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Though there have been some other, decidedly minor, world events that have pushed these developments off the front pages, we may confidently label March, 2020 as the final death of Russiagate v1.0 – the blockbuster hit that has spawned two official sequels to date, as well as an untold number of fan-made derivative works.

First, it has been revealed that the US State Department’s translator at the Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr. & Co. and a gaggle of lobbyists representing the interests of private Russian oligarchs was revealed to have confirmed the former’s account of their meeting. No discussion of the 2016 US elections, of collusion, or of dirt on Hillary Clinton. Kushner left the meeting 5 minutes after it began, while Manafort fiddled with his phone throughout the meeting. Despite relying on the translator’s testimony in his account of the meeting, Mueller “forgot” to include his denial that anything untowards happened.

None of this has been acknowledged by the media, including CNN and Buzzfeed, which filed the original lawsuits that got the records released but have sat on them every since.

Second, the US DoJ has dropped its prosecution of the Saint-Petersburg “Internet Research Agency” exercising its freedom of speech in relation to US politics. “Judge Friedrich said, adding the government would have a “heavy burden at trial.” Let’s face it, the Mueller team didn’t have a case, they didn’t expect to be challenged in court, but when the defendants actually defended themselves, the case got dropped.

I have interminably joked that Russiagaters must be the world’s most virulent Amerophobes. While Tom Steyer and even Mike Bloomberg with their billions couldn’t buy the Dem nomination, apparently, just 200 Russians with a few $100,000’s in funding can repeatedly pick the President of 325 million Americans by dint of their… erm, innate superiority? Apparently, at least some US institutions don’t yet consider their fellow Americans to be total subhumans.

And so this ignominious saga, which perhaps reached its sordid peak in the political prosecution of Maria Butina, Russia’s most prominent 2nd Amendment activist, can finally be put out of its misery.

***

But is this truly the end of Russiagate? Of course not! Soon after the Mueller flop, there would be a Russiagate v2.0 over Hunter Biden’s questionable activities in the Ukraine, which somehow translated into the Trump impeachment (a huge deal for the #Resistance, a nothingburger in MAGA country, a 10% point increase in Trump’s reelection odds for the gamblers). This was soon followed by Russiagate 3.0, in which Bernie Sanders – who had loyally supported all the previous Russiagates – was himself Russiagated by the DNC establishment out of the contest for their party’s nomination.

These “major” Russiagates are interspersed by “minor” Russiagates and patches, e.g. of the Putin’s “Russia is Weaponizing X” genre, from cockroaches to the weather.

The ultimate reason for this mass psychosis is that Russiagate has simply became far too useful to the Western elites for it to ever be abandoned. They have discovered that Putler’s Russia, endowed with God-like powers, can be assigned blame for any problem, from the popularity of populist insurgents from the Left and the Right, to their own failures at containing the COVID-19 epidemic – as if in lockstep, both the US, the UK, and the EU have produced innuendo-heavy if examples-free reports claiming that Russia is spreading “fake news” and “disinformation” in order to “subvert” and “sow doubt” in Western societies. This approach clearly works, given the overwhelmingly positive reception these stories generate amongst the “Intellectual Yet Idiot” class, at least judging by the reactions from the Blue Checkmarks or the sub-morons on /r/politics and /r/worldnews.

It’s the Groundhog Day of our days. The theory of eternal return dumbed down for people who only understand Harry Potter and Game of Thrones analogies. It’s the Eternal Russiagate.

 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  2. “from cockroaches to the weather.”

    To be fair, this is possibly the first piece of sound American commentary on Russia I’ve ever seen. Anyone who has spent even a few evenings drinking tea with Russians knows that while they are ready to face siege, famine, or the gulag, they are absolutely terrified of cockroaches. Surely the Russian Dr. Strangelove would build his doomsday machine in the form of ТАРАКАН ТАРАКАНИЩЕ!

    • Replies: @Tusk
  3. Trump now says that a drug called Hydroxychloroquine can defeat Corona-chan. It’s available in Russian pharmacies under the name of Plaquenil. It costs $7. You should probably go pick it up, while you can.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  4. A123 says:

    It started as a DNC attempt to immunize themselves. The Clinton Foundation illegally laundered huge sums in return for approving a Russian uranium mine transaction. Then like most lies, the need to keep lying grew larger and larger. The self created trap closed when the lie became too large to sustain.

    Now the lie marks the certain end of Quid Pro Joe, because Russiagate techniques will be used to investigate real crimes by Hunter Biden and his father in Ukraine. The DNC cannot credibly object to, or resist, methods they have already blessed and sanctified.

    PEACE 😷

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  5. Tusk says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    Are Russians really afraid of cockroaches? And I wonder why.

  6. It’s incredible how amazingly closely the russiagate conspiracy theory parallels more classic “conspiracy theories”. Much like theories about the CIA manipulating news stories and perpetrating false flags, the underlying rationalization is sound, and that is that it’s certain Russia is spreading disinformation in its geopolitical competitors at least some of the time. That’s obvious because only an idiot wouldn’t undermine his enemies when it’s easy and the cost is trivial, and Putin’s no idiot. But, much like with orthodox conspiracy theories, this spirals into the adherents blaming Russia for *everything* they disapprove of, using even the flimsiest or most spurious “evidence”.

    But to be fair, if you blame the CIA or Mossad for everything, you’re gonna be right a lot more often than if you blame Russian hackers, because the penetration of western intelligence into western media has reached real ubiquity, unlike Putin’s cyber assault squad.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  7. mal says:

    Russiagate is psychotherapy for Biden voting Baby Boomer generation. It slowly dawns on them how badly they screwed up the USA (current financial crisis that is ravaging their public pension funds and 401k’s is just one manifestation), and they need a deflection, an external enemy to blame, and a place to escape and relieve their younger days when they were still cool.

    1970’s doesn’t work (the whole Vietnam and inflation thing), so last time Boomers were cool was in the 1980’s fighting Evil Red Russians. Thus they are LARPing Red Dawn on Twitter, it makes them feel better. Unfortunately, it’s like catnip to them, so I dont think US Russia relations will improve in the near to medium term due to this domestic political issue.

  8. Seraphim says:
    @Athletic and Whitesplosive

    Russiagate conspiracy theory parallels more classic “conspiracy theories”. Actually it is the same since at least the “Will of Peter the Great”, the (in)famous Polish-French forgery.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  9. Mr. XYZ says:

    Anatoly, have you ever considered that, in a way, the whole Western Russiagate conspiracy theory network is actually a huge win for Russia? I mean, Yes, Putin failed to bring most of Ukraine into Russia’s orbit, and yet at the same time he nevertheless succeeded in once again transforming Russia into the Big Bad Villain in Western eyes for the first time since the end of the Cold War. During the Bush-Clinton era, Russia was largely ignored, yet now it’s often the subject of a lot of Western attention–largely negative, but still, you gotta start somewhere!

    • Replies: @Tusk
    , @Hyperborean
  10. Tusk says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Russiagate blowing up has to be good for Russia. Now a lot of people who were neutral to Russia, or know American media is full of it, will/have probably changed their perspectives on Russia. If people are screaming “Russia is evil! Russia is evil!” over and over and all you can see is a state that is not acting the way they’re saying then surely you’ll think “Maybe this other guy is more reasonable.” But like you said it does just help to get it in the minds of people in the West.

  11. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    These “major” Russiagates are interspersed by “minor” Russiagates and patches, e.g. of the Putin’s “Russia is Weaponizing X” genre, from cockroaches to the weather.

    Like this:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/opinion/russian-interference-coronavirus.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    • Replies: @S
  12. JL says:

    But Russia is now being blamed, legitimately, for something they actually did – tanking the oil price. Financial talking heads are whining about the need to force the Russians and Saudis back to the negotiating table, and additional sanctions against Russia are being considered as a consequence. It smacks of desperation, since sanctions abuse is partially what led to Russia’s move in the first place. Why Russia would be even slightly motivated to do something the Americans want is a mystery.

  13. @Felix Keverich

    Bought enough for four or five courses of treatment. The price is right.

  14. The more things change…

    • Thanks: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  15. S says:
    @Mikhail

    Hehe. You beat me to it.

    What’s kind of weird about all this is that the very same so called ‘progressive’/’liberal’ sorts who today are accusing Russia and Russians of everything under the sun, are the very same FDR loving ‘some of my best friends are Communist’ types who would of went and seen 1960’s ‘Cold War’ movies such as the one below more than once.

    The movie was of a certain genre that poked fun at the idea that Communism, despite it’s blood soaked history, was anything to have any serious concerns about.

    So, what caused the change of attitude towards Russia by the progressive types?

    As with any other people, a Russia that has the Russian people safely (in the progressive’s view) suppressed and caged under Communism (or Capitalism for that matter) is great and laudable.

    A Russian government that even if but only ostensibly actually represents the interest of ethnic Russians is bad, even evil, ie ‘Putler’. [Someone, somehow, some way, might hypothetically be hurt, they say. But aren’t the peoples of the world being gravely harmed in real time now, even destroyed, under progressivism? And, no, ‘mixing’ peoples actual racial/ethnic existence away, ie as in Brazil, one of the most violent places on the face of the Earth, is not the answer.]

    Hardcore progressives, whether they lean towards it’s Capitalist (ie ‘Right’) or it’s Communist (ie ‘Left’) manifestations, or Multi-Culturally believe in a combination of both, despite all their talk about various ‘peoples’ and ‘races’, don’t in reality believe in actually respecting the same, ie namely their actual existence, though are quite happy to cynically manipulate and use these groups for the obtainment of personal wealth and power, all while they ‘virtue signal’ to their cohorts.

    In other words, in regards to race and ethnicity, the self described ‘liberal’/’progressive’ sort is more often than not talking out of both sides of his or her mouth.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Russians_Are_Coming,_the_Russians_Are_Coming

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  16. One thing that doesn’t get enough attention is how much of this Russia hysteria is blowback from extending NATO and its “partnerships” to Eastern Europe. The EU and NATO have built up a huge network of “cyber warfare” and “counter propaganda” units in the Baltic states, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Czechia, Finland, Sweden etc with native journalists, politicians, academics etc closely collaborating with Western media and American intelligence.

    I noticed decades ago how our media is just feeding us American propaganda but in recent years it has become obvious that the network has started operating both ways and now it is used to produce stories for Western media in favor of neocons and the Clinton wing of the Democrats, the two factions that have the most influence in American foreign operations.

    This is a profoundly bad idea because what they’re doing is allying us with the part of American that’s useless in any real war (dual citizenship people, feminists, gays, blacks etc) and alienating us from the part of America that’s good at war (those evil straight white men), yet our elites imagine that their participation in the anti-Russian coalition is backed up by American military might.

    • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
  17. Mikhail says: • Website
    @S

    On the very subject of that movie and the liberal blowhard hypocrites who twist things in the present:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/24092017-another-absurd-russia-bashing-development-analysis/

    • Thanks: S
  18. @Mr. XYZ

    During the Bush-Clinton era, Russia was largely ignored, yet now it’s often the subject of a lot of Western attention–largely negative, but still, you gotta start somewhere!

    Increased attention doesn’t create more favourable policies, whether Americans know a country or not the Empire will pursue a generally similar friendly or hostile relationship with Ruritania based on preexisting calculations, ceteris paribus (except special astroturf occasions).

    The net result is simply increased scrutiny of internal and private national affairs – and since attaining parity with the millenarian standards and missionary demands of the American permanent revolution is impossible, a negative situation.

    The best situation to be in is something like Azerbayzhan or the Central Asian despotates.

  19. the story that Russia was spreading disinformation about Covid-19 was like when your dad finally discovers a meme on the internet a year after it was over. hey son, come down here, i want to show you the ice bucket challenge.

    it had no punch and showed that the Russia! Russia! Russia! thing is well over. on to “Trump lied people died” coronavirus outrage.

    the Ukraine Biden thing is a moderately serious issue though, since Biden will probably be President, and it’s not clear how aggressively Trump will go after him and his son during the campaign. once Biden is President, it will go away 100% forever, as scandals always do for Democrats, so there’s only between now and November to do anything about it.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  20. @S

    In fairness, that’s not quite right – it’s the centrist/neoliberal types who really have it out for Russia and worship Putler as an omniscient and all-powerful God.

    The further left you go, the more indifferent to Russiagate they tend to become (e.g. browse through /r/ChapoTrapHouse).

    • Disagree: Mikhail
    • Replies: @S
  21. Mikhail says: • Website
    @prime noticer

    That a JHU academic and The NYT threw it out is something of note on the warped Russia bashing which is still evident.

  22. Isn’t Russiagate forever only natural? Given their dismal performance dealing with coronavirus, especially when compared to China, Korea, and Russia, do you really expect European and US officials to admit that they are pathetic inept morons? Of course not. Thus, a scapegoat is absolutely necessary. Russia, China, and Iran are the scapegoats of choice for the Empire and its sidekicks. They are guilty of everything, from solar eclipses to epidemics. Recent statement by Plumpeo shows this yet again, in case anyone doubted.

    • Agree: Denis, Aedib
    • Replies: @Seraphim
  23. @Jaakko Raipala

    I noticed decades ago how our media is just feeding us American propaganda but in recent years it has become obvious that the network has started operating both ways and now it is used to produce stories for Western media in favor of neocons and the Clinton wing of the Democrats, the two factions that have the most influence in American foreign operations.

    The National Defense Authorization Act of 2103 legalized the dissemination of deep-state propaganda in the US for the first time since 1948. That’s not to say that it had never occurred back when it was still technically illegal, but now it’s become totally normalized. And yet far too many Americans still don’t know this.

    This is a profoundly bad idea because what they’re doing is allying us with the part of American that’s useless in any real war (dual citizenship people, feminists, gays, blacks etc) and alienating us from the part of America that’s good at war (those evil straight white men), yet our elites imagine that their participation in the anti-Russian coalition is backed up by American military might.

    Not to worry: if there’s ever a real war with Russia, it’ll go nuclear PDQ, so there’ll be no need for actual field combat.

    Feel reassured? 😉

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
  24. @Digital Samizdat

    Wow. That’s it. That’s why American media suddenly started promoting the same propaganda that we’ve been bombarded with since the end of the USSR. It’s all American engineered, they just had a block preventing them from spreading it at home and then they took it off.

    Thanks.

    • Thanks: Digital Samizdat
  25. Seraphim says:
    @AnonFromTN

    See #9.
    But even a cursory knowledge (surely above the elementary level) of Russian history shows that ‘Russiagate’ was a fixture of Western attitude towards Russia. Take a look at the correspondence of Prince Andrey Kurbski with the ‘paranoid’ Terrible Ivan IV.
    Or look at the no less (in)famous Marquis de Custine’s fictional ‘Letters from Russia’, promoted by Cold Wariors such as George F. Kennan and General Walter Bedell-Smith to the status of the “most prophetic book on the “Russian soul””. It is not a mere coincidence that George F. Kennan was the cousin of George Kennan (February 16, 1845 – May 10, 1924) the American explorer noted for his travels in the Kamchatka and Caucasus regions of the Russian Empire and the acerbic critic of tsarism and friend with all the ‘Russian’ revolutionary refugees in America with whom he co-founded the ‘Society of American Friends of Russian Freedom (SAFRF)’ in 1891. George Kennan, revealed in the New York Times on 24 March 1917, that Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb Bank on Wall Street financed Russian revolutionaries through this organization. Schiff had been financing Russian revolutionaries since 1905.
    There is a continuity of a pattern which goes even deeper in the past. To the unholy alliance of Charlemagne with the Muslims and Khazars.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  26. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Korenchkin

    What year is that political cartoon from?

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  27. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    1896. From the “Puck”, a weekly political satire publication founded in 1871 in St Louis, Missouri, by Joseph Ferdinand Keppler, the son of an Austrian’ fortyeighter’ refugee to America who made a success in St.Louis.

  28. S says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    In fairness, that’s not quite right – it’s the centrist/neoliberal types who really have it out for Russia and worship Putler as an omniscient and all-powerful God.

    If by ‘neoliberal’ and ‘centrist’ you mean something synonymous or akin to ‘neoconservative’, they indeed do ‘have it out for Russia’.

    They are not the only ones though, in general the establishment Right and Left of the US are wholly on board with the anti-Russia drive, though perhaps not with the aforementioned’s ferocity. [Due to demographics and events, both Trump’s ‘deplorables’ and the ‘Bernie Bros’ are becoming less and less significant, though both groups might be useful to tptb in the relative near term in the US for fomenting a Russian style ‘civil war’ following a Red October 2.0 type of event. After ‘the revolution’ and the civil war, the Trump followers (and plenty of others no doubt) will likely get sent to camps, or worse, and Bernie’s people may well be ‘thinned’, possibly in a major way, by a standard purge, and by being sent to camps as well.]

    Applying Occam’s Razor, I broadly see this all ideologically as being the ‘convergance’ and ‘synthesis’ of ‘Left’ and ‘Right’, ‘Communist’ and ‘Capitalist’, a microcosm of an intended future global ‘Multi-culturalism’. In this drive against Russia it’s almost as if both ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ were being guided by the same hidden hand.

    ‘Right’ and ‘Left’ coming together in this way, and the ‘centrist’ amongst them, whatever exactly the centrist are, is why in part I no longer take the whole ‘Right/Left’, ‘Capitalist’/’Communist’, thing too seriously.

    That they come together in this and other ways as they do shouldn’t be too surprising, though.

    In some of my past entries at this site I’ve delved pretty deeply into how Anglo-Saxon ‘Founding Fathers’ of the Capitalist United States, ie Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and apparently Ben Franklin as well, were also quite heavily involved in the creation of the Communist French Revolution of 1789 as well.

    This, and the City of London being linked to the inception of both Capitalism and Communism, makes me see this as an artificial and manufactured Hegelian Dialectic that’s been in place since 1776 and 1789.

    The dialectic since it’s initial formation over two hundred years ago, and being broadly guided by human hands ever since, has historically been intended to further the interests of the British Empire, namely in it’s direct continuation in the creation of an all encompassing world state/empire, the ‘United States of the World’.

    It is this ‘Empire’ that has been an unnamed spectre which has historically been haunting Europe, far greater than Russia, Capitalism, or even Communism has.

    In that light, this modern day Centrist/Right/Left angst of the Anglosphere towards Russia which has been manifesting of late, is in a certain sense a more subtle continuation of the 19th century geo-political struggles between the British Empire and Russia, ie the ‘Great Game’ and Crimean War, etc.

    This is a multi-faceted thing and there’s plenty of responsibility to share for the present state of affairs, no doubt. I’ve concentrated a bit more purely on the Anglo-Saxon aspect because I don’t think it’s as widely understood at present as it ought to be. Once the ‘Fall of Capitalism’ takes place I suspect a lot of past secrets will be revealed just as there were thirty years ago with the ‘Fall of Communism’.

    As for Putin, though I hope I’m mistaken, I see him much as I do Trump, ie as an allowed ‘limited hangout’ of ‘nationalism’ and ‘identity’, who is probably controlled, perhaps via a combination of his own ego, bribery, and black mail.

    I think that the powers that be are too close to achieving their objectives to allow for even the chance of a ‘loose cannon’ to ruin or hinder things for them.

    This is useful in creating ‘a legend’ (should things go as planned) for the yet to be written future history books, that it was the ‘rise of nationalism’ which set off WWIII.

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