Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 20, 2018

Pity The Russophobe Journos Whom No One Believes

The "western" reporting on the World Cup in Russia is a stream of continuous Russia bashing. Some positive remarks are made about the obviously excellent atmosphere and organization. But no piece gets published that does not include a reinforcement of the official anti-Russian propaganda lines.

Alec Luhn is the "Russia correspondent for The @Telegraph". Shaun Walker is a correspondent for the British Guardian who is "Covering central and eastern Europe for The Guardian." This week both were in Volgograd, the former Stalingrad, to report on the World Cup game between England and Tunisia.

On Monday Alec Luhn wrote about the excellent welcome the English fans received:

It’s been brilliant,” said Adam Haimes, 29, a geologist and Plymouth Argyle supporter drinking in the fan zone, set up on the west bank of the mighty Volga River. “I have had absolutely zero problems. All sorts of Russians have come up to us and are being friendly and just wanting to have drinks with us. I didn’t expect it but they are so lovely.

That positive picture of Russia can of course can not stand alone. Luhn thus mentions: the "threat of violence", the "attempted assassination of the Russian spy Sergei Skripal", "ratcheted up tensions", "Russian Ultras" and "Volgograd’s local hoodlums".

On Tuesday evening Shaun Walker wrote a piece for the Guardian which followed a similar scheme:

[T]hose who came were almost uniformly positive about the experience so far. At a central Volgograd bar in the early hours of Tuesday, Craig and Tommy, two Sunderland fans, were practising Russian phrases with obliging locals and said they had spent three days in “fantastic” Volgograd, bonding with the locals and taking military history tours.

“We’re sick of people talking about trouble. If you’re respectful there won’t be any problems,” said Tommy.

Reading Walker's piece would make Tommy even sicker. It repeats all the usual propaganda points: "unprecedented tension", "strongly critical of Russian authorities", "poisoning of Sergei Skripal", "1936 Olympics, held in Nazi Germany" and "safety of LGBT fans".

After having delivered their propaganda routines Luhn and Walker joined the English fans in a local pub.

Alec Luhn @ASLuhn - 00:02 UTC - 19 Jun 2018

Harat's Pub, Volgograd, 3am. 100 or so drunk British fans, some Tunisians, and some Russian guys who just chanted something about "jugend SS." What could wrong?

Shaun Walker @shaunwalker7 - 00:32 UTC - 19 Jun 2018

3.30am, dawn breaks over this pub in Volgograd - English, Tunisian, russian fans all hammered and having a good time. Zero security or police, surprisingly. Did hear a group of three Russians sing a "Hitler Jugend, SS" song. Otherwise all very peaceful and friendly.


The Shaun Walker and Alec Luhn tweets show pictures of a Harat's Pub, an Irish franchise, in Volgograd. On its Facebook page the pub posted a Euronews video of the after-game party in which happy English fans dunk lots of beer. There is nothing remarkable in it.

But Alec Luhn sees Russians chanting about "jugend SS" and a half hour later Walker "hears a group of three Russians sing a "Hitler Jugend, SS" song".

Or did they?

It is difficult to believe that any Russian in Volgograd/Stalingrad would sing some Nazi song. Stalingrad was where one of bloodiest battle of World War II was fought, where immense Russian sacrifice stopped Hitler's armies. Besides that what please is a "Hitler Jugend, SS" song? As a German I have never heard of a song that mentions both or is even typical for both. The Hitler Jugend was a party youth organizations modeled after the Boy Scouts of America. The SS (Schutzstaffel = protection squadron) was a gang of Nazi streetfighters which were later turned into a brutal military. The Songbook of the Hitler Jugend has mostly traditional hiking songs while the typical SS songs were militaristic marches.

As of now the Walker tweet received 249 replies. The people who responded doubt that the incident happened as described. They ask for evidence. Why can those journalist post pictures of the pub but no pictures of the incident they claim? This obviously can't be another Shaun ‘wish I’d brought my camera’ Walker moment. So where is the beef?

The next morning Shaun Walker retweeted his original assertions and lamented about the responses he received:

Shaun Walker @shaunwalker7 - 9:28 UTC - 19 Jun 2018

Shaun Walker Retweeted Shaun Walker
Volgograd has been fun and friendly and a great World Cup host, as I've been tweeting/writing for past two days. The chant below was three people, once, at 3am. And so weird - in Volgograd of all places! - I thought worth a mention. The state of the responses, God.

The Guardian's Moscow Bureau Chief joined in and also retweets the Walker claim spreading it further and further:

Andrew Roth @Andrew__Roth - 14:37 UTC - 19 Jun 2018

Andrew Roth Retweeted Shaun Walker
Absurd the responses to this incident that multiple correspondents saw. And their point is that it was an outlier in what sounded like a fine night at the football. Context is all here, should they ignore it instead?

If two British scribes say they heard something, which each describes differently, then it must be true. "Evidence? We don't report with evidence. Trust us."

This morning a Russian blogger posted some evidence (machine translated from Russian):

Borisenko @amdn_blog - 7:58 UTC - 20 Jun 2018

Remember yesterday there was a lot of talk about the English journalist who wrote about the alleged Russians who sang Nazi songs in a bar in Volgograd? They found them. But they were not Russian, but... British. Actually, for that, it's e... Lo must be beaten. This is Volgograd! Stalingrad!


The attached a video shows three drunk British blokes in an 'Irish' pub where the menu is written in Cyrillic letters and World Cup flags hang from the ceiling. The blokes sing a line about putting someone to Auschwitz, give the Hitler salute and shout "Sieg Heil!" The pub where the video was taken seems to be a different one than the Harat's Walker and Luhn visited. But the point was made.

Fact is that the Guardian and the Telegraph are full of anti-Russian propaganda. There is no piece in them about Russia or Putin that does not include snide and  fear mongering or repeats long refuted claims about this or that incident for which Russia is claimed to be responsible. The military industrial complex gave order to condemn Russia and the "western" main stream media follow through.

Both of the scribes quoted English fans who lament about the false picture they had when they arrived in Russia. Might that have something to do with the constant stream of russophobe trash the British media provides? Should a British correspondent in Russia take some time to reflect upon that?

But the two scribes go off to have lots of beer to then send spurious, late-night, anti-Russian claims to their 100,000 followers without  providing any evidence. Then they lament about being called out for that.

They are mediocre propagandists whom's words no one trusts or believes. One must truly pity these guys.

Posted by b on June 20, 2018 at 20:14 UTC | Permalink


it is very lamentable that these things happen and it is good to be outraged every time they do rather than simply shrug your shoulders and say that it is nothing new.

that said, I think it would be hard to find someone who would be hired by either of those papers who would choose to tell the story as he/she sees it and risk being fired. Someone who can't be trusted to deliver the proper story would certainly never be sent to cover world cup football games.

Noirette has brought this point up several times in the past. As long as they write articles that will be approved by the editors they get published, get invited to parties, and are allowed in the company of the rich and famous. Embellishing the truth for masses who are incurious anyway is easily justified.

the term presstitute suits them very well and as I have heard during my times in Germany "Geld stink nicht" is probably how they deal with selling out.

but a little public shaming is deserved.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 20 2018 20:41 utc | 1

Back around the time of MH-17 Shawn Walker wrote an article claiming he had watched a Russian armored column cross the border into Ukraine. Although he had photos of Russian armor traveling on Russia roads, he did not bother photographing the column as he supposedly watched it cross the border into Ukraine.
Walker bullshit Aug 2014
For clowns like these to have 100,000 followers means there are a lot of suckers out there ready to swallow anything.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 20 2018 20:53 utc | 2

If the video is correct, perhaps the media story should actually be on the danger presented by extreme right wing British fans?

Joking aside, drunk Brits on holiday can be a handful. When I lived in Amsterdam you wanted to watch out for a group of lads out for a stag party as they often were looking for a fight. We used to say they were there to drink, fight, and f***, not necessarily in that order.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jun 20 2018 20:56 utc | 3

FWIW, last week I wrote this in an e-mail to an expatriate relative in France. I may as well include my gripe about the effect of the Games on RT News, which sets up the rest; no offense to World Cup/sports fans, but I'm not one:

RT News is presently devoted to almost total World Cup coverage. I expected no less, and I can't really fault them. I'll just have to work around this temporary inconvenience, and pick out the occasional news story-- while dodging the lethal combination of professional sports and rampant boosterism.

I have no use for any of it, but as you know I sympathize with Russia for being subjected to having its entire sports culture ruthlessly vivisected by utterly evil and depraved Western sports plutocrats, acting on behalf of, and in concert with, the depraved Western governments. This systematic attack on Russian sports-- and, for lack of a better term, Russia's national honor, is a particularly vile, long-running "dirty trick".

If the games go well, sports fans worldwide will credit Russia's performance. The propagandists will keep shitting on them anyway, but I hope they get this long-overdue moment in the sun.

My closing prophecy, which admittedly required no extraordinary psychic powers, has proved entirely accurate.

I do think, or hope, that the success of the Games-- which of course includes the positive impressions and experiences of visitors to Russia-- may finally and fatally undermine the Western-led Russophobic Infoganda Juggernaut.

I worry a bit that the nefarious Western powers may attempt some sort of "scandalous" disruption (I guess I can't avoid the overused term "false flag") before the Games end in the face of the so-far genuine and unimpeachable positive public reaction.

Posted by: Ort | Jun 20 2018 21:42 utc | 4

A sparkle of hope …

Before match, England fans and diplomats honour Battle of Stalingrad dead

Posted by: Oui | Jun 20 2018 21:44 utc | 5

The BBC has taken a slightly different tack. They've managed to come up with a few gender issues. Men are advised not to hold hands and kiss in public because it attracts unwanted attention. And this....

"The Russian arm of the fast-food chain Burger King has apologised after offering women a reward of 3m roubles (£36,000; $47,000) and free Whopper burgers for life if they got pregnant with a World Cup player's baby."

Posted by: dh | Jun 20 2018 22:19 utc | 6

When Shawn Walker bs-ed about watching a Russian armoured column cross the border into Ukraine, I commented that the death of Q and the MI6 budget cuts have savaged the organisation. They could not provide their agents even with camera mobile phones let alone some fancy gadgets one would expect. Yes, the Western presstitutes give prostitution a bad name.

I do not speak Russian, but it is my impression that Russian media owners and the government do not deliver similar propaganda swill to their audience, which begs the conclusion that either the media owners respect their audience better or the Russians would turn off such media. Thus the total domination of propaganda in the Western MSM turns into a reflection of the audience - those who consume the swill are those who encourage its production. The Western media trick is actually quite simple - by creating a perception that you are well informed through quantity (e.g. 24 hours news channels, multitude of news channels: CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera etc) they are keeping you in the dark - most people do not seek alternative sources. Reading little b’s alternative news zine gives more insight than billions of dollars worth of official bull.

Posted by: Kiza | Jun 20 2018 22:21 utc | 7

C.J. Hopkins latest on the Russophobia hysteria;

Awaiting the Putin-Nazi Apocalypse

Posted by: loneplateau | Jun 20 2018 22:30 utc | 8

Such postings are of great interest, and very useful.

Posted by: Christophe Douté | Jun 20 2018 23:01 utc | 9

The English are really making fools of themselves. On and on they go about the Russians and how they are essential to the EU for protection. But there are cracks everywhere, Italy now will not go along with the Russia bashing, even Junker has said the bashing must stop. Merkel is going through with Nordstream 2. England's allies no longer offer full throated support. They are more and more isolated in their extreme Russophope Trump doesn't like May Brexit is a noose around England's neck. PATHETIC really. All they can do is kill children in Yemen.

What is really amazing is that Brexit and all the damage and cost to the UK it is and will cause was started by David Cameron to solve a political problem with the Tory party - his decision to protect the Tory right from UKIP with a referendum he would surly win has led to this catastrophic decline in British stature and power. No believes much of anything from the any more - what's worse for them is that they are irrelevant.

I have been watching the WC on BBC and their coverage is great. England: a Medieval theme park where Monti Python lives.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Jun 20 2018 23:03 utc | 10

I saw that short vid on b's Twitter and wondered if he'd post an item about it, so here it is. The Brits are up to their ears in bantha puuduu about Russia to the point of asphyxiation. Seems like those two wannabe scribes ought to register as agents of a foreign power since they aren't actually journalists but propagandists. As for Nazis, Australian troops were recently filmed in Afghanistan flying a Nazi flag from their vehicle as they drove about--the photo's all over Twitter.

As for enjoying sport, I was very avid when young, but the escalation of its politicization and militarization within the Outlaw US Empire has sapped most of the joy once felt and turned it to hatred of the hypocrisy on display. Fortunately, the one team sport I follow--basketball's Golden State Warriors--has a very professional broadcast team whose goal is to promote the team and nothing else the vast majority of the time as opposed to ESPN, TNT, or ABC--all of which is Disney, essentially. The result is I don't watch much TV at all anymore, which I think is good for my mind and wellbeing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2018 23:11 utc | 11

No one believes the bloody presstitutes anymore!

Posted by: FHTEX | Jun 20 2018 23:20 utc | 12

@10 I know what you mean. Terrible thing to admit but I think I've got to the point where I enjoy the politics more than the sport.

Posted by: dh | Jun 20 2018 23:25 utc | 13

Luhn admitted they are actually brits:

Posted by: Vitor Vieira | Jun 20 2018 23:37 utc | 14

@ 7

I'm glad you linked to C J Hopkins. I am impressed with his wit, intelligence and writing style. He got booted off Counterpunch as I understand and is now published by the Unz Review, a rather strange but interesting site that picks up talented writers and thinkers from the left and from the right and appears to pay them. I say strange because, judging by the comments, the alt-right appear to imagine that like zero hedge it is their forum and attack perfectly good articles because they do not fit in with their ideological mindset. There is a sort of muddiness in the identity of the site (unlike MOA), but I am pleased that people like C J Hopkins may get something for their brilliant efforts. Diana Johnstone, someone I have huge regard for, is another who appears on Unz.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jun 20 2018 23:38 utc | 15

Pity these guys? Not really. Remember, they are not journalists. They are propagandist, hired mouthpieces. They say what they are scripted to say by their corporate bosses, it doesn't matter how absurd, the point is to just hammer and hammer and hammer away and mold public opinion via brute force. The old Soviet Union had more subtle liars.

But don't pity them. They made their choice, and are well rewarded for their services. With respect, I would rather despise them.

Posted by: TG | Jun 20 2018 23:42 utc | 16

And Shaun is trying to sneak out:

Posted by: Vitor Vieira | Jun 20 2018 23:43 utc | 17

RT's coverage of the Nazis:

England fans give Nazi salutes, sing Hitler song in World Cup city invaded during WWII (VIDEO)

Posted by: PhilK | Jun 21 2018 0:00 utc | 18

Isn't is "whom no believes"?

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Jun 21 2018 0:08 utc | 19

I can't prove Shaun Walker and Luke Harding are MI5 operatives but I feel it in my gut. I got banned from the Guardian for contrasting Walker's article on the supposedly insanely loud, strident music in hotels at the Sochi Olympics with a real journalist who said the music was quiet and varied between classical and soft pop.

Most people are reading the sports journalists, thankfully, and watching them...

Posted by: Lochearn | Jun 21 2018 0:11 utc | 20

@Peter 2 - I was going to write the same thing about Shaun Walker. He tried to start a war singlehandedly. I am amazed he still has a job!

Posted by: Mischi | Jun 21 2018 0:17 utc | 21

@20 I am amazed he still has a job!

Trying to start a war IS his job.

Posted by: PhilK | Jun 21 2018 0:54 utc | 22

Every day the NYT has one or two op-ed pieces critical of Putin/Russia. Today it was by Alexey Kovalev, and titled "The World Cup Is Fun. Except for the Russians Being Tortured."

I'm still waiting for a mention that the host team scored 8 goals in their two matches.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jun 21 2018 1:04 utc | 23

I agree with B in part on the piece, but the anecdote could certainly be a real one. (regarding the three singing some fascist tune )

Such a crowd of three could certainly have existed. I met directly two such individuals, young and stupid skinheads, on a interurban train in Moscow in 2003. They weren't singing, yet, but they did explain to me the nonsense that was their philosophy of hate, and proudly showed me their swastika paraphernalia, before asking me to give them beer money in lieu of them not punching my face in. I was lucky, I had a large friend with me, but we paid them off anyways, didn't want to give them an excuse to board the train with more friends in tow.

I've also met Turkish neonazis in Istanbul, so there is an appeal of Hitler that seems challenging to entertain when you think about history or how such programs would have certainly led to the execution of people enamored with them in the present...

Posted by: Out of Istanbul | Jun 21 2018 1:07 utc | 24

Shawn Wanker personally witnessed Russian AFVs invading Ukraine when he was 1) too far away from the border to see them 2) had amazingly forgotten to bring his smart phone so he could take a geolocated photo. So his credibility is low. As in lower than snake shit.

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Jun 21 2018 1:12 utc | 25

Aaaaaaaaaand in the meantime, people around the world are are amazed at the beautiful stadiums, the fantastic atmosphere, the great welcome from local people who ar suddenly "invaded", they wonder at the well functioning machine behind it all, the wonder at the tight security and safety of spectators and sport stars.
Congratulations Russia and Russian people, well done!You are doing this exceptionally well. The World Cup, will be billions of dollars worth in positive reviews.
Great to see that Brit fans laid a wreath at the memorial. Shows May and Johnson are not connected to the public,

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jun 21 2018 1:34 utc | 26

thanks b.. great observations! - i would agree strongly with @21 philk in response to @20 mischi.

@2 peter.. that says it all right there.. these people are working for the empire - propagandists as others here state..

@7 loneplateau... thanks.. good stuff..

@24 patrick armstrong... peter was mentioning something like that @2.. indeed..

what amazes me is how low the UK has sunk on so many levels.. a friend today was telling me they are not allowed to have pointed knifes in the uk or some crazy movement is happening towards that... the uk has gone for a complete shit.. too bad, as i think they used to have a few things going for them, but now they are mostly a disgrace on the worlds international stage..

Posted by: james | Jun 21 2018 1:39 utc | 27


The UK may be the only empire on the planet to exceed the nastiness and murderous nature of the US empire.

I've read estimates of between 50 and 300 Million deaths in India alone under UK colonialism. They would starve Indian workers just to see how much work they could produce while being underfed.

They're still at it.

The US is closing fast.

Posted by: paulmeli | Jun 21 2018 1:58 utc | 28

b does not understand basic facts of life, and to redress his lack, I recommend sisterly admonitions that were so popular in their day that you can find a number of YouTube videos of people reading "deranged sorority email". I will quote from memory preserving the tone and sense "I even heard that some of you cheered for the opposite team. Are you f....g stupid!? Nobody cares about sportsmanship! [...] If you have done any of those, please slap yourself in the face so I do not have to find you on campus and do it myself".

Russia is the opposite team. To English fans in Volgograd the opposite team was Tunisia, but reporters knew better.


Concerning "Hitler Jugend SS song", that is indeed a puzzle. How could Russian locals in Volgograd find one, and how could a British reporter recognize it as such? Perhaps it was "Tomorrow Belongs to Me": it could make some sense to sing it a day before the game, and reporter knowing English could notice and garble the Nazi connection.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 21 2018 2:18 utc | 29

@27 We in the USA haven't had as much time at the empire game as our former colonial masters, but we're doing our best to catch up. Who knows, by now we may have left them in the dust.

Late Victorian Hololcaust by Mike Davis tells the story of the fun the Brits had in India. I am about a quarter of the way thru it.
Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry for the book.
Late Victorian Holocaust

Great comments as always, barflies!

Posted by: roza shanina | Jun 21 2018 2:18 utc | 30

Yes ...well that's put the evil colonialists in their place again. But I think james @26 was wondering about the current state of the UK. Things like Brexit, immigration, drugs, stabbings etc..

Some suggest they are reaping the fruits of empire. Myself, I think the British Isles are getting a little crowded.

Posted by: dh | Jun 21 2018 2:50 utc | 31

Seeing that the homophobia and racism claims are not sticking well in their relentless anti-Russian narrative, the MSM has dug up the case of the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov who is currently on hunger strike while in jail in Labytnangi, in northern Siberia, for planning to carry out terrorist acts on public infrastructure and a statue in Crimea and to set fire to government office buildings in Simferopol in 2014, and is flaying it for all it's worth.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 21 2018 3:04 utc | 32

The sports writers are the truth, while the established anchors are the party line. It was never any different.

We forget the upside. We forget how much energy it takes to keep a lie believable. We forget how the west has to strain against incredulity itself in order to counter the random and unschooled manifestations of the truth.

What a tangled web the west has woven for itself through its deceits. How these presstitutes had to work through the night, and sweat the details, to try to patch the holes in the sinking ship - while those who were part of the truth of discovering the reality of Russia slept soundly, and probably with a great beer buzz, and the ring of real people in their ears.

We have to do something, but we don't have to do everything, in order to counter the lies of the liars. The universe itself - the very nature of reality - abhors untruth, and causes the truth to show the shallowness of lies on countless, unscripted occasions.

And these occasions are usually a party. A celebration by ordinary people, joining in common understanding.

What the rulers most fear.

Because all it takes is a small consensus of 10-15 percent of any population and you have an activist force. They know this. Minions like the presstitutes mentioned here probably don't understand this in words, but in their bowels they know.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 21 2018 3:28 utc | 33

When I saw that Shawn Walker Tweet, and the mostly brilliant take-down responses, I hoped b would mention it. I can think of no one better suited to address this particularly putrid propaganda. Bravo! And to the (almost) universally excellent barfly commentariat.

BBC created a whole genre of Russian World Cup scare mongering. One they did was on the deadly threat of “Russian Football Hooligans.” RT did an excellent 4 minute job of combining journalism with humor to expose that bit of 100% Fake News.

They also expanded it into a full set-piece.
Here’s the trailer:

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 21 2018 3:53 utc | 34

The Media is a complete weapon for propaganda. The "writers" are propagandists.
There never is a report on Russia from the Western media that does not vilify or demonize Russia or Russians in some way.

The World Cup is experienced by hundreds of thousands of tourists in Russia. They are going to be the truth-tellers.
The event, like Sochi Winter Olympics will stand for itself. It will be splendid.

And the lies will die.

Never expect the truth from the Media.

Always expect the Russian people to be extraordinary. They have demonstrated it for a century.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jun 21 2018 3:57 utc | 35

Wow Grieved @32! If I keep reading your posts, I might find myself uncontrollably yanked out of my growing cynicism.

Thank you!

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 21 2018 4:11 utc | 36

Out of Istanbul 23
As you say, the skinhead nazi gangs exist in Russia as the do in many countries.
Three of them singing a nazi song in a pub like that in Russia would have got quite a hiding if true. There is a great deal of interest in and participation in martial arts (fight schools/gyms and so forth) in Russia, more so than in the US west.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 21 2018 5:56 utc | 37

@Inkan # 18

Isn't is "whom no believes"?

In proper Oxford English, yes. But "Whom" is dying out. I recall a bit in the Simpsons in which the pedantic Sideshow Bob takes over Crusty the Clown's show and replaces his trademark "Who do you love?" opening line with "Whom do you love?"

The only time "whom" seems to be called for in modern usage is directly after a preposition: "to whom it may concern", "she is not the woman with whom I slept".

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 21 2018 6:10 utc | 38

The problem the MSM has is that the World Cup so far has been a thundering success. Russia is no backwards nation, but a nation far above derelict Britain. That is what has been showed.
F.G,S. see the tweets of people there, it is first class. And security is almost everywhere.
It shows the difference between a country for the few and a country for the people. I congratulate the Russian Government and the Russian people for this astounding success, we knew you could and you did it. Like Sputnik. Anybody remember?

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jun 21 2018 6:13 utc | 39

The USA is not participating in the World Cup so it is of minimal interest there except as a political hobbyhorse.

As an American living in Europe for over 30 years, I have tried repeatedly to gain some appreciation for the sport of soccer but have failed. For that, I am not a big sports fan to begin with.

If Germany makes the finals I suppose I will go watch some games out of solidarity with my neighbors - but will be secretly happy if Germany loses.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 21 2018 6:31 utc | 40

And another thing - the other day I came a cross an interesting tidbit, I would include a link if I can remember where I saw it, it may in fact have even been the graun. It goes like this:

A few years back the FBI raided the FIFA HQ in Switzerland eventually arresting and charging many FIFA commissioners alleging they were taking backhanders and at the time I, along with many other sort of assumed that the amerikans shoving their stickbeaks into an organisation which was none of their damn business was down to an announcement from FIFA president Blatter that if the Israeli army and police didn't cease harassing the Palestinian team preventing players from getting to international games by holding the players up at checkpoints, sometimes for days, FIFA would have no choice but to penalise the Israeli football team who had already been granted special dispensation by FIFA to play in the Euro conference rather than the ME one that their geography should have demanded.
Nuttytahoo did his usual 'antisemite' victim whine so it was a reasonable assumption to think the fed raid the next week was connected.

It may have been the issue which caused the amerikan sheet sniffers to move, but the actual investigation was caused by something completely different.
Two nations competed for the 2018 world cup hosting rights. One was Russia and the second one was . . .drumroll. . . England!
Yep the perfidious poms had put in their bid and one of the tools in their 'kit' was none other than the old fibber Christopher Steele, who just as with the Trump investigation, did his 'inquiry' by remote control as he is persona non grata in Russia.
Also just like the Trump bizzo, when his employers dipped out, Steele's unsubstantiated gossip & slander having done nothing useful, Steele leaked his report to the feds.

The claims he makes are utterly fantastic (WARNING the link is to a graun 'long read' and is brimming with tedious & tendentious bulldust) the most laughable being that 'Putin' - always Putin never any of the many thousands of astute bureaucrats who work in the Russian government, stole a bunch of valuable old paintings from the Hermitage and gave them to the blokes on the World Cup venue committee as a bribe. The feds who went through these poor old buggers' lives with a fine tooth comb found nothing to substantiate that libel.
The other big lie was that while the Russian president was in Qatar finalising the joint gas pipeline deal he cut another deal of the 'you vote for us we'll vote for you' as world cup host in 2018 and 2022 respectively. Yeah that sounds just like President Putin tossing Russia's economic future to the side while he organised a few soccer games - not.

The worst thing about these slanders and the harassment of a few old geezers who prefer sport as a mechanism for nations to interact than war, is that these old fellas were all (well just about all) socialists who yeah probably did allow a coupla mill to fall into their wallets, but who were dedicated to their sport remaining egalitarian. They invested billions into developing their sport all over the world especially in Africa, Latin America and the Mid-East where a shortage of venues, kit and professional coaches used to really hold those nations back.
The 'clean sweep' of FIFA has opened the door to neolibs who are talking about corporatising the World Cup like the Olympics, then the billions will all go to corporations and their shareholders.
No one should begrudge these guys the few quid they grabbed, I know puritans hate it but in a truly tolerant society we should expect that a few otherwise dedicated types will always 'tickle the peter'. I used to get pissed about it in the union movement but the amounts are usually small compared to turn-over and I'd rather have a dodgy member of the proletariat who grabs a little in a position of power than a slimy neolib forever manouvering to flog the entire kit & kaboodle off to a bunch of anonymous 'financiers'.

It is stuff like this about Skirpal's boss Steele, which really opens up the field of suspects on the 'poisoning'. I have no doubt Skirpal would have been the alleged 'proof' for this farrago of tosh. Russia and Qatar got their world cup final, but england and amerika (who were the finalists against Qatar for hosting in 2022) didn't, surely it is the latter two who are more likely to have a grudge against old Sergei.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jun 21 2018 6:42 utc | 41

Debs @ 40
I can only laud you. sexist comment follows. Your comments are good reading , thank you.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jun 21 2018 6:48 utc | 42

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jun 21, 2018 2:48:04 AM | 41

I'm happy to interest/entertain during such a horror that is our current world.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jun 21 2018 7:31 utc | 43

The UK hates the idea that the EU that they left would turn to Russia for friendship. Their propaganda goes along with the usa that shares this apprehension. Now that Trump has humiliated the EU, the EU is turning toward Russia despite the Uk...

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 21 2018 8:17 utc | 44

The pecking order of the mad monks 'anglosphere'.
Britain is the matriarch.
US is the black sheep that returned to rule the family.
Australia, Canada, New Zealand are the loyal offspring that willingly do as they are told.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 21 2018 9:18 utc | 45

If two British scribes say they heard something, which each describes differently, then it must be true

oh yeah, absolutely.

regarding the metaphysics of propaganda, obeisance trumps perception every time.

perceive the fallen tree.

Posted by: john | Jun 21 2018 10:10 utc | 46

The Western corporate media is a sorry spectacle to behold. The Baltic and the Scandinavian branches are the most pathetic. Combining native stupidity with pig-headed tenacity to hold on to the past.

Posted by: Steve | Jun 21 2018 10:15 utc | 47

Apart from fake problems in Russia there are actual problems for many ethnic minorities in coexisting with Russian majority within Russian Federation. For example what comes to languages in schools.

"But many people in Russia's so-called ethnic republics -- federation subjects where the titular ethnicity is significantly represented, including Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Chuvashia -- argue that the bill aims at weakening non-Russian cultures and the country's nominal status as a federation."

Posted by: Tar | Jun 21 2018 10:38 utc | 48

The LGTB concerns are legit, because Russians seem to pride themselves today on their homophobia, considering it to be a sign of their enlightened civilization!!!

Posted by: paul | Jun 21 2018 10:46 utc | 49

Susan Rice is concerned that the United States quitting UNHRC will make it harder for anti-Israel initiatives on the council to be blocked. I'm getting the feeling one of Trump's approaches is to give people what they claim they want (US Embassy in Jerusalem, tax breaks for 1%, being hard on illegal immigrants, etc.) so that when that doesn't produce the claimed breakthrough he can do what he wants. Perhaps Trump is not as close to the Israelis as they, Adelson and Saban think. Perhaps it's the same with Europe and the sanctions against Russia.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 21 2018 12:15 utc | 50

This is written by an American expat living in Mexico. While I disagree with his views on a number of issues, on empire this is sport on. Great writing too:

OK, Europoodles. In the struggle between Washington’s military and China’s economy, America’s European vassals form a crucial football. They have to be kept under American control. This is what NATO does. Left alone, Europe would contentedly buy oil from Iran and sell it airliners. It would buy Russian gas and sell stuff to Russia. The effect would be to loosen America’s iron grip on the throat of Europe.

Crucial question: Is there a likelihood that the Poodles will find the virility to go independent of Mother Washington? Historically they have been docile and obedient, good doggy, roll over. Now they yap fiercely, having discovered that America is not their ally but their owner. If by remote chance they decide to act in their own interest, methinks we will have moved into another world.

It is worth keeping in mind that neither America nor Americans have a dog in this fight. Trump, Israel, and the Empire do. No danger to America or Americans will arise if Iran buys airliners, or Europe buys gas, or Afghanistan does anything at all, or Venezuelans have enough to eat. The United States has been hijacked and is now used for the benefit of imperial loons and their allies.

The save-the-empire game plays out in much of the world as the US lunges about, strong-arming country after country to keep them in submission. Just now Trump is sanctioning, tarriffing, embargoing, invading, or bombing Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Europe, China, Turkey, Russia, Syria, Somalia, various African countries, and North Korea.

Posted by: sleepy | Jun 21 2018 12:21 utc | 51

>>>> sleepy | Jun 21, 2018 8:21:14 AM | 51

Trump is either an idiot or an intentionally disruptive revolutionary . It's hard to work out which but I tend to the latter.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 21 2018 12:39 utc | 52

Ghost Ship says:

Trump is either an idiot or an intentionally disruptive revolutionary. It's hard to work out which but I tend to the latter

i tend towards the former, but it's a real cliffhanger, huh?

Glen Ford puts it succinctly…

He is an intellectually and emotionally retarded spawn of super-privilege trying to stamp his orange imprint on history…The man, literally, knows not what he does -- and, therefore, cannot be counted on to repeat himself, or to follow through on any action with logic and consistency, for good or ill

Posted by: john | Jun 21 2018 14:12 utc | 53

B being German, he should know well this disgusting behaviour from British press. Every single time there's an England-Germany game, they're replaying WWII and their articles and comments are full of references to the 3rd Reich... Not a bit surprise to see the same goons relying on the same shit against Russia.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jun 21 2018 14:14 utc | 54

I believe "ES ZITTERN DIE MORSCHEN KNOCHEN" was sung by both the Hitlerjugend and the SS. (Caps necessary to get the title past Autocorrect.)

Posted by: lysias | Jun 21 2018 15:41 utc | 55

"Trump is either an idiot or an intentionally disruptive revolutionary. It's hard to work out which but I tend to the latter."

Why can't he be both?

Posted by: pebird | Jun 21 2018 15:49 utc | 56

Speaking of British scribes spreading lies about Russia, all RussiaGate roads lead to England:

"Hostility to Russia is one of the most enduring, as well as one of the most destructive, realities of British life. Its persistence is illustrated by one of the most interesting but least reported facts about the Skripal affair....

"This has in fact been the constant pattern of Anglo-Russian relations ever since the Napoleonic Wars.

"Brief periods of seeming friendship – often brought about by a challenge posed by a common enemy – alternating with much longer periods of often intense hostility.

"This hostility – at least from the British side – is not easy to understand....

"In the meantime the rest of the world needs to understand that when it comes to Russia, the British are suffering from a serious affliction. Failing to do that risks the infection spreading, with the disastrous consequences we have seen with the Russia-gate scandal in the US."

A long and very informative article by Alexander Mercouris reminds us of the extremely deep roots
of British Russophobia. Indeed, the Brits are now in a panic over the proposed Trump-Putin Summit. Do plan some time reading the first article.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 21 2018 16:05 utc | 57

Although not specific to thread topic, , it is about media and policy--and insightful: Why did the relatively small protests against US border policy get Trump to (somewhat) change it while much larger anti-war protests did nothing whatsoever?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 21 2018 16:18 utc | 58

@58 "While masses of protesters can control the streets and non-corporate air waves, the corporate media in the United States that is willing to take a side on issues like migration is unwilling, unable or not wanting to go up against the pro-war factions of Washington."

That's it of course but the separating of children from their parents was a step too far. Nobody in their right mind could go along with it.

Posted by: dh | Jun 21 2018 16:36 utc | 59

54 Clueless Joe
/the same shit against Russia/?
No, The shit is Not against Russia, but Russia itself is a huge shit.

Posted by: ALAN | Jun 21 2018 16:55 utc | 60

@60 alan...nice way to change the topic! i guess you are unhappy with the treatment of oleg sentsov? either way, the uk bozos and the russiophob journalists are full of shite, and that much you can know for sure.. i would imagine they are cut from the same crazy clothe that oleg is, but then i don't know oleg, so that is just a wide guess..

Posted by: james | Jun 21 2018 17:08 utc | 61

"The blokes sing a line about putting someone to Auschwitz, give the Hitler salute and shout "Sieg Heil!""

Actually, they are singing about sending Tottenham Hotspurs, aka Spurs, (a north London club with a large Jewish supporter base) to the gas chamber. Many Spurs fans proudly refer to themselves as 'Yids' and sing 'come on you yids' etc., which the football authorities are trying to outlaw. So singing send the yids to Auschwitz here, means send Spurs fans (obviously not all Jewish) there. Basically, a big proportion of travelling supporters of the England national team are beer swilling morons who sing stupid songs like 'No surrender to the IRA, repeatedly God save the Queen, and the idiotic 'Two world wars and one world cup' (that England supposedly won, the morons have no idea that Russia did most of the heavy lifting in WW2). That Walker and the Telegraph guy 'pretended' they were Russian is pathetic.

Posted by: John A | Jun 21 2018 17:30 utc | 62

dh @59--

The policy was passed into law in 1986, during Reagan's reign of terror. Publicity of its enforcement's the primary difference, as Garrie noted. Also note the vastly differing terms used to describe these unfortunate people, most of whom try to seek asylum--migrants, illegals, etc. Sesssions says it's the parents who are attempting to "smuggle" their children over the border. While I loathe Juan Cole, like a broken clock, he's occasionally correct. Of course, I too could write an article showing the Outlaw US Empire in violation of numerous international and related domestic laws.

What I hope comes from this is not just growing solidarity, but an awareness of just how lawless this nation's behavior is in many instances, and the paramount requirement to return the Rule of Law to its place atop the Rule of Men lest we become even more corrupt and brutal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 21 2018 17:32 utc | 63

Debisdead: I'd rather have a dodgy member of the proletariat who grabs a little in a position of power than a slimy neolib forever manouvering to flog the entire kit & kaboodle off to a bunch of anonymous 'financiers'.

Well said! Agreed.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jun 21 2018 18:00 utc | 64

Do either of this pond-scum journalists speak German, or do they just claim to have memorized the Nazi songs?

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jun 21 2018 18:30 utc | 65

I wonder if the journalists paid or otherwise persuaded the singers to sing that particular song, just so that they would have a story that pleased their editors.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 21 2018 18:48 utc | 66

Posted by: Ghost Ship @50:
"Susan Rice is concerned that the United States quitting UNHRC will make it harder for anti-Israel initiatives on the council to be blocked."

Theater. The AZ(W) Empire has never worried about the UN. If they can't or don't force through whatever they want, they simply ignore whatever the UN says. Just as it was designed.

The "Make Greater Israel Again" program seems to be progressing quite rapidly. Gaza is seeing airstrikes more frequently suggesting another "Mowing the Lawn" on the horizon. Palestinian Authority police brutally shutting down peaceful protests in support of the Palestinians of Gaza. Deals with Jordan and Egypt apparently meant to take in the Palestinian survivors as the ZioFascists "complete 1948.". Natural gas exploitation of occupied Golan and the coast off of Gaza.

And the US/GB/FR have enormous military assets "in theater."

Trump personally has been owned by the Zio-Banksters at least since his now Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross provided Rothschilds money to bail out his failed real estate/gambling business in the early 1990s. His Administration is 100% Zionist.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 21 2018 19:45 utc | 67

@Christophe Douté - this is useful yes. You sound interested in this topic so just wanted to point you towards and if you don't know them already.

I live in the UK and have listened to a lot of very positive comments on the radio. One pundit was even allowed to talk for a couple of minutes on how the reality is so very different from we are led to believe from the media back home. It was pretty amazing to hear on the BBC actually.

Posted by: ross | Jun 21 2018 21:22 utc | 68

Guerrero @64

"Debisdead: I'd rather have a dodgy member of the proletariat who grabs a little in a position of power than a slimy neolib forever manouvering to flog the entire kit & kaboodle off to a bunch of anonymous 'financiers'.

Well said! Agreed."

In the US, big city democratic party machines used to function this way. An Irish uncle of mine was a precinct captain in Chicago during the elder Daly years. He was rewarded with a job as a unionized city plumber, and made a good salary.

What he did for the machine in return--any problem that a resident of his precinct had with city hall or other institutions were addressed to him. Whether it was a problem of a widow's too high property tax or putting in a word for a kid to get that college scholarship or helping the local parish raise some money for a sick teacher, he took action.

You were expected of course to vote for the Daly machine come election day, and he knew exactly how people voted. But nowadays Chicago isn't run by blue collar unionized plumbers, it is run by and for the financial and real estate elite.

Posted by: sleepy | Jun 21 2018 21:46 utc | 69

mediocre propagandists whom's words no one trusts or believes.

Grammar pedantry: should be "whose words." Pronouns never take an apostrophe.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 21 2018 22:10 utc | 70

"One's" is with an apostrophe. So are "anyone's" and "everyone's".

Posted by: lysias | Jun 22 2018 0:18 utc | 71

Pedants will be taken out and shot.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jun 22 2018 0:52 utc | 72

@71 That's a little harsh. I can tolerate the 'there, their' and 'loser, looser' and the incorrect use of the conditional tense fairly well but I do have one pet peeve. It bothers me when someone says 'could care less'. Obvious grammatical nonsense .....please aim for 'could not care less'. Thank you.

Posted by: dh | Jun 22 2018 1:39 utc | 73

Back on topic.... the British have long prided themselves on having the best soccer hooligans. I don't know why journalists have to pick up the slack. Probably the A Team hooligans couldn't get visas.

Posted by: dh | Jun 22 2018 1:45 utc | 74

Generally agree with this piece but it is not true that “nobody” believes the Guardian and friends propaganda. A majority of people still get their news exclusively from the MSM and believe its accounts to be factual. And anyone who thinks US-Israel hegemony will end anytime soon is dreaming. Being a keyboard pundit is fine but take care not to isolate yourself from other points of view. Hint: denouncing people who don’t agree with you on all fronts as “trolls” or CIA/MI6/Mossad operatives only makes you look like intolerant, paranoid idiots.

Do you want to be “right” and feel like you are part of a righteous cult, or are you interested in ascertaining the truth? I think we all know the answer to that one. As for the bloke who chimed in claiming Russia does not do propaganda...lmao. Another hint: binary thinking might work well for computers but not so much for humans. Nuance has all but been forgotten. GWB’s “with us or against” is how everyone thinks these days. Sad!

Posted by: Porridge & Lager | Jun 22 2018 1:58 utc | 75

@62 John A

Thank you for the "pidgin" translation of these words. Fascinating simply in itself - who cannot love the local colloquialisms and insider jargon of this world?

But more than this, it is stunning to see how low the bar already was set (somewhere at the level of: ready to puke a night's worth of lager), and how low the UK press had to crawl in order to pass under that bar.

Pathetic, as you say. And we could wish to find even better words to describe just how worm-crawlingly pathetic this was, on the part of the UK media. But here we are. We have no other words. The UK media has descended, as so many times before, into depths unspeakable.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 22 2018 2:34 utc | 76

Porridge & Lager 74
Propaganda is something that originates from or is approved by the top levels of a countries government, and is mostly used to reinforce ideology. The top levels of government participate.
Russia has no ideology. It has four national religions plus a number of others.
The Soviet Union tried to export its ideology as the US still does. Propaganda was/is required for this.
What is Russia trying to export? it has a vision for a multi-polar world. A world where a countries sovereignty is respected. They seem to be walking the talk on this.
Do people have to be deceived to encourage them towards a multi-polar world? Do Russian people have to be deceived about the way their country is heading domestically and internationally?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 22 2018 3:36 utc | 77

The English language grammar lessons have been helpful and interesting,
and grammar itself to be useful and ultimately beneficial to civil discourse.

We had better grab onto culture and civilization with both hands, to have a chance to
survive the death-spiralling imperial buy-sell economic model (aka "savage capitalism").

" We could wish to find even better words to describe just how worm-crawlingly pathetic this was, on the part of the UK media. But here we are. We have no other words. The UK media has descended, as so many times before, into depths unspeakable."

Grieved, I am a reader of yours; since before you were Grieved. How's about these words?:

"...what depths of the soul does Jonah's deep sea-line sound !
what a pregnant lesson to us is this prophet ! What a noble thing
is that canticle in the fish's belly! How billow-like and boisterously grand!
We feel the floods surging over us; we sound with him to the kelpy bottom of the waters; sea-weed and all the slime of the sea is about us !..."

Moby Dick

Posted by: Guerrero | Jun 22 2018 3:59 utc | 78

To Grieved,
The stupidity level of English football supporters is legend. Chelsea are a big rival of Spurs and the Chelsea fans in particular sing derogatory songs about Spurs as yids. The irony being that Chelsea was bought by a Russian Jewish oligarch about 15 years ago and who has spent huge sums to transform the club from mediocrity to European champions league winners. Although the oligarch has recently been denied a visa to spend time in England, as part of the Russia bashing campaign by the government. S one can wonder if he will sell the club. He has already pulled out of spending more millions on upgrading the stadium.

Posted by: John A | Jun 22 2018 8:22 utc | 79

British top brass do their bit with insane scaremongering:
Probably rankles that Soviets saved our skins in WWII.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Jun 22 2018 10:27 utc | 80

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 22 2018 22:55 utc | 81

and how low the UK press had to crawl in order to pass under that bar.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 21, 2018 10:34:37 PM | 76

I would actually offer some compassion for the intrepid reporters who have to dig out some anti-Russian tidbits in cities that were freshly scrubbed for World Cup games. Potentially, the most fertile grounds for such digging can be found by bar crawling, but how to mix with the public there and remain sufficiently sober to compile accurate notes? Imagine nursing hangover while preparing dispatch for your employer.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 24 2018 2:14 utc | 82

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