Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 15, 2019

CIA Blames Its Proxy For Its Raid On North Korea's Embassy In Spain

The CIA is the main suspect in the military style raid on the North Korean embassy in Madrid. It now launched a somewhat hapless effort to deflect from it. The Spanish report in which Spanish government sources accuse the CIA said:

At least two of the 10 assailants who broke into the embassy and interrogated diplomatic staff have been identified and have connections to the US intelligence agency. The CIA has denied any involvement but government sources say their response was “unconvincing.”

That the CIA is the main suspect in the assault was reported on Wednesday in the Spanish mainstream paper El Pais. The paper made the extra effort to publish an abbreviated English language version. It was widely picked up by other international outlets. Some of the assailants were Asian and spoke Korean language. They were probably from the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), a subsidiary of the CIA know for its extremely hawkish politics. It often rigs elections in South Korea in support of hawkish conservatives candidates.

Attacking a foreign embassy in a third country is far out of bounce of international law and diplomatic decency. After the El Pais report something had to be done to direct the attention away from the CIA and to find some other culprit.

A story was thought up and pushed to the favorite CIA outlet, the Washington Post. It wasn't the CIA which did it, writes the Post's national security reporter, it was a CIA controlled 'regime change' organization.

A shadowy group trying to overthrow Kim Jong Un raided a North Korean embassy in broad daylight

In broad daylight, masked assailants infiltrated North Korea’s embassy in Madrid, restrained the staff with rope, stole computers and mobile phones, and fled the scene in two luxury vehicles.

The group behind the late February operation is known as Cheollima Civil Defense, a secretive dissident organization committed to overthrowing the Kim dynasty, people familiar with the planning and execution of the mission told The Washington Post.
People familiar with the incident say the group did not act in coordination with any governments. U.S. intelligence agencies would have been especially reluctant to do so given the sensitive timing and brazen nature of the mission. But the raid represents the most ambitious operation to date for an obscure organization that seeks to undermine the North Korean regime and encourage mass defections, they say.

The CIA agents, led by torture queen Gina Haspel, are snowflakes who would never break the law or cause some international outrage. It must have been some independent group:

“This group is the first known resistance movement against North Korea, which makes its activities very newsworthy,” said Sung-Yoon Lee, a North Korea expert at Tufts University.

The identity of the assailants is a particularly sensitive topic given the delicate nature of Trump and Kim’s relationship.
Any hint of U.S. involvement in an assault on a diplomatic compound could have derailed the talks, a prospect the CIA would likely be mindful of.

Derailing the talks was (and is) exactly what Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton wanted to do. We know that because the Post reported it on February 20, two days before the raid on the embassy and seven days before the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi:

Last month, in a lengthy speech at Stanford University, [Trump's special envoy Stephen E.] Biegun set out his vision for North Korea to dismantle its plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities in exchange for “corresponding measures” by the United States.

Hawks such as Bolton have fiercely opposed this “step-by-step” process in favor of maintaining maximum pressure through economic sanctions that would, in theory, force a better deal by eroding North Korea’s resolve.

Tasking the CIA to raid a North Korean embassy to spoil the talks is exactly a thing John Bolton would do. The Post's shameful attempt to make believe otherwise is laughable:

“Infiltrating a North Korean embassy days before the nuclear summit would throw that all into jeopardy,” said Sue Mi Terry, a former Korea analyst at the CIA. “This is not something the CIA would undertake.”

The agency declined to comment.

We can of course fully believe the 'former' CIA analyst's assertion that the CIA would never do such a thing. Aside from Bolton's urge to sabotage the negotiations it would have had no motive. Except, of course, it would have had many:

Experts say the computers and phones seized in the raid amount to a treasure trove of information that foreign intelligence agencies are likely to seek out from the group.

In 2017 Spain asked the North Korean ambassador Kim Hyok Chol to leave. He is now the leader of the negotiations with the United States. To know everything about him is important. He may even be susceptible to blackmail:

The assailants also possess a video recording they took during the raid, which they could release anytime, said one person who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive and illegal operation.

The Spanish language version of the El Pais report had a side box that might explain the possible content of a video (machine translated):

One of the darkest aspects of the assault on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid is the interrogation to which the head of the command, who called himself The Entrepreneur, subjected the charge of business, leading the diplomatic delegation since the ambassador was expelled. The head of the commando separated the diplomat from the rest of the hostages and locked himself alone with him. It is not known what he intended, but the current head of the Pyongyang delegation in Madrid probably knows a lot about Kim Hyok Chol, head of the North Korean delegation in the nuclear negotiations before the US, with whom he coincided when the latter was ambassador in Madrid, between 2014 and 2017.

Mentioning a video recording taken during the raid is supposed to sow 'fear and doubt' in and about the North Korean negotiator.

The new Washington Post/CIA story goes on to describe the 'regime change' organization that is supposed to divert from the direct CIA involvement in the raid:

The Cheollima group, which also goes by the name Free Joseon, came to prominence in 2017 after it successfully evacuated the nephew of Kim Jong Un from Macau when potential threats to his life surfaced. The nephew was the son of Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean leader’s exiled half brother who was assassinated in a nerve-gas attack in a Malaysian airport in 2017.
For safety reasons, the leader of the group does not disclose his name, and his identity is known only to a small group of people.

Cheollima is the name of a mythical horse in Chinese and Korean folklore. The Joseon dynasty ruled Korea from 1392 to 1897. It went down when Japan tried to gain control of the country which it achieved a few years later.

Kim Jong Nam was killed on February 13, 2017. In a redacted video his son Kim Han-sol thanks the people who picked him up. (They might want to use him as a future replacement for Kim Jong-un.) The video was recorded on February 15 2017 ("my father was killed two days ago"). It was published on March 7 2017 on a Cheollima channel on Youtube created on March 4 2017. The Cheollima website domain the group uses was anonymously registered in March 2017. It was updated on November 29 2018 shortly after the South Korean NIS received new orders from its headquarter in Washington DC.

Cheollima/Free Joseon also seeks defectors from North Korea. On February 28 2019 (not "in March" as the Post claims), the very same day the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi failed, Cheollima published a manifesto that clearly aims at 'regime change' in North Korea:

WE DECLARE ON THIS DAY the establishment of Free Joseon, a provisional government preparing the foundations for a future nation built upon respect for principles of human rights and humanitarianism, holding sacred a manifest dignity for every woman, man, and child.

We declare this entity the sole legitimate representative of the Korean people of the north.

The U.S. driven 'regime change' attempt in Venezuela also has a figure that claims to be the "sole legitimate representative" while having zero power in that country.

The English version of the manifest reads like it was written by someone who is a native English speaker or at least studied English literature:

Joseon must and shall be free. Arise! Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!

We reject the chains of our historic unrequited grief, declare henceforth a new era in our history, and prepare the way for a New Joseon. We therefore proclaim the birth of our revolution and our intentions towards building a more just and equal society, as truest expressions of the shared affections of our people.

A report on the manifest launch in the British Sun remarks:

The Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD) organisation has declared itself as a shadow government which is working to overthrow the regime.
Not a lot is known about the CCD but some people believe it is linked to South Korea’s spy agency.

The White Helmets, the MI-6 organization for 'regime change' in Syria, has the website domain "". Cheollima's website domain is "". The logos of the two organization are also somewhat similar.

Is there a corporate design/marketing company specialized in promoting spy service cutouts for 'regime change'?

The 'former' CIA analyst in the Post piece 'predicts' that there will be more 'embassy raid' operations:

“In its messaging, the group said they have formed a provisional government to replace the regime in Pyongyang,” said Terry, who is a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “They have now shown the seriousness of their intent and some capabilities to carry out operations. We will see in the coming months the extent of their capabilities.”

While the CIA makes a hapless attempt to cover its traces in Madrid, North Korea continues to follow its game plan for the next round of negotiations. It prepares the public for a U.S. failure:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon decide whether to continue diplomatic talks and maintain his moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, a senior North Korean official said Friday, adding that the U.S. threw away a golden opportunity at the recent summit between their leaders.
She said Pyongyang now has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the United States takes measures that are commensurate to the changes it has taken — such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests — and changes its “political calculation.”

The North Korean statement blames Bolton and Secretary of State Pompeo for the failure of the negotiations while it empathizes a special relation between Kim and Trump.

The signaled satellite launch by North Korea will proceed. It will push the Trump administration back to the starting point of its efforts to 'denuclearize' North Korea.

The difference now is that North Korea has earned good will in China and Russia. It showed its willingness to negotiate and stuck to its commitments made in the Joint Declaration in Singapore while the U.S. obviously refused to fulfill its parts. China and Russia already gave North Korea some unofficial 'sanction relief'. They are unlike to again support the failed 'maximum pressure' approach the Trump administrations once set out with.

The hapless CIA nonsense will not change those facts.

Posted by b on March 15, 2019 at 22:50 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks for this b.. fascinating.. reality is stranger then fiction.. trust the wapo prints mostly fiction to run to the cias rescue..

yeah, i just can't imagine the cia doing anything bad... that would really be unlike them!! the logo designers are going to have to be more creative, but until such time as they are, we can count on such branding that appears to come out of the same graphic design outfit.. i wonder how the poodle spain proceeds from here??

Posted by: james | Mar 15 2019 23:15 utc | 1

Tasking the CIA to raid a North Korean embassy to spoil the talks is exactly a thing John Bolton would do.
So it was probably Bolton after all. If he had no authority to issue orders within the CIA, things would have been lots fuzzier with that "proxy". Especially if somebody was waving around shopping bags full of large bills. The other day at the xymphora site the blogger wrote this:
More Bolton hyper-aggression on multiple fronts. Bolton out of control is the best example of the complete deterioration of Trump. Remember it was Sheldon who forced Trump to appoint him, and the equally incompetent Abrams. One of the problems with the Deep State animosity towards Trump is that the 'adults' who would normally move in to fix this have relatively little influence over Trump, who is now flailing away under the influence of shekels and the most obvious blackmail I've ever seen.
Influence! But only today did I read a comment which caused me to add 2 + 2 to get 4.

It has to be Mossad-Epstein nasty pedophilia videos.

Maybe Trump will fire Bolton and Abrams. That's not the outcome I expect if the apartheid Jewish state holds videos demonstrating behavior both sinful and criminal.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 15 2019 23:24 utc | 2

Here is an article that looks at what one former U.S. president had to say about trusting his own intelligence network:

Given the current world geopolitical situation and the American intelligence network's close involvement in the Russian meddling narrative, it's looking this former president's assessment was prescient.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Mar 15 2019 23:26 utc | 3

"Is there a corporate design/marketing company specialized in spy service cutouts for 'regime change'?" (presumably rhetorical)

Posted by: Yonatan | Mar 15 2019 23:28 utc | 4

It was not me defence does not work in real life. In the master of reality distortion field it is accepted effective SOP. My SITRAP tells me that this operating system is due to crash.

Posted by: steve | Mar 15 2019 23:31 utc | 5

Some more context on “Cheollima,” in Korean mythology the Cheollima arrives to sanctify the founder of a new dynasty, thus quite literally a reference to “regime change.” Also, Joseon is both a reference to the last dynasty and a reference to the official name of North Korea, which prefers “Joseon” to South Korea’s “Han.” Both terms are frequently used in Juche ideology, meaning they’ve worked out a communications strategy for this outfit that fits with the ruling ideology of the Communist Party.

Posted by: John | Mar 15 2019 23:35 utc | 6

"We will see in the coming months the extent of their capabilities.”
Followed by...
"While the CIA makes a hapless attempt to cover its traces in Madrid..."
My god, are these fkrs even trying to be subtle anymore, or are they (as the Saker has asserted) just that stupid? They sure as sheise aren't doing very well at the "cover its traces" part...
I'd also like to add that despite all the cracks about "little rocket man," "fat boy," pie, and cakes, etc., Kim Jong Un is proving to be just about as sharp as Kim Il Sung (I hear Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong is also very bright).
Excellent report; many thanks once again, b.

Posted by: robjira | Mar 16 2019 0:11 utc | 7

@B: Thanks for connecting the dots. Thats the great strength of MoA IMHO, that you put all details together, revealing the whole picture. Those details, that even supposed first class journalists dont (want to) remember. Thus enabling a look on the deeper truths.

@John: Thanks for the background info!

Trump IS being blackmailed. Not by Russia, but by Sheldon Adelson and Co. With the neocons in the admin being the price DJT and we all now pay.
That this can not end well, no matter if with Trump or Clinton or whoever, should be clear by now. The USA and us their vassals are on a path on which there are no happy endings i fear. Only crash and burn, and the near hope to rebuild something liveable out of the ruins. Dystopia.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Mar 16 2019 0:17 utc | 8

Do not forget the Democrats hand in this. They want Trump to fail. They held the Cohen hearings while Trump was negotiating with Kim in Vietnam. Clearly that was intended to show that Trump is weak and not in control. Joined together with the embassy raid it shows the NK leadership that any promises made are not likely to be kept by the next administration.

Trump needs to change tack by backing off slightly on his demands and getting the UN more involved bypassing his national security establishment.
I cannot recall there ever being a regime change organization directed at North Korea.

All of this is obvious, the war party is using its resources to push North Korea away from the table. In my opinion the South is way to smart to swallow that BS. The South does have its war hawks as well but it appears that the desire for reunification is quite strong.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 16 2019 0:20 utc | 9

The Tick 201 The Little Wooden Boy, part 2, dialog around 5:50 of the You Tube video:

Wonder Woman: "So it is true! The Swiss mean to take over the City!"

Anonymous person with gray mustache, a leader of a masked group, all armed in huge and very special Swiss Army Knives: "No, no, no, no! Silly American woman, we are certainly Swiss, but our actions IN NO WAY represent the policies of the Swiss government. Actually, we are more like, err, criminals."

Wonder Woman: "Yea, this is what they all say."

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 16 2019 0:30 utc | 10

Another possibility not mentioned is the possibility of a false flag operation carried out by the NOKO's themselves (or some other entity).

Posted by: David | Mar 16 2019 0:42 utc | 11

1) AFAIK Bolton can't order the CIA to do anything.

2) If Bolton has any 'pull' it's because he is a neocon and advances their agenda (but he can't order CIA to do anything).

3) Gina Haspel is Brennan's gal at CIA. Trump appointed her as well as others connected to his (supposed) enemies like:

- VP Pence, long-time friend of John McCain;

Bolton, who Trump had praised long before the election;

William Barr, who is close to Robert Mueller;

4) In foreign policy, Trump plays the good cop to the Deep State's bad cop.

5) We've seen apologists give numerous excuses for Trump:

- he's a foreign policy neophyte, getting played by the neocons!

- he's playing 11-dimensional chess!

- Bolton!

The same sort of excuses were made for Obama, USA's previous faux populist President.

When people tire of the excuses, maybe they will start to see how a) faux populism is a political model that serves the establishment and b) revisit the 2016 Presidential election and connect the memory-holed dots:

- the Deep State wanted a nationalist President to counter the challenge from Russia-China (Kissinger alluded to MAGA in his WSJ Op-Ed in August 2014);

- Trump was the ONLY populist running on the Republican side (out of 19 candidates!);

- Trump was close to the Clintons for years (even their daughters are close);

- Felix Sater worked for Trump for over a decade while an informant for Robert Mueller's FBI (Sater's family had Russian mob connections);

- Virtually all of the dubious Russian oligarch ties attributed to Trump are Jewish and are likely (if not known to be) more connected to Israel than Russia;

- Sanders was a sheepdog (this 25-year friend of Hillary's was not a real candidate);

- Hillary deliberately alienated key voter groups (Sanders progressives, BLM blacks, 'delorable' whites);

- CIA/MI6 'meddled' in the election and arranged to trap Wikileaks and Flynn and agents of Russia/Turkey.

6) USA/Trump/neocons were never interested in Korean peace. The first Summit was a PR event to further the Trump psyop.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 16 2019 0:46 utc | 12

Jackrabbit @ 12 beat me in saying that John Bolton has no authority over the CIA to tell them to do anything but he's head of the NSA and that organisation could have been tasked with organising the raid using mercenaries.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 16 2019 1:12 utc | 13


John Bolton is National Security Advisor (NSA), and as the name implies, it is an ADVISORY position (with no formal command authority):

The National Security Advisor participates in meetings of the National Security Council (NSC) and ... is supported by NSC staff who produce research and briefings ...

The influence and role of the National Security Advisor varies from administration to administration and depends not only on the qualities of the person appointed to the position, but also on the style and management philosophy of the incumbent President....

National Security Agency (NSA) is headed by Gen. Paul M. Nakasone:

... (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence [DNI]. The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes ...

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 16 2019 1:40 utc | 14


I'm glad you reiterated the point (that Bolton has no such authority). It's an important one.

I rarely beat you at making important points, and even rarer do I make them as well as you do!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 16 2019 1:45 utc | 15

No Bolton can't order the CIA to do anything. But he can indicate to the Korean Intelligence Service (Formerly known as the Korean CIA) that an attack on the Embassy would be a good thing to do.
There are rogue players here, one is the ultra right Korean deep state. Another is Japan. Both are committed to keeping US troops in Korea and to continuing to treat the North as an enemy.
Then there is the influence, in both Korea and Japan, of the Pentagon or elements within it equally committed to maintaining the status quo: permanent war with the North, permanent control over South Korea's forces, butting up to China's border, and the continued hostility between Japan and China.
One thing we do know is that the South Korean government will not have approved of this raid.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 16 2019 1:53 utc | 16

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 15, 2019 8:46:07 PM | 12

Agree in that Trump is not innocent at all, as clearly states Miles Copeland in an article linked by P. Armstrong in his last Russian SitRep....

Ordinarily, when you get an order from headquarters you never obey it the first time because you’re not sure they mean it. It might be some guy telling you to do something to get himself off the hook, being on record as having ordered it. So you always wait until the second time. But if there’s a White House code word, you’d better take it seriously. The message from the White House said he was to assassinate Lumumba(...)

(...)my complaint has been that the CIA isn’t overthrowing enough anti-American governments or assassinating enough anti-American leaders, but I guess I’m getting old. What’s keeping the agency inactive is Congress and disinformed public opinion(...

Especially interesting the part dedicated to poisonoing, Skripal case comes to mind, taking into account the coordianted effort in expelling diplomats and the US expelling more than anybody, even than UK...

Trump approves all this outrage, it has his seal all the way...

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 16 2019 1:59 utc | 17


But he can indicate to the Korean Intelligence Service ...
Any NSA that stepped out of bounds like that with out authorization would be sacked.

The point stands: Trump is not being undermined or blind-sided by Bolton, Trump approves of what Bolton does and has done.

In fact, Trump has admired Bolton for a long time. Two and a half years before appointing Bolton as NSA, Trump mentioned Bolton as someone that is his "go to" person for military/foreign affairs:


Who do you talk to for military advice right now? ... is there a go-to for you?


Yeah, probably there are two or three. I mean, I like Bolton. I think he's, you know, a tough cookie, knows what he's talking about. Jacobs is a good guy--


Do you mean Ambassador John Bolton--


Yes. I think he's terrific--


You mean Colonel Jack Jacobs?


Colonel Jack Jacobs is a good guy. And I see him on occasion.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 16 2019 2:20 utc | 18

With this quite obvious violation of International Law on top of the seemingly infinite previous violations, Pompeo and Bolton have tag teamed to tell the ICJ they'll sanction anyone that comes after any Outlaw US Empire individual, the threat itself likely being against the UN Charter and thus unlawful. I really don't have much further comment on this incident other than to reiterate that the United States of America should no longer be called that as it now proven beyond all doubt to be the Outlaw US Empire--internationally, the USA's Federal government's an Outlaw and must be treated as such. It's time to flip GW Bush's ultimatum on its head and tell every nation on the planet that if you're with the Outlaw US Empire then you're also an Outlaw, part of its Evil designs and abettor of its crimes. The UK & Zionistan have already proven themselves to be the top accomplices, with France and Canada their juniors. It's long past time to form an international posse, and no nation can claim ignorance.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2019 2:26 utc | 19

damn b, you just tear it up, thank you so much!!

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 16 2019 2:38 utc | 20

One suspects that the reason the WaPo article is so childish, and makes so little sense, is that it's not supposed to make sense. Its sole purpose is to reinforce the AmeriKKKan concocted myth that North Korea and South Korea are two separate countries.
Acknowledging the desire and belief of Koreans that North and South Korea are merely regions of the same country, not separate countries, exposes the Yankee Regime Change daydream as a batshit crazy, totally irrelevant and insane, delusion; albeit an immensely profitable delusion for the Military-Industrial Complex's parasites and Panic Merchants.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 16 2019 3:04 utc | 21

0eke it was not CIA no it was PUTIN and Russian mafia. Live CIA alone they are inosent !!!

Posted by: Zoran Janjic | Mar 16 2019 4:30 utc | 22

Jackrabbit @ 14, 15: Ahhh, oops I slipped up ... sorry! ... I best should stick to my usual stand-up comedy routine. :-)

Yes you are right, the National Security Advisor does not have line or staff authority over any of the various intel agencies. This is mainly an advisory position advising on national security issues and offers an independent third source of research and information apart from the Department of State and the Pentagon.

Such a position could still give Bolton leeway in creating mischief behind Trump's back as it is a position that each holder can make very much his/her own.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 16 2019 4:30 utc | 23

Jen 23

US all being the innocent types here know that there is no deep state in the US - entrenched bureaucracy, old boys club factions whatever.
No need to apologise for anything. US is what it is. Trump appoints people (crazies) that do things he approves of, specifically if they voice themselves as anti Iran, China, Venezuela which are Trump targets, yet at the same time, they will undermine Trump objectives if they don't approve. It is not so much Bolton ordering CIA to do anything, as Bolton or his character lookalikes around Trump giving CIA cover to undermine something the deep state does not approve of. Jackrabbit is a strong believer in honour amongst thieves.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 16 2019 5:06 utc | 24

robjira 7 "My god, are these fkrs even trying to be subtle anymore, or are they (as the Saker has asserted) just that stupid?"

The US empire in its dying days are moving from soft power to hard power. It is a feeble stand against loss of status and power that is self defeating. The more hard power it uses, the more subjects will turn against it.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 16 2019 5:27 utc | 25

#7, #25
They are desperate.
Train your eyes in the Med.
South East Aegean, it is coming.

Google: "turkofago S"
and translate.

Posted by: analyze | Mar 16 2019 6:39 utc | 26

thanks, b, for continuing to shine a spotlight on these cockroaches.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2019 6:40 utc | 27

Did not pick up much on googling turkofago S.

The NZ shooting reminds me very much of the Tas shooting in Port Arthur. It came at a time when oz was trying to introduce new gun laws. Port Arthur swayed the balance.
NZ is not a whole hearted participant in US five-eyes regime change and world dominance ambitions.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 16 2019 7:04 utc | 28

Re 28
Wrong thread, too much beer and time for a nana nap.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 16 2019 7:06 utc | 29

'turkofago S' is one of the things the NZ killer had written on his gun.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 16 2019 7:09 utc | 30

"But what does the word Turkofagos mean? The word literally translates in English as the “Turk-Eater.”

So someone who likes eating turks has shot up a mosque... in a part of five eyes that is not fully aboard five eyes ambitions. Wonder if US is on good terms with Turkey.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 16 2019 7:19 utc | 31

It seems to me they are trying to work out the moves on this giant chessboard. The problem as I see it is that there is an increasing resistance to US hegemony and it is happening in all spheres simultaneously. The US neocons very badly want to initiate a war with Iran at the behest of both Saudi Arabia and Israel. But, should that happen all oil flowing out of the gulf will be blocked, maybe for a long time.To get around that an alternate source of oil has to be made accessible. They have the chronic irritation of Venezuela (going back to Chavez) which also sits on the largest known oil reserves and also access to new fields of light sweet crude. So, to pull of Iran they badly need Venezuela first. This gambit so far is losing for the US which is screwing up their long term plans.

Add in the tensions in the East with the Chinese belt and road, the South China Sea and the always threatened Taiwan and you have heightened tensions there. Toss in the nuclear threat from North Korea which is the only thing keeping North Korea safe, and you have a another area of tension.

Add in the Ukraine situation complicated by the nutcases in Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and the efforts of Russia to thwart US aggression and you have a another area of imminent conflict. The US is so far losing at every level which seems to result in them desperately trying for a win.

We are also seeing increased posturing in the US military. For example in Senate testimony Thursday it was revealed the US now has adopted the pre-emptive nuclear option, otherwise known as a first strike. This is the kind of thinking that Israel uses to justify all of their wars and recent aggressions in Syria against Iranians there and Hizbollah in Lebanon. However, the US is delusional in thinking they can win a nuclear war. That said Putin very clearly and in most uncertain terms promised to annihilate the planet should America try and take out Russia. Luckily, Russia and China do not have a first use doctrine although that could change if the US parks missiles in Europe.

At some point the world is going to have to deal with the growing madness of the US. In very real terms it is now posing the greatest threat to world peace since Hitler and in many ways is worse. Hitler didn't have the ability to destroy the world. One would hope that the US Congress would take care of this but they are even worse than Trump. So, we can't expect any help from within. The US is now acting like a rabid dog and needs to be quarantined until some kind of balance is restored in the US, which only seems possible through armed revolt. We now see very clearly that the US has no democracy whatsoever so there is no chance to change policy through elections. However, the influence of the US through nefarious means on other nations makes anything exterior difficult. You can easily see the alliances by who recognized Guaido as President of Venezuela. That shows the current extent of real US influence. But, should the US actually try and take pre-emptive action then it spells the end of the US. Hopefully, not the world as well.

Because collectively the decision making is that of a madman (Bolton) who is clearly now in complete charge it is very difficult to avoid a large scale conflict. Yet the US represents an existential threat to humanity so must be dealt with permanently if we want to avoid the Fermi paradox. The best moves would be to pre-empt the US by focusing on using the US's playbook for color revolutions and try and cause open revolt in the US. It is not as difficult as one might think given the wealth disparity and identity politics. Toss in some well planned cyber warfare and it could be pulled off. I expect we will see increasing psyops in the short term to try and mature the already rampant instability. The problem is that the liberals are generally weak (physically and mentally) and not of the type of personalities or experience to be of any actual use in open warfare. This means that Trump's base must be turned against him which would be a neat trick.

This next year will be something to watch. There is so much going on it boggles the mind.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Mar 16 2019 7:40 utc | 32

Google: "robert ludlum"

Real stuff. Infected children, trained as adults. Germany, US, Yinon, Turkey, back in 70's. Today we see project "Outcome" at work.

Posted by: pathogen | Mar 16 2019 8:17 utc | 33

Old Microbiologist | Mar 16, 2019 3:40:01 AM | 32

Your post resonates 100% with me; especially;
"The problem is that the liberals are generally weak (physically and mentally) and not of the type of personalities or experience to be of any actual use in open warfare."

I'm not hopeful for many of the reasons you listed.
Thanks for that post.

Posted by: V | Mar 16 2019 8:30 utc | 34

I would add that, as the U.S. becomes ever more impotent on the world stage, it will become even more aggressive and volatile and at some point erupt in a muderous rage at the world's countries...

Posted by: V | Mar 16 2019 8:36 utc | 35

Make that murderous...

Posted by: V | Mar 16 2019 8:37 utc | 36

Old M. proposes to use same tools US uses but against them. Problem is final stages of project "Outcome" will still be just 6 to 5 hundred million survivors on the planet after a global turmoil (internaly known as "the Storm") designed, operated and steered in a way that limited use of nukes will occur and enough heavily modified poppulations in the right parts of the planet had survived for next program to run on global governance and an also global ambitious space programe logistics to work.
In a few words for us common unsuspected folk its like Alien vs Predator (will be at final stages of next programes literally) "Whovere Wins We Lose".

This all might seem crazy talk to the clueless but this is exactly like the actual stuuf big heads are discussing behind walls.

Posted by: pathogen | Mar 16 2019 9:05 utc | 37

...Experts say the computers and phones seized in the raid amount to a treasure trove of information that foreign intelligence agencies are likely to seek out from the group...

Probably over thinking this, but what's the chances of a spook equivalent of PMCs? The data is valuable, and places like the CIA are awash with money. Would be a great (easy) living for a well trained and experienced team. They could even sell it back to the Koreans (highest bidder)

Posted by: Some Random Passer-by | Mar 16 2019 9:12 utc | 38

"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied". - Claud Cockburn

This nasty piece of work has now been officially denied.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Mar 16 2019 9:24 utc | 39

Bullies are always cowards.

Not willing to accept any responsibility for their acts.

And where do you find bigger bullies than the CIA and John Bolton?

There just aren't any.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Mar 16 2019 11:46 utc | 40

Why is North Korea negotiating with the US? Shouldn't the negotiations be between NK and the UN since the war in Korea was a UN war?

Posted by: Jiri | Mar 16 2019 12:02 utc | 41

"People familiar with the incident say the group did not act in coordination with any governments. U.S. intelligence agencies would have been especially reluctant to do so given the sensitive timing and brazen nature of the mission. But the raid represents the most ambitious operation to date for an obscure organization that seeks to undermine the North Korean regime and encourage mass defections, they say."

These are TOTALLY transparent lies, as I pointed in "Piotr Berman | Mar 15, 2019 8:30:00 PM". It takes some reconstruction to figure out why totally transparent lies are useful. A bit less important point is that some people can be actually convinced. However, what makes it really useful is that in the absence of a transparent lies, some governments etc. may react to what is being denied, even if reluctantly. But now they can pretend to believe or "have reasonable doubt", the police case in Spain may be closed etc.

Given sensitive timing and "brazen nature" of the act, I really think that this was the entire purpose. On the off-chance that some information could be useful, computers etc. were stolen and some low level flunky was interrogated, but that alone in no way would justify acting brazenly. However, it may be worth explaining why the lie is totally transparent.

Imagine that an independent group wants to make something against "the regime of North Korea". They could aim for some combination of material damage and humiliation, and most importantly, propaganda impact. At the very least, the embassy would be defaced with slogans, and a triumphal announcement would be promptly disseminated through internet, not waiting for experts to figure it out and leak their findings to Washington Post.

Mind you, a deduction from known facts could be performed by a political science professor from some established graduate program, say Georgetown University or Tufts university, a number of such professors are retired officials of intelligence or national security, getting a name to quote should not be hard. A totally anonymous source is invariably a PR person from the government who conveys what they authorities want to disseminate. On top of that, the anonymous sage did not share any reasons why the putative independent organization is more plausible than CIA and their Korean sister (daughter?) organization beyond the obvious one: they do not want to admit it.

Perhaps the need for thin deniability is one reason to form groups like Integrity Initiative that consist of intelligence operatives somehow constituting a quango (quasi non-governmental organization, a British favorite way of accounting for some governmental activities). In that case, the rent was paid by the Ministry of Defense but the wages were from a grant from Foreign Affairs and personnel apparently from intelligence. However, my guess is that "Cheollima" is simply on the payroll of KCIA and CIA.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 16 2019 12:22 utc | 42

OT, I posted this on the previous subject where I was getting slammed--

Well, I apologize for the broken threads. (not sure what they are though)
I can see that only part of one of my URL's was highlighted but I just clicked on augustin's # 15 link and it worked fine.
Now I just clicked on my link at #70 the evil one and it came up fine. So i will endeavour to do what S says but on my stumbly slow computer everything loads and looks normal to me.

Posted by: arby | Mar 16, 2019 8:02:38 AM | 96

Posted by: arby | Mar 16 2019 13:55 utc | 43

Old micro #32 and piotr #42

Two very good additions to b's excellent analysis. And Tom #39 preempted my plan to introduce Claude Cockburn into this discussion.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 16 2019 15:16 utc | 44

Does anyone have any real information on whether the Venezuela power outages were due to cyber attacks?

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Mar 16 2019 15:58 utc | 45

Old Microbiologist @32
Tucked in to your largely accurate analysis are some terms and imagery that I find disturbing, or at the very least, questionable. You use very evocative imagery describing the US as a rabid dog and an existential threat to humanity. While I agree with those statements, what I find concerning is that these are followed by terms that sound very reasonable and benign, but are ultimately meaningless and potentially cover for extremist ideology.
You suggest that the rabid dog be "quarantined" until "balance is restored" which you say is only possible through armed revolt. I always wonder when someone advocates armed revolt how exactly you see that playing out. We're talking about a global empire that is wielding the largest military the world has ever seen AND has a history of dropping nuclear bombs on civilian targets, bombing it's own cities, and assassinating political leaders AND has the most sophisticated surveillance system ever known. Seriously, how exactly does armed revolt work in that context?
You go on to say that the US "must be dealt with permanently" which seems to contradict your previous statement about quarantine, but still, this term is meaningless.
For me though, the real tell is that your only mention of the weak was clothed in identity politics by labeling them as liberals, but revealed when you state that they won't be of "any actual use" in the coming conflict. If you have no thought for the weak except for their usefulness, how are you different from the empire you claim to oppose? It is the weak and the vulnerable that will be the first and hardest hit by a sudden collapse of the empire. This is true not only inside the US but also around the world because a fall like that will reverberate on a global scale.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 16 2019 15:59 utc | 46

How Bad is U.S. MSM?

The day of the NZ shooting we were hearing pop psychology condemning DT for the terror attack but if you suggest any U.S. or CIA involvement here or in sabotaging Venezuela's infrastructure they will not touch the story, you are a 'conspiracy theorist'.

Why is this?
Because stories about our govt are real news items and that requires work. If they start poking around these stories their govt handlers they have hired will sneer at them, guests like Adam Schiff from the Foreign Intelligence Oversight Committee won't come on their programs. In short, preserving their relationship to govt agencies is more important than holding our govt accountable for anything.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Mar 16 2019 16:56 utc | 47


Posted by: jesus | Mar 16 2019 17:19 utc | 48

Yes MW @45. I suppose it is very difficult to provide proof of a cyber attack, but there must be some way to prove it. Perhaps we must wait for a Chinese or Russian expert to provide some information. Also, what's happening with the self-proclaimed presidente? Haven't heard a peep from him in a week. Does he have another mass march in the works? If he dares organize another one I predict it will be met with angry Chavistas on the streets.

Posted by: Chas | Mar 16 2019 17:47 utc | 49

Chas @ 49
It may be difficult to provide unequivocal proof but there seems to be plenty of circumstantial evidence that points precisely in that direction.

Posted by: arby | Mar 16 2019 18:07 utc | 50

It's poetic, but non-standard.... "far out of bounce" "far out of bounds"

Posted by: stevelaudig | Mar 16 2019 18:33 utc | 51

Old Microbiologist @32

Excellent summary of what is going on and the extreme danger to the planet it implies. On would hope cooler heads would prevail but there are no "cooler heads" in the US regime on both side of the isle. We are in a deep pile of poop and things look very ugly going forward.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 16 2019 18:46 utc | 52

...liberals are generally weak (physically and mentally) and not of the type of personalities or experience to be of any actual use in open warfare.
Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Mar 16, 2019 3:40:01 AM | 32

Let's call them "neo-liberals", ¿shall we?, because: since the early 19th Century, Liberalism in Mexico was part of a broader nineteenth-century political trend affecting Western Europe and the Americas, including the United States, that challenged entrenched power.

Most Mexican liberals looked to European thinkers in their formulation of their ideology, which has led to a debate about whether those ideas were merely "Mexicanized" versions.

In Mexico, the most salient aspects of nineteenth-century liberalism were to create a secular state separated from the Roman Catholic Church, establish equality before the law by abolishing corporate privileges (fueros) of the Roman Catholic church.

The Liberals' aim was to transform Mexico into a modern secular state with a dynamic economy. Feudal corporate privilege and its conservative elite defenders were considered obstacles to the nation’s political, social, and economic progress.

Secular, public education was a key element in opening paths to achievement for all Mexican citizens. Schooling historically had been the domain of the Roman Catholic Church and limited to elite men, so that broadening educational access and having a secular curriculum was seen as the single most important means to transform Mexican society.

The breakup of land owned by corporations, specifically the Roman Catholic Church and indigenous communities, was a crucial policy element in diminishing the power of the church and integrating Mexico’s indigenous communities into the republic as citizens.

The term "liberal" became the name of a political faction, which previously had called itself "the Party of Progress" in contrast to the Conservative Party, which they called "the Party of Regression." Conservatives characterized themselves as defending Mexican tradition.

Following Mexican independence from Spain in 1821, the first Mexican liberals arose on the national scene. Liberalism considered the role of utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number) in Mexico; examined the so-called "Indian Question," of how to modernize Mexico, when the majority of the population was indigenous folk living in rural communities; and considered the scientific nature of economic development.

Following Mexico's defeat in the Mexican–American War (1846–48), a new generation of so-called "romantic liberals" emerged. They were rooted in literature, and read and translated European writers such as Lamartine, Michelet, Byron, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.

Outstanding among these Mexican liberals were Ignacio Ramírez (1818–1879); Guillermo Prieto (1818–1897); and Ignacio Manuel Altamirano (1834–1893), who was born in Tixtla, Guerrero, where the famous Ayotzinapa Teacher's College is located. Altamirano was a Nahuatl-spealer as a child, who, in his maturity, emerged as a major literary figure,
Indeed he became known as "The Great Man of Mexican Letters" - he was a nahuatl child!

These intellectuals lived through and tried to shape political thought
in the War of the Reform between conservatives and liberals,
and the French invasion, a foreign intervention supported by Mexican conservatives.

However, pragmatic politicians, preeminently Benito Juárez, born in a Zapotec village in Oaxaca, as well as Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, and Melchor Ocampo implemented liberal reforms and defended them during civil war and foreign invasion.
None of these men were great thinkers, but they were all guided by liberal principles.

After a series of battles, carried out masterfully by Mexican forces, “The Emperor” Maximilian was captured and shot on the Hill of the Bells beside his generals, Mejia and Miramon.

The constitutional and reformist government of Juárez suppressed many venerable Catholic feasts, but preserved that of the 12 of December (The Day of the Virgen of Guadalupe)
by its decree of 11 of August of 1859, which is signed by Juárez as president
of the Mexican republic and by Melchor Ocampo as minister of government.

With the triumph of Juarez and the Republicans, came the nationalization of ecclesiastical goods. Many jewels from the temples were denounced and siezed by the government, but the sanctuary of Guadalupe was excepted.

Juarez, faithful to the traditions of Mexicans, was respectful of the Virgin of Guadalupe, although without making official pilgrimages to the Villa or other devout manifestations like the previous governments.

The cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, without official support, remains fervent and universal as before. But no one has raised this insignia in the ensuing civil strife,
not even in the national wars of 1846-47 against the Northamericans.

Some have speculated that, if, during the war with the United States, the image of the Mexican virgin had been put on our flags, as in 1810, the Yankees would not have entered Mexico.

This is dubious, since experience suggests that enthusiasm for the national image has only been effective against the Spanish.

Whereas, liberals in the United States might be pussies, as suggested by the poster,
liberalism in Mexico has a different connotation as its exponents were principled heroes.

Posted by: Guerrero | Mar 16 2019 18:50 utc | 53

“WE DECLARE ON THIS DAY the establishment of Free Joseon, a provisional government preparing the foundations for a future nation built upon respect for principles of human rights and humanitarianism, holding sacred a manifest dignity for every woman, man, and child.
We declare this entity the sole legitimate representative of the Korean people of the north.”

Here we go again. Maybe Guaido can be nominated as the interim president since his campaign in Venezuela is hitting a wall.

They have become so transparently pathetic that words cannot be conjured up to describe the level of ineptness and brazen arrogance. US government needs to fall. It has to fall for it will take all of us down.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Mar 16 2019 19:45 utc | 54

That korean front's website is registered to namescheap/RU and is hosted on a cloudflare server in the SF bay area.

Every time I see that combo... RU and cloudflare, I think "Ukrainians".

Posted by: Pelican3301 | Mar 16 2019 20:29 utc | 55

All, I was merely attempting to brainstorm the problems as I see them. Dimitry Orlov has put this far better than I have in the following piece:

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Mar 16 2019 20:57 utc | 56

OM @ 32: This may be of some use, or not;

Posted by: ben | Mar 16 2019 21:02 utc | 57

reply to Zachary Smith 2
"Maybe Trump will fire Bolton and Abrams. That's not the outcome I expect if the apartheid Jewish state holds videos demonstrating behavior both sinful and criminal."
I think he is being threatened rather than blackmailed, my guess is they said they would go after his children unless he did as they said. Do you remember the chatter about going after them, that then subsided?
I also guess in exchange they will give him a second term, assuming he wants it, as he will be legless.
Now he is a fighter and he may turn this around but I think its game over.

Posted by: frances | Mar 16 2019 21:07 utc | 58

MW @ 45 asked;"Does anyone have any real information on whether the Venezuela power outages were due to cyber attacks? "

Afraid I can't answer that question, but, without the U$ sanctions Venezuela might work a whole lot better.

The U$ sanctions are modern day siege warfare, and illegal.

Posted by: ben | Mar 16 2019 21:16 utc | 59

reply to Michael 45
re :Venezuela, latest attacks. This just up on Jim Stone:
"100 percent of ALL substations in the state of Zulia and city of Maricaibo simultaneously exploded and burst into flames. Such timing is not possible, either these are now coordinated ground attacks, cruise missile attacks or these substations are being nailed by lasers from space?"

Posted by: frances | Mar 16 2019 21:33 utc | 60

@Michael Weddington, 45
this is a translation of comments from Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry regarding the initial outage

Posted by: cirsium | Mar 16 2019 21:45 utc | 61

To negotiate with the NeoCons is the same as chasing your tail. It's a fool's errand, and North Korea is no fool. The greater enemy of the United States is the enemy from within, the NeoCons which is a political cancer. The US is in a slow motion suicide mission.

Posted by: Elliot Abrams | Mar 16 2019 21:55 utc | 62

MW @ 45 asked;"Does anyone have any real information on whether the Venezuela power outages were due to cyber attacks? "

Motive , check
Means , check
Opportunity , very very likely

Posted by: arby | Mar 16 2019 22:22 utc | 63

Old Microbiologist
I've read some of Dimitry Orlov's writing, I was appreciating his perspective until I came across an article of his where he was spewing some vile eugenicist bs, I was truly disgusted.
I agree with a lot of what you said but I think that there's a human element that is often overlooked in geostrategic analysis.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 16 2019 22:35 utc | 64

Reporting on the increasingly abhorrent actions of the US outside it's own borders is important (thank you, b), however who in the world dares challenge the US escalating illegal actions and their lame utterly see-through excuses?

Our leadership's power tripping in other nations stems in large part from the utter lack of challenge from inside our borders. While there are protests and complaining, oh, lots of complaining, there's no real action to stop or even slow the increasing greed and corruption, since US media doesn't question excuses. They've begun believing they're invincible.

Criminals don't stop themselves. They have to be stopped. On a planet of 7.6 billion people, the US leadership is but a relative few. Why does no one dare challenge them, inside our nation or outside it?

Posted by: Summer Diaz | Mar 17 2019 0:16 utc | 65

not sure why that happened. ... hopefully it doesn't mess the page.. i don't understand why it happened..

Posted by: james | Mar 17 2019 0:41 utc | 67

SD @ 65 asked;"Why does no one dare challenge them, inside our nation or outside it?"

Short answer SD, $..

When you own the reserve currency system, you own most of the globe. Until that changes,
nothing changes.

Dollar hegemony is a pox on the world..

Posted by: ben | Mar 17 2019 1:21 utc | 68

1. re posts by jackrabbit, thanks for info (sincerely), BUT, there is one minor detail you are missing in your estimation of bolt-on not having official awe-thor-uh-tie to order the sea eye ehh to do, um, jack shit:
there is no rule of law anymore...
2. *besides* the idea that bolt-on may outrank (in tee-rump's eyes) a superior who does have control (?) of the sea eye ehh's black ops, and he bullies them into whatever he wants; besides the idea that bolt-on simply end-runs those pesky laws and goes straight to the cutouts the sea eye ehh would employ; besides the idea that mayhaps there are *other* overt/covert black op teams at his disposal, besides all that, they are fucking amoral psychopaths who will do anything/everything they can for their ends, legal, shmegal...
3. it *appeared* that the deep state's weirdly over-the-top disdain for anything and everything the orange man says/does was a hopeful indication that -if not draining the swamp- he was going to upset the deep state apple cart... now that he has become so infested by the likes of deep state slime neocon (artiste) war kriminals like bolt-on and abrahms, i despair of whatever deal with the devil he has made to ensure his survival...
oh well, empire's fall from its own bloated weight seems to be at approximately the acceleration of gravity, just like bldg 7...
empire must fall, the sooner the fall, the gentler for all...

Posted by: art guerrilla | Mar 17 2019 1:41 utc | 69

100 percent of ALL substations in the state of Zulia and city of Maricaibo simultaneously exploded and burst into flames. Such timing is not possible,

frances | Mar 16, 2019 5:33:28 PM | 60

Either airdroped, car (IED) modified emp device, OR a much cheaper solution that even leaves no traces. Microwave antena arrays from Florida sending tight beams over Maracaibo by bouncing them of either interconnecting wakes (aerosoled metalic fillament) of air tankers "exercising" somewhere around Bermuda airspace and either some X-37B missions spreading reflective stuff above LEO which can stay there for some months or year plus awaiting for potential exploitation by ground assets.

It cheapest safest choice logistically if you want disruption and to deny involvement.

Just send a kind email to the Navy and ask them.

Posted by: Harper | Mar 17 2019 3:25 utc | 70

Michael Weddington @ 45

Coming up from a grid down situation is a delicate process. All those substation transformers blowing up at the same time could have easily been poorly trained workers applying too much power to the transformers at multiple substations causing them to overheat and blow up simultaneously. As I have said before, the Marxists have driven out many highly skilled workers and workers in the field of high voltage transformers, high voltage relays, and transformer fault protection. These workers are few and far between and can easily shop their skills elsewhere.

This field requires highly skilled labor. You cannot just slide one of your comrades in the chair and throw the switch.

Could the Empire have taken the grid down? Absolutely. They also know what it would take to bring it back up as they have well paid experts at their disposal. The pay them in dollars not in bolivars

Here the former proletariat shreds not only the shops that provided them services but they shred the businesses ability to proved them services in the future.

I try not to make light of their misery but it pains me greatly when I remember my Marxist friends crowing about Venezuela years ago. Now they are silent.

Its great to blame Bolton and I see their need for grabbing the resources but it is big expensive and complex investment to be able to extract the resources for the people. This could have played out better. Grabbing the means of production did not work out well for them.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 17 2019 3:38 utc | 71

How Bad is U.S. MSM?

The day of the NZ shooting we were hearing pop psychology condemning DT for the terror attack but if you suggest any U.S. or CIA involvement here or in sabotaging Venezuela's infrastructure they will not touch the story, you are a 'conspiracy theorist'.

Christian J. Chuba | Mar 16, 2019 12:56:37 PM | 47

Einstein said we must not stop asking questions.I would add even if they might sound foolish.
I have a gut feeling that guy, NZ shooter might liked watching parades.
How about those specific two plus dates?
Shooters travel schedule from what is refferenced online roughly matches both dates/locations.
There are US consulates in both cities in same country. JUST SAYING..

Posted by: Harper | Mar 17 2019 4:03 utc | 72

@ Old Microbiologist #56

In my opinion Orlov is on sound footing when he sticks to economics. He makes a lot of mistakes when he edges into military issues.

These include, among others, long-range supersonic cruise missiles (Kalibr), and suborbital intercontinental missiles carrying multiple nuclear payloads capable of evasive maneuvers as they approach their targets (Sarmat). All of these new weapons are impossible to intercept using any conceivable defensive technology. At the same time, Russia has also developed its own defensive capabilities, and its latest S-500 system will effectively seal off Russia’s airspace, being able to intercept targets both close to the ground and in low Earth orbit.

The Kalibr is a subsonic cruise missile which may or may not do a supersonic "sprint" as it nears the target. The more time spent past the speed of sound, the lower the range. So far as I know, all ICBMs are "suborbital". The Sarmat is remarkable on account of it being very large and modern. That "impossible" and "inconceivable" stuff is pure BS. Difficult and Expensive would be much better choices.

The S-500 is doubtless a fabulous defensive weapon system, but the thing is not a mechanical Superman. If all the standard methods failed to defeat it, the S-500 could be overwhelmed.

Orlov and I don't have the same understanding of the Aegis Ashore systems being installed on Russia's borders. Obviously the "Iran" cover story is nonsense, but I doubt if there was ever any intention of them being defensive systems. I believe the Russians back home share my viewpoint about them being 'stealth' offensive systems.

On the other hand, Soviet military casualties were on par with those of the Germans.

I don't know what Orlov was smoking when he wrote this, but it must have been mighty good stuff. Personally I'd say the ratio was at least 3:1, and if you count the millions of captured Soviet troops the Germans starved to death, it's even worse.

Once again, I see Orlov's essay as at least 80% fine, but silly stuff like this next quote causes me to think a good part of his head is stuck in gaga land.

It wouldn’t be anyone else’s fault if people in the US suffer because they refuse to do as their own FEMA asks them to do: stockpile a month’s worth of food and water and put together an emergency evacuation plan. In addition, given the direction in which the US is heading, getting a second passport, expatriating your savings, and getting some firearms training just in case you end up sticking around are all good ideas.
Few US citizens have the money to get a month of food ahead. And where would they store the bulky food and heavy water? Anyhow, a month isn't enough. Not even close. Evacuate to where? About everywhere in this country I know of with buildings has people inside those buildings. Passport to where? This strategy works for the wealthy. How many people besides the super rich have either money to send overseas or the know-how to safely do it? As for the firearms, no way in hell are you going to outgun the NRA crowd. And militarized US police have families who like to keep eating. How would Orlov handle a SWAT team showing up to liberate his food stocks "for the Old Folks Home"? (Yes, "hoarders" would be vilified) Orlov doesn't plan to participate in any of that - he has a Survival Boat.
" In 2007 he and his wife sold their apartment in Boston and bought a sailboat, fitted with solar panels and six months supply of propane, and capable of storing a large quantity of food stuffs. He calls it a “survival capsule.” He uses a bicycle for transportation.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 17 2019 4:24 utc | 73

Wrt Vz transformers..They use oil to cool themselves don't they? Wouldn't one hit with a rifle be sufficient to drain the coolant and make it overheat? (Nothing fancy.)

Posted by: bobzibub | Mar 17 2019 8:28 utc | 74

The American Conservative:

Our Long History of Presidential Lies
The problem isn't so much that politicians stretch and distort the truth—it's that we let them do it.

"All this raises the question: if lying isn’t something our nation thinks is presidential material, why do we keep electing people who lie?"

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 17 2019 9:01 utc | 75

John Doe | Mar 17, 2019 5:01:24 AM | 75
"All this raises the question: if lying isn’t something our nation thinks is presidential material, why do we keep electing people who lie?"

Because you are not choosing the candidates. They're being chosen for you, by the ones in control.
If you carefully watch the process; you'll see how you're being gamed.
Elections are a cruel joke; have been for decades.
Why do you think nothing's changed over the last 2 decades, at the least?
Time to wake up to the process as it genuinely exists...

Posted by: V | Mar 17 2019 9:40 utc | 76

@73 Zach I agree with you. I actually was reading it as a sarcastic humor piece but there are kernels in there which I do agree with. The overt aggressiveness of the US is absolutely spot on. I was thinking more the use of non-nuclear weaponry to destroy US infrastructure which I do agree with Orlov would lead to a breakdown in society, perhaps permanently. What I know from my experiences in America is that there is a constant undercurrent of hatred that runs pretty much throughout every level. I saw this in the US military during the early 70's where we had never ending race riots. I know because I was tasked with ambulance duty, triage, and suturing up all the cuts from broken bottles and knives. The American culture thrives on violence and it is in everything we have culturally from movies, TV, sports , etc. It is a culture that worships criminality and thuggery. We have successfully exported that to a lot of other nations and our foreign policy has created far more terrorists than we ever are going to be able to kill. There are a great deal of people out there now that hate Americans and some day they are going to get their chance to get even. This is all while we continuously fight never ending wars without purpose other than to kill and destroy. It is sad but it is who we are.

When things are fine and there is food on the table and money enough to survive paycheck to paycheck Americans repress whatever it is that bothers them. But, as soon as thing get tight and there is a hint that someone else is getting over on them because of race or privilege it all goes to hell quickly. Add in group think and devolution into mob mentality and literally anything that can be imagined can happen. Human behavior is such that this is what happens when things get stressed. They all will regret it later assuming it isn't blocked (example what happened with Bosnians where unspeakable atrocities occurred on both sides yet no one seems to remember it much).

My main point and I apologize for upsetting anyone who considers themselves to be liberals, was that there are basically 3 groups of people. There are those on what I will call the right which includes the working class who feel short changed after Obama, the 0.1% rich conservatives, and those in the military. There is a group on the left call them liberal, neoliberal, whatever but basically those who espouse open borders, socialistic programs, freedom of choice, etc.. Then there is the very large third group which is in the middle. Politically the right believe in American hegemony and conquering the planet to be under our governance. The left believe in wars based on right to protect. Basically it boils down to the same thing in the end. All three groups are on the hook for massive debt of now over $22 trillion dollars and an economy based on very little manufacturing and more or less a service based economy. It is as such very fragile and based on a lot of lies. One small event can throw it into chaos. If the right and left, which are now the furthest apart they have ever been in American history, can't pull it together then it will go south quickly. If you additionally consider that out r military and police are made up of a majority of the bottom 30% of socioeconomic strata and people generally protect family and tribe first, then it might not go the way it logically would be predicted.

One bad thing is that in our American political system I don't see any real differences between Democrats and Republicans. Both only represent the very rich. None of them are willing or able to make any meaningful changes to the system and it will continue as is unabated until something external causes it to change. Voters basically have no say anymore. We vote for people selected by others and either are really any good. There are, of course, rare individuals who run counter to the stream and they are dealt with and eliminated fairly quickly unless it is useful to have them voicing some dissent.

We will see how it goes. Things are slowly coming to a head. If you take a look at both Russia and China they are both ramping things up to fight the US. The US has a very poor record when it comes to warfare and basically, and despite spending trillions of dollars on equipment, they have shot their wad. The equipment and men are used up. The snowflakes coming in now are very poor soldiers. Again, we will see how it goes.

Changing to Venezuela I am fully convinced that the electrical grid was taken out using cyber warfare and it is likely it will be some version of Stuxnet. It is just too convenient to be anything else. I do not believe in coincidences especially when Rubio and Pence announced things out of commission before even the Venezuelan government knew about them. That speaks volumes. Again, time will tell.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Mar 17 2019 12:08 utc | 77

D.L. Travers @ 71

As far as I know they did not grab the means of production except for oil and many think that is the reason for a lot of problems.

Unless you had money pre-Chavez you were destined to never have anything including education. Education is where you get skilled labour.

The Bolivarian revolution is only 20 years old and during that entire twenty year period the owners of the means of production and their Yankee cohorts have caused plenty of problems trying to undermine the revolution.

So far problems are all they have been able to do and now the fkr's are running out of patience and upping the ante.

At the present their act is still not working.

Posted by: arby | Mar 17 2019 12:18 utc | 78

RE John Doe | Mar 17, 2019 5:01:24 AM | 75 The American Conservative: The problem is Our <===is not you, unless are one of the Oligarchs, one of their corporations, or one of 527 elected, salaried Oligarchic responding puppets. A significant difference between our government of revolutionaries (Articles of Confederation) and the founders government that warrants and guarantees that the founders will rule ( USA).
Democracy is about human rights, The problem with the founders 1788-89 constitution ( a regime change document if ever there was one) is that the founders left the we, our, us out of it. <<=look at its seven articles PLEASE?

ARTICLE I about what occupants in either of two taxpayer subsidized homes can do ( not much what they c/n do)
(except what some call the balance of power what Article I residents c\n do Article II can, and vice-a-versa)
(can you believe that to be balance of power that benefits governed Americans?)
ARTICLE II about what the CEOs of the USA, Inc. can do (not much they c/n do)
ARTICLE III about their judiciary the salaried, elected not YOU ARTICLE IV about how the states must behave in dealings between each other
ARTICLE V about how gated controlled access protects outsider amendment <=no one but they shall amend?
ARTICLE VI about need for constitution to save from confiscation the personally owned and corporately owned lands in
the ownership and control of <= wealthy ex Aristocrat-founder types(the so called founders).
These founders claimed even after the war, that they own the hundreds of millions of American acres given to them
before the war! Why, because they were Aristocrats? They, and only they, the Aristocrats, were entitled to own these
vast acres of real estate. (Real Estate produced wealth back then). The Founders or Aristocrats urging them, claimed
just because the Revolutionary government defeated the British, that defeat did not entitled the victors (AOC
government or any of its state members) to confiscate the real estate British kings and queens had bequeathed as land
grants. (argued ex-Foreign Country Aristocrat class living in America during the war, should still enjoy Aristocrat
class, privilege hence the billions of acres of real estate should be exempt from being the spoils of the American
Revolutionary war?).
Aristocrat owned acres were not part of real estate to be taken from the defeated British system<=Aristocrats owned
these land grants before the war, so neither the AOC nor its 9 state members, could possibly consider lands owned by
Aristocrats to be proper spoils of the American Revolution <--the Land grant owners claimed the Articles of
confederation was not a government entitled to appropriate British Land Grants even if there were no Britain.
Why? The real estate given to British colonial aristocrats was exempt from confiscation by the American victors;
after all British Aristocrats remaining in America after the revolution should still be treated as Aristocrats?.
The Articles of the Confederation government, not the USA fought and defeated the British Military, but not the
British Aristocrat? The American Revolution and organization of America was conducted by 11 presidents, 1776 to
1789, but few on this list can name one of them?). Still the American revolution is celebrated as 1776, not 1789..?
Foreign Kings and Queens [who themselves did not own the real estate in question] gave to their corrupt or profit
seeking fellow aristocrats (X indies companies and the like) willing to invest and go to America seeking to make ump
teen $billions by plopping a colony of slaves and indentured adventurous persons down among the America Indians
and forcing those in the colony to chase the Indians off, and to expend the effort to turn the million acre land grant
estates into profitable productive enterprises so profits can be returned to the mother country. Everyone in Europe
expected massive, undreamed of wealth to issue from the land grant colonies.

b>Ownership of the millions of acres by land grant <= all happened before 1776,
the historical stretch from 1789.. and as you point out continues unabated to this day. but it started long before..

Article VI about the debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this constitution, (which)
shall be as valid against the USA under this 1789 USA constitution, as under the confederation. <=constitution
cut, stopped, or terminated the on-going effort by the AOC to tax and reclaim the land grants because the land grant
real estate all now rightfully should belong to the Americans who defeat the British army.
The COUS prevented further AoC effort, to take "the billions of British owned land grants as spoils of the war
Americans won"? ex British Aristocrats, now wealthy Americans, still held possession of the land grant real
estate. Aristocrats said, you Americans can have what's left (mostly un cleared western Indian land). Article VI was
the underlying reason for the constitution, the underlying reason for the American revolution, was to exchange British
corporate control over "the spoils of the American Colonies" from British Corporations to American Corporations.

" history is a stretch and distortion of truth wound into real Lies—it's that we let them do it."
Please prove the "WE" in the constitution includes not_elected persons, America is not the same as the USA. Americans are governed not by elected, salaried USAeers, but instead by those who nominate the candidates permitted to serve <=the elected "drive the deplorable" to "drive the economy" so the Aristocrat-Oligarch can expand their wealth. PLEASE READ THE CONSTITUTION! FIND IN IT IF YOU CAN the place where it says:
YOU means the unelected you ARE PART OF WE THE PEOPLE. < I think you will find the only 527 people and those are appointed the Oligarch few into a carefully controlled, media regulated funnel that allows Americans to each select from a choice of 1 or 2, pick on, by vote. (Americans allowed to select by vote just 3 persons to fill 525 Article I positions in the USA: 2 senators, 1 member of the house; but Americans may express their will in a popular vote as to their choice of persons to fill President and Vice President (which popular vote does not count, since the electoral college members do the voting and the electoral college members are free to vote for whomever they choose)

"question: if lying isn’t something our nation thinks is presidential material, why do WE keep electing people who lie?" <==my answer is the Salaried Elected middle men are not allowed to allow Americans the freedom to choose who or how the USA, an ARMGBS (Armed rule-making governmental bureaucratic structure), should be operated.

ARTICLE VII Art VII is an interesting discovery in regime change science. Article VII allows that Ratification of the conventions of nine states shall be sufficient for the Establishment of the Constitution.. < what does that mean? Who were the conventions? Weren't the conventions, the groups Oligarchs sent to Philadelphia?.. so the conventioneers, came home, sobered up, and looked around, and determined they could safely ratify the constitution without the states chopping their heads off<=so they ratified? Did I hear that right the Conventioneers lobbied the state to ratify their own constitution? I need help.. how actually was ratification done? The deeper into this I look the more obscure it becomes,
usually its passed off as federalist vs non federalist, but ..... well you said it right I think
"The problem isn't so much that politicians stretch and distort the truth—it's that we let them do it."

Response to Posted by: John Doe | Mar 17, 2019 5:01:24 AM | 75 < see my comments and insertions and changes above

Posted by: snake | Mar 17 2019 12:37 utc | 79

lots of protest videos in the US on Max Blumenthal's twitter account

Posted by: arby | Mar 17 2019 14:10 utc | 80

[Why is North Korea negotiating with the US? Shouldn't the negotiations be between NK and the UN since the war in Korea was a UN war?

Posted by: Jiri | Mar 16, 2019 8:02:49 AM | 41]

Korea war is an illegal invasion by US lead United Forces, in violation of UNSC charter. US illegally abusing UN name, MSM has manifested its power influence to world view. The world do believed its a UN authorized invasion. Here's link to debunk it. Russia had defaulted its veto power by walking out of UN.

Posted by: DrTT | Mar 17 2019 14:12 utc | 81

I'm really impressed by the way that Russia and China have been responding to continuous attempts by the US to dominate them, and in that response, I believe they have provided a template for a path forward. Forming partnerships and alliances, using diplomacy and mutual respect, building new independent systems, neutralizing threats through innovation, and all this while walking on a razor's edge. They answer the question of how to deal with a global empire that threatens all life on the planet - with caution, patience, wisdom, and creative thinking. That last part, to me, means thinking like humans not hammers.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 17 2019 14:37 utc | 82

Where were the Five Eyes?

Kim Dotcom
‏Verified account @KimDotcom
Mar 15

The New Zealand spy agencies with their vast new powers have failed New Zealanders. They failed to identify the terrorist cell that killed 49 people yesterday. Why did we give them all these spying powers if they can’t even detect the obvious threat?

Posted by: arby | Mar 17 2019 16:16 utc | 83

OT: The Venezuelan coup still falling apart.

Prior to the humanitarian aid scam on the bridge, a number of Venezuelan National Guard military defected over to Random Guy's side. It turns out they were promised $20,000 - $40,000 if they defected. However, they have not received the money and are still stuck in Cucuta on the Colombian side of the river. They are facing eviction from the place they took refuge and have received just $100 and a mattress to sleep on.

Colombia clearly wants nothing to do with them. It is also clear that the US side expects no further defections. Perhaps the best thing for these guys is to go back to Venezuela and spill the beans about who recruited them etc? It would make a good PR story for Maduro's side.

Posted by: Yonatan | Mar 17 2019 16:16 utc | 84

Peter AU 1 analyze

Maybe the useless info of the day, but since it came up in the comments ...
Tourkofagos translates literally as "Turk-eater" or more appropriately "Turk-slayer". It was a nickname given to the hero of the Greek War for Independence (1821-27) Nikitas Stamatelopoulos (1781-1849). He was distinguished in a number of battles against the Ottoman Turks but received his nickname in the battle of Dervenaki (Peloponese) where the Greek rebels ambushed and destroyed a large Ottoman force. In the fierce hand to hand fighting it is recorded that he broke three swords, and after the battle he needed medical help to remove the fourth from his swolen hand.
His nickname was writen on the gun of the attacker along with other names of leaders (Huniades, Obilich, Sigismund etc) that fought against the Ottomans, perhaps to declare that he was continuing the fight against Islam.

Posted by: Sotiris | Mar 17 2019 18:53 utc | 85

Washington Examiner, March 15, 2019 04:01 PM:

The Spanish broadsheet newspaper El Pais on Wednesday alleged that Spanish investigators believe the CIA played a role in a Feb. 22 attack on North Korea's embassy in Madrid.

They didn't.

As the Washington Post reported on Friday, a Korean dissident organization opposed to Kim Jong Un's rule is actually believed responsible. So, why did El Pais say otherwise?

Perhaps the Russians told them the CIA was involved.

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 17 2019 19:14 utc | 86

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 17, 2019 10:37:09 AM | 82

Can China and Russia Survive in this Unharmonious World?

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 17 2019 19:21 utc | 87

Michael R. Pompeo, March 15, 2019:

The ICC is attacking America's rule of law... We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation.

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 17 2019 19:47 utc | 88

wait we have a rule of law in the u.s.? who knew.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 17 2019 20:50 utc | 89

Re: John Doe Mar 17, 2019 3:14:19 PM

Washington Examiner's Tom Rogan is almost delightfully free of any self-awareness. "Consider that El Pais is reporting the CIA's involvement without offering any substantive evidence. " In fact, El Pais reported that it was informed by its sources in police, and I conjecture that in Spain it is clear which police would do it. In the absence of a denial, this is as good evidence as happens usually in criminal cases, a city newspaper is supposed to have police sources. Rogan may conjecture that El Pais invented the involvement out of thin air, but that conjecture is, well, invented out of thin air.

Of course, WP story lead us to "know" who truly did it has equally thin evidence as the one Rogan used to casually heap invectives upon Spaniards. WP cited UNNAMED sources without a hint about their methods. El Pais hints that police got the descriptions of the culprits and could reason from that.

But then Rogan spews about Russian without even pretending that he has any non-delusional reasons to do so. "Consider that El Pais is reporting the CIA's involvement without offering any substantive evidence. That's a tell because El Pais is a nominally anti-American newspaper, and the Russians love using anti-American interests to push forwards their agenda, newspapers included. During the Cold War, the KGB repeatedly succeeded in planting fake news about American aggression in high-profile European newspapers."

To those who do not know, "high-profile European newspapers", of which El Pais is one, are "anti-American" only according to a very rarified notion of "not anti-American". It is like Netanyahu complaining that NYT is the worst enemy of Israel. But he did it, which makes me ponder why Hezbollah made it to UK's terror list and NYT did not.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 17 2019 21:09 utc | 90

Michael R. Pompeo, March 15, 2019:

The ICC is attacking America's rule of law...
John Doe | Mar 17, 2019 3:47:20 PM | 88

wait we have a rule of law in the u.s.? who knew.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 17, 2019 4:50:42 PM | 89

Dear pretzelattack, all languages have their grammatical ambiguities, so to understand, one has to consider what possible meanings are there, and which make sense in the context. "America's rule of law" can be parsed in two ways: (a) "rule of law" that belongs to "America", presumably the legal system in the "several (currently 50) states" and dependent territories, or (b) "America's rule" over the law, presumably the ability of the "several states" to determine on the world-wide basis what the law is and what it is not.

Pompeo is either an utter moron who thinks that ICC is attacking (a), or a mere pedestrian thinker who correctly thinks (b).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 17 2019 21:24 utc | 91

Yonatan @84

"Prior to the humanitarian aid scam on the bridge, a number of Venezuelan National Guard military defected over to Random Guy's side. It turns out they were promised $20,000 - $40,000 if they defected. However, they have not received the money and are still stuck in Cucuta on the Colombian side of the river. They are facing eviction from the place they took refuge and have received just $100 and a mattress to sleep on."

So the Empire lies all the way from the top to the bottom.

Proud of Chavez-- appears that he has built a strong foundation for the Bolivarian Revolution. Very few took that large phantom bait.

Posted by: arby | Mar 17 2019 22:07 utc | 92

Yonatan @ 84

Once that story spreads through Venezuelan forces nabbing defectors will be impossible.

Posted by: arby | Mar 17 2019 22:11 utc | 93

Sotiris 85

Thanks for the background on those names.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 17 2019 22:22 utc | 94

“Infiltrating a North Korean embassy days before the nuclear summit would throw that all into jeopardy,” said Sue Mi Terry, a former Korea analyst at the CIA. “This is not something the CIA would undertake.”

Where have I heard an argument like that before? Oh, yeah:

"The Syrian government had no interest in using the gas. Strategically, it was useless; and that could only ruin his image on the international level, with the risk of an American attack."

Posted by: Keith McClary | Mar 18 2019 5:05 utc | 95

Haspel isnt the "torture queen", that title goes to Iran agent Jamie Gorelick, Haspel is merely a minion of Gorelick, a nobody screwed in like a light bulb.

Posted by: Smitty | Mar 18 2019 20:55 utc | 96

foreign policy of the US is written by Wall Street. The CIA is the operating arm of Wall Street. Every war/military involvement by the US for the past 130 years has been initiated by Wall Street.

Posted by: trustnoone | Mar 19 2019 15:01 utc | 97

Haspel isnt the "torture queen", that title goes to Iran agent Jamie Gorelick, Haspel is merely a minion of Gorelick, a nobody screwed in like a light bulb.

Posted by: Smitty | Mar 18, 2019 4:55:59 PM | 96

Gorelick was never involved in activity or supervision of CIA, she is just a fine lawyer doing her best to help corporations to keep former students in debt slavery, trying to decrease responsibility for the largest environmental calamity of decade (if not more), getting tens of millions for supervising minor accounting shenanigans (hiding 9 billions of losses with was actually a minor thing for Fannie Mae), while being a stellar member of Democratic establishment. Just your normal person. Don't diminish Gina Haspel.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 19 2019 18:06 utc | 98

I wrote above

"The English version of the manifest reads like it was written by someone who is a native English speaker or at least studied English literature"

NKNews has checked the other involved language and concurs. The authors were not native Korean speakers:

What to make of a mysterious break-in at the North Korean embassy in Madrid

This author showed the official pronouncements of the [Cheollima] group to two well-educated native speakers of Korean who, independently, came to the same conclusion: the documents in questions were initially written in English and read like a translation (one of the native speakers said “clearly, a translation” while other said “very like a translation”).

On top of that, they believe that people who translated the text were not fully comfortable in the language – as one of my experts put it: “this text seems to be written by a foreigner who knows Korean very well.”

The texts are peppered with expressions which, while largely understandable, are improper and would never be used by a native speaker.

If this opinion is correct, this hints at, perhaps, a group of Korean-Americans who have good command of language but, since they have never studied at a South Korean college or university, cannot express complicated ideas in a proper stylistic way. One can easily guess which agency might have many such people among its staff.

Posted by: b | Mar 20 2019 14:37 utc | 99

@99 b - more confirmation of your intuition / logic working well... i think all 3 of you are correct.. cia written all over this..

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2019 15:52 utc | 100

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