Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 10, 2015

Open Thread 2015-21

News & views ...

Posted by b on May 10, 2015 at 17:25 UTC | Permalink


This will make some waves ...

Seymour Hersh in LRB:

The Killing of Osama bin Laden

This spring I contacted Durrani and told him in detail what I had learned about the bin Laden assault from American sources: that bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI at the Abbottabad compound since 2006; that Kayani and Pasha knew of the raid in advance and had made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms; that the CIA did not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the US, and that, while Obama did order the raid and the Seal team did carry it out, many other aspects of the administration’s account were false.

Posted by: b | May 10 2015 17:28 utc | 1

Score one more for Uncle Joe

The Soviet offer - made by war minister Marshall Klementi Voroshilov and Red Army chief of general staff Boris Shaposhnikov - would have put up to 120 infantry divisions (each with some 19,000 troops), 16 cavalry divisions, 5,000 heavy artillery pieces, 9,500 tanks and up to 5,500 fighter aircraft and bombers on Germany's borders in the event of war in the west, declassified minutes of the meeting show.


Posted by: ruralito | May 10 2015 17:46 utc | 2

The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll.

LOL and pretty much all the propaganda coming out of the wh is just that.

Thanks #1 b

Posted by: jo6pac | May 10 2015 18:30 utc | 4

@1 b - sorta right along with what the angry arab is saying today on this and your previous post on liz sly... the offical bullshite and the reality so very different most all the time..

" Worst Western foreign correspondents working in the Middle East today
Worst correspondent on Syria: by far, Liz Sly whose dispatches read like English language translations of press statements of what is left of Free Syrian Army.
Worst correspondent on Lebanon: by far, Nicholas Blanford, whose dispatches have the least credibility and who has a penchant for making this up, as they appear to the reader especially when he writes about Hizbullah. As for his writing about Hariri Inc, his dispatches are word-for-word whatever Hariri cronies tell him.
Worst correspondent in occupied Palestine: by far, Isabel Kershner. If the Israeli terrorist military does not pay Kershner a salary, they should.
Worst correspondent in Iraq: by far, Rod Nordland and John Burns: they approach the job with the same arrogance of a Western colonial officer from the 19th century who thinks that the color of his skin puts him in a whole different category than the people he is ruling over.
Worst correspondent in Afghanistan: what is her name? The former New York Times correspondent who wrote in the Times that the last election of Hamid Karzai seemed free of fraud and rigging? It was so funny because days later she had to reverse herself in another dispatch.
Worst correspondent in Egypt: what is the name of that Egyptian-American who writes series of articles from Cairo that can all be grouped under the headline: O, white man, please look at me. I even lifted the veil just for you. O, white man?

Posted by: james | May 10 2015 18:41 utc | 5

Nuland's Neo-cretins apparently have their eyes on Macedonia.
...And interestingly, Freedom House has savaged Mexico.

Posted by: Maracatu | May 10 2015 19:10 utc | 6

"US Debt held by the Federal Reserve: Another record high at the end of 2014"

So the government owes itself lots of dollars, which it can create without restraint, therefore extinguishing such debt is a trivial exercise, politics notwithstanding.

Also, the Fed turns every penny it "earns" over to Treasury, except for operating expenses. Whether or not it is a "private corporation", The Fed doesn't have the power to make the US government knuckle under or default, and has never failed (nor will it ever fail) to issue liquidity as needed…it's primary mandate is to insure that U.S. government checks and those of the FRBS never bounce.

Unlike the ECB, which will cause checks to bounce if a member (like Greece) doesn't do as it's told.

Posted by: paulmeli | May 10 2015 21:08 utc | 7

Bernie Sanders on Domestic policies for the 2016 "election":

We'll see.

Posted by: ben | May 11 2015 2:33 utc | 8

From TRNN on the UK "election":

Posted by: ben | May 11 2015 2:38 utc | 9

I've added a collection of Rick Rozoff interviews to this page. He's the director of the Stop NATO newsgroup and is extremely knowledgable about all aspects of NATO expansion, especially as it concerns Ukraine.

I've added a collection of every Douglas Valentine interview I could find - he's the author of the great work The Phoenix Program which is about the US assassination campaign (targeting civilian political leaders) in Vietnam. But he's a great interview on all kinds of topics.

There's also another back issue of Covert Action Information Bulletin from 1990, which I personally think serves as valuable history. This one focuses on the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr but also contains stories on the brutal US invasion of Panama, Apartheid, and death squads around the world.

  • Covert Operations in Costa Rica by Tony Avirgan
  • Panama: US Addiction to National Security by Robert Matthews
  • Testimony to an Invasion
  • Inside the South African Government Interview by Jane Hunter
  • The Council for National Policy by Russ Bellant
  • The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr by John Edinton and John Sergeant
  • The US Invades Panama by Howard Friel
  • Nicaraguan "Electoral Coup" by William I. Robinson
  • US Supports the Khmer Rouge by Jack Calhoun
  • The Bombing of Pan Am 103 by Jeff Jones
  • The Marcos Network and Murder by Dan Jumas
  • El Salvador: A Pattern of US Complicity by David Kirsh
  • Publications of Interest
  • Taiwan Government Agents in the US by Marc J. Cohen
  • The History of Operation CHAOS by Verne Lyon
  • South African Death Squads

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2015 2:42 utc | 10

now everyone knows that Pakistani government helped US kill Bin Laden

Posted by: mir | May 11 2015 2:46 utc | 11

@1 - wow, so basically our capture of Osama Bin Laden was more like the Pakistanis letting us execute on of their prisoners? This was all another pathetic "branding exercise" by the US military along the lines of the b.s. storylines reminiscent of the lies told to us about Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman?

There's a lot on this at Who What Why:

The bin Laden raid presents us with every reason to be cautious. The government’s initial claims about what transpired at that house in Abbottabad have changed, then changed again, with no proper explanation of the discrepancies. Even making allowances for human error in such shifting accounts, almost every aspect of what we were told requires a willing suspension of disbelief—from the manner of Osama’s death and burial to the purported pornography found at the site. .... And then, of course, there are the Pentagon’s account of the heroic rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq, which turned out to be a hoax, and the Pentagon’s fabricated account of the heroic battle death of former NFL player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, who turned out to be a victim of friendly fire. These are just a few from scores of examples of deceit perpetrated upon the American people. Hardly the kind of track record to inspire confidence in official explanations with the imprimatur of the military and the CIA.

Another in a long string of lies. How "brave" our troops are, to rush in and murder a prisoner in a corrupt exchange of $25M!

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2015 2:51 utc | 12

@ruralito - absolutely. Michael Parenti discusses this in his "The Real Causes of World War 2":

The USSR offered early on, when Germany was still not fully rearmed and when there were many in the German elite who wanted to get rid of Hitler because they didn't want another war, to help lead a defense of Czechoslovakia. The UK and France refused, precisely because they hoped that the Germans would turn exclusively east (as, mostly he did, at the cost of some 20 million soviet dead) and destroy their Communist nemesis.

Who inside Germany was resisting the rise of Hitler and why were they not supported by Britain and France? Why did the Western Allies allow Hitler to take over Austria and Czechoslovakia? Why did Britain and France refuse to enter an anti fascist alliance with the Soviet Union? Why did Britain and France do nothing while Hitler conquered Denmark and Norway even though they had finally already declared war against Germany in 1939. The West, says Parenti, saw Hitler as a bulwark against communism and the Soviet Union and were hoping that the two countries would bleed each other white.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2015 3:03 utc | 13

While the Hersch story is interesting, whenever I see his name the first thought in my head is always "limited hangout." In other words, he is giving up a piece of the story (or his intel contacts are) in order to distract from something much more important. What that is we can only guess. Since the entire 9/11 official narrative is horse manure, I'm assuming the US knew exactly where "Bin Laden" was since forever and decided to off their asset because he became a liability.

Posted by: Lysander | May 11 2015 4:06 utc | 14

@ruralito, 2, and guest77, 12:

Well, doesn't this just pull the rug out from under all those who equate Communism with Naziism, or who claim that Stalin had plans for westward aggression...

That the pact was solely to gain time to prepare the USSR to deal with an eventual attack is obvious to any honest, intelligent observer. Now NATO threatens war with Russia using Nazi pawns effectively being rehabilitated by the western corporate media, and Russia reveals western imperialist complicity with the original Nazis. Veil after veil falls, guess less and less point is seen in maintaining diplomatic niceties. The past is alive in the present, and hard truths will out as contradictions demand resolution. The looming battle will be to carry truth through to a living future.

Posted by: Vintage Red | May 11 2015 4:32 utc | 15

@13 lysander.. your take sounds more likely to me..

Posted by: james | May 11 2015 5:03 utc | 16

@Lysander hey maybe it's pay back against Pakistani military for refusing to assist Saudi attack on Yemen

Posted by: mir | May 11 2015 5:08 utc | 17

"A worrying factor at this early point, according to the retired official, was Saudi Arabia, which had been financing bin Laden’s upkeep since his seizure by the Pakistanis. ‘The Saudis didn’t want bin Laden’s presence revealed to us because he was a Saudi, and so they told the Pakistanis to keep him out of the picture. The Saudis feared if we knew we would pressure the Pakistanis to let bin Laden start talking to us about what the Saudis had been doing with al-Qaida. And they were dropping money – lots of it."

Posted by: mir | May 11 2015 5:11 utc | 18

"The Pakistanis, in turn, were concerned that the Saudis might spill the beans about their control of bin Laden. The fear was that if the US found out about bin Laden from Riyadh, all hell would break out. The Americans learning about bin Laden’s imprisonment from a walk-in was not the worst thing.’"

Posted by: mir | May 11 2015 5:14 utc | 19

@ruralito, 2, guest77, 12, and vintage red 14

... and then there's the trots, Seventy years since the defeat of Hitler’s Third Reich

Posted by: jfl | May 11 2015 6:36 utc | 20
Amid Tensions, Saudi King to Skip Meetings With Obama


The decision by King Salman, Saudi Arabia’s new monarch, appeared to be a signal of the country’s continued displeasure with the Obama administration over U.S. relations with Iran, its rising regional adversary.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 11 2015 6:38 utc | 21


Therefore, because the CIA lied about using the vaccination program to find OBL, dozens of brave health professionals vaccinating Pakistani children against childhood diseases were killed by the Taliban, and who knows how many 100s, perhaps 1000s of Pakistani children contracted disfiguring maladies, fevers, polio or any of the truly debilitating, easily preventable diseases, as the entire Pakistani vaccination program shut down under fire?

"On the whole, I think it was worth it."

"At this point, what difference does it make!?"

"We are meeting in Paris with our Oil Royals allies!!"

US CIA:State is insane! We are ruled by troglodytes from beyond the grave.

Posted by: NoReply | May 11 2015 6:57 utc | 22

I think Hersh's story is a response to that all-weather strategic partnership between China and Pakistan (which allowed them to refuse the Saudi offer).

Posted by: jaqwith | May 11 2015 7:04 utc | 23


When Oil for Food let Saddam sell Iraqi light sweet crude for $12.50 a barrel in perpetuity, that created an existential threat to US Big Oil and UK/EU North Sea Oil and KSA Oil Royals. Prince Bandar spoke to the press in 2003, 'The Kingdom believe $25 a barrel to be a reasonable price." You can look that up on Wayback Machine. .: $25 was a KSA profit point.

That created a 'crack spread' opportunity for Cheney and his Energy Policy Cabal, where they could buy dirt-cheap oil futures, maybe even a triple-bull fund, start a war in Iraq, then make staggering amounts of profit. But that huge options futures profit is NOTHING like the huge profits Saudi Royals made in OIF/OEF, at FIVE TIMES the $25 profit point, and 8MMBBL/DY. If their profit point was $25, then at $147, they were making ONE BILLION DOLLARS A DAY in excess oil profits, straight into offshore bank vaults. In just three years, A TRILLION $s!

The world's first TRILLIONAIRE Royal Family was born, and that's pure hot money that's been sloshing around the globe ever since, like a giant black hole, attracting more hot money, attracting more QEn secret bailouts, until nobody has a CLUE how wealthy the Saudi Royals are now, but Kerry's INSANE CLOWN FACE gives you some idea that HE thinks he knows!

The Russian Oiligarchs also split a TRILLION in those years, pure profit, off the top, hot cream. And so did the African Military Dictators. In fact, in 2008, on the eve of Obama's election, the Nigerian Junta nationalized all the lands (and underground resources) of the Nigerian people. Not a word!!

No wonder the entire working world is bankrupt, the map of history changes by the day, but,
"There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!"

Besides, there's not a damn thing we can do about it. The fine print on Tesla's Home Battery admits that solar + batteries is still far more expensive than fossil fuels ($250 a KWH), and you would still need to hook up to the power grid, and pay utilities surcharges anyway.

'They gotcha by the balls! And now they're coming for your Social Security." George Carlin

Posted by: NoReply | May 11 2015 7:37 utc | 24

Re: Sy Hersch piece on bin Laden: If I recall correctly, it was reported that the entire SEAL team that "killed" "bin Laden" had themselves died when their helicopter went down in an unrelated accident over Afghanistan. How is it that a couple of these dead guys are now writing books and giving interviews about their amazing feats of strength? Even Hersch mentions two of them without comment on their return from the dead.

Frankly, if they've done been dead and all and subsequently come back, I have some better questions for them than asking for their off-kilter recollections about the "raid".

Unless, of course, the story about the entire team being wiped out was "corrected" later and I missed it, which is possible. So many stories and retractions, so little time.

Posted by: teri | May 11 2015 8:48 utc | 25

died when their helicopter went down
I recall that too. Maybe the two guys left the Seals before the crash?

Posted by: okie farmer | May 11 2015 8:54 utc | 26

Sorry about my bad linking skills!

Posted by: fairleft | May 11 2015 9:34 utc | 28

yep, Seymour Hersh sure knows his onions! or at least how to recreate them. peeling on gossamer layer after gossamer layer he reconstructs a pungent veggie.

i'll stick with 'Osama's' neighbor's recollection of events.

rabbit holes are for rabbits.

Posted by: john | May 11 2015 10:09 utc | 29
BEIJING, May 11. /TASS/. French Navy representatives while on a visit to Shanghai may propose to China a deal on acquiring the Mistral-class helicopter carriers built for Russia, the Chinese media said Monday.

A group of French ships is expected to stay at the port of Shanghai May 9 through May 15. The group includes the Dixmude a Mistral-class landing vessel, as well as the Aconit, a Lafayette-class fregate.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 11 2015 10:09 utc | 30

Lysander @ 13

"While the Hersch story is interesting, whenever I see his name the first thought in my head is always "limited hangout."

I understand that idea very well- I cringe when at his so called expose work. Too late to the show, always to late.

Guest 77 @ 9- Looks to be some good listening there. Thanks!

Posted by: Penny | May 11 2015 10:51 utc | 31
A Swedish court has rejected an appeal by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange against his arrest warrant for alleged sex offences.

The warrant was issued by Sweden in 2010 on two allegations of sexual assault.

Mr Assange denies the assault claims and has been living at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since June 2012.

Swedish investigators are now likely to proceed with plans to travel to London to question Mr Assange.

The Supreme Court said it saw "no reason to lift the arrest warrant", since moves to question Mr Assange in London were already in place.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 11 2015 11:53 utc | 32
European powers seek to bomb Libya to stop migrants

By Patrick Martin
11 May 2015

The European Union is preparing to bomb targets in Libya to stop migrants from attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in small boats. EU foreign policy coordinator Federica Mogherini is to brief the United Nations Security Council Monday on plans for a “Chapter VII” resolution that would give a UN green light for the use of force.

The plan is the outcome of several weeks of high-level consultations among the 28 EU members, including a foreign ministers’ meeting, held in response to a series of incidents of mass drowning of refugees. The worst such tragedy took place April 19, when some 900 drowned when their small boat capsized after colliding with a freighter.

Mediterranean migrants: Libya rejects EU military plans
Libya has criticised EU proposals to authorise the use of force against people smugglers taking migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe.

The Libyan ambassador to the UN told the BBC that the EU's intentions were unclear and "very worrying".

The EU is seeking a UN mandate to allow military action to destroy or halt smugglers' boats in Libyan waters.

The measures are part of the EU's proposed plans to stop migrants drowning in the Mediterranean.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 11 2015 12:21 utc | 33

@29 I think the active unit died in the crash. Not everyone from the Bin Laden op stayed a Seal. Given the state of promotion in the military, it would be a sensible time to retire.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | May 11 2015 12:33 utc | 34

this is a good video
'We feel abandoned' - Life on the frontline in Ukraine

Posted by: okie farmer | May 11 2015 12:40 utc | 35

Heard this on the radio this morning:
Yemini tribal fighters downed a warplane of the Saudi-led coalition, as they seized control of two new Saudi posts in the province of Jizan.

The anti-aircraft guns of the tribes downed a hostile fighter jet in Saada's Wadi Noshour area, sources told al-Manar. Saada Tribal Fighters Down Fighter Jet, Seize New Posts in Saudi’s Jizan

For its part, al-Massirah TV also reported the event, broadcasting images of tribesmen celebrating around the wreckage of a plane.

The television said it was an F-16 fighter jet while the footage showed a Moroccan flag on a broken rudder lying on a rocky patch.

Morocco said contact was lost with the fighter and its pilot at 6 pm (1500 GMT) on Sunday, the official MAP news agency reported, citing an armed forces statement.

"A second plane which was flying in formation was not able to see whether the pilot ejected," it added.

Meanwhile, the tribal fighters took control of two Saudi posts in the province of Jizan.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 11 2015 13:14 utc | 36

31;The NY lying times wonders why the refugees in the Med have increased.sheesh.
And Herschs story seems possible,that the Pakistanis used him as a bargaining chip,and that he was an invalid ,unarmed and set up by million dollar seeking Pakistanis.No burial at sea,and his body parts thrown out over the Hindu Kush.
And Salman brushing off Obomba,will the Zionist MSM critique their new? found allies SA,as the Saudis give the finger to Obomba?

Posted by: dahoit | May 11 2015 13:31 utc | 37

will the Zionist MSM critique their new? found allies SA

No, KSA is following orders from the Zionist regime.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 11 2015 14:40 utc | 38

Nice. home page is all about Hersh article. Making waves indeed.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2015 15:50 utc | 39

@okie farmer@29

BEIJING, May 11. /TASS/. French Navy representatives while on a visit to Shanghai may propose to China a deal on acquiring the Mistral-class helicopter carriers built for Russia, the Chinese media said Monday.

Well, the cowardly French really don't know what to do with the Mistrals, because they can't do much.

France Cannot Sell Mistral Ships Without Russia's Approval

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — France cannot sell the Mistral helicopter carriers without Moscow's permission, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Saturday.

Earlier this week, French media reported, citing an unnamed source, that Paris considered dismantling the two Mistral ships, commissioned by Russia, or selling them to a third party.

"Without our permission they cannot sell anything," Rogozin told journalists, adding that he had already explained this to the French side.

The deputy prime minister specified that Russia had the end-user certificate for the stern parts of the ships, which were built in St. Petersburg before being transported to France for further assembly...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 11 2015 16:06 utc | 40

I think George Galloway losing his seat is a tragic loss. I sure hope Naz Shah is worth all those votes. I can't see that she was from the debates - she frankly looked childish.

Indeed they are celebrating in Tel Aviv over it. And crying in Gaza.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2015 16:17 utc | 41

angry arab had this on it's site - Gaza: Children in crisis... thought i would share it.

Posted by: james | May 11 2015 16:57 utc | 42

No doubt there are some pretty deeply wrong things with the USSR, but it sure wasn't the things that the capitalists will tell you were wrong w/ it.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2015 17:03 utc | 43

and in harpers canuck-stained world "Ottawa considering hate charges against those who boycott Israel."

Posted by: james | May 11 2015 17:03 utc | 44

After the imminent debacle of Yemen and Syria and the realization of its military impotence despite its 'pact' with Turkey, a powerful but paralyzed military, the King of Saudi Arabia will come back crawling in front of Obama for protection.
Snubbing Camp David is a further sign of Saudi Arabia's infantile and reckless foreign policy.

Posted by: Virgile | May 11 2015 17:38 utc | 45

Posted by: guest77 | May 10, 2015 11:03:24 PM | 12

Thanks for the timely heads up.
I'm struggling through the excessively convoluted "Candid Autobiography" Spy Catcher by arch-villain Peter Wright. He tries but, imo, fails to make the case that the Russians were a threat to the West in the 50s and 60s. He attempts to create the illusion that the Reds were a danger by focusing on the frequency with which the Russians made MI5 feel more out of their depth than retarded children.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 11 2015 18:00 utc | 46

More on Galloway:

@Hoarse - Aha, very good. I just heard of this, no idea if its any good but I don't personally know of too many English language autobios of Soviet intelligence figures:

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2015 18:35 utc | 47

On the Galloway link above, be sure to check out the comments.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2015 18:35 utc | 48


Thanks for the Peter Wright tip. Quite a bizarre device and story:

Frankly not sure how it could work. Just have to hope that Harriman hangs it close to where a Soviet agent can hit it w/ a microwave?

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2015 18:40 utc | 49

I wonder if in ten years most or at least a large number of Americans will still believe the zero dark nonsense like they still think Iraq had wmds. Whatever really happened and whatever the motivation for the Hersh piece I think there's some value in peering behind the curtain at the machinations and motivations of the players involved in the cover story debacle.

Posted by: Colinjames | May 11 2015 18:40 utc | 50

re: 44

This policy - potential hate speech criminal charges directed against BDS activists - was revealed via CBC journalists pushing for a clarification of the Canadian government's announced "zero tolerance" policy vis-a-vis new "hate speech" legislation (not via a specific policy announcement). This will probably go nowhere as a policy due to the legal morass and obvious potential for abuse it would create. But the ruling Conservative government does not possess the intellectual capacity to understand a bad law, let alone the self-awareness to see their own obvious double-standards (i.e. zero tolerance for alleged enemies of Israel, while they coddle the rabidly Russophobic Ukraine Canadian Congress). Where this will really fall apart is that Canada's Conservative government in the 1980s became a strong supporter of boycott campaigns directed against South Africa's apartheid system, and the simple question to ask here is why such boycott campaigns have official sanction in one case while deemed criminal in another context.

A problem for Canadians in general, looking ahead to the scheduled election this Fall, is that the Opposition parties are not taking anything like a principled stand on this issue (or the Ukraine for that matter). Whether this is indication that Canada's foreign policy has undergone a complete shift in the last decade with full bipartisan support, or whether the Opposition parties have made a strategic decision that the Harper government is deliberately stoking policy around controversial and emotionally-charged issues so as to create potent and divisive campaign themes (and the Opposition is not taking that bait) - that is currently unknown.

Posted by: jayc | May 11 2015 19:09 utc | 51

@44, @51

What has happened to Canada? It looks to me as though the people who own Ted Cruz have simply bought Canada as well.

Posted by: jfl | May 11 2015 20:12 utc | 52

a line from Parenti, posted by guest77 at 12

Why did Britain and France refuse to enter an anti-fascist alliance with the Soviet Union?

This is of course exactly what we see today.

Parenti’s answer re. WW2:

The West, says Parenti, saw Hitler as a bulwark against communism and the Soviet Union and were hoping that the two countries would bleed each other white.

Which is, in a way, what happened.

A similar reasoning can apply now, setting aside Communism, which probably never had anything much to do with it (1), provided we see Germany and naturally rabid poodle France, and much of the rest of the EU, as US vassals, Germany occupied by the US with the Army bases, its non-Constitution, and so on.

As is being played out in Ukraine.

However, this time round, the US is openly on the side of the fascists (Kiev Gvmt) (2); one might say Germany is gingerly on the fence - see public opinion - Minsk 2, but for what purpose. Note that Merkel has (afaik) never denounced fascism or neo-nazism, vicious repression of ordinary ppl, or even ‘war’, piles of deaths, etc. in Ukraine. (Not to mention economics, IMF loans, industry, futute of the country, etc.)

It is as if all that didn’t exist. Everything is done to water down the image of the conflict, make it at once somewhat trivial, and a sort of existential struggle. Between ‘wild’ pro-Russians, separatists, supported by Russia, and a worthy, respectable Ukr. ‘Unitary state.’ Germany is imho a willing partner here, possibly far more, and the Ukraine mess is not just due to US machinations and pressure, it is also an outcome of Ukraine itself (past history, and those in power at present as a kind of inevitable and probably calculated outcome of the coup), and Germany. They are both instigators and collaborators, in their own ways.

Meanwhile one can’t help but note that US allies in the world are high on religious - ethnic definitions and dictarorial and / or genocidal agendas: Israel (Zionism .. Gaza..), KSA (Wahabism, religious family oligarchic dictatorship), now they get to bombing Houthis they get creds!

These are doors open to kick, and there are many other forces in play, corporations, finance.

1. Just as Islam in itself has nothing to do with the dire situation in the ME - it is just an excuse for divide to conquer, provoke tribal hate, when ppl are pushed to the edge… An instrument for chaos and inter-group killing.

2. Championing and arming whomever can supply support for whatever US position is of course SOP (Yugoslavia for ex.)

Posted by: Noirette |

Posted by: Noirette | May 11 2015 20:16 utc | 53

@52 Well it's Canada. Don't look for blood in the streets. It does seem like Justin Trudeau bent over a bit too far for some people.

Posted by: dh | May 11 2015 20:50 utc | 54

@53 Agree completely. The US would love to turn Ukraine into a new bulwark. Even if Russia commits to full war against Ukraine - then whats the big deal. You've just destroyed two parts of your former enemy and you'll be there to pick up the pieces, 1945-style.

The only people who can possibly prevent all of this are the Ukrainian people themselves. The stories of their resistance are powerful - if you can find them.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2015 21:14 utc | 55
An Iranian airline with reputed links to the country's Revolutionary Guard has reportedly defied international sanctions and bought nine passenger jets worth more than $300m (£193m).

Mahan Air, blacklisted by the US and Europe because of alleged links to the revolutionary guard — denied by the airline — is suspected of spending more than a year brokering a complex series of arrangements using the small Iraqi Al-Naser Airlines as a front, according to western security officials. Al-Naser denies the claims.

The West fears the aircraft could be used to ferry weapons to conflicts in Yemen and Syria, a concern that Mahan — which is owned by the Kerman Molal-Movahedin Non-Profit Institute — rejects, said the Financial Times.

Hossein Marashi, a member of the institute's board of trustees, confirmed the purchase of the nine jets to the FT, but said it "is really baseless to say Mahan buys modern planes to carry weapons as if there is shortage of planes in Iran for such purposes".

Posted by: okie farmer | May 11 2015 21:29 utc | 56

@51 jayc - good comments.. canada has shifted to the far right under the fuehrer harper.. the other parties are chicken shits that don't know how to stand up to this move to the right.. problem is the move to the right has happened all over western countries, from obomber to murkel. the spelling is intentional.. these slime balls would try to sell warmongering pre packaged in shiny paper and glitter to whoever is ignorant enough to want to buy into any of it..

@52 jfl - the world western world leaned hard right - witness yemen, ukraine, not to mention the destruction of libya and etc. etc...

@54 dh... trudeas old man, if he was still alive - he is probably rolling in his grave seeing his son act like a doofus when it comes to shit like this..

53/55 re ukraine... ukraine politicians are in the usa/nato/cia's back pocket.. ukraine is fucked at this point and the ukraine people will not be doing anything to change the sorry ass course they are on.. neo-nazi's shooting up security at gas stations the same one who has her picture taken in elle magazine.. and of course no mention of this in the western msm.. they are fucked..

Posted by: james | May 11 2015 21:42 utc | 57


So the answer is yeah, the same folks who own Ted Cruz now own all of Canada, too? But it doesn't matter 'cause it's 'only' Canada?


Time is on the opposition's side. Eventually it will be seen that there is no 'there' there, where the fascists are. Ordinary Ukrainians will finally have just to rise up and throw the bums out. The sooner the better, nothing but suffering until then. I certainly do agree that Merkel and the Germans are the number1 or number2 monsters here. They could have - could now - make all the difference. I don't buy this occupied nation stuff. The devil's makin' us do it ... very convenient. Zombified cogs on the wheel ... we don't need to have lobotomies to become zombies ... staring at our shoes long enough does the trick every time. It ain't the intent it's the inaction ... boosts the fascists over the top.

The US, of course, is vying for the lead as bad actor - zombie nation - at the center of every sorry act of devastation worldwide.

Posted by: jfl | May 11 2015 21:46 utc | 58

Well, the 'conservatives' lost in Alberta, apparently. And the Germans rallied in Berlin.

Where there's life there's hope ... and continuing surreal reaction.

Posted by: jfl | May 11 2015 23:01 utc | 59

Couple of interesting pieces up at the saker:


They are USA’s ‘wild card’ in the Balkans, an ‘Ace from the sleeve’. America holds this entire area in the state of frozen conflict. With the snap of the fingers this can become an all out war all over again. Bosnia, Southern Serbia/Kosovo and Metohija, Macedonia, Montenegro… any area – you name it, and they have it ready to blow.

Now in this possible new conflict in Macedonia (with a strong possibility of spreading into Serbia, if needed be) there are roughly speaking, three ‘sides’ – Albanian, Serbian and Macedonian. Neither of three can ‘win’, there can only be losers. We will now walk the path that the USA put in front of us and hope not to step on a mine. Or if we do, then hope we step on as little mines as possible.

There are already appeals coming from the ‘international community’ saying that there must be an end to the violence. Now, that’s very noble indeed, but it’s only a shame these appeals are arriving at the wrong address. EU should try appealing to Washington, if they are really sincere in wanting to stop this.

and Andrew Korbykos on incompatible exceptionalism:

All the chaos that’s been unleashed in Eurasia can be attributed to the existential battle between the Exceptionalists and the Integrationalists, represented respectively by the unipolar and multipolar worlds. A lot has lately been written about the emerging triangle of defensive and incorporative interests between Russia, China, and Iran, yet not much has been published about the offensive alliance between American Exceptionalism, Zionism, and Wahhabism, the three ideologies dedicated to dividing the diverse multipolar forces in Eurasia and perpetuating unipolar dominance. The aim of the piece is not at all to demonize the identities mistakenly caught up in blanket association with these ideologies (Westerners, Jews, Muslims), but rather to illustrate how the most extreme strains of thought tangentially associated with them have become the most destabilizing forces in Eurasia, and how the ‘unholy alliance’ between these three has emerged as the primary driver of conflict in the supercontinent.

Posted by: Nana2007 | May 11 2015 23:19 utc | 60

'The self-hating Russian':

Posted by: Anon | May 12 2015 0:25 utc | 61

The turning point for the rise of corporate governance in America:

Posted by: ben | May 12 2015 4:07 utc | 62

@58 jfl.. what are you trying to say about ted cruz in relation to canada? you might be right for all i know..i see the guy was born in calgary.. i don't know much of anything about him, other then that it looks as though he did a straight bee line into being some hard right wing jack ass..

Posted by: james | May 12 2015 5:43 utc | 63


Posted by: jfl | May 12 2015 5:47 utc | 64


False start ... Ted Cruz is a Right-wing senator from TX. Apparently his daddy was in the oil bidness in Calgary. Ted's rabid for Israel. Right-wing nut all around. Although a US Senator he has not renounced his Canadian citizenship.

Conservative Canada seems to be centered in its oil patch, has gone nuts for Israel - and the Ukraine NAZIs. I imagine the money and MO behind Harper may well be Texan.

It Ted Cruz doesn't make it as POTUS ... maybe he'll try for Canadian PM? Just kidding. Who knows though.

Posted by: jfl | May 12 2015 5:54 utc | 65

Nana2007 at 60: Here's the link to that excellent piece by Korybykos with the excellent advice to pay attention closely to both the emerging alliances.

I think he may be making things a bit more complicated than they are, though. What the unipolarists and 'makers of the world' face is really an international bankers' (financial capital) alliance with Wahabbism, that's the unipolar world. It's all about money and Wahabbism, and Wahabbism at its fountainhead is about very rich a##holes trying to hold onto their unearned mega-wealth.

Posted by: fairleft | May 12 2015 9:41 utc | 67

Darn, that should say "What the MULTIpolarists and 'makers of the world' face ..."

Posted by: fairleft | May 12 2015 14:03 utc | 68

On: Exceptionalists vs. Integrationalists, at the Saker, posted by nana2007 at 60.

That was interesting enough, and as I guessed Isr. and KSA are mentioned..

I agree with some of that content (e.g. on Syria, pan-Arabism..)

However, the whole piece relies too heavily on the concept that there is some kind of ‘essential, fundamental’ difference in the ‘deep nature’ of States, or countries as we know them now. That is right up the Saker’s line: a sort of culturalist, or even religious, fundamentalist pov.

What is not spelled out in the piece, or only peeking a little out of the wafting breezy curtains, is that both Isr. and KSA are US client states / satellites / even vassals, and extremely vulnerable. KSA’s Royal Family domination survives beause of of its oil riches, its control of ‘all’ of the economy, and the attendant pay-off to the population, plus strict internal control mechanisms thru the religion card, amongst others (poverty in KSA is considerable; imho it is a tinder box ready to blow.) Isr is dependent on US aid and tireless support as the outpost in the ME that ‘fights the Ayrabs’ to make it short.

Neither Isr nor KSA can give up that support, without it they would implode, disintegrate; its potentates, ‘authorities’, religious, political, corporate and financial - ruling cliques of one or another stripe - would be toast. They know this (see Lybia for ex.) Submission is their mechanism for survival, and that has little to do with religion and/or exceptionalism.

Posted by: Noirette | May 12 2015 14:41 utc | 69

@65 jfl.. thanks.. alberta is the texas of the north.. both living on the oil and bible punching country with tv evangelicals falling out of the sky periodically..

Posted by: james | May 12 2015 16:21 utc | 70

It's easy to forget that Alberta was where the quasi Nazi Social Credit Party was first founded and where it won provincial government in the 1930's.
The provinces which had social credit (until the early 70's) didn't follow up on social credit's indecipherable economic policies too hard but they did pull some awful stunts institutionalising and even sterilising people with disabilities in the name of 'genetic purity'.

I remember this shit only cause Social Credit had a presence in Aotearoa but thankfully they never came within a thousand miles of actual political power because back then NZ had a first Past the post electoral system and the traditional FPP dual party setup (Tory or Labour) held sway. We used to regard SoCred as a bit of light relief, it wasn't until much later when the stuff about SoCred in Canada (all the years they campaigned in NZ they never once mentioned their party's success in Canada - the religious aspect of Canadian SoCred wouldn't have played well I suspect - that and being known to back white supremacy in a society which claimed to be bi-cultural) came out that I came to understand those crazies were anything but funny.

Posted by: Debs is dead | May 13 2015 6:09 utc | 71

Does anyone have insight into what's up in Macedonia. The government has been caught out mixing up their party's political structure with the Ministry of the Interior by all accounts.

There have been daily protests demanding mass resignation and the government do appear to be a bunch of crooks - except the Macedonian government is claiming that all of this is a put up job - that Macedonia is being subjected to a Ukrainian maidan-type put up job by amerika and the usual suspects.
A bunch of people got killed in the weekend who the Macedonian government alleges were Albanian terrorists - the protesters claim that was a false flag beat up by a crooked and megalomaniacal bunch of pols trying to stir up ethnic tensions to distract from their own crimes.

I sort of get the feeling that it is all true - that they are crooks but that for whatever reason amerika et al are destabilising the Macedonian government.
Amerika is believed to be the source of the phone tap recordings which demonstrate the govt are a mob of murdering gangsters.
The big question is why, the Macedonian administration's neoliberal credentials aren't in doubt and one protester I heard on AJ sounded like an old school lefty wanting the social security and free healthcare that this mob abolished reinstated.

If that is the case those protesters are gonna be in for a big shock if they get their way and the current mob is ousted - whatever amerika germany france and england have up their sleeves for a 'new Macedonia' will be worse and at least as crooked.

Posted by: Debs is dead | May 13 2015 6:28 utc | 72

Smells like another NED/ Gene Sharp/ Yankee "killing his own people" frame-up to me (and Russia).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 13 2015 7:09 utc | 73

Order up! One lobotomy for the Zomby Woof at 58. "It seem to me that it just ain't wise."

Posted by: rufus magister | May 13 2015 11:49 utc | 74

Noirette @69: I was commenting on the same article, and disagreeing in a similar way to you. I would take the additional step of understanding that more or less the US is simply the biggest and most important client of Western financial capital. Israel is also on that home team, as are the UK, Germany, France, Canada and the other 'Anglo' former British colonies, NATO, and the core institutions of the EU. Saudi Arabia is different, one of the most corrupt and well-compensated of the neo-colonized nations to be played with, 'failed' or destroyed by 'Western finance' in its efforts to maintain/advance world hegemony.

Posted by: fairleft | May 13 2015 17:47 utc | 75

oh fair left at 75 just above i agree…


Heh..Kerry got cosy with Putin. He went to Russia, Sotchi - already a major concession. Lavrov described the meet as ‘miraculous.’

Nuland was there but not allowed to enter the negotiations, she was blowing up and fuming in the corridor. So after an exchange of veggies (A tradition. Lavrov, Kerry and Rouhani get on super well. However, Kerry is a (mega) drinker and Rouhani doesn’t touch a drop, and morevoer they have different exercise habits, Kerry rides a bike and Rouhani likes to walk. Besides that, Putin and Kerry understand each other quite well. So veggies it is. Lots of laughs.) (search for kerry lavrov vegetables or the like.)

Some agreement about Ukraine, dicey and temp, the details are unknown (by me) and murky, was reached. I can’t find a good link.

Basically, Minsk 2 is all the rage.

For once, the EU and NATO was quickly informed:

see, e.g. tass:

Recall Merkel’s visit to Moscow to deposit some wilting flowers 1-2 days late to commemorate V-day, and her intransigence about ‘Russian agression’ and the like. Meeting which did not go well.

In breezes Kerry….

(all from my reading of the press)

Posted by: Noirette | May 13 2015 18:22 utc | 76

noirette at 76 --

Nice item from Fort Russ on the exchange of vegetables by Kerry & Lavrov as well as some of the symbolism from the meeting itself.

I've not digested it, but here's the Saker via Russia Insider on Sochi.

Given Kerry's ineptness (and ties by marriage to the Heinz fortune), I'd say we could Call Any Vegetable and they'd do a better job. "Chances are good, the vegetable will respond to you."

Posted by: rufus magister | May 14 2015 0:00 utc | 77

further to 77, from Kerry in Sochi Signifies US Is Tired of Ukraine.

Barack Obama has a year and a half left in the White House and he’s got a clear choice to make about his legacy. Does he want to be remembered as a President who left a smoldering Middle East and a new Cold War behind him? Methinks not. The problem for Obama is that the solution to both those problems first requires rapprochement with Moscow. Kerry’s Sochi visit probably indicates that Washington is willing to radically change its policy to Russia in order to secure the Kremlins’ cooperation on other pressing issues....

The Secretary of State took the opportunity to slap down Ukraine’s President Poroshenko after his daft comments about retaking Donetsk airport. A couple of months ago, the Americans would have almost certainly denied ever hearing of such remarks.

For those who missed his promise to retake the airport and memorialize its Banderaist defenders, see here.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 14 2015 11:41 utc | 78

DID at 72 -- Starikov via Fort Russ says -- US is gingering up trouble to forestall the Turkish Stream pipeline project.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 14 2015 11:50 utc | 79

After Lobbying by Obama, Senate Agrees to Vote on Trade Bill After All

Senate leaders, after personal intercessions by President Obama, reached an agreement Wednesday on a path to grant the president accelerated power to complete a sweeping trade accord ringing the Pacific Ocean — just a day after fellow Democrats had blocked him.

Senate Democrats Fold, Obama To Get Fast-Track On TPP

The cosmetic concessions offered to the weak-kneed Democrats included some empty votes on currency manipulation and an extension of an African trade agreement – in short, nothing. Senate Democrats have set themselves up to get rolled when TPP comes up for a final vote and voting no means scuttling an agreement all their donors will be demanding they approve. Then again, maybe that was the plan all along – offer token opposition to appease the base, cave, then say your hands are tied because the fast-track has made the vote on TPP so binary you have to vote yes.

Let's continue to sit on our thumbs, fellow zombified cogs. Popular sovereignty is about to become history.

Hey, it was such a pain-in-the-ass anyway, right? Decisions, decisions ... no more. We'll all be slaves on the plantation now, and our TNC masters will make all those decisions for us.

Don't worry. Their goals are so repulsive, their decisions so uniformly bad, that they'll soon turn planet earth into a place none of us would want to live in anyway. So we'll be better off dead.

The end of life as we knew it. And we'll be better off for it. Right?

Posted by: jfl | May 14 2015 21:24 utc | 80

in re 80

Nothing like mindlessly knocking back an afternoon doubke shot of defeatism and passivity.

A zombie is as a zombie does, I 'spose. But even sheep can be a threat, you know.

Bleating and babbling I fell on his neck with a scream.
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

"Livin' the dream" we like to say here in the Mid-Atlantic, though typically ironically. For now.

They seem pretty alive in the Donbas; many in Mexico and Venezuela seem conscious. As fewer and fewer board the gravy train, I think we'll begin to see a little trouble at our stations as well. Crowd on the platform in Balto. looks a little restive to me, St. Louis too.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 14 2015 23:27 utc | 81

I don't know if there are anyone here interested in graphic novels such as The Watchmen and/or American Splendor but I've found Brought to Light online. It is two graphic novels from 1989 about the Christic Institute case.

The first is Shadowplay - The Secret Team and is by Alan Moore who wrote several graphic novels such as The Watchmen and beautifully drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz. It basically cover 30 years of CIA butchery as laid out in the Christic Institute lawsuit in graphic novel form.

The second is The La Penca Bombing and is written by Joyce Brabner (social activist, writer, and wife of the late Harvey Pekar of American Splendor fame) and covers the a bombing in Costa Rica that sparked the first investigations which became the Iran-Contra scandal.

Both graphic novels can be found here:

Posted by: guest77 | May 15 2015 2:14 utc | 82


Thanks for the link[s] ... I hadn't known about the Avirgan v. Hull RICO case

Ultimately, the suit failed to win any civil judgment against the defendants. President George H. W. Bush pardoned the principal conspirators and the case was dismissed by Federal Judge James Lawrence King. ... A Nixon appointee, King was later discovered to have been a Member of the Board of Directors of organized-crime accountant Meyer Lansky's Miami National Bank as well as a legal consultant to the Central Intelligence Agency. The final blows came when Judge King ordered Christic to pay one million dollars of the defendant's legal fees and the IRS stripped the Institute of its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status after claiming the suit was politically-motivated.

I guess the Brought to Light comic, The Secret Team, more or less outlines the wide-ranging charges brought in that case as a horror story and Flashpoint, The La Penca Bombing, gives the actual facts? I haven't finished the horror story yet, much less got to the actual facts.

The links above are to the .djvu files ... right click and save them. They are much smaller and faster loading than the .pdfs or .epubs, although all the files are available at the original link above ... the second time you hit it. There is a disorienting page trying to be 'helpful' when you first get to the site. The site's contents are sorted by date uploaded by default, so these two are at the top of the page. Great links though, keep 'em coming! Please.

Posted by: jfl | May 16 2015 9:05 utc | 83


Flashpoint, The La Penca Bombing - is good. I couldn't finish the other one.

Posted by: jfl | May 16 2015 10:27 utc | 84

Andrew Korybko at Russia Insider discusses the growing convergence of the tactics of "color revolution" and "unconventional war." In examining Macedonia in light of Syria and the Ukraine, US-Russia Round Three: Macedonia highlights the role of Russia as the target of Western plans for confrontation.

The U.S. succeeded in overthrowing Ukraine’s government with a Color Revolution, but this didn’t come to pass in Syria, hence the escalation to an Unconventional War. The same thing is happening in Macedonia right now, even down to the ISIL-trained fighters. The Color Revolution is flailing, ergo why it’s morphing into an Unconventional War.

The U.S. has purposely resurrected one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the Balkans, the Kosovo Liberation Army, in order to incite ethnic divisions between Albanian and Slavic Macedonians and facilitate its regime change plans....

As a direct consequence of the US’ War on Ukraine and Russia’s Turkish/Balkan Stream countermeasures, the War on Macedonia has begun. The U.S. is adamant about destroying Turkish/Balkan Stream, seeing its very existence as a slight to America’s strategic calculations and ‘success’ in Ukraine.

This would seem to conflict with reports that the US is tiring of the Ukraine. But it is consistent with the American pattern -- roll in, smash stuff, put your preferred client in office and declare "victory." And then on to destabilize the next target.

That your newly installed protege is unstable, under threat, incompetent and/or brutal, is of absolutely no importance. Since no one in DC suffers the consequences of failure, failures don't matter. And the MSM will spin them as "successes" in any case. It's not our fault, is the lousy compradors we installed.

All the while, the defense-industrial complex is showered with money for its goods and services, and we are kept in fear and under control (well, so they think, anyway). Mission Accomplished!

Posted by: rufus magister | May 16 2015 13:01 utc | 85

For all you fans of graphic novels, here's a rarity from 1991. The text is Russian, but I'm sure you can make sense of the pictures. And of course you could follow along with your own personal (unillustrated) version of Engels Origins of the Family, Private Property, & the State.

When I found this at Col. Cassad's reading list (along with Toynbee, N. Klein, et al.) I thought -- if the Soviets could be this creative, why couldn't they get themselves through perestroika? Then I recalled, the Union didn't fall, it was pushed. The damage is still accumulating.

The Colonel has this to say about the work. "This was to recount the entertaining Engels, who was hard to perceive as a wall of text. In fact, Engels in general and this work in particular, reads easily, not like Marx."

The standard handbook of the Second International was not Capital, but rather Engels Socialism: Utopian & Scientific. I can relate to Engels, who toiled in the belly of the beast (as an official of his family's Manchester textile mill) while working to bring it all down.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 16 2015 13:46 utc | 86

Here's a quick guide on how to make a real zombie. I could be wrong, but our little PravSek malchik doesn't look very happy.

A temporary lull in the combat zone, unfortunately, only means that the main efforts of the Kiev authorities are focused on other areas, for example, such as propaganda.

The easiest "prey" are youth and children whose psyche and consciousness less critically perceive everything broadcasted to them. Teachers and psychologists are sounding the alarm – a generation of zombies is being raised in the country, and parents remain one on one with this problem.

As I noted in an earlier posting, with our youth today more sympathetic than my generation to socialism, the replication of docile labor here is a becoming a bit more problematic. Add in a generation of urban youth more imprisoned than educated in public schools, and the manufacture of consent grows increasingly problematic.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 16 2015 14:23 utc | 87

in re to the discussion of the Soviet Union interwar diplomacy at 53, 20, 14, 12 & 2

Here's a timely consideration of the politics of the issue, The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is used as a weapon against Russia.

Should we consider the totality of European events of 1930s as the de facto elimination of the Versailles system by the countries of the Entente that were, initially, its guarantors? This development immediately raises the question – why? Why to let the fascist genie out of the bottle? Perhaps for the sake of those actions in the most eastern direction, about which Paul Reynaud wrote?

In the thirties, the object was clear -- destruction of the deformed workers state.

I think the present pitch is calculated to echo/channel the Vogons & Borg -- "Resistance is useless! Resistance is futile!" This is the best of all possible worlds, and even if not, well, the cure is worse than the disease. Cf. the Stoics in Rome. It's the "End of History," right?

We already have our bureaucratic drone-masters, though fortunately they have largely spared us their "poetry" (there is rah-rah Murican country music, of course). How long will it be before Google develops a direct neural interface? It could give you your search results even before you knew what you wanted. Thanks to the NSA, your privacy is already gone.

In case this all brings you down a bit too much, just remember Douglas Adams' sage advice -- Don't Panic. It's always apropos.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 16 2015 15:03 utc | 88

Kerry's visit to Sochi was the first show, now the other tasseled Gucci loafer drops. According to the venerable NYT, the Sochi meeting was A diplomatic victory, and affirmation, for Putin.

The subtle shift by the Obama administration reflects a pragmatic recognition that the policy of isolating Russia, economically and diplomatically, is failing, analysts say.

“Americans realized that sanctions against Russia did not quite work,” Viktor A. Kremenyuk, deputy director of the Institute of the U.S.A. and Canada, a research organization that is part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said in an interview with Svobodnaya Pressa, a news site here.

“They thought Russia had become so much a part of the world market and depended on it so much that it would be enough to frighten Moscow a little to make it surrender,” Mr. Kremenyuk said. “In reality, it’s all different. Russia not only withstood sanctions but even introduced countersanctions and demonstrated that it is not going to turn off this road.”

He added: “The U.S. cannot simply capitulate. This is why the policy change begins with statements like, ‘We shall think,’ ‘We shall assess the situation.’ In fact, this is a cautious departure from the policy of sanctions.”

To be sure, the United States position on Ukraine has not shifted, and Mr. Kerry said at a news conference in Sochi that he had “made clear our deep concerns” including about Russia’s “continued arming, training, command and control of separatist forces.” The administration portrayed the visit as intended to explore new avenues of collaboration, especially in Syria, and Mr. Kerry in his remarks again insisted that Russia and Ukraine fulfill the terms of the cease-fire accord signed in Minsk, Belarus....

While the Kremlin has hardly been gloating in recent days, it has noted firmly that the subject of Crimea was not discussed at the meeting, and some Russians officials have expressed a sense of victory.

The motivation is a mix of the need for Russian help in the Middle East, as well as the fear that the Euroclients will not renew sanctions.

So another frozen conflict, another piece from the Pottery Barn that we broke but did not buy. It's quite a collection, no?

Perhaps we're in the market for something Asian now.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 16 2015 20:08 utc | 89

Who do you think will win the hockey finals today?

CAnada vs Russia for Gold
Czech vs USA for Bronze

Posted by: Anonymous | May 17 2015 7:25 utc | 90

Reese Ehrlich:
- Europe, US, Israel and Saudi Arabia don't like Iran because it's a regional power and has (a considerable amount of) influence in the Middle East. It has nothing to do with some nuclear "threat".
- Kerry is desparately seeking a diplomatic succes somewhere in the world. He wants to have a "legacy". Some (diplomatic) succes that can be attributed to him.
That's why he tried to negociate a peace deal between the palestinians & Israel but Kerry got stonewalled by the israelis.
That's why the importance of the "framework" between the P5+1 got "oversold"/overhyped by Kerry. But the framework was just ONE step towards a nuclear deal with Iran.

- But an agreement with Iran also will have to include a US approchement with Iran on the topics Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 17 2015 15:27 utc | 91

Not surprisingly, Kiev is not happy with the White House/Kremlin detente. Kyiv Post conveniently supplies the following item from Reuters (dateline Kiev, of course), West clings to fraying Ukraine peace deal despite Kiev doubts.

Western powers are clinging to a fraying peace deal in Ukraine and forcing Kiev to follow suit, even though Russian President Vladimir Putin shows no sign of wavering and NATO is warning that Moscow may be preparing for a new offensive.

The United States and European Union are still backing the three-month old ceasefire, despite a growing feeling that it is in its death throes, telling Putin that sanctions will remain if he does not honour his promises.

This offers little consolation to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who, while under pressure at home over a steady loss of troops fighting pro-Moscow rebels in the east, has to keep in diplomatic step with the West whose political and financial help he needs....

While it has been sickly from birth, no-one wants to administer the last rites on the ceasefire.

Many see a fundamental difference of perception between European leaders and Poroshenko. While the EU can live with a patchy ceasefire that avoids large-scale loss of life, Kiev must face the steady flow of casualties and uncertainty over what Putin might do next....

"The simple reason why the political agenda of Minsk-2 has gone nowhere very fast is that the agenda ratifies Russian strategic gains and therefore runs counter to the national goals set by the Ukrainian government," Christopher Granville, managing director of London-based consultancy Trusted Sources, wrote in a note....

"Their (Russia's) strategic goals have not changed a tad: to hold all of Ukraine in check by controlling the east. For this they do need to see Minsk implemented," said a Western diplomat in Moscow.

Ah, it's spring on the steppes, and a young fascist's thoughts turn to -- provocations? Will there be more glory for the heroes? Of course, it will be a response to "Moscow's" "offensive." We shall see....

Posted by: rufus magister | May 17 2015 15:36 utc | 92


Posted by: Vintage Red | May 19 2015 0:27 utc | 93

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