Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 16, 2017

In Which Reporting About "Fake News" Turns Out To Be Such

Another rather amusing piece about fake news is published in today's New York Times.

The headline:

Fake News, Fake Ukrainians: How a Group of Russians Tilted a Dutch Vote

It is amusing because no fact in the piece agrees with the headline. The piece itself turns out to be fake news. It is about old stuff, not news at all, and the content does not support the theses. 

Some Ukrainian expats lobbied in the Netherlands against a vote for a EU-Ukrainian association agreement. Some Dutch people of Russian heritage also lobbied that way. The Dutch eventually rejected the agreement with 61.1% of votes against it and 38.1% in favor.

That vote took place in April 2016. I am not aware of any reason why that poll would now deserve a piece. Its purpose is certainly not to report current news or the vote itself. It does no explain what the vote was really about nor does it mention the numeric results.

A few expats in the Netherlands took part in public discussions and argued for the side of the vote that eventually won. They did so without hiding their identity, fairly and completely within the bounds of all laws. There is no sign at all that they had any influence on the vote.

But that is not good enough for the NYT. "Putin did it" is a standing order. Indeed the lobbying Ukrainians must have been "fake Ukrainians" and secretly Russians because somehow no Ukrainian would ever argue against the violent  Maidan putsch and its consequences:

They attended public meetings, appeared on television and used social media to denounce Ukraine’s pro-Western government as a bloodthirsty kleptocracy, unworthy of Dutch support.
The most active members of the Ukrainian team were actually from Russia, or from Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine, and parroted the Kremlin line.

The author seems to express that people "from Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine" (which include at least a third of the country) are "fake Ukrainians"? That they have no agency as Ukrainians but are only capable to "parrot the Kremlin line"? Are these Russian speaking Ukrainians of less value? Is there something wrong with having an opinion that does not parrot the Washington/Brussels line?

Then comes a caveat that takes the intended blow out of the whole buildup of the piece:

It is unclear whether the Ukrainian team was directed by Russia or if it was acting out of shared sympathies ...

Could it be that it is neither-nor? That there is third reason why they acted that way? Maybe because they are convinced that the EU-Ukraine agreement is not in the best interest for either country? (Not said in the piece: The agreement in questions is way more than an trade or economic agreement. It includes binding defense and political alignment clauses.)

Let us look at the "Fake Ukrainians" and "Group of Russians":

One such [Russian] contact is Vladimir Kornilov, a Russian-born historian and political analyst who grew up in eastern Ukraine and now lives in The Hague, where he runs a one-man research outfit called the Center for Eurasian Studies.

Before the Dutch referendum last year, Mr. Kornilov campaigned against the Ukraine trade deal, describing himself benignly as “a Ukrainian expat in The Hague” who was “stunned by the seemingly endless stream of lies and propaganda” about Russia and felt obliged to respond.

Vladimir Kornilov looks around 40 years old. When he was born there was no "Russia" or "Ukraine" as we understand them today. The historic Russia included the Ukraine. When Kornilov was born there was the Soviet Union with many federal entities. "Russian-born" and "grew up in eastern Ukraine" is a national categorization that no one made before the USSR fell apart. People would have said "born in Moscow" and "grew up in Donetsk" or something of that kind.

Kornilov strongly disagrees with the NYT piece and especially the "fake Ukrainians" headline:

Vladimir Kornilov @Kornilov1968

@nytimesworld Dear editors! What does it mean "Fake Ukrainians"? Your author know that I'm an Ukrainian citizen and don't have another pass
4:07 AM - 16 Feb 2017

The only "Russian" with which the piece comes up with is a young student who came to the Netherlands as a child:

A particularly active member of the Ukrainian team was Nikita Ananjev, a 26-year-old student born in Moscow who moved with his mother to the Netherlands, where he is now chairman of the Russian Student Association.

Ananjev describes himself publicly as "Dutch raised but still 80% Russian".

Kornilov and Ananjev are the only two relevant persons the NYT piece identifies. They are the "Fake Ukrainians" and "Group of Russians" the headline describes.

The "fake Ukrainian" is not "fake" at all but a real Ukrainian. The "Group of Russians" is a Dutch raised student in Rotterdam. The NYT has found no sign of any actual Russian influence on their public arguments or opinions. There is zero evidence in the piece, none at all, that these people "tilted a Dutch vote". There is not even one attempt made to show that this was the case.

The people of the Netherlands, Dutch people, voted against the preference of the NYT editors by a quite large margin. That this might have to do with the rather bad agreement the vote was about, or with the illegality of the U.S. organized Maidan putsch, does not deserve any question or attention. Instead we get false assertions about foreign influence stated as facts with nothing to back that up.

The "fake news" in the headline makes sense only as a description of the piece itself.

There is no argument in it that actually supports the headline. There are no "fake Ukrainians", there is no "Group of Russians" and those few expats who were active did not "tilt the Dutch vote".

The piece is also fake news because it contains no news at all. The vote was 10 month ago. The expats lobbied openly before the vote took place. Nothing mentioned in the piece has since changed. There is no one new fact in it.

It is cooked up propaganda which does no include any facts to back up its message. A rather sorry attempt to stoke the anti-Russian campaign that was intensified by Hillary Clinton first to win the election and, when that had failed, to explain her loss. It fits the imperial illusion of the "sole superpower" the NYT generally peddles. But it does not really serve its purpose.  It is completely unconvincing and easy to debunk. It is fake news.

Posted by b on February 16, 2017 at 21:03 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Absolutely bizarre situation in the US and something I could never have imagined.

We have the bulk of the Democratic voting base aligned with the hardcore neocons on attacking Russia all because of the DNC coming up with the goofy 'teh Russians hackers' excuse for losing the election.

If Trump finally gets back on his feet and fights off the neocon attack on his administration and doesn't make compromises to the nutcases the 'evil Russians' narrative will just be nothing more than blowing smoke. Democrats with gleefully share these stories on social media and continue crying about Putin for years.

If the GOP base starts to embrace the Russian narrative things could get very dangerous. If that happens, Trump will be forced to start embracing the neocon agenda being essentially isolated.

Posted by: VaginaHat | Feb 16 2017 21:31 utc | 1

thanks b.. there is no end to this type of drivel coming from the nyt, wapo and wsj.. if you want drivel - check out these publications.. if you want propaganda - same deal...

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2017 21:31 utc | 2

Thanks B for alerting us to this article in the NYT. It looks exactly like the kind of garbage that The Guardian would publishes with Luke Harding's name attached to it. All we have to do now is wait maybe a couple of months before The Guardian republishes that article, word for word, with Luke Harding's name attached to it.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 16 2017 21:40 utc | 3

The Democrats are behaving just like the Republicans did in 2008 when they went after Obama. The "Russian hacks" are this year's version of "birth certificate."

Democrats haven't just lost the intellectual superiority of Republicans, they've lost the moral supremacy as well.

Posted by: P Walker | Feb 16 2017 21:44 utc | 4

Comments section of this blog post re NYTs are very enlightening as was CINC Trump's pressie today.

Trump press conference


Posted by: ALberto | Feb 16 2017 21:53 utc | 5

That is so frustrating when these sources post something as news and when you check it out, it's dated. In this case it sounds like agenda clickbait meant to draw people in only to push the official theme. Maybe some of the Yahoo people have wound up at NYT. I try to avoid NYT because they count your visits trying to push a paid subscription. It's why I quit cable so long ago. I figured why pay for something that is mostly BS I don't use.

Posted by: Curtis | Feb 16 2017 21:54 utc | 6

Higgins, the NY Times reporter, is infamous for this garbage.

Think Miller and Gordon in 2002, or now Gordon today, he was never forced out at the Times.

Earlier this week, Gordon was ignoring the fact that the US is deploying short range ballistic missiles in eastern Europe and angering the Russians, while Gordon "reported" on the fact of a new Russian land-based cruise missile being deployed, which, like the US missiles, breaks a 1987 treaty.

Several hours later, the Times had to fix Gordon's story and pretend the new US missiles were "special". The Times should be encouraged to fix this Higgins garbage. It probably won't since there's nothing so flagrant as the US missile system ignored in the Gordon "reporting".

Posted by: Jay Connon | Feb 16 2017 22:13 utc | 7

Another step toward criminalizing dissent.

And its important to recognize the scale and scope of the effort. They KNOW that people are more likely to believe this crap when it comes from multiple sources. Internet concern trolls are part of that too.

Lately, there is a new twist: reinforcing fake news with "polls" that show that most people believe the fake narrative that they have been force-fed.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2017 22:19 utc | 8

What's good, B.

I cannot wait for your take on today's Trump press conference!

The way he took on the press, especially the New York Times, for the ages. Especially when he reminded everyone that Russia has nukes too and can hit back hard. Very had.

They ae going to have to pull a Kennedy if this continues much longer.....

Posted by: Skeletor | Feb 16 2017 22:39 utc | 9

@9 very good point.

Apparently In Think Tank NGO Universe it is believed that the 1930s playbook is still relevant.


just me opinion

Posted by: ALberto | Feb 16 2017 22:45 utc | 10

The Russians did it, no wait it looks like

just in time

Posted by: jo6pac | Feb 16 2017 22:59 utc | 11

I have a sort of dread that 2017 is becoming too much like 1914 in that really complicated frequently irrational but somehow 100% committed alliances between states have been allowed to develop and then fester on beat ups and bullshit about the 'other' festering alliance.
There is too much risk that these alliances of convenience which are really about armaments profiteering and bureaucratic empire building will develop an independent agency and take off into a genuine war which no one will be able to prevent lest they appear weak - (look out for references to Neville Chamberlain) or seem to be back-tracking on the jingoist bullshit spouted back when it was all good fun - just a way of screwing taxpaying citizens.

This is how big wars actually kick off since no one apart from a handful of overgrown schoolboys in the military eager to try out their toys really wants a yuuge war.
Amerikan power centers have fragmented now and there is no one around with enough real power and commitment to put the genii back in the bottle if the drum banging tosh does spinup out of circumstance.
I had thought it would be Trumps enthusiastic attempt to destroy the EU that would cause a war to kick off a decade or so after the destruction but now it feels like the combination of NATO indoctrinated cretins & eurocrats determined to keep their ship afloat may side with one of the amerikan power centers and start up the 'fun' about 20 years earlier.
I'm gonna hang out up here in the South of the planet and see if maybe this time all the idjit whitefellas in the North can completely destroy each other while leaving the rest of us be. Sames as WW2 any amerikan action in the Pacific will be an after-thought, only this time they will be snuffed out before they get around to it.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 16 2017 23:15 utc | 12

So exactly what is the big deal? Our whole society lives in a make believe world. Every history book in every school is full of fake information about how exceptional the US is. The constitution is a document that makes the notion of democracy a fraud. The advertisements in the media, on bill boards, every where, advertise crap that is neither healthy nor worth while. And the news media lies ... .

So, what the f---?

Posted by: rg the lg | Feb 16 2017 23:55 utc | 13

Il faut cultiver nos jardins.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 17 2017 0:05 utc | 14

So exactly what is the big deal? Our whole society lives in a make believe world. Every history book in every school is full of fake information about how exceptional the US is. The constitution is a document that makes the notion of democracy a fraud. The advertisements in the media, on bill boards, every where, advertise crap that is neither healthy nor worth while. And the news media lies ... .

They Live (1988) Movie - Roddy Piper & Keith David

Posted by: blues | Feb 17 2017 0:26 utc | 15

I expect to see another installment of the war to reveal anonymous sources who've leaked classified info given Trump's declaration of that war's beginning, and I wonder if the target for imprisonment this time will be the #1 editor and or owner, who've so far been spared.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2017 0:59 utc | 16

As bad as the reporting in most of the articles in the NYT is, the real propaganda is in the headlines, which are written by the editorial staff rather than the reporters. In this case, it is the headline which is doing the work as most people don't read articles so drilling the propaganda in through the headline is of uppermost importance.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Feb 17 2017 1:05 utc | 17

b, 'It is cooked up propaganda which does no include any facts to back up its message. ... It is completely unconvincing and easy to debunk. It is fake news.'

it's the nytimes. their readership does not need to be convinced, they need to be reassured that their line is the party line. they're junkies with a jones, and sulzberger is their man, dior shoes and a big straw hat. don't know if the street price of the nytimes is up to twenty-six dollars yet.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 17 2017 1:16 utc | 18

No one could have predicted the aftermath of Clump2016 but now we look back and it all makes sense.

Posted by: ruralito | Feb 17 2017 1:19 utc | 19

@5, I like Trump way better than any clintonian but he doesn't know how to talk. He has the bully pulpit, the premiere speaking perch of all the world's rostra. But he mumbles along in a whiny monotone. Put yourself in his place. He should be pissed off at the liberal wretches and their dirty tricks. But he seems unable to lay it all out there in words of fire. He reads from a prepared speech instead of from his heart. And quit trying to blame the previous admin. Makes him look like a resentful mal-content. Disappointed.

Posted by: ruralito | Feb 17 2017 2:09 utc | 20

@17 That's right. Headlines are carefully composed. And it doesn't much matter what reporters report because editors will spin everything. Reporters who complain can look for another job.

Posted by: dh | Feb 17 2017 2:18 utc | 21

@20 His talking style served him well during the election but he needs to change if he wants to reach a broader audience. He uses far more words than he needs to.

Posted by: dh | Feb 17 2017 2:23 utc | 22

I was living in Amsterdam last year, and I recall the referendum and subsequent vote. There was a lot of pro-Ukraine propaganda floating around. I didn't notice any Russians. The Dutch aren't dumb, so they rejected it.

Posted by: bdave25 | Feb 17 2017 2:44 utc | 23

@17 WorldBLee that is a really good point. thanks

Posted by: Au | Feb 17 2017 2:48 utc | 24

yes, it's rather funny how the USA elite think that people in other countries are know-nothings who don't read newspapers and are somehow immune to knowing all sorts of things ... I remember when Abu Ghraib torture exploded and our government and commentators were tense "wondering how the Iraqis would react" ... when the Iraqis had ALWAYS known that, like Saddam, we were torturing and humiliating people in OUR prison ...

So we "worry" about Russians influencing the Germans and the Dutch and the French ... as if ... as if ....

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Feb 17 2017 2:48 utc | 25

As I patiently explained countless times, in July 2015, Kerry-Cohn, McCain, Graham and a host of bought-and-paid -for Senators looted $50 billion from USAryan SS Trust Fund specifically to 'backstop the verticals' on the private IMF loans of $35 billion to the illegal Israeli junta coup leaders in Kiev, a violation of international law and also unconstitutuonal.

The remaining $15 billion was for another 'war chest' that McCain and Graham used to further arm and fund ISIS, and to destabilize Yemen, and again 'backstop the verticals' on a $10 billion World Bank loan to the Israeli junta coup, to upgrade Eastern Ukraine roads and bridges to military load capacity.

I first shared this a year ago on MoA.

So it seems like convenient amnesia to me, the German 'we did not know' for MoA ask why the US Congress now on both sides, why the NYT and the US media on all sides, why the Pentagon and CIA in plain view now, even Trump himself, why is everyone attacking Russia in the media? Gosh!

On to Sevastopol! That's why Netanyahu just flew in for, to sacrifice the new born Christian infant, and splash its pure blood on the five point pentangle of the Luciferians!

It's pure psyop 'softening up'. "Russia did it", whatever they want 'it' to be. As soon as the spring mud stabilizes, artillery will start pounding the Crimean frontier, and NATO will feint in Poland toward Moscow to split Russia's response in Crimea's defense

The Zionists want their Yinon Plan Neo Plus Ultra! They want Ukraine! What's not to understand? That's ZioMafia way of doing business! MAD only works with two sane parties, and the Crypto-Zionist US/UK Deep State is insane.

Be sure to set aside your share of their $3.8 trillion annual tribute, because in 60 days they'll be kicking your door in, then it's On to Sevastopol!

Posted by: Chipnik | Feb 17 2017 3:16 utc | 26

Let me bust the bullshit some people project around here; starting with just a couple of examples beginning with the least recent:

1. More than one person around here stated that Tulsi Gabbard went to Syria on a mission for Trump and delivered a secret message to Assad on behalf of Trump and upon her return she would go to see Trump to report on her trip and she might get a post in his administration.

Okay, this is the kind of bunk that I would call fake news. This is worse than spin, worse than speculation; it's total false speculation and invention. Tulsi Gabbard went to Syria sponsored by an Arab American Organization that Kucinich is close to as he also went on that trip, and went on two previous trips to Syria financed by the same organization, therefore, that trip had NOTHING TO DO WITH TRUMP. Tulsi did not report to Trump afterwards on that trip and she didn't go to work for his Administration.

2. People around here said that Flynn resigned rather than being asked to resign, because he wanted to shield this administration, more specifically, Trump from further attacks...blah-blah, whatever other bull reason.

NOOOOH. That's totally false. Trump stated at today's interview that Flynn was FIRED because of what he said to Pence. He used the word FIRED. His exact words were: I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence, very simple.

So people around here engage in fake news all the time! I've read all kinds of other bull from some people here. As a matter of fact, when Kucinich spoke of the threat posed by intelligence services in regards to turning Trump's Russia policy, the reporter at Fox asked him about pizzagate. Kucinich categorically refused to even broach the subject; he didn't dignify it at all and rightly so, but some people here ran with this bullshit story for weeks.

So these are just a few examples of the kind of fake news people engage in right here.



Another step toward criminalizing dissent.

And its important to recognize the scale and scope of the effort. They KNOW that people are more likely to believe this crap when it comes from multiple sources. Internet concern trolls are part of that too.

The only one trying to criminalize dissent is Donald J. Trump! Then there are his tools that try every trick in the book to muzzle dissent and criticism on the internet including: ridicule, bullying with ad homs and calling people trolls.

YOU, are one of those who has engaged in these kinds of tactics.


There are other examples of people here engaging in the sky is falling on Trump conspiracy deception as if that will make him appear more innocent and honorable.

From the beginning: Oh! the Electoral College is going to overturn the election-(never happened); oh-Trump will end up like JFK-everyone's out to get Trump; he won't make it to the inauguration - (he made it and lied about the crowd size); then the protests - oh this is a fake color revolution; (because people can't be pissed off about banning Muslim from war-torn countries where there's drought and famine) and now because Flynn lied about the phone call; because it's a fact that both Manafort and Tillerson and Flynn had business connections with Russia and naturally this raises suspicion - oh! the CIA/intelligence services and leakers are staging a coup.

Oh pah-leees already.

It's like I said; Trump got himself in over his head; his administration is in disarray; he's tweeting stupidity off the cuff; people are angry because he's tearing families apart with his Muslim ban and his cleansing of illegals and taking people's healthcare away. Then he's lying and inventing facts; alternative facts. Trump is his own worst enemy and if he's lying, if he's hiding something - he's going to implode his Presidency and it'll be all on him.

Here's the thing; Trump pursued and harassed Obama over the fake birther issue until Obama produced his birth certificate; BUT Trump is hiding his freaking income taxes! He's hiding them; he's refusing to show them because there's something there that will have a negative impact. So he harassed Obama because he assumed Obama was hiding something when he's even worse!

Now, I have to say this: Why the hell can't he deal with Iran the way he says he wants to deal with Russia??? Think about that! What did Iran every do to the U.S. to deserve threats and harassment day in and day out??? What did Iranians do to deserve being on the ban list? I get it -- his Presidency presents a golden opportunity for better relations with Russia - but he's not consistent; he's duplicitous and everything else he's doing SUCKS! So how can he expect to be respected and trusted on the Russia issue when he talks out of both sides of his mouth, when he's deceptive and biased and has such a double standard?

Russia has a ship off the coast of Florida, tested a cruise missile and buzzed a U.S. ship in the Black Sea. Trump called this bad but he didn't obsess about it. Iran tests a ballistic missile and Trump goes ballistic! We're putting Iran on notice...blah, blah, blah, be careful, blah! And then he imposes sanctions. Iran has a right to defensive weaponry and even deterrent weaponry since it's being threatened all the time and surrounded by bases.

It's time to attack Trump for the 90% crap he pulls. If we criticize him for those indefensible issues; that's a good thing. The issue of detente with Russia should not be an excuse to ignore what is indefensible. If he can have detente with Russia; why not with Iran? Russia's involvement in Syria and Ukraine and the cruise missile test and prowling interceptor is much more hostile to U.S. policy than anything Iran is doing. Why does Trump exercise a double standard in his policy towards Iran as opposed to Russia? This is a question we should ask ourselves! This is one of the important reasons I mistrust and detest Trump. Can someone around here explain this HONESTLY? And don't try and spin or bullshit me because I'll torpedo your dishonesty like a laser-guided missile.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 17 2017 3:36 utc | 27

"one-man research outfit" is laughable on the face of it, and the merits. Just like SOHR. To my reckining [yes, reckining, city boy] everyone who quotes or gives credence to such patent bullshit should be roundly criticized and treated with utmost suspicion and circumspection. Jackals.

Posted by: Shh | Feb 17 2017 3:42 utc | 28

good grief, waht Circe says.

can someone please explain it cause i too would like to understand it.

and that presser of today, i read the transcript, i did not watch nor did i listen to it, but i did read it. All that came to mind is WTF!! and this man is going to save the world from itself? Fuck he cant find his fly in the dark.

Posted by: Sabine | Feb 17 2017 4:06 utc | 29

Circe@ 27
"Russia's involvement in Syria and Ukraine and the cruise missile test and prowling interceptor is much more hostile to U.S. policy than anything Iran is doing."

Sorry to break it to you, but Russia is not involved in Ukraine, unless you include refueling the Ukraine nuclear reactors, for which they are paid out of US supplies funds! Putin is setting back and patiently eating popcorn while Ukraine falls apart due to the corrupt government.

What is the big deal with cruise missiles doesn't the US already have land based cruise missile? Besides, the US has placed short range ballistic missiles on the border with Russia.

What are you talking about when you mention a "prowling interceptor"?

Finally, why are you attacking Russia in Syria for opposing the US CIA and Pentagon's support of Al Qaeda by bombing the hell out of these terrorists? Remember that Russia was invited to save the Syrians from terrorists while the US, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, France, Germany, Denmark, Australia and others illegally inserted their troops into Syria!

If you want to rant about Trump, the following will really make your day:

Then again Hillary and Soros would not he able to correct the dire global systemic collapse either:

Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 17 2017 5:01 utc | 30

Fuck he cant find his fly in the dark.

Posted by: Sabine | Feb 16, 2017 11:06:12 PM | 29

I suspect that this is baseless slander, finding (and opening) flies seems well within the realm of expertise of our POTUS. And there is a question of the mandate. Trump promised incoherent foreign policy, the people have spoken, so this is what we will get. And what one could expect? Unlike some American, Trump has an extensive knowledge of the world, but a bit one sided. Ask him for good locations for hotels, casinos, country clubs etc., he will either know or be very close to a true expert. And he is familiar with models from a wide variety of countries.

But experts that could give some consistency and skillful explanations of policies were never spotted near Trump.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 17 2017 5:14 utc | 31

Circe 27

i've been wondering as much,

is he simply Schizophrenic ?

or a sinophobe./persianphobe ?

or a white faced speaking in forked tongue ?

in any case....

is he fit to hold the nuke key ?

Posted by: denk | Feb 17 2017 5:35 utc | 32


By prowling interceptor, I mean the Russian spy ship off the U.S. coast. You knew what I meant.

You conveniently failed to anser my effing question!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 17 2017 6:20 utc | 33

don't even both trying to respond.. you're wasting your time... us spy ships in the black sea off the coast of russia - no problem... do the reverse and it's a really big deal, lol.. the hypocrisy of americans is regularly on display..

Posted by: james | Feb 17 2017 6:30 utc | 34

rg the lg @ 13: So very true. Good synopsis on modern American society.

Circe @ 27: Way too much logic. It's Kryptonite to the American public.

Fake News=Propaganda More semantics for the peons.

Posted by: ben | Feb 17 2017 6:32 utc | 35

james @ 34 said:" the hypocrisy of americans is regularly on display.."

Yep, on a daily basis..

Posted by: ben | Feb 17 2017 6:34 utc | 36

Congratulations Moon! One of your best.

Posted by: Roger Milbrandt | Feb 17 2017 6:47 utc | 37

Go to:
Read the piece titled: "Internal Secession and the Road to Ruin: Two Countries"

Then, except circe, tell me what you think. [I exempt Circe because he is so predictable. All I have to do is turn off my brain and I can blather nonsense too. Still he can opine on other matters all he wants!]

Posted by: rg the lg | Feb 17 2017 6:55 utc | 38

rg the lg: Thanks for the link. An excerpt:

"The difference begins with manners. Throughout the campaign Trump’s partisans forgathered in huge rallies, applauded, calmly went home, and later voted. At the same time we saw on Clinton’s behalf mobs of ill-bred, worse mannered, loutish, perennial adolescents blocking highways, shutting down rallies, engaging in vandalism and physically attacking supporters of Trump."

Don't know who this "Fred" guy is, but I attended a few rallies last year, and, I have to say that whatever "Fred" is smoking, he should quit.

That "article" is the biggest bunch of BS I've read lately, but hey, beauty, like BS, is in the eye of the beholder.

Posted by: ben | Feb 17 2017 7:16 utc | 39

Circe @ 27

In response to your excellent commentary and questions regarding Trump's irrationality and inconsistency regarding Russia and Iran, I'll venture a guess. Could it be simply that he prioritizes extremely close relations with the Israeli right--who fear a stable, independent Iran and Hezballah arguably more than anything--over any potential benefit he could gain by treating Iran fairly and rationally? Thanks to Obama (and Bush before him, and Clinton before him) irrational vilification of Iran, blatant, obvious lies ("Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism," "Iran seeks nuclear weapons"), and keeping the "military option" on the table are a decades-old bipartisan American tradition. Hence, Trump does not suffer politically at all by continuing the tradition with gusto, and might even see the strong Israeli alliance/cooperation he is clearly developing as a necessary tradeoff to enable his "unorthodox" moves and statements regarding Russia (?). Not knowing what the wellspring of Trump's seemingly new (est. ~2016?) commitment to expansionist Zionism is exactly all about, the tea leaves are difficult to read, but in a nutshell I think the undiminished political power of Israel/AIPAC/ZioCons is the primary reason for Trump's inane stance and statements regarding Iran, fortified by (Michael Ledeen co-author) Flynn's potential influence.

Too obvious/pedestrian? Perhaps. School me folks.

Posted by: HD | Feb 17 2017 7:29 utc | 40

Circe @ 27

If not solely (or directly) in the service of the usual suspects (Israel/AIPAC/ZioCons) could it be Iran's stance and proclamations re. the (petro)dollar, enabled by the bipartisan tradition and MSM mainstay of irrational Iran hate?

Posted by: HD | Feb 17 2017 10:15 utc | 41

'Horrible fake reporting makes it much harder to make a deal with Russia' -Trump

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 17 2017 10:31 utc | 42

xyz @ 44:

I should think that an adult, let alone a child, would have a hard time staying alive after having both legs blown off below the knees. Too much blood would be lost and the body would go into shock straight away.

The photos in The Daily Fail look unconvincing as well: how is the child able to sit up and wouldn't sitting up put more pressure on blood vessels going into the lower body and into the legs?

Plus the attack attributed to the Syrian military occurred in Idlib, currently the jihadi stronghold after the rats were forced to leave eastern Aleppo, and the source was that well-known jihadi news channel the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 17 2017 11:42 utc | 43

I notice in some of these blog posts, the author assumes there are clear differences in agenda between the CIA and State Department. Interested to know what the author thinks about Chomsky's view on the CIA as an agency of the executive. Chomsky argues in his work that the CIA is constantly used as an escape goat and distraction device by the executive government which places blame on the CIA even though the two are connected

Posted by: ninel | Feb 17 2017 12:24 utc | 44

Fake news like the Russians planning to march on Europe and interfering in elections etc, is just the fake news to try and frighten the European electorates. The last NATO press conference had Stoltenburg praising General Mattis, who in turn threatened other NATO states that they must commit billions more [at least 2% of GDP]to NATO defences {usually US equipment]or the US will not protect them. Meanwhile cancer operations are being put on hold in the NHS because there is no funding. Trump was right about NATO while electioneering, then he correctly said NATO was obsolete. Now he has changed his mind.

Posted by: harrylaw | Feb 17 2017 12:34 utc | 45

When the CIA organized the JFK assassination, they were certainly not acting as an instrment of the executive. Ditto for the Watergate break-in that was used to remove Nixon.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 17 2017 12:39 utc | 46

Circe, the legendary witch that waylays unsuspecting travelers, has got her panties in a bunch @27; most will rightfully ignore her whining, but since some (above) have already been snookered, a comment is appropriate:

>> Trump is his own worst enemy
Ignore the Hellbitch behind the curtain.
>> What did Iranians do to deserve being on the ban list?
Trump used Obama's list (as has been made clear numerous times)...
>> [Lets not] ignore what is indefensible
Lets not ignore those who insist on the exclusive right to say what is indefensible.
>> Why does Trump exercise a double standard in his policy towards Iran as opposed to Russia?
People here have responded to your hair-on-fire questions about Iran several times already. Clearly, you are just taking a piss.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17 2017 14:03 utc | 47

It would take a fiction writer to say the truth. Alas most of what he says runs against all of the lies of exceptionalism. Hate to rub it in? Nah ... I kinda do enjoy asking you to read this:

Not by a long mile ... Trump is anathema in the great tradition of the American Presidency. That is really what makes the 'exceptional nation' so exceptional and only proves the point that Obama was right in line with the other shabby a-- holes who were called Mr President. Bad as Trump is, he's not nearly as bad as ____________________ (fill in the blank).

So, the deep state wins?

Oh, yeah ... there is Russia/Iran/China ... and maybe some long awaited mushroom clouds!


Posted by: rg the lg | Feb 17 2017 14:07 utc | 48

circe 27 and HD 40
Yes, it's hypocrisy all around. Trump going after Iran puts him on the pro-Israel track of the right. Jared Kushner most likely wrote his AIPAC speech. Both DJT and HRC went to Netanyahu but the GOP takes groveling to a new level. Obama did a deal with Iran to delay the inevitable proving the DEMs are just slightly less pro-Israel than the GOP. Iran was near the end of the list of nations to attack that Wesley Clark told us about.

I agree that there's fake news out there about DJT about to be assassinated and similar BS like he's some kind of hero. One of those pushing that is probably Alex Jones who I've tended to avoid for at least 10 years. They just love stirring people up. My 86 yr old mother said a man in a DJT shirt came into the Senior Center ranting about how much he hates moslems. People are being stirred up in a major divide and conquer op. But keep in mind a lot of Trump's supporters were Never Hillary types and still see him as a lesser of evils.

DJT is a loose cannon. The wind blows and the statements change. One day it's a push to move the embassy to Jerusalem and later he backtracks. It's not as though we haven't seen weasle-tongue thrown at us by politicians before. This is just a different and more bombastic version. As 20-22 pointed out, Trump's speech technique needs improvement; he's used to getting his way. Obama was far more nuanced in the beginning and especially during the 2008 election. So much so that some thought he was using some kind of hypnotic technique or at least paced preacher style. (Remember when people were called racist for pointing out how articulate Obama was?)

Posted by: Curtis | Feb 17 2017 14:23 utc | 49


Here you go. Trump's defense is the same as the others. It was the intelligence.
"I was given that information."

Posted by: Curtis | Feb 17 2017 15:04 utc | 50


Trump's style seems to be to scramble and confuse as an opening gambit in a negotiation.

MoA commenters have made a good case for why it US war with Iran would make no sense. Not for any Administration that is 'America First' anyway.

And Trump's Israel policy seems haphazard. The embassy move is on the back-burner, he wants Israel to restrict settlement building, and he really has no policy wrt Israeli-Palestinian relations. One-state was rejected by Israel years ago because Palestinians would soon become a majority.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17 2017 15:36 utc | 51

Some lunatic parts of the US establishment would be prepared to start WW3 because someone leaked information on Democratic party leadership corruption detailing a bias against Sanders and in favour of Clinton, also Donna Brazile's giving Clinton questions in advance of a debate and the contents of part of her speeches to the Wall st Banks. All information the US electorate have a right to know about. All blamed on Russian interference of the US electoral process. This excellent article by Stephen Lendman shows which country is complicit in most electoral manipulation in the World.
US Imperial Lawlessness

by Stephen Lendman

Oxford Dictionaries call rogue states “nation(s) or state(s) regarded as breaking international law and posing a threat to the security of other nations.”

They ruthless pursue domestic and geopolitical aims, ignore rule of law principles, defile democratic values, and trample on the rights of others.

America is the world’s leading practitioner of policies causing more harm to more people than any other regime in world history.

In his books and articles, William Blum explained Washington’s sordid post-WW II history, saying it’s “worse than you imagine.”

“If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy (throughout) the past century, this is what crawls out:”

“invasions, bombings, (subversion), overthrowing governments, suppressing (popular) movements for social change, assassinating political leaders, perverting elections, manipulating labor unions, manufacturing ‘news,’ death squads, torture, (chemical), biological (and nuclear) warfare, (radiological contamination), drug trafficking, mercenaries,” and overall war on humanity at home and abroad.

“It is enough to give imperialism a bad name,” said Blum. US policy intimidates, threatens and otherwise pressures other nations to obey Washington rules or else.

It interferes in the internal affairs of virtually all other countries, including their elections, wanting US subservient ones in power, independent ones targeted for regime change by color revolutions, old-fashioned coups, assassinations or imperial wars.

Since WW II, it sought regime change successfully and unsuccessfully in over 50 countries, in most cases democratic ones.

It terror-bombed more than 30 nations, naked aggression against ones posing no threat to America. It assassinated or attempted to assassinate over four dozen foreign leaders.

It targeted populist or nationalist movements in 20 countries. According to political scientist Dov Levin, Washington tried influencing presidential election outcomes over 80 times between 1946 and 2000 - since then in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and elsewhere.

The number excludes military coups and regime change efforts in Iran, Guatemala, Chile and against other countries. Levin defines intervention to mean “costly act(s) designed to determine the election results” in favor of one side over others.

Actions most often are pursued covertly by disinformation or other type propaganda campaigns, directly aiding one side against others, making public pronouncements or threats against unwanted candidates, and using foreign aid as a political tool or weapon in cases where it’s withdrawn.

WikiLeaks exposed US interference in France’s 2012 election. It released documents, revealing months of spying on all major French political party candidates.

It continued after Francois Hollande’s triumph. Edward Snowden connected the dots for millions about the NSA’s vast global spying operation.

It's for political and economic advantage, to be one up on foreign competitors, and for information used advantageously in trade, geopolitical, and military relations.

It’s largely unrelated to protecting national security at a time when America’s only enemies are ones it invents - not Russia, China, Iran, other countries, or terrorist groups it created and supports.

Double-standard hypocrisy defines US policy, falsely accusing other nations of actions its imperial agenda pursues - including trying to influence the outcomes of elections in numerous countries, one of many high crimes it commits.

Posted by: harrylaw | Feb 17 2017 15:42 utc | 52

@53 "One-state was rejected by Israel years ago because Palestinians would soon become a majority."

One-state might be acceptable to Israel if it doesn't include Gaza. Gaza would really skew the voting.

Posted by: dh | Feb 17 2017 15:53 utc | 53

@51 curtis.. i agree with your last paragraph - however it can be perceived a few different ways.. some folks are easily fooled by words.. others, not so much.. i personally don't care how lies and deception is served up.. someone can bring it to me in an eloquent manner, it still remains lies and deception.. i thought trumps talk yesterday to the media was straight talking.. it might not have been served up with all eloquence obama was known for, but it seemed pretty straight up and honest... personally i like truth served cold, as opposed to deception served hot..

Posted by: james | Feb 17 2017 16:32 utc | 54

Posted by: dh | Feb 17, 2017 10:53:02 AM | 55

Gaza is needed because Gaza's coast has gas.

I don't think the oil and gas industry has Zionist soft spot.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2017 16:41 utc | 55

I just hope that Geert Wilders will not be chosen and put in the power by "Russians". However, The Netherlands was last one to resist State Department's pressure on EU members and ensure that EU falls short of inviting Ukraine in the EU, as to preventing adding even more mess to the situation.

Posted by: laserlurk | Feb 17 2017 16:46 utc | 56

harrylaw | Feb 17, 2017 10:42:00 AM | 54

Exactamundo! It's for those reasons and a host of others unlisted that I dub it The Outlaw US Empire. So many millions don't have a clue about that history. AND every president since McKinley's sponsored/promoted Rogue State behavior--practices adopted well before enacting the National Security Act in 1947.

About the only thing exceptional about American citizens is their magnificent ignorance of their nation's behavior, and its generational--each new wave of children seemingly more ignorant than their parents, although there are a few exceptions, but not enough to make a difference.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2017 17:01 utc | 57

@55 What if Gaza would become part of Egypt?

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 17 2017 17:10 utc | 58

The dumb kids don't know nuthin' - like their parents. The smart kids get "CNN for kids" in the classroom. I am not joking.

We are propagandized from childhood to the grave.

There are ways to break the spell, but few can find their way. Firstly, one must seek the truth - via "truth's hidden layers".

Before endeavoring to seek any truth, one must first know that one has been bamboozled.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Feb 17 2017 17:13 utc | 59

@60 It probably wouldn't make much difference if Gaza were to become part of Egypt. Egypt doesn't need any more people and there are several reasons why the Gaza gas field isn't being developed. The main one being that Israel is the market and Egypt already sells gas to them.

Posted by: dh | Feb 17 2017 17:30 utc | 60

@49 Jackrabbit

It never fails. Every time people here positively acknowledge what I write and engage in intelligent response there you are stalking me with your ad hominems. You just can't stand it when I write a convincing argument. Get over it. I'm getting really fed up with you misquoting me and takings snippets out of context to spin ridicule and can do without your bullying tactics. I have been really patient in tolerating your repeated personal attacks. Let this be the last time you use ad hominem instead of cogent argument.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 17 2017 17:48 utc | 61

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17, 2017 12:01:50 PM | 59
About the only thing exceptional about American citizens is their magnificent ignorance of their nation's behavior

Even Nikki Haley and Rex Tillerson look ignorant with regard to Ukraine.

And their boss (has he ever talked to them about Russia, Ukraine, Crimea?) has now proven to be traitor.

And he is a fool and a coward. Says Eric Zuesse:

Trump made unequivocally clear, on February 14th, that the new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia will continue until Russia complies with two conditions that would not only be humiliating to Russia (and to the vast majority of its citizens), but that would also be profoundly immoral. One of these two conditions would actually be impossible, even if it weren’t, in addition, immoral. For Vladimir Putin to agree to either of these two conditions, would not only be a violation of his often-expressed basic viewpoint, but it would also cause the vast majority of Russians to despise him — because they respect him for his consistent advocacy of that very viewpoint. He has never wavered from it. The support of Russians for that viewpoint is virtually universal. (This article will explain the viewpoint.)

Trump was never a principled person. He never really resisted, at all. He caved after only three weeks on the job. Clearly, then, he’s not only a psychopath; he is a fool.

Posted by: From The Hague | Feb 17 2017 17:51 utc | 62

1 cent: as invaders go the Russian Army must be invincible; they haven't lost a single man.

2 cent: There's only ever been one state, Palestine. Duh.

Posted by: ruralito | Feb 17 2017 17:56 utc | 63

Israel does have a serious pipeline issue.

Egypt is not interested in acquiring a Muslim Brotherhood government militarized to its teeth. And they own gas fields themselves.

What Trump means for Israel's energy sector

The only reason for the current administration to become personally involved in the eastern Mediterranean gas intrigue would be if President Trump reverses course on Russia. With all indicators pointing to the contrary, it’s time for Israel to take the U.S. out of the equation for its European pipe dreams.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2017 18:02 utc | 64

Posted by: harrylaw | Feb 17, 2017 10:42:00 AM | 54

Maybe the World must get rid of two evils: muslim extremism and the USA.

Mainstream USA is mentally insane.
It's "thinking" in a way like this:

BTW, many social/psychological research about conformistic and evil behaviour is about American subjects...
Asch: Lies
Festinger: Order
Stanford: Label

Posted by: From The Hague | Feb 17 2017 18:19 utc | 65

fastfreddy @61--

I was a high school sophomore in 1970 when I read The Warren Commission Report and learned about the magic bullet. Now I was a hunter, target shooter, boy scout long before that and knew the magic bullet was bullshit; so, I went and asked by US History teacher if he agreed with the commission's conclusion. He chuckled and said no, then commended me for reading that overly dense lying tome. It was then when I began to question everything, knowing I'd been "bamboozled."

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2017 18:47 utc | 66

You'll have to be more specific, From The Hague @ 67. Otherwise your post will sound more like fake news than fake news itself. Some of us say here that most of the people in the USofA are good people; indeed, good people in the very sense that Trump has been using it in his off the cuff comments - all people being basically good, not basically evil as many would have it. That is the Christian perspective, admittedly so - "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

I'm happy to see President Trump expressing that faith in human nature all through the recent press conference. Sure, he's stumbling all over himself, and some of his opinions I don't agree with, but they are not set in the tablets of the Old Testament law. He's a humble, flexible, foolish man, but his belief is unwavering and that's a belief in the innate goodness of the human person. I could not help loving that - it's anything but fake news.

(Oh, did you hear? Schumann is a lightweight! And the BBC is 'another beauty!' Bravo, sir; bravo!)

This is an attitude the world needs. It is kin to, though not as eloquently pragmatic, Putin's far sighted policies. President Trump expressed yesterday that he is committed to improving the lives of American citizens. And, he added, also the world's citizens (I'm paraphrasing). That is also the path Putin is on. They will run parallel in this, even if they are not able to meet. That's enough for me for now.

Main Street USA is not evil - mainstream? If you mean the Press, even (Trump says) there is goodness, some of it deeply buried for sure, but it is there. And underneath all the stops and starts of the dialogue - presidential resolve. He knows what he wants to do, the basics, and he will try his best. It's a mess; he inherited a mess.

And that's not fake news; that's the unvarnished truth.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 17 2017 18:56 utc | 67

So some ethnic Russian Ukrainian expats in the Netherlands have organized to influence policy against the dominant pro-western Ukrainian govt.

And they're not directed by Moscow.

I'd call that non-news rather than fake news, and so is this post.

Posted by: Horatio Parker | Feb 17 2017 19:09 utc | 68

@69 juliana

"Return Crimea"
That's the devil,
That's the USA.

Posted by: From The Hague | Feb 17 2017 19:10 utc | 69

Trump was simply the apparent "lesser of two evils". Many broken people were victimized by Trump and his real estate and other con games. But he wasn't YET a giggling, mass murderer like Hillary.

He has now killed a young girl and others; he is on that path.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Feb 17 2017 19:11 utc | 70

Recipe for: Pasta Signora Grigia ala Propaganda


1 very large and prominently placed misleading and alarming headline
1 completely fabricated tale of a (target) enemy’s alleged dastardly deeds
3-4 large dollops of heavy duty credibility desperation & revenue generating requirements
6 well-rounded scoops of narrative hubris (preferably oligarchical in origin)
10 or more generous sprinklings of (Gov) official sounding “unnamed sources”
1 appropriately sycophantic in-house stenographer or well-known pay-to-play “guest” hack
1 Very teeny-tiny pinch of buried-at-the-end-of-article counter context (optional)

Mix all of the above ingredients into a dense mass of manipulated text (and graphs - if required), resembling a now potentially dangerous & alarming: “Our Imperial empire is in dire peril” pseudo-investigative article.

Let this heavily mediated mass of official (dis) information fester and ferment for several news cycles - making sure that your now steaming pile of bubbling BS has more than doubled in size and has adequately reached the appropriate coagulations of deep(dish) state purpose.

Once this very important step has been accomplished, the entire convoluted construction can now be successfully replicated (ad-nauseum) by all of your fellow dutifully compliant corporate infotainment compatriots - especially the ever cackling corporate cable news cabals.

Optional: For appearances sake only: you may - very quietly (if at all), throw out an extremely weak (non)disclaimer concerning any possible suspicions of authenticity that might arise of the actual base ingredients that were used and/or misused as the underlying foundation of the above disinformation dish you’ve so deceptively concocted for general consumption.
Note: This last step (if employed) should have little or no lasting substantive effect on the perceived validity and overall lasting flavor of your original steaming pile of “Pasta Signora Grigia ala Propaganda”

This recipe can easily (dis)serve tens of millions - if properly prepared and excuted…

Buon Appetito!

Posted by: Time2WakeUpNow | Feb 17 2017 19:16 utc | 71

harrylaw @ 54: Excellent post, thanks!

To all: Read harrylaws post 54. every word is TRUE.

karlof1 @ 59 said:"About the only thing exceptional about American citizens is their magnificent ignorance of their nation's behavior, and its generational--each new wave of children seemingly more ignorant than their parents, although there are a few exceptions, but not enough to make a difference."

Bread and circus anyone?

Posted by: ben | Feb 17 2017 20:28 utc | 72

Circe @63:

It never fails.
What you write always fails to tell the whole story. Because all you are about is Trump-hate.

There is nothing subtle about your campaign. You spit up as much bile as you possibly can hoping to entice a few readers to join your campaign.

And I'm not the only one that has objected and/or corrects your misleading statements.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17 2017 20:47 utc | 73


"Venezuela’s media watchdog has ordered CNN’s Spanish-language channel off the air across the country, accusing it of engaging in a propaganda war. Nicolas Maduro said earlier the channel is “sticking its nose” in the country’s internal affairs and “manipulating” information.

While reading 21st Century Wire The screen I was reading was overlaid with a message stating that the piece I was reading was from a known 'FAKE NEWS' site.

Looks like CNN is up sh*t creek without a paddle?

Posted by: ALberto | Feb 17 2017 20:57 utc | 74

@73 APPLAUSE! Clever post, can't think of an item to add to your base ingredients and like your handle Time2WakeUpNow.

@75 Yes. Hate is the correct word.

Posted by: h | Feb 17 2017 21:10 utc | 75

@75 Jackrabbit

ENOUGH ALREADY! You're the one hating...on me! I have every right to my dissenting opinion and to hold Trump's feet to the fire. Get used to it. Go stalk someone else.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 17 2017 21:24 utc | 76

There's no danger of any fake news infiltrating this discussion. Screeds is what you gotta look out for.

For the beliebers, Trump is having a rally in Florida tomorrow. Gonna be a love-in. That's at 1700 EST so tape it if you're going to be at church or something. I'll be at the bar myself.

Posted by: peter | Feb 17 2017 21:26 utc | 77

Hmm...neither very new nor very surprising, is it?

More interesting (if not entirely surprising either):

- There's trouble brewing in Pakistan, obviously aimed at derailing the CPEC and the rapprochement with India. Will the govt and army react in coordinated fashion?

- The two left-wing candidates for the French presidential election, Hamon and Melenchon, are rumoured to discuss common grounds. This could potentially change all calculations.

Posted by: smuks | Feb 17 2017 21:39 utc | 78

@75 Jackrabbit

Dude it makes me cringe how you follow Circe around. Regardless of your views is it necessary to say the same thing to him every day? Like you don't even bother making any points half the time. I like hearing everyones voice (including yours) on here but the constant back and forth makes it hard to take you seriously. Just lay off the guy and let him put in his 2c like everyone else. You can discuss your views without belittling him

Posted by: FecklessLeft | Feb 17 2017 22:08 utc | 79

Trump just tweeted that most of the mainstream media are "the enemy of the American People."

Donald J. TrumpVerified account ‏@realDonaldTrump

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!

1:48 PM - 17 Feb 2017

Posted by: lysias | Feb 17 2017 22:08 utc | 80

Circe @33

“By prowling interceptor, I mean the Russian spy ship off the U.S. coast. You knew what I meant.”

An interceptor in military speak is a fighter jet sent out to intercept other forces approaching a particular country’s territorial waters. The Russian’s have done this to American warships in the Black Sea. Likewise, NATO forces have done this countless time against Russia bombers.

As for your question: “Why does Trump exercise a double standard in his policy towards Iran as opposed to Russia?”, you have to realize that Trump’s Middle East policy is formulated in Israel with the concurrence of Saudi Arabia. Both states see Iran as a threat to their ideology and wish to take it down for different reasons. Israel sees Iran as a potential nuclear adversity.

As for Saudi Arabia, the house of Saud sees Iran as an economic competitor and its Shiite population as potential breakaway region –taking much of the oil resources with it. Likewise, the government of Yemen has oil reserves that the house of Saud wants to exploit.

Remember that Saudi Arabia is a result of an alliance between Muhammad bin Saud (the House of Saud) and ibn Abd al-Wahhab. The Saudi (and Qatar) Wahhabism brand of Salafism considers Shiites as an religious ideological enemy.

For more on Wahhabism history and ideology see:
Colloque du CF2R sur l'idéologie wahhabite - Partie 3
intervention d'Abderrahmane Mekkaoui

Finally, I do not see much difference in the US stance toward/against Russia, Iran or even China. The US has lacked a diplomatic corps for many years (e.g. Powell’s circus in the UN) and acts more like a bull in a china closet. Perhaps you see things differently – time will tell…

At any case Russia doesn’t expect anything different:

Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 17 2017 22:08 utc | 81

Trump will not drain the swamp but he will surely swill it around, which is why they didn’t want him. And it is why some of us here (with the obvious exceptions) preferred him over the shabby and disgusting Clintons.

The question then becomes, will the swamp drain Trump?

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 17 2017 22:20 utc | 82

In signals intelligence, "intercept" means an intercepted communication. Although I worked in U.S. Air Force and Navy signals intelligence (where indeed the title of my job for a while was "intercept operator"), I am not familiar with the term "interceptor" being used for spy aircraft or ships like the USS Liberty that the Israelis attacked. Still, the fact that Trump called the Russian ship a "spy ship" leads me to believe Trump was using "interceptor" to mean a ship that intercepts communications.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 17 2017 22:27 utc | 83

lysias @ 85

We are both correct about the word interceptor:
(1) a person or thing that stops or catches (someone or something) going from one place to another.
(2) a fast aircraft for stopping or repelling hostile aircraft.


Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 17 2017 22:39 utc | 84

lysias @82--

Hard to argue against that; after all, those entities are in the business of manufacturing consent and have had the constant support of the federal government and likeminded corporations. Will any newspaper in the nation stand up, print the tweet in massive font on the front page, and cheer him for being correct? Or will the media prove Trump correct by trying to bury the Truth as usual?

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2017 22:51 utc | 85

Posted by: lysias | Feb 17, 2017 5:08:23 PM | 82
General rule - distrust anybody who claims to be "the people".

It is not possible. "The people" tend to have lots of different opinions.

But the question who exactly Trump represents is quite intriguing. Oil and gas industries? The military?

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2017 23:05 utc | 86

Circe @78:


You attacked me @27 despite the fact that I didn't mention you.

h @77 agrees about your 'hate' - as do others, judging by what they have previously said.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

FecklessLeft @81

Dude ...

I can't un-know what I know. Circe has been obsessively anti-Trump since he started commenting In early November 2016. During that time he has made claims that are clearly inaccurate/misleading, and attacked those who disagree with him (including b).

>> I don't know anyone else here that is so concerned with building a following.

>> I don't object to nuanced or principled criticism (like that of jfl);

>> I myself (despite what Circe tried to claim) am NOT A FAN of Trumps. I am much more anti-Democratic Party than I am pro-Trump. So much so, that I now support the Pirate Party as the only viable non-duopoly Party.

Just an example of Circe's 'work':

- @67 he accuses me of employing "ad hominem instead of cogent argument" but has no rebuttal to the issues that I raised about his comment!

- He says that I 'stalk' him @78 when it was Circe that initiated an unprovoked attack on me @27!

IMO Circe tries to 'play' upon the anti-American, anti-Zionist, anti-establishment sentiment at MoA. Along the way, he has proven where his loyalties lie:

- he urged MoA readers to join the protests against Trump but ignore who supports the demonsrtations or who benefits from them;

-he has called for revolution(!) against the duopoly but then said that he would support Kucinich (Democratic Party) in the next Presidential election.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17 2017 23:24 utc | 87

Being a USN vet I'm hoping that when the uniforms come out I get the Navy blue pattern camouflage. tres gallant!tres chic!

Posted by: Alberto | Feb 17 2017 23:45 utc | 88

OT follow-up to my comment @89

To better illustrate my aversion to the Centrist Democratic Party and potential Democratic Party trolls, here is TovioS, a MoA commenter, commenting today at

As one who was active in the Democratic Party for 20 years and left to work for Sanders I cannot see how the party can be reformed. It is corrupt from the top down to the county level. Every major issue is decided by those in the food chain meaning those who are consultants or hired by elected representatives....

Though some of us tried to promote Sanders inside the formal organization it was quite impossible to be active in his campaign and stay active with the Party. I hope the Sanders people succeed but from here it will be a very difficult job. I can see Sander’s people winning seats in the organization but they will be competing against a machine that has tremendous amounts of money.

The Party that presents itself as the Party of the People is really a Party of Money.

The entire article (and commens) are worthwhile at: Gaius Publius: Field Notes from the Battle Within the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17 2017 23:53 utc | 89

Jackrabbit 53
At first Team Trump did not say much on the settlements but I am glad that he surprised Bibi at their joint press conference.

James 56
I did not catch much of yesterday's Trump press conference. A friend said Trump hit both parties and the media. Good. From what I've heard, he sounds calm and makes solid points. The hard part is that he'll have to watch everything he says or the media will tear into him.

Posted by: Curtis | Feb 18 2017 0:02 utc | 90

If the media tear into Trump, that will only help Trump. The bulk of the people no longer trust the media.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 18 2017 0:17 utc | 91

Trump was calm in the press conference, and he predicted that the media would say that he had been ranting and raving. And guess what they went ahead and did.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 18 2017 0:18 utc | 92

@83 Krollchem

Thanks. I do wish you had corrected me in your previous post; but I guess you didn't know there was a Russian spy ship off the U.S. coast.

While I appreciate your explanation that includes Israel and the KSA, the following is the kind of candidness I'm looking for around here.: have to realize that Trump’s Middle East policy is formulated in Israel with the concurrence of Saudi Arabia.

However, the logic in the rest of your explanation for why Trump shows bias towards Iran is flawed, but only because it flows from the hypocrisy exercised by the U.S., KSA and Israel that Trump is also exercising with this double standard. Here's why it's flawed. (and again, I'm not saying you're at fault here).:

When you consider that many more European countries feel Russia is a threat as opposed to only Israel and KSA feeling threatened by Iran; your argument doesn't justify Trump's bias. Consider also, as Trump stated in his most recent presser, that the U.S. views Russia as an equal nuclear competitor. That is the reverse of the Iran vs KSA, Israel situation. Israel has a nuclear arsenal and the fourth global military capability, therefore, there is no excuse whatsoever to exercise this kind of double standard with Iran except if one is a hypocrite like Trump pandering to fake Zionist paranoia while many European countries consider a nuclear equal to the U.S., Russia, a threat, therefore continues with the dishonest hostile policy of his predecessors and is therefore a Neocon in disguise, no better than any of his predecessors and cannot be trusted.

Also, I have to take issue with this statement, more specifically the parts I hi-lighted in bold.:

As for Saudi Arabia, the house of Saud sees Iran as an economic competitor and its Shiite population as potential breakaway region –taking much of the oil resources with it. Likewise, the government of Yemen has oil reserves that the house of Saud wants to exploit.

Iran is not a potential breakaway region - Iran is a sovereign nation that is not even considered to be an Arab state and can do with it's oil and gas reserves as it pleases. Secondly, Yemen is also a sovereign nation; therefore, if Saudis exploit its oil reserves; that would be theft, a breach of sovereignty; hence an act of war.

Finally, I do not see much difference in the US stance toward/against Russia, Iran or even China.

Yes, but many here are deluded into thinking Trump will exclude Russia from that axis.

At any case Russia doesn’t expect anything different:

Correct. I've seen several statements from Putin and also just today from Alexei Pushkov demonstrating skepticism in regards to any change in U.S. policy toward Russia. I only wish that kind of realistic skepticism were more prevalent here.

My question stands for everyone to answer, because it demonstrates Trump's dishonesty. Russia has a spy ship off U.S. waters, Russia tested a cruise missile and Russian fighter jets buzzed a U.S. warship. Iran only tested a medium-range ballistic missile and right away Trump imposed sanctions and threatened putting Iran on notice also tweeting threats against Iran.

This kind of knee-jerk reaction and obsession with Iran exposes Trump as a Neocon except on Russia (although, I question his real intent in regards to Russia). Trump pretended a non-interventionist policy and then 3 weeks in office he's sanctioning and threatening Iran.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 18 2017 0:21 utc | 93

@Circe #95
You miss the point of the statement about Iran. It isn't that Saudi wants to break any bits off Iran, the problem with Saudi and Shia dates back to when the englanders created the state of Saudi Arabia. Saudi was designed by particularly nefarious englanders who had 150 years of colonial theft & manipulation under their belt by the time St John Philby sat down to treat with the al-Sauds whe were selected for two primary reasons. They were fanatical and warlike forever trying to oppress their neighbors - all the other clans on the peninsular but they lacked the resources to really dominate until the englanders armed them with more modern weaponry. Initially not the latest even with Philby on the spot for decades (when he should have been at home parenting his son adequately)al-Sauds were still WOGS not to be trusted with the absolute latest weaponry a situation has lifted a little but in many ways continues to this day eg when cluster bombs were outlawed USuk flogged off their remaining stockpiles to the al-Sauds and the people of Yemen have been the ungrateful recipients of that largesse but back to the issue which is that the second reason al-Sauds were 'gifted' with the peninsular was that they had little or no oil resources on their own land. The bulk of Saudi oil comes from an area to the East which is the traditional lands of Shia muslims.

These were the only large group of Shia included in the formation. The rest were kicked into another London designer state - Yemen.
By doing that the englanders knew that the oil would be more like a gift than regarded by Saudis as something england purloined from them, so the englander oil companies would get better deals and more importantly since the al-Sauds regarded the actual owners of the oil as apostates there wouldn't be any chance of the two clans sitting down to cut a deal which left USuk on the outer. No one ever said Philbys were stupid merely that they are sociopaths who would kill any number of humans to satisfy their personal needs.

The Saudi opposition to Iran to all Shia is based upon their guilt as thieves and murderers acting as agents for a racist patronising empire. Not only are they terrified that Iran's ascendancy means Shia ascendency where they will lose all they have stolen, they are terrified that their opponents are as evil as they are and extract punishment as revenge, or revenge as punishment.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 18 2017 0:49 utc | 94

@ 95

Sounds like with your pseudo-clever arguments you are 100% Tel Aviv as I have always suspected.

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 18 2017 0:49 utc | 95

@96 Yes but the englanders also have a strange romantic attachment to the Saudis for which we can blame people like Wilfred Thesiger, Gertrude Bell and T.E. Lawrence.

Posted by: dh | Feb 18 2017 1:08 utc | 96

@ Circe 95

"I guess you didn't know there was a Russian spy ship off the U.S. coast."

The Zionist anti-Russia meme is introduced.

"When you consider that many more European countries feel Russia is a threat as opposed to only Israel and KSA feeling threatened by Iran..."

Eh, hmm..., straight off the neocon hymn sheet here.

"Russia has a spy ship off U.S. waters, Russia tested a cruise missile and Russian fighter jets buzzed a U.S. warship."

Neocon more again. You are not going to get away with this much more Circe.

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 18 2017 1:12 utc | 97

NYT is not a legitimate news source. It's a propaganda mouthpiece, an American "Pravda". It's choke full of fakery all the time, because obfuscation and distortion is its specialty.

Posted by: telescope | Feb 18 2017 1:17 utc | 98


100% Tel Aviv? - I've been insulted in many ways by your ilk here; but that's perhaps the most offensive of all. Pseudo-clever? Trust me; it's really not my intention.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 18 2017 1:35 utc | 99

Dear b, After all these years, I must say the last few months you have been on fire. Can't thank you enough for all your clarity and hard work.

Trump just tweeted that most of the mainstream media are "the enemy of the American People."

Donald J. TrumpVerified account ‏@realDonaldTrump

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!

Bwaaahahaha. Pretty soon we'll have ol Trump calling for a return of the fairness doctrine!

I've got to say I read the transcript of the presser and every time I read a transcript of this guy rather than the media interpretation of him... I like him more and more. And I'm in the super majority of those who did not vote. (love this map!)

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Feb 18 2017 1:47 utc | 100

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