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Everything we were told about the Soviet Union turned out to be a lie,
but everything we were told about the West turned out to be true

Russian joke

In May of 2016 I wrote an article for the Unz Review entitled “Counter-Propaganda, Russian Style” in which I tried to show the immense difference between the old, Soviet, approach to propaganda and counter-propaganda and the approach taken by the Russian authorities today. The main difference was this: if the Soviet went out of their way to prevent western propaganda from reaching the Soviet people, the Russians are nowadays doing the exact opposite: they are going out of their way to make sure that western propaganda is immediately translated and beamed into every single Russian household. What I propose to do today is to share with you a few recent examples of what Russian households are regularly exposed to.

By now, you must have heard about the CNN report about how the evil Russkies used Pokemon to destabilize and subvert the US. If not, here it is:

In Russia this report was in instant mega-success: the video was translated and rebroadcasted on every single TV channel. Margarita Simonian, the brilliant director of Russia Today, was asked during a live showbe truthful and confess – what is your relationship with Pokemon, do they work for you?” to which she replied “I feed them” – the audience burst in laughter.

The Russian Pokemon was just the latest in a long series of absolutely insane, terminally paranoid and rabidly russophobic reports released by the western Ziomedia, all of which were instantly translated into Russian and rebroadcasted by the Russian media.

One of the techniques regularly used on Russian talkshows is to show a short report about the latest crazy nonsense coming out of the United States or Europe and then ask a pro-US guests to react to it. The “liberals” (in the Russian political meaning of this word, that is a hopelessly naïve pro-western person who loves to trash everything Russian and who hates Putin and those who support him) are intensely embarrassed and usually either simply admit that this is crazy nonsense or try to find some crazy nonsense in the Russian media (and there is plenty of that too) to show that “we are just as bad”. Needless to say, no matter was escape route is chosen, the “liberal” ends up looking like a total idiot or a traitor.

In my May 2016 article I mentioned several examples of particularly heinous and offensive foreign characters which are regularly invited to the Russian talk shows including rabid Ukie nationalists, arrogant Polish russophobes and, last but not least, US reporters working in Moscow. To balance out these truly repugnant characters, mentally sane and credible foreign guests are also invited, typically from southern Europe (France, Italy, Spain). So the typical “guest matrix” ends up looking like this:

Good guys Bad guys
Russians Patriots Russophobic Liberals
Supported by Southern Europeans Ukies, Anglos, Germans

This is a formidable propaganda technique for a number of reasons. For one thing, it joins the internal and external russophobes at the hip in a kind of “guilt by association” which forces them to try to help each other which, if course, only makes them all look even worse (their negative traits reincorcing each other). There is not need to label anybody as “traitor” when the people in question do a great job placing that label upon themselves when they try to explain away all the crazy and hateful anti-Russian nonsense the western Ziomedia constantly spews. An average Russian who hears a Russian liberal explaining that the “Russian Pokemon” story might be based reality immediately wonders how much the CIA pays this SOB to say that kind of nonsense. But here is where this is getting really cute:

It ain’t the CIA paying that liberal – the Russians are doing it themselves!

A few days ago a major article appeared in the newspaper Komsomolskaia Pravda (yup, they kept that old and, frankly, silly sounding name which translates to “Truth of the Communist Youth League”) which revealed that some of the most offensive guests on Russian talkshows are paid a lot of money to spew their anti-Russian propaganda. Here are the top paid guests:

  • Viacheslav Kovtun (Ukraine): 500’000-700’000 rubles (about 8’700 to 12’000 dollars) each month
  • Michael Bohm (US): 500’000-700’000 rubles (about 8’700 to 12’000 dollars) each month
  • Iakub Koreiba (Poland): no less than 500’000 rubles (about 8’700 dollars) each month

According to the KP investigators, these guys have legal contracts and they pay Russian income taxes. So this is all very legal and quite pluralistic to boot: the only people who can seriously accuse the Russian government of trying to crack down on the opposition, pro-western political parties or anti-Putin ideas are folks who have have absolutely no factual knowledge about Russia *at all*. Either that, or they are deliberately lying. And that includes the vast majority of the western political leaders (in the US and in Europe) who are now scrambling to increase the budgets of the traditional western propaganda outfits such as VOA/RL/RFE or who want to create new propaganda outlets to “bring the democratic message to the Russian people”. In reality, the Russian people are fed a daily dose of western propaganda (aka “democratic message”) courtesy of the Kremlin, and that is something which the imbeciles in power in the West can’t even begin to imagine, nevermind deal with.

What is becoming increasingly evident is that western propagandists simply don’t understand the world they live in, especially the US Americans. Think of it: all the major countries involved in WWII had their own propaganda machine which was targeted exclusively at their own population and which was almost never seen by the other side. Likewise, during the Cold War, the frankly stupid people in charge of the Soviet propaganda machine spent immense resources trying to block the western propaganda from seeping in from under the Iron Curtain. As for the Soviet propaganda in the West, it did have a measurable effect (just look at the influence of various Communist Parties in Europe during the Cold War), but never enough to beat the base appeal to hedonism and consumerism promoted by the best and most effective branch of the western propaganda apparatus: Hollywood.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, Russia 
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I won’t even bother discussing the substance of what Trump had to say today because what he said deserves no such attention. I will quickly mention that yesterday Trump pulled the US out of UNESCO on behalf of Israeli interests. Today he basically announced a tepid, possibly hot, war on Iran. I am tempted to say “so what else is new?”. In fact, nothing, nothing at all.

This topic, the AngloZionist plans of war against Iran, has been what made me write my very first post on my newly created blog 10 years ago. Today, I want to reproduce that post in full. Here it is:

Where the Empire meets to plan the next war

Take a guess: where would the Empire’s puppeteers meet to finalize and coordinate their plans to attack Iran?

Washington? New York? London? NATO HQ in Brussels? Davos?

Nope.

In Herzilia. Never heard of that place?

The Israeli city of Herzliya is named after Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, and it has hosted a meeting of the Empire’s Who’s Who over the past several days at the yearly conference of the Herzilia Institute for Policy and Stragegy. For a while, Herzilia truly became the see of the Empire’s inner core of heavy hitters.

(Non-Israeli) speakers included:

Jose Maria Aznar Former Prime Minister of Spain, Matthew Bronfman, Chair of the Budget and Finance Commission, World Jewish Congress, and member of the World Jewish Congress Steering Committee, Amb. Nicholas Burns US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Prof. Alan Dershowitz Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Senator John Edwards Head of the One America Committee and candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Gordon England US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dr. Marvin C. Feuer Director of Policy and Government Affairs, AIPAC, Newt Gingrich Former U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rudolph Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City and candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, General the Lord Charles Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE. Former Chief of the Defense Staff and Chief of the General Staff of the British Army, Amb. Dr. Richard Haass President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Stephen E. Herbits Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress, Amb. Dr. Robert Hunter President of the Atlantic Treaty Association and Former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO. Senior Advisor at the RAND Corporation in Washington (also serves as Chairman of the Council for a Community of Democracies, Senior International Consultant to Lockheed Martin Overseas Corporation), Amb. Dr. Richard H. Jones United States Ambassador to Israel (also served as the Secretary of State’s Senior Advisor and Coordinator for Iraq Policy), Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman Director, Israel and Middle East Office, American Jewish Committee (also served in the IDF Intelligence Directorate for over 25 years), Christian Leffler Deputy Chief of Staff of the European Commissioner for External Relations and Director for Middle East and Southern Mediterranean, European Commission, The Hon. Peter Mackay Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator John McCain U.S. Senator (R) from Arizona and candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Dr. Edward L. Morse Chief Energy Economist, Lehman Brothers, Dr. Rolf Mützenich Member of the German Federal Parliament (SPD) and member of the Committee on Foreign Policy of the Bundestag (and Board Member of the “Germany-Iran Society”), Torkel L. Patterson President of Raytheon International, Inc., Richard Perle Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (previously served as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy), Amb. Thomas R. Pickering Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (previously served as Senior Vice President of Boeing), Jack Rosen Chairman of the American Jewish Congress (and member of the Executive Committee of AIPAC and of the Council on Foreign Relations), Stanley O. Roth Vice President for Asia, International Relations of the Boeing Company (member of the Council on Foreign Relations), James Woolsey Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and many others.

Pretty much the entire Israeli “Defence” establishment (why does nobody call it “Aggression establishment?) was present too.

Not bad for a “conference”?!

Of course, the main topic at the conference was the upcoming war with Iran. Richard Perle, the “Prince of Darkness”, delivered the keynote and conclusion: “If the Israeli government comes to the conclusion that it has no choice but to take action, the reaction of the U.S. will be the belief in the vitality that this action must succeed, even if the U.S. needs to act with Israel in the current American administration”.

Noticed anything funny in his words? It’s the “world only superpower” which will have the “belief” (?) in the action of a local country and, if needed, act with it. Not the other way around. Makes one wonder which of the two is the world only superpower, does it not?

Anyway – if anyone has ANY doubts left that the Empire will totally ignore the will of the American people as expressed in the last election and strike at Iran, this conference should settle the issue.

Also – there are other indicators and warnings. Besides the two aircraft carrier battle groups at Iran’s shores, AWACs planes and military equipment is being shipped to Turkey, and air bridge of C-17 heavy transport aircraft are delivering weapons to Siniora’s government in Lebanon, and forces are being deployed to Iraq to defend the dug-in US forces from Shia retaliation.

What about the Democratic majority in Congress? Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, settled any doubts about they would act when she declared at the 2006 AIPAC conference:

“The greatest threat to Israel’s right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now comes from Iran. For too long, leaders of both political parties in the United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and the Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear and missile technology. Proliferation represents a clear threat to Israel and to America. It must be confronted by an international coalition against proliferation, with a commitment and a coalition every bit as strong as our commitment to the war against terror.”

BTW – Hillary Clinton, the party’s leading contender for the presidential nomination, out-neocons many Republicans when it comes to Iran:

“Let’s be clear about the threat we face now: A nuclear Iran is a danger to Israel, to its neighbors and beyond. The regime’s pro-terrorist, anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric only underscores the urgency of the threat it poses. U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot and should not – must not – permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. In order to prevent that from occurring, we must have more support vigorously and publicly expressed by China and Russia, and we must move as quickly as feasible for sanctions in the United Nations. And we cannot take any option off the table in sending a clear message to the current leadership of Iran – that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.”

So much for the will of the American people. As Justin Raimondo exclaimed in his recent article about the upcoming war on antiwar.com – isn’t democracy wonderful?!

(Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Iran, Israel Lobby, Neocons 
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The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked the end of the longest experiment in Communism in recent history. Many saw this event as the proof that Communism (or Marxism-Leninism, I use these interchangeably here) was not a viable ideology. After all, if in Russia Communism was formally ended in 1991, the Chinese quietly shifted away from it too, replacing it with a uniquely Chinese brand of capitalism. Finally, none of the ex-Soviet “allies” chose to stick to the Communist ideology as soon as they recovered their freedom. Even Chavez’ brand of Communism resulted in a completely bankrupt Venezuela. So what’s there to argue about?

Actually, a great deal, beginning with every single word in the paragraph above.

Communism – the past:

For one thing, the Soviet Union never collapsed. It was dismantled from above by the CPSU party leaders who decided that the Soviet nomenklatura would split up the Soviet “pie” into 15 smaller slices. What happened after that was nothing more than the result of in infighting between these factions. Since nobody ever empowered these gangs of Party apparatchiks to dissolve the USSR or, in fact, to reform it in any way, their actions can only be qualified as a totally illegal coup. All of them, beginning with the Gorbachev and Eltsin gangs were traitors to their Party, to their people and to their country. As for the people, they were only given the right to speak their opinion once, on March 17, 1991, when a whopping 77.85% voted to preserve the “the USSR as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics in which the rights and freedom of an individual of any nationality will be fully guaranteed” (see here for a good discussion of this now long-forgotten vote). There was no collapse. There was a coup or, even more accurately, a series of coups, all executed by traitors from the Party apparatus in total illegality and against the will of the people. Some will object that the fact that the Communist Party was full of traitors. But unless one can explain and prove that Communism systematically and somehow uniquely breeds traitors this accusation has no merit (as of Christians did not betray Christianity, democrats democracy or Fascists Fascism).

Second, is Communism a viable ideology? Well, for one thing, there are two schools of thought on that topic inside Marxist ideology. One says that Communism can be achieved in one country, the other says that no, for Communism to become possible a world revolution is necessary. Let’s first set aside the first school of thought for a while and just look at the second one. This will be tricky anyway since all we have to judge its empirical correctness is a relatively short list of countries. I already hear the objection “what? Ain’t Soviet Russia, Maoist China, PolPot’s Kampuchea and, say, Kim Il-sung’s DPRK not enough?”. Actually, no. For one thing, according to the official Soviet ideology, Communism as such was never achieved in the USSR, only Socialism. This is why the country was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Communism was seen as a goal, Socialism as an unavoidable, intermediate, transitional phase. To say that Communism failed in the USSR is just about as logical as to say that a half-built building failed to provide a comfortable shelter. China, of course, has not “failed” to begin with, Pol Pot’s Kampuchea as probably a (horrific) attempt at building a truly Communist society almost overnight, but that by itself contradicts the Historical/Dialectical Materialist Theory of Marxism which states the need for a transitional Socialist phase. As for the DPRK, it’s ideology is not Marxism or Communism, but Juche, at most a distant relative. So no, these few examples are hardly representative of anything, if only because the form a sample too small to be relevant and because none of them qualify as “test case”.

Now coming back to “Communism cannot be achieved in one country” argument, let’s look at it from a pure red-white-n-blue kind of Merican ideological position and remember that the proponents of US-style capitalism like to remind us that Reagan’s arms race is what bankrupted the Soviet Union, which could not keep up with it. Other proud American patriots also like to say that, well, the USA brought down the price of oil, making it impossible for the Soviets to continue spending and that this fall in prices is what made the Soviet economy collapse. Personally, I find these arguments both stupid and ignorant, but let’s accept them as self-evidently true. Does that not show that the USSR collapsed due to external factors and not due to some inherent internal flaw?

Modern training (I don’t call it “education”) does not really emphasize logic, so I will rhetorically ask the following question: if we accept that Capitalism defeated Communism proves that Communism was not viable or that Capitalism is superior? To the many (alas) who will answer “yes” I would suggest that if you lock a hyena and a human being in a cage and force them to fight for resources, the human is most unlikely to win. Does that prove that the human is not viable or the hyena “superior”?

Marxism-Leninism clearly states that Capitalism is built on the oppression of the weak and that imperialism is the highest stage of Capitalism. We don’t have to agree with this argument (though I personally very much do), but neither can it be dismissed simply because we don’t like it. In fact, I would argue that disproving it should be a key element of any serious refutation of Communism. But to keep things short, all I will say is this: any person who has actually traveled in Asia, Africa or South America will attest that the Communists (USSR, China, Cuba) actually sent immense amounts of aid including raw materials, technologies, specialists, doctors, military advisors, agronomists, water-sanitation engineers, etc. In contrast, ask anybody in these continents what Capitalism brings, and you will get the same answer: violence, exploitation and the support for a local Comprador ruling gang. To anybody arguing with this I could only recommend one thing: begin traveling the world.

[Sidebar: So yes, using the hyena as a symbol of Capitalism in my allegory above is fair. As for the 'cage' – it is simply our planet. What I do think is wrong is equating Communism with a human being. But that at this point of our conversation is my own private opinion and not an argument at all. I have been an anti-Communist my entire life, and I still remain one, but that is hardly a reason for me to accept logically flawed and counter-factual anti-Communist arguments].

At this point in the conversation my typical Capitalist interlocutor would bombard me with a fully or short slogans like “dude, in every Communist society people vote with their feet, have you forgotten the Boat-People, the Marielitos or the folks jumping over the Berlin Wall?” or “every single country in Eastern Europe rejected Communism as soon as the Soviet tanks left – does that not tell you something about Communism?”. Usually the person delivering these slogans gets a special glee in the eye, a sense of inevitable triumph so it is especially rewarding to observe these before debunking all this nonsense.

Let’s begin with the feet-voting argument. It is utter nonsense. Yes, true, some people did run away from Communist societies. The vast majority did not. And please don’t give me the “their families were held hostage” or “the secret police was everywhere to prevent that”. The truth is much simpler:

 
• Category: History, Ideology • Tags: Communism, Marxism, Soviet Union 
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The recent referenda in Catalonia and Kurdistan, while by no means crucial developments for Russia, have resulted in a lively debate in the Russian media and the Russian public opinion. The Kremlin itself has refrained from making any strong statements, possibly indicating that there might be several schools of thought on these issues in key ministries. Let’s look at these two situation from the Russian point of view.

Kurdistan:

This is the comparatively simpler one of the two: there is no way Russia is going to take the risk of alienating Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Furthermore, “independent Kurdistan” is so clearly a US-Israeli project that there is no constituency in Russia supporting this concept. Or is there?

Let’s not forget the for all the official smiles and declarations of mutual friendship, Erdogan is not, and will never, be trusted by the Kremlin. Furthermore, let’s not forget that Russia and Turkey fought 12 (twelve!) wars (1568-1570, 1672-1681, 1686-1700, 1710-1713, 1735-1739, 1768-1774, 1787-1791, 1806-1812, 1828-1829, 1853-1856, 1877-1878, 1914-1918). Neither should we forget the role Turkey played in supporting Takfiri terrorism in Chechnia. Or the fact that Erdogan himself bears a huge responsibility in the bloodbath in Syria. Oh and there is the issue of the Russian bomber shot down (with US assistance) over Syrian airspace. So, all in all, there is a lot in the past and the Russians will not ignore it. While it is most definitely not in the Russian national interest to fully support an independent Kurdistan anywhere (meaning not in Turkey, not in Iraq, not in Iran and not in Syria), a Realpolitik approach would strongly suggest that the Russian have an objective interest in keeping the Kurdish issue festering just to have a potential leverage against Turkey. Is that cynical? Yes, absolutely. I am not saying that this is morally/ethically right, only that there will be those in Russia who will make that case.

I think that the real issue for Russia is this: is peace between Russia and Turkey even possible? I personally believe that it is and, not only that, but I even believe that peace between Russia and Turkey is absolutely necessary. And that, in turn, means that it might even be inevitable. Let me explain.

First, 20th, 19th, 18th, 17thand 16th century dynamics are simply not transferable to the 21st century. If the geographical factors have not changed during the past centuries, military realities have. Yes, Russia and Turkey still can compete for influence or for the control of the Black Sea, but for the first time in history the outcome of a Russian-Turkish war has become absolutely predictable: Russia wins, Turkey loses or even disappears entirely. The Russians know that, and so do the Turks. This is exceedingly unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Second, I would argue that Russia and Turkey have common problems and common enemies. Sure, Turkey is still a member of NATO, I don’t think that will change anytime soon, but this membership is in the process of losing a lot of its substance. The attempted coup against Erdogan, which was fully backed and supported by the US, is a stark illustration that with friends like the US Turkey needs no enemies. So look at it from the Turkish point of view: what do Russia and the US want for Turkey? The US want Turkey to be a US colony and use against Russia, Iran and the Arab states in the region and in support of Israel. What does Russia want from Turkey? To be a predictable, reliable and truly independent partner with whom Russia can work. Now if you were Turkish, which option would most appeal to you?

Third, former enemies can become partners – just think of France and Germany for example. That can happen when objective factors combine with a political will and jointly “push” towards a fundamental transition from enemies to partners. I am increasingly inclined to think that this might be happening between Russia and Turkey.

I don’t think I am being Pollyannish here. And yes, there are still plenty of problems in Turkey which can flare-up, including Ergodan’s megalonania, neo-Ottoman imperial delusions, a nasty type of Ottoman Islamism, Turkey’s toxic policies towards Cyprus, Greece and Serbia, etc. But Russia cannot complain about the blind stupidity of East-Europeans who fail to grasp the fundamental differences between the old USSR and the new Russia while at the same time acting as of modern Turkey was the old Ottoman Empire. There are moments in history when what is required from wise leaders is to have the intellectual courage to understand that something fundamental has changed and that old dynamics simply do not apply. At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North.

Fourth, the Kurdish question also presents a serious indirect risk for Russia: even if Russia is not directly involved, any tensions or, God forbid, war between any combination of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq would be a disaster for Russia because all of these countries are, to various degrees, Russian allies. Any conflict between these countries would weaken them and, therefore, weaken Russia too.

For all these reasons, I am personally convinced that having a festering Kurdish problem is not in the Russian national interest. However, neither is it in the Russian national interest to try to become deeply involved in this issue. At most, the Russians can offer to act as intermediaries to help the parties find a negotiated solution, but that’s is about it. Russia is neither an empire nor a world policeman and she has no business trying to influence or, even less so, control outcomes in this thorny issue.

Israel and the US will do everything they can to prevent Turkey from integrating itself into regional partnerships with Russia or Iran, but this might not be enough to prevent the Turks from realizing that they have no future with the EU or NATO. In the AngloZionist Empire some are more equal than others, and Turkey will never be granted any kind of real partnership in these organizations. The bottom line is this: Russia has a lot to offer Turkey and I believe that the Turks are beginning to realize this. Russia can, therefore, do much better than to simply support Kurdish separatism as a way to keep pressure on Ankara. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is too primitive to be at the foundation of Russia’s policies towards Turkey.

For all these reasons I don’t see Russia supporting Kurdish separatism anywhere. Russia has nothing to gain by supporting what is clearly a US-Israeli project aimed at destabilizing the entire region. I believe that the Kurds themselves have made a huge historical mistake by aligning themselves with the US and Israel and that they therefore will now reap the bitter fruits of this strategic miscalculation: nobody in the region supports a “2nd Israel” (except Israel, of course) and neither will Russia.

Catalonia

Catalonia is far away from Russia and the outcome of the crisis there will have no real impact on Russian national interests. But on a political level, Catalonia is highly relevant to the Russian political debates. See for yourself:

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Catalonia, Kurds, Russia, Turkey 
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This is a topic which has had so much written about it that you could fill an entire city library with books entirely dedicated to this topic. Marx took a shot at it. As did Sartre. There were, of course, also plenty of good books written on this topic, but rather than list them all, I want to suggest a few simple common sense points and then go to what I consider an authoritative explanation of this thing we call “antisemitism” and which, of course, has nothing to do with Semites.

So first, let’s dump this silly term and replace it by a simple and straightforward one: judeophobia. Just like any other phobia (say, for example, russophobia) the phobia of X is the 1) fear and/or hatred of X. Some people hate Jews, others fear them (think of the “fear of the Jews” in the Scripture), some do both. So judeophobia seems both logical and uncontroversial to me.

Second, it is a truism to say that everything in the universe has a cause. That includes phobias. Including russophobia and judeophobia. For example, I would be the first person to admit that there are objective characteristics of the Russian people which makes other people fear and hate them. Like the fact that all western attempts at conquering Russia have failed. Or that the Russians have always, and still are, rejecting the Papacy. Just these two factors will create plenty of russophobia in the West, for sure.

So, the next thing we can ask ourselves is what is it in Jews which causes judeophobia. Alas, before I look into this, I need to clarify a number of assumptions I make.

The first one is that Jews are not a race or ethnicity. To prove that, I defer to Shlomo Sand’s book “The Invention of the Jewish People”. As I explained elsewhere, Jews are a tribe: A group one can chose to join (Elizabeth Taylor) or leave (Gilad Atzmon). In other words, I see “Jewishness” as a culture, or ideology, or education or any other number of things, but not something rooted in biology. However, I also fully agree with Atzmon when he says that Jews are not a race, but that Jewish culture/politics/ideology is racist (more about that later).

Next, there is also what is commonly known as “Judaism”. That, by the way, is also a misnomer, at least if by “Judaism” you refer the faith of the Old Testament, the faith of the Ancient Israel, the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our forefathers”. Modern “Judaism” which was created well after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70AD. Modern “Judaism” ought be to called “Pharisaic Talmudism” and its true creators are Shimon bar Yochia, Maimonides (aka “Rambam” in the video below), Joseph Karo and Isaac Luria. The reason why this religion ought to be referred to as Pharisaic Talmudism is modern Judaism is the continuation of the sect of the Pharisees (the only Jewish sect which survived the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple – all modern forms of “Judaism” trace their roots to the Pharisees) and that it’s main source of authority is the Talmud, a collection of writings based on the ideas of the sect of the Pharisees and complied from the beginning of the 2nd century. To separate them from non-religious Jews, some authors have offered the term “Judaic” to describe a person adhering to this faith. Seems reasonable to me.

Here is the key thing, while many modern Jews are non-religious and really members of a self-described Jewish tribe, there is no such thing in history as a “Jewish culture” distinct from Pharisaic Talmudism. Remember that national categories are recent creations from the 18th and 19th centuries. For most of history people defined them in reference to 1) their place of residence or birth 2) their religious affiliation and 3) the identity of the ruler they were subjects of. In contrast, nationality and ethnicity are largely modern concepts. The only thing common to a Jew from the Middle-East, Central Europe and North Africa would be teachings of Pharisaic Talmudism. It is only logical therefore to look at this unique common characteristic to try to identify the causes of the hatred and fear Jews have inspired pretty much everywhere they have ever resided.

I will use two official Jewish sources to ascertain the causes of antisemitism, first the Simon Wiesenthal Multi-Media Learning Center’s website and a lecture by Rabbi David Bar Hayim.

Here is what the Simon Wiesenthal Center writes on the page “Why The Jews? The Patterns of Persecution”

Jewish communities existed continuously in Europe for over 2,000 years. Many of these communities were older than the countries in which they existed. Nevertheless, as the countries of Europe developed, Jews were rarely given complete citizenship status. At best they were tolerated as guests. Their social and religious distinctiveness made them persistent targets for persecution; and such persecution, in turn, intensified the cohesiveness of Jewish communities.

The emergence of Christianity as the dominant religion in Europe intensified the persecution of Jews. Since both the religious and political life of Europe became organized around the Christian faith, Jews were seen as outcasts, the deniers and “killers” of Christ. For millions of European Christians, for over 1600 years, the hatred and persecution of Jews was religiously sanctioned. Antisemitism intensified during the l9th and 20th century industrialization of Europe as Jews participated more directly in European economic and social life.

By 1933, the patterns of economic, social, and personal persecution of European Jews were well established. Nazi racial antisemitism and propaganda amplified and manipulated these patterns, ultimately adding one deadly tenet–that all Jews must be eliminated.

This is the garden variety cop-out: they were older, but never given citizenship, they were tolerated as guests, their social and religious distinctiveness made them targets for persecution, then the Christians accused them of killing Christ, antisemitism was religiously sanctioned, then came the Nazis and added their racist propaganda. But it has a grain of truth buried deep inside the rest of the platitudes: “social and religious distinctiveness”. What are we talking about here exactly?

This sounds interesting so let’s immediately delve into it!

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Anti-Semitism, Jews, Judaism 
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By now many of you must have heard the news: a Russian Lieutenant-General, Valery Asapov, and two Colonels have been killed in what appears to be a very precisely targeted mortar attack. Just as in the case of the Russian military police unit recently attacked near Deir ez-Zor, the Russians are accusing the Americans of being behind this attack. To make things even worse, the Russians are now also officially accusing the Americans of actively collaborating with ISIS:

US Special Operations Forces units enable US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces units to smoothly advance through the ISIS formations. Facing no resistance of the ISIS militants, the SDF units are advancing along the left shore of the Euphrates towards Deir-ez-Zor. The aerial photos made on September 8-12 over the ISIS locations recorded a large number of American Hummer vehicles, which are in service with the America’s SOF. The shots clearly show the US SOF units located at strongholds that had been equipped by the ISIS terrorists. Though there is no evidence of assault, struggle or any US-led coalition airstrikes to drive out the militants. Despite that the US strongholds being located in the ISIS areas, no screening patrol has been organized at them. This suggests that the US troops feel safe in terrorist controlled regions.

These are the maps and aerial photos provided by the Russians (for higher resolution, click here)

What this all seems to point to is that the Pentagon has now apparently decided to attack Russian forces directly, albeit unofficially. From the Pentagon’s point of view, this (almost) makes sense.

First, by now it is pretty darn clear that the “good terrorists” and the “bad terrorists” have lost the civil war in Syria. Simply put, the USA has been defeated, Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have won and the Israelis are now freaking out.

Second, the American plan to use the Kurds as foot-soldiers/canon-fodder has failed. The Kurds are clearly too smart to be pulled in such a losing proposition.

Third, the American plan-B option, the partition of Syria, is now itself directly threatened by the Syrian military successes.

Last and not least, the Americans by now are deeply humiliated and enraged at the Russian success in Syria.

Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov
Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov

Hence they have now apparently taken the decision to directly target Russian military personnel and they are using their considerable reconnaissance capabilities combined with US Special Forces on the ground, working side by side with “good” and “bad” terrorists, to target and attack Russian military personnel.

This is not the first time, by the way. There is pretty good evidence that a Russian hospital near Aleppo was targeted using means not available to the local Daesh franchise. This time, however, the Americans are not even trying to hide. The message seems to be this all-time American favorite “watcha gonna do about it?“.

There is a lot the Russians could do about it, in fact. I wrote about this in my article “Using plausible deniability against a systematically lying adversary“. If the folks at CENTCOM really believe that their generals are all safe and out of reach they are deeply mistaken. Unlike the Russians and, even more so, the Iranians, US Generals are mostly risk averse and hard to get to in Syria. But who said that Russia would have to retaliate in Syria? Or, for that matter, that Russia would have to use Russian forces to retaliate. Yes, Russia does have special units trained in the assassination of high-value targets in hostile countries, but that does not at all mean that they would decide to use them. Accidents can happen anywhere and the roads are notoriously dangerous in the Middle-East. Why do I mention that? To illustrate that Russia does have options short of overtly going to war.

Of course, the Russians could simply fire a volley of Kalibr cruise missile at any of the ISIS positions shown in the photos above and then go “oops, you had personnel embedded with these al-Qaeda types? Really? We had no idea, no idea at all“. Syria also have a pretty solid arsenal of tactical ballistic missiles. The Syrians could mistakenly hit any such ISIS+US positions and express consternation at the presence of US military personnel in the midst of terrorists. There is also Hezbollah who, in the past, has even seized Israelis soldiers in raids across the border and who could decide to capture themselves some US SOF types. And let’s not forget the Iranians who have not had such an golden opportunity to finally get their hands on US military personnel since many years.

The three key weakness of the US force posture in Syria are: first, their own force in Syria is too small to make a difference, but big enough to represent a lucrative target and, second, all the boots on the ground which matter are against them (Syrians, Iran, Turkey, Hezbollah and the Russians). Finally, the only two real US allies in the region are too afraid to put boots on the ground: Israel and the Saudis.

The bottom line is that if the Americans think that the Russians and their allies don’t have options they are deeply mistaken. They also should seriously consider the consequence of having US SOF operating in forward positions. The Syrians are closing the distance fast and this might not be the best time to hunt Russian military personnel.

So far the Russians have only limited themselves to protests and expressions of disgust. This has clearly not been an effective strategy. The Russians apparently don’t realize that very few people care and that the more the complain, the less credible their warnings sound. This is not a sustainable approach and the Russians will so “have to do something about it”, to use the American expression.

Things might become very dangerous, very fast and very soon.

(Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Russia, Syria 
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Something rather unprecedented just happened in Syria: US backed “good terrorist” forces attempted a surprise attack against Syrian government forces stationed to the north and northeast of the city of Hama. What makes this attack unique is that it took place inside a so-called “de-escalation zone” and that it appears that one of the key goals of the attack was to encircle in a pincer-movement and subsequently capture a platoon of Russian military police officers deployed to monitor and enforce the special status of this zone. The Russian military police forces, composed mainly of soldiers from the Caucasus region, fought against a much larger enemy force and had to call for assistance. For the first time, at least officially, Russian special operations forces were deployed to rescue and extract their comrades. At the same time, the Russians sent in a number of close air support aircraft who reportedly killed several hundred “good” terrorists and beat back the attack (Russian sources speak of the destruction of 850 fighters, 11 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, 46 armed pickup trucks, five mortars, 20 freighter trucks and 38 ammo supply points; you can see photos of the destroyed personnel and equipment here). What also makes this event unique is the official reaction of the Russians to this event.

Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi declared that:

“Despite agreements signed in Astana on September 15, gunmen of Jabhat al-Nusra and joining them units that don’t want to comply with the cessation of hostilities terms, launched a large-scale offensive against positions of government troops north and northeast of Hama in Idlib de-escalation zone from 8 am on September 19 (…) According to available data, the offensive was initiated by American intelligence services to stop a successful advance of government troops east of Deir ez-Zor“.

Today, other Russian officials have added a not-so-veiled threat to this accusation. The Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov has declared that:

Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed (…) Fire from positions in regions [controlled by the SDF] will be suppressed by all means necessary.

This is unprecedented on many levels. First, the Russians clearly believe that this attempt to kill or capture a platoon of the Russian military police was planned by the United States. The fact that they are making this accusation officially shows the degree of irritation felt by the Russians about the duplicity of the Americans. Second, this is the first time, at least to my knowledge, that Russian Spetsnaz forces had to be sent in to rescue a surrounded Russian subunit. All Spetsnaz operators survived, but three of them were wounded in the operation (the Russians are not saying how badly). The close air support by very low flying SU-25 aircraft was obviously coordinated by Spetsnaz forward air controllers and probably saved the day. In other words, this was a close call and things could have ended much more badly (just imagine what the Takfiri crazies would have done, on video, to any captured Russian serviceman!). Finally, a US-organized attack on what was supposed to be a “de-confliction” zone combined with an attempt to capture Russian soldiers raises the bar for American duplicity to a totally new level.

The big question now is “do the Russians mean it?” or are they just whining with real determination to hit back if needed.

There are a couple of problems here. First, objectively, the Russian contingent in Syria is a tiny one if compared to the immense power of CENTCOM, NATO and the ever-present Israelis. Not only that, but in any US-Russian confrontation, Russia as a country is objectively the weaker side by any measure except a full-out nuclear exchange. So the Russians are not in a position of force. Furthermore, for historical and cultural reasons, Russians are much more concerned by the initiation of any incident which could lead to all-out war than the Americans who always fight their wars in somebody else’s country. This might seem paradoxical, but the Russians fear war but they are ready for it. In contrast to the Russians, the Americans don’t fear war, but neither are they ready for it. In practical terms this means that an American miscalculation could very well lead to a Russian military response which would stun the Americans and force them to enter an escalatory spiral which nobody would control.

Remember how Hillary promised that she would unilaterally impose a so-called “no-fly” zone over Syria? She promised not only to deploy US aircraft above Russian forces in Syria, but she also promised that she would force the Russian Aerospace forces out of the Syrian skies. Thank God, this crazy witch was not elected, but it appears that folks with the same arrogant and,frankly, completely irresponsible point of view are now back in power under Trump.

My fear now is that the incompetent, arrogant, not too bright and generally ignorant commanders at the Pentagon and the CIA will simply ignore clear warning signs coming from the Russians, including the public announcement that the Kremlin has given the authority to use force to protect Russian personnel to the local Russian commanders in Syria. In plain English, this means that if they are attacked the Russians in Syria do not need to consult with Moscow before using force to protect themselves. By the way, such rules of engagement are pretty common, there is nothing earth shattering here, but the fact that they were made public is, again, a message to the AngloZionist and the “good” terrorist they use to try to conquer Syria.

This time around we (the world) were lucky. The Syrians fought hard and the “good” terrorists were probably surprised by the ruthless determination of the Russian military police forces (in reality, mostly Chechen special forces) and of the Spetsnaz operators. It is one thing to fight Syrian conscripts, quite another to deal with these hardened warriors. But the next time around the outcome could be different.

The bigger picture is also one which gives me a great deal of concern. The Syrians, with Iranian, Hezbollah and Russian help, have freed Deir ez-Zor and have crossed the Euphrates river and are moving further East. In plain English this means that the US and Daesh have lost the war and that the last region of Syrian from which the AngloZionists can hope to partition the country (their current “plan B”) and establish a permanent US military presence is now threatened by the Syrian advance. The distance between the US forces currently deployed in northeastern Syria and Syrian, Iranian, Hezbollah and Russian forces is becoming shorter and shorter each day. I can just imagine how, say, Iranian or Hezbollah forces which are already “smelling” the nearby presence of US forces are drooling with hunger for the moment they will finally be able to get their hands on their old and most hated foe. I feel sincerely sorry for the first US unit to make contact with the Iranians or Hezbollah forces.

(Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Russia, Syria 
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Late this morning, outraged emails started pouring in. My correspondents reported “getting sick” and having their “heart ache”. The cause of all that? They had just watched Trump’s speech at the UN. I sighed and decided to watch the full speech for myself. Yeah, it was painful.

You can read the full (rush,not official) text here or watch the video here. Most of it is so vapid that I won’t even bother posting the full thing. But there are a few interesting moments including those:

“We will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been”

This short sentence contains the key to unlock the reason behind the fact that while the US military is extremely good at killing people in large numbers, it is also extremely bad at winning wars. Like most Americans, Trump is under the illusion that spending a lot of money “buys” you a better military. This is completely false, of course. If spending money was the key to a competent military force, the US armed forces would have already conquered the entire planet many times over. In reality, they have not won anything meaningful since the war in the Pacific.

Having surrounded himself with “Mad Dog” kind of “experts” on warfare, Trump is now reusing that old mantra about how money buys you victory and this is something extremely important. This kind of magical thinking signals to the countries most threatened by the US that the Americans are unable to engage in a basic “lessons learned” kind of exercise, that history teaches them nothing and that, just like all this predecessors, Trump conflates handing out money to the Military Industrial Complex with preparing for war. Frankly, this is good news: let the Americans spend themselves into bankruptcy, let them further neglect their military and let them continue to believe that this kind of magical thinking will bring them to victory.

[Sidebar: for the record, I have met and studied with plenty of excellent, well-educated, honorable, courageous and patriotic American officers and the kind of money-centered hubris I describe above is in no way directed at them, if only because they know even much better than I how bad the situation really is. There are plenty of highly-educated officers in the US armed forces who understand history and who know that money bring corruption, not victory. But they are mostly kept at ranks no higher than Colonel and you will often find them in military teaching institutions and academies. Having studied with them and become good friends with many of them, I feel sorry for them and I know that if they had the means to stop this insanity they would]

America does more than speak for the values expressed in the United Nations charter. Our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom and the freedom of many nations represented in this great hall. America’s devotion is measured on the battlefields where our young men and women have fought and sacrificed alongside of our allies. From the beaches of Europe to the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of Asia, it is an eternal credit to the American character that even after we and our allies emerge victorious from the bloodiest war in history, we did not seek territorial expansion or attempt to oppose and impose our way of life on others.

The only question here is whom exactly Trump’s speech-writers are aiming that nonsense at? Do they really think that there is anybody out there who sincerely believes this? If the target audience are US middle schools then, yes, okay. But does anybody believe that US middle school students listen to UN speeches?! Okay, maybe senile folks also believe that, I sure know a few who will swallow it up and ask for more, but why speak to that audience from a UN podium? Is it not embarrassing when such nonsense is greeted in total silence instead of a standing ovation from all the putatively grateful countries out there who are so deeply grateful for all these altruistic and heroic sacrifices. My only explanation for why this kind of nonsensical drivel was included in this speech is that it has become part of the ritual of typical American “patriotic liturgy”: big hyperbolic sentences which mean nothing, which nobody takes seriously or even listens to, but who have to be included “because they have to”. This reminds me of the obligatory Lenin quote in any and all Soviet speeches and statements, they also were basically filtered out by any thinking person, everybody knew that, but that’s how things went on then. It is really sad, and scary, to see how much the US of the 2017 looks like the Soviet Union of the 1980s.

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.

Wow! Now that is a sentence which could only be written by a person utterly unaware of the impact it will have on the intended audience (in theory, all of mankind, this is the UN, after all). Totally destroy North Korea. I wonder how this will be received in South Korea and Japan. No, I don’t mean by the puppet regimes in Seoul and Tokyo, but by the people. Will they simply dismiss it as hot air or will they be horrified. I bet for the former reaction. It is much more psychologically comfortable to dismiss it all under the heading “nah, that’s crazy shit, they don’t mean it and they sure as hell ain’t gonna do it” rather than think for just a few minutes about the implications and consequences of such a threat. And let me be clear here: the United States most definitely do have the means to totally destroy North Korea. For one thing, they already did so during the Korean war, and they can easily repeated that today. That does not mean that they can win a war against the DPRK. There is a huge difference between laying waste to a country and winning a war against it (see Israel vs Hezbollah). The only way to meaningfully win a war against the DPRK is to invade it, and that the Americans cannot do, not even close. In contrast, the DPRK probably has the means to invade at least the northern part of South Korea, including Seoul. At the very least, they can totally destroy it. Along with much of Japan. I wonder if the US decided to one day “protect” South Korean and Japan by “totally destroying North Korea”, will they be totally shocked when they realize that the South Koreans and the Japanese will turn out not to be grateful for such a “protection”?

Last month I announced a new strategy for victory in the fight against this evil in Afghanistan. From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operation, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians. I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Donald Trump, Neocons 
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Introduction by the Saker: During my recent hurricane-induced evacuation from Florida, I had the pleasure to see some good friends of mine (White Russian emigrés and American Jews who now consider themselves American and who fully buy into the official propaganda about the US) who sincerely think of themselves as liberals, progressives and anti-imperialists. These are kind, decent and sincere people, but during our meeting they made a number of statements which completely contradicted their professed views. After writing this letter to them I realized that there might be many more people out there who, like myself, are desperately trying to open the eye of good but completely misled people about the reality of Empire. I am sharing this letter in the hope that it might maybe offer a few useful talking points to others in their efforts to open the eyes of their friends and relatives.

Dear friends:

During our conversation you stated the following:

  1. The US needs a military
  2. One of the reasons why the US needs a military are regimes like the North Korean one
  3. The US has a right to intervene outside its borders on a) pragmatic and b) moral grounds
  4. During WWII the US “saved Europe” and acquired a moral right to “protect” other friends and allies
  5. The Allies (USSR-US-UK) were morally superior to the Nazis
  6. The Americans brought peace, prosperity and freedom to Europe.
  7. Yes, mistakes were made, but this is hardly a reason to forsake the right to intervene

I believe that all seven of these theses are demonstratively false, fallacies based on profoundly mistaken assumptions and that they all can be debunked by common sense and indisputable facts.

But first, let me tackle the Delphic maxim “know thyself” as it is, I believe, central to our discussion. For all our differences I think that there are a number of things which you would agree to consider as axiomatically true, including that Germans, Russians, Americans and others are roughly of equal intelligence. They also are roughly equally capable of critical thinking, personal investigation and education. Right? Yet, you will also agree that during the Nazi regime in Germany Germans were very effectively propagandized and that Russians in Soviet Russia were also effectively propagandized by their own propaganda machine. Right? Do you have any reason to suppose that we are somehow smarter or better than those propagandized Germans and Russians and had we been in their place we would have immediately seen through the lies? Could it be that we today are maybe also not seeing through the lies we are being told?

It is also undeniable that the history of WWII was written by the victors of WWII. This is true of all wars – defeated regimes don’t get to freely present their version of history. Had the Nazis won WWII, we would all have been treated to a dramatically different narrative of what took place. Crucially, had the Nazis won WWII, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that the German people would have shown much skepticism about the version of history presented in their schools. Not only that, but I would submit that most Germans would also believe that they were free people and that the regime they live under was a benevolent one.

You doubt that?

Just think of the number of Germans who declared that they had no idea how bad the Nazi regime really was. Even Hitler’s personal secretary, Traudl Junge, used that excuse to explain how she could have worked for so many years with Hitler and even like him so much. There is an American expression which says “where I sit is where I stand”. Well, may I ask – where are we sittting and are we so sure that we have an independent opinion which is not defined by where we sit (geographically, politically, socially and even professionally)?

You might ask about all the victims of the Nazi regime, would they not be able to present their witness to the German people and the likes of Traudl Junge? Of course not: the dead don’t speak very much, and their murderers rarely do (lest they themselves end up dead). Oh sure, there would be all sorts of dissidents and political activists who would know the truth, but the “mainstream” consensus under a victorious Nazi Germany would be that Hitler and the Nazis liberated Europe from the Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists.

This is not something unique to Germany, by the way. If you take the Russian population today, it has many more descendants of executioners than descendants of executed people and this is hardly a surprise since dead people don’t reproduce. As a result, the modern Russian historiography is heavily skewed towards whitewashing the Soviet crimes and atrocities. To some degree this is a good thing, because it counteracts decades of US anti-Soviet propaganda, but it often goes too far and ends up minimizing the actual human cost of the Bolshevik experiment in Russia.

So how do the US compare to Germany and Russia in this context?

Most Americans trust the version of history presented to them by their own “mainstream”. Why? How is their situation objectively different from the situation of Germans in a victorious Third Reich? Our modern narrative of WWII was also written by victors, victors who had a vested reason in demonizing all the other sides (Nazis and Soviets) while presenting us with a heroic tale of liberation. And here is the question which ought to really haunt us at night: what if we had been born not Russians and Jews after a Nazi defeat but if we had been born Germans after an Allied defeat in WWII? Would we have been able to show enough skepticism and courage to doubt the myths we were raised with? Or would we also be doubleplusgoodthinking little Nazis, all happy and proud to have defeated the evil Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists?

Oh sure, Hitler considered Jews as parasites which had to be exiled and, later, exterminated and he saw Russians as subhumans which needed to be put to work for the Germanic Master Race and whose intelligentsia also needed to be exterminated. No wonder that we, Jews and Russians, don’t particularly care for that kind of genocidal racist views. But surely we can be humans before being Jews and Russians, and we can accept that what is bad for us is not necessarily bad for others. Sure, Hitler was bad news for Jews and Russians, but was he really so bad news for “pure” (Aryan Germanic) Germans? More importantly, if we had been born “pure” Germans, would have have cared a whole lot about Jews and Russians? I sure hope so, but I have my doubts. I don’t recall any of us shedding many tears about the poly-genocided (a word a coined for a unique phenomenon in history: the genocide of all the ethnicities of an entire continent!) Native Americans! I dare say that we are a lot more prone to whining about the “Holocaust” or “Stalinism”, even though neither of them ever affected us personally, (only our families and ethnicity) than about the poly-genocide of Native Americans. I very much doubt that our whining priorities would have been the same if our ethnicity had been Lakota or Comanche. Again, I hope that I am wrong. But I am not sure sure.

Either way, my point is this:

 
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For a while already the Russian diplomats have been openly saying that their American counterparts are недоговороспособны or “non-agreement capable”. This all began under Obama, when Kerry flew to meet with Lavrov and declared ‘A’, then flew back to Washington, DC and declared ‘B’. Then there were the cases in Syria when the US agreed to a deal only to break that very same deal in less than 24 hours. That’s when the Russians openly began to say that their US colleagues are rank amateurs who lack even the basic professionalism to get anything done.

Now the US has slipped even lower: the Russians speak of US “hellish buffoonery” and “stupid thuggery”.

Wow!

For the normally hyper-diplomatic Russians, this kind of language is absolutely unheard of, this has never ever happened before. You could say that the Russians are naive, but they believe that their diplomats should always be, well, diplomatic, and that public expressions of disgust is just not something a diplomat does. Even more telling is rather than call the Americans “evil” or “devious”, they openly express their total contempt for them, calling them stupid, incompetent, uneducated and their actions unlawful (read Maria Zakharova’s statement to that effect on Facebook).

So let me explain what is happening here how the Russians interpreted the latest US thuggery concerning the Russian Consulate in San Francisco and the Russian diplomatic annexes in Washington and New York.

First, the Russians fully expected the Americans to retaliate after the Russian expulsion of US diplomatic personnel in Russia. That, by itself, is not the problem. The Russians understand that Trump is a cornered and weak President, that he has to show how “tough” he is. Sure, they smile, but they think that this is ‘fair game’. The Russians also know that, as a country, the USA cannot accept the biggest reduction in US diplomatic personnel in history without reacting. Again, they don’t necessarily like it, but they think that this is ‘fair game’.

You know what really triggered the Russians off? The fact that the Americans gave them only 2 days to vacate the premises they would seize and that they organized some kind of bizarre search operation. Let me immediately explain that this is not a case of ruffled feathers by the Russians, not at all. But here is how they would think about it:

“Why would they give us only 2 days? Do they really think that we cannot clear the premises from anything sensitive in 60 minutes if needed? Or are they actually trying to inconvenience our personnel? If so, do they really think that we are going to break out in hysterics? Do the Americans really think that they will find something? What? Papers proving that Trump is our agent? Maybe a hidden nuclear device? Or the computers we used to hack in every server in the USA?”

To a Russian, these questions can only have one answer: of course not. So what is going on here? And then there is the only possible explanation left:

“We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts and the very best they can do is try to feel good about illegally harassing our diplomatic personnel! Pathetic, lame, losers!”

And they are 100% correct.

The latest US thuggery against Russian diplomats is as stupid as it is senseless. I think that US diplomats of the era of James Baker must be absolutely mortified to see the kind of idiocy their successors are now engaging in.

This is also the end of Rex Tillerson. The poor man now has only two options left: resign (that would be the honorable thing to do) or stay and become another castrated eunuch unable to even deal with the likes of Nikki Haley, nevermind the North Koreans!

A “spokesperson” for the White House declared that Trump personally ordered the latest thuggery. Okay, that means one of two thing: either Trump is so weak that he cannot even fire a lying spokesperson or that he has now fallen so low as to order the “thug life” behavior of the State Department. Either way, it is a disgrace.

This is also really scary. The combination of, on one hand, spineless subservience to the Neocons with intellectual mediocrity, a gross lack of professionalism and the kind of petty thuggery normally associated with street gangs and, on the other hand, nuclear weapons is very scary. In the mean time, the other nuclear armed crazies have just declared that they have a thermonuclear device which they apparently tested yesterday just to show their contempt for Trump and his general minions. I don’t think that they have a hydrogen bomb. I don’t think that they have a real ICBM. I don’t even think that they have real (usable) nuclear warheads. But what if I am wrong? What if they did get a lot of what they claim to have today – such as rocket engines – from the Ukies?

In one corner, the Outstanding Leader, Brilliant Comrade, Young Master and Great Successor, Kim Jong-un and on the other, The Donald, Grab them by the xxxxx and Make ‘Merica Great, the Grand Covfefe Donald Trump. Both armed with nukes.

Scary, scary shit. Really scary.

But even more scary and depressing is that the stronger man of the two is beyond any doubt Kim Jong-un.

All I see in the White House are vacancy signs.

(Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Neocons, Russia 
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