

    UPDATE

    This post prompted another old colleague to get in touch. On the bright side, the FCO have persuaded Boris he has to let the OPCW investigate a sample. But not just yet. The expectation is the inquiry committee will be chaired by a Chinese delegate. The Boris plan is to get the OPCW also to sign up to the “as developed by Russia” formula, and diplomacy to this end is being undertaken in Beijing right now.

    I don’t suppose there is any sign of the BBC doing any actual journalism on this?

    If the Chinese do anything other than refuse point blank any dirty dealings with the British regime over this, then the Russians would be justified in regarding it as a serious stab in the back.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I imagine that they will attempt to mothball it in eternal inquiry hell, though that will also be used as evidence to discredit the utility of the OPCW. Pretty much there's no positive solution there.
    , @for-the-record
    One needs to keep in mind that the OPCW (like its nuclear counterpart IAEA) has an unfortunate history of capitulating to the powers that be. The most flagrant example was the forced removal of its Director General in 2002 by John Bolton (a name still in the news, widely rumored to become National Security Adviser in the near future). This is confirmed by the New York Times, of all people:

    To Ousted Boss, Arms Watchdog Was Seen as an Obstacle in Iraq

    More than a decade before the international agency that monitors chemical weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize [2013], John R. Bolton marched into the office of its boss to inform him that he would be fired.

    “He told me I had 24 hours to resign,” said José Bustani, who was director general of the agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. “And if I didn’t I would have to face the consequences.”

    Mr. Bolton, then an under secretary of state and later the American ambassador to the United Nations, told Mr. Bustani that the Bush administration was unhappy with his management style.

    But Mr. Bustani, 68, who had been re-elected unanimously just 11 months earlier, refused, and weeks later, on April 22, 2002, he was ousted in a special session of the 145-nation chemical weapons watchdog.

    The story behind his ouster has been the subject of interpretation and speculation for years, and Mr. Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat, has kept a low profile since then. But with the agency thrust into the spotlight with news of the Nobel Prize last week, Mr. Bustani agreed to discuss what he said was the real reason: the Bush administration’s fear that chemical weapons inspections in Iraq would conflict with Washington’s rationale for invading it. Several officials involved in the events, some speaking publicly about them for the first time, confirmed his account.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/world/to-ousted-boss-arms-watchdog-was-seen-as-an-obstacle-in-iraq.html?mtrref=www.google.co.uk
     
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    From Craig Murray today:

    I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

    To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days. The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, “of a type developed by Russia” is the precise phrase used in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany yesterday:

    "This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War."

    . . . It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.
     
    There's more as well

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

    It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.

    Indeed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    That's great writing by Murray.
    , @for-the-record
    It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.

    I assume you got the pun?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • From Craig Murray today:

    I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

    To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days. The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, “of a type developed by Russia” is the precise phrase used in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany yesterday:

    “This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.”

    . . . It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.

    There’s more as well

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.
     
    Indeed.
    , @Randal
    Murray has done absolutely sterling work on this.

    An interesting update:

    UPDATE

    This post prompted another old colleague to get in touch. On the bright side, the FCO have persuaded Boris he has to let the OPCW investigate a sample. But not just yet. The expectation is the inquiry committee will be chaired by a Chinese delegate. The Boris plan is to get the OPCW also to sign up to the “as developed by Russia” formula, and diplomacy to this end is being undertaken in Beijing right now.

    I don’t suppose there is any sign of the BBC doing any actual journalism on this?
     
    If the Chinese do anything other than refuse point blank any dirty dealings with the British regime over this, then the Russians would be justified in regarding it as a serious stab in the back.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor
    The formatting is wrong. Let me send it again:

    But that wasn’t an argument that Corbyn chose to make. Instead, he sought refuge in the idea of international consensus, the terms of the Convention on Chemical Weapons and the rules of fair process.

    Which made it easy for Theresa May to turn his words against him. There was a consensus in Britain and among its allies, she pointed out: it just didn’t include him.

    The British elites and allies just believe what the government says. But that’s “consensus” and I guess evidence that it must be true: so many important people think so.

    Late this morning:

    A consensus of influential New York businessmen maintain that the disappearance of union leader James Hoffa was most likely entirely voluntary. Asked whether they were in fact members of the “mafia”, a spokesman replied “That’s absurd. Our consensus is that there’s no such thing outside of crazy conspiracy theories.”

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  • @reiner Tor
    Is it also overwhelmingly likely that he was stroking a white cat and chuckling evilly, while doing so? As suggested by Randal.

    I'm eagerly awaiting Mr. Johnson's assessment on the questions of the white cat and evil chuckles.

    Having taken this extreme position, it will now be very difficult for the UK to back down. In particular, I don’t see how they can possibly justify going to the World Cup.

    I was just going to write my prediction that there would be calls on FIFA to move the World Cup out of Russia. Just to make sure I wasn’t reinventing the wheel I did an online search, and sure enough a move is already afoot in this direction.

    Russia row: Labour MP calls for debate on World Cup move

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  • ZeroHedge made a comprehensive summary of the arguments against the UK government’s case.

    Fortunately, the democratic media and press are unquestioning towards the explanations provided by the democratic political elites and intelligence services. I guess that is what the democratic media and press are for: to just tell us what the democratic governments and intelligence services would like us to know. To question the narrative of the democratic intelligence services would be – by definition – undemocratic, antidemocratic. Those who engage in such activities are not democrats. Questioning the democratic intelligence services is the narrative of Putin, who is a dictator. Therefore, this “point of view” cannot be characterized as anything else but pure propaganda.

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  • @for-the-record
    Boris Johnson says it is 'overwhelmingly likely' Putin himself ordered nerve agent attack on former Russian spy

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-putin-order-salisbury-nerve-agent-attack-russia-spy-poisoning-sergei-skripal-a8259086.html

    Is it also overwhelmingly likely that he was stroking a white cat and chuckling evilly, while doing so? As suggested by Randal.

    I’m eagerly awaiting Mr. Johnson’s assessment on the questions of the white cat and evil chuckles.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    Having taken this extreme position, it will now be very difficult for the UK to back down. In particular, I don't see how they can possibly justify going to the World Cup.

    I was just going to write my prediction that there would be calls on FIFA to move the World Cup out of Russia. Just to make sure I wasn't reinventing the wheel I did an online search, and sure enough a move is already afoot in this direction.

    Russia row: Labour MP calls for debate on World Cup move
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  • Boris Johnson says it is ‘overwhelmingly likely’ Putin himself ordered nerve agent attack on former Russian spy

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-putin-order-salisbury-nerve-agent-attack-russia-spy-poisoning-sergei-skripal-a8259086.html

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Is it also overwhelmingly likely that he was stroking a white cat and chuckling evilly, while doing so? As suggested by Randal.

    I'm eagerly awaiting Mr. Johnson's assessment on the questions of the white cat and evil chuckles.
    , @Philip Owen
    Bojo promised we could have £350m a week for the NHS as a result of Brexit.
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  • @reiner Tor
    Basically piecemeal escalation means capitulation, unless Russian weapon systems prove to be highly effective against the Americans.

    We are talking about the situation of a reckless American attack on the Syrian Russian forces (which is just one step above what our beloved Nimrata already promised), which means the Americans are certainly playing a game of chicken.

    This is my additional argument: in a game of chicken the only way to win is to prove yourself reckless. The more reckless the better.

    The American escalation proves that they are reckless, which gives them the upper hand. (Unless Martyanov is right and the Russian weapons prove vastly superior. But it’d be highly irresponsible to bank on that.) The only way to deter them is to show them the Russians are prepared to plunge into a nuclear war. (Again, we’re talking about the situation after a reckless attack on the Russian forces in Syria.)

    A capitulation might not save the world from a nuclear war, because of course the Americans would keep going after that. In a few years or a couple decades we could be facing the very same situation, but one in which the Americans were analyzing the lessons of their “bold” (in reality reckless) victory in Syria.

    I know the Munich analogy is overused for totally different situations, but the American Empire’s behavior is, even if slower, reminiscent of Hitler’s behavior before the war: it’s reckless, unwilling to be deterred, and the only way to prevent a war is to give it what it wants without a fight. It’s also unwilling to put a boundary on its ambitions. The Americans could probably have Syria if they were willing to recognize, say, the former USSR as Russia’s natural sphere of influence. But they obviously won’t stop at all.

    The only reason they don’t attack Syria by military force is because they fear a nuclear war. Not reacting to a conventional attack on Russian forces with maximum force will show them what you guys are arguing for: namely, that the use of nuclear weapons is unthinkable. But if it is, then of course they can attack. And they will attack. They will keep doing so until someone shows them the willingness to use nukes.

    And here’s the rub: once you back up, it will be much much more difficult to convince them next time. If you backed down in Syria, perhaps you’ll back down in Crimea, too? In Volgograd as well? It’d really be a Churchillean moment of choosing shame over war, and then not avoiding war later on.

    once you back up

    should be

    once you back down

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  • I think it’s not the use of nuclear weapons which should be unthinkable, but reckless policies leading to the risk of a nuclear war.

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  • @Dmitry
    All things equal, they are less likely to nuclear bomb their own children, all their possessions, all their friends children - than a normal person - say: myself, would be.

    If missiles are flying on Moscow, obviously there are automatic procedures to retaliate. But if missiles and bombs will fly, it's not going to be in any situation accept from direct attack from Western governments.

    The same argument was used before the First World War. The German Kaiser was first cousins with both the King of England and the Empress of Russia. They had much more to lose from a war than a normal average person. The world was globalized.

    Yet they started a war.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry

    The same argument was used before the First World War. The German Kaiser was first cousins with both the King of England and the Empress of Russia. They had much more to lose from a war than a normal average person. The world was globalized.

    Yet they started a war.
     

    They were sending people (from one or two generations younger than themselves) onto the battlefield. They weren't sending missiles at their possessions and children.

    If Western governments starting firing missiles directly on the country (which would be more likely than vice-versa), then there will be some kind of automatic retaliation procedure, and missiles would be fired back on the Western countries that started firing. But otherwise, there will never be an attempt to fire missiles onto Western important areas. The current conflict situation is more accurately characterized by the words 'mutual trolling', or 'trolling each other without actually fighting'. Both sides have some interest in low-level conflict, but that's where it will stay. It will not go to a high-level conflict, and neither will it go to a no-level of conflict anytime soon.

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  • @Randal

    But I agree that at first they will simply allow their air defenses to shoot at American aircraft in Syrian airspace.

    I was talking about one further step, if the US in response started a massive attack on the Russian contingent there, hoping for a localized conflict.
     
    Then the question becomes what plans the US has put in place to deal with that contingency, how much leeway the commanders in theatre have been given on them, and what decision is made by the decision maker when the time comes.

    There will certainly be plans for the option of a general attack on Russian forces in theatre in response to a Russian attack on a US aircraft, probably beginning with SEAD. My guess is that the Yanks will want authorisation from the very top for that, though. Such an attack means war with Russia. They might well not go through with it.

    They will also have plans for limited retaliatory strike options, perhaps on Russian aircraft.

    Part of the problem then is of course that what one side thinks of as a limited strike (cruise missiles aimed at Khmeimim, for instance - who knows what the warheads are when they are approaching), could be responded to by the other side as a full declaration of war - the risk of such misjudgements and misunderstandings is why the whole business is so dangerous.

    As to your overall argument suggesting a massive early strike, your logic is fine in detail. Step back, though, and you see that it is the Pearl Harbor argument. It ends up with risking everything. Nobody does that lightly - Japan only did it because it was pushed against the wall by the US strategically with no real alternative, as the Japanese militarist elites saw it. Is Russia up against the wall strategically to the same extent? I don't think so. Nuclear weapons change things - the perceived costs of war are much greater. The Japanese elites thought that in the worst case they would be defeated by the US and come to terms - they didn't expect the uncivilised and brutish US insistence on unconditional surrender. But the worst case for Russia and the world today is not capable of being ignored or unnoticed - it is global nuclear devastation.

    I can't be certain - nobody can and anyone who claims to be is lying - but I think both sides will proceed cautiously, it will be under political rather than military control, and there will probably be punctuated escalations rather than massive escalation. But the timescales are in minutes and hours these days, not days and weeks as they were in 1914 or in 1941.

    Basically piecemeal escalation means capitulation, unless Russian weapon systems prove to be highly effective against the Americans.

    We are talking about the situation of a reckless American attack on the Syrian Russian forces (which is just one step above what our beloved Nimrata already promised), which means the Americans are certainly playing a game of chicken.

    This is my additional argument: in a game of chicken the only way to win is to prove yourself reckless. The more reckless the better.

    The American escalation proves that they are reckless, which gives them the upper hand. (Unless Martyanov is right and the Russian weapons prove vastly superior. But it’d be highly irresponsible to bank on that.) The only way to deter them is to show them the Russians are prepared to plunge into a nuclear war. (Again, we’re talking about the situation after a reckless attack on the Russian forces in Syria.)

    A capitulation might not save the world from a nuclear war, because of course the Americans would keep going after that. In a few years or a couple decades we could be facing the very same situation, but one in which the Americans were analyzing the lessons of their “bold” (in reality reckless) victory in Syria.

    I know the Munich analogy is overused for totally different situations, but the American Empire’s behavior is, even if slower, reminiscent of Hitler’s behavior before the war: it’s reckless, unwilling to be deterred, and the only way to prevent a war is to give it what it wants without a fight. It’s also unwilling to put a boundary on its ambitions. The Americans could probably have Syria if they were willing to recognize, say, the former USSR as Russia’s natural sphere of influence. But they obviously won’t stop at all.

    The only reason they don’t attack Syria by military force is because they fear a nuclear war. Not reacting to a conventional attack on Russian forces with maximum force will show them what you guys are arguing for: namely, that the use of nuclear weapons is unthinkable. But if it is, then of course they can attack. And they will attack. They will keep doing so until someone shows them the willingness to use nukes.

    And here’s the rub: once you back up, it will be much much more difficult to convince them next time. If you backed down in Syria, perhaps you’ll back down in Crimea, too? In Volgograd as well? It’d really be a Churchillean moment of choosing shame over war, and then not avoiding war later on.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    once you back up
     
    should be

    once you back down
     
    , @Randal

    Basically piecemeal escalation means capitulation, unless Russian weapon systems prove to be highly effective against the Americans.
     
    The hope would be that at each point enough damage could be done to give pause to the decision maker on the other side. That doesn't require any magical wunderwaffen or any remarkable effectiveness, necessarily. It just needs the point to be made that costs will be higher than hoped by the optimists on the other side, shifting the balance of influence amongst the various advisers and in the mind of the decision maker.

    I agree that the best use of the Hitler analogy and the related arguments against appeasement (I make no stipulation here that those arguments were necessarily valid in relation to Hitler, but they are so in received establishment opinion) in the modern world is to apply it to the US. The US is the powerful unappeasable aggressor, that will never be satisfied or stop voluntarily and in practice must be confronted at some point. I believe the Russians realised that in the late 1990s/early 2000s and took steps to enact it in Georgia in 2008 and onwards (Russians argue that the realisation and preparatory steps came long before that, and perhaps they are right, but 2008 was when it became clear to the global public, those who were watching.) But the fact is that confronting the US is dangerous and a tricky task. If not quite the Saker's "monkey playing with a hand grenade", certainly there are dangerous people around the US regime who if empowered too far and given free reign with the sheer power of the US will do even more disastrous things for the world than we have seen so far.

    We are talking about the situation of a reckless American attack on the Syrian Russian forces (which is just one step above what our beloved Nimrata already promised), which means the Americans are certainly playing a game of chicken.

    This is my additional argument: in a game of chicken the only way to win is to prove yourself reckless. The more reckless the better.
     
    One of the corollaries of the nuclear peace is never, ever, to get in a game of chicken.

    If the Americans launch an all out attack on Russian forces then that is indeed pretty much where we would be. That's one reason why I think it's unlikely they will do that, and expect a more punctuated escalation to that point.

    I have no doubt nevertheless there are voices around the US regime pressing for exactly that - an all out attack on Russian forces in Syria and damn the torpedoes. We just have to hope there are still enough grownups, or at least adolescents, around to keep them in their box.
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  • @myself
    After the Cold War, the West never gave any breathing room to Russia. They placed a puppet in power (Yeltsin), pushed NATO eastwards, destroyed Russian allies in the Middle East (and would have severed Russia from China, if that had been possible - but it was not), and of course staged a coup in the Ukraine.

    The Yeltsin government, which was weak, unpatriotic and deluded by Western prescriptions of "no-tarrifs" and "laissez-faire", essentially annihilated the Russian defense-industrial capability and tanked Russian economic growth.

    In the Yeltsin years, Russia's economy was restructured not thoughtfully, but disastrously. Like forcing so much medicine and surgery on a sick patient too soon, that he starts dying before your eyes. All of it because of Yeltsin's love for (and Western advice in favor of) lurching, vomit-inducing "reform". Gradual reform - NO! The nineties saw Russia drive right off a cliff.

    I can only conclude that the West sees Russia as an eternal, immutable, irreconcilable ENEMY. Note, I mean Russia, not the Soviet Union. Why? Because Russia is an "Alien Civilization", with paradigms and values very different from the West's, and with enough power, depth and size to not have to "bend the knee" to the the reconstituted Roman Empire - into which the West has morphed.

    Was it Zbigniew Brezinski who said "I like Russia so much that, where Russia sits now, I want there to be many Russias, ten Russias or more". Obviously so that any given society in that vast space can be more easily manipulated and intimidated. Such is Western thinking.

    Now we are at the end-game. Russia MUST be dissolved and their civilization extinguished between 2018 and 2020, or the window will start closing on the Western Empire. The multi-polar world is not merely coming, it is absolutely here.

    Russia's options multiply, and there are yet other powers in the world who will not "bend the knee" with whom Russia has natural partnership. These other civilizations grow in power, and their numbers multiply.

    IT'S NOW OR NEVER! And so the American and European elites have become utterly hysterical.

    “I like Russia so much that, where Russia sits now, I want there to be many Russias, ten Russias or more”.

    They would be better off applying that approach to China.

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    What do they want from Russia? There's no point to start a war for its own sake.

    There’s no point to start a war for its own sake.

    Wars are very profitable.

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  • @reiner Tor

    Or what happens if Russian weapons prove more successful than expected and the Americans lose a couple of carriers?
     
    I also mentioned that possibility! Because the capabilities of both weapons systems vis-à-vis the other are unknown, it’s very difficult for the Russians to calibrate a proportionate, but successful, yet not too costly (on either side - using up half their anti-ship missiles to destroy just one US carrier perhaps wouldn’t do it!) response.

    Because the capabilities of both weapons systems vis-à-vis the other are unknown

    And that’s another problem. The Yanks would dearly love to find out just how well their military tech stacks up against Russian military tech. A nice little limited war would let them find out. Of course that nice little limited war could turn out to be WW3.

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  • Here’s Corbyn’s half-hearted and rather cowardly piece in the Guardian, which is nevertheless head and shoulders above the rest of the British mainstream media and political scene:

    The Salisbury attack was appalling. But we must avoid a drift to conflict

    It’s better than nothing (mostly because of the abject failure of the rest), but if he were really a courageous leader of a serious opposition, he wouldn’t have conceded half the war from the outset by writing:

    Theresa May was right on Monday to identify two possibilities for the source of the attack in Salisbury, given that the nerve agent used has been identified as of original Russian manufacture. Either this was a crime authored by the Russian state; or that state has allowed these deadly toxins to slip out of the control it has an obligation to exercise.

    There is of course no good reason to rule out a non-Russian source for this incident, or even to accept yet that it was a nerve gas attack at all, since there is as yet no credible public domain evidence to that effect, only the word of government liars.

    Amusing to see that a few comments overwhelmingly supportive of Corbyn’s stance as refreshing slipped through and were massively up-voted, before the moderators quickly stepped in to say “comments had been opened by mistake”.

    And this illustrates what Corbyn was up against (though there’s no reason to have any sympathy for Labour – they made their own bed by not properly purging the Blairites from their party, who were always only waiting for the next opportunity to stab the party leadership in the back):

    Spy row stokes Labour’s foreign policy divisions

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  • @Verymuchalive
    I don't know your background, kimppis, but, from reading my posts, you may know mine. I am a (well ) over 50 male, educated to post-graduate level, living in the British Isles. I am very depressed by these current events, or rather the British Government and media's attitude to them. 25, 30. 40 years ago, the Government would have acted with restraint, would have said the matter was
    sub iudice and the investigation should be completed.The media would wait until the investigation was completed. The average person was better educated, had more worldly experience and was much more sceptical than now. Also, the MSM had a much wider range of views than the present MSM.

    Now, the Western MSMs are oligopolies, their views on Russia are very predictable and conform to those of their governments, surprise surprise. Most depressing of all, so many young people are miseducated semi-literates, whose main interest is pop culture. Many of them will be lapping up this garbage as truth.

    I am very depressed by these current events, or rather the British Government and media’s attitude to them. 25, 30. 40 years ago, the Government would have acted with restraint, would have said the matter was
    sub iudice and the investigation should be completed.The media would wait until the investigation was completed.

    Exactly my feelings. The lockstep, unquestioning rush to judgement and howling down of dissenters by our media and by our politicians is shockingly brazen and unashamed, and it seems particularly pervasive on this occasion, which is one reason I think something is up.

    It’s notable that Craig Murray, who is a longstanding UK dissident despite being a shameless lefty, wrote today that: “In 13 years of running my blog I have never been exposed to such a tirade of abuse as I have for refusing to accept without evidence that Russia is the only possible culprit for the Salisbury attack. The abuse has mostly been on twitter, and much of the most venomous stuff has come from corporate and state media “journalists”.”

    A link posted in one of the replies to that Murray page went to the following audio blog, which gave a couple of examples of the disgraceful media coverage quite well (I have no idea who the blog is by – probably a dumb lefty on political issues, but he obviously recognises the problem with our media and makes he point quite well):

    The Monologue: Leicester Academic Tara McCormack Destroys SKY News Kay Burley In Russia Debate!

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    What do they want from Russia? There's no point to start a war for its own sake.

    What do they want from Russia? There’s no point to start a war for its own sake.

    Someone with the skills and software should redo that clip with Putin’s face over the US president’s, Theresa May’s over the dead scientist’s, and Trump’s or Netanyahu’s over the alien’s.

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  • @Kimppis
    Well yes, atleast my point wasn't to disagree with Randal, indeed pretty much the opposite. Just my addition to that discussion and really my summary about this whole situation.

    But it's absolutely clear to me that every time something like this happens, every time any "Putler critic" dies and it's somehow possible to create a convenient conspiracy theory around it, that's how you should view the ensuing hysteria.

    This narrative is obviously just not going to end. It has probably never been this strong actually, because now it's mixed-up with the general post-Ukraine Russophobia and Russiagate. Which is incredibly bizarre due to the fact that Russia (certainly post-Soviet one) has probably never been this stable and safe. The Russian overall homicide and death rates have decreased massively, not to mention the number of journalist killings, but that has not stopped the Western media and establishment. We're living in a strange time.

    They just don't seem to get it, and I repeat myself once again: Russia has a population of 150 million, tens millions of those not fans of Putin, god knows how many journalists, many more or less pro-Western liberals in influencial positions and free flow of information TO Russia, but they seem to think that The Dark Lord killing some random "freedom fighter" every few years makes any difference, that it makes sense. The problem of course is that very few people are aware of those statistics, including most Russophiles, it seems. But it was really the whole Russiagate thing that showed how unhinged those people are about Russia. Nothing will surprise me anymore, I hope.

    I don’t know your background, kimppis, but, from reading my posts, you may know mine. I am a (well ) over 50 male, educated to post-graduate level, living in the British Isles. I am very depressed by these current events, or rather the British Government and media’s attitude to them. 25, 30. 40 years ago, the Government would have acted with restraint, would have said the matter was
    sub iudice and the investigation should be completed.The media would wait until the investigation was completed. The average person was better educated, had more worldly experience and was much more sceptical than now. Also, the MSM had a much wider range of views than the present MSM.

    Now, the Western MSMs are oligopolies, their views on Russia are very predictable and conform to those of their governments, surprise surprise. Most depressing of all, so many young people are miseducated semi-literates, whose main interest is pop culture. Many of them will be lapping up this garbage as truth.

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    • Agree: Kimppis
    • Replies: @Randal

    I am very depressed by these current events, or rather the British Government and media’s attitude to them. 25, 30. 40 years ago, the Government would have acted with restraint, would have said the matter was
    sub iudice and the investigation should be completed.The media would wait until the investigation was completed.
     
    Exactly my feelings. The lockstep, unquestioning rush to judgement and howling down of dissenters by our media and by our politicians is shockingly brazen and unashamed, and it seems particularly pervasive on this occasion, which is one reason I think something is up.

    It’s notable that Craig Murray, who is a longstanding UK dissident despite being a shameless lefty, wrote today that: “In 13 years of running my blog I have never been exposed to such a tirade of abuse as I have for refusing to accept without evidence that Russia is the only possible culprit for the Salisbury attack. The abuse has mostly been on twitter, and much of the most venomous stuff has come from corporate and state media “journalists”.”

    A link posted in one of the replies to that Murray page went to the following audio blog, which gave a couple of examples of the disgraceful media coverage quite well (I have no idea who the blog is by - probably a dumb lefty on political issues, but he obviously recognises the problem with our media and makes he point quite well):

    The Monologue: Leicester Academic Tara McCormack Destroys SKY News Kay Burley In Russia Debate!
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  • @Daniel Chieh
    What do they want from Russia? There's no point to start a war for its own sake.

    What do they want from Russia?

    “It is absolutely atrocious and outrageous what Russia did in Salisbury. We have responded to that. Frankly, Russia should go away and should shut up.”

    Gavin Williamson, Defence Secretary, 15 Mar 2018

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXyrizKS4R0

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  • @Mitleser
    /pol/ warned us

    That's Gavin WIlliamson, currently Defence Secretary, used to be Chief Whip, ran Theresa's leadership campaign, was also David Cameron's PPS. A Tory insider anon on brit/pol/ (the same one who tipped us off about the election being called) said he's been lined up for the leadership for a while now. Theresa is positioning him in the same way that Michael Howard did with Cameron. I backed him at 100/1, but 33/1 is still cracking value. If there's a contest he'll be the "stop Boris" candidate.
     
    http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/163064799/#163071926
    https://twitter.com/ianbremmer/status/974361793320620032

    British political journalist: AMA
     

    Hammond and Rudd aren't as close as people think. Hammond is a pro-EU Thatcherite (think early Thatcher, not late Thatcher), Rudd is a pro-EU Mayite. They only agree that Brexit is bad and that's about it, neither want each other to succeed the crown. I can definitely see a compromise in the near future involving the up and coming Gavin Williamson

    Centrists want a Cameroon or Mayite. The hard right want a Leaver. Gavin Williamson is the compromise candidate that could surprise people in the next election. Very loved internally, totally unheard of externally - potent leadership combination (think Cameron in 2005)
     

    Gavin Williamson is a modern Machiavelli is one I do believe. He will be PM in the next decade, guaranteed
     

    Williamson has full control over the party, he'll have recommendations in the right places and all the support he needs from Cameron et al
     
    http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/140918732

    Airheaded neocon/neocon collaborator as Tory leader – hardly a shock or anything new.

    There hasn’t been a Tory leader who didn’t answer to that description since Major, and the only reason he wasn’t a neocon was that he wasn’t bright enough to be evil. Though admittedly the quality trend has been sharply negative nonetheless, and Williamson would probably be the crowning turd on the dungpile in that regard.

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  • @Mitleser
    /pol/ warned us

    That's Gavin WIlliamson, currently Defence Secretary, used to be Chief Whip, ran Theresa's leadership campaign, was also David Cameron's PPS. A Tory insider anon on brit/pol/ (the same one who tipped us off about the election being called) said he's been lined up for the leadership for a while now. Theresa is positioning him in the same way that Michael Howard did with Cameron. I backed him at 100/1, but 33/1 is still cracking value. If there's a contest he'll be the "stop Boris" candidate.
     
    http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/163064799/#163071926
    https://twitter.com/ianbremmer/status/974361793320620032

    British political journalist: AMA
     

    Hammond and Rudd aren't as close as people think. Hammond is a pro-EU Thatcherite (think early Thatcher, not late Thatcher), Rudd is a pro-EU Mayite. They only agree that Brexit is bad and that's about it, neither want each other to succeed the crown. I can definitely see a compromise in the near future involving the up and coming Gavin Williamson

    Centrists want a Cameroon or Mayite. The hard right want a Leaver. Gavin Williamson is the compromise candidate that could surprise people in the next election. Very loved internally, totally unheard of externally - potent leadership combination (think Cameron in 2005)
     

    Gavin Williamson is a modern Machiavelli is one I do believe. He will be PM in the next decade, guaranteed
     

    Williamson has full control over the party, he'll have recommendations in the right places and all the support he needs from Cameron et al
     
    http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/140918732

    Williamson is known as Private Pike, and May is deeply unpopular so won’t be picking her successor. Still Conservative MPs are useless and they won’t allow party members a vote.

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    What do they want from Russia? There's no point to start a war for its own sake.

    Surrender

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  • @Randal

    Defence secretary warns of Russia plot against infrastructure
     
    People thought he was just another immature Blairite empty suit "qualified" by a BSc in Social Science from Bradford University, given to spouting Blairite warmongering nonsense because he's basically an amoral airhead.

    But look at him now.

    /pol/ warned us

    That’s Gavin WIlliamson, currently Defence Secretary, used to be Chief Whip, ran Theresa’s leadership campaign, was also David Cameron’s PPS. A Tory insider anon on brit/pol/ (the same one who tipped us off about the election being called) said he’s been lined up for the leadership for a while now. Theresa is positioning him in the same way that Michael Howard did with Cameron. I backed him at 100/1, but 33/1 is still cracking value. If there’s a contest he’ll be the “stop Boris” candidate.

    http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/163064799/#163071926

    British political journalist: AMA

    Hammond and Rudd aren’t as close as people think. Hammond is a pro-EU Thatcherite (think early Thatcher, not late Thatcher), Rudd is a pro-EU Mayite. They only agree that Brexit is bad and that’s about it, neither want each other to succeed the crown. I can definitely see a compromise in the near future involving the up and coming Gavin Williamson

    Centrists want a Cameroon or Mayite. The hard right want a Leaver. Gavin Williamson is the compromise candidate that could surprise people in the next election. Very loved internally, totally unheard of externally – potent leadership combination (think Cameron in 2005)

    Gavin Williamson is a modern Machiavelli is one I do believe. He will be PM in the next decade, guaranteed

    Williamson has full control over the party, he’ll have recommendations in the right places and all the support he needs from Cameron et al

    http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/140918732

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    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Williamson is known as Private Pike, and May is deeply unpopular so won't be picking her successor. Still Conservative MPs are useless and they won't allow party members a vote.
    , @Randal
    Airheaded neocon/neocon collaborator as Tory leader - hardly a shock or anything new.

    There hasn't been a Tory leader who didn't answer to that description since Major, and the only reason he wasn't a neocon was that he wasn't bright enough to be evil. Though admittedly the quality trend has been sharply negative nonetheless, and Williamson would probably be the crowning turd on the dungpile in that regard.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    Your argument boils down to what they already thought before the Great War: that because all economies are interconnected, the ruling dynasties are related to each other, and they all spend their vacations in the same resorts, so there can be no war.

    I don’t think it has more validity now than it had then.

    All things equal, they are less likely to nuclear bomb their own children, all their possessions, all their friends children – than a normal person – say: myself, would be.

    If missiles are flying on Moscow, obviously there are automatic procedures to retaliate. But if missiles and bombs will fly, it’s not going to be in any situation accept from direct attack from Western governments.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    The same argument was used before the First World War. The German Kaiser was first cousins with both the King of England and the Empress of Russia. They had much more to lose from a war than a normal average person. The world was globalized.

    Yet they started a war.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS

    I can certainly understand why you desperately don’t want to admit that obvious and hugely inconvenient truth.
     
    Works both ways.

    Pulling that, by the "executive branch" of the UK Government, now, against in essence, own asset, tell me, how does that look like?

    I'll try:
    "You betray your own side and defect to us. Then, when we feel expedient we murder you and close member of your family".
    Really?

    Works both ways.

    No, not really. Certainly not in this case.

    Pulling that, by the “executive branch” of the UK Government, now, against in essence, own asset, tell me, how does that look like?

    I’ll try:
    “You betray your own side and defect to us. Then, when we feel expedient we murder you and close member of your family”.
    Really?

    You do realise that this doesn’t work, even on its own spurious terms?

    If the British tried to murder Skripal because it was expedient (clearly a possibility and a more logical one than the idea that Russia did it if only on the basis of cui bono), they did it on the basis that it would be falsely attributed to the Russians.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    Things are hotting up:

    Florida university bridge collapses ‘leaving people trapped’

    Clearly it’s the Russians “sending a message” to Americans that they must fear Moscow.


    So the prophecy is now being fulfilled (albeit on a different continent):

    Defence secretary warns of Russia plot against infrastructure

    26 January 2018 (BBC)

    Russia could cause "thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths" by crippling UK infrastructure, the defence secretary has warned.
     

    Defence secretary warns of Russia plot against infrastructure

    People thought he was just another immature Blairite empty suit “qualified” by a BSc in Social Science from Bradford University, given to spouting Blairite warmongering nonsense because he’s basically an amoral airhead.

    But look at him now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    /pol/ warned us

    That's Gavin WIlliamson, currently Defence Secretary, used to be Chief Whip, ran Theresa's leadership campaign, was also David Cameron's PPS. A Tory insider anon on brit/pol/ (the same one who tipped us off about the election being called) said he's been lined up for the leadership for a while now. Theresa is positioning him in the same way that Michael Howard did with Cameron. I backed him at 100/1, but 33/1 is still cracking value. If there's a contest he'll be the "stop Boris" candidate.
     
    http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/163064799/#163071926
    https://twitter.com/ianbremmer/status/974361793320620032

    British political journalist: AMA
     

    Hammond and Rudd aren't as close as people think. Hammond is a pro-EU Thatcherite (think early Thatcher, not late Thatcher), Rudd is a pro-EU Mayite. They only agree that Brexit is bad and that's about it, neither want each other to succeed the crown. I can definitely see a compromise in the near future involving the up and coming Gavin Williamson

    Centrists want a Cameroon or Mayite. The hard right want a Leaver. Gavin Williamson is the compromise candidate that could surprise people in the next election. Very loved internally, totally unheard of externally - potent leadership combination (think Cameron in 2005)
     

    Gavin Williamson is a modern Machiavelli is one I do believe. He will be PM in the next decade, guaranteed
     

    Williamson has full control over the party, he'll have recommendations in the right places and all the support he needs from Cameron et al
     
    http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/140918732
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS

    I wouldn’t believe that either...
     
    That settles it I guess.

    Because I, somehow, don't see you, me or anyone on this site being invited to "Cobra", we are where we are.
    And....hehe....only "pro-West" side has biases, preconceived opinions and agendas.
    "Pro-Russia" doesn't.

    Funny.
    Feels almost as discussing with "progs". The same method I mean.

    My preconceived opinion is that I don’t know what happened, and I don’t take the word of habitual liars as evidence. But currently even if I accepted everything they say, they themselves never mention any evidence other than that it was Novichok. Which in and of itself is not an evidence at all. So they either lie about how they came to the conclusion, or they are imbeciles incapable of forming logical conclusions.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @LondonBob
    France, NATO, the US, Germany etc. Have publicly vented their real feelings then they line up in support because they have to. We, Britain, should have got the message not to push it.

    Just this morning Macron demanded more evidence.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor

    Haha….you want evidence in this case?
    O.K.
     
    Only if you want me to believe it. Even in the Litvinenko case a lot of evidence was made public. They also didn’t rush to judgment so quickly.

    Here, what evidence they talk about, is not an evidence. (Basically, that it was Novichok.) They are not talking about some secret evidence. I wouldn’t believe that either, but this way they are clearly lying about the process how they came to the conclusion.

    By the way, by so quickly telling the Russians that they already know it was them, aren’t they betraying the fact that they have a secret source inside Russia? Shouldn’t they wait a bit not to betray their secret source?

    I wouldn’t believe that either…

    That settles it I guess.

    Because I, somehow, don’t see you, me or anyone on this site being invited to “Cobra”, we are where we are.
    And….hehe….only “pro-West” side has biases, preconceived opinions and agendas.
    “Pro-Russia” doesn’t.

    Funny.
    Feels almost as discussing with “progs”. The same method I mean.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    My preconceived opinion is that I don’t know what happened, and I don’t take the word of habitual liars as evidence. But currently even if I accepted everything they say, they themselves never mention any evidence other than that it was Novichok. Which in and of itself is not an evidence at all. So they either lie about how they came to the conclusion, or they are imbeciles incapable of forming logical conclusions.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS

    You didn’t write a single argument why we should uncritically accept the official story here.
     
    Correct.
    I wrote my opinion about who's the most likely culprit and why.
    Opinions and orifices.
    And, isn't the very point of this site about not accepting, uncritically, anything?

    I don’t deny that it could have been Putin, but of course I can just as easily imagine someone else, like Israel
     
    Agree.

    I don’t know. I have certainly not seen any evidence.
     
    Haha....you want evidence in this case?
    O.K.

    Let me repeat my point that the handling of the issue by the UK didn’t raise my confidence in their statements.
     
    Agree.
    I'll repeat my point: it is more likely that the regime in Moscow did it than the UK Government/whoever did it.
    More..........likely..........say, 70/30.

    Haha….you want evidence in this case?
    O.K.

    Only if you want me to believe it. Even in the Litvinenko case a lot of evidence was made public. They also didn’t rush to judgment so quickly.

    Here, what evidence they talk about, is not an evidence. (Basically, that it was Novichok.) They are not talking about some secret evidence. I wouldn’t believe that either, but this way they are clearly lying about the process how they came to the conclusion.

    By the way, by so quickly telling the Russians that they already know it was them, aren’t they betraying the fact that they have a secret source inside Russia? Shouldn’t they wait a bit not to betray their secret source?

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    I wouldn’t believe that either...
     
    That settles it I guess.

    Because I, somehow, don't see you, me or anyone on this site being invited to "Cobra", we are where we are.
    And....hehe....only "pro-West" side has biases, preconceived opinions and agendas.
    "Pro-Russia" doesn't.

    Funny.
    Feels almost as discussing with "progs". The same method I mean.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    But it’s definitely possible that this time they are telling the truth.

    Who are they? If the UK, there is certainly some non-zero probability that they are telling the truth, in the sense that the Skripals were poisoned by "Novichok". But from there to the "Russians did it", absent other evidence, is not a question of "telling the truth".

    There is also some possibility that they have some secret information which would confirm that it really was the Russians.

    I just somehow don’t trust them enough to believe them, especially the way they handle the case. E.g. no contact to the OPCW, stonewalling Russian requests, talking about Novichok without telling us how they changed their minds regarding its very existence, saying that the mere fact that it was Novichok proved Russian culpability without explaining the glaring contradiction of it having been developed in Uzbekistan in a factory decommissioned by the US, etc. I feel like I’m being fed unsophisticated propaganda.

    Again, they could be telling me largely the truth (regarding the culprit), but they aren’t behaving as if they did.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal

    I have a vague feeling that you are losing your cool a bit here.
    If a Brit gentleman can get into that state here, what to expect from ethnic Russians?
    That Bush/Blair lying must’ve left some deep scares somewhere.
     
    Yes, being lied into a war by your own government is one thing, but being lied into a stupid and unsurprisingly disastrous war for the benefit of foreign interests tends to leave a mark.

    Especially when you see the same methods used again and again, successfully.

    Why don’t you speak with some Russians there who are critical of the Kremlin. Say, talk a lot of shit about Putin in public. Ask them how they feel now.
     
    Gosh, Russian exiles who are critical of the Kremlin. I wonder what they'd say if I asked them, in effect, whether they support the latest anti-Kremlin propaganda line?

    Nevertheless, it is clearly the case that just killing opponents in the US sphere by traditional methods would have at least as much of a chilling effect (probably more so in practice because it could be much more easily done repeatedly), with a fraction of the benefits to US sphere anti-Russian propaganda.

    I can certainly understand why you desperately don't want to admit that obvious and hugely inconvenient truth.

    I can certainly understand why you desperately don’t want to admit that obvious and hugely inconvenient truth.

    Works both ways.

    Pulling that, by the “executive branch” of the UK Government, now, against in essence, own asset, tell me, how does that look like?

    I’ll try:
    “You betray your own side and defect to us. Then, when we feel expedient we murder you and close member of your family”.
    Really?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Works both ways.
     
    No, not really. Certainly not in this case.


    Pulling that, by the “executive branch” of the UK Government, now, against in essence, own asset, tell me, how does that look like?

    I’ll try:
    “You betray your own side and defect to us. Then, when we feel expedient we murder you and close member of your family”.
    Really?
     
    You do realise that this doesn't work, even on its own spurious terms?

    If the British tried to murder Skripal because it was expedient (clearly a possibility and a more logical one than the idea that Russia did it if only on the basis of cui bono), they did it on the basis that it would be falsely attributed to the Russians.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal
    Things are hotting up:

    Florida university bridge collapses 'leaving people trapped'

    Clearly it's the Russians "sending a message" to Americans that they must fear Moscow.

    I have evidence, but I can't give it to you without compromising the sources, of course. Obviously it was the Russians, because they clearly have the capability to bring down bridges.

    Things are hotting up:

    Florida university bridge collapses ‘leaving people trapped’

    Clearly it’s the Russians “sending a message” to Americans that they must fear Moscow.

    So the prophecy is now being fulfilled (albeit on a different continent):

    Defence secretary warns of Russia plot against infrastructure

    26 January 2018 (BBC)

    Russia could cause “thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths” by crippling UK infrastructure, the defence secretary has warned.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Defence secretary warns of Russia plot against infrastructure
     
    People thought he was just another immature Blairite empty suit "qualified" by a BSc in Social Science from Bradford University, given to spouting Blairite warmongering nonsense because he's basically an amoral airhead.

    But look at him now.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • France, NATO, the US, Germany etc. Have publicly vented their real feelings then they line up in support because they have to. We, Britain, should have got the message not to push it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Just this morning Macron demanded more evidence.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    You didn’t write a single argument why we should uncritically accept the official story here. I don’t deny that it could have been Putin, but of course I can just as easily imagine someone else, like Israel. I don’t know. I have certainly not seen any evidence. Let me repeat my point that the handling of the issue by the UK didn’t raise my confidence in their statements.

    You didn’t write a single argument why we should uncritically accept the official story here.

    Correct.
    I wrote my opinion about who’s the most likely culprit and why.
    Opinions and orifices.
    And, isn’t the very point of this site about not accepting, uncritically, anything?

    I don’t deny that it could have been Putin, but of course I can just as easily imagine someone else, like Israel

    Agree.

    I don’t know. I have certainly not seen any evidence.

    Haha….you want evidence in this case?
    O.K.

    Let me repeat my point that the handling of the issue by the UK didn’t raise my confidence in their statements.

    Agree.
    I’ll repeat my point: it is more likely that the regime in Moscow did it than the UK Government/whoever did it.
    More……….likely……….say, 70/30.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Haha….you want evidence in this case?
    O.K.
     
    Only if you want me to believe it. Even in the Litvinenko case a lot of evidence was made public. They also didn’t rush to judgment so quickly.

    Here, what evidence they talk about, is not an evidence. (Basically, that it was Novichok.) They are not talking about some secret evidence. I wouldn’t believe that either, but this way they are clearly lying about the process how they came to the conclusion.

    By the way, by so quickly telling the Russians that they already know it was them, aren’t they betraying the fact that they have a secret source inside Russia? Shouldn’t they wait a bit not to betray their secret source?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    Anything is possible. I’m on record here saying that it’s certainly possible that it was the Russians. I just haven’t seen any evidence, and the handling of the case by the UK certainly didn’t inspire much confidence in me.

    But it’s definitely possible that this time they are telling the truth.

    But it’s definitely possible that this time they are telling the truth.

    Who are they? If the UK, there is certainly some non-zero probability that they are telling the truth, in the sense that the Skripals were poisoned by “Novichok”. But from there to the “Russians did it”, absent other evidence, is not a question of “telling the truth”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    There is also some possibility that they have some secret information which would confirm that it really was the Russians.

    I just somehow don’t trust them enough to believe them, especially the way they handle the case. E.g. no contact to the OPCW, stonewalling Russian requests, talking about Novichok without telling us how they changed their minds regarding its very existence, saying that the mere fact that it was Novichok proved Russian culpability without explaining the glaring contradiction of it having been developed in Uzbekistan in a factory decommissioned by the US, etc. I feel like I’m being fed unsophisticated propaganda.

    Again, they could be telling me largely the truth (regarding the culprit), but they aren’t behaving as if they did.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @reiner Tor
    You didn’t write a single argument why we should uncritically accept the official story here. I don’t deny that it could have been Putin, but of course I can just as easily imagine someone else, like Israel. I don’t know. I have certainly not seen any evidence. Let me repeat my point that the handling of the issue by the UK didn’t raise my confidence in their statements.

    Things are hotting up:

    Florida university bridge collapses ‘leaving people trapped’

    Clearly it’s the Russians “sending a message” to Americans that they must fear Moscow.

    I have evidence, but I can’t give it to you without compromising the sources, of course. Obviously it was the Russians, because they clearly have the capability to bring down bridges.

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    Things are hotting up:

    Florida university bridge collapses ‘leaving people trapped’

    Clearly it’s the Russians “sending a message” to Americans that they must fear Moscow.


    So the prophecy is now being fulfilled (albeit on a different continent):

    Defence secretary warns of Russia plot against infrastructure

    26 January 2018 (BBC)

    Russia could cause "thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths" by crippling UK infrastructure, the defence secretary has warned.
     
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I have a vague feeling that you are losing your cool a bit here.
    If a Brit gentleman can get into that state here, what to expect from ethnic Russians?
    That Bush/Blair lying must’ve left some deep scares somewhere.

    Yes, being lied into a war by your own government is one thing, but being lied into a stupid and unsurprisingly disastrous war for the benefit of foreign interests tends to leave a mark.

    Especially when you see the same methods used again and again, successfully.

    Why don’t you speak with some Russians there who are critical of the Kremlin. Say, talk a lot of shit about Putin in public. Ask them how they feel now.

    Gosh, Russian exiles who are critical of the Kremlin. I wonder what they’d say if I asked them, in effect, whether they support the latest anti-Kremlin propaganda line?

    Nevertheless, it is clearly the case that just killing opponents in the US sphere by traditional methods would have at least as much of a chilling effect (probably more so in practice because it could be much more easily done repeatedly), with a fraction of the benefits to US sphere anti-Russian propaganda.

    I can certainly understand why you desperately don’t want to admit that obvious and hugely inconvenient truth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    I can certainly understand why you desperately don’t want to admit that obvious and hugely inconvenient truth.
     
    Works both ways.

    Pulling that, by the "executive branch" of the UK Government, now, against in essence, own asset, tell me, how does that look like?

    I'll try:
    "You betray your own side and defect to us. Then, when we feel expedient we murder you and close member of your family".
    Really?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS
    I have a vague feeling that you are losing your cool a bit here.
    If a Brit gentleman can get into that state here, what to expect from ethnic Russians?
    That Bush/Blair lying must've left some deep scares somewhere.

    Good.

    So, if you really wish to go that route, what's the problem all with this?
    Why the regime in Kremlin just can't say "it was a matter of National Security etc"?

    A superpower comfortable with re-establishing its place on the world scale shouldn't have a problem with that.

    Russian allies , current and potential, would be uncomfortable with that admission?
    Or encouraged?

    Re

    That all sounds superficially clever, but in reality it doesn’t scare anyone, does it?
     
    Hehe...you sure?
    I have some doubts re that statement.
    Why don't you speak with some Russians there who are critical of the Kremlin. Say, talk a lot of shit about Putin in public. Ask them how they feel now.

    You didn’t write a single argument why we should uncritically accept the official story here. I don’t deny that it could have been Putin, but of course I can just as easily imagine someone else, like Israel. I don’t know. I have certainly not seen any evidence. Let me repeat my point that the handling of the issue by the UK didn’t raise my confidence in their statements.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Things are hotting up:

    Florida university bridge collapses 'leaving people trapped'

    Clearly it's the Russians "sending a message" to Americans that they must fear Moscow.

    I have evidence, but I can't give it to you without compromising the sources, of course. Obviously it was the Russians, because they clearly have the capability to bring down bridges.
    , @peterAUS

    You didn’t write a single argument why we should uncritically accept the official story here.
     
    Correct.
    I wrote my opinion about who's the most likely culprit and why.
    Opinions and orifices.
    And, isn't the very point of this site about not accepting, uncritically, anything?

    I don’t deny that it could have been Putin, but of course I can just as easily imagine someone else, like Israel
     
    Agree.

    I don’t know. I have certainly not seen any evidence.
     
    Haha....you want evidence in this case?
    O.K.

    Let me repeat my point that the handling of the issue by the UK didn’t raise my confidence in their statements.
     
    Agree.
    I'll repeat my point: it is more likely that the regime in Moscow did it than the UK Government/whoever did it.
    More..........likely..........say, 70/30.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal

    Uhm….mm…because part of it could’ve come from sources close to Kremlin’s reach?
    We are talking “intelligence business” here, mixed with high politics.
    The regime in Kremlin could have some people in RF/ex-USSR that provided some parts of the evidence.
    Besides…..even in a plain common criminal murder you don’t see public informed about all details of the crime……..
     
    LOL! Yes, it's all very familiar from the runup to the Iraq war. "Obviously they must have evidence, but obviously they can't give you the evidence because it might compromise sources."

    The eternal gotcha of the establishment warmonger.

    In the case of Iraq the "sources" all turned out to be laughably unreliable liars.

    In all this “Russia couldn’t have done it” and “it’s all Western play”, nobody is bothering with this:

    It’s publicly known that The Empire has a “kill list” of people who are supposed to get “droned” as soon as their location is known.
    They do get “droned” regardless of “collateral damage”.

    Why is it inconceivable that Russia could have such list?
    They had it in Chechnya, they have it in Syria.
    And people can get onto that list for plenty of reasons.
    You can’t drone a person in UK, but you can use other methods.

     

    Of course, you'll try this "everyone's doing it? What's the big deal?" ploy when you want to argue that the Russians might have done it, but as soon as you've won that point it will be back to "it's an outrageous, monstrous, uniquely evil crime by a uniquely brutal regime, that absolutely must be responded to".

    There won't be any of this "oh, they all do it, what's the big deal" smarm then, will there?

    The question “why” those two and why so public?
    Why the “message”.
    Well…..if there is a serious confrontation coming, why not scare a bit all those Russians who live in West to make them aware where their true loyalties should be?
    Those living in UK first.
     
    That all sounds superficially clever, but in reality it doesn't scare anyone, does it? Because it's so absurdly involved and high profile that no-one seriously expects it to start happening to ordinary opponents of Russia even if they were for some reason to believe the inherently ridiculous claim that Moscow would choose someone as inoffensive and irrelevant as Skripal to "make an example" of.

    If they really wanted to scare people they would start just killing high profile opponents effectively and by ordinary methods.

    I have a vague feeling that you are losing your cool a bit here.
    If a Brit gentleman can get into that state here, what to expect from ethnic Russians?
    That Bush/Blair lying must’ve left some deep scares somewhere.

    Good.

    So, if you really wish to go that route, what’s the problem all with this?
    Why the regime in Kremlin just can’t say “it was a matter of National Security etc”?

    A superpower comfortable with re-establishing its place on the world scale shouldn’t have a problem with that.

    Russian allies , current and potential, would be uncomfortable with that admission?
    Or encouraged?

    Re

    That all sounds superficially clever, but in reality it doesn’t scare anyone, does it?

    Hehe…you sure?
    I have some doubts re that statement.
    Why don’t you speak with some Russians there who are critical of the Kremlin. Say, talk a lot of shit about Putin in public. Ask them how they feel now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    You didn’t write a single argument why we should uncritically accept the official story here. I don’t deny that it could have been Putin, but of course I can just as easily imagine someone else, like Israel. I don’t know. I have certainly not seen any evidence. Let me repeat my point that the handling of the issue by the UK didn’t raise my confidence in their statements.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS
    Q:

    Why now?
     
    A:

    Well…..if there is a serious confrontation coming, why not scare a bit all those Russians who live in West to make them aware where their true loyalties should be?
     

    why not scare a bit all those Russians who live in West to make them aware where their true loyalties should be?

    From the discussion in the Kremlin between Putin and some senior advisers:

    “What a clever idea. I know – instead of just killing some of them and making them actually afraid they might themselves realistically be targets, we should do it in a ridiculously and theatrically horrible way that will give the maximum propaganda value to our enemies.

    The genius of it is that it’s so stupid that nobody would believe we could do it that way.”

    “But hang on – if they don’t believe we did it, how will it scare them?”

    “Um….. Never mind all that. It’s so deliciously evil let’s do it that way anyway.”

    “OK. Make it so.”

    Cut to Putin stroking white cat and chuckling evilly.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS

    So, it all comes down to secret evidence. A bunch of inveterate liars gave their word of honor that it is so.
     
    Yes.

    The catch is, sometimes inveterate liars could be telling the truth.

    Or very honest people lying through their teeth.Especially those in high places. Any high place anywhere.

    Anything is possible. I’m on record here saying that it’s certainly possible that it was the Russians. I just haven’t seen any evidence, and the handling of the case by the UK certainly didn’t inspire much confidence in me.

    But it’s definitely possible that this time they are telling the truth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    But it’s definitely possible that this time they are telling the truth.

    Who are they? If the UK, there is certainly some non-zero probability that they are telling the truth, in the sense that the Skripals were poisoned by "Novichok". But from there to the "Russians did it", absent other evidence, is not a question of "telling the truth".
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    Why is the evidence impossible to make public?

    The only evidence they claim to have date is the claim that the substance used to poison the Skripals was Novichok, and they have indeed made this claim public. What more do you want?

    I claim that you are a pedophile, I have made this claim public. What more do you want?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @for-the-record
    Statement by the Press Secretary on the United Kingdom’s Decision to Expel Russian Diplomats
    FOREIGN POLICY


    Issued on: March 14, 2018

    The United States stands in solidarity with its closest ally, the United Kingdom. The United States shares the United Kingdom’s assessment that Russia is responsible for the reckless nerve agent attack on a British citizen and his daughter, and we support the United Kingdom’s decision to expel Russian diplomats as a just response. This latest action by Russia fits into a pattern of behavior in which Russia disregards the international rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide, and attempts to subvert and discredit Western democratic institutions and processes. The United States is working together with our allies and partners to ensure that this kind of abhorrent attack does not happen again.

    a pattern of behavior in which Russia disregards the international rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide, and attempts to subvert and discredit Western democratic institutions and processes

    It’s almost as though there is some kind of national guilty conscience at work, when the US regime so loudly accuses others of precisely what it, itself, is regularly guilty of.

    disregards the international rules-based order

    You can’t defy the “international rules-based order” more openly than the US did this week by publicly declaring an intention to launch an illegal unilateral war of aggression against Syria on the entirely illegitimate pretext of a supposed use of chemical weapons (and that’s just in the past week – disregarding the long US track record of openly flouting its own UN Charter commitments by waging illegal unilateral wars of aggression in Yugoslavia and in Iraq, to name but two in the past two decades).

    undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide and attempts to subvert and discredit Western democratic institutions and processes

    This from the home of “democracy promotion” and “color revolutions”, with black budgets bigger than many countries’ entire defence budgets.

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  • @reiner Tor

    part of it could’ve come from sources close to Kremlin’s reach?
     
    So, it all comes down to secret evidence. A bunch of inveterate liars gave their word of honor that it is so.

    So, it all comes down to secret evidence. A bunch of inveterate liars gave their word of honor that it is so.

    Yes.

    The catch is, sometimes inveterate liars could be telling the truth.

    Or very honest people lying through their teeth.Especially those in high places. Any high place anywhere.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Anything is possible. I’m on record here saying that it’s certainly possible that it was the Russians. I just haven’t seen any evidence, and the handling of the case by the UK certainly didn’t inspire much confidence in me.

    But it’s definitely possible that this time they are telling the truth.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Daniel Chieh


    The question “why” those two and why so public?
    Why the “message”.
    Well…..if there is a serious confrontation coming, why not scare a bit all those Russians who live in West to make them aware where their true loyalties should be?
     
    Why now? Does Putin look like he needs a crisis to help him? It doesn't seem like it.

    Q:

    Why now?

    A:

    Well…..if there is a serious confrontation coming, why not scare a bit all those Russians who live in West to make them aware where their true loyalties should be?

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    • Replies: @Randal

    why not scare a bit all those Russians who live in West to make them aware where their true loyalties should be?
     
    From the discussion in the Kremlin between Putin and some senior advisers:

    "What a clever idea. I know - instead of just killing some of them and making them actually afraid they might themselves realistically be targets, we should do it in a ridiculously and theatrically horrible way that will give the maximum propaganda value to our enemies.

    The genius of it is that it's so stupid that nobody would believe we could do it that way."

    "But hang on - if they don't believe we did it, how will it scare them?"

    "Um..... Never mind all that. It's so deliciously evil let's do it that way anyway."

    "OK. Make it so."

    Cut to Putin stroking white cat and chuckling evilly.
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  • Statement by the Press Secretary on the United Kingdom’s Decision to Expel Russian Diplomats
    FOREIGN POLICY

    Issued on: March 14, 2018

    The United States stands in solidarity with its closest ally, the United Kingdom. The United States shares the United Kingdom’s assessment that Russia is responsible for the reckless nerve agent attack on a British citizen and his daughter, and we support the United Kingdom’s decision to expel Russian diplomats as a just response. This latest action by Russia fits into a pattern of behavior in which Russia disregards the international rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide, and attempts to subvert and discredit Western democratic institutions and processes. The United States is working together with our allies and partners to ensure that this kind of abhorrent attack does not happen again.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    a pattern of behavior in which Russia disregards the international rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide, and attempts to subvert and discredit Western democratic institutions and processes
     
    It's almost as though there is some kind of national guilty conscience at work, when the US regime so loudly accuses others of precisely what it, itself, is regularly guilty of.

    "disregards the international rules-based order"

    You can't defy the "international rules-based order" more openly than the US did this week by publicly declaring an intention to launch an illegal unilateral war of aggression against Syria on the entirely illegitimate pretext of a supposed use of chemical weapons (and that's just in the past week - disregarding the long US track record of openly flouting its own UN Charter commitments by waging illegal unilateral wars of aggression in Yugoslavia and in Iraq, to name but two in the past two decades).

    "undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide and attempts to subvert and discredit Western democratic institutions and processes"

    This from the home of "democracy promotion" and "color revolutions", with black budgets bigger than many countries' entire defence budgets.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.