Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 25, 2018

Weekly Review And Open Thread 2018-13

The last week at Moon of Alabama was again dominated by the Skripal incident. Another long piece about a different issue is still on hold. This week thus saw less posts than desirable.

Mar 19 - NHS Doctor: "No Patients Have Experienced Symptoms Of Nerve Agent Poisoning In Salisbury" and
Mar 21 - Russian Scientists Explain 'Novichok' - High Time For Britain To Come Clean (Updated)

I had added additional historic information on the chemical agents in question in a comment to the March 21 piece.

The British government is milking the incident to push russophobia and to divert from its failure in the Brexit negotiations and all its other problems. But the diversion will only succeed so long. The NHS doctor as well as court testimony by scientists from Proton Down contradict the claims made by the British government. Let's hope that the British opposition picks up on that.

Mar 20 - Cambridge Analytica And The Manipulation Of People by Debs is Dead

Mar 23 - John Bolton - The Man With A Hammer Is Looking For Nails

The one man now seen as the most 'moderate' on war issues in the Trump administration is a retired four star marine general with the nickname "mad dog" who was fired by the Obama administration for being too aggressive towards Iran.

Mar 25 - Syria - The East-Ghouta-Afrin Exchange Is Complete - Where Will The SAA Go Next?

Use the comments as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 25, 2018 at 16:06 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b.. i heard on the radio this morning out of london that some company was involved in campaigning for exit brexit and used more funds then they were legalling allowed to use... i guess this is a way to negate the brexit results.. will be interesting if they try to do this..

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2018 16:55 utc | 1

US demands China reconsider ‘catastrophic’ ban on importing foreign garbage & recyclables :

We request that China immediately halt implementation and revise these measures in a manner consistent with existing international standards for trade in scrap materials, which provide a global framework for transparent and environmentally sound trade in recycled commodities,” the US spokesperson noted at the WTO Council for Trade in Goods session in Geneva.

Love to see international-law-breaking US teaches other countries to abide internation laws with self-righteousness and entitlement. What an exceptional country!

Posted by: mali | Mar 25 2018 17:10 utc | 2

would be nice if the world body demanded to those people buying plastic to figure out an alternative... apparently there is a lot of it the size of texas situated in the pacific ocean at present... or - 3 times the size of france...

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2018 17:19 utc | 3

James 1

I ran onto something about that when researching SCL/Cambridge Analytica
The Mercer/Cambridge Analytica US wing of SCL put a lot of funding into the leave campaign which was undeclared. Like a political campaign, donations above a threshold have to be declared. Threshold for declaring donations I think was around 3 to 7000 and CA put in over 300 000.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 25 2018 17:23 utc | 4

New Eastern Outlook must have gotten hammered pretty bad....they are still down...anyone have any info on who attacked the site?



Posted by: oldenyoung | Mar 25 2018 17:54 utc | 5

@ 4 peter... they gave it a big splash on cbc radio news this morning when i was coming back home from my out of town gig last night..

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2018 18:06 utc | 6

mali@2, james@3 - The world should be more worried about the collapse of the US when China cuts off export of cheap plastic consumer items to the US. I give my country maybe six weeks before the plastic riots start. US Wal*Mart shoppers are not only entitled to this garbage at low, low prices, but they are addicted to their Chinese-produced plastic junk. So are all of Wal*Mart's US competitors.

Trump should have thought twice about provoking our nation's biggest plastic crack dealer. You really don't want to have 325,000,000 junkies angry at you if you're the US government.

I'm no big fan of Wal*Mart, but here's a few

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 25 2018 18:07 utc | 7

I'm no big fan of Wal*Mart, but here's a few statistics:

80% of their suppliers are in China
Eight cents of every dollar consumers spend in the US are spent at Wal*Mart.
100,000,000 US consumer junkies visit Wal*Mart every week.

Nobody needs nukes to destroy the US - just cut off our cheap plastic junk supply.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 25 2018 18:08 utc | 8

and china quietly continues to sell off US bonds(debt)...this could turn into a serious problem for the US...If China wont buy our junk debt bonds who will?

Things will go sideways fast when the credit card is maxxed out...



Posted by: oldenyoung | Mar 25 2018 18:12 utc | 9

james 6

I have been researching SCL the last few days now. It is starting to look as though, rather than being political mercenary's working for whoever pays, they seem to back nationalist leaning groups or individuals. They have a political or geo-political agenda but not sure what at the moment. Always anti Russia. Involved in operations in most of the ex soviet countries to create a hatred of ethnic Russians and I think will work with non nationalist types who are very anti Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 25 2018 18:31 utc | 10

Bbc mentioning nice pics of orange snow posted by Russkies on social media but not providing Links. Idiotic xenophobs, how do they expect the rest of the world to look at them?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 25 2018 18:38 utc | 11

oldenyoung | Mar 25, 2018 1:54:27 PM | 5

NEO has Come Under Attack.

New Eastern Outlook are up and running since yesterday (PST). The New Atlas OK. Both The New Atlas and New Eastern Outlook probably run by the same people (The Easter Outlook Tony Cartalucci???) in Thailand and cross postings.

Posted by: OJS | Mar 25 2018 18:44 utc | 12

In the piece on Bolton I made the observation that he is not a libertarian, as libertarians believe as a foundational principle in the “non-aggression principle” -

Perhaps "laissez faire" would be a somewhat accurate description but libertarian is completely inaccurate, b please fix this rather glaring error as it reflects badly on your otherwise insightful and well researched work.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 25 2018 18:51 utc | 13

Thanx @ OJS...the open http ports are closed and only the https are open...

Posted by: oldenyoung | Mar 25 2018 19:06 utc | 14

SCL Group starts work for Tillerson's Department of State.
Washington Post article from Febuary 2017
"The company also just finalized a contract with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center to provide audience analysis for the center’s efforts to dissuade military-age males from joining the Islamic State, according to people familiar with the details. A State Department spokesman declined to comment on why SCL was selected."

Not withstanding Tillerson's Russian Friendship award, He was a trustee of a rabidly anti Russia thinktank. I put up a comment at the end of the previous open thread but will re-post it here.

A couple of articles on Russia from 'Center for Strategic and International Studies'
"Russian behavior is shaped by its assumptions about benefits and consequences. Clearly the Russians have been able to get away with unprecedented action in the United States and allied countries intended to coerce and, in the case of Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko before him, to punish. Russia may have a sense of invulnerability in these efforts, and from his statements, it appears that Russian president Vladimir Putin despises the West."
"..We’ve seen the completely irresponsible use of NotPetya, which this administration has publicly named, that caused hundreds of millions worth of damages to companies around the world, including around 300 million just one – to name one, when it comes to the case of FedEx, to more recent activity. Plus, we have a long history now of Russia shielding the top 10, essentially, cyber criminals who the estimate from CSIS I think put last year at $650 billion worth of loss to global commerce.

So when you put that together on a global scale, they’re – and the things, like as reported in The Washington Post – attacking the Olympics. What greater symbol of our countries working together to show that you’re not a member of the world order than attacking the Olympics through cyber-enabled means."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 25 2018 19:11 utc | 15

PavewayIV @7 & 8

The capitalists in US have made all ordinary Americna people become their perpetual slaves of consumption just in order to fullfil the 1% moneyed ones' pursuit of ever increasing profits ($$$).

The capitalists care neither about the environment nor the well being of its salaves so long they keep on buying and buying.

Slaves of consumption become the integrated part of the money-making production line for the capitalists. This is the reality we should be aware of not some merely trade tariff war tactics.

Just take a listen to Tocqueville: Democracy in America, in which some of his observation strikes me (20'00): What holds US together is American's desire to make money, self-interest, material comfort, not held together by virtue.

Maybe this underlies how US gets into where it is today?

Posted by: mali | Mar 25 2018 19:17 utc | 16

Gareth Porter writes:
> What we do know is that more than anyone else, Bolton has come back over and over again over the last 10 years since he left the Bush administration. Every time I have heard him on Fox News or have seen a video of his appearance on Fox News when he's been asked about Iran, he's called for bombing Iran. He said now is the time for the United States to bomb Iran, to attack Iran. That's an extraordinary situation. No one else in history has ever been so extreme as him. And that raises all kinds of questions about what is going on with Trump that we that we don't really have clear answers to at this point.

> 2003-2005 in the Bush administration, he was involved very deeply with with Dick Cheney in carrying out a policy that was aimed at positioning the United States for a war against Iran that Dick Cheney was clearly very much not just in favor of, but it was really his idea in the first place. Dick Cheney was surrounded by people who were violently anti Iran, and he was all on board for eventually going to war with Iran once the invasion and occupation of Iraq had been successful. So John Bolton's role as undersecretary was largely to carry out a policy toward Iran and its nuclear program that would make it possible for the United States to be in a position politically and diplomatically to carry out the war that Dick Cheney wanted. And so what he did was, in the first phase in 2003-2004, he began to essentially try to frustrate the effort by Mohamed El Baradei, the secretary general of, or director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to try to figure out a way to come to an agreement with Iran with the support, by the way, Of the major U.S. allies in Europe, the British, French, and Germans, to come up with an agreement that would resolve the issues about the Iranian nuclear program that had been arising since 2002. And of course, this was exactly the opposite of what Dick Cheney and John Bolton wanted. They were determined, essentially, to make sure that there was no agreement between the Europeans and the Iranians or the IAEA and the Iranians that would frustrate their plan. So what Bolton did was to have a strategy that would move the Iranian file out of the IAEA and into the U.N. Security Council, where the United States had the power along with its European allies as long as it could bring them into line, to essentially accuse Iran of having a covert nuclear weapons program which is what the IAEA at that point in 2003, 2004 was unwilling to do. And so Bolton was all about coming up with a scheme that would be, would allow him to move the file to the U.N. Security Council. What he did was to come up with a mysterious set of aerial photographs of a key military base in Iran where they were carrying out testing of conventional weapons, and various sites within that military reservation were depicted in these aerial photographs. And Bolton went public through leaks to the networks, ABC in particular. And turning them over to the IAEA claiming that these were pictures that showed that the Iranians were carrying out nuclear weapons-related testing in this military reservation. Now, what the pictures actually showed, and they were on the ABC network and they were on the Internet later on, so we've we've had an opportunity to see all these pictures, all they showed was places like bunkers which were used to test ordinary, conventional bombs. But Bolton tried to turn this into a, an issue of the IAEA needs to go into this military reservation and investigate. Obviously what he was hoping was that the Iranians would say no, you can't come into our very sensitive testing area and just muck around and look for yourself. Instead, the Iranians invited the IAEA to come in twice, not just once but twice, and looked at ten different sites of their own choice. And and they of course found nothing. So Bolton's strategy was frustrated in 2003-2004. But that was the first phase of what he tried to do. And the second phase, which is much more murky, was a phase that had to do with the Israeli contribution to the effort to accuse Iran of having a secret nuclear weapons program. And that took the form of leaking a set of documents, a whole cache of documents that were supposedly from this covert Iranian nuclear weapons research program. The documents which later on recalled, the laptop documents, were supposedly from the laptop computer of one of the Iranian participants in this program. And they supposedly fell into the hands of Western intelligence because this guy, his computer was stolen or fell into the hands of somebody else, and were turned over to Western intelligence. But I found out from a former senior official of the German Foreign Office who had been brought in by high officials of the German foreign intelligence agency, the Bundensachrichtendiest, that, that they knew all about these documents, that they were upset that the U.S. government was making a public issue of these documents as though it were evidence of an Iranian secret nuclear weapons program, because they had been given those documents by one of their sometime sources. An Iranian obviously who they didn't trust, because they knew that this person was a member of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, the Iranian anti-regime armed organization which had been used by the Saddam Hussein regime to make war against Iran, and then was used by Israel to make public information that the Israelis did not want associated with themselves. So there is a string of influence here which ties these very questionable documents which I reveal in my book to be fakes to the Mossad. Now, this goes back to the Bolton scheme because in 2003 and 2004 Bolton was taking unannounced trips to Israel which were not approved by the State Department's Regional Bureau, as is normally the case, and meeting with the head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, where no one was there to take notes, and to send a report on what was discussed back to the State Department. So it was a secret between Bolton and, and Mossad. And that furthermore Mossad created a new organization that was not made public, but it was revealed by two American journalists later on, which had the job of circulating information to the news media and to governments about the Iranian nuclear program. So all of this leads to the conclusion which I talk about in my book, that Bolton probably knew what was going on with Mossad's program to create and circulate these, these documents that were used as evidence by the Bush administration against Iran.
> it was Bolton last October who, on the phone from Las Vegas were Bolton had been meeting with Sheldon Adelson, Trump's leading finance, financial contributor, in the 2016 election, as well as Netanyahu as a main contributor in past elections. He called from Las Vegas to Trump and convinced Trump to use very specific language saying that unless Congress and the Europeans forced the Iranians, or agreed to force the Iranians to make major changes in the Iran nuclear deal, he would withdraw from the deal. Now, that's a major pronouncement by Trump which puts him on record and puts him in the position of being committed to a policy that almost guarantees that there will be a confrontation of some sort. Because the Europeans are not going to be able to deliver on trying to negotiate with the Iranians on making these changes that Trump wants, and therefore we can see that the Iranians are going to be in a position where they have to either go along with the ending of this agreement with the U.S. commitment to all of the concessions that the United States made without doing anything, or they're going to have to pull back on their commitment to the to the Iran nuclear deal, and thus move toward a new confrontation with the United States. So I think that's where the real danger lies of Bolton in the White House.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Mar 25 2018 19:31 utc | 17

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 25, 2018 2:31:01 PM | 10

Not necessarily anti-Russia. Or, let's say, sometimes interests align.

Or maybe, their agenda is just outdated and they refuse to notice - like NATO.

'The West' and Russia - via their oligarchs - have both tried to destabilize each other via right wing and religious groups. Or rather the kleptocrat international has successfully remained in power with the support of these groups.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25 2018 19:40 utc | 18

Seems like a lot attention on behavior recently. SCL studies it and sells political/sales campaigns based on it, the US rockets Pakistanis and others who exhibit certain "suspicious" behaviors, the US threatens and sanctions other countries for their disobedient behavior, citizens are punished for not behaving in accordance with "community standards," and so on. No doubt we'll see an expansion of behavior research and resulting programs to enhance power projection, with the goal of having everyone behave, just behave. . . .This does not apply domestically to people in government, however. There is established corruption at every level, and it seems that only losers behave.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 25 2018 20:05 utc | 19

I must confess that Gareth Porter's appetite for writing exceeds my appetite for reading.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 25 2018 20:08 utc | 20

Procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense system has seemingly become a key indicator of great power status. This from MK Bhadrakumar in India:

The Economic Times reported today that the commercial contract for the purchase of Russia’s advanced S-400 air defence system is getting its final touch and is likely to be signed during the visit by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Russia in the first week of April. The deal has been under negotiation for almost 2 years. China and Turkey overtook India in wrapping up their deals with Russia for the S-400 system.

MK lists other developing ties of India with Russia here. He has earlier written about an Indian warming toward China, finally realizing that China has the dominant economy in the East and India had better get on board, specifically with the BRI (Belt & Road Initiative).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 25 2018 20:31 utc | 21

Don Bacon @20

Something short for you, Don. Mark Twain reputedly said that "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." I claim that it does both.

Oath of Avarice

I pledge allegiance to the corporation:
A "person" as the judges have proclaimed,
And place this "him" or "her" above my nation
Whose Constitution "he" or "she" has maimed
Pursuant to no legal obligation
Except immunity, however named,
For those investors in their campaign suites
Who'd rather that we call them our "elites."

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2014

Just follow the money any you will find revealed to you the answer to all questions.

Posted by: Michael Murry | Mar 25 2018 20:39 utc | 22


Beautifully written comment! I agree with your conclusion completely. In 2015 In hBolton wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times titled: "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran."

He laid out his rationale for maintaining the world order and it was simply and purely military force.

He has not changed and will not rest until he sees this goal of his accomplished.

Posted by: les7 | Mar 25 2018 20:48 utc | 23

@MM 22
Yes. Back in my more active days I wrote a new, more appropriate Constitution that started something like: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote Corporate Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Consumerism to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Corporate States of America. . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 25 2018 21:04 utc | 24


The next act in the hybrid war on Russia may well be is a false-flag nerve agent attack on the United Nations headquarters in New York. Russia will immediately be blamed. The media will agree.

The US will unilaterally remove Russian UN diplomats from American soil and from the UN Security Council. The US military will take over the UN headquarters. A few countries might protest, but most will sit at the rump UN as if nothing had happened.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 25 2018 21:21 utc | 25

somebody 18

As for "interests align" CNP - Council for National - policy is interesting.

Page three of the linked PDF gives their Mission statement, vision statement and values
"The Council for National Policy (CNP), a secretive umbrella group home to conservative-activist leaders from around the country, held its second and final candidate forum over a long weekend at the Ritz-Carlton in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. The group had invited each of the original 17 candidates to speak to its members, and after hearing from six back in May, it auditioned another six over the weekend: Trump, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, and Jim Gilmore. Each of the candidates was given 30 minutes to speak, plus a 30-minute Q&A session moderated by Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, who serves as CNP’s president."

CNP's interests seem to align with that of SCL group/CA. Anglo club?
Flynn apparently lobied for SCL to get Tillerson Department of state contract, Bannon is solidly Cambridge Analytica, Breitbart largely funded by Mercer, And Bannon is backed by Cambridge Analytica.

As for SCL/CA links to Russia, the only link that comes up is Firtash who does not seem to have a financial interest in or be backed by SCL. In Ukraine he was trying to keep a foot on both sides of the fence after the 2014 coup. I read a bit about him a year or two back.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 25 2018 21:33 utc | 26

thanks to b's updating link for the Mar 21 piece and interesting discussion following where his link begins (it was also interesting previous; below focuses on what followed b's entry with his update).

Also: from the Murray blog today (commenter Charles) here is more to mull on:

There has been a DA Notice issued on Medical and other Information, Salisbury Hospital staff have been ordered not to say anything to anyone. They have been told that they will be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for the slightest deviation from this order (most people do not realise that the OSA applies regardless of if the individual has signed anything or not. It is and Act of Parliament not a Contract. If someone passes on information to another, without authorisation, knowing it to be Classified then they are committing an offence. A 2 year jail sentence + further repercussions for public sector workers eg loss of pension may apply.

DS Bailey received the correct antidote before identification of the toxin was possible, the Skripals (or whoever they are) were not so fortunate.

review (set it straight/pursue further/provide better)?

*Skripals poisoned at home with anything from a novichok to rat poison and slow working effect (taking several hours before they were found on the bench)

*whatever it was probably can't be traced

*DS Bailey not poisoned at the bench but after he went to their home (without a search warrant?)

*Skripals not given antidote (that Bailey received) and kept unconscious with Russian reps prevented access to them

*hospital staff under orders to say nothing

*(another idea at the Murray blog) Sergey's behavior of waving arms and staring at the sky can be associated with a military nerve agent re UK defence development

*DS Bailey was on hand for propaganda purposes, not to assist the Skripals

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 25 2018 21:50 utc | 27

26 PeterAU

Yes, and there is this World Congress for Families with US/Russian involvement.

And this
The emerging alliance between Putin and Trump’s God squad

Let's face it - both Russia and the US are oligarchies with a military-industrial-security complex.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25 2018 22:04 utc | 28

add to 28 - more Russian right wing US fun

John Bolton in a Russian ad for gun rights

The Bolton video was distributed by a gun rights group co-founded by Russian citizen Alexander Torshin, according to National Public Radio, which unearthed the video. Torshin is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the deputy governor of the Bank of Russia.

Torshin, who also served in the Russian government, is the focus of an investigation by the FBI to determine if he illegally funneled Russian funds to Trump’s campaign through the NRA, McClatchy has reported. It’s illegal to use foreign funds to influence federal elections.

The U.S. Federal Election Commission launched a similar probe to determine if the NRA was acting as a conduit for illegal Trump campaign funds, Politico reported.

Torshin, who served as the deputy speaker of Russia’s Parliament for more than a decade and was on Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee, reached out to members of the Trump campaign through the NRA, according to McClatchy. He also hosted dinners for NRA executives during their trip to Moscow in 2015.

The NRA spent a record amount on 2016 elections, including $21 million to back Trump and $14 million to attack his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Torshin helped create the NRA’s Russian equivalent, The Right to Bear Arms, which sponsored the Bolton video. The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations urged the Russian government to change its constitution to allow gun rights similar to those in America.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25 2018 22:22 utc | 29

Link in your first reply was good somebody, I had already run onto it plus another at mediafire. Although the storyline turned out garbage, lots of solid links there on what I have been researching that I have been following up on.
Last two you provided are not.
Now you're just dumping anti Russia anti Trump links on me :)

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 25 2018 22:25 utc | 30

Sid2 @27

I’ve not been a close observer of the Skripal’s poisoning but it seems to me that some of the assumptions made are based on evidence that we can not be sure of.

What do we know about Officer Bailey? Poisoning at the home or the car strikes me as speculative and subject to having been planted - possibly to address suspicions arising from Bailey’s having been the only other person that was poisoned.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 25 2018 22:53 utc | 31

Steele was? still? MI6. SCL Group closely tied to UK inteligence/military/political establishment.

Mercer/CA initially backed Ted Cruz. Cruz policy towards Russia..
Sen. Cruz has been highly critical of the Obama administration’s approach to Russia, suggesting that President Vladimir Putin is exploiting what he sees as a lack of U.S. resolve and credibility to pursue his strategic objectives in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, Cruz called on the United States to impose sanctions on the Russian energy and financial sectors, and advocated...

A piece here from Larouche
"Who is supposed to be at fault here? Donald Trump for hiring this gang of miscreants after Steve Bannon, the Mercers, and others dragged Cambridge Analytica into Trump's campaign from Ted Cruz's campaign, where Bannon, the Mercers, and Cambridge previously operated?"

Trump was not the man they wanted perhaps because he was not anti Russian?
Making the best of a bad thing keeping Mercer CA people around him?
And then the Brits hit from the other direction with the Steel dossier to force Trump into anti Russia policies?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 25 2018 23:07 utc | 32

The "recyclable" question seems like such a fundamental opportunity to grow US domestic manufacturing base, that it is absolutely laughable that we are protesting this decision by the Chinese to restrict the flow of recyclables. It seems to me that the west coast of the US has myriad resource and space for developing recycling plants and growing the local economy. This also produces an opportunity for innovation in filter technology as the need for cleaner factories is paramount in the PAC NW watersheds, etc. Here is a situation where, if the US corporate world were genuinely interested in giving opportunity to American citizens, and to beat China where they do not expect a surge in nationalist interest from Americans, they could emerge the victors. But the globalists have no need of empowering local economies and workers, and like Paveway laid out, our fast, cheap Walmart-addiction is the leitmotif of deindustrialized-serfdom for us Americants.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 25 2018 23:24 utc | 33

Commenters @ 17, 20 and 23:

That long-winded piece of prose from Gareth Porter is actually a transcript of an interview. It reads better if you click on the link - or you could listen to the actual interview itself. This explains the stream-of-consciousness style of the piece.

The topic of the interview - that John Bolton is obsessed with overthrowing the current government of Iran and the extent to which he is prepared to lie, manipulate others and commit treason to achieve his objective - is what you need to know.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 25 2018 23:57 utc | 34

@31 jack rabbit;; thanks, timeline needed, I think, trying to keep it straight

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 26 2018 0:06 utc | 35

"America" is the leading edge of history's experiment in capitalism. This is it. This is the laboratory and the test model. If you don't start the analysis from that framework, you won't come up with the right answers.

The first thing to be jettisoned in capitalism is compassion. Compassion would be an extraneous cost, and has to be eliminated. Next is solidarity. Capitalism is the ultimate expression of individualism. Just check the pseudo intellectualism of a nut like Ayn Rand.

The machine you are sitting in is not what you think. This isn't a "society" as the word is generally understood. You are part of a lab experiment. Your life satisfaction is unimportant, only your kinetic energy, which can be captured, is important. The effects you see around you are just theatrical.

Capitalism is a cold algorithm set loose on warm blooded people.

It is a measure of how successful capitalist propaganda has been that most people are unaware of the ongoing holocaust that attends the globalizing and the deepening of the capitalist system. Capitalist rationalization of the accumulation process (today called "austerity") has always left a vast train of mortality and misery in its wake. This was true in 18th England, 19th century Ireland and in late 19th century Bengal, where millions died under the genius of British rule. It was true in Latin America after World War II, when the US state set out to "defend capitalism" from a whole hosts of evils. The Green Revolution in the 1950's and beyond killed a fair number of people by destroying subsistence agriculture all throughout the global south. And the National Security State took up the slack and killed many more thousands. In the late 1970's and 1980's World Bank "structural adjustment" programs in the so-called "Third World," sent countless indigents to an early grave. It's worth noting that as "superimperialism" took hold through various financial mechanisms, countries of the global south began to experience rapid ecological devastation, as in order to exploit their "comparative advantage," they had to capitalize their wealth of natural resources, including forests, minerals, oil, monocrops, etc. It was also about this time that epidemiologists began to notice the resurgence of old tropical diseases and the explosion of new ones (which probably had to do with the collapse of ecosystems). And now, in a world gone mad with poverty and war, the barbarian rulers propose "austerity," which really means starvation and homelessness for some, and certainly unemployment, despair and hopelessness for many. But the barbarians couldn't care less.

When you realize that the dominant religion in the Capitalist Dictatorship of America is Business Enterprise and the Holy Grail is Profit, then actions like these which steal from the poor and give to the rich become clear. People who have succeeded at Business Enterprise and have made a lot of Profit are the Blessed, and they deserve all the good things that our labor can provide. People who are poor and elderly are today's equivalent of heretics and sinners. Congress is the Inquisition, and its function is to damn, condemn, and punish the poor and elderly for their sins and heresies. Denial of food (Meals on Wheels) and medical care is the modern equivalent of being burned at the stake. An early death is the inevitable outcome. Whereas the Inquisitors wore ecclesiastical garb, Congress, today's Inquisitors, wear suits, ties, and flag pins.

Posted by: Allen | Mar 26 2018 0:14 utc | 36

Why does Proton Down remind me of Blackhawk Down?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 26 2018 0:18 utc | 37

Sid2 @ 27, 35: Don't worry too much about the timeline of the Skripal poisoning events. The narrative has been changing constantly from one day to the next. The incident involving DS Nick Bailey could be a separate poisoning incident (if poisoning did indeed occur) altogether.

Personally I think DS Nick Bailey and the second police officer who is now being treated as an outpatient at Salisbury District Hospital for, ahem, minor symptoms including skin irritation (skin irritation?!) could have been scratched by the Skripal cat or bitten or urinated on by the guinea pigs as the animals were being taken away for tests.

That cat's a nasty looker if you ask me.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 26 2018 0:35 utc | 38

Pardon me if this was already done. Here's the link to the fully translated meeting at Russia's Foreign Ministry over the Skripal Affair from earlier this week roasting UK/US/EU over the coals. An excerpt:

"In fact, all groundless accusations against Russia are based on the interview and statements by Vil Mirzayanov. Let me remind you that he immigrated to the US in 1996, and now lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and works for the US Government. He supported the Russian opposition on numerous occasions and signed a petition titled Putin Must Leave. In 2008, Vil Mirzayanov published “State secrets: An insider’s chronicle of the Russian chemical weapons program.” The book featured a formula of the substance known in the UK as Novichok along with a detailed description of how to synthesise it.

"According to Mirzayanov, Novichok is a nerve agent that is ten times more deadly than any agents known or developed until now. This powerful chemical warfare agent can be easily produced using formulas provided in this book. All is needed for that is to have a degree in chemistry, the necessary equipment and elements.

"The Russian Federation views the publication by Vil Mirzayanov of the formulas for making toxic agents and ways to synthesis them as an act of abetting terrorism. Consequently, all questions on Novichok’s alleged existence and properties should be addressed to Vil Mirzayanov, who works for the US Government. It was he who said that Novichok was a powerful chemical warfare agent. Russia has nothing to do with this." [My Emphasis]

A very heavy and truthful accusation of the Outlaw US Empire.

The briefing was further reinforced with this announcement from MoD:

"The United States was developing the gas A-234, we have a document that confirms this, said the head of the laboratory for chemical and analytical control of the scientific center of the Russian Defense Ministry Igor Rybalchenko."

The hounds have found the scent. Now there's no hiding from them!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 26 2018 0:44 utc | 39

@38 thanks jen, pinning on hospital staff and Bailey I disregard, it's too simplistic. Your question here is very interesting.

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 26 2018 1:15 utc | 40

@7/8 paveway.. walmart is a good reflection on the nature of what the usa has become.. maybe sam walmart can be proud, but from my pov - it is one big chinese products outlet polluting the planet and can't end soon enough.. but, this would require a change in course from a materialistic society to something different.. the usa excels at consumerism and is quite indiscriminate in it too... people think they are being proactive by 'recycling'.. how about not bothering to get involved in buying the shit? and we all need something, it is just how extreme things have gotten on the planet, with the usa leading the craziness in consumerism... who would have thought a new religion was started in the usa with holidays like black friday, boxing day and on and on? thanks for your comments.

@10 / 15 32 - peter.. interesting.. thanks for all that..

@18 / 28 somebody.. that is what it looks like, yes.. thanks.

@25 petri... very conceivable... the empire with msm in tow, doesn't seem to tire of these activities..

@27 sid2.. thanks for that.. very interesting..

@33 nemisis calling... i live on the westcoast.. i have noticed a lot of these recycling places are owned by the chinese.. now maybe this is due the fact i am in the vancouver area, but it is interesting, non the less..

@36 allen.. i can see it that way..

@38 jen... lol re the cat!

@39 karlof1.. that's a good response from russia! thanks..

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2018 1:16 utc | 41

@27 sid2.. i see charles has made about 4 more posts since the one you shared above...

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2018 1:29 utc | 42

official documentary/ biography/interview of putin
obviously biased, yet i cannot find any factual errors
(perhaps someone will point them out?)
but very interesting
many pictures i have never seen
lots of details on how russian people and his family suffered from Germany
in "the great patriotic war" (ww2 we call it)
yet putin and russian people bear no grudge today

Posted by: mauisurfer | Mar 26 2018 1:34 utc | 43

Seems serious Under a false flag, UK attempts three chemical attacks in the Ghouta

On 17 March 2018, the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov denounced the presence of the US, British and French Special Forces in Syria; this is something that both London and Paris deny. He drove home the point, insisting:

“What this presence means is that the issue is no longer a war by proxy but direct intervention in a war”.

Mr. Lavrov then went on to give a stern warning to Washington, London and Paris, should they take the decision to bomb Damascus. The documents seized by the Syrian and Russian Secret Services confirm the existence of a plan to attack Damascus along similar lines to the plan conceived against Bagdad in 2003. Part of this plan includes killing off President al-Assad. Allied ships have been positioned to enable them to carry out this attack from the Mediterranean.

On 19 March 2018, the Syrian and Russian armies warned of a new chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta instigated by the United Kingdom under a false flag. The Syrian and Russian armies have already seized two chemical laboratories on 12 and 13 March. On 20 March, during a meeting of the Leaders of the Russian Armed Forces, the Russian Minister for Defence, General Sergey Shoygu, referred to three attempts to use these weapons during the week in Eastern Ghouta. While he explicitly avoided inculpating London with backing these attempted bombings, the way his words were couched, removes any possible doubt from his listeners’ minds. He continued:
“We are hoping that in the current situation, our Western Partners will allow good sense to guide their decision-making; that they stop flirting with terrorists and come together with Russia in their peaceful initiatives in Syria”.

In five days, more than 79 000 prisoners of armed groups in the Ghouta have successfully sought refuge in the Syrian Arab Republic. This is thanks to the humanitarian corridors of Muhayam al-Wafedin and Hamouriyah.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Mar 26 2018 1:43 utc | 44

@39 karlof1

I saw from a comment at Saker the link to John Helmer's report that the Skripal case went to court - apparently it took a court order to get new blood samples. Skripals have a lawyer representing them, all courtesy of UK government.

Helmer says the Russians didn't know about this court - it's an odd one convened to get permission from patients not capable of answering for themselves (e.g. unconscious) and with no family "or other parties" at hand to answer for them. The judge says there's no one else. The Russian Ministry said they've been denied consular access. Helmer says someone is wrong here.

The point is that this case has finally gained a judicial basis. How long before Russian lawyers apply for a writ of habeas corpus?.

The Skripal Case Goes to Court For the First Time

ps..I read this this morning, I can't get the website now - hopefully it's just a glitch and not NEO disease.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 26 2018 1:49 utc | 45

When does it stop? Les États-Unis évacuent des chefs de Daesh depuis le Nord de la Syrie

Many eyewitnesses testified to the Sana agency that on February 26, 2018, two anti-Daesh Coalition helicopters landed in Twaimin, southeast of al-Shadadi. They embarked Daesh officers they are supposed to fight and transported them to the illegal US base of Sabah al-Kheir 20 kilometers from Hassake.

On March 19, three helicopters belonging to the US-led Coalition landed Monday morning in a locality between the villages of Jissi and Calo, in the southeastern suburbs of Qamichli City. They evacuated four Daesh officers of Iraqi origin and departed in an unknown direction.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Mar 26 2018 1:50 utc | 46

So here is a story from Xinhua News that Reuters is not covering.....

SHANGHAI, March 26 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday launched trading of the yuan-denominated crude oil futures contracts at the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, which is the first futures listed on China's mainland to overseas investors.

Is this the end of the Petrodollar? I want it to be the end of private finance but I am getting ahead of geopolitical events.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 26 2018 1:50 utc | 47

Sid2: . . . It’s too simplistic.

No one else was affected by going into the house. Now we are told that the substance was likely to have been placed in the car while the Skripal’s were at the cemetery.

If the car contamination is to be believed, then Officer Bailey was sickened by much less poison muck quicker than what the Skripal’s were exposed to.

A police officer can generally get closer someone without making them uncomfortable. For this reason, a police office COULD be a means of delivering a toxin to a specific target.

When you control the police, it’s easier to plant evidence after the crime than to risk that someone sees something when preparing the crime.

The media has very little to say about ‘hero’ Nick Bailey: The Sun: Who is Nick Bailey?

Note the comment to the Sun article that asks.if a detective seargent would normally be a first responder.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 26 2018 2:03 utc | 48

@48 Jackrabbit,

I read a claim on Craig Murray's "Boris Johnson Is a Categorical Liar" comments section to the effect that DS Bailey's wife works for Cambridge Analytica. Big, if true.

Posted by: Jonathan | Mar 26 2018 2:11 utc | 49

mauisurfer 43
What you see there is Putin. This is the man UK and US have gone up against.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 26 2018 2:25 utc | 50

Napoleon punched a hole into Russia. Hitler punched a hole into Russia. US punched a hole into Russia. Putin brought back the Russia that destroyed the power of Napoleon and Hitler.
Putin's Russia, I think, will destroy not so much the US, but US power.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 26 2018 2:43 utc | 51

Grieved @45--

Yes, I'd read that action was taken and commented about it at Sputnik, IIRC. The fundamental reason to allow Consular Access is to provide someone to support the citizen's interest, to approve further blood tests in this instance--UK lies when it says the Skripals have nobody looking after their wellbeing. Both UK/US read the "Riot Act" at a meeting before representatives of most of the planet--a most excellent occurrence.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 26 2018 3:18 utc | 52

Consular access would also give access to medical records, perhaps allow Russian specialist to check patient? (only the daughter is Russian citizen?)
Helmer comes up with documented facts at times that others don't, but away from those documented facts?... What is the good of some Russians rocking up at the hospital to view a couple of still living carcasses? Yet Helmer thinks they should have done just that.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 26 2018 3:41 utc | 53

From the beginning of the Ghouta op, Suheil al-Hassan has been photographed with spetnaz bodyguards. He has not needed them before. The Russian bodyguards are a tripwire. If US or Israel try an airstrike to take him out, they will have attacked the Russian federation.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 26 2018 3:52 utc | 54

@43 mauisurfer.. thanks for the link to the video on putin.. i have watched about 1/2 of it.. i watched another 1:20 or so long one about 1-2 weeks ago that was uploaded to vimeo for others to watch.. the 2 cross paths a bit but are different.. both done inside russia recently.. putin comes across as quite normal and rooted on the ground.. it is hard not to like the guy, but on the other hand he seems as tough as a bullet.. thanks for the link..

@45 grieved... john helmer as 2 websites.. and if one doesn't work, the other one will.. your link works now.. it has been posted to moa the past few days too..

@ peter, karlof1 and grieved.. i think the overall thing i got from all that, is how the guy Vikram Sachdeva as mentioned in helmers article - is lying.. i get that from the bottom few paragraphs in helmers article where helmer asks questions, but receives no answers.. i commented on this saying the same thing friday when the article came out, i think!

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2018 4:24 utc | 55

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 25, 2018 6:25:55 PM | 30

Just because you are not right wing, the observation that Russia is supporting right wing movements is "anti-Putin"?

Links for Russian support of European right wing groups can be found everywhere.

German AFD had funding from US zionist (middle-east forum, daniel pipes, et al) sources, but they were supported by Russia, too.

Putin is very much a rational, enlightened guy who is careful to cater for all of Russia's religions but his empire firmly closed any hole for "the West" to undermine his rule from the religious Muslim or Christian right (or from the oligarchy) to the point where they potentially destabilise Western countries.

Russian oligarchs are definitively not going to support left wing or communist groups who might discuss how they became so rich in the first place.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 26 2018 4:45 utc | 56

interesting twitter thread..

Boris Johnson held an undisclosed meeting with Alexander Nix of Cambridge Analystica in Dec 16. Now that news of extensive use of personal data & allegedly criminal activity has come out - failure to disclose the meeting looks highly suspicious...

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2018 4:58 utc | 57


Add Trumpism as a private capital scam

Will they sanction Russia to hurt their business? No.

This is theater for the little people.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 26 2018 5:05 utc | 58

somebody, anti Russia is both conservative and progressive or whatever the opposite of conservative is called. There is no political groups, only jihadi style factions. Their interests will converge and diverge.,

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 26 2018 5:16 utc | 59

james 57
I run onto that earlier. I suspect the Eaton and Cambridge boys are gang banging the US. Hitting them from both sides. On one side there is Cambridge Analytica close in around Trump, and from the other side, the likes of Steele.
The Eaton and Cambridge boys I are highly anti Russia, and I think happy to put US up against Russia to weaken both.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 26 2018 5:27 utc | 60

Peter AU 1 @53--

Russia announced several days ago that father Skripal has dual citizenship--UK/Russia--so both are legally represented by Russia. Oops for the UK/US!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 26 2018 5:29 utc | 61

karlof1, Thanks for that. From what I had read, Russia was looking at the daughter and another Russian killed around the same time in UK as Russian citizens. If Skripal is a Russian citizen, then that makes three

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 26 2018 5:40 utc | 62

karlof1 61
Looks as though we wrote comments around the same time.
"Russia. Oops for the UK/US!"? Please explain?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 26 2018 5:57 utc | 63

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 26, 2018 1:27:37 AM | 60

Or just impoverished, needing money? Paid by different US factions?

London used to be where money came in from the colonies. Could be this market is shrinking.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 26 2018 9:14 utc | 64

Peter Au I 30

The Russian oligarchs have their long term worries as the Communist party (despite infighting) consistently polls 20 / 25% of votes from East to West .

Putin thus far has been able to manipulate and control this powerful 'left' political bloc .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Mar 26 2018 9:21 utc | 65

Posted by: ashley albanese | Mar 26, 2018 5:21:26 AM | 65

Analysis from Germany is that there is no "middle class" in Russia that could tip the scale.

Coming to think of it, the "middle class" has been disappearing in "the West".

Which might explain the rise of "populism".

Posted by: somebody | Mar 26 2018 10:31 utc | 66

Peter AU 1 @63--

Oops refers to the miscalculation of Skripal being of dual nationality and thus legally accessible to Russian diplomacy--something clearly overlooked in the shortsighted calculations that went into the attack on them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 26 2018 14:20 utc | 67


Can the United States unilaterally expel UN diplomats? Is there a precedent? How often has this happened in the past?

Patrick Tucker @DefTechPat on Twitter

Breaking: US to expel 48 Russian embassy workers in Washington, D.C. and 12 at the Russian mission to the U.N. U.S. says they were intel officers using diplo status as cover.

Russia responds:

‘Against common sense and intl law’: Russia to retaliate over diplomats’ expulsion by UK allies

Moscow will expel at least 60 US diplomats in response to Washington’s move which it linked to double agent Skripal’s poisoning, Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov said. He called the move to expel 12 of the Russian UN staff illegal.

“It is clear that the measures will be tit-for-tat, they will affect the same number of employees, since the numbers of our diplomatic missions are equal,” Dzhabarov said. He also condemned the additional expulsion of 12 Russian UN staff as “contradicting international law.”

“The UN is an international organization, which does not fall under American jurisdiction,” the senator pointed out.

Washington’s actions will only serve to ruin the remaining US-Russian ties, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said. The US understands nothing but force, the diplomat stated while commenting on the possible response measures.

Moscow expected such a move on part of the US, but still hoped that Washington would use common sense to help stop the UK’s hysteria, Antonov added.

On Monday, the US expelled 60 Russian diplomats over the double-agent Skripal’s poisoning in the UK. The move was coordinated with several European countries, which also expelled a number of Russian diplomats.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 26 2018 14:34 utc | 68

. . .That's not really Trump and Putin we're seeing. . .
DARPA to Tackle Fake News Scourge

AUSTIN, Texas — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has kicked off a program that will seek out faked video footage that may be used to improperly influence populations, a senior agency official said March 20.
We have all seen pictures and videos that have been altered. And a lot of that has been done by very advanced photographic video industries,” Dick Urban, special assistant to the DARPA director, said at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Science and Engineering Technology conference in Austin, Texas.
Future movies will have animated figures that look and talk and act like real people. There is a a great deal of private investment going into the computer-generated technology, he noted.
“The malicious use of that could end up having a variety of effects,” he said. A well known political or military figure could be portrayed on video giving orders or delivering a speech. “It looks like them, it sounds like them, but it’s not them," Urban said. "This could have a significant effect on how people view that situation and it could alter their reactions."

The Media Forensics, or MediFor program will examine videos and photographs for the telltale signs that they have been altered. “It will look at the integrity of it and do pixel-by-pixel comparisons to find out if that person talking is really that person talking or a substitute voice,” he added.
There could also be a real video of a real person who has had words inserted into a speech that he or she did not say, he said.
The forensic tools used today lack robustness and scalability, and address only some aspects of media authentication, a DARPA fact sheet said. “An end-to-end platform to perform a complete and automated forensic analysis does not exist,” it added.
If the program is successful, the MediFor platform will automatically detect manipulations and provide detailed information about how these manipulations were carried out, it added. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 26 2018 15:12 utc | 69

60 Russian diplomats to be expelled by the US,
Consulate to close.
And more
All for the unproven so called nerve agent attack on a UK agent of Russian origin and his daughter.
The Russians are not pleased.

Posted by: Emily | Mar 26 2018 15:17 utc | 70

If Trump truly wanted to piss Putin off, he would expel oligarchs, not diplomats.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 26 2018 15:40 utc | 71

recent US actions against Russia
>diplomats expelled
The Trump administration said it would expel 60 Russian diplomats in response to the alleged poisoning of Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain. This came after Trump had joined a statement with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreeing that there was "no plausible alternative explanation" than that Russia was to blame for the attack. In December 2016 the US expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian compounds in response to alleged interference in the US election.
Last August Trump signed a sanctions bill against Russia for alleged interference in the US election. In response to that, Russia expelled 755 American diplomats from the country. In response, the Trump administration ordered Russia to close three of its diplomatic facilities in the US, including its consulate in San Francisco, and two annexes in Washington, DC, and New York City.
In December, Trump announced his support for the sale of lethal munitions to the Ukrainian government in its fight against Russian-backed separatists in the country's Donbas region, a move that angered Russia.
>criticism of Russia
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert (recently promoted to undersecretary of state) and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley have been particularly critical of Russia. On March 7, Nauert condemned Russia in a tweet, saying that it ignored a UN ceasefire agreement in Syria by bombing civilians in Damascus and Eastern Ghouta. In January, Nauert condemned Russia for supporting separatists in the country of Georgia. Haley has also been critical of Russia over a variety of issues, including Moscow's support for Syria and alleged Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 26 2018 15:47 utc | 72

Russia is also charged with acting against US interests in Afghanistan
Top U.S. Commander In Afghanistan Accuses Russia Of Aiding Taliban

In an interview with the BBC last week, Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said in an interview taped there: "We've had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by Afghan leaders and [they] said this was given by the Russians to the Taliban." "Clearly, they are acting to undermine our interests," he said. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 26 2018 16:05 utc | 73

Canada Expels Russian diplomats in Solidarity with UK

"Canada fervently supports the measures that the UK has taken so far and remains resolutely committed to acting in concert with its allies..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Mar 26 2018 16:05 utc | 74

PC Roberts today:

Indeed, nothing is more dangerous to the world than Russia’s self-delusion about “Western partners.” Russia only has Western enemies. These enemies intend to remove the constraint that Russia (and China) place on Washington’s unilateralism. The various incidents staged by the West, such as the Skripal poisoning, Syrian use of chemical weapons, Malaysian airliner, and false charges, such as Russian invasion of Ukraine, are part of the West’s determined intent to isolate Russia, deny her any influence, and prepare the insouciant Western populations for conflict with Russia.

This points to how all the false flags have the same smell-test: refusal to clarify, vagueness, contradictions, jumping to conclusions etc.

This poses 30 questions on the Skripal incident that need clarifying.

As with:

5. It has been said that the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey were poisoned by “a military grade nerve agent”. According to some claims, the type referred to could be anywhere between five and eight times more toxic than VX nerve agent. Given that just 10mg of VX is reckoned to be the median lethal dose, it seems likely that the particular type mentioned in the Skripal case should have killed them instantly. Is there an explanation as to how or why this did not happen?

6. Although reports suggested the involvement of some sort of nerve agent fairly soon after the incident, it was almost a week before Public Health England issued advice to those who had visited The Mill pub or the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury on the day that the Skripals fell ill. Why the delay and did this pose a danger to the public?

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 26 2018 16:06 utc | 75


Has Canada EVER been a sovereign state? What a bad joke.

Posted by: spudski | Mar 26 2018 16:14 utc | 76

Why focus on SD Bailey?

In hindsight, one can surmise that the Skripal poisonings were done to degrade relations with Russia. If that is the case, then it is highly likely that a public scene (Skripal’s on a park bench) was planned.

To ensure that the Skripals succumbed in the right place would mean using a fast-acting agent at, or near, an appropriately public place.

So the fact that, other than the Skripal’s, only SD Bailey was seriously affected is suspicious. No one who treated the Skripal’s or went to the house was seriously affected. Speculation that the poison was placed in the car has not been proven AFAIK and implies that the house was not contaminated.

If there was a proper investigation, such things would be considered and properly investigated. But The rush-to-judgement has prevented any real investigation.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 26 2018 16:20 utc | 77

"Torshin helped create the NRA’s Russian equivalent, The Right to Bear Arms, which ..."

Reminds me an SF novel "The Right to Arm Bears". An illustration

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 26 2018 16:29 utc | 78

The stupid anti-Russia charges by another stupid US general in Afghanistan threaten the upcoming "peace talks" in Tashkent. This will be a regional conference of the type Obama promised to do nine years ago but never got around to.
from MK Bhadrakumar...
Regional cooperation on Afghanistan remains a chimera
US commander in Kabul rattles peace process with allegations of Russian involvement on eve of Tashkent conference

. . .The Tashkent conference under the rubric “Peace Process, Cooperation in the Sphere of Security and Regional Interaction” brings together Afghanistan, the five Central Asian countries and other important stakeholders in the region (Pakistan, Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Russia and China) and select western powers. The US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif are expected to attend. . .here

Besides, the Pentagon has other plans. . .to win the war!
Defeat of ISIS ‘within our grasp,’ Centcom commander says
The United States and its partners have made significant progress in Iraq and Syria, but investments are needed to ensure the gains endure, the commander of U.S. Central Command said today. ...“Military success in the campaign presents us an opportunity to reposition forces from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan in a manner that keeps the pressure on ISIS but also sets us up to break the stalemate in Afghanistan,” he said. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 26 2018 16:34 utc | 79

The attacks agsinst alt med are being manipulated to appear to be coming largely out of SAm countries (including Venezuela,what a joke) and Mexico (and the USA). One thing to note is that they are highly selective (NEO, Murray and one other, in a major way). The NEO one has been highly effective. Basically, when the time comes to stop playing games and take serious action, there will be no place for this mutual back-combing that goes on here and elsewhere. The survivors will be the, er, dubious sites. (Perhaps we will see only Saker, SST and the like left intact, or else covered-up by fake ripostes.)

In any case, I can foresee a time soon we need to start considering entryist strategies wrt to the mainstream media, as the only option (besides antediluvian methods like pencil and (shudder) physical gatherings), and a slightly more nuanced appraisal of the mainstream sweep, in place of the guffawing them-and-us approach of now.

Posted by: Plod | Mar 26 2018 16:41 utc | 80

So now - around 14 European "states", the USA and Canada have all been sufficiently convinced of Russian guilt to coordinate responses and punishments. What evidence could be so convincing, so secret that it could not be leaked or disclosed to a single citizen or media outlet, nor verified nor even stated, but so simple and judgemental that it can convince 16 countries to simultaneously lay bare their fickle contempt for international legal and diplomatic convention. They have destroyed any future credibility to invoke due process when it would serve their dire interest.
The New World Disorder.

I doubt that citizenry cannot see through this, and I think it might accelerate the erosion of popular support for the EU. One might think that of concern but it seems like its suddenly not a concern.

Posted by: Thominus | Mar 26 2018 16:46 utc | 81

@60 peter... the whole thing seems insane... what is more - doing it on the premise, but not the fact russia is responsible for what happened to the skripals defies logic.... i think most people can see thru this..

@75 spudski.. lol.. you sound like a canuck to me! it is embarrassing for sure... every knee jerk response canada gives makes us look more and more petty on the world stage..

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2018 17:02 utc | 82

@80 "entryist strategies to the main stream media" would like to hear more given how apparently easy it is to shut down sites such as NEO, Murray, and such recently and in previous years . . . Plus how to measure pushback against mainstream delusionary politics as with here at MOA and similar sites. How significant is this pushback (note how defensive we seem to be as we argue we're not conspiracy theorists) to warrant a more full-scale shutdown "in the interests of national security" and how likely is this to come down as we move deeper into the mire.

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 26 2018 17:34 utc | 83

re: Skripal
Mark Galeotti is a Brit with some strong opinions on Russia. According to Galeotti, senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, the targeting of Skripal was meant to send a signal to the West.
"Presumably, if they decided to target Skripal […], they had two options - one, do it subtly, and two, do it demonstratively and they clearly made a choice," Galeotti told Al Jazeera.
In his opinion, Russia will continue to employ similar provocative tactics with the West. "[These tactics] keep Russia bubbling up in the news and in the attention of the West," he said. "Putin's aim is to force the West into recognising Russia as a big power."

Galeotti blogs at "In Moscow's Shadows" here with coverage of his new book " The Vory: Russia’s super mafia-- about organized crime in Russia." Or catch him on twitter or facebook.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 26 2018 17:35 utc | 84

@84 galeotti comes across as a real stooge... a paid by the west stooge to be exact..

""He is a consultant to various government, commercial and law-enforcement agencies and a senior analyst for Wikistrat.""

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2018 18:14 utc | 85

This should prove interesting -- a Turkey offensive affecting Iraq and a US airbase in Syria
Turkey unleashes anti-PKK military offensive in Iraq’s Sinjar

Ankara ( – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the start of a military operation in Sinjar area in northern Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters.
Erdogan made the remarks during a rally Sunday in Trabzon province in northeastern Turkey, ahead of a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party, according to the London-based Alquds Alarabi Newspaper.
“We said we would go into Sinjar. Now operations have begun there. The fight is internal and external,” Erdogan said.
Meanwhile, the Joint Operations Command in Iraq said that no military operations were launched in Sinjar or its vicinity, stressing that Iraqi forces will not “stand idly by” while foreign troops are invading their country.
“The security situation in Nineveh, Sinjar and border areas is under the control of Iraqi forces,” the command said in a statement, denying news that foreign troops crossed Iraqi borders into these areas. . .here

Sinjar, deep inside Iraq, is just to the south of a US airbase at Rmelan as seen here. There are nearby oilfields. More on the US airbase here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 26 2018 18:26 utc | 86

@82, James, you are correct.

Posted by: spudski | Mar 26 2018 18:33 utc | 87

re: Skripal, from The Saker
". . . Okay, the City of London does have a lot of reasons to want Russia gone and silent. As Gavin Williamson, the little soy-boy in charge of UK “defense”, so elegantly put it, Russia should “go away and shut up”. Right. Let me tell you – it ain’t happening! Britannia will be turned into a heap of radioactive ashes long before Russian goes away or shuts up. That is simply a fact.

"What baffles me is this: do American leaders really want to lose their country in behalf of a small nasty clique of arrogant British pompous asses who think that they still are an Empire? Did you even take a look at Boris Johnson, Theresa May and Gavin Williamson? Are you really ready to die in defense of the interest of these degenerates?!" . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 26 2018 19:03 utc | 88

The Russians in general & Putin specifically must have the patience of Job, to put up with the continual false flagging & false accusations coming from the West...

I'm surprise he hasn't put them/us out of their/our misery already...

I mean it so intolerable, I actually wouldn't mind if he did, at least I wouldn't have to endure Ms.Haley, et al any more...

Posted by: xLemming | Mar 26 2018 19:33 utc | 89

@xL 89
Right, and the saker puts it all in wonderful perspective -- "what happened to the west I was born in" -- at the 88 link.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 26 2018 19:38 utc | 90

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 26, 2018 1:35:00 PM | 84

Yes, that is obvious. If the Russian state did it, they did it for the backlash they are getting now, which they must have foreseen.

John Helmer has a post up on Putin's spokeperson calling the attack an incident or accident.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 26 2018 20:38 utc | 91

Project DUCO
Between May and November 2013, UK MoD working with SCL ran a pilot study to asses effectiveness (of what?).
To do this, I believe a pilot operation would need to be carried out.
In running through the headlines for that time period, the false flag CW attack in Ghouta stands out.
Section 3.4.1 of the pdf names the country where the pilot project took place. Five letters have been redacted - Syria?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 26 2018 23:22 utc | 92

@88 of course we're all thinking the same thing on how low it is, I thought we wouldn't get much lower than Nixon who now looks like a boy scout criminal versus what we've got. But the problem is what to do. Talking is good, how many of us are there, do you think?

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 27 2018 0:31 utc | 93

@ Sid2 who wrote "Talking is good, how many of us are there, do you think?"

We are not talking, we are sharing textual white noise.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 27 2018 1:03 utc | 94

Why do the forces of liberation continue to decieve themselves by aping the structures and methods of the enemy?
There is an article at counterpunch about the student mass movement against the unfettered distribution of lethal weaponry among the population. In many ways what the kids are arguing for is in essence correct, that the only reason amerika is awash with all these armaments and munitions is that greedy arseholes are making a lot of money from it. But on the other hand as far as I can tell the the media and covert political structures who are enabling the kids' anger are just pumping out the opposite of what the corporate shills of the NRA are saying, while still using the same kind of generalised subjective half truth created and disseminated by the same sort of top down power grabbing structures as the gun running war mongers.

A bit of personal family shit. I copped a phone call from one of my sisters a few days ago now, one have her kids and family live in the LA area. Mid to bottom level celebrities trying to make it. They do OK never have to buy consumables like phones or pads and get free first class travel wherever they want to go (this is the whole family) because apparently them being seen out with a particular brand/airline 'is good for business'.
We pay for that - all of us but that's another story).
The two eldest children are at high school, some vastly expensive private fuck 'em up factory in LA - one of hundreds. One of the kids has gotten right behind the student protests, but the other one wants to study - the fear has worked and the kid is terrified of missing a day of school.
That means my niece, the kid's mother has had to lean on the kid to make her child go with the flow so to speak. Because "since it involves their children are taking time off school it is the parents organising the protests - to keep 'em safe". What?

I realise that the bourgeoisie have had their fear receptors permanently in danger mode for decades now but a teenage 'protest' organised by parents is no protest at all, it is just more of the status quo what caused all this shit.

This is wrong on so many levels but the major one is that it will end the same way as the 'dreamer' thing did when hundreds of thousands of latino adolescents were sold down the river by the democrat party.
Remember a coupla months back when agent orange and rethug senators agreed to consider the concerns of latino children if the dems stopped holding up the budget. The dems told the kids "No worries we'll look after you" They didn't. The budget went through a few days back with absolutely no measures to protect these kids from ICE, Homeland security and the rest of the facist thugs determined to stop the browning of amerika. (amerika was born brown - you cannot stop it but you can destroy a lot of lives trying to).

The dems will do the same here they will use the kids protests to beat up the rethugs with and then cut a deal which does nothing, cos they like their NRA money/bribes too.
Then yet another generation will become disillusioned by politics and totally opt out, leaving the paddock free for greedies to do what they do. Good job parents!

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 27 2018 1:05 utc | 95

@ Debsisdead who ended his latest poetic rant with "Good job parents!"

At 69 and never being a parent my automatically disqualify from responding but I am going to anyway.

The only disagreement I have with what you wrote is the effect you expect it to have on "that" generation. Certainly a certain number will become disillusioned as noted by the suicide rate. And certainly I don't seek the greedy paddock gone soon. But what I see is that the "generation" that was disillusioned by what happened to the Occupy movement followed by this current "generation" that is to be disillusioned and I think that maybe there will be enough momentum of angst to propel a stronger is not just the kids that are being thrown under the bus....those parents that didn't take responsibility before may see there way clear to do so now....shame is a powerful motivator......ask an ex-Catholic.

Will any good come of the rise in bile of the public writ large? One can only hope.

Thanks for your ongoing contributions to our textual white noise conversation in support of truth to power.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 27 2018 1:24 utc | 96

Is this one of those game shows where I get to buy an "a" to stick in the first sentence of my last comment

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 27 2018 1:26 utc | 97

The comment in limbo

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 27 2018 1:27 utc | 98

How Britain won over the EU on Russia

Britain’s advantage over Russia swung on a dinner. Before European leaders gathered to eat on Thursday, the European Union (EU) was supportive of the UK’s case over the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal but, France and Germany apart, unconvinced that Moscow should be publicly blamed. “We need to investigate,” pleaded the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras, who hosted Vladimir Putin in 2016 and benefits from cheap Russian gas. But with appetites satiated, the mood turned.

Sceptics, like Greece, Italy, Austria, and Hungary were persuaded or bought off – Athens was given tough language on its dispute with Turkey – and the leaders fell in line. The Council agreed with the UK government that Russia was “highly likely” to be behind the chemical weapons attack, “and there’s no other plausible explanation”. The EU ambassador to Russia, Markus Florian Ederer, was recalled, an unprecedented step, and several countries are exploring following the UK’s lead and expelling undeclared Russian intelligence officers.

Posted by: daffyDuct | Mar 27 2018 1:33 utc | 99

@dD 98
Not Austria, it's been cautious on this anti-Russia strategy for years. Good for them.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 27 2018 2:16 utc | 100

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