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Would you be willing to defend your country against a foreign invasion?

That’s all Putin is doing in Syria. He’s just preempting the tidal wave of jihadis that’ll be coming his way once the current fracas is over. He figures it’s better to exterminate these US-backed maniacs in Syria now than face them in Chechnya, St Petersburg and Moscow sometime in the future. Can you blame him? After all, if Washington’s strategy works in Syria, then you can bet they’ll try the same thing in Beirut, Tehran and Moscow.

So what choice does Putin have?

None. He has no choice. His back is against the wall. He has to fight. No one in Washington seems to get this. They think Putin can throw in the towel and call it “quits” at the first sign of getting bogged down. But he can’t throw in the towel because Russia’s facing an existential crisis. If he loses, then Russia’s going to wind up on the same scrap heap as Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya. You can bet on it. So the only thing he can do is win. Period. Victory isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.

Do you think that Putin and his advisors have had their heads in the sand for the last 15 years, that they haven’t noticed the US rampaging around the globe bumping off one country after the other leaving behind nothing but anarchy and ruin? Do you think they don’t know that Russia is on the top of Washington’s hit-list? Do you think they haven’t noticed NATO inching closer to Russia’s borders while foam-at-the-mouth politicians in Washington wave their fists and growl about Hitler Putin and evil Russia?

Of course they’ve noticed. Everyone’s noticed. Everyone knows Washington is on the warpath and its leaders have gone stark raving mad. How could they not notice?

But all that’s done is focus the mind on the task at hand, and the task at hand is to whoop the tar out of the terrorists, put an end to Washington’s sick little jihadi game, and go home. That’s Russia’s plan in a nutshell. No one is trying to cobble together the long-lost Soviet empire. That’s pure bunkum. Russia just wants to clean up this nest of vipers and call it a day. There’s nothing more to it than that.

But what if the going gets tough and Syria becomes a quagmire?

That doesn’t change anything, because Russia still has to win. If that means sending ground troops to Syria, then that’s what Putin will do. If that means asymmetrical warfare, like arming the Kurds or the Yemenis, or the Taliban or even disparate anti-regime Shiites in Saudi Arabia, then he’ll do that too. Whatever it takes. This isn’t a game, it’s a fight for survival; Russia’s survival as a sovereign country. That’s what the stakes are. That’s not something Putin takes lightly.

Keep in mind, that Russia’s situation is entirely different than that of the US. The US is engaged in a vast “pivot” project to remove secular regimes that are hostile towards Washington, control vital resources from North Africa through the Middle East and across Central Asia, establish military bases wherever necessary, maintain the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and redraw the map of the ME in a way that best suits the commercial and strategic interests of its core constituents; the banks, the multinational corporations and the big weapons manufacturers.

Russia doesn’t have any grandiose plans like that. Putin just wants to sell oil, make money, raise living standards in Russia, and get on with life. He figured that if he played by the rules– Washington’s rules– joined the WTO, then he’d be okay. But that’s not the way it works. The WTO’s rules, like the IMF’s rules are only upheld as long as they suit Washington’s strategic objectives. And when they don’t, well, then they’re dumped like a hot potato just like they were when the US implemented its economic sanctions on Russia or when the IMF allowed Ukraine to stiff Moscow for $3 billion in loans. The point is, it’s a free market when Washington says it’s a free market, otherwise all bets are off.

The same rule applies to terrorism. For example, On Saturday, a group of terrorists detonated a car bomb near a hospital in the Syrian city of Homs. 22 people were killed and more than 70 were injured. So the Syrian government asked the UN Security Council to condemn the attack. Naturally, the Security Council said “Yes”, right?

Wrong. In fact, the UNSC refused to make any statement at all about the attack because, to do so, would be seen as supportive of the Syrian government that the US wants to topple. The bottom line: Blowing up civilians with car bombs is hunky-dory as long as the US benefits from it.

By the way, the Security Council is currently chaired by the US who made sure the draft was never even put to a vote.

Does that sound like a country that’s seriously committed to fighting terrorism or a country that is run by hypocrites?

The reason I ask this now is because, on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to attend an emergency meeting in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss issues that are too sensitive to reveal to the public. There’s a lot of speculation about what the two men will talk about, but the urgency and the secrecy of the meeting suggests that the topic will be one of great importance. So allow me to make a guess about what the topic will be.

When Kerry arrives in Moscow tomorrow he’ll be rushed to meeting room at the Kremlin where he’ll be joined by Lavrov, Putin, Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu and high-ranking members from military intelligence. Then, following the initial introductions, Kerry will be shown the evidence Russian intelligence has gathered on last Sunday’s attack on a Syrian military base east of Raqqa that killed three Syrian soldiers and wounded thirteen others. The Syrian government immediately condemned the attack and accused US warplanes of conducting the operation. Later in the day, Putin delivered an uncharacteristically-harsh and threatening statement that left no doubt that he thought the attack was a grave violation of the accepted rules of engagement and, perhaps, a declaration of war. Here’s what he said:

“Any targets threatening the Russian groups of forces or land infrastructure must be immediately destroyed.” This was followed shortly after by an equally disturbing statement by Putin to the Russian Defense Ministry Board:

“Special attention must be paid to strengthening the combat potential of the strategic nuclear forces and implementing defense space programs. It is necessary, as outlined in our plans, to equip all components of the nuclear triad with new arms.”

Why would an incident in the village of Ayyash in far-flung Deir Ezzor Province be so important that it would bring the two nuclear-armed adversaries to the brink of war?

I’ll tell you why: It’s because there were other incidents prior to the bombing in Ayyash that laid the groundwork for the current clash. There was the ISIS downing of the Russian airliner that killed 224 Russian civilians. Two weeks after that tragedy, Putin announced at the G-20 meetings that he had gathered intelligence proving that 40 countries –including some in the G-20 itself–were involved in the funding and supporting of ISIS. This story was completely blacked out in the western media and, so far, Russia has not revealed the names of any of the countries involved.

So, I ask you, dear reader, do you think the United States is on that list of ISIS supporters?

Then there was the downing of the Russian Su-24, a Russian bomber that was shot down by Turkish F-16s while it was carrying out its mission to exterminate terrorists in Syria. Many analysts do not believe that the Su-24 could have been destroyed without surveillance and logistical support provided by US AWACs or US satellites. Many others scoff at the idea that Turkey would engage in such a risky plan without the go-ahead from Washington. Either way, the belief that Washington was directly involved in the downing of a Russian warplane is widespread.

So, I ask you, dear reader, do you think Washington gave Turkey the greenlight?

Finally, we have the aerial attack on the Syrian military base in Deir Ezzor, an attack that was either executed by US warplanes or US-coalition warplanes. Not only does the attack constitute a direct assault on the Russian-led coalition (an act of war) but the bombing raid was also carried out in tandem with a “a full-scale ISIS offensive on the villages of Ayyash and Bgelia.” The coordination suggests that either the US or US allies were providing air-cover for ISIS terrorists to carry out their ground operations. Author Alexander Mercouris– who is certainly no conspiracy nut–expands on this idea in a recent piece at Russia Insider which provides more detail on the incident. The article begins like this:

“Did Members of the US-Led Coalition Carry Out an Air Strike to Help ISIS? Russia Implies They Did. Russian statement appears to implicate aircraft from two member states of the US led coalition in the air strike on the Syrian military base in Deir az-Zor….This information – if it is true – begs a host of questions.

Firstly, the Syrian military base that was hit by the air strike was apparently the scene of a bitter battle between the Syrian military and the Islamic State. It seems that shortly after the air strike – and most probably as a result of it – the Islamic State’s fighters were able to storm it.

Inevitably, that begs the question of whether the aircraft that carried out the air strike were providing air support to the fighters of the Islamic State.

On the face of it, it looks like they were. After all, if what happened was simply a mistake, it might have been expected that the US and its allies would say as much. If so, it is an extremely serious and worrying development, suggesting that some members of the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition are actually in league with the Islamic State. (“Did Members of the US-Led Coalition Carry Out an Air Strike to Help ISIS?” Alexander Mercouris, Russia Insider)

So there it is in black and white. The Russians think someone in the US-led coalition is teaming up with ISIS. That should make for some interesting conversation when Kerry sashays into the Kremlin today.

Does Kerry have any clue that Putin and his lieutenants are probably going to produce evidence that coalition warplanes were involved in the bombing of the Syrian military base? How do you think he’ll respond to that news? Will he apologize or just stand there dumbstruck? And how will he react when Putin tells him that if a similar incident takes place in the future, Russian warplanes and anti-aircraft units are going to shoot the perpetrator down?

If I am not mistaken, Kerry is in for a big surprise on Tuesday. He’s about to learn that Putin takes war very seriously and is not going to let Washington sabotage his plans for success. If Kerry’s smart, he’ll pass along that message to Obama and tell him he needs to dial it down a notch if he wants to avoid a war with Russia.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: ISIS, Russia, Syria 
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  1. Does America really have to resort to every dirty trick in the book to succeed in this world? While being dicks about it? I can’t wait to find out what this meeting entails, if we do get solid info.

  2. Kiza says:

    Another absolutely brilliant article by Mike. But let us make the whole story much simpler. This is a war between Russia and the US lead Coalition of the Sponsors of Terrorism (COSOT), call it a semi-hot or a semi-cold war, it is still a war. Who will win in this war principally depends on who is going to go bankrupt. The previous war was won by the US when the USSR went bankrupt. This time the honor is more likely to befall the US, which is in an unbelievable speculative-manipulative and limitless-debt mess.

    If one of them does not go bankrupt soon, since they both cannot remain above their red-lines (they cannot both win), then a global nuclear war is possible if not even likely. Formula: Russia must not lose + USrael must not lose = big fireworks guaranteed.

    Therefore, either bankruptcy or a nuclear war.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Rurik
  3. tbraton says:

    Thanks for the informative post, Mike. That’s a lot stuff you don’t find in the MSM. Apparently, there is not enough room for it to fit in the NY Times.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  4. We will get little info, other than the public nonsense that comes out of such meetings. I have no doubt the Moscow Neo-Nazi will rub John Effing Kerry’s idiotic nose in the facts of the situation and utterly humiliate the man. Kerry is so stupid, that won’t even be sporting.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  5. J Yan says:

    It may play out that way. And then Obama will ask John Brennan for permission to make some soothing statements.

  6. alexander says:

    Superb article Mr Whitney……..Truly top drawer !

  7. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website

    I don’t believe what happens in Syria will ‘existentially’ affect Russia.

    In some ways, Russian intervention could be said to have things worse.

    With news of Russians killing Muslims in Syria, Muslims in Russia could become more radicalized.
    Also, Russia risks the chance of losing, which will only embolden Muslims in Russia.

    Also, as see in the Chechen War, Russia has enough resources to crush Jihadis in Russia itself.

    Whatever moves Russia makes, it must do from a position of weakness.

    With low oil prices, Russian economy is messed up bad. Sanctions make it much worse.
    China, an ally, is also facing huge economic troubles.

    While Russia has nukes, those are only emergency weapons and useless in most conflicts.

    Russian economy is just a small fraction of the US economy, Russian technology is way behind US technology, and Russian military spending is 8% of US military spending.

    So, if Putin must move out of Syria with loss, he must.

    Also, if Syria falls and turns into hellhole, it will be up to the West to clean up the mess and take the blame.

    While US has succeeded in messing up Iraq, Libya, and Syria, it has also lost the trust of much of the world. And guess which part of the world was hit with the refugee crisis?
    EU, and that made Europeans sour on Americans.

    If Syria totally implodes, the blame will eventually go to Americans and its allies.

    Russia may lose pride, but sometimes losing is winning in the long run.

    When US lost in Vietnam, people were saying it’s the end of Pax Americana.

    If anything, it was a great relief for America.
    And all the hell that happened in SE Asia was the problem of Vietnam, China, and Cambodia.

    If Russia moves out of Syria, the mess in the entire region will have to be cleaned up by US and EU, and it’s not gonna be easy to clean up. Look at Libya. Look at Iraq.

    And Russia can concentrate all its energies on building Russia.

    Putin’s real challenge should be changing the Russian character.
    Change that, and Russia will be strong.

    Take the book Iron Kingdom about Prussia.

    [MORE]

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/27/books/27grim.html

    Prussia was the least likely major power in Europe. It was situated in a small strip of Europe without natural defenses nor good land. It was overshadowed in size and population by other nations. But why did it grow so powerful? Good leadership and national character shared by elites and the people.
    It was quality over quantity. So, this most unlikely kingdom became a major player in European politics, and it led the way in unifying all of Germany.

    Russia has always relied on quantity, so its national character never fully developed. Also, its Orthodox Church culture promoted passivity and resignation than sobriety and reform-mindedness. Communism hardened and energized the masses for awhile, but its lack of incentives and mind-numbing dogma made Russians revert back to passivity and vodka.

    The real war is really within. It is like Mao said(though he did a terrible job of it).
    In Stone’s movie, Mao says, “history is a symptom of our disease.”
    History is also a sign of our health, mental and moral health, and this is where Russia needs to improve itself with a conservative form of liberalism that is both into identity and heritage but also rule of law and service to community.

    Then, Russia, as a gigantic Prussia, will be a truly great power.
    A great nations can lose lots of wars. But if it wins in developing its character and inner strength, it will rise again and win in the long run.
    Chinese got work ethic and never lost it, even during communism. So, even after so much hell during the 19th and 20th century, it made great progress in the late 20th century. But China now faces the crisis of morals as ultra-rapid-modernization turned so many Chinese into soulless materialist freaks. In the long run, that is the bigger danger because it rots the national character of a people, indeed even worse than communism does. (Look at how white American national character has been ruined by decadent consumer capitalism. So many whites are hurting, but white elites do NOTHING and let them rot.)

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    , @annamaria
  8. Ron Unz says:
    @Priss Factor

    China, an ally, is also facing huge economic troubles.

    Well, without getting into any other issues, I really think commenters here should be a bit more cautious in casually accepting everything claimed—or rather dishonestly implied—by the American MSM.

    For example, here’s a graph of the changes in American and Chinese per capita GDPs over the last three decades, linked to an old article of mine from 2012:

    In the three years since then, the headlines have touted America’s “economic recovery” and China’s “severe economic problems”, but the actual numbers have continued the exact same trend. For example, I’d guess that China’s per capita income growth rate this year will be around TEN TIMES than of the US.

    I don’t read Russian, but I have little doubt that during the 1970s and 1980s, Pravda endlessly touted the economic success of the USSR compared with that of America’s terrible poverty problems. And these days, American Pravda does the same thing with the USSA…

  9. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website
    @Ron Unz

    “Well, without getting into any other issues, I really think commenters here should be a bit more cautious in casually accepting everything claimed—or rather dishonestly implied—by the American MSM.”

    Yes, MSM isn’t trustworthy, but Chinese stats are like fortune cookie.

    That aside, the Chinese financial model seems crazier than the American.
    Their real estate bubble is 100x crazier than even the housing bubble in the 2000s here.

    I mean they’ve been building entire ghost towns with easy loans.

  10. attonn says:

    I personally have a hard time seeing how rampaging jihadis in the Middle East threaten well-being of Russia, let alone its survival. Russia has no common border with ISIS held territory. If I was a cynic, I’d suggest that inter-Arab slaughter is actually quite beneficial to just about anyone else. Having said that, Putin would be well advised to start issuing ultimatums, as opposed to calling Russia’s enemies “partners” and constantly making conciliatory gestures that are being taken as signs of weakness.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @annamaria
  11. While I agree with much of Whitney’s analysis, I have a few quibbles. The Russians are probably capable of dealing with jihadists on Russia’s own soil. In fact, I actually feel sorry for some these jihadists. They are too young and too full of Allah to know who they are messing with. Thousands of them and their families and comrades could be rounded up and sent to Siberia. That is not a joke. It is a terrible punishment from Czarist times. Also, being delivered into the hands of the Syrian army is probably an evil fate as well.

    In short, if you didn’t like Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, you are REALLY not going to like the Russian or Syrian versions.

    As an aside, I dislike the “Dear Reader” rhetorical device. PCR uses the same formulation but, it is too intimate. Find another way to introduce a question to the reader or at least mix it up a little.

    • Replies: @Jim Mooney
  12. Kiza says:

    How ISIS came to be involved in a small plumbing business in the US:
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-15/stunning-explanation-how-infamous-ford-f250-truck-ended-isis-hands
    This would be funny if it were not so catastrophically sad. How did US arrive to be such a land of lies and subterfuge? It is drowning in both debt and lies.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Redscare
  13. Excellent article.

    The West has many enormous, well resourced media organizations but somehow we still need to visit obscure, fringe websites (no offence) to read anything other than Neocon or Cultural Marxist perspectives.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @Redscare
  14. Kiza says:
    @Nikolai Vladivostok

    This is not a fringe website, this is a niche website.

    Also, we who comment here live in a bubble, one opposite in orientation to the bubble that the caffè latte class of Washington lives in. But this is only in the sense that, with a few exceptions, we do not believe a word of what the MSM say. If we did not live in our own bubble, we would probably have been at least wounded by the incessant MSM bombardment with lies, as many of my personal friends have been.

    Therefore, unz.com is a niche website for a community of independent thinkers in their anti-lie protective bubble.

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
  15. Svigor says:

    I don’t really buy the argument Whitney has made about Russia being required to intervene in Syria to ward off Muslim refugee army.

    Russia should no more let NATO overthrow Assad’s regime in Syria than America would let Russia overthrow the regime in Panama. I think that’s all the justification Russia needs.

  16. Putin’s Russia has shown amazing restraint of late. Having sacrificed greatly defending itself in WWII to the tune of 25 million USSR deaths, the red lines that exist today are not difficult to determine. Ukraine, Crimea and Syria, due to it’s access to the Med, are all non-negotiable strategically speaking. Russia knows that continued passivity would result in having potential allies and then itself being isolated and destroyed one by one.

    Americans are poker players, very good at bluffing, whilst Russians play chess and think strategically and longer term. Russian technology may appear to be inferior but it works, works well and continues to work. The space launch yesterday is but one example as is the popularity of the AK47 another. Many US defence contractors are more concerned with over complicating technology for the purpose of inflating profits. Western troops expect to go to war alongside McDonalds, Pizza Hut etc and then chat with family back home at night on the net. Many are part-time warriors becoming increasingly aware of the BS they are expected to lay down their lives for. They go to war counting the days until they can return home.

    The US economy is fraught with parasitic theft, fraud and bogus statistics, its elite are simultaneously at war with rest of the world and the American people itself and it is wearing thin, very thin indeed.

    Russia is a more homogenous society whereas the US has major issues within its racial minorities, a tinder box waiting to be ignited. Also the US being more open is extremely vulnerable to sabotage and other kinds of mischief. Great powers in the past have underestimated Russia to their great peril. My hope is that the American people turn of their TVs and rise up to purge themselves of the parasitic vermin that has infested this once great nation.

    De Toqueville said America is great because America is good but it hasn’t been good now for a long time.

    I agree unz.com is a niche site and kudos to Ron Unz for the hands on approach to making it so.

    • Agree: Orville H. Larson, Kiza
  17. unvote says:

    You all seem to completely forget about Ukraine and the war in Donbass which isn’t going to end any soon. It became obvious now that Putin has eventually betrayed the people of Donbass who trusted him at first. In his various speeches, not even once, he publicly promised to protect pro-Russian people in Ukraine by any means. But what we see is that those people remain to be slaughtered by Ukrainian army everyday and Russia did and still does nothing decisive and forceful to stop this slaughter of the innocent civilians. Putin actually ceased the support of the resisting Donbass right after he got some “offer he could not refuse” from Burkhalter during his May visit to Moscow…The Kremlin’s rhetoric has also noticably changed…

    And now you are discussing Russia’s involvement in Syria and Putin’s “heroic” efforts yet another unholy war has brought quite a strong Nazi enemy at her own border which is a much more serious threat for Russia than some remote ISIS. I am now afraid for Syria as well after seeing how Putin is acting. Think about it next time when you will praise him. It is not just my own “humble opinion”. I recommend you to listen what the betrayed, disappointed and suffered a lot people of Donbass say now about Putin himself and his treacherous “plan” – the notorious Minsk agreements, which Ukraine is merely ignoring.

    And the only competent comment I saw on here was from “attonn”…

  18. @Ron Unz

    “I don’t read Russian, but I have little doubt that during the 1970s and 1980s, Pravda endlessly touted the economic success of the USSR compared with that of America’s terrible poverty problems. And these days, American Pravda does the same thing with the USSA. . .”

    Well, isn’t that right?!

    • Replies: @Kiza
  19. Wally says: • Website
    @attonn

    France and the US do not share a common boundary with ISIS.
    But so what?
    Have you read the news lately?

    • Replies: @attonn
  20. Kiza says:
    @unvote

    Wow, how mistaken you are. There is no way in this World that Putin, or any Russian leader, would give up on Easter Ukraine. Why? Simply because this would mean giving up on Russia itself. Eastern Ukraine is a door to Russia. Hlukhiv is only 330 miles (500 km) from Moscow. Even US nuclear missile submarine cannot get so close to Moscow. Which Russian leader would let US to be able to obliterate its administrative center within 15 minutes?

    Are Eastern Ukrainians of Russian origin dying now, under Minsk? Yes. Do some of them feel abandoned? Yes. But have you considered the point of view of the Russians in Russia? Why should Russians in Russia be dying in Eastern Ukraine? Only very recently, Zakharchenko managed to finally organize a decent defensive army. Who would not love to sit on his bum and get someone else to die liberating him and then give him a state? Thus, the cry that the Russians betrayed Eastern Ukrainians comes from cry-babies, a lunatic fringe, at least some probably paid by the US.

    The Syrians, on the other hand, have been fighting a much worse enemy. Whilst Eastern Ukrainians were attacked only from one side by the Nazis and the crumbling Ukrainian military, the Syrians have been attacked from all around, from a circle. And still, they have been fighting and persisting in resistance for about five years. Whilst Russia jumped to help Eastern Ukraine immediately, Russia waited almost five years to help the Syrians.

    To make your BS even more meaningless, the Ukrainian state is a total disaster, economically, financially and organizationally. It is drowning in corruption and infighting. Therefore, the chances of the US puppets in Kiev mounting any serious offensive on Eastern Ukraine are just about 0%. This means that if Eastern Ukrainians are organized enough to repel the Nazi bandits, then they have nothing to worry about. I cannot see any military invasion of Eastern Ukraine any time soon. So stop your crying, lift your socks up, and start doing something about it yourself.

    PS. I am not Russian, but I do not like lazy cry-babies.

    • Replies: @unvote
  21. Wally says: • Website
    @Kiza

    Indeed, I saw this as well. Simply bizarre.

    The US is failing quickly. Our enemies can just wait us out.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  22. Kiza says:
    @Orville H. Larson

    Orville, my friend, that is called the reality gap. When the reality projected in the MSM diverges too much from the physical reality of the people, this creates a gap. Into such gap steps in the opponent’s media. In the Eastern block, these were the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, British Council etc. In the Eastern Block, if you wanted to get away from the news of amazing production increases whilst you lacked most necessities and get closer to the reality, that is bridge the reality gap, you had to peruse the above.

    How the wheel of fortune has turned!? The Western/US MSM have lost reality somewhere on the way to the Federal Reserve building. The gap between the image projected in the MSM and the Western reality is now huge, whilst Russia has lost its gap completely. Now, the Westerners have to go to RT to get anywhere close to the truth about the criminality of their own government, the police state they live in, and the corruption of the banking system and their whole power structure.

    Maybe it is also worth noticing that what Stasi used to dream about, now NSA fulfills and much more: Stasi could not even dream of the Facebook, the self-managed dossiers. The wheel of fortune has turned half circle, who was up is now down, who was down is now up. This is not uncommon in history.

  23. krollchem says:
    @unvote

    Please understand that Putin follows international law and Donbass, unlike Crimea, was part of Ukraine. The Russian leadership also understands that the Ukraine’s economy is collapsing. I could support this in full but Ron Unz would correctly reject my comment as it would be too long. As a start, read this old article that covers some of the issues:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/63e0a202-26fb-11e4-a46a-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3E5rmS44w

    Simon Black has an excellent older podcast on the deep recession in Ukraine titled “Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori”

    https://www.sovereignman.com/podcast/podcast-014-dulce-et-decorum-est-pro-patria-mori-14818/

    Ukraine has continued an economic collapse compounded by a global deflationary demand driven depression. Neither Europe (flooded by refugees and migrants) or the US (economic bubbles and consequences of Middle East interventions) can now afford the one trillion cost of bringing Ukraine up to European economic standards. Ultimately, the Ukraine state will collapse into Balkan like States. Russia can ally with the Russian speaking regions once Ukraine is abandoned by the West. The EU will be stuck with refugees from the Neo-Nazi dominated Western Ukraine. Unfortunately, many innocent Ukraine citizens will suffer dearly, starting with the upcoming El Nino induced cold winter in Eastern Europe and lack of further Russian natural gas.

    As for Syria, Russia and Syria have strategically won by cutting off ISIS sections of Aleppo (See strategy Russia vs Japan in WWII) and blocking the crossroads near Palmyra and Deir az-Zor. It is now just a matter of the oil tanker/ISIS resupply turkey shoot and closing the borders with Turkey and Israel. The military maps website provides deep coverage of the Syrian situation:

    http://militarymaps.info/

    It is important to note that the ISIS attack on the Deir az-Zor base was suppressed. My understanding is that Russia will identify which country’s bombers attacked the SAA base. My bet is on Qatar as their leadership has been the greatest supported of ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi Arabia, UAE, US, Turkey, and Israel tend to support Al Qaeda and its offshoots.

    • Replies: @unvote
    , @krollchem
  24. RobinG says:
    @Ron Unz

    Totally OT, but have the folks here who enjoy your freedom of speech on the internet AND ALSO support the Donald really thought about that?

    5. Rand Paul Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul barely made the cut for the debate, but he knew how to attract attention — namely by drawing the ire of Trump.

    “I would like to also go back to another question. Which is, is Donald Trump a serious candidate?” Paul asked. “The reason I ask this is, if you are going to close the Internet, realize America what that entails. That entails getting rid of the First Amendment. Okay. No small feat.”

    He added that some of Trump’s proposals for fighting terrorism “would defy every norm that is America.”

    Paul, who is polling near the bottom of the group of top tier candidates, got an earful from Trump who dismissed his rival’s attacks with a wave of his hand.

    “These are people that want to kill us, folks,” Trump said. “And you’re objecting to us infiltrating their conversations? I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/republican-presidential-debate-moments-mattered/story?id=35790718

    And just a hunch: based on the photo with this story, Rubio will be the nominee.

    • Replies: @Randal
    , @tbraton
  25. Redscare says:
    @Nikolai Vladivostok

    Can you name a few that you think are reliable and informative please?

  26. Putin starts strong, then fades. He made an enormous blunder when he allowed the Turks (read: Isramerica/NATO) to ambush his plane and responded with nothing more than “sanctions” and hot air. Now the Zio-globalists will grow still bolder. If I were the neo-conz, I’d now close the Straits to Russian ships, forcing Putin to concede defeat in Syria…or escalate to either a major regional war or outright WW III. Based on past performance, Putin will fold

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  27. Redscare says:
    @Kiza

    I am thinking of those allegations against Iran and Syria of sending IED ,night googles armors,and grenades to US occupied Iraq aparently based on chemical or size or whatever that US could make up of in pursuit of extending war against Iran.

    Can US be asked to dismantle the supply chain? Who is involved in selling what to IS?
    How did those black flag waving white Toyotas end up barreling down the desert?
    Or its just another shrug and nothing more from American now afraid of IS that at best puld be expected.

    Meanwhile this comment from mondoweiss
    made by just

    [MORE]

    The Israeli government doesn’t know how it wants to solve the conflict with the Palestinians or what kind of country it wants Israel to become, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview with the New Yorker magazine. …

    Kerry also told Remnick that in 2010, when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he held talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad about the possibility of a peace agreement with Israel. Kerry said that during these talks, Assad gave him a signed letter containing a peace proposal under which Syria would recognize Israel and open an embassy there in exchange for the return of the Golan Heights.

    Kerry added that he had made it clear to Assad that any such deal would require him to sever his military ties with Iran and Hezbollah. Haaretz reported on his talks with Assad back in February 2011.

    But Kerry told Remnick that when Netanyahu heard about his effort, he opposed it. “Bibi came to Washington,” Kerry said, “and one of the first things out of his mouth in the Oval Office was ‘I can’t do this. I’m not going to—I just can’t.””

    read more: link to haaretz.com

    Wake up world, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Obama. Say it loud so everyone can hear you: Israel does not want peace. ..

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/without-resolving-palestinian#sthash.xB5HVEwK.dpuf”

    Israel wants Syria to be fragmented into thousands pieces unlesss it shelves relation with Iran.
    I think the play book is same . Once Syia does break off from Iran the Jewish will start new problem to disintegrate the state of Syia to replicate just what they have done to Palestine . Syria knows it .

    By partnering with Israel, Saudi is gravitating down the same road .

    But where is the evangelical morons and GOP crowd who comes to taste the crumbs left by Sheldon Adelson?

    One thing is clear – these white middleaged men and women are trying to hold on to something to feel a sense of continuity and hope . They have lost everything they started their lives with – community,Sunday church,stable family,40 hours stable job with benefits and hopes for thir offspring . Somewhere they know that they have been played for a loser fool by the people they trusted ,loved and respected . They also know that it is too painful and shameful to admit it .

    This out of blue horeographed terrorism imparts certain validity and meaning to them. They can blame somebody for the ills . It assumes enormomous significance and power when one can’t even dare to think of blaming even remotely the perpetrators and the predators who have sunk their lives so low .

  28. Thirdeye says:
    @Kiza

    What niche encompasses Tom Dispatch, The Saker, and Pat Buchanan?

  29. Just another pile of clichés taken from other sources, sprinkled with assumptions, illogical reasoning and fantasies. I do not understand why would anybody take this man seriously. Let me take few of the paragraphs, make some comments and ask some questions.
    1) Yes I would be willing to defend my country in case of an unfriendly invasion but what invasion is Mike talking about.
    2) It would be much easier, much cheaper and much more effective to stop the jihadists at the border if that is his main concern.
    3) To say that Putin has no choice is pure nonsense. I agree that Russia is facing an existential crises but this will not be solved by lobbying cruise missiles at Toyota pick up trucks.
    4) It would not be the first time that Russian leaders had their heads in the sand. Stalin did not believe that Hitler would attack Russia.
    5) If Russia’s plan in a nutshell, as Mike says, is to whoop the tar out of the terrorists, it is a poor plan and might not work. There are plenty of jihadists in the world willing and ready to fight either for free or for the money.
    5) Putin will never send ground troops to Syria. This is pure fantasy. He might send a few special operatives but that is about all. The Russians have no appetite for another Afghanistan. I am not sure how arming the Yemenis would change the situation in Syria.
    6) Mike’s quote, “He figured that if he played by the rules– Washington’s rules– joined the WTO, then he’d be okay.” This contradicts the claim that Putin does not have his head in the sand.
    The last paragraph is pure Mike. He starts with an assumption which he turns in the next sentence into a fact.

    • Replies: @tbraton
  30. Kiza says:
    @Wally

    Have you seen this:

    …An interesting story from The Mirror who reports that “a number of Islamic State supporters’ social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to the UK Department of Work and Pensions.”

    “A group of four young computer experts who call themselves VandaSec have unearthed evidence indicating that at least three ISIS-supporting accounts can be traced back to the DWP’s London offices,” the paper says, adding that “at first glance, the IP addresses seem to be based in Saudi Arabia, but upon further inspection using specialist tools they appeared to link back to the DWP.”

    The Mirror did its own investigating and found that the IP addresses in question were sold by the British government as part of a larger deal to two Saudi Arabian firms.

    “After the sale completed in October of this year, they were used by extremists to spread their message of hate,” the paper concludes.

    • Replies: @KA
    , @SolontoCroesus
  31. unvote says:
    @Kiza

    I am not surprised to meet such a furious reaction on my words like yours as well as such incompetent “explanation” of the state of affairs in Donbass. It is only going to demonstarte how far from reality is your vision of things, which is obviously not coming from your own personal experience and isn’t based on the real facts. And you admitted this by saying you are not actually Russian. Even so, besides of that you are not familiar with the life of people in Donbass, you are still demonstrating absolute lack of critical thinking. Somehow your views perfectly fall in the “official versions”. Which means you are only a MSM’s client. This alone is enough to consider your statements as unreliable, or arguable at the very least.

    Whereas I am a Russian, and I have my relatives and friends living right now in the struggling Donbass. See the difference now between you and me, between YOUR version and the true one? I am a first hand source of information whereas you are definitely not. And therefore I recommend everyone who is reading your comments to take in account this fact.

    P.S. And don’t try to insult me personally. That only shows how weak your arguments are. The truth will shine eventually.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @From The Hague
  32. Randal says:
    @RobinG

    Rubio will be the nominee

    And Clinton will be the next president.

    • Replies: @Orville H. Larson
  33. Kiza says:
    @unvote

    …a furious reaction on my words like yours…

    You flatter yourself immensely that you could elicit such a reaction from me.

    Your response is an attack (back) on me without addressing any of the issues I raised, and specifically: who should be fighting for your relatives in Donbass, they or Russia? Where is your answer?

    I have been reading articles and watching videos with endless complaints: “Putin tricked us into rebelling against the regime in Kiev, and then he betrayed us by abandoning us.”

    Perhaps you also did not understand me stating that I am not Russian – I have no ax to grind either way. But just by being a Russian, does this give you an automatic right to be a whiner like your relatives?

    No wonder Russia does not want your relatives to become a part of Russia. Not at all from the MSM, I am certain that Russia has helped Donbass to the maximum possible without directly breaching the international law by invading another country. But some people are just too used to Communism in which the state always provides, just open their mouths and cry.

    To paraphrase an old saying: Russia helps those who help themselves!

  34. KA says:
    @Kiza

    It was reported that our own Hollywood was making videos here in LA to recruit future IS terrorists .

    Also was reported in http://www.rawstroy.com that the guns used in Paris massacre came from America.

    Making video of propaganda is a gift that keeps on giving . It never fails. CIA and Pentagon were making videos on Saddm and on Bin Ledeen.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @Kiza
  35. Randal says:

    A good piece, basically correct, but over-egging the pudding a little on Russia’s vital interests in Syria, imo.

    Yes, the loss of Syria would be another domino falling, that would only move the US-backed jihadist campaign onto the next one. Yes, it would probably result in some problems domestically for Russia. Yes, it is in Russia’s vital interests to halt the US sphere’s aggression. But Russia has other options beyond Syria, and losing Syria would not be a terminal defeat for them. In the end, Russia can if necessary lose Syria and survive (though the cost would be a lot higher after the direct intervention). Ukraine is far more significant.

    Indeed, Russia’s intervention in Syria, justified as it is, is a high stakes gamble, because the US has escalation superiority in any confrontation there, and the entire Russian force there could be destroyed quite quickly if the US were motivated to do it and to face Russia with the choice of WW3 or accepting the loss – Russia would most likely have to swallow the defeat and consolidate. It’s a good gamble, imo, because the likelihood of the US taking such a dramatic step now is very low given the wider context – part of the reason the direct Russian intervention was delayed until the context was right for it, imo.

    As usual, a competently handled geostrategic move by Moscow, which under Putin has made a habit of playing a rather weak hand extremely well.

  36. @unvote

    I agree with your assessment about the feeling of betrayal amongst Russians living in Ukraine but once the events started to move Putin could not do much short of invading a sovereign country. He did that in Georgia but I think he only did that because it was safer than invading Ukraine. I also think that he is too much concerned with legalities in an age where everybody else is ignoring them. What I blame him for is that he either knew about the impending coup and did nothing to counter it, or he had no idea of what was coming.

  37. Rehmat says:

    O’Man – when these western journalist would ever learn world history from some objective source!

    Putin and Soviet have been facing Muslim resistance for the last 300 year when most of European were barbarians. These westerner bigots label every Muslim “jihadi” whether he fight against western colonialism or act as their thug killing innocent people. But, these bigot would never call their own murderous people “crusaders” or “Judofacists” for murdering tens of million innocent people.

    “I have been a combat soldier and have covered twelve high intensity wars from the front, but I have never seen anything that equals the heroism and boundless courage of the Chechen Mujahideen, who have no formal military training, have no heavy weapons and are even short of anti-tank rockets. There is almost no medicine or morphine for their wounded and no shelter from massive Russian bombardment which includes banned fuel air explosives, toxic gas and napalm. If taken alive by Russian they will be tortured first and then executed,” – Eric Margolis, a Canadian columnist and broadcaster.

    Russia has three major reasons to carry-out the genocide of Chechen Muslims. First is the region has significant amount of oil and gas reserves. As part of USSR – Chechnya used to supply the entire Russian needs of oil and gas. Second is that if Chechnya, one of its 19 autonomous republics, is allowed to separate from Russia – it would encourage the people of other republics to follow Chechnya’s lead – and could result Moscow losing 25% of its current ‘holdings’. Third, and Moscow’s real fear – is establishment of an Islamic State on its borders. It was the same fear which gave the West the reasons to carry-out Muslim Holocaust in both Bosnia and Kosova.

    Russian intelligence services KGB – like their counterparts in the US (CIA) and Israel (Mossad) are well-known for conducting terrorism and then blaming on Muslims. For example, former KGB colonel Alexander Litvinenko in his book ‘Blowing up Russia: Terror from Within’ alleges that it was KGB successor, the Federal Security Service (FSB) which coordinated the 1999 apartment block bombing in Russia that killed more than 300 people.

    Chechen are practically fighting their Jihad without any help from the 57 Muslim nation states. Islamic Iran which has supported Bosnian Muslims during Serb-Croat invasion – and is now supporting HAMAs and Hizb’Allah against Israeli fascism – has not extended helping hand to Chechen Muslims due to its national interests in having friendly relations with Russia.

    http://rehmat1.com/2009/02/02/chechnya-without-chechens/

  38. tbraton says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    I notice that the poster “Regnum Nostrum” has only posted 5 messages on unz.com, with the first occurring on December 11, just five days ago. Three of his 5 messages have been in response to one of Mike Whitney’s blogs and 2 in response to The Saker’s blog. He also states in this message “I do not understand why would anybody take this man seriously.” That line to me sounds suspiciously like something the Wizard of Ooze would say, who, just the other day, called, in effect, for a boycott of Mike’s blog. (Compare the line above to one on the Wizard of Ooze’s message of a few days ago: “What reason is there to use one’s time reading Mike Whitney?”) I strongly suspect that “Regnum Nostrum” is just another pseudonym for Wizard of Ooze. It makes you wonder how many other pseudonyms the man has and uses on unz.com. Apparently, he lacks the courage to make these same points in his own name, a somewhat tarnished brand which would allow readers to discount much of what he has to say. By using multiple names, Wizard of Ooze creates the false impression that there are many posters who think as he does.

    • Replies: @Regnum Nostrum
  39. unvote says:
    @krollchem

    You know, I don’t need to read any articles of any “experts” simply because I myself am an eyewitness of the events in Donbass, moreover, I am personally invlolved in these events. Myself I am living in Russia but I have my relatives and friends living in Donbass and of course I am in close contact with them. They provide me with all information about what is happening there. Besides, I’ve been there not so long ago and I have seen it all with my own eyes. Therefore I’m seeing things as they truly are, unlike any of you, the so called “analysts”. Surely you know that the reality differs a lot from how it is pictured by any remote “experts”, let alone by the MSM. Those experts can write whatever they think is “true” yet all their conclusions remain to be just their personal conclusions. It often has very little to do with the reality. The only thing that matters is the PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, the facts and events that you are the on-the-spot participant of. The victims themselves can tell you better – who is wrong and who is right. When you have your home destroyed by the shellings and your own mother or child killed by the war criminals, you don’t need any other “proofs” from Internet, don’t you? But when you sit in your chair somewhere overseas, “of course” you can “judge” the sides safely…

    Also, why don’t you give your opinion about Putin’s public promises to “protect the people of Donbass by any means”? Do you really think that the man who is breaking his own promises deserves any respect? Do you consider that the president of Russia can go with a straight face to Syria after he forgot his own words to protect the Russians in Ukraine, who happened to be so unfortunate that TOO became the victims of REAL terror – by the Ukrainian new Nazi regime. The promise of their protection has been said by Putin himself, loudly and explicitly. But it is not fulfilled. Would you then have any reasons to trust such a president any further? As for me, I certainly have every reason to distrust such a ruler – the president of my own country.

    So it is pointless to make me look like I am the “enemy” of your logic. I am sorry to ruin your delusions but for me the truth is too dear to hide it. Keeping silence about what is happening in Donbass and how the locals there are suffering means to follow president Putin (and his advisers) and betray these people again and again.

    • Replies: @Regnum Nostrum
    , @annamaria
  40. Kiza says:
    @KA

    Yes, I saw the same on RT. I am not sure if it is a proof of anything because in the old times of US vs. USSR it was a common practice to plant miss-directive clues. But, considering how sloppy the Coalition of the Sponsors of Terrorism appears to be, just consider how easy it was to trace those ISIS Twitter IPs to the British Government, it may be that only borderline morons work on their Syrian regime change project. Sloppiness everywhere. Therefore, maybe the sourcing of some of the guns used in the Paris terrorist attack may point to who stood behind it. Maybe the Western agencies do not try very hard to hide clues due to their MSM control – they can erase anything they like from the public consciousness, easily.

  41. tbraton says:
    @RobinG

    “And just a hunch: based on the photo with this story, Rubio will be the nominee.”

    And what polls can you point to that would back your “hunch”? Nationally, he is getting about 1/3 of Trump’s numbers. In Iowa, he is getting half the percentages of the two men leading, Trump and Cruz. In N.H., he is getting about 1/3 of Trump’s total. So there is a strong likelihood he will lose the first two contests. In a third early state, South Carolina, he is getting less than half Trump’s numbers. Yesterday, Daniel Larison had a piece on TAC pointing out that Rubio is running a lazy man’s campaign, not putting in the time in N.H., a state which values personal contact with candidates, and having a small staff the size normally associated with losing candidates in the past. In last night’s debate, my impression was that Rubio did not help himself at all, and his exchanges with Cruz probably hurt both candidates. I actually had to laugh when he attacked Obama for having been elected with little experience for the job, since that highlights the fact that he hasn’t even served one complete term as senator himself and while a young man in his early 40’s actually looks like he is in his 20’s. It’s also evident that he is a rather shallow man whose ideas are not thought through. I don’t think Rubio will be the nominee.

    • Replies: @RobinG
  42. Kiza says:
    @KA

    Regarding propaganda videos, there is just too much soft evidence that some of the war news videos are studio made. Maybe you have notices in that RT recent self-parody that they show as if there news from the war zones are made over a blue screen in the studio. I am certain that this is directed at the Western news channels which regularly practice similar tricks, “to save on travel costs” as Margerita intones.

    One of the most concerning such situations may be that the whole Sandy Hook school massacre was arranged and acted by professional actors supplied by a private agency called, I think, Crisis Acting, specialised in labor supply for such “news” creation.

  43. @tbraton

    I am new to this forum and have nothing to do with Wizard of Ooze. My nickname is registered with my e-mail. Perhaps there are other people who question Mike’s patronizing style full of false self confidence and short on originality.

  44. @unvote

    unvote, I am wondering:
    A lot of people from Donbass fled to Russia.
    Including tens or hundreds of thousands of able-bodied men.
    My question:
    Are those men returning, to defend their home-region?

    • Replies: @unvote
  45. @unvote

    I have never trusted Putin. He spend good part of his life and made a carrier in Soviet Union. After the collapse he has quickly changed his attitude. He was either faking his socialist convictions or he is faking now though I am inclined to believe that he faked the former at least in the later stages. In the beginning his conviction might have been genuine. He also said not to be interested in more than two terms and then went through that ludicrous charade with Medvedev to do exactly the opposite. Based on these two examples I believe that his main concern is to be in power.

    • Replies: @unvote
    , @annamaria
  46. @unvote

    The Ukranians have tried to live by the Minsk agreements, but as soon as one is signed, the Russian puppets in Donbas violate it. If you wish to find the problem in the Donbas I suggest you look at the Neo-Nazis in Moscow. Putin is more than happy to try to bleed Ukraine by using the Donbas and Crimea.

    Moscow and their puppets in Donbas are the people that have made the Minsk agreements worthless.

    • Replies: @annamaria
    , @unvote
  47. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    The graph that Comrade Unz posted is terrifying-and it describes reality very accurately…Native Born White American Males are on the road to chattel slavery!!!-via the road of wage slavery.

    A few years back, a top Russian political scientist predicted that the US was going to break-up into waring race-based nations. No one should have any doubt that is now one minute before midnight for Cornball Fox News “AMUUURICA” as a Nation.

    The real question is this…..Which comes first:The Human Species 60 seconds within extinction or the collapse of the US into race war?

    If the US does collapse into violent race-war-dystopia…expect foreign intervention. to carve up the joint. The collapse of the US doesn’t mean an end to thermonuclear extinction at all-it just delays it by a few years.

    Here is how I see it:1962=2015-16….Common theme:Cold War Democrats=race-replacement immigration policy+nuclear war with Conservative Orthodox Christian Russia.

    Post-1965 race-replacement legal immigration policy goes-hand-in-hand with race-war against Conservative Orthodox Christian Russia.

    A Conservative Orthodox Christian Submarine Commander named Vitali Akripov saved the Human Species from the Subhuman Irish Catholic Scum reprobate JFK who was hell-bent on bringing about the permanent extinction of the Human Species…and it is for this reason that I am no longer Catholic….but still very much living-breathing Irish(Westmeath-Kilarney ancestry).

    The majority nonwhite Democratic Party is a hardcore ultraviolent terrorist organization…

    And what could be more obvious than this:The SPLC=The Democratic Party…

    The SPLC=NUMBER ONE TERRORIST ORGANIZATION ON THE PLANET EARTH!!!!!!

  48. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s just a marvel to me to see this US and allies oh so clever strategy of exploiting Muslim religious fanatics as mere cannon fodder in service of US interests. The zealots think they’re fighting for some Islamic utopia-on-earth whereas in reality they’re just pawns of the US to be disposed of later in some way-however many are still left alive afterwards, that is. It’s been a winning formula for the US for years now, goading the deluded little foreign people do the dying in furtherance of US interests. The world seems to have a large supply of dupes available for these projects. It has the added benefit of the US not only avoiding the bad public relations of having it’s own citizens become casualties but it can then point to the carnage it itself created and say ‘See, those people are savage and ungovernable. Only a firm hand can provide order for those kinds of people’. The subtext is that they’re all just some inferior breed that we shouldn’t worry too much about what happens to them. The US proclaiming it’s fighting IS is like an arsonist posing publicly for photo ops as a firefighter. US policy is as cynical and duplicitous as it’s possible to be.

  49. @Kiza

    just learned about this company founded by a student of the Frankfurt school/Habermas

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2013/08/19/national-security-darling-why-condoleezza-rice-david-petraeus-and-george-tenet-back-palantir/print/

    the company is expanding its presence in DC area recently

  50. attonn says:
    @Wally

    Occasional terrorist atrocity doesn’t threaten Russia’s very survival. Abuse of alcohol is thousand times more destructive, and even then Russia seems to be managing reasonably well.
    Western media makes a mountain of a molehill because the West is a feminized, hysterical, pain-intolerant, degenerate civilization.

    • Replies: @Wally
  51. RobinG says:
    @tbraton

    Lol. You’re using evidence and reasoning! (opposite of hunch)

    • Replies: @tbraton
  52. Beckow says:

    It is not that dramatic. Syria is a side show for Russia. They moved in to avoid Assad’s collapse because the cost is low. It allows Russia to complicate life for US-Turkey-Saudis-etc… So they complicate. But there are no direct interests or threats in Syria. They can leave tomorrow with minimum cost. The real tragedy is a permanently destroyed society in Syria that will haunt Middle East (and probably Europe) for generations. And the post-state disaster zone in Syria-Iraq-Libya is likely to spread. In the past those societies would simply die out, but today we will all get to share in the consequences.

    Angry, radical Islamists? They will exist regardless. One can argue that many will end their lives in Syria. The radical nihilistic fanatics will burn out as they have always burnt out throughout history. Many are redundant young men with no purpose. So they commit what is in effect a very dramatic suicide. It creates havoc, but has minimal impact on life on earth for the rest of us. Unless we panic.

    Russia’s real problem is its inability to resist internal volatility, its own reoccurring nihilistic flare-ups. They happen regularly and are always driven by a form of mass psychosis with large parts of the population going into nihilistic self-destructive overdrive – usually based on some vague yearning for better life from elsewhere. Last time it happened in the 90’s. Surrounding Russia, attacking Russia, creating instability, causing economic problems, actually back-fires for enemies of Russia – that is the main thing that has historically strengthen Russia. It focuses people, it removes the deadly Russian ennui, it is how Russia has been built as a large successful state.

    At this point, Russia mainly cares about Ukraine. And they are quietly winning there. There is no realistic way Ukraine can prosper as an island of anti-Russian anger. So having a choice between extreme poverty with anger and accommodation with Russia, Ukrainians will eventually accommodate and make nice. The only question is how many years of suffering and drama we will have in the meantime.

  53. Nobody doubts the treachery of the D.C. regime. However, the article depicts Putin’s Moscow as impossibly pure.

    There is more to this story than Putin the Savior of Mother Russia contending against Kerry the Apostate and Obama the crypto-Muslim and their wicked support of ISIS.

  54. annamaria says:
    @Quartermaster

    For Quartermaster specifically:
    “… more evidence has materialized that Turkey’s attack, which downed the Russian SU-24, had the logistical support of US AWACs aircraft or US satellites. http://russia-insider.com/en/natos-got-brand-new-syrian-bag/ri11846
    In other words, Russia has Washington cold on Washington’s involvement with, and support of, ISIS and Turkey’s act of war against Russia.”
    One more time: “…Russia has Washington cold on Washington’s involvement with, and support of, ISIS and Turkey’s act of war against Russia.”
    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/12/16/kerrys-moscow-meeting-a-hopeful-sign/

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
  55. annamaria says:
    @Priss Factor

    Agree with Ron Unz: There is no need to regurgitate the MSM “ideas” (i. e. propaganda) on this site.

  56. annamaria says:
    @attonn

    Please look at the map showing the Russian Federation’ southern borders and then make an inquiry about the religious preferences of the neighboring countries. You may also want to learn about New Silk Road project, namely its geography and the US attitude towards the countries that participate in the project.

  57. annamaria says:
    @Quartermaster

    This site does not being to an office of Nuland-Kagan to spout a neocon-pleasing nonsense

  58. tbraton says:
    @RobinG

    It’s just a bad habit I picked up in junior high school and haven’t been able to shake since. Hunches have their value. I missed out on making a great deal of money over the years by not following my hunches on certain stocks, but I let too much thinking get in the way. Of course, it was thinking and shifting the evidence which led me to those stocks in the first place.

  59. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Kiza

    But let us make the whole story much simpler. This is a war between Russia and the US lead Coalition of the Sponsors of Terrorism (COSOT), call it a semi-hot or a semi-cold war, it is still a war. Who will win in this war principally depends on who is going to go bankrupt. The previous war was won by the US when the USSR went bankrupt. This time the honor is more likely to befall the US, which is in an unbelievable speculative-manipulative and limitless-debt mess

    Bingo. Love it.

  60. @Haxo Angmark

    you seriously think putin will bend over and tell the west russia is ready for another 1990s rape?

    keep on dreaming. Were you having an euphoric neocon wet dream ? reads like it.

  61. Sam Shama says:
    @Ron Unz

    Ron,
    While I certainly don’t swallow the typical MSM drivel, the per capital graph is misleading. Counting from the start date on your graph [1980] each dollar added to a very low base [China; comparable $195 income p/c in 1981] to a very high base [USA; comparable $14,000 p/c in 1981], will indeed show the steep comparable graph for China.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  62. During last night’s debate, tough guy John Kasich said “We oughta punch Russia in the nose.”

    Cuckoo…Cuckoo…Cuckoo…(ad infinitum)

    And when Donald Trump noted that we wasted trillions of dollars and thousands of lives with nothing but chaos and a destabilized Middle East to show for it, Carly Fiorina popped a girdle strap.

    Cuckoo…Cuckoo…Cuckoo…(ad infinitum)

    • Replies: @annamaria
  63. Wally says: • Website
    @attonn

    Putin obviously disagrees with you about terrorist atrocities. I suggest a review of recent Russian history.

    I agree with you that the West has gone wussy and is in complete decline.

  64. unvote says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    Exactly. And these are just TWO examples. In fact, there are much much more…

    I am glad to see someone on here coming with the healthy criticism, whose memory is long enough to remember and take into consideration all those known Putin’s past stealth operations and dark deals. It’s good to know that, unlike the others, you are not fooled by all his numerous tricks, all of them, indeed, in order to stay in power and to “improve” that power to the level of unlimited corruption. No wonder that most of the foreign public, due to the inaccessibility for them of true information and facts, are mesmerized by this Putin’s image of a “hero”, or rather the image of such a “cool Macho with the nukes in his sleeves”, when even quite a significant number of Russians themselves can’t see through all his masks and fall the victims of his false, simulated “patriotic” speeches, his strange and pretentious performances, ostencible “economic developments”, Olympic games and pompous military parades, especially lately. But what is the point to pretend being “strong” and “powerful” when this government wasn’t even going to protect anyone. Remember Serbia, Libya, Iraq and so on?…and now Ukraine, Donbass…then Syria, too, will be betrayed the same way, perhaps with the “help” of similar treacherous one-sided agreements, kind of “Minsk” ones. And those of us who are using the brain directly for thinking (and for learning from the past as well) can clearly see through all these undercovered ploys, schemes and maneuvers. We, and I am in particular, are seeing enough of evidence and can easily answer on that fateful, 15-years-old, question: “Who is Mr. Putin?”

    As a genuine patriot of Russia, plus being a person who is having firm beliefs and moral values I’ve never trusted him either. Truth is that there are much more dark pages in Putin’s life than the story of his elections alone. Everyone can easily find most of the compromising information on Putin on the numerous web sources, especially if they can understand Russian language. The Russian sources are surely more preferable to learn from because not all of these facts and documents were translated. I would really insist that the foreigners could read the Russian blogs and social media where the real Russians share and spread an important and true information. That would become quite an eye-opening reading.

    I personally know many people among Russians who have trusted Putin at the beginning and trusted him for quite a long time. These people have been fully or partly “ok” with his previous policy. Until…until the conflict in Ukraine, where Putin has finally (and unexpectedly) demonstrated his TRUE face. After his blatant betrayal of Russian people in Donbass, after his long lasted abandonment of the human rights of the ethnic Russians in Ukraine, his unwillingness to control and restrain the development of dangerous Russophobic movements in neighboring Ukraine, then after him shaking hands with the leader of the illegal Nazi regime in Ukraine, this American stooge and plain murderer Poroshenko (!!!) and finally after his obvious failure to act as how the wise, strong and loyal leader of Russia should act (both in domestic and foreign policy), all these Putin’s fans and defenders of him have suddenly found out that “the king is naked” actually…

    The time will show us the rest of story.

  65. @Randal

    “And Clinton will be the next President.”

    And World War III won’t be far behind. . . .

  66. annamaria says:
    @unvote

    You seems to be surprised that the RF wants to follow the law and does not want to commit suicide. Do you have any sympathy for your relatives in Russia or you want them to get bogged in a war with NATO (US), neo–nazis, and banderites, till the RF is bled to death? For Russia to begin military operations against Kiev is a wet dream of ziocons.
    And please, do not “keep silence about what is happening in Donbas:” the truth must be spread around, particularly in western Europe. The locals do suffer; the Russian Federation has absorbed hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine. By their treatment of East Ukrainians, the putschists have been violating numerous laws and agreements. The Kievan scoundrels have been making a rope to hang themselves.

    • Replies: @unvote
  67. annamaria says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    It seems that you want to share with us your lack of admiration for Putin by presenting your reading of his psychology. Do you trust Bibi, Obama, Hollande? What about Erdogan or the previous (unofficial) prez of the US the Five-Deferment-Cheney? Any more hurt feelings about certain heads of state?

  68. annamaria says:
    @Unapologetic White Man

    The tough guy John Kasich has some impressive bio: “He was a commentator on Fox News Channel… He also worked as an investment banker, as managing director of Lehman Brothers’ Columbus, Ohio office.” Some brave soldier indeed, this John Kasich; always ready to send other peoples’ children to fight his fights.

    • Replies: @Orville H. Larson
  69. nero says:

    The Russians should just assassinate top echelon players in the US.

  70. “redraw the map of the ME in a way that best suits the commercial and strategic interests of its core constituents; the banks, the multinational corporations and the big weapons manufacturers.”

    What a tool.

    No mention of the interests of the Zionist owners of the political filth.

  71. @Si1ver1ock

    Putin vowed to kill every single Chechen Jihadist, and did. The ones who fled to Turkey, thinking they were safe, are slowly falling to hitmen who disappear into the night. Putin has a long memory and revenge is a dish best served cold. Erdogan-the-Ambusher will find that out some day.

  72. @annamaria

    Quite an armchair commando, John Kasich. He’s a decorated veteran of the cocktail party wars.

  73. unvote says:
    @From The Hague

    Well, I surely can hear the sarcasm in your question. My answer will be clear. From the very beginning and to this day the entire civil uprising in Donbass regions involves the local men and women of very different ages, professions and social status. Even the teenagers there took the arms. There are moms along with their sons fighting side by side. They defend their homes, their families, their property and certainly their lives. All of them are the residents of Donbass region, generally they are the ordinary civilians – mostly the mine workers, drivers, etc. Besides, even the businessmen, teachers, artists and scientists have filled the militia units as well. Most of them have never made a single shot in their life. But they are learning quickly…because they just have to. They have no other choice. Vast majority of these people have nowhere else to go. Lots of of them just don’t want to leave their homes and let the invaders pillage there. And most of all they want Ukraine to get off back and then the peace would return.

    Some part of their militia includes the volunteers from Russian Federation who deliberately arrived to support the pro-Russian Donbass in their fight against the attacking Ukrainian army, Nazi battalions, Right Sector, etc. Many of these volunteers from Russia have their parents or other relatives living in Donbass, so it is absolutely natural that they rushed to defend them. Quite a lot of these defenders from Russia are not even ethnic Russians but even so, they joined the fight against Nazi regime and its ruthless aggressors. Some part of their new army were the volunteers from other countries – from Serbia, Spain, France, Latvia, Germany and even from the United States.

    The refugeers who fled to Russia were mainly the families with children, old people, disabled people and those who have their another house and job in Russia. Some number of the healthy adult men have fled too, indeed. Most of them were the fathers of new born babies and of the children under 5 years old, whose mothers could not bear all the hardships on their own. That is how the reality dictated these men to act. And there is nothing for these men to be ashamed of. They protect their beloved ones. Some number of them returned to Donbass to take a fight, after they made sure that their families could safely settle somewhere in Russia and been provided with help.

    Other part of the men from Donbass have never returned home and each of them has his own reasons for such decision. I believe that some of them are just the cowards or indifferent people who only care about their own skin. I can tell you even more. There are those as well who have chosen to become the traitors of their own fellow citizens, friends, сolleagues and neighbors, who collected and delivered their personal data to Ukrainian police. The reported people have been then arrested, jailed, tortured and killed, hundreds of them disappeared without any trace… There were the ones who corrected the fire of the Ukrainian artillery by giving them exact coordinates and positions of not only the military but even the civilian objects to be shelled – schools, hospitals, residential buildings…These people bear the same responsibility of the murderers of innocent people as do the ones to whom they served.

    Still, such a local traitors remain to be the sporadic cases. Good people prevail of course. The majority of people in Donbass are truly the real heroes and the power of their spirit to survive in such deadly circumstances causes only deepest respect and admiration. Being good or bad has nothing to do with the nationality, residence, age or gender. As everywhere else, there are good and bad people. The motivation to act as a scoundrel is always individual, depending on the kind of worthless character and absolute absence of tabooes and any moral restraints of a certain person.

  74. @Sam Shama

    Yeah, we all get that.

    There is nothing at all “misleading” about the graph when you understand what information is actually being presented.

  75. unvote says:
    @annamaria

    With all respect, but you are the bad strategist. It is exactly by not crushing the banderites earlier in their cradle – in Ukraine, starting from Donbass of course, Russia may have them very soon in her own cities and then, indeed, the bloodbath here is unevitable. The Ukrainian neo-Nazis have such a plan, in case you don’t know. Russian border cities Voronesh, Rostov, Belgorod are certainly in their plans. They call it “Great Scythia” to become the part of “Great Ukraine”. Read about it. Google Biletsky, Yarosh or any other their Nazi leader, or read here: http://fortruss.blogspot.ru/2015/01/the-ideology-of-new-ukraine.html

    Before posting your statements you should at least investigate what are their ultimate goals. They are not going to stop in Donbass, I assure you. Their main enemy and ultimate goal is declared to be Russia. Sitting and waiting for their triumphal coming is that suicide!

    Whereas, nobody in the US is going to start WW3 over the Donbass as how has nobody started it after the annexation of Crimea. But with macho Putin rushing to Middle East to demonstrate his muscles, the nuclear conflict becomes very, extremely possible. By the way, it is exactly where the Biblical Armaggedon is going to happen, if you know what I mean.

    And yes, I am not going to keep silence.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  76. Rurik says:

    good article

    only

    The US is engaged in a vast “pivot” project to remove secular regimes that are hostile towards Washington, control vital resources from North Africa through the Middle East and across Central Asia, establish military bases wherever necessary, maintain the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and redraw the map of the ME in a way that best suits the commercial and strategic interests of its core constituents; the banks, the multinational corporations and the big weapons manufacturers.

    “remove secular regimes that are hostile towards Washington,” ” ?!?!

    “…the banks, the multinational corporations and the big weapons manufacturers.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a paragraph that tries almost heroically to not mention the very substantial point.

    Has the author ever even heard of Israel?

    WTF

    • Replies: @Ben_C
  77. Thirdeye says:
    @annamaria

    Washington just gave Erdogan a serious cold shower by withdrawing its F-15 air superiority fighters from Incirlik and telling him to accede to the Iraqi government’s demand to withdraw from Mosul. You can bet Erdogan is pissed. If the US was behind the SU-24 shootdown, Erdogan’s got the goods on them and has every incentive to spill the beans. I guess we’ll find out in the coming days.

  78. Rurik says:
    @Kiza

    This time the honor is more likely to befall the US, which is in an unbelievable speculative-manipulative and limitless-debt mess.

    all the Fed has to do is hit come keys on their computer and create trillion$

    there is no viable alternative to the dollar yet

    and China doesn’t want to see its economy crash if the dollar crashes

    ditto most countries in the world

    so long as inflating the currency only hurts the middle class, they certainly don’t mind that, and the ECB is their Siamese twin and all the Western countrie’s central banks from Norway to Australia have been bribed and/or bullied into fiscal submission

    Therefore, either bankruptcy or a nuclear war.

    Mr. Whitney does make an excellent point that Russia can not lose to this lot. It would mean an eventual and inevitable holocaust for Russia and I suspect that nuclear war might be actually preferable to living in a world dominated by the people who run Gitmo and Gaza.

    Perhaps it’d be better to do a reset than doom the world’s progeny to some kind of dystopian abyss of horrors that would give Orwell nightmares

    between this

    and this

    it’s a little hard to choose

    • Agree: Kiza
    • Replies: @unvote
  79. Ben_C says:
    @Rurik

    Without a long drawn out post:

    ROTFLMFAO…

    Agreed.

    You’re preaching to the choir here.

  80. unvote says:
    @Quartermaster

    Lol…You pop up too late with your fairy story. No one is taking it seriously anymore.

  81. unvote says:
    @Rurik

    it’s a little hard to choose

    Indeed…But they say, the horrible end is always better that the horror without end.

  82. annamaria says:
    @unvote

    There is indeed a terrible pain and a strong sense of betrayal. But consider the option – an open war with NATO (US), a war that could become a nuclear war in a speck of time. The neo-Nazi surge in Ukraine has been generated by the US State Department; this is an ongoing process notwithstanding a certain resolution taken by the US Congress. The situation could be changed only when the US deciders-plutocrats (and their servile MIC) receive a very painful and personal punishment. The sense of the horrific and total dangers of the approaching war has been slowly but steadily downing on the true rulers of the US. One cannot educate, in a few moments, the semi-ignorant scum that has captured the most powerful “exceptional” nation; the plutocrats are too well protected to get a sense of reality. It is in the interests of humankind to take time before going frontal against the high-placed war profiteers. It would be irresponsible to initiate a war in Europe and to destroy the lives of thousands and thousands of Europeans, whereas the promoters and builders of the war live in the USA.
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/You-Want-War-Russia-is-Re-by-Pepe-Escobar-NATO_Putin_Russia-And-Turkey_Russia-And-Us-Conflict-151216-994.html

    • Replies: @unvote
  83. Rurik says:

    the semi-ignorant scum that has captured the most powerful “exceptional” nation; the plutocrats are too well protected

    not to split hairs annamarina, but the nation has been captured from the ignorant scum by the plutocrats

    today the ignorant scum are bovine cannon fodder and scorned as ‘privileged’ as the country their ancestors invented is systematically looted dry by the .001% Wall Street uber-criminal plutocrats and assorted not-semi-ignorant scum.

    these men may be scum (and are ; )

    but they’re quite educated

    • Replies: @annamaria
  84. joe webb says:

    I note again that Whitney is severely allergic to the word “Jew”. Ditto ” Israel.’

    But i am not surprised that folks here failed to see it.

    Joe Webb

    Let me point out again that the Jews hate Russia for terminating the Jew Power in there.

    I do not think that Whitney has ever used the jew/Israel words. Therefore, he is an agent of obfuscation for the Jew Power, OR, he just wants to keep credible to other sources of employment.

  85. Sam J. says:

    In the big scheme of things a loss in Syria is the biggest threat to the Jews. The whole war on terror starting with 9-11 is a tactic by the Jews to Somalize the middle east. If they lose in Syria they’re screwed. Their false flags are wearing thin. They’ve attacked their biggest supporter the US and pissed off Russia, the Muslims, just about everyone. Their constant warfare is doing the same thing they did to Hezbollah. Their enemies are getting smarter and smarter. In Hezbollah’s case the Jews got their asses kicked.

    We’re seeing peak Jew right now. No one believes their lies. Large amounts of people realize they’re nothing but a tribe of psychopaths. Lizards that walk on two feet.

  86. Avery says:

    Great quotes from Putin’s press conference:

    https://www.rt.com/news/326354-putins-turkey-trump-quotes/

    “[Ankara] thought we would flee [Syria]! No, Russia is not a country to act like that. We increased our presence in Syria; we increased the strength of our air forces. There were no anti-aircraft weapon systems there before – now there is the S-400,” he said.
    “Turkey used to violate Syrian airspace on a regular basis, now let’s see them fly there”

    Another good one:
    [Vladimir Putin suggests Turkey wants to ‘lick the Americans in a certain place’]
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/12055920/Putin-suggest-Turkey-wants-to-lick-the-Americans-in-a-certain-place.html

    My Russian has deteriorated over the years of non-use.
    Any fluent Russian speakers here ?
    Did Putin really say “lick” ?

  87. unvote says:
    @annamaria

    Have you read carefully my previous reply? I, too, put it clear about nuclear war that it is rather would happen over Middle East than over Ukraine, Donbass or Crimea.

    Actually, I get your point…You are trying to say that the lives of Europeans are incomparibly more precious than the lives of some Russians in Ukraine. And that saving those “subhumans” – the Russians – may cost Europeans their own lives if, hypotetically, it would cause the war in Europe. Right? Let those Russians die, but WE, the “chosen” ones, should live. Right? How nice….However, there is no surprise to me. I always knew about such attitude of the “West”. The attitude like it is only and entirely Russia who stands on your way to your “happy future”. And you are always ready to destroy us, or rather to “help” to destroy because you have no guts to go against Russia directly. But these are the empty hopes. The world has changed. And the Russians have changed too. We are no longer the same after 1990s when you, the West, appluaded in extasy to the collapse of giant Soviet Union and the followed then nightmare…Therefore, our willingness and readiness to fight for the entire world has gone. Gone completely. Yeah, it is YOU, the West, who taught us to be more pragmatic, more cynical. Nobody in Russia today would be willing to go to save European nations like our grandfathers did in 1945. So yes, the western world which hates us, endlessly lies about us, insults us, mocks us and cannot wait to see us divided, defeated, robbed, enslaved and finally annihilated, such a world does not deserve our pity, our compassion, even our single tear. So this time it will be YOUR turn to pay. To pay for everything you have done.

    So what are you trying to say to me? That Russia shall not bother about some 14-15 millions of Russian people who still remain in every region of Ukrane where ALL of them became easy targets for mad Bandera/Nazi thugs, just because it may trigger some potential war in Europe? So, let them suffer and die but save Europe, or WHAT??? And if so, it becomes clear why you’re so actively standing for Putin’s policy. He, too, does not value the lives of Russians…neither in Russia, nor outside Russia.

    No thanks. I don’t agree that MY people should pay their lives for saving once again this perverted world. Enough is enough. Russia HAS already paid absolutely terrific, enormous cost for taking the responsibility and saving the world from the German fascism. And what? Who in today’s world even appreciates that? Who now even remembers our heroes, the self-sacrifice of our people been put on the altar of common peace?! Only few…Instead, Russia is again “the evil” and her people are the “subhumans” whose lives cost nothing…The monuments to Russian soldiers, the-liberators-of-Europe, are being destroyed and vandalized in “civilized” Europe, in the countries like Poland, Latvia…and now in Ukraine where the illegal US/Nazi coup was fully supported by Europe…So whom we are expected to protect by letting our own people die in Nazi Ukraine and now in Syria? Whom to save in Europe? Whose safety, comfort and well-being we are supposed to pay for? The barbarian, degenerate, immoral Europeans?! The narcissistic, self-obsessed Americans?!

    So, please, don’t waste your time and efforts to persuade me in anything. It is just needless and fruitless. I am already having my own stable views – on the distant history, and on the recent, and current events, both in Russia and in the world. Surely in Russia I can see things from within, and I’m not looking at them through the rose-colored glasses or with the “help” of propaganda from any side. I just see what I see. And what I see is terrible…

    Trying to persuade me that people in Donbass “can wait” until Putin beats the terrorists somewhere far away, you will also have to persuade in that another 140 millions of Russians, plus some millions of them in Ukraine and elsewhere, that the Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians in Nazi Ukraine “don’t need help and rescue”…Tell them this, too! Tell them that they must be ready to pay for Russia’s “adventures” in desert instead of helping them, and meanwhile they must be patient when they are shelled, shot, torn to pieces and maimed by Ukraine!..The US deciders-plutocrats could receive a very painful and personal punishment right there in Ukraine and right from the very beginning of the conflict. Lots of people here and there think so. Count now how many human lives in Donbass could have been saved by just one but quick and decisive response. But Putin chooses exactly the opposite. He chooses capitulation in Ukraine and goes waving fists to Syria. How “clever”!

    And regardless what you or anyone else would say, I already know that Putin bears the heavy responsibility for the consequances of his irresponsible actions (however, WILL he ever pay? As usually, the ordinary people will pay). Going to Syria without actually having any vision of where it may bring Russia and into what it may turn for the world, while forgetting about bleeding Donbass on his doorstep and throwing aside the dangerous situation on Russia’s own borders, was the most stupid, hazardous, risky and irresponsible decision I have ever seen! It is already clear to me, and not just to me, that this man did not and does not deserve to rule such a great, vast, complex and rich country like Russia. He does not deserve to lead the Russians and speak in the world for their name. He, willingly or unwillingly – and I insist on the first – has already destroyed whatever was left from his predecessors. Moreover, he did the worst ever thing – he scared off all our allies and friendly nations who, looking at how he treats his own people in Russia and the Russians in ex-Soviet countries, and how easily he betrays everyone else, can’t trust Russia anymore and can’t rely on her power and her good name anymore. Putin has ruined all this. Sure, nobody in their sober mind would trust the traitors. Bashar Assad will face it very soon when Putin will “ask” him to surrender. By his certain actions as well as certain inactions, by his weak diplomacy and teethless policy this president brought my country and my people on the edge of disaster, bigger and worse than ever before, and the entire world up to the risk of nuclear war! The civil war on the Russian soil is also in the run. His numerous and permanent “failures” and “mistakes” during his 3 presidential terms can’t be occasional. All of that are the direct results of his treacherous, perfidious, obscure, shadowy, destructive policy and I am not even mentioning here his closest friends – the super-rich criminal and oligarchate circles. Including Chabad Zionist Berl Lazar. There is clear understanding that Putin is the enemy of Russia and perhaps of the world. It is obvious for everyone who isn’t completely stupid. And it is obvious for all those who genuinly love Russia and want to see her and her people free from corrupted powers, safe and happy.

    Ok, this was the opinion of an average Russian (don’t take it too personally though). And, as an average Russian, I don’t want my country and my people to pull chestnuts out of the fire any more. I consider Putin’s behavior and all his actions to be extremely irresponsible, harmful for Russia itself and extremely dangerous for the world. You may or may not take my opinion into account. Just know that it is not something unique. Many people in Russia really think similary and the number of us only grows. Bottom line: the Russians have had enough already. These days Russia has too many ill-wishers around and much less of true friends to fight alone. And I wouldn’t recommend as well to put all your hopes on Putin alone. So maybe it’s a time for other nations to do something in order to avoid the worst scenario.

  88. annamaria says:
    @tbraton

    Another great informative post:
    http://thesaker.is/chess-in-the-age-of-isis/

    “In August, the “Financial Times” reported that Israel obtained 75% of its oil supplies from Iraqi Kurdistan. More than a third of such exports go through the port of Ceyhan, which the FT describe as a “potential gateway for ISIS-smuggled crude…“Israel has in one way or another become the main marketer of ISIS oil. Without them, most ISIS-produced oil would have remained going between Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Even the three countries would not receive the oil if they did not have a buyer in Israel,” an industry official told the newspaper “al-Araby al-Jadeed.”

    And this is something that would be laughable if not the horrors and rivers of blood produced by the PNAC project in the Middle East.
    “We suddenly learn that the majority of Jews around the world are closely related to the Kurdish people — more closely than they are to the Semitic-speaking Arabs or any other population that was tested…. This 2014 “gem” from Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin, Colonel in the USAF Reserve and Military Attaché to Israel: “Most Kurds are Sunni Muslim and one can hear the five-times-a-day Muslim call to prayer, but it is muted and ignored by most…Zako, once the center of Kurdistan’s Jewish population, still invites back descendants of those who long ago left for Zion… For all of the above reasons, Kurdistan reminds one of Israel…”

    Natural resources. Mineral wealth. They are the reason for the murderous wars waged by the US/UK/Israel in the Middle East. As for the Holocaust Museum, anti-Nazi’ passions, the “most moral,” and the “beacon of democracy” – these are part of the strictly-business maneuvers. See the fraternization of ziocons with neo-Nazi in Ukraine (with Kagans and Kristols in charge), creation and tender care for ISIS by the US/Israel, and demonization of Russians… The plutocratic “deciders” are not sophisticated at all. They are rather easy to read, which means that they are easy to predict since they are always ready to make the most amoral steps for their personal gains. Considering that the US does not have any mechanisms of accountability any more, the deciders cannot be reigned in from within. There should be zero trust towards the US plutocrats, accompanied by the unstoppable divulging of the parasitoids’ criminal intrigues.

  89. annamaria says:
    @Rurik

    May I respectfully disagree. The above mentioned gentlemen have a quite lopsided “education.” Moreover, the habit of being overly-protected by money and power destroys rational thinking.
    Both Spinoza and Wittgenstein gave away their considerable wealth.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  90. Rurik says:
    @unvote

    that the lives of Europeans are incomparibly more precious than the lives of some Russians in Ukraine.

    Hello unvote,

    I hope you don’t mind me barging in on you and annamarina

    I just want you to know that as an American I am very sympathetic to the plight of the peoples of Donbas. I know they’ve been tossed under the bus by geopolitical macro events and they’ve been wronged terribly.

    Your people are like the Palestinians, who’ve been marginalized by cynical forces and hard realpolitik.

    Before I came here, I tried to make the case for the people of Eastern Ukraine to others and to learn. That’s my point in being here. To get an better understanding and one of the great advantages of a site like this is its wide appeal, and the ability to listen to perspectives like yours.

    Anyways while researching it all, I came across a tragic image of a y0ung 23 yr. old mother and her baby that were killed in the senseless violence. It’s gruesome but I showed it to the others so they might feel some sympathy and humanize those people’s plight.
    -warning-

    it’s horrific what is being done and especially why

    the suffering and strife in that part of the world are being deliberately orchestrated by my government

    just like with Syria and Libya before her, and Iraq and Afghanistan and Palestine too

    all by my government and all in an insane quest for more and more power by psychopathic men drunk on power and whose thirst, like a heroin addict, can never be sated.

    Putin is up against these forces and the way I see it is they’re tying to engage him in a wider conflict that will engulf the entire region and get even more mothers like this killed.

    I don’t have the answers. I’m thousands of miles away and am getting my info from the Internet on sites like this. But I do know what’s being done is wrong and evil, and hopefully as we all get a better understanding we can help somehow to slow down the insanity.

    • Replies: @unvote
  91. Rurik says:
    @annamaria

    you won’t see me trying to defend that lot

    but intelligence is not the hallmark of character

    lots of rotten scum have brains, but lack decency

    and lots of decent folks, are ignorant rubes

  92. annamaria says:
    @unvote

    Why have you dismissed the idea that Russians living in Ukraine (and Moscow and further east) live in Europe? A hint – those living in Ukraine and the European part of Russia are Europeans.
    You wrote, “…he [Putin] scared off all our allies and friendly nations..” – This is a line from western MSM, which has nothing to do with reality; this line does not reflect an opinion of “an average Russian” judging from the strength of popular support for Putin in Russia. “Many people in Russia really think similary and the number of us only grows.” If that were true, the US’ Kagans and Kristols would be elated, since nothing can please them more than a possibility of a divided and weakened Russia.
    There are a lot of anger and bitterness in your post, yet you are not eager to join the noble people of Donbas, those that found strength to fight for their homes, families, and traditions. Actually, you use the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine only to express your hatred towards the current RF administration. Overall, your post is rather a well-formulated manifesto of the Fifth column in Russian Federation. You conclude your manifesto with an openly treacherous proclamation: “maybe it’s a time for other nations to do something in order to avoid the worst scenario.” And what are other nations” you want to invite “to do something” in Russia? Do you have Biden in mind? Or you prefer McCain? Whether you wanted it or not, but your puffing about bad Putin at some point got transformed into a desire to have a Russian Maidan. Your thinking is a sweet dream for Nuland-Kagan and such.
    A very strange post indeed…

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @unvote
  93. annamaria says:
    @unvote

    “So maybe it’s a time for other nations to do something in order to avoid the worst scenario.”
    Is it what you desire for the Russian Federation? : http://thesaker.is/us-wants-him-so-yatsenyuk-stays/ “US Wants Him So Yatsenyuk Stays”
    You see, there were “other nations” (the US and Nuland’s “f—k EU”) that did “something” for Ukraine in order “to avoid” something. Don’t you like the results of the “deeds?”?

  94. aeolius says:

    An Ode to Thuggey
    As a document of a free association of the Authors power fantasies this column has some interest. As an intellectual column not so much. It would seem that the author idolizes Mr. Putin. Why he chooses to idolize a KGB thug is his own business. But this offering has all the earmarks of a fantasy. Lack of contact with reality. Aggrandizement of the idealized object.Etc.
    Game of Thrones is a good example of such fantasy. This column not so much.

    Any attempt to discuss this as a work of rational thought would be in vain.

    Can we soon expect a future column praising Kim Jong-un?

  95. krollchem says:
    @krollchem

    unvote,

    My point was that the Empire is failing in Ukraine as in Syria although many innocent people have died to defeat these masters of the universe psychopaths.

    I have seen hundreds of photos of the dead in the Israel-Canada-France-United Kingdom- and United States (I-CAN-FUKUS) created war in Ukraine and read most everything I could find on the conflict. This financial globalistic empire will continue to push against Russia and the rest of the SCO and BRICS until their flame burns out in a financial implosion from trying to obtain full spectrum dominance.

    Please remember that Putin’s government has achieved a lot since 1999 in improving the Russian nation. From a game theory standpoint Russia is playing a game of GO against the Western leaders. Russia gained the time to recover from the pillaging by the “boys from Harvard” through the blood of millions of Muslims killed in the Middle East and Central Asia and the Yugoslavia wars created by an engineered banking collapse designed to de-Finlandize Yugoslavia (FRY).

    Under international law Russia has taken in over 800,000 Russian speaking Ukrainian people while providing massive humanitarian aid to DPR/LPR.

    I would also wish that Russia would do more to eliminate mob influence and the oligarchs who are trying to regain power, especially in the LPR . There is still a lot of housekeeping to do in Russia too before taking on cleaning up/out Ukraine. Like you I hope Russia can do a better job of keeping the fifth column from infiltrating.

    Best wishes

    • Replies: @geokat62
    , @unvote
  96. geokat62 says:
    @krollchem

    I have seen hundreds of photos of the dead in the Israel-Canada-France-United Kingdom- and United States (I-CAN-FUKUS)

    I like your abbreviation. I would recommend modifying it slightly to:

    ISRAEL-CAN-FUKUS

    • Replies: @krollchem
  97. Kiza says:
    @annamaria

    annamarina, I was impressed by your very reasoned, intelligent and understanding responses to this shady character. To some extent, it was also quite useful to dispel some of the screaming propaganda along the lines of his claims, which I summarised as: Putin tricked us and then he abondaned us. There is quite a lively online propaganda production around this central claim, where professional actors, supposedly Ukrainian Russian speakers with the right kind of accent tell one of the several prepared stories full of bitterness and frustration. If anyone is interested, I will try to find a few of those productions and post them here.

    In other words, I am suspicious of such individuals claiming to be Russians from Ukraine and blaming RF for everything, including perhaps the Odessa Massacre as well. Putin organised that one, bombing of apartment buildings inside RF, etc etc. That KGB thug is to blame for everything, so says the Mossad/CIA news service.

    Therefore, after answering all those issues he raised in a most reasonable manner whist he persists and keeps repeating and escalating his claims, interpreting your responses in the ways which suit his agenda and so on, may it be the time to move on? Sorry, just a suggestion, because you could contribute much more on other issues.

    • Replies: @annamaria
    , @Avery
    , @tbraton
  98. annamaria says:
    @Kiza

    Thank you. Certain nets are better to be untangled for everybody to see.
    There was another curious moment in “unvote” voluble post that I missed in my response to him: he wrote that Putin “scared off all our allies and friendly nations” thus implying that the downing of MH17 was Putin’s fault. It was this viciously propagated accusation of Russians as the culprits in the MH17 tragedy that led to sanctions on Russia from “our allies and friendly nations.” The allusion makes a question mark next to the “unvote”alleged patriotism. But the most interesting part of his manifesto is where he states his belief that Russia could be “saved” only by the US, hence the memorable “maybe it’s a time for other nations to do something in order to avoid the worst scenario.” Perhaps it was the stoppage of income from the US-sposored NGOs that made “unvote”so spectacularly illogical.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  99. Avery says:
    @Kiza

    Agree.
    Carefully re-read the post.
    Excellent, logic-based debunking of the self-described Russian by [annamarina].

  100. Kiza says:
    @annamaria

    I just happened to notice “unvote’s” peculiar reaction to a Hasbara called Quartermaster, who called Putin and the government in Moscow – the Nazis in Moscow. “unvote’s” reaction was like someone was trying to provoke him, just him to out himself. Most other users would have understood the Q’master as an attack on Russia not on themselves. In other words, Q’master was diverging too much from the “unvote’s” script.

  101. annamaria says:

    Worthwhile to revisit a story of Khodorkovsky, the darling of the Carlyle group, Rothschilds, and Bushes: http://www.voltairenet.org/article168007.html

    From comment section of consortium (https://consortiumnews.com/2015/12/17/the-danger-after-putin/), by Abe

    Khodorkovsky “at the tender age of 40 had risen to become the richest man in Russia worth some $15 billion by fraudulent acquisition of state assets during the lawless Yeltsin era. In an auction run by his own bank, Khodorkovsky paid $309 million for Yukos. In 2003 the same company was assessed as worth $45 billion, and not owing to Khodorkovsky’s management genius.
    In 1998, Khodorkovsky had been let free in a US case where he was charged with helping launder $10 billion with his own bank and the Bank of New York. He had very influential friends in the US it appeared […]
    With his new billions in effect stolen from the Russian people, he made some powerful friends. He set up a foundation modeled on US billionaire George Soros’ Open Society, calling it the Open Russia Foundation. He invited two powerful Westerners to its board—Henry Kissinger and Jacob Lord Rothschild. Then he set about to develop ties with some of the most powerful circles in Washington where he was named to the Advisory Board of the secretive private equity firm, Carlyle Group where he attended board meetings with fellow advisors such as George H.W. Bush and James Baker III.
    However, the real crime that landed Khodorkovsky behind Russian bars was the fact that he was in the middle of making a US-backed coup d’etat to capture the Russian presidency in planned 2004 Russian Duma elections. Khodorkovsky was in the process of using his enormous wealth to buy enough seats in the coming Duma elections that he could change Russian laws regarding ownership of oil in the ground and of pipelines transporting same. In addition he planned to directly challenge Putin and become Russian President. As part of the horse trade that won Putin the tacit support of the wealthy so-called Russian Oligarchs, Putin had extracted agreement that they be allowed to hold on to their wealth provided they repatriate a share back into Russia and provided they not interfere in domestic Russian politics with their wealth. Most oligarchs agreed, as did Khodorkovsky at the time. They remain established Russian businessmen. Khodorkovsky did not.
    Moreover, at the time of his arrest Khodorkovsky was in the process of negotiating via his Carlyle friend George H.W. Bush, father of the then-President George W. Bush, the sale of 40% of Yukos to either Condi Rice’s former company, Chevron or ExxonMobil in a move that would have dealt a crippling blow to the one asset left Russia and Putin to use for the rebuilding of the wrecked Russian economy: oil and export via state-owned pipelines to the West for dollars. During the ensuing Russian state prosecution of Yukos, it came to light that Khodorkovsky had also secretly made a contract with London’s Lord Rothschild not merely to support Russian culture via the Open Russia Foundation of Khodorkovsky. In the event of his possible arrest (Khodorkovsky evidently knew he was playing a high-risk game trying to create a coup against Putin) the 40% share of his Yukos stocks would pass into the hands of Lord Rothschild.”
    PS: Khodorkovsky’s father was Jewish or “they hate us for our freedoms” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Khodorkovsky

  102. unvote says:
    @annamaria

    And what are other nations” you want to invite “to do something” in Russia? Do you have Biden in mind? Or you prefer McCain?

    Where in my post I said that I “invite Other Nations To Do Something in RUSSIA”?? Are you blind, Marina? Or do you see only what you WANT to see? Can you even read?…..And instead of Biden and McCain who “were invited by me to visit in Russia in order “to do something”, I prefer YOU stop creating fiction stories out of my comments and scare yourself by the imaginary agents of fifth column.

    Sorry to disappoint you but I am neither their “agent”, nor anyone elses. My motivation is diametrically opposite – my goal is to preserve my country, not to destroy it. That is why I have nothing in common with any sort of the destroyers of my country. Understand??
    Why can’t you just accept this simple fact that so many people don’t share your views and can have different opinions based on their knowledge, first hand information and most importantly, their own experience? Is it that hard to accept it?

    In any case, I don’t need your lecturing. I am expressing here my personal opinion and don’t expect anyone to force on me their own, accuse me of anything or suggesting me what I have to do and where to go. I don’t need mentors either. If you disagree with me, fine. You have the same right to express it in your comment and politely explain why you disagree, or don’t explain, if you don’t want to. But DO NOT play on public forums with unknown people the role of judge, smart ass and attacker all together. Most people don’t like it, and so do I. Such are the rules of any civil discussions. Other readers may find my comments to be informative, my opinion to be reasoned, and may agree not with you but with me.

    Unfortunately, I can’t take you and your statements seriously. I can clearly see where you go false and why. I’ve seen many times how ill-informed people are easily falling into the trap of self-deception, too bad they are trying to drag with them everyone else. Pity them all…It is obvious to me that you don’t possess true information from the real-life sources. Instead, some of your claims sound like they were stolen directly from the western Russophobic sources while your other arguments sound as if they were copied from the Russian pro-Kremlin blogs. Your arguments are absolutely the same that I read or hear from the Putin’s propagandists here in Russia, only yours are translated into English. You sound like you repeat them word by word, and exactly in the same twisted, distorted way, as if you have learned it from these bloggers ,whose only job is to persuade everyone of some certain narrative, as defined by the patron/sponsor.

    Given all that, I have no interest in discussing anything with someone who demonstrates absolute lack of logic and own mind. Not to mention bad manners along with inattentive reading of my posts which causes misunderstanding and misinterpretations, up to idiotic ones..

    Oh, nearly forgot…I have to apologize for ruining your career of fantast by not fitting into your another very interesting story about me as a Russian Maidaner. I just don’t like cookies, you see…Still, pity that Nuland-Kagan is too busy and can’t come on UNZ today to read my brilliant manifesto…

  103. annamaria says:
    @unvote

    Well. The following are your words:
    “Bottom line: the Russians have had enough already. These days Russia has too many ill-wishers around and much less of true friends to fight alone. And I wouldn’t recommend as well to put all your hopes on Putin alone. So maybe it’s a time for other nations to do something in order to avoid the worst scenario.”
    Sounds like a plea for a Russian Maidan. The Fifth column in verbose action.

    • Agree: Kiza
    • Replies: @unvote
    , @KA
  104. unvote says:
    @annamaria

    Oh…poor you. I get it – you are writing from mental hospital…Ok ok, if according to you I am fifth column, then you are probably Sherlock Holmes, with such an extraordinary logical skills…I see. Get well soon, Marina 🙂

    • Replies: @annamaria
  105. krollchem says:
    @geokat62

    Bravo for the improvement. Pretty much sums up the “masters of the Universe” and who is in charge!

  106. unvote says:
    @krollchem

    Please remember that Putin’s government has achieved a lot since 1999 in improving the Russian nation.

    Thank you for your response.

    I guess you are not living in Russia, otherwise you wouldn’t tell me, the Russian, about “improvements” and “achievements” in my own country. I am living here. Don’t you think I therefore can see a lot more and know much more about the actual state of affairs in my own country than you do, or any other observers from outside? This your statement is taken from the media sources, and we all perfectly know that media sources not always show things as they are.

    Please remember that the information they feed us and

    the reality

    differ as much each from other as sweet differs from bitter. For example, the polls published in media will never show you the real numbers. It always depends on who is running that poll and what is the initial aim.

    Don’t be gullible please.

    Only the real people, the ordinary dwellers, the simple workers, mothers and fathers, old people, can tell you about what is really true in their life and what is just propaganda, forgery and lie. So, as a Russian ordinary dweller, I am telling you now that Putin’s government has NOT improved anything. Vice versa. Putin is in power for long 15 years already. It is quite ENOUGH time to improve whatever you want, IF YOU REALLY WANT. For Stalin, for example, it took only 5!!! years not only to completely restore the country from ruins of WWII but to make Russia the Super-power!

    And what do we see today instead? What it “achieved”? Is this an achievement that Russia faces the DEEPEST ever crisis since the collapse of USSR and MOREOVER finds herself on the edge of real disaster and WAR. Not to mention all the rest…Is that an “improvement???

    Also, remember, not always the visible things that lay on the surface of the box can tell you about what lays inside the box. To find out what lays there you have to open the box.

    Best wishes to you too.

  107. I think the readers of this website are a bit behind the curve. What accounts for the US accommodation of Assad all of a sudden if Russia was “losing” in Syria or was “weak”?

    The US “establishment” is not evil – it is simply living in the past and there are too many in the establishment that view Russia with the hostility and suspicion that are relics of the Cold War. Also, their “enthusiasm” for regime change was based on the same sophomoric naivety that informs their open borders liberalism. In the Middle East, America has lost, been beaten, humiliated, ridiculed, discredited and made to bleed Trillions with no result. It would have been unthinkable for a Republican candidate to state this in the past. But today Trump says this and it actually boosts his poll numbers.

    Russia is, to use Churchill’s phrase, “not as strong as it looks, not as weak as it looks.” Russia is nowhere near as rickety and weak and the Soviet Union was at its “height” of power (that power was mostly imaginary and masked real weaknesses that showed up when the oil price collapsed to $8 per barrel in 1986). The Russia of today can withstand those shocks because Russia is now a semi-market economy and actually it is remarkably unregulated compared to the debt burdened economies of the West. Most people living in the Soviet Union would have been astonished to see living standards in Russia in 2015 (though it is still a poor country by US or German standards).

    Russia and the West have three centuries of suspicion and hostility behind them. Anyone now trying to find a way for the two “blocks” to find common ground or agreement is going to run into this fact. And the West using Muslim “actors” to gang up against Russia is old hat. Read how the British used the Ottoman Turks constantly against Russia while claiming to be “Christians” at the same time (19th century). Nothing could beat the imperial hypocrisy of the Victorian British. The difference now is that “Jihadism” is now on the streets of Paris and Washington and this has spooked the average Western voter (whether this fear is entirely justified or not is another matter). This fear combined with the rising numbers of Sunni Muslim trouble makers in Europe is going to bring Europe and Russia closer (and the US might eventually follow suit as it won’t have a choice). Open borders are going to have “strange” consequences.

    • Replies: @Ft
    , @unvote
  108. KA says:
    @annamaria

    Russia is fighting for its survival. It can’t afford to lose this fight . The differences from earlier wars for survival lie in that the nation,countries,institutions and even the families of disparate countries are now connected ,related,and interdependent in many ways . Ths means wars will be always fought on spaces that are fluid geographically ,ideologically,and exhibit moving or interlocking financial interests with the foes
    . Only nation with the delusion that it can bridge those gaps or ignore those gaps and rewrite laws every few days and issue new contracts every few months to transcend those intricacies for self serving will embark on war directly or by proxy as solution. America is that delusional power .
    It can establish relation with Al Quida, destroy it mercilessly with all sorts of expanded collateral damages and then again decide to work with the remnants of the old AlQuida to wreck havock on non- enemy countries with equal or more devastating collateral damages because the emerging situation from previous chaos warrants so.

  109. annamaria says:
    @unvote

    Thank you for the brevity of your last response.
    You wrote: ““Bottom line: the Russians have had enough already. … And I wouldn’t recommend as well to put all your hopes on Putin alone. So maybe it’s a time for other nations to do something in order to avoid the worst scenario.”

    A simple question: What are the “other nations” and what is this “something” that these “other nations” need to do with regard to Russia?

  110. unvote says:
    @Rurik

    Hello Rurik,

    Your nickname is quite interesting…I am wondering could it be possible that your bloodline goes back to the Russian Tsarist Rurik dynasty? 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rurik_dynasty

    Thank you very much for your comment and supportive words. It’s truly soothing me and I am glad to know that someone in US still cares about what is happening in Donbass (Donbas would be also correct – Донецкий бассейн/Donetskiy Bassein/Donets Basin).

    I know this photo very well…of mother and baby..both killed by the shrapnel from Ukrainian shells…Lots of people are deeply shocked by this tragedy, the murder of young mother and her 1-year old daughter from the town Gorlovka. There was also her husband killed at the same time..The entire family. The absolutely unnecessary deaths. The heartbreaking tragedy… This photo became iconic, exposing the culmination of unholy war against innocent people, the unlimited hatred, lawlessness, impunity, cruelty, inhumanity and mass insanity of our once “fraternal nation” – Ukrainians.

    Yes, it’s horrific. Absolutely shocking. And absolutely unexpected. Especially for those who know this region very well, who have been there once at least or lived there for years..Let alone for all those who are currently there. I could go on and tell you much more than you can find on internet because I have deep, strong ties and personal connection with Donbass. I lived there for a while, my relatives still live there and my close friends too. While my relatives were extremely lucky as their city was freed by local militia units from the Ukrainian occupants, my good friend still remains in another city which is occupied by the Ukrainian Nazi batallions, where the fate of the local people is terrible, and the pillage is the most harmless among other unspeakable crimes. Kidnappings, tortures, murders, rapes are happening on a daily basis! Now I worry for my friend because I don’t have any response from him for more than month already. His wife doesn’t contact me either. I don’t know what to think about it and I don’t have any other way to contact them. I no longer can visit them because I am a Russian citizen – I am an “enemy” now..for Ukrainian punishers I am a “terrorist”! I don’t even dare to think what could have happened to my friend. Yet I keep waiting, hoping and look forward to hear from him some day…

    As for Putin…The people in Donbass cannot understand WHY they and their children must perish by tens of thousands for nearly two years now and what is their guilt? What for they have their lives ruined? And who has such a “supernal, god-like” right to define – whose life is valuable and whose is not, and to decide who is allowed to live and who isn’t? THESE are the questions they ask us, the Russians in Russia, and Putin as well, before they die under the shellings…And if Putin, in March 2014, on behalf of Russia, wouldn’t publicly promise every help and support to these people, including the military, the Russians peacekeepers, the Donbass most likely won’t uprise so powerfully then. But, as the president of Russia made it clear that Russia WILL help, and he stressed it not even once but even several times, of course people in Donbass took it as a guarrantee from the Guarantor himself, as an official declaration. And they believed him.

    Everyone realizes that it is only Russians who can save these people, our people in fact. They have no one else who is in power to defend them, except Russia, to save them from the horrors and deaths. Only Russia can do that. They are Russian people, our brothers and sisters, the same as any of us! So why should they die?! And if what Putin allowed to happen isn’t a betrayal, then WHAT IS IT?!

    There is a recently made documentary about this betrayal. And it is titled as such – plain and simple – “The Betrayal”. I am posting a link. Unfortunately it is only in Russian, doesn’t have English subs yet.

    Thank you once again, Rurik, for having a big heart…unlike the others. I can’t advise you, the Americans, what you should do with your insane government but I really wish you could do something. For your own sake and for the rest of us on this planet as well. We just can’t let these high rank criminals, war mongers and ZioSatanists decide for us whether we should live or die!

    Best wishes.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  111. unvote says:
    @Charles Martel

    Most people living in the Soviet Union would have been astonished to see living standards in Russia in 2015 (though it is still a poor country by US or German standards).

    Not quite true. It depends on how to define the “living standards” and what things exactly to consider as the most vital, most essential, most important and affordable to the absolute majority of people. If you measure the quality of life in the numbers of certain products that most people can afford, say, computers, iPhones and other new devices and technologies, then yes, today we have them, while the Soviet people didn’t have all these things. But that is simply because they didn’t exist at that time.

    However, if you measure the living standards in such things like health care, empoyment, education etc, that will be a different measurement and therefore different results. In Soviet Union education was free for all, health care and treatment free for all, a job guaranteed for everyone and zero unemployment, new apartments given by the state free for all and zero homeless people, annual paid 25-30 days long vacation for everyone, spa sanatoriums for free and many other nice things, either completely for free or very cheap and therefore affordable for everyone.

    No one would argue that all these components and principles of social provision are vital and highly important for living – job, health care, housing, education, etc… All of that the Soviet Union could provide for all its citizens, without exclusion. Birth dynamics was steadily higher versus death dynamics. And this is what I consider to be really high living standards. Do we have the same in today’s Russia? No, of course we don’t. All these nice and affordable things have gone along with the Soviet Union. Today we have unemployment, homeless people, deseases skyrocketed, drug and alcohol abuse, death rate versus birth rate is steadily higher, absolutely everything is extremely expensive and many other, not at all nice things, to list them all would be too long.

    So, I wouldn’t claim that “Most people living in the Soviet Union would have been astonished to see living standards in Russia in 2015”. Rather the contrary – we today are jealous to what our parents and grandparents have had in the USSR.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  112. @unvote

    Remember that in the heyday of the USSR—i.e. the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s—the global economy was also growing a lot faster and things generally existed on a more realistic foundation. At that point the debt situation of the Western nations did not look quite as dire as it does now, and the confluence of technological advancement and favorable demographics meant that the world was primed for high living standards.

    That whole era is pretty much over now. Post-Soviet Russia has had to engineer its “recovery” amidst an atmosphere of stagnant or declining global growth.

  113. tbraton says:
    @Kiza

    “In other words, I am suspicious of such individuals claiming to be Russians from Ukraine and blaming RF for everything, including perhaps the Odessa Massacre as well.”

    FWIW, Kiza, I believe you are right to be “suspicious” of the poster who describes himself “an average Russian,” supposedly, as I recall, from the Donbass originally but now living in Russia. I base my doubts on the quality of his English prose. It is much too fluid and fluent to be the written English of anyone other than a native born speaker and writer of English. There are many Europeans who display a remarkable facility in languages, but I have found even a foreigner with the best command of spoken English will have a slight trace of an accent, which betrays his foreignness. In the same way, even foreigners who write excellent English will, every so often, use a phrase or form of English whose clumsiness will give away the foreign origin of the writer. I find little or no trace of such awkward English in his writings. I may be wrong, but I would bet the poster is not who he says he is. Same conclusion as you but a different ground. Again, fwiw.

    • Replies: @geokat62
  114. geokat62 says:
    @tbraton

    I base my doubts on the quality of his English prose.

    I had exactly the same suspicion, for the same reason, tbraton.

    • Replies: @tbraton
  115. tbraton says:
    @geokat62

    Thanks for the confirmation, geokat62. I appreciate it. I feel like the little Danish kid who had the temerity to say out loud “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” Not that I am implying in any way that unvote posts naked. I think Russia is too cold this time of year to engage in such behavior. BTW I want to make it clear that I agree with Kiza’s assessment of annamarina’s posts. She obviously is much more familiar with Russia than I, and my little contribution pales in comparison to her substantive analysis. As I said earlier, same conclusion, different ground.

    • Agree: geokat62
  116. Rurik says:
    @unvote

    Hey unvote,

    Thank you for your reply.

    No direct lineage to the Tsar’s dynasty, but definitely of Varangian blood.

    As for Putin…The people in Donbass cannot understand WHY they and their children must perish by tens of thousands for nearly two years now and what is their guilt? What for they have their lives ruined? And who has such a “supernal, god-like” right to define – whose life is valuable and whose is not, and to decide who is allowed to live and who isn’t? THESE are the questions they ask us, the Russians in Russia, and Putin as well, before they die under the shellings…

    good and fair questions

    There are some here who question your authenticity as a Russian. For the sake of our conversations, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Partly because I want you to be a Russian from that region. Because we have such a dearth of voices from there, and we need them. Also so far I’ve read nothing from the substance of your posts that would convince me otherwise, even if your English skills are impressive to say the least.

    First off, I am somewhat aware of the reasons for the strife in that area. The historic animosities that go back to the second world war, the Holodomor and the mistreatment of ethnic Ukrainians (and Russians!) during the Soviet period. And then the statues to the Red Army and men like Lenin and Stalin and so forth that the people of the satellite states have bristled under for generations. Also the import of ethic Russians into places where they historically have not lived. (I’m not too sure about Ukraine, but this has happened in Estonia for instance, and there is strife there as a result)

    I know a little. Admittedly very little

    Now to today. The West is as your know is under the thrall of a Zio-Fiend. A demonic force that is using it to destroy every obstacle to Zionism’s Orwellian domination of the planet and its people. I’m sure you’d agree. Now if we look at history, we don’t have to go back that far to when the Zionists had another authoritarian popular leader in its crosshairs just like they have Putin today.

    Hitler.

    So they cynically refused to allow Hitler to use a corridor to the Germans in Danzig who were being abused and murdered. Much like the Zionists are using the Nazis today in Kyiv to murder the ethnic Russians in Donbass, at least as I see it. They want a wider war between Russia and Ukraine. That’s what people like Kolomoisky are trying to foment, it seems to me.

    What do you think of that guy Kolomoisky. Or Saakashvili? Kolomoisky is an uber-Zionist and Saakashvili is Senator John McCain’s stooge, and they’re over there trying to foment war. They too hate Putin, but not, it seems for the same reasons you do.

    So anyways that is why many people belive that Putin is hanging those people out to dry. Because he knows the Zio-fiends want to foist a larger war. And as you know, the Nazis in Kiev are all too willing. They’re pissed at what they perceive as generations of oppression, from the Holodomor right on through to the fall of the Berlin wall and including the corrupt regimes that have led Ukraine ever since.

    (I’m sort of winging this reply and my thoughts are disjointed to be sure)

    (also my English skills are not as good as yours ; )

    So now we have the nationalistic Ukrainians on one side and the Russians who’ve lived along side them all this time on the other. Mostly just common folk trying to get by. The people who were burned alive in that building in Odessa and that young women and her baby are all tragic victims of the evil scum like John McCain and Nuland who are funding and arming and foisting this war to get at Putin for thwarting their designs in Syria. (IMHO)

    And now hopefully it is simmering down.

    I’m an American and have extremely limited knowledge of and no direct agenda in that part of the world except that I hate to see innocent people slaughtered and harmed for the fun and profit of scumbags like Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson. Those are the people I’m disgusted with. And these are the people Putin is trying to navigate a peace with- but they want war. So it’s tough, as far as I can see.

    In the past I’ve said what they did to Hitler was played him like a ‘rope a dope’ to get him to attack Poland and thereby pounce. And this is what it seems to me that they’re tying to do to Putin.

    I’m absolutely certain that Putin would like to help the people of Donbass more. Why wouldn’t he? He sends arms and supplies and humanitarian aid. But Kolomoisky is desperate for a pretext for war to kill Russians (and get Ukrainians killed too. A win, win for Kolomoisky) They already blamed him for MH17 and they’re not rational (and they own and control the entire governments and media of the West)

    So this is as it seems to me the dire dilemma.

    What are the chances of the ethnic Russians and the ethic Ukrainians to do a Christmas Truce like they did in WWI, and play soccer and tell the war mongers to fuck off?

    That’s what I’d like to see, but then I may be very naïve, being so far away from it all, both geographically and emotionally and historically and culturally.

    Nevertheless…

  117. krollchem says:

    Thanks for your detailed request to unvote to share knowledge rather than just rant. I to have my doubts about unvote’s understanding of Russia and the situation in Donbass.

    The recent attacks on the authors appear to be devised to disrupt the dialogue. I even wonder if some of them are “deep state” plants who try to identify security risks. Police in the US use similar methods to catch criminals, especially pedophiles.

    Should we all just ignore them and continue to learn from each other?

  118. Rurik says:

    Should we all just ignore them and continue to learn from each other?

    there seems to be a kneejerk reflex to question the motives of people who post here (and presumably elsewhere)

    when I first arrived at this site I was hounded as a ‘Hasbara’. I guess because I was saying things that upset the Zionists and that was proof I was actually a paid troll for the Zionists. Or something like that.

    So yes, there is a general suspicion and I suppose it’s often warranted. Recently I had a nice conversation with a fellow who called himself “Christian”, but clearly was anything but. So it’s good to have your antenna tweaked, but sometimes I fear it can be a little too tweaked.

    As for unvote, I don’t know. But I’m willing to give the benefit of doubt. So far the only thing I’ve seen that is confusing is his very polished command of the English language. But look at someone like Kissinger. He was raised in Germany but his command of the English language (and several others) is superlative.

    Hopefully I’m right about unvote and I look forward to his response.

  119. unvote says:

    Hello Rurik,

    I apologise for my late response. Couldn’t reply sooner. Actually, I’ve already said all I wanted to say. It is up to the readers whether to take my comments into account or not, and whether to believe me or not. I hope, my comments could probably help some of them to remove some of their doubts and confirm their own guesstimates and surmises, maybe going along with my thoughts and conclusions.

    It was really interesting, oh and amusing as well, to see how some commenters here have been discussing between themselves about who I am and whether I am really a genuine Russian from Russia or not. This argument that “his English is too fluent and too natural for a foreigner” perhaps is partly fair but not something that I’d consider to be really weighty in defining a person and, I think, the language skills alone can hardly be a good enough reason to suspect some person in being dishonest or fictious. It is still not a proper “evidence”, in my opinion. Sometimes, one has to be able to read “by the heart” or “between the lines” and kinda “feel” through the words, instead of simply reading and making conclusions based exclusively on the own scepticism, preconceptions and prejudices. Some intuition is required, and some experience would be helpful too.

    It’s often a common thing that most foreign commenters who have long-time activity in English-speaking forums are usually having the same skills as I do. As for the Russians, many of them, in fact, can speak English quite fluently, especially those who run some cooperative business or have friends in English-speaking countries and therefore communicate on a constant basis. Not to mention some professions where the perfect knowledge of Englsih is obligatory. The Westerners just know very little about real Russians yet they always prefer to underestimate their competence and intellect rather than to suppose that we are not all the “drunkards” and “idiots” here, as how we are usually portrayed by your media and by your hollywood..Lots of us are well educated and intelligent enough individuals, I dare to say. In my case – education plus practice, and a bit of talent – that’s all. For me, all this curious disput on this forum about my identity and my credibility is just one more reason to confirm that…the system of education in Soviet Union was indeed one of the best in the world. I’ve studied English in the ordinary school, for ten years, and it was indeed the ordinary school, with just a more complex program of deeper study of English language than in other local schools but still it was absolutely typical Soviet school, NOT some privileged or elite one. I don’t even have any special degree in foreign languages, and my career isn’t connected with English as well… Given all that, I have to say, I am truly flattered. I am actually aware that my English was not so bad but I didn’t know that it is really THAT good. To me the fact that nobody here believed that I am a REAL Russian and this suggestion was based on my fluent English is actually the best compliment I could ever dream of…On the other hand, it was a bit of insult to me to find out that some people may think that with such a language skill I am “too good” to be Russian. No, I am not at all something “extraordinary”…Funny that in some other judgements I was thoroughly examined and then found to be “too bad” for being a true patriot of my country. Yeah, they know me better than I know myself…In some comment I appear even “blaming Russian Federation for Odessa massacre”..I. blame. my. own. country..in Odessa..massacre – the mass burning of people that in fact was committed by the Ukrainian neo-nazi thugs!!! What can be more absurd and baseless allegation than that?!

    Well, I am wise enough to not giving them a chance to insult me even more. Perhaps they are only a bunch of trolls or maybe some conflict or attention seekers, I don’t know and, to be honest, don’t want to know. It is pointless to “fight” against all those who are so arrogantly full of their “significance” and so confident in their “knowledge” and their “inerrant authority” while in fact knowing very little and seeing only the tiny part of the whole picture. I am not surprised that they don’t believe me. Such reaction was actually expected because the views like mine are surely lacking understanding in the West, where Russia, Russians, Putin and his government are seen completely distorted. People in the West simply can’t see the real situation in Russia as how we see it from within, they don’t know all the details and nuanses of the routine life here, they often are ignoring the real problems and, most important, the real THREATS we are facing due to the Putin’s treacherous policy. Not so many among the ordinary Westerners are fully aware that Putin, in fact, is a true follower of his predecessor – the traitor and western stooge Boris Yeltsin. And the policy is held the same – deceitful, treacherous and destructive, good for thieves and traitors who behave in Russia like parasites while the stolen money keep flowing into their accounts in Western banks. The nice and quite settlement in the West – it is where they are hoping to hide to escape the punishment, just like that “true patriot” Gorby-Gorbachev…And I was mentioning in my comments that the significant part of Russians have the same concerns and take the current situation very seriously. There was recently held in Moscow a big conference of patriotic forces – scientists, political experts and other activists whose resolution was that Putin and his malicious policy became extremely dangerous for Russia and her people and should be changed to significantly more positive system, to the another “saving” policy, if we really want to save Russia.

    The people, who argued with me on this topic, see only what they want to see. But their “truth” most of times has nothing in common with the reality. The worst is that these people often simulate to be “concerned” whereas in fact they are not, well, not as much as they do pretend…My aim on this forum was just to say what I think I should say. Those who want to hear will hear. I absolutely have no desire to fall exhausted in persuading anyone, especially those smart asses who are baselessly and unreasonably being aggressive towards me, blaming me in all “sins”, while themselves being so hopelessly stubborn in defending their delusions and biases. I just know that the truth will strike them eventually and strike painfully, very painfully.

    You know what…I would suggest you to learn Russian language if you really want to have access to alternative, non-English, sources of information. You would read, watch and analyze what the real Russians think and say. We have very powerful blogosphere, social networks and forums, as well as the specific groups, where the real people share not only their views and opinions but also share very important, “non-official” information. It is where you could find the answers on many of your questions. You would discover that Americans and Russians, in fact, have nothing to divide them, we have the same problems and the same needs, and that both, you are us, have the SAME enemy we shall fight against. The truth is – “we are all in the same boat”. Not in separate ones. Both, you and us were betrayed by our ruling elites – by those corrupted, greedy, rapacious, immoral, vicious, ruthless, absolutely insane and demonic “chessplayers”, and their stooges…It’s now truly a high time for all nations of the entire humankind to consolidate against these parasites, instead of constantly focusing on what artificially divides us.

    Once again, I am sorry for my delayed reply..Hopefully you still can read it.

    Best wishes.

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