Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 26, 2015

Open Thread 2015-10

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 26, 2015 at 20:24 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 28, 2015 12:02:57 PM | 140

I would compare it to Charlie Hebdo. Just done by people who do not want to get caught.

television fight between Nemtsov and - nationalist -Zhirinovsky

Even if you do not understand Russian, you understand that Nemtsov is acting highly provocative. You also understand that it is his personality. A politician does not do that. Not if he wants to get elected.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 1 2015 3:11 utc | 201

Not 'professional' enough for you guys? A hit in front of the St Basil's which inevitably leads to news reports showcasing the red square? Obviously for western consumption. No one with a 'personal grudge' would do this in such an inconvenient place. Someone with a narrative in mind, would. And who was that girl who led him there?

One major fallacy in exploring these possibilities is imposing character of professionalism on those who are basically thugs.

Remember the Mossad assassination caper in Dubai where they were all on hotel security film wearing bad wigs? Around the same time, iirc, they got caught stealing passports and pasting their mugs on them? Again, with the obvious bad wigs. And the CIA employs sheltered Mormons who use people like Raymond Davis to do their dirty work - little more needs to be said about that.

This phenomenon of immediately discounting less-than-elegant violence as being non-official may indeed be one of the more subtle results from decades of Hollywood brainwashing. I can't think of one instance in popular culture where intel angencies are portrayed as genuinely incompetent. The drip drip of this takes its toll even on the best of us.

Nothing is so elegant in the real world, but, if we want to 'go there', this likely was an outsourced hit to keep the intel agencies truly 'clean', this time. Which means they probably just hired some junkie ex-soldier to do the dirty work. Like the FBI does by half-measure in the US w their false flags that are never allowed to 'go live'. It usually involves some sort of quid pro quo like a new car, or a reprieve for some petty crime or other. In Russia the price would be even less.

Posted by: L Bean | Mar 1 2015 3:49 utc | 202

@201 l bean. i am with you on all accounts.. i also note the license plate of the vehicle in question has Ingush plates.. obviously it could be a rental or stolen car too, but i thought that was interesting. also, a bit of info from yalensis at ks..
"Meanwhile, on the forensic front: Chief Investigator Markin clears up the discrepancy in number of bullets fired: Says the shooter definitely fired 7 or 8 shots, cops have found 6 shells lying on the street.
But only 4 bullets found their way into Nemtsov’s body: into his back.
[Given the poor shooting skills of the assassin(s), the young girl who was with him, can count her lucky stars, that she was not scrached.]

Okay, and I buried the lede, because this next bit is big:
Coppers say they have the license plate # of the killers car. But so far their invetigations of this particular automobile have not given a result. [yalensis: killers probably using rental car?]"

Posted by: james | Mar 1 2015 4:03 utc | 203

@Scott #196:

Can you read Russian?

Yeah, sure I can read Russian. I read Russian before I wend to Kindergarten, which is where I learned to speak English.

But perhaps I should take this opportunity to explain my remarks about being Russian. I grew up with the classic Star Trek, one of the most memorable characters of which was Chekhov. And in Star Trek, the Chekhov character made the very idea of being Russian into a joke. Also, my father told me about some coworkers presenting him with a gift, which was a box labeled "Another Russian first". Inside it, there was a synthetic replica of shit. My father thought that joke was funny. So I think it is important to understand that there is an essential element of self-mockery in Russian identity and nationalism/patriotism. (Of course, you won't get a sense of that from public pronouncements of official figures like Putin and Lavrov.)

@ToivoS #194:

I watched the beginning of the video linked to there. The former head of the FSB says that the reason why professional killers tend not to fire more that two or three rounds when they kill someone is that they're afraid of their weapon "overheating". I have never heard such nonsense. Modern pistols are designed to withstand the contents of their magazines being rapidly fired without that causing any problems. The reason professional hit men only fire two or three rounds is tradecraft and aesthetics.

Something else that former FSB man said is that professional hit men do not leave witnesses. I have no idea of whether that is the case, since I have never met an actual hit man. But the plot of the movie I mentioned at #180 revolves around a hit man making a firm decision to spare a witness, just because she is a pretty girl. Maybe I am a romantic, but my impression is that it is part of hit man culture that killing anyone but the person you have been hired to kill is unprofessional. This is a long standing theme in Hollywood and other cinema, in any case.

Get Carter before Carter gets you.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 1 2015 4:11 utc | 204

Yeah, probably a rental, or a stolen plate.

It's like the 21st c version of an untraceable "drop gun". I imagine the driver was a handler of some sort.

No way this is a tit-for-tat thing.

Posted by: L Bean | Mar 1 2015 4:15 utc | 205

Demian - if the girl was just an innocent 'witness', then you may have a point. But we don't know that, and may never.

As for the 'aesthetic' sensibilities of professional hitmen in Hollywood stories having relevance, I'm less than intrigued.

Posted by: L Bean | Mar 1 2015 4:18 utc | 206

@202 james

I read at RT the car must have been stolen. They interviewed the owner. He's been released. If you find six shell casings, how do you know more than six were fired? The FSB is playing this close to the vest. Rightly so. I suspect some of what is being released is disinfo. Why tip your hand? Between the CCTVs and going over Nemtsovs personal life VERY closely they will unearth some unsavory connections. I think the FSB will solve this...but will the truth come out?

Posted by: Scott | Mar 1 2015 4:22 utc | 207

Well this is FSB's time to shine - it's a FF on their turf. If they blink, they deserve whatever's coming.

Posted by: L Bean | Mar 1 2015 4:26 utc | 208

L Bean wrote @201:

"Nothing is so elegant in the real world, but, if we want to 'go there', this likely was an outsourced hit to keep the intel agencies truly 'clean', this time."

Jealous boyfriend or outraged kin, criminal and/or opposition blowback, Kiev Nazis, CIA false flag: depending on details, some or most of these agencies are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Proper investigation will hopefully net more details toward the truth of the matter. Countering the US turning this to its advantage is a battle in the information war; related but operating on a different level and certainly a different relationship to time (if damage is done before truth can be established...).

Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 1 2015 4:52 utc | 209

@L Bean #201:

I can't think of one instance in popular culture where intel angencies are portrayed as genuinely incompetent.
I think that the CIA is portrayed as incompetent in all of the Bourne films. Plus there is the current TV series which I'm very fond of The Americans, which has the FBI portrayed as not very competent and having a few rogue agents. Also, the FBI being bad guys and thugs as opposed to the heroic local police is a common theme in Hollywood movies. I generally despise Hollywood (above all the crude propagandist Stephen Spielberg), so I find it weird that you have placed me in the position of having to defend it.

@Scott #206:

I think the FSB will solve this...but will the truth come out?

I imagine the FSB already knows what this was about. Who the exact perps were is kind of immaterial. I'm just glad they didn't kill the girl. I seriously doubt that the the Russian government is going to explain who did this anytime soon.

My intuition is still that this was not a false flag, because the killing was not done professionally. I don't care if Mossad killers are sloppy. Russians take pride in their work. Plus, if the US were going to pull a false flag about now, it would have been bigger.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 1 2015 5:01 utc | 210

@anyone - obviously the hit job was not done professionally, as doing it professionally would be one shot no witnesses.. thus the idea the job was farmed out, or it was some klutz.. stolen license plate or vehicle, or no lead on the vehicle implies otherwise, but not fully..

Posted by: james | Mar 1 2015 5:16 utc | 211

Russian Spring
Military summary from Eduard Basurin, the deputy of Commander in Chief of Donetsk Republic Defense:
“While overall calm has been achieved, we continue to register provocative fire at our positions and settlements along line of contact. During full day, from territory controlled by the Ukrainian forces, 11 attacks were carried out, 4 of them were by mortars.
From the site of settlement Peski, the Ukrainian forces were assaulting outskirts of Donets and settlement Spartak. Despite the situation being nontrivial, our units strictly execute the order of ceasefire and are not lured by provocations,” stated Eduard Basurin.
From his words, today, the heavy weapons withdrawal proceed. Under monitoring of OSCE representatives, five more artillery groups are being pulled off. This is 17 self-propelled howitzers “Gvozdika”.
Information of hardware movements on February 27 was submitted to the Center of Verification and Coordination of fire cessation as well as to representatives of OSCE.
“Today, therefore, the combatants of Donetsk Republic are finalizing withdrawal of majority of heavy weaponry to the regions in the rear stipulated by the agreement”, concluded the representative of military department.

At the same time, according to Cossack National Guard, the Ukrainian forces implement a ruse pulling hardware off and, after few kilometers, turning back, returning the hardware to positions along the front line.

Posted by: Fete | Mar 1 2015 5:17 utc | 212

@ 209 Demian

I think you may be right about it not being a false flag. Nemtsov had plenty of enemies. What bothers me is the timing and location. The timing? just before the planned Russian Maidan and the location? Next to the Kremlin. Maybe it's me, but that's two coincidences. It creates a martyr and shrine on the Kremlins doorstep. If it was personal...why there? He could have been hit anytime, anywhere.

Posted by: Scott | Mar 1 2015 5:24 utc | 213

the infamous kot massacre
*The British 19th century “Resident” in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, enjoyed something of the power and influence of the U.S. Ambassador today in Peru or the Dominican Republic. In 1846, a young noble military commander, Jung Bahadur, a protégé of the British Resident, seized on a governmental crisis to slaughter several dozen of the leading nobles of Nepal [with approval from london] and thus established his family (the Ranas) as the rulers behind the throne for over a hundred years. This long rule was marked by maintaining Nepal in strict isolation, while providing Nepali peasant boys as soldiers of the British Empire, for whom the Ranas were paid so much a head.

These were the world famous Gurkhas. And the 1846 coup that established the Rana regime is known as the Kot massacre.*

bill hayton
“These countries (in Southeast Asia) are petrified of what you are doing. Stop doing it and make some friends,”

hey *wise guy*
do u know that when china extend a hand of friendship to somebody,
its literally a kiss of death ?


nepal is another traditionally frendly country with china.
in 2001, the royal family of nepal was wiped out in a palace massacre *due to a freak accident* , thats the OFFICIAL story,

on the streets tho, nepalse were chanting *death to cia/raw*, hmm, sounds like the UsualSuspects alright, apparently nepalse peasants were well versed in zwo watch rule 1 !
*when in doubt, blame the US, u wont be too far off *
in fact a nepalese diplomat publicly named cia/raw as culprits . [1]
even the india based nepalese maoist leader said as much. [2]

* Some Marxist pundits, based on this, called us a pro-monarchy party, and we can now say that we—NCP(Maoist) and King Birendra—had similar views on many national issues and this had created in fact an informal alliance between us. Obviously, this scared the shit outta imperialist powers and their cronies. In the context of a deteriorating Sino-US relationship and a growing strategic alliance between India and the US, the King who appeared soft on us—the Maoists—and China had become an irritation to the American Imperialists and especially to the Indian expansionists.

India’s dream of annexing Nepal like Sikkim had to be amended and instead they had to make Nepal a Bhutan first, before making it another Sikkim. After CIA (and the recently opened FBI branch in Delhi) approval, RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) [the Indian covert intelligence and operations agency] came up with a grand master plan to annex Nepal.*

see, anybody who IRRITATES [sic] the murcunts soon get bumped off,
no wonder china is now suffering a friend deficit in asia .
but this perfidous albion chastise the chinese to make friendls not enemies, hehehehe

yet the successor to king birenda soon get deposed merely four yrs later, apparently for ....flirting too much with beijing !
ironically, the *terminator* of 500 yrs of nepalses mornachy rule was none other than the nepalese maoists who decried US/indian/brit imperialism !

the very first act of this made in india/washington/london *maoists* govn was to bar china from the south asia caucas, saarc.
king birenda must be turning in his grave , its the mornachy who insisted on chinese inclusion in saarc forum, inspite of fierce opposition from new delhi'/washington/london. i guess from that moment onward he was a dead man walking !

washington/london must be mightily pleased with their handywork.
another chinese buddy bites the dust.

so this BritishBushitCunt , a mere hack, just saunter in to a press conference, give a chinese diplomat a public dressing down on proper neighborly manner. [sic]
i can almost hear the guardian headline blaring, *another [4] intrepid brit journo stand up to trembling chinese official....british manhood at its finest*

if ever anyone can surpass the murcunts in self delusion of greatness,
it has got to be those perfidious albions !



[3 ]
see , nothing gets done without ok from washington/london !

there'r a lot more where they come from...

Posted by: denk | Mar 1 2015 6:26 utc | 214

Demian the Bourne movies do no such thing. They blunder around but in truly demonic and still relatively undetectible fashion. Remember that scene where he's being 'chased' by a drone? CIA is 'the bad guy' but in no way incompetent.

And we'll have to strongly disagree about The Americans. I've posted before aboutnthis show. Since its main objective is painting a picture of Russians (as soulless and almost supernaturally evil, if you are to believe even the basics of the plotline) it's really immaterial how the FBI/CIA are painted. In fact, they are only in a diminished role in the first place to make the 'Russians' look like advanced psychopaths.

I won't go into the details of the show, but frankly us having opposite readings of it is worrisome to me. I'm pretty sure I didn't hallucinate the (very, imo)blatant message. I'll go as far as to say former-CIA agent Joseph Weisberg was contracted to make a about the Russians. He's literally done nothing else in 'showbiz'. And if anyone calls 'propaganda!'(which so far I haven't seen, aside from 3 or 4 expat Russian reviews, which agree w me), the response I imagine would be similar to yours; ie the bumbling CIA/FBI angle. Or the fact that it takes place in the 80s so couldn't possibly be guilty of relevant propaganda dissemination.

Not to say you've made an 'excuse', it's just interesting to see how differently we're both interpreting this show.

And also this has been going on for many decades now re Hollywood, so even if I did agree with you wrt Bourne it's not terribly relevant to the collective conciousness.

Posted by: L Bean | Mar 1 2015 6:35 utc | 215

@206 scott. good observations.

@209 demian.. not that i mind you changing your mind - i do it myself - but didn't you think it was a false flag just the other day? i suppose it is irrelevant..

here is a good article from neo connected to this..

Posted by: james | Mar 1 2015 6:37 utc | 216

Demian one of the several troubling things about The Americans - a show you are 'fond' of - is how detail is prioritized; the Russian cultural and linguistical detail specifically, which is something the average Joe would never be exposed to without at least a comprehensive introduction to Russian literature - the way Russians address each other, formalities, etc. The attention to this detail in particular stands out, as opposed to the sometimes ham-handed(though still good, for TV) approaches to the visual aspects of the show(1980s life).

So, the more obscure the subject(Russian culture), the more intriguing it is to the US audience, which is currently as we all know, starved for information. This is of course also why shows like '24' and CSI are so damaging. They become 'truth'. The kernel of truth is chosen, consumed, due solely to its exquisiteness. Meanwhile the entire plant which housed the kernel remains invisible. Maybe I'm trailing off...but these legal shows in particular have even made high-profile jury trials in the US circus-like. The jurors' only point of reference is CSI, so they discount circumstantial evidence, character witnesses, even real witnesses! Because you know there's always a surprise ending and someone who's a double-agent of some sort. ok now I'm really trailing off.

But this attention to detail at the expense of the actual motivations of players involved and the corresponding history is quite obviously a diversion. Then again, it's attention to detail that makes a 'great' show. Win-win. Even if the propaganda doesn't 'work'.

Regarding your 'fondness', could it be something like the response one has when coming across material which hearkens back to some rarified part of life or familial history; which is generally exhilaration, mixed with nostalgia? Anyway, perhaps this is one of the reasons you are fond of the show. I can't begrudge you that. I've been watching Mr Belvedere reruns. I guess what I'm trying to say is perhaps, next time you watch, watch with a more jaundiced eye.

Posted by: L Bean | Mar 1 2015 7:06 utc | 217

@james #214:

didn't you think it was a false flag just the other day?

Indeed I did. But I also said that evidently the CIA can't find decent Russian hit men anymore. So even though I initially thought this was a false flag, I thought the hit was unprofessional from the very beginning. So when Fort Russ suggested that this wasn't a false flag, I was open to that possibility. I am not going to comment about this any further since I am studiously avoiding seeing what the Western press says about this. I believe this will blow over in a couple of days. I don't care about who killed Nemtsov or what the motive was. As I said before, I'm just glad they didn't kill the girl. I really doubt that anyone involved in this killing will ever be accused, much less caught.

@L Bean #213:

I am baffled that we have such a different reading on Hollywood when it comes to Russia. I think I am sensitive to Russophobia – it bothers me much more in the case of East Europeans such as Ulster or Russians themselves than it does in the case of Americans like Cold or Germans – but as opposed to US news coverage, I really don't detect any Russophobia in American cinema or TV. Maybe I am totally delusional.

I just watched episode 5 of the current season of The Americans. The final scene brought tears to my eyes. Do you even watch this show? I'm sorry to disagree with you, but I can't avoid coming to the conclusion from The Americans that despite the current anti-Russian propaganda, deep down, the Americans love the Russians.

I have had this argument about The Americans at MoA before. I can't remember if it was with you.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 1 2015 7:10 utc | 218

@L Bean ##215:

Regarding your 'fondness', could it be something like the response one has when coming across material which hearkens back to some rarified part of life or familial history; which is generally exhilaration, mixed with nostalgia?

Sure, of course it is nostalgia. I've recently rewatched two Hollywood movies from the 1960s dealing with Russia: The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Cmoing and The President's Analyst. The reason I am nostalgic is that the Russians are portrayed by people like Obama and H. Clinton as much more demonic than they were ever portrayed by anyone in the US in the 1960s. But I think that above all, that is just a symptom of the desperation of the US over losing its hegemony, so the current Russophobia doesn't bother me all that much.

the Russian cultural and linguistical detail specifically, which is something the average Joe would never be exposed to without at least a comprehensive introduction to Russian literature - the way Russians address each other, formalities, etc. The attention to this detail in particular stands out

The Russian characters in The Americans come across as real Russians to me. I get the impression that the actors are native Russian speakers. (I am not a good judge of accents, since I didn't grow up in Russia.) This is quite an improvement over what was done in the 1960s for example with The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. I am touched that Russians are portrayed accurately in a mainstream American TV show.

I grant to you that this TV show may have the effect of increasing anti-Russian sentiment among Americans. But that has nothing to do with me, since I was firmly on the anti-Soviet side in Reagan's time. (Even though I was appalled of course that he won the election against Carter. But looking back on this, was Carter, with his Zbig, any better than Reagan?) It is possible that many American viewers will get the impression from this show that the Russians are still the same as they were in Brezhnev's time, whereas in actuality, the US is today's USSR, whereas Russia is the current beacon of freedom. But I also think that all the Russian characters are portrayed sympathetically and as very human. This is not Breaking Bad.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 1 2015 7:48 utc | 219


"He thought he was getting laid by the 20 year old Ukei chick so he was thinking with his dick.

She had other plans. She brought him to the spot specifically to get whacked."


Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 1 2015 9:39 utc | 220

Although we have our share of Bob Dylan zealots and Pink Floyd haters here, in view of the recent event in Moscow, I would like to offer two songs for your consideration.

The first is by Kino, the greatest Russian band, IMO. (I am not very knowledgeable about Russian rock. I would say that Kino has a Cure sound about it. Victor Tsoi died in a traffic accident in Latvia. That is one of the reasons why I hate that God forsaken country.)

Спокойная ночь (Good Night)

And here is Rammstein's contribution to German-Russian friendship:


Москва, раз два три, посмотри!
Пионеры там идут, песни Ленину поют!

(Moscow, one two three, look!
Pioneers walk there and sing songs to Lenin!

Posted by: Demian | Mar 1 2015 10:02 utc | 221

When men are gunned down in this way, the causes are usually, in no order:

Debts gone super sour - promises broken within a tight circle where one’s word counts - theft, accumulation considered illegit, over the top - hiding assets, not re-distributing - stealing a woman who belongs to someone else, wife, mistress, daughter - having killed, harmed, coerced, blackmailed some member who didn’t deserve it - threatening to spill the beans or become a turncoat - working secretely for the other side - spying, double agent - in some heist gone wrong - mistaken identity

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 1 2015 10:12 utc | 222

and nepal....

Posted by: denk | Mar 1 2015 11:58 utc | 223

OK here's my take on it before I read the latest updates. Nemtsovs murder was either because of a personal grudge or it was a sponsored false flag. You can combine the two as well. What bothers me is again, the timing and location. My gut tells me that tends to exclude the strictly personal. Would you whack a guy 200 yds. from the White House? I wouldn't. So I look at the symbolism and perhaps red herrings. I see a stolen car with Ingush plates. A subtle warning of trouble in the Caucus? I see the creation of a martyr and shrine in Red Square. Message? Look what we can do on your doorstep Putin. Why Nemtsov? Minor player who has value as a martyr but not as a "leader". He was a spent force trying to remain relevant. This clears the way for Navalny to step up. Whether it was a professional hit? A pro can make it appear any way he wishes. So before I start to ramble...I think timing, location, messages sent, and who benefits. Who did it? It could be the result of a personal grudge instigated by shadowy figures who promise protection to the shooter, who could be anywhere including a landfill by now. This was a bit too convenient and bold to be strictly personal. So...for what it's worth...that's my thinking as of right now.

Posted by: Scott | Mar 1 2015 14:53 utc | 224

"Netanyahu a ‘danger’ to Israel, say 200 security veterans".

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 1 2015 15:59 utc | 225

"The Netanyahu coup against an American president"

Sara Netanjahu = Imelda Marcos ???

"Netanjahu has spend lavishly ahead of israeli elections"

"Middle Eastern Eye" is a good website with news from the Middle East. Even Garath Porter regularly posts articles over there.

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 1 2015 16:08 utc | 226

No blood. These still images and videos of Nemtsov's prone body all show no blood. How can a person be shot 4 times in the upper body and yet he isn't lying in a good-sized pool of blood?

Posted by: Benu | Mar 1 2015 16:30 utc | 227


Speculation about the details of this murder are interesting but my question was about Nemtsov's security or lack of it. No billionaire and political figure of his ilk can ever wander the streets of any major city without protection from the threats their position always exposes them to, from crazed fans to political or business adversaries.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 1 2015 16:50 utc | 228


We may have to wait for CSI Moscow to answer that question but if one of the bullets severed his spine or penetrated his heart there would, I think, be little blood pumped from the body.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 1 2015 17:02 utc | 229

@ 228 WOW

Good question. My first thought is...doesn't "security" always seem to disappear on cue when warranted? Or perhaps, given the time and company, HE chose to be alone. Maybe SHE asked to be alone. Judging by her picture...she could've talked me into almost anything. Lol. I see she now really wants to go home to Ukraine. I'm sure she does. An eyewitness and a person of interest wants to go hide. I'm guessing the FSB will say nyet. If you were an investigator...would you let her go? And as an afterthought, Nemtsov was a has been trying to remain relevant. Enemies? Sure...but a minor player being hyped by the west. A bodyguard or two would suffice. He also, from what I've read, comes across as vain. Maybe he thought he was untouchable. If so...he was wrong.

Posted by: Scott | Mar 1 2015 17:03 utc | 230

In re portrayal of the intelligence services, John le Carre is tops.

Alec Guinness as Smiley in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" is great, but Richard Burton as "The Spy who Came in From the Cold" is fabulous. Fellow oldheads might recall, in "Mission Impossible," the worst baddies were usually from the satellite countries, East German typically. What was the title of the film about the Soviet vs. German sniper at Stalingrad? Could Hollywood make something light that now? Or like "Gorky Park," with Lee Marvin and William Hurt?

My favorite Hollywood depiction of the Soviets comes from the Great Patriotic War -- The North Star, starring Walter Huston, Anne Baxter, and Dana Andrews.

D at 221 -- "Quiet Night" was very nice. It's used like "sweet dreams", an idiomatic "good night." But I think the literal translation is a little more poetic.

Liked how the chiming arpeggio on the rhythm guitar carried most of it, until the heavier chords of the lead kicked in for the chorus. The solo at the outro starts with the arpeggio and elaborates it; understated but still powerful sound. This version has much nicer visuals, and subtitles. I see Kino is multi-ethnic, like the USSR/RF.

Posted by: rufus magister | Mar 1 2015 17:31 utc | 231

@228 Nemtsov received death threats from the duginist circles and a number of people volunteered to work in shifts as his bodyguards. He refused, explaining that if they will really want to get him, they will regardless of the security. And let's be realistic, with practically unlimited flow of advanced arms (e.g. sniper rifles) coming back to Russia from Donbass, his position made sense.

Posted by: Ulster | Mar 1 2015 18:02 utc | 232

@219 The key Russian characters in The Americans are indeed at least native speakers, most born in USSR. Their Russian is flawless.

whereas Russia is the current beacon of freedom

...and this is why none of them live in Russia, which a quite popular choice among contemporary Russian elites. Your black humor is really valuable feature these dark days!

Posted by: Ulster | Mar 1 2015 18:20 utc | 233

Link to story

"Goncharenko is being interrogated on case opened over crimes during Odessa massacre"

Lawyer Mark Feigin has confirmed reports that Alexei Goncharenko, a member of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada /parliament/, was detained during a march of mourning in memory of Boris Nemtsov over non-obeying the police. - see article for more.

Posted by: james | Mar 1 2015 19:03 utc | 234

Confirmed by Kiev: Ukrainian Land Being Transferred to Oligarchs and Seed Companies.
story here.

ulster, hopefully you and cold have stocked up on monsanto shares and gotten your relatives on a piece of land that hasn't been sold off..

Posted by: james | Mar 1 2015 19:08 utc | 235

"Likud officials fear embarrassing Sara Netanyahu tape may leak to press"

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 1 2015 22:19 utc | 236

@rufus magister #231:

Thanks for that link. I had no idea that that song has so many mixes. Of course, the album it comes from, Группа Крови (blood group) was made in the shadow of the Afghan war.

Yes, of course Russia is multiethnic. A lot of the Mongols stayed behind. Anglos tell me I have yellowish skin. There's a substantial Muslim population. But to introduce an image, unlike what France does with its Muslims – trying to reason with them about secular values – Russia is like a very fat woman who smothers its Muslims with a combination of affection and indifference. I really think that the Western geostrategic planners such as Zbig don't understand this aspect of Russia (as well as many other aspects).

@Ulster #233:

The key Russian characters in The Americans are indeed at least native speakers, most born in USSR. Their Russian is flawless.

Thank you for that confirmation. So we have at last found something we agree about: we both like The Americans.

My impression is that The Americans is less prominent than Homeland, but I think it is much better. (Of course, I'm biased, since I'm Russian, not Muslim.) Homeland has become a parody of itself. The Americans on the other hand is doing very well in its third season keeping us involved with the characters and juggling the various plot lines. I especially like the recent development of Stan clandestinely meeting with Vasili Nikolaievich to try to save Nina. That made me start liking Stan again. I really hated him for a while.

Definitely one of the top spy TV series, IMO.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 2 2015 0:03 utc | 237

When I first heard the figure of 5 giga bucks as the amount Victoria "cookes" Nuland and her predecessors at State/CIA had spent undermining the Ukraine pre-Maidan I had trouble believing it. Even with super-sized direct bribes that number just seemed too high. I imagine now that they have spent that much since, 'doubling down' on there compulsive bet against humanity. Just a few years ago ... well, 5 or more ... I'd choked on the Congress authorizing one tenth that amount just to propagandize the Iranians.

Reading Genesis of Ukraine and Ukrainians. Maidan as a bifurcation point of “nation-building” I begin to understand where that money went : creating the “Überukrainian” concept and then filling its ranks, or just filling its ranks if the chicken in fact did come first, before our nest egg.

In addition to the fury at the monstrous death, devastation and destruction that the US State Department/CIA hath wrought in Ukraine a secondary fury, nearly as strong, rises to my gorge thinking about the positive uses to which that money might have been put.

Not only are the US neo-cons injuring nearly everyone around the world at this point, including Americans, but they're insulting everyone on earth who's ever worked for a living - lighting their cigars with $1000 bills, and burning their vehicles when they run out of gas - just to make sure that no one might derive anything of benefit from their purposeful destruction of what remains of the value of five or six decades of Americans' work, during the decades before the doctrinaire neo-liberal rise to power, when there still were jobs to be had in America and labor's value to be expropriated.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 2 2015 9:09 utc | 238

jfl, have you noticed Greenwald's _Intercept_ covering for Kiev?

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Mar 2 2015 9:46 utc | 239

Gideon Levy warns Israel will attack Gaza again soon...

"The next war will break out in the summer. Israel will give it another childish name and it will take place in Gaza. There’s already a plan to evacuate the communities along the Gaza Strip border.

Israel knows this war will break out, it also knows why – and it’s galloping toward it blindfolded, as though it were a cyclic ritual, a periodical ceremony or a natural disaster that cannot be avoided. Here and there one even perceives enthusiasm.

It doesn’t matter who the prime minister is and who the defense minister is – there’s no difference between the candidates as far as Gaza is concerned. Isaac Herzog and Amos Yadlin are saying nothing of course, and Tzipi Livni is boasting that thanks to her no port was opened in Gaza. The rest of the Israelis aren’t interested in Gaza’s fate either and soon it will be forced to remind them again of its disaster in the only way left to it, the rockets."[...]

Posted by: Luca K | Mar 2 2015 16:40 utc | 240


I noticed two articles by a 'Pole' without an Intercept email address, identified as 'Marcin Mamon' which, combined, were a sympathetic account of the CIA's Chechen terrorist presence in Ukraine fighting for ... I almost said the junta, but for themselces and paid by the CIA is, I suppose, all that can be said.

I also noted Glenn Greenwald's one-line reference to these in his article, Clapper Calls for Arming Ukrainian Forces: Who Would That Actually Empower?

The Intercept yesterday published reporting from Marcin Mamon on the role jihadists are playing in the conflict on behalf of the government.

Which I thought to myself ought to read

The Intercept yesterday published [sympathetic] reporting from Marcin Mamon on the role [the CIA's] jihadists are playing in the conflict on behalf of the government.

Although Greenwald's article had no other such questionable statements that I noticed, it was a case of a day late and a dollar short in my estimation. No mention of the holocaust in Odessa, and MH17 remains in the memory hole, for instance. And he'd just done so well in comparing the ISIS' holocaust of a single Jordanian pilot to the Nobel Peaces Prize Laureate's endless holocausts of men, women, children and other innocents by Hellfire.

Greenwald made a point of noting the US' 'policy change' from trying to bomb Syria to unseat Assad to bombing Syria to unseat the ISIS ... which strikes me as no change at all, except in the headlines of the MSM trolls and of course to the Syrians now actually being bombed rather than threatened. Greenwald concentrates on drawing parallels between Syrian 'moderates' and the 'moderate' coupsters in Ukraine vs. ISIS and the NAZIs in Syria and Ukraine respectively, with each 'moderate' group armed - or at least distinguished from 'fascist' elements and encouraged in the case of those in the east - to fight the 'suddenly' discovered fascist menace.

Geenwald didn't seem to extrapolate the case in Syria that far as regards Ukraine, but Joaquin Flores forecast, in September, just such a situation in Pravy Sektor Coup as ISIS Scenario: NATO to Feign a ‘Unilateral’ Alliance With Russia.

The US seems really to be trying to re-create the situation that prevailed after WWII, when the world outside North America was destroyed and open to North American expropriation. The neo-liberal neo-cons don't really care who they're backing as long as there's war going on, destroying governments and the means to resist US exploitation. And this time they are going to go after Russia, too, directly. The way it 'ought' to be done.

I think (hope) they're dreaming and that the collapse of their plan will bring about the collapse of US hegemony, and so unseat permanent war as the obvious though unstated goal of US foreign policy. As in the German case post-Grexit, new, 'unanticipated' priorities will have arisen in the wake of collapse and supplanted endless aggression. Again.

I don't think of it as Greenwald's Intercept any longer, although I did uncritically assume he had at least some managerial control there at first. Someone here wrote the all Greenwald got out of the Intercept was his own wordpress site, and now I agree with that assessment. I guess the money's too good to turn down ... so there are half-hearted attempts as noted above to convey an impression of the Intercept as being something other than the collection of crypto-msm trolls that it's evolving into. Other than Greenwald, in my estimation. The experiment has proved that there is no such thing as a radical billionaire. An obvious point, actually, but now 'the data' is in hand.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 2 2015 16:44 utc | 241


Is there anyone in the world outside of Palestine itself who really is interested in Gaza’s fate? Doesn't seem to be. Talk but no actions.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 2 2015 16:47 utc | 242

"Neocons want Regime Change in Iran":

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 2 2015 18:35 utc | 243

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