Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 08, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-72

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Episode 368 – The Douma Hoax: Anatomy of a False Flag - Corbett Report

Tareq Haddad @Tareq_Haddad - 11:25 UTC · Dec 7, 2019
Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason.

What really happened in Iran? - Asia Times

Who holds the Initiative, and who has the Power to mobilise the Street in Iraq? - Elijah Magnier

Fear and Loathing? The 2020 Election is a Repeat of 1972 - The Sports Geek
The Russians Are Coming! - Daniel Larison, TAC

How Aramco’s Huge I.P.O. Fell Short of Saudi Prince’s Wish - NYT
American Soldiers Are Not Bodyguards for Saudi Royals - Doug Bandow, TAC
Saudi Arabia - a family holding company, not a friend. - Pat Lang

Other issues:


The smear campaign that depicts Jeremy Corbyn as 'anti-semitic' and a 'Russian asset' is a preview of the upcoming smear campaign run by Democrats against Bernie Sanders.
Jewish Chronicle lied in reports on “Labour anti-Semitism” - Asa Winstanley
How the UK military and intelligence establishment is working to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister - Daily Maverick
The historic model for this is the Zinoview letter - Wiki


A long-read with lots of interesting insights into the political maneuvering around the H-bomb.
John Wheeler’s H-bomb blues - Alex Wellerstein, Physics Today
In 1953, as a political battle raged over the US’s nuclear future, the eminent physicist lost a classified document, about the hydrogen bomb, on an overnight train from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.

Middle East:

Rania Khalek in a satirical video about the typical 'western' Middle East reporters:
Profiles in Courage: ENN's Middle East reporter Gertrude Bellinger
We once wrote about one of these Hizbullah interviewing reporters:
Freelancer Despairs: "My Lies About Hizbullah Can't Compete With Trump" - (Updated)


The United States Uses “Blackwater” PMC Mercenaries and Terrorists to Steal Oil in Syria - Stalkerzone
The Madcap Scheme to Take Syria's Oil - Reason
American-Israeli businessman denies facilitating sale of Kurdish oil in Syria to Israel - Israel Hayom

Interesting that this was actually published:
Turkey deserves the blame for what happened in Syria - Irish Times

Lebanon is bankrupt and its depositors get screwed. This has dire effects for Syria's economy.

EHSANI2 @EHSANI22 - 12:50 UTC · 7 Dec 2019
Thread 👇is for every depositor in #Lebanon
I do hope am wrong, but as I will explain below, my personal conclusion after weeks of looking into this case is that
Depositors have paid the price & that most, if not all, of the money in bank deposits is gone
Here is why ===>


Howler: A pre/post Soviet visual: vocal fragment from Aleksandr Borodin's 1887 Russian opera Prince Igor performed by an interspecies trio. (vid)
Odd modern architecture in Russia - Varlamov

737 MAX:

Boeing knew of problems with wing parts, but told FAA planes were safe, agency alleges - Washington Post

The Federal Aviation Administration proposed a rare $3.9 million civil penalty against Boeing on Friday, alleging the company “knowingly submitted aircraft” to the agency for safety certification even after learning that crucial wing components “could not be used due to a failed strength test.”

The FAA alleged in a statement and enforcement letter to Boeing on Friday that the company installed parts on some of its 737s that were “weakened” and “more prone to fatigue and failure.” The so-called “slat tracks” are critical, serving to guide the slats that slide out from the front of wings and add stability and lift during takeoff and landing.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on December 8, 2019 at 13:35 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Journalist: Newsweek Suppressed OPCW Scandal And Threatened Me With Legal Action

A Newsweek journalist has resigned after the publication reportedly suppressed his story about the ever-growing OPCW scandal, the revelation of immensely significant plot holes in the establishment Syria narrative that you can update yourself on by watching this short seven-minute video or this more detailed video here.

“Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason,” journalist Tareq Haddad reported today via Twitter.

“I have collected evidence of how they suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US government was removed, though it was factually correct,” Haddad said. “I plan on publishing these details in full shortly. However, after asking my editors for comment, as is journalistic practice, I received an email reminding me of confidentiality clauses in my contract. I.e. I was threatened with legal action.”

Posted by: librul | Dec 8 2019 14:18 utc | 1

"John Wheeler’s H-bomb blues - Alex Wellerstein, Physics Today
In 1953, as a political battle raged over the US’s nuclear future, the eminent physicist lost a classified document, about the hydrogen bomb, on an overnight train from Philadelphia to Washington, DC."

Haven't read the article yet, but that must have been an incredibly slow train. The distance is something like 150 miles.

By the 1930s, the USA had passenger trains running on flat strait scheduled routes, this route is flat perhaps not strait, that traveled at 120 MPH. And there are very few express train stops between Washington DC and Philadelphia, Baltimore is one; there may be another.

Posted by: Jay | Dec 8 2019 14:30 utc | 2

"Haven't read the article yet, but that must have been an incredibly slow train. The distance is something like 150 miles."

From the article:

"A train ride between Princeton and Washington does not take all night—in 1953 it was a little over three hours. But if Wheeler spent the night in a Pullman car (see figure 4 for a schematic), he could avoid the extra inconvenience of checking into a hotel. He would take the train and sleep in a bunk. The train would begin its journey in the middle of the night and arrive at Washington’s Union Station early the next morning. The porter would wake Wheeler at a reasonable hour, and he could dress and tidy up before leaving the train. From there, he would head directly for his meeting near the Capitol, do his part to combat the enemies of the H-bomb, and return to Princeton by train that evening."

Posted by: Madeira | Dec 8 2019 15:06 utc | 3

John Helmer @ Dances with Bears:

A British Ministry of Defence document, issued on March 12 but unnoticed since then, reports the ministry has searched its files and records of the blood sampling and testing for Novichok in the blood of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, but “failed to locate any information that provides the exact time that the samples were collected.” The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is the parent organization for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the UK’s chemical warfare centre at Porton Down. Porton Down, as the laboratory is usually known, is the source of British evidence that Novichok was detected in the bloodstreams of the two Skripals. [...]

If Gardiner’s report of March 12 is true, then this is MOD’s official admission there is no chain of custody for the blood samples on which the Novichok allegation has been based. If Gardiner is lying, then the ministry’s reason is obvious: the samples which were taken from the Skripals in Salisbury Hospital did not reveal that their blood was contaminated by what Porton Down and Prime Minister May later claimed was Novichok. [...]

Posted by: Juan Moment | Dec 8 2019 15:11 utc | 4

I used to frequent a Democratic site called DailyKos years ago before they purged Bernie supporters. This is an example of how bad this site has gotten.

“A heartfelt 'thank you' to Kamala Harris and to Shirley Chisholm, upon whose shoulders she stands”
This article tries to use identity politics to push Kamala who had the most billionaire donors to Shirley Chisholm who ran for president a long time ago actually standing for black people.

“Defense officials concerned about growing support for Vladimir Putin by US Troops.”
The red scare is strong here - I almost thought it was an Onion article.
To the author - “Have you no sense of decency”

Posted by: Stever | Dec 8 2019 15:49 utc | 5

The Pat Lang posting with the title provided of "Saudi Arabia - a family holding company, not a friend." keeps telling me that if late empire cannot get their oil fix anywhere else (Venezuela or Iran) then maybe taking over SA is the next best thing.

And SA involvement in 9/11 and the recent killings in Florida would provide the requisite justification.

If indeed one of the reports from last week about the US sending another 14K troops to SA to join the 14K that are already there is true then it should be easy peasy.

It would certainly give more proof to the concept of the sickness of empire devouring itself.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 8 2019 15:56 utc | 6

Boeing knew of problems with wing parts, but told FAA planes were safe, agency alleges - Washington Post

Posted by: BM | Dec 8 2019 16:00 utc | 7

Oops! Sorry

Boeing knew of problems with wing parts, but told FAA planes were safe, agency alleges - Washington Post

Why such a piddly $3.9 million and no jail sentences? $3.9 BILLION plus relevant jail sentences would be fair.

It is clear enough what the real problem is isn't it?

Posted by: BM | Dec 8 2019 16:07 utc | 8

From Jay Caruso at the UK Independent: https:/

Yes, it was Donald Trump who raised the issue of Biden's role with Burisma. It was an attempt to deflect attention away from what's now the center of Trump's likely impeachment in the House of Representatives — holding up military funds to Ukraine until they announced an investigation into Biden and his son, despite the lack of any legal wrongdoing on their part.

This is the most circular reasoning I have ever come across. Trump deflected attention away from impeachment by raising the Biden's role with Burisma. But the impeachment is because Trump raised the Biden's role with Burisma?

As a forum with many great commentators, can someone please explain this to me. Or am I in some Back to the Future scenario?

Many thanks.


Posted by: frinnt | Dec 8 2019 16:09 utc | 9

Banderite lobby (Ukrainian World Congress) seeks to sabotage upcoming Normandy Four summit:

"Ahead of the Normandy Four meeting in Paris, I once again highlight the key priorities of the Ukrainian World Congress position in support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We ask that Ukrainian communities around the world maintain and call upon their national leaders to maintain a clear and unequivocal position, specifically that..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Dec 8 2019 16:43 utc | 10

Imo, Daily Kos has been a hive of villainy, no doubt a CIA operation meant to mislead progressives, almost since its founding.

Posted by: paul | Dec 8 2019 17:22 utc | 11

@ paul | Dec 8 2019 17:22 utc | 11

"Party Above Principle, in All Things"

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 8 2019 17:42 utc | 12

BM @ 8
Yeah, that's really pathetic. "Slap .. meet Wrist" ..... or Wing, as is the case !!

Posted by: polecat | Dec 8 2019 17:59 utc | 13

Luongo updates pipeline wars: "As Winter Comes Pipeline Wars Heat Up." The players to watch closely are Putin and Zelensky in their upcoming negotiations. One must seriously ask since the Evil Outlaw US Empire has failed to stop Nordstream 2 via various ploys if it will physically attack the structure, and if it does what Russia's response will be as such an attack will be an act of war. Given the crazies handle of policy and action, IMO such an act is probable.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2019 18:11 utc | 14

thanks b for the week of insights and more...

@9 frinnt... i think you have it right.. the article is wrong.. pelosi called the impeachment thing based on trump asking for info on bidens ukrainian activity.. that is the basis for the impeachment trail as i understand it.. the holding off on military funds was not the impetus for the impeachment process here..

as for journalist Tareq Haddad, paveway brought this to our attention on the opcw thread a day or two ago..something smells fishy about it.. i'd like to take it as it stands, but i wonder if there isn't more to the story to revealed at a later date to poke wholes in the opcw's opponents? spontaneous speculation on my part... we'll have to wait til more comes out..

Posted by: james | Dec 8 2019 18:14 utc | 15

Blumenthal's charges dropped further delegitimizing the rabbit troll. Max plans to do battle with the Evil Outlaw US Empire's federal government as lots of evidence was disappeared. RT notes The Gray Zone was one of the few news outlets that properly covered the attack on Venezuela and its embassy within the Evil Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2019 18:30 utc | 16

There has been quite a lot recently in RT about the sports doping scandal and how WADA are threatening to exclude Russia from all sorts of events. I get the impression that Russia may be trailing its coat here, at a time when the OPCW news comes out in drips and drabs. So maybe some bargaining is going on behind the scenes.

On quite another tack I came across this lovely conversation - translated from a contemporary record on papyrus - between the Roman Emperor Commodus and the head of the Alexandria Gymnasium (main school.) I think this is 2nd century AD.

Emperor: Do you know who you are talking to?
Head: Yes I know, I am speaking to a tyrant.
Emperor: No, to a monarch
Head: Do not say that. Your divine father Marcus Aurelius had the proper qualities of an emperor. Listen! - First, he was a philosopher; second, he did not love money; third, he loved the good. In you there are the reverse of these qualities: tyranny, hatred of the good, common ignorance.

(He was then led off to be executed). (From City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish, by Peter Parsons)

Makes you think about our current rulers. In the UK, Clement Attlee seems to comes closest to the ideal.

Posted by: Montreal | Dec 8 2019 18:32 utc | 17

This comment follows onto earlier comments about Ukrainian influence and media censorship.

I have always tried to keep politics out of science, in order to be able to focus clearly on the study of nature, instead of the opinions of people. Admittedly, some areas of science are completely political, such as climate change, ecology, and nuclear power. I also recognize that the so-called prestige press for science - journals such as Nature (UK) and Science (US) - are going to reflect the conventional, if not the corporate perspective.

Nevertheless, a book review in this week's (5 DEC 2019) issue of Nature really pissed me off. The book is about natural gas pipelines and their ability to overcome political differences:

The Bridge: Natural Gas in a Redivided Europe
by Thane Gustafson

Of course, such a topic is completely political and the author is a political scientist. Gustafson is Professor of Political Science at Georgetown University and Senior Director of Russian and Caspian Energy for HIS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, whose chairman and founder is Dr. Daniel Yergin, author of many best-selling books on the oil industry.

The offensive review is by Andrew Moracsik, whom I had never heard of. But, after a little googling, I discover that his wife is the appropriately named, Anne-Marie Slaughter. She of bomb Libya fame. (NOTE 1.) Andrew himself has quite the pedigree: educated at Stanford and Johns Hopkins (Nitze SAIS), professor at Harvard and Princeton. He is a prominent scholar of the EU and of Eastern Europe, and an editor at the journal Foreign Affairs.

Now to the review. Dr. Moracsik admits up front that:

(the book) offers a readable, intelligent, even-handed historical interpretation of this relationship.

In other words, he can't fault the book for inaccuracy. But his purpose is really to bring the non-stop villification of Russia to the pages of a scientific journal. Here are the unfounded, false, and weasel-worded assertions he makes:

Russia also provoked a series of interventions and conflicts in Georgia, Moldova, Syria, and Ukraine. The West responded by imposing sanctions...More recently, Russia has become involved in the disruption of elections in the West, and in cyberwarfare.

Andrew Moravcsik is professor of politics and international affairs, and director of the EU Program, at Princeton University in New Jersey.


Why is it that whenever I find a US scholar talking about Eastern Europe, they have some kind of refugee from Communism pedigree? Well, the obvious answer is that that is the pedigree that gets you into the club of Russia hatred and gets you a free pass from criticism about bias. In an earlier comment at MoA, I mentioned how the fascist Ukrainian spy network of Reinhard Gehlen became the lens through which all CIA (and therefore US) foreign policy was seen.

In Moravcsik's case the pedigree runs through his father, Michael Julius Moracsik. Michael was a refugee from Hungary in 1948, who subsequently got a Ph.D in physics from Cornell. He eventually became a scientific fellow at NATO. (NOTE 2.)

Just to round out the players' pedigrees, the author, Dr. Gustafson has given papers at the Danyliw Seminar on Contemporary Ukraine, which describes itself as

"A unique forum for researchers from Canada, Ukraine and elsewhere open to all social science and humanities research topics touching on Ukraine."

(Ah, Canada, whose deputy prime minister is Chrystia Freeland, an unrepentant defender of her Banderite Ukrainian grandfather.) So, clearly Gustafson is a member of the club and hence, the acknowledgement of factual correctness by Moravscik.


This book review in this journal has driven home to me how complete the propaganda bubble is in the Five Eyes countries. How does one have an impact in the face of such overwhelming institutionalized propaganda? We have certainly reached the point described by Hannah Arendt:

Equality of condition among their subjects…is not sufficient for totalitarian rule because it leaves more or less intact certain nonpolitical communal bonds between subjects, such as family ties and common cultural interests. If totalitarianism takes its own claim seriously, it must come to the point where it has "to finish once and for all with the neutrality of chess," that is, with the autonomous existence of any activity whatsoever. The lovers of "chess for the sake of chess", aptly compared by their liquidator with the lovers of "art for art's sake", are not yet absolutely atomized elements in a mass society whose completely homogeneous uniformity is one of the primary conditions for totalitarianism. From the point of view of totalitarian rulers, a society devoted to chess for the sake of chess is only in degree different and less dangerous than a class of farmers for the sake of farming.

-p 322

So, I continue to read and post at MoA, but I have no expectation that it amounts to anything more than German's listening to the BBC in WW2 did. What I do expect is that, sooner or later, MoA will be blacklisted for simply relating true facts.



Slaughter served on the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School from 1989–1994

On 23 January 2009, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, announced the appointment of Slaughter as the new Director of Policy Planning under the Obama administration.

In July 2005, Slaughter wrote in the American Journal of International Law about the responsibility to protect (R2P).

Slaughter wrote a strong endorsement of Western military intervention in Libya. In this op-ed, Slaughter challenged the skeptics who questioned the NATO use of force in Libya,

On 25 August 2011, she was roundly criticized by Matt Welch, who sorted through many of Slaughter's prior op-eds and concluded that she was a "situational constitutionalist".

Clifford May on 15 October 2014 wrote a piece in which he drew a straight line between Annan and Slaughter's R2P "norm", and the failure in Libya. May noted that President Obama had cited the R2P norm as his primary justification for using military force with Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who had threatened to attack the opposition stronghold of Benghazi.

In an 11 November 2014 piece entitled What Happened to the Humanitarians Who Wanted to Save Libyans With Bombs and Drones?, Glenn Greenwald denounced her and her policies


Michael Julius Moravcsik - Hungarian, American physics professor.
Recipient Derek de Solla Price memorial medal;
Scientists and Engineers for Economic Development grant, 1974,
Senior fellow in Science, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 1974.


Moravcsik, Michael Julius was born on June 25, 1928 in Budapest, Hungary.
Arrived in United States, 1948, naturalized, 1954.


Student, University Budapest, 1946—1948.
AB cum laude, Harvard University, 1951.
Doctor of Philosophy, Cornell University, 1956.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 8 2019 18:34 utc | 18

@14 karlof1

The soon to be passed defense authorization act includes strong Nordstream 2 sanctions against any company or executive of a company that assists in its construction. It has almost unanimous (ie, veto proof) support in both the House and the Senate. From what I had previously read, this is likely to halt construction for 2-3 years while legal challenges play out.

Posted by: Schmoe | Dec 8 2019 18:37 utc | 19

psychohistorian 6

The perfect graphic for your post, Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 8 2019 18:49 utc | 20

OPCW investigated the April 7th 2018 incident in Douma Syria and reported that: “chlorine, or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical, was likely released”.

An internal OPCW Email in response however said that the report: “is highly misleading and not supported by the facts”.

London based author and journalist Peter Hitchens has closely followed the Syrian conflict and Douma incident. He’s recently visited the OPCW whistleblower and now discusses with Rico Brouwer in café Weltschmerz what actually happened in Douma and what’s at stake with this misleading OPCW report not only in Syria but also with our governments, the international rule of law and the validity of the OPCW.

Posted by: Mao | Dec 8 2019 19:00 utc | 21

"Trump politicizes World Bank loans to China" is the new angle of attack adopted by the Evil Outlaw US Empire. Of course as we well know, World Bank and IMF "development" loans are supposed to promote financial enslavement, not genuine economic development. The editorial writer notes:

"Some Western politicians are now mad about development loans to China. Such a mentality is quite unhealthy. After decades of receiving loans, if China still lagged behind and was even too poor to repay loans, would they be happy instead?"

Yes, they'd be ecstatic as their policy aim would be working. But what really ought to scare such neoliberals is the following truth written by the editorialist:

"It's a basic fact that China is a developing country. There is still a large gap between the country's per capita GDP and that of Western countries. China's development is very unbalanced and many places in the central and western inland regions are still backward. Even in big cities in the eastern areas, myriad problems, such as environmental protection, medical care and pensions, need to be addressed." [My Emphasis]

China still has quite a road to travel to reach its goal of becoming a "moderately prosperous society," a status that would make its economy the world's biggest by all measurements.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2019 19:00 utc | 22

The Syrian presidential press service criticized Italy’s Rai News 24 broadcaster over its decision to delay the broadcast of the interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“On 26 November 2019, President al-Assad granted an interview to Rai CEO, Monica Maggioni. It was agreed that the interview would air on 2 December on both Italian Rai News 24 and Syrian national media outlets. Early on the morning of 2 December, we received a request, on behalf of Rai News 24, to delay the broadcast with no clear explanation. This was later followed by two further requests to delay, with no date set for when the interview will air and no further explanation,” the press service said on late Saturday in a statement, posted on its Facebook page.

The Syrian presidential press service described the situation as one more example of Western attempts to conceal the truth about the situation in Syria.

“If Rai News 24 continue to refuse to air the interview, the Political and Media Office of the Syrian Presidency will broadcast the interview in full, on Monday 9 December 2019 at 9pm Damascus time [19:00 GMT],” the statement added.

The Syrian government regularly accuses the Western countries of waging an information campaign aimed at discrediting the country’s authorities amid the ongoing civil conflict.

Posted by: Mao | Dec 8 2019 19:05 utc | 23

@18 john brewster

Thank you for that, and yes I'm sure that the likes of MoA will be targeted, such as through Article 11 and 13 and by pressuring Domain Registrars etc. That said, I see enormous push-back already with the censoring of content on social media so I am hopeful about the eventual outcome, I do not foresee b having to go all I. F. Stone and circulate a dead tree edition any time soon.

Posted by: TJ | Dec 8 2019 19:05 utc | 24

"A botched assassination attempt against Ukrainian politician and businessman Vyacheslav Sobolev has resulted in the death of his three-year-old son, Alexander.

"While Sobolev and his wife were leaving his high-end restaurant “Mario” in Kiev this past Sunday, right-wing thugs opened fire on Sobolev’s Range Rover, missing him but hitting his son who was seated in the back of the vehicle. The three-year-old died on the way to the hospital.
"Police later apprehended two men who had fled the scene in a black Lexus sedan, Oleksiy Semenov, 19, and Andrei Lavrega, 20. Both are veterans of the war in Donbass in eastern Ukraine where they served as members of the fascist Right Sector’s paramilitary formation until June of this year.
"The Right Sector was instrumental in the US- and EU-backed, fascist-led coup in February 2014 that toppled the Yanukovitch government and replaced it with a pro-Western and anti-Russian regime. Since then, the Right Sector has been among the far-right forces that have been heavily involved in the war against Russian-backed separatists in East Ukraine.

"As is usual when members of neo-Nazi groups carry out political attacks, the Right Sector and their former battalion commander fraudulently attempted to distance themselves from Lavrega and Semenov, claiming they had lost contact with them since they left Ukraine’s armed forces in June. These claims are not credible.

"Lavrega, who has been identified as the principal shooter in the killing, has been a member of the Right Sector for at least half a decade. He had participated in the Maidan movement of 2014 as a member of the Right Sector and perfected his shooting skills as a sniper killing separatist soldiers in eastern Ukraine. According to his Right Sector battalion commander, Andrei Herhert, Lavrega—also known as “Quiet”—was “one of the best snipers in the war” and “very ideological.”

"As a thanks for his service to the right-wing Kiev government, Lavrega received a military decoration from former President Petro Poroshenko for “courage” just last year, in October of 2018." ..........

"Whoever is ultimately responsible for ordering this political assassination and the murder of the three-year-old boy, it is clear that the same far-right forces that were instrumental in the coup in February 2014 and the civil war are now being employed to carry out political assassinations by the Ukrainian oligarchy.

"Since the 2014 coup, the number of targeted political assassinations by right-wing neo-Nazi groups like C14 and the Right Sector has skyrocketed. At least 15 people have been murdered in such hit jobs by the far right since 2014. Among them was the well-known Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet and the politician Kateryna Handziuk, who was killed in a horrific acid attack by right-wing thugs last year.

"In virtually all these cases, the perpetrators have been protected from serious legal prosecution. One of the murderers of Handziuk received a barely three-year prison sentence. A critical role in shielding the neo-Nazis is played by Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Arsen Avakov, who controls the country’s police force and possesses well-known ties to Ukraine’s most notorious fascist militia, the Azov Battalion.

"Avakov is one of the few members of the previous Poroshenko government that have remained in the current Cabinet of Ministers under President Volodmyr Zelensky. He was recently praised by former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch while testifying before the House of Representatives regarding the Trump impeachment investigation (see also: “The impeachment crisis and American imperialism”).

"President Zelensky, who was elected in April this year on the basis of promises that he would bring an end to the widely despised civil war in eastern Ukraine that has claimed the lives of over 13,000 people, has maintained a conspicuous silence on this latest political assassination attempt by the far right. Instead, the day after the murder, he posted a message on Facebook to honor two Ukrainian soldiers who were killed while fighting in eastern Ukraine this past weekend."
The rest of the story can be found at the WSWS

The Right Sector links with the former US Ambassador-Democratic heroine- are topical.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 8 2019 19:17 utc | 25

Schmoe @19--

The extraterritorial crap promoted by the Evil Outlaw US Empire's Congress will be ignored as it ought by the nations involved, and as much has already been said by Germany, Russia and their companies. Such solidarity in the face of what is known to be attempted is why I wrote that the pipeline will likely be physically attacked to cripple it and generate grave, unknown consequences. The Neoliberalacons's Russophobia is worse than during the Cold War since they think they're #1 and have every right to order other nations to obey. The WADA crap is along the same lines. IMO, the attack will come during the 2020 Olympics as the Empire's conducted an attack during the several preceding occasions. A couple of Avanguards targeting Capital Hill would be an appropriate reply.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2019 19:19 utc | 26

@17 montreal... thanks for the quotes and overview...

@ 18 john brewster..quote "So, I continue to read and post at MoA, but I have no expectation that it amounts to anything more than German's listening to the BBC in WW2 did. What I do expect is that, sooner or later, MoA will be blacklisted for simply relating true facts." i 2nd @24 tg comments to you.. thanks.. i'd like to think that is a long ways off, but maybe i am wrong..

@25 bevin... that is in exact opposition to the drivel chris brown - regular columist for cbc posts.. and typically his drivel is not open to comments.. here is his latest bs - In an obliterated landscape, war-weary Ukrainians hope peace summit ends fighting for an insight into completely lopsided reporting - read it.. you don't want to, i totally understand..

Posted by: james | Dec 8 2019 19:48 utc | 27

Interesting that this was actually published:

Turkey deserves the blame for what happened in Syria - Irish Times

I read the article. There's no mention of one particular aspect of the Syrian war, probably the most salient one, which would explain why it was published. The article is a limited hangout.

I used to read the Irish Times until I grew up. It's a wank mag for the bien-pensant. Not as bad as The Guardian but within the same general area.

Posted by: Former IT reader | Dec 8 2019 20:02 utc | 28

TJ @ 24 ; james @ 27

Thanks for the predictions that MoA will persist.

I had hoped that people might react to my remarks on the reach of the immersive propaganda network we live in, rather than my pessimistic ending. I posted about the Nature article because, if people can't see through the impeachment Kabuki or the Identity Politics divisiveness, what chance do they have to see through the constant omni-channel flood of Russophobia? (E.g., ?yesterday? at MoA, we heard about the latest nonsense: the "German Skripal".)

They have completely cleaned house of any unbiased Russia scholarship. When Stephen Cohen, advisor to multiple presidents, is considered to be a Putin apologist and effectively banned, its quite clear that any corporate media or governmental words about Russia are nothing more than propaganda. In retrospect, I had not taken the words of Hannah Arendt to heart - there is no such thing as a non-political topic in our Surveillance State; and that includes science itself. America is well on its way to Lysenkoism.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 8 2019 20:10 utc | 29

@Schmoe #19
Why do you think a law passed by an American legislature which covers international water and German/Russian economic affairs is going to make a difference?
There are already sanctions against Russia - also against Nord Stream construction companies and suppliers.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 8 2019 20:16 utc | 30

Germany's economy in grave distress:

German manufacturing hit by biggest downturn since 2009.

Germany’s manufacturing sector is suffering its steepest downturn for a decade after industrial production fell 1.7 per cent in October, underlining how the powerhouse of the eurozone’s biggest economy is spluttering.

The figures, published on Friday by the Federal Statistics Office, mean that Germany’s manufacturing output has fallen 5.7 per cent in the year to October and indicate that the sector is likely to keep weighing on overall eurozone growth in the fourth quarter.

“Far from bottoming out, Germany’s industrial recession may be getting worse,” said Andrew Kenningham at Capital Economics. “The latest data support our view that a recession is still more likely than not in the coming quarters.”

And it was investment that was hit. The drop in German manufacturing in October was concentrated in production of capital goods, including tools, buildings, vehicles, machinery and equipment, which fell 4.4 per cent in the month. Production of intermediate goods and consumer goods both increased.

After the fall of the DDR, the Western Germans thought they had everything sorted out: capitalism had proved its supremacy over socialism, and History had ended. Their reward was the Hartz Reforms of the early 2000s, which marked the end of German welfare state -- a token to the German working class to remember what was its place for the forseeable future.

Germany is now entirely on the USA's hands. If the USA doesn't collapse, the liberal financial architecture won't collapse, and the EU will be able to continue to exist in a stagnated, 0-1% annual growth indefinitely and the European illusion will live on; if not, Europe will go back to be a periphery of the world system, as it has been since the fall of the Roman Empire in the West until the Second Industrial Revolution.


The game is over for the Superpower by 2020:

India's industrial sector dives as the economy brakes hard towards a recession.

So much for the vaunted "world's biggest democracy" (courtesy by the British Empire).

Posted by: vk | Dec 8 2019 20:16 utc | 31

@TJ #24
I don't see how the Articles you've posted relate to outright banning.
Google and Facebook can deny advertising as well as hinder search placement of web sites, but they cannot prevent people from going directly to the sites.
MoA doesn't have ads, so ad banning isn't an issue either.
Explicit blocking of traffic through diktats to ISPs or network ASNs blocking through traffic - that would be a very different matter but I don't see any evidence of that, anywhere to date.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 8 2019 20:19 utc | 32

@ 21 You're right. And I would also be critical of the OPCW quote >: “chlorine, or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical, was likely released”.

see dictionary of chemical terms "reactive". Table salt is reactive. It's semantically meaningless rhetoric. Actually, as we learned in the 7th grade, it's easy to get salt to make chlorine gas - or to make sodium bleach with table salt and a power-supply. OPCW is bsing the "report" with sexy sounding terms. About the only stuff that's not "reactive" is platinum and helium...

Posted by: Walter | Dec 8 2019 20:20 utc | 33

@29 john brewster... here - let me ''react''.. you gave a few really great examples.. i don't know that anyone here would dispute how insipid all these russophobic articles are, or worse, that they all follow a constant theme running out of the 5 eyes central offices.. it is entirely predictable at this point and you're absolutely correct - 110% propaganda... you've given another good example here with the treatment of stephen cohen... what i find shocking is the lack of embarrassment towards all of this.. people in the west seem to be devoid of any type of response to it all, other then us commenting on moa about it.. i don't know how any of it is going to change.. it seems to me the desire to protest all this is really low here in the west.. i admire the french for the protests they have been engaged in the past few months, which get very little msm coverage.. i wish we could protest about all the propaganda we are subject to here in canada or the usa, but we haven't reached a critical point in it all yet it seems..

Posted by: james | Dec 8 2019 20:27 utc | 34

@ 17 in re "...strong Nordstream 2 sanctions..."

We shall see how strong. I'd put money on the Germans doing business with their natural Eastern partners. Business is business, suzerain occupation since 75 years notwithstanding.

Actually I harbor doubts about the strength of imperial ability, as the natural reaction every time they use dollarweapon, is the weakening of the weapon...

That Good Man V Putin, I'm sure we all recall, recently spoke to this matter...signing off with "they (or the dollar) will collapse soon."

zerohedge > "The Dollar Enjoyed Great Trust Around The World. But For Some Reason It Is Being Used As A Political Weapon, Imposing Restrictions. Many Countries Are Now Turning Away From The Dollar As A Reserve Currency. US Dollar Will Collapse Soon."

Posted by: Walter | Dec 8 2019 20:32 utc | 35

karlof1, c1ue

We will see on Nordstream 2 sanctions' effectiveness. Generally, US sanctions, when aggressively enforced, are extremely effective (and lethal in many cases). The sanctions against Russia are not that broad but they have impacted Russian energy E&P efforts in difficult to reach environments.

I would also add that:
a) LNG prices are currently at incredibly low levels and if they hold at these levels importation of LNG could minimize Germany's hit,and Qatar last week announced it will expands its LNG export capabilities;
b) Russia / Gazprom did not finance Nordstream 2's construction; initially I believe Gazprom did so but a consortium of 4 Netherlands (including Royal Dutch Shell), Austrian and German companies later assumed the financing obligation;
c) Due to an EU ruling related to foreign-affiliated pipelines (or some variation of that), it will likely be forced to operate at 50% of capacity.

Based on a) - c) there is much less than meets to eye for Nordstream 2.

A more likely outcome than violation of US sanction IMO is an asymmetric response from Germany; perhaps the EU aviation authorities will deny whatever Band Aid Boeing puts our for the 737 Max's MCAS system. Or Germany approves Huawei's 5g equipment.

Posted by: Schmoe | Dec 8 2019 20:50 utc | 36

frinnt #9

Hoho, The Independent is not a serious paper. Not as deceitful as the Guardian but neither classify as adequate for an arse wipe. The degeneration of these once reasonable reporting sites into trash has been rapid.

The most important antidote against their mind numbing ignorance is to read Vitchek, occasionally rewatch Harold Pinter, read or watch Vanessa Beeley. Most importantly pay no attention to the inane 'content' of the Independent or the Guardian. For comic relief I sometimes peek at the Gateway Pundit but first must scrape off the rabid foam.

I am sure other contributors could augment this list for pages but primarily one must hold in mind that yesterdays publishers and your preconceived notions are invalid today. If I find tosh dressed as news, I don't go back for a while, hence Democracy Now is never for me.

Do peek at Dances with Bears, India Punchline, Empire Files and.... good luck as there is a rich media out there.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 8 2019 20:51 utc | 37

@29 john brewster

A long time ago I watched "Manufacturing Consent" and have since assumed that what passes for mainstream "news" is nothing more than propaganda, and that Mark Twain was entirely correct in his observation that if you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. Though it is sad when I see the likes of the once great Nature engage in such, all things must pass and I am sure they will too, most of what I read these days comes straight off so they have already been disintermediated in my life.

@32 c1ue

That will be £1,000,000 for linking to my post, please pay within 24 hours or legal action will be taken!

Do you see the point now?

Posted by: TJ | Dec 8 2019 21:03 utc | 38

@ Montreal | Dec 8 2019 18:32 | 17
"sports doping scandal and how WADA are threatening to exclude Russia"

There is some suggestion that the LIMS database had been hacked, with
the hacks / changes being ascribed to Russia, but in fact originating
from parties intent on discrediting Russia..

STUXNET was a sophisticated Government (Israeli / US ) effort to
attack Iran's centrifuge program. Stuxnet's design and architecture
are not domain-specific and can be adapted to other industrial targets
Such as a LIMS system - often a unprotected visual interface to an SQL database

It is unlikely that the very capable team that gave us Stuxnet has been sitting around
bored and idle, with such a juicy target available

Posted by: David K | Dec 8 2019 21:21 utc | 39

john brewster #29

Thank you and all respondents to your post. Truly MoA is a fine source of reporting, discussion and genteel contest of ideas. It is a remarkable place.

I loved your metaphor of Germans during WW11 listening to the BBC. I observe Bannon and his global shenanigans setting up a global 'right sector'. He and the Cambridge Analytica crew have refined social engineering and are putting it in practice in an alarming hurry.

The politicisation of all media has run amok in the past few decades it seems. The use of the belligerent debate technique supported by ad hominem attack is a widely practiced tactic these days and it is a sad turn. In this calm space at MoA we thrive.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 8 2019 21:31 utc | 40

mao@21 says 'London based author and journalist Peter Hitchins has closely followed the Syrian conflict...' and posts a video from a Dutch interrogator that had me interested until Mr. Hitchens blandly spouted a derogatory spiel about Assad that is the main source of all 'Assad must go' poppycockery from the west as if it were indeed fact. If he is going to base actual verifiable information upon such a shaky foundation, I would warn folk who proceed further to either accept this poster's message or that of Mr. Hitchins - beware of the underlying falsehoods when you do so.

This video is highly suspect, in my view. I do believe there is merit to the claim that the Douma incident was fabricated. I don't believe Mr. Hitchins is the one to elaborate on that claim.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 8 2019 21:46 utc | 41

@uncle tungsten and others

The Washington Post ran an article a few years ago promoting a site called PropOrNot, which purported to list "Fake News" sites. The irony!

I looked at the list and the sites I recognised are among the best sites on the net including this one.

A word of warning: the best lies usually contain some truth so there are probably some stinkers on the list. Check it out yourselves and decide. It's a useful resource.

Most of you probably know about it already but for those who don't, version 6 of the list is available here .

Posted by: Former IT reader | Dec 8 2019 21:54 utc | 42

To be fair to Trump, 66.7% of his wives left him, 100% of his casinos have been bankrupted, 100% of his universities and charities were shut down, and over 50% of his other businesses have failed, so WH staff turnover at 43% means he is over-performing by his standards.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Dec 8 2019 22:20 utc | 43

Juliana: count your blessings. Hitchens is a right wing columnist for the very right wing Daily Mail. Most of the time he simply pours out Tory propaganda but occasionally, like Peter Oborne and Jonathan Steele, his impatience with the crude propaganda of the warmongers leads to explosions in which truths are bared. This is one such occasion. And I'm grateful for it. None of the MSM writers is reliable-they would be unemployed if they were- but while the Heirloom media still exists let's praise them when they tell the truth and denounce them when they tell lies.
Hitchens, incidentally and in case you didn't know, is the younger brother of Christopher Hitchens and, like him, a former member of the International Socialist group which at the time and before calling itself the Socialist Workers Party ( a name which its founder Tony Cliff had long admired) described itself as Luxemburgist. The brothers were renegades-Christopher becoming a neo-con and Peter a Tory.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 8 2019 22:22 utc | 44

To the Bar--

What I see is copious amounts of wailing from the usual sources about the demise of what was supposed to be an era of Unipolar dominance by the Evil Outlaw US Empire and blame being thrown in all directions hoping some sticks instead of directing it at themselves for they are he true authors of the Empire's decline--they being the Current Oligarchy and their Congressional, Administrative, and BigLie Media accomplices. The Empire's current "defense" doctrine calls for war to be waged against the nation(s) impeding the Empire's unilateralism. The brats are spoilt beyond belief and 100% believe they're entitled to having Full Spectrum Dominance because of their exceptionalist ideology--they've destroyed their own basic law to attain that goal; the impeachment derangement is just the most overt symptom being shown at the moment. Just look at the unanimity on the two recent anti-China votes--Congress is in almost 100% lockstep with Marco Rubio's insanity.

IMO, there were saner heads in 1962 than now, particularly in Congress. What's worse than an Evil Outlaw US Empire is it's becoming deranged.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2019 22:32 utc | 45

Thank you, bevin, but to me the misinformation on Assad is more damaging even than the correction of the record on the Douma attack. I will be happy to be corrected on that. Given that the country of Syria is to be put back on its feet eventually, it seems the lies spread about it prior to now as far as the legitimacy of the presidency ought not to be countenanced. That's taking the long view, not being grateful for small favors that may be hiding a hidden agenda.

I will give Mr. Hitchins credit for prefacing his interview with garbage; perhaps that will draw some into reassessing the entirety of the propaganda they have been subject to. If this was not true, how about looking at the prior stuff? But I'm afraid the underlying message is - I'm telling the truth about this incident, so I must be also correct on the prior stuff. And that simply won't wash.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 8 2019 22:48 utc | 46

Frinnt @ 9, Uncle Tungsten @ 37:

Slight correction: Vitchek should read as Vltchek.

Also add Sharmine Narwani and Eva Bartlett to the one-person list of Vanessa Beeley.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 8 2019 22:58 utc | 47

james @ 34

what i find shocking is the lack of embarrassment towards all of this.. people in the west seem to be devoid of any type of response to it all, other then us commenting on moa about it..

Well, I'm at MoA because I was long ago thrown off the fake-liberal (really neoliberal) boards Democratic Underground, Daily Kos, and Jackpine Radicals. IMHO, its not that people lack responses; its that any place that allows effective responses is hijacked and the troublemakers ejected.

i wish we could protest about all the propaganda we are subject to here in canada or the usa, but we haven't reached a critical point in it all yet it seems..

They are busy setting things up so that when the critical point is reached, the protest will be aimed at the left. All this Identity Politics garbage is exactly the kind of rightwing caricature of the genuine left that confirms the right wing and makes genuine lefties embarrased. Ditto the unbelievably vile Transgender nonsense, which you might have noticed started immediately after gay marraige was legalized.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 8 2019 23:14 utc | 48

There is a sense in which everything on this blog comes back to international relations and neo-con attempts to build "A New American Century." Which is to say hegemony and globalisation.
Immanuel Wallerstein, who recently died and will be greatly missed, had some interesting things to say about hegemonic powers.
He identified the Dutch Republic, for a brief period after emerging victorious from the Thirty Years war in 1648, the United Kingdom, after Waterloo and up until the Crimean War and the United States, from 1945 to 1973 as true hegemons with networks of alliances and designated enemies.
He also makes the point that, long after states have ceased to be hegemonic, they remain dominant in the areas of finance and culture.
So far as the United States is concerned it is hanging on in both those areas in which, long after the paper in its Tigerish foreign policy has been exposed, it retains enormous influence though its media/entertainment businesses and Wall Street's command in finance. (It is interesting here that The City, long after the UK has become a US puppet, still has enormous power in the world of finance.)

Wallerstein prophesied (and this was in 1980) that the next contender for the position of hegemon was likely to be an East Asian alliance of Japan, Korea and China.
Not a bad guess but one, like the end of US hegemony, made premature by the implosion of the Soviet Union which provided the US with a new dawn and another chance-quickly blown- to re-establish its hegemony. Which it did if not in fact then in its own mind in the shape of the hubristic unipolar moment and Brother Fukuyama's End of History celebration.

Significantly Wallerstein, arguing from history that the intervals between these brief periods of hegemony are periods in which several states compete for the 'succession'-France and the UK in the period after the Dutch moment had passed; Germany and the United States after 1850- suggested that the European Community would be competing with the East Asian bloc for hegemony.
It is that prophecy which looks lame currently with the European countries probably more under the domination of the United States than at any time in the past. Wallerstein was writing at a period when it looked as if the the EEC strengthened by the accession of, inter alia, the UK would be capable of throwing off the domination of the US and taking an independent course of its own.
This is a dream, rather like that of the 'Social Europe' in which full employment, welfare states, free education and regional development defy the spread of neo-liberal values and strategies, which still leads a ghost like existence in the minds of Europhiles who don't get out much and have never heard of Greece and the PIIGs.
Also of interest is the fact that Russia, which didn't feature among the contestants for future hegemony in 1980, has now re-emerged in its ancient role as the 'eastern' version of expanding America, a mirror image with even more natural resources, a larger landmass and a natural affinity with China and the formerly Soviet states of central Asia.
It might be argued that it is because the hubristic United States cannot bring itself to treat the potentially enormously powerful states of Europe as anything more than contemptible slaves that it is never going to re-establish its global position. On the other hand a case can be made that the current thrust of the United States is to re-establish its ownership of the rest of the hemisphere. It treats Canada as a sort of Puerto Rico with snow and oil. Only recently was Mexico was threatened on the improbable-in historical terms- that it allows the CIA to run its drug trade and supervise its Death Squads.
As to the rest of central America and the southern continent: US interference and arrogance is as evident as it has ever been. What is less evident is whether, for all its military and financial power, US policy against Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and their increasingly rebellious neighbours has any chance of succeeding.
It wrote in 2001 that the War on Terror was destined to end with Latin American militias, wearing red armbands, patrolling the streets of Cleveland. Perhaps it will.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 8 2019 23:14 utc | 49

TJ @ 38

Don't forget Emma Goldman's version:

If voting changed anything, it would be illegal.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 8 2019 23:17 utc | 50

james #27 - " the drivel chris brown - regular columist for cbc posts.. and typically his drivel is not open to comments.. here is his latest bs - In an obliterated landscape, war-weary Ukrainians hope peace summit ends fighting for an insight into completely lopsided reporting"

Is it my fading memory, or was the CBC once a relatively professional source of international reporting? This piece is notably bad - not just from the skewed account of 2014's events, or the insistence on describing Donbass as "separatist", or the map which includes Crimea as part of Ukraine. How is it that the Minsk Accords no longer seem to exist in the corporate media, or the upcoming meeting in Paris properly described as a continuation of that process (alleged failure to "live up" to said accords was used as a stick against Putin for several years, and now their possible realization is vaguely referred to as something bad). Why does a Chatham House spokesperson get to define Ukraine's supposed "red lines", which are in reality the political position of the badly defeated former government? Why is Zelensky's oft stated policy position presented here as Russian-induced capitulation? Brown interviews four women of whom he says "none would tell us their last name out of fear of repercussions from local authorities" except they allowed for their photos to be taken and published. All of these story points result from conscious decisions, not sloppy errors.

Posted by: jayc | Dec 8 2019 23:27 utc | 51

Juliana, the "Obligatory Bash" is almost inevitable in any MSM article that challenges a narrative against a designated Monster of the Time.

The best one can say is that given the main reason trotted out to believe Assad is a Demon is that he "gasses his own people", then Hitchen's work on this story is putting a dent into that premise, even as he is repeating it.

Posted by: Ash Naz | Dec 8 2019 23:50 utc | 52

@bevin, 25. - this article from The Stalkerzone provides information on the killers and suggests that they intended to kill the child as a message to the father

Posted by: cirsium | Dec 9 2019 0:03 utc | 53

Thanks, Ash Naz. I'm usually more optimistic. That is a good way to look at it, I admit. Many these days are having to do precisely what you suggest.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 9 2019 0:22 utc | 54

bevin #49,

Wallerstein was writing at a period when it looked as if the the EEC strengthened by the accession of, inter alia, the UK would be capable of throwing off the domination of the US and taking an independent course of its own.

Back in my pro EU days I used to hope that it might offer some kind of multi-polarity against the US, and then Yugoslavia happened where the EU marched in tune with the US. (Then the regular ignoring and repeat-until-conform of referenda in numerous countries happened and I lost confidence in the future of democracy and sovereignty in the EU.)

I had, however, hoped that the prospect of the UK leaving the EU might reduce the toxic influence of Washington in Europe via its Westminster poodle, given that the CIA and MI6 seem to be the same thing (see also CFR / Chatham House etc). I expect it is wishful thinking, but it was a factor in me voting Leave anyway. In reality I suppose the US has sufficient power over most European countries but Macron's recent comments about NATO, and Germany's Nord Stream 2 agreement does give me some hope.

Posted by: Ash Naz | Dec 9 2019 0:46 utc | 55

@ Karlofi 26. I enjoy your reasoned and concise posts. I am certain that the Russians are well aware of what could be done to the pipeline in any conceivable scenario. Many years ago I met a very tall, very striking female Russian engineer who had worked on the trans Siberia gas pipeline. Some of the problems they had to overcome were extremely formidable. What ever people think of the minds in Washington, the Russians do not for one moment under estimate them, in any aspect. I would bet that there is a plan B,C,D,E,F onto Z to make sure the pipeline is completed and pumping on the proposed date of it’s opening.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Dec 9 2019 0:59 utc | 56

john brewster @ 18

Speaking of Shane Gustafson: this is an excellent book:

Crisis amid Plenty: The Politics of Soviet Energy under Brezhnev and Gorbachev (Princeton Legacy Library) Paperback – February 1, 1991

Although the Soviet Union has the most abundant energy reserves of any country, energy policy has been the single most disruptive factor in its industry since the mid-1970s. This major case study treats the paradox of the energy crisis as an essential part of larger economic problems of the Soviet Union and as a key issue in determining the fate of the Gorbachev reforms.

One of the theses of the book is that the Soviet industry had a “silo” structure: the various components (exploration, drilling, production, transport, export) didn’t coordinate with one another and depended on the glue of communist party apparatchiks to keep the system functioning. Gorbachev is said to have eliminated that glue and chaos ensued.

Schmoe@ 36

Re: “Due to an EU ruling related to foreign-affiliated pipelines (or some variation of that), it will likely be forced to operate at 50% of capacity.”

See my MOA @ 125

And MOA @ 136

Posted by: pogohere | Dec 9 2019 1:25 utc | 57

What is happening in Germany? Chechen and Georgian exiles being killed by Russia?
I have a lot of doubt if Russia is behind. Why are these killings suddenly occurring when Nord Stream II is already being finished.
I don't think Putin is a saint but he would get rid of those terrorists in a quieter way

Posted by: Nick | Dec 9 2019 1:52 utc | 58

I just wanted to say thank you to "b" for continually posting these salient articles...although I rarely comment its greatly appreciated by me!!

Posted by: Gregory | Dec 9 2019 1:55 utc | 59

Just to lighten the mood for honest government ad from Australia:

Quiet Australia Policy

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Dec 9 2019 1:58 utc | 60

My third and last comment on this open thread. Three comments is more than the total comments I've left on all blogs combined in any year since commenting began so it's back to lurking.

It's a link a post by Rob Slane of TheBlogMire, the local man who covered that Cock and Bull Story in Salisbury so well.

This post, however, has nothing to do with the Scripal affair. What it is is the best description of the downward trajectory not just of Britain but of "Western Civilisation" that I've come across in a long time. It's utterly damning and will doubtless not be to the taste many here, but some may appreciate it.

Here's the link and goodnight:
The 2019 General Election: Tough on Hobgoblins; Tough on the Causes of Hobgoblins.

Posted by: Former IT reader | Dec 9 2019 2:13 utc | 61

Israel Shamir quoting Prof Michael Brenner of Pittsburgh U, who has noted:

“Europe’s political class is psychologically unable to break free of its dominant/subordinate relationship with America. This pattern endures despite the presence of a mentally impaired man in the White House. The prognosis, therefore: ‘Wither thou goest, we go!” American leaders have exploited this compulsive deference ruthlessly. It allows Washington to ensure European fealty at virtually no cost. Moreover, they can extract compliance across a wide array of non-security issues – commercial, financial, IT (warring against Huawei), political, diplomatic – by drawing on the same free-floating loyalties.

"Europe has been obedient to the siren call of Uncle Sam in following it over the cliff time after time – in Afghanistan, in Iraq (France excepted), on Russia, on Iran (by acquiescing in severe sanctions), on Saudi Arabia, in Yemen, in embracing Bolsonaro (invited Keynoter at Davos), even on Venezuela and Bolivia. The ultimate test will come were Washington to pick a fight with China that it, and the West, cannot win; will Europe then take the final, fatal leap hand-in-hand?”

Posted by: bevin | Dec 9 2019 3:03 utc | 62


I'm not sure how I missed those Nov 16 posts so thanks for forwarding. This quote will be interesting:

"With some 85% of the pipeline already laid, new congressional sanctions aimed at companies participating in the pipeline’s construction will not stop it.

Instead, they will become a new bone of contention between the United States and Europe.

That is just common sense...large Euro energy companies are partners in Nordstream and have invested you think they are just going to throw up their hands and say 'Ok we give up'...?

Even a child can see this Spiegel diarrhea for what it is...

And supposedly the owners of those ships [there is actually only one company in the world, Swiss-based Allseas, that operates these deep sea pipe-laying ships] are going to drop Nordstream because they don't want to lose potential US business in the Gulf of Mexico...

That is bullshit...what pipelines are being planned for the Gulf...?...Zero...

Yet the Russians are the world's gas and pipeline superpower and have more pipeline projects in the works...

As if Allseas is going to risk their biggest customer for some bullshit US sanctions...[they are also laying the Turkstream pipeline..."

Any company whose operations are all international will unfortunately have to think long and hard about losing accessing to dollars. Open violations of US Sanctions are still almost unheard of - Rosneft in Venezuala, Reliance Industries might now be buying Venezuelan oil - so I would not be pollyanish about their power. Note that European companies will not use Instinex out of fear of losing access to dollars.

Posted by: Schmoe | Dec 9 2019 3:42 utc | 63

uncle tungsten @ 40

I loved your metaphor of Germans during WW11 listening to the BBC.

Thank you for the compliment; but I felt sad about the comparison. We are as useless as clear-thinking Germans were against Nazis. And, the allies didn't cut German's any slack postwar just because they had listened to the BBC.

I observe Bannon and his global shenanigans setting up a global 'right sector'. He and the Cambridge Analytica crew have refined social engineering and are putting it in practice in an alarming hurry.

It certainly seems that only the rightwing has weapons of mass propaganda. There is not one powerful voice for the leftwing, just a bunch of midgets constantly being smashed up by TPTB. I agree with Caitlin J - its all about narrative control. And that control belongs to the right, especially since the time the neoliberals hijacked the Democratic Party and turned it into GOP-lite.

The politicisation of all media has run amok in the past few decades it seems. The use of the belligerent debate technique supported by ad hominem attack is a widely practiced tactic these days and it is a sad turn. In this calm space at MoA we thrive.

I think you mean the politicization of the American media, since it is the only media that ever pretended to objective journalism. European media always assumed that a media outlet had a political POV, and that readers consumed the media that matched their politics. The shock of belligerency and ad hominem tactics are only shocking to Americans, raised to believe that the Mighty Wurlitzer was a neutral, fact-based proposition. IMHO, we have passed Frank Zappas's moment when the curtain is pulled back and we see the brick wall at the back of the theater.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 4:29 utc | 64

pogohere @ 57

Thanks for the Gustafson reference from the Cold War era. The guy has been around awhile, and seems to eschew blatant insults in favor of clearly constructed arguments.

I would be the first to agree that the last two decades of the USSR were a sclerotic, declining mess. The Communist ideologues walked the system into a corrupt and ineffective bureaucracy, with results across the board being much as Gustafson describes in your reference.

It remains to be seen if Russia can maintain the advances that Putin's one-man show has given them. The whole thing could collapse after he leaves the scene; although he has saved their asses over the last two decades. Then again, it remains to be seen if the US can survive Trump, the Deep State, the Wall St. looting, the Israeli neocons, etc.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 4:35 utc | 65

Hey, MoA got an attaboy!

Why do people pay subscription-fees, to Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post, and to the New York Times, and to other media that are controlled by America’s billionaires, when far higher-quality journalism, like that of “Moon of Alabama” (and like the site you’re reading here) is freely available on the internet? Who needs the mainstream ‘news’-media, when it’s filled with such unreliable claptrap

- Eric Zeusse At The Saker

- Reposted at Zero Hedge

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 4:50 utc | 66

@ 48 john brewster.. thanks for your ongoing comments john, in spite of how scary they sound in your last paragraph especially..

@51 jayc... yes, you remember correctly on all accounts.. now you can see how bad things have gotten at the canadian broadcasting corp - a public utility of sorts that has been completely propagandized as john brewster notes in an earlier post... generally chris browns articles are all on russia and they are all of the same terrible and useful value, except for brainwashing anyone who hasn't been yet... ironically when they open up comments to his articles, he gets lambasted with many of the comments challenging him on how out of touch he is.. yes - chatham house.. there is only one reason for a reporter to quote chatham house and it isn't about giving greater objectivity! thanks for your comments..

Posted by: james | Dec 9 2019 4:55 utc | 67

Below is a link to a posting by Tom Luongo at Strategic Culture about the pipeline wars the West is losing....highly recommended reading for barflies

As Winter Comes Pipeline Wars Heat Up

The take away quotes...beginning and end of article
For all of 2019 December has been a magnet. A number of major geopolitical issues come to head this month and many of them have everything to do with energy. This is the month that Russian gas giant Gazprom was due to finish production on three major pipeline projects – Nordstream 2, Turkstream and Power of Siberia.

Power of Siberia is here. It’s finished. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping christened the pipeline to begin the month. Next month Putin will travel to Turkey to join President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to open the first of four potential trains of the Turkstream pipeline.

It is only Nordstream 2 that continues to lag behind because of insane levels of pressure from the United States that is dead set against this pipeline coming online.

And the reason for that is the last of the major energy issues surrounding Gazprom needing resolution this month, the gas transit contract between it and Ukraine’s Naftogaz.


There are more than $12 billion in lawsuits outstanding that Naftogaz has pending against Gazprom. With Nordstream 2 a fait accompli that is all the leverage Zelensky has at that meeting.

This game is a microcosm of the way the US foreign policy establishment uses Europe as the battleground in the war against Russia. And given the way the political winds are shifting, Europeans are getting very tired of it.

This is why gas storage facilities in Europe are full, there is real fear that Gazprom will walk away from the talks with Ukraine and will wait out the completion of Nordstream 2. Gazprom offered an extension of the current contract on the condition that Ukraine drop the lawsuits.

Naftogaz said no. We’ll see if Zelensky is smart enough to say yes.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 9 2019 5:32 utc | 68

john brewster @ 65

Have you read Gustafson's Crisis amid Plenty: The Politics of Soviet Energy under Brezhnev and Gorbachev ?

I did. It was very informative, seemed well researched and laid out the structure of the Soviet energy complex and the politics of the private consolidation of ownership of some of it as well as the circumstances that enabled the Russian government to maintain control of most of the assets for the benefit of the Russian people. A number of Gustafson's predictions proved to be wrong, especially regarding the Soviet/Russian ability to maintain energy production.

I am not aware of whether or not he otherwise issues "blatant insults in favor of clearly constructed arguments."

Posted by: pogohere | Dec 9 2019 5:58 utc | 69

Below is a link from ZH about the tech front in the civilization war between the empire West/US and China

China Retaliates For Huawei: Beijing Orders All Government Offices And Public Companies To Replace Foreign PCs And Software

The take away quotes
...... the FT reports that Beijing has ordered all government offices and public institutions to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years.
The take home message here is that US PC and software giants are about to lose billions in sale to Chinese customers, a move that will infuriate Trump who will, correctly, see such attempts to isolate the Chinese PC market from US vendors.

This is going to be difficult for China but they have a domestic OS, the Kylin OS, that is Unix/Linux based, so much Open Source software is available to replace the Microsoft/Apple software they currently use until they develop their own.

This speaks to Trump saying he can wait for a trade deal until after the (s)election but it seems obvious that his negotiating position is going to get weaker by the day.


Another aspect of the tech war that is financial also is that I am reading the China is on the cusp of releasing a digital fiat RMD currency. This will have serious disintermediation effects on the BIS, City of London Corp and others doing currency exchange if any can do such on their phones. I am reading about digital currencies needing a blockchain underpinning but if the US dollar can exist without one currently then what are the show stoppers except the private finance dead weight in the middle?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 9 2019 6:11 utc | 70

john brewster @48:

They are busy setting things up so that when the critical point is reached, the protest will be aimed at the left.

My opinion also.

I wish more saw the direction that we are headed in and the manipulations that are taking us there. IMO what most people lack is a clue as to WTF the Deep State is up to. IMO they aim to destroy the upstarts - Russia and China - so that their plans for NWO/global hegemony are realized.

USA is EMPIRE FIRST, and has been for a long time (many would say since the end of WWII).

Media hype extremist views - like open borders and trans - so that they can be used as strawmen to knock the left while neo-McCarthyist smears are used to squash dissent.

IMO the Democratic Party has co-opted the progressive left. We saw Obama make a concerted effor to co-opt the civil rights Movement. He positioned himself as the culmination and terminus of their hope for equality.

There's a saying that's appropriate: No one cares until EVERYBODY cares.

Which is to say: no one cares to see the possibility of disaster. "Worry wort" skeptics and "debby downer" critics are marginalized while elite corruption of institutions/policies/etc. is rampant. In 2008 this led to the Global Financial Crisis. In 2020-2021, it could lead to another financial crisis or war.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 9 2019 6:22 utc | 71

One of things which concerns me most about this site and most others inhabited by contrarian blokes of a certain age is the way that topics discussed are most often the same topics as those fed to the mugs via corporate media.

Sure the opinions are vastly different, but the subjects are not. So much energy and time wasted on pointless topics like the amerikan prez when we all know that it really doesn't matter who jags that gig nothing meaningful will alter for amerikans or the people outside amerika oppressed by empire.

Now the prez thing is a bit of a troll since so many amerikans have been intensely indoctrinated right through their lives to believe that all the prezdency guff is meaningful when it so obviously isn't. That in reality the odds of any amerikan suddenly having an epiphany about the pointlessness of DC kibuki from reading this, or something similar written by someone else, are negligible.

So we have to accept, to a degree, that Washington Housewives and Days of Our Lives DC will continue to feature at MoA.

But what happens when the corporate media chooses not to consider much larger, more pernicious forms of imperialism than is currently occurring in the ME because that imperialism is nascent, awful things are being done to humans western populations who have not been sufficiently propagandised against, so may not greet the tales of murder and mayhem generated by the actions of french foreign legionaires, english SAS or amerikan special forces with sufficient approval?

Easy, we just don't talk about it except when told to or where there is no choice because some action by the imperial thugs for hire has attracted too much attention. In that case the barest of details make it into the news and we will be told that whoever it was who had their families butchered belonged to an organisation which 'western intelligence' said was 'associated with ISIS'. No specificity, not details at all apart from the one unsubstantiated claim, which lets face it says any village of humans anywhere that contains a single resident which western intelligence believes is somehow associated with ISIS, is worthy of being genocided out of existence.

I reckon one of the best indicators of imperial violence is displaced persons. We saw in the ME that various forms of ethnic cleansing were practised to persuade people to move off their traditional lands in order to either exploit the natural resources in the area (see Saudi Amerika driving tribes from the newly discovered hydrocarbon prospects in North Yemen), or to create lebensraum for another group of humans currently held in favour by the empire (see the shifting of arabs and Turkamen from North Syria to give ready made villages to Kurds which only lasted for as long as the Kurds were needed by empire).

So many people were displaced in the ME during the first half of the teens that shock, horror some european countries felt obliged to allow a few of those whose lives had been destroyed into their communities.

That was then, yet we still all talk about the ME as though it is where the empire is committing its most egregious harm, but that is no longer the case.

If you check this Pew Center article you will see The total number of people living in sub-Saharan Africa who were forced to leave their homes due to conflict reached a new high of 18.4 million in 2017, up sharply from 14.1 million in 2016 – the largest regional increase of forcibly displaced people in the world".

If one checks the chart Pew has provided we can see that the numbers of decent humans in the ME who have been displaced from their land is alleged to currently be 21.5 million while the number of persons displaced in sub-Sahara Africa is about 3 million less at 18.4 million.

See so more action in the ME still. No, firstly the ME curve has flattened right out over the years since 2016 meaning that new displacements are relatively low unless of course it is your whanau that has been displaced in which case it wouldn't feel nearly as benign.
Secondly if you look at the fine-print on that chart you will see the 21.5 million line is labelled "Middle East-North Africa".

Libya is an African state which happens to have a proportion of arabic speaking people in its population, it also contains Berbers (e.g. Muammar Ghadaffi) and what the chart calls "sub-Saharan Africans when they want say negro but the unfortunate connotations associated with that term (99% the result of horrific whitefella behaviour) means that negro is no longer a la mode in whitefella land.

Not enough to rape, steal & steal from black Africans, now we also remove the means to identify them as a distinct group.

The Libya africa/ME issue matters a great deal because prior to the fukusi rape of Libya, that nation acted as a bulwark for all the supra-saharan nations, some Saharan eg Niger and that was just as likely a reason for amerika to destroy Libya setting loose the ethno-centrists of Misratah to kill black africans, standover Berbers & Turks to ensure that only Arab speaking semites can get control. This is the deal the empire struck. Not to enable italy to get some of that sweet sweet crude at the sort of bargain basement prices Italy hadn't enjoyed since Mussolini invaded Libya - that was purely a minor side benefit, now the good colonel was no more, fukus became the only game in town.
There was no longer any white knight determined to protect his/her neigbours from the outright theft, extortion, bribery, rape & murder which are the empire's stock in trade.

It began with aa team of US military nuclear experts in Niger.

It is foolish and counterproductive to ignore the horrors that a US-led fukus mission which runs across the entire African continent has created in the name of more billions to the already rich.
Do it if you want, but all you are really achieving is enabling the arseholes.

There is a scarcity of relevant links for the usual reasons. Not only are you more likely to put faith in info from sources you already know & trust, getting there will help you comprehend this crime far better than something easily digestible from a user, and most importantly the final paras were done long after the sun rose over the yardarm here.

Posted by: A User | Dec 9 2019 7:13 utc | 72

jayc | Dec 8 2019 23:27 utc | 51 says:

'Is it my fading memory, or was the CBC once a relatively professional source of international reporting?'

The CBC may have been, but that was a long time ago. Today, it is 'Globalist' propaganda outlet, not much better than CNN. What I find particularly revolting is how they use 'emotion' to sell their propaganda, and how they work 'Climate Change' into every other story that they present.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Dec 9 2019 8:09 utc | 73

@Nick 58

Your questions are absolutely justified. The original story was written by Georg Mascolo, the German Dana Milbank, i.e. the chief mouth piece of the intelligence services. This is an obvious attempt to put pressure on Merkel to hamper relations with "Evil Russia" just prior to a possible breakthrough in the Normandy talks. The German services, especially the BND, are the last strongholds of Transatlanticism here, and they try to brace themselves against any rapprochment between Russia and Germany. But this will be in vain. It's simply that the geopolitical imperative is too strong: the two countries fit together perfectly in terms of their respective needs and abilities.

Posted by: mk | Dec 9 2019 8:10 utc | 74

psychohistorian #68

Thank you for that insight. I cannot see how Zelensky will manage the Nazi Ukrainians short of a virtual civil war against one western district. The USA will foment a major insurrection to destroy him if he does a deal with Gazprom. Your suggestion as to where those issues are discussed would be welcome.

A User #72

Thank you and well said. The eurocentric kabuki does mesmerise the information providers. I too seek escape from that dominance and spent a good time today researching the Power of Siberia implications and issues of South America. The global assault on all things African is a matter of deep despair for me and I feel totally powerless to reverse the relentless assault on their world.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 9 2019 8:19 utc | 75

This is what keeps me up at night:

Political Collapse: The Center Cannot Hold

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 9 2019 9:20 utc | 76

@ A User 72

All very true. I would place the de jure war onslaughts within the overall context of globalization and in particular the imperialistic assault of corporate industrial agriculture upon Africa, the last great semi-frontier which wasn't fully assimilated by the first "Green Revolution" onslaught. A main goal as the global empire faces decline or collapse is to seize control of all land and drive the people OUT.

Globalization acts to destroy all local production and distribution. It destroys this outright or seizes control of it in order to force it into the global commodity framework. It seizes control of indigenous land and resources. It dumps subsidized Western goods. It destroys any functional politics and democracy. It imposes the control of multinational corporations over every part of life it can. It does this purely in the power interests of Western elites. Any benefits it lets trickle down to locals are purely calculated payouts to accomplices. Much of the global South has been crushed under the corporate boot this way, and Africa has already been subject to the IMF and World Bank’s debt indenture shock treatment (“structural adjustment”).

All this has been accompanied by the systematic ravaging of African ecosystems, culminating in the rising climate chaos driven by the patterns of energy consumption, waste, and ecological destruction practiced and imposed by Western industrialized productionism and consumerism. Climate change is caused by these actions. Since corporate state elites and their supporters have long known this and in spite of lots of lip service have refused to do anything to avert the worst of it, it’s long been true that climate change is an intentional campaign of aggression against the Earth and all vulnerable peoples. Thus climate change takes its place as the most extreme and far-reaching of the corporate campaigns designed to cause disaster, destruction, and chaos. According to this pattern of disaster capitalism the corporations then proceed to use the crises they intentionally generate as further opportunities for aggression and profit. All corporate sectors practice this, and corporate agriculture is the most aggressive and destructive practitioner of all. Today Africa is its primary new target.

Corporate control of agriculture and food has always been at the core of the globalization onslaught. In accordance with its food weapon the US government systematically has waged economic, political, chemical, biological (both of the former in the form of poison-based agriculture and other pretexts for systemic and systematic environmental poisoning), and often literal shooting warfare. Throughout this history of war and sublimated war, corporate agriculture has been a constant weapon and battleground as well as its aggrandizement being a constant goal.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 9 2019 9:32 utc | 77

@60 Jon_in_AU

I had forgotten all about Juice Media, I haven't watched them since the end of Rap News, here is my favourite episode The War on Journalism - with Julian Assange [RAP NEWS 5]

Posted by: TJ | Dec 9 2019 9:54 utc | 78

More on "Western imbecilization":

A (Grudging) Defense of the $120,000 Banana

These are the successors of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Picasso, etc. etc.


This is Brazil's "God's Army":

‘Soldiers of Jesus’: Armed neo-Pentecostals torment Brazil’s religious minorities

First Worlders commenting here seem to have the illusion Christianism is the good brother of the three Abrahamic religions. Although I understand the pro-Christian bias coming from the Europeans (since Christianism is an inextricable aspect of European identity), this opinion is a myth: we have already tasted this in the Bolivian coup, but it's also a Latin American phenomenon.

Christians are wolves under sheep skins.


@ Posted by: pogohere | Dec 9 2019 1:25 utc | 57

The USSR had a relatively backwards transportation system (specially railways), that still used disproportional quantities of petroil to function, but that wasn't an existential threat to the nation per se, it could be modernized.

Of all the theses I've read about the collapse of the USSR, the one that most convinced me was Angelo Segrillo's "Decline of the USSR" - which I think only exists in Portuguese right now. Segrillo covers all the arguments of the time used to explain the fall of the USSR and refutes them all empirically before he lays out that the main cause of the fall of the USSR was its structural inability to implement the Third Industrial Revolution ("toyotism").

When it became clear the USSR wouldn't be able to keep up technologically with the USA, Gorbachev then decided (without knowing it) it would be preferrable for the USSR to disappear than to continue to exist as a non-superpower.

In that sense, yes, the Soviet then relatively inneficient energy use was a symptom of the underlying cause - but it wasn't the cause.


@ Posted by: bevin | Dec 9 2019 3:03 utc | 62

The problem with Europe is its geography: it is a tiny, depleted peninsula. In the 17th Century, it was an advantage, since the lack of natural resources impelled it to aggressively exploit other continents, giving birth to capitalism.

But capitalism is a global system, not a regional system. When it reached maturity, Europe slowly, but inexorably, begun to lose its competitive advantages over purely capitalist formations - the greatest of them all being the USA. Then what was an advantage became a disadvantage.

This gordian knot was cut with WWI and WWII (both were only one war, in two parts) - a last desperate attempt by British capitalism to preserve its imperialist status.

But History is unasailable: it is the saga of class struggle, of the contradictions between the modes of production and the relations of production. The result couldn't be any different: Western Europe was on its knees after WWII. The British Empire had just sold all its assets to the Americans and German men were literally prostituting themselves to American soldiers for on cigarette (and German children, for one chocolate bar). The USA was the undisputed sovereign of the European Peninsula from 1945 on.

The last leverage the European Peninsula had, in that scenario, was the USSR itself: it could ask the USA for good treatment and some dignity in exchange of not doing socialist revolutions backed up by the Soviets. The result was the Marshall Plan and a permission to revive their previous industrial parks.

That situation resulted in the rise of Atlanticism, the ideology that the USA is the legitimate heir of Western Civilization. Andy Warhol was the successor to Michelangelo.


@ Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 4:35 utc | 65

The USSR stagnated during the period that spanned from the oil crisis of 1975 until its fall in 1991.

But it only had a recession in two years of its history: the year after the Perestroika and its last year of existence. Both were very mild recessions (by capitalist standards).

Even during the infamous "Brezhnev stagnation", growth was 1-3% per year - comparable to the developed capitalist nations since the 1990s.

But the problem is that its successor states are doing objectively worse: Russia will grown a little more than 1% this year; other ex-Soviet states are more or less in the same situation (with Ukraine doing outright worse). The mircle promised to the Russians didn't come: Putin's boom of the early 2000s was not comparable to the Soviet boom. Russia's status today are completely dependent on China (which, ironically, has the Soviet system of government) and the modernization from the old Soviet weapons and know-how it already had.

Posted by: vk | Dec 9 2019 12:08 utc | 79

Confirming my first post in this thread:

India facing ‘growth recession’: Ex-RBI chief

India’s former central bank governor Raghuram Rajan said he is concerned about the state of the country’s economy and has called on the government to decentralize power, focus on rural poverty alleviation and stimulate private spending.

Rajan said India was in the midst of a “growth recession” with signs of a deep malaise in the economy.

Rajan's proposals in his column not only will not solve India's structural problems, they'll make them worse.

India should give up its blind faith in capitalism and embrace socialism. Learn from China.


Russia banned from major sporting events for 4 years

I know most people here think this is silly, but these kind of propaganda warfare are essential for the Western elites to make the masses connect the dots and begin to hate Russia as an entity because sports events are something they experience firsthand.

The common Westerner worker may not care if Russia nailed some Western gas exporters with the Nordstream - but he/she will associate this with some kind of "Russian dishonesty" because he/she also read about Russian sports banning.

The working classes won't go to war in the name of their elites against Russia because it was banned from the Olympics - but they will do so if they perceive Russia as a direct and imminent threat to their vision of world, to their way of life. They will fight to the death for the interests of their elites if they perceive they are necessary to protect their lifestyle.

That's why these propaganda warfare tactics of the likes of WADA is dangerous.

Posted by: vk | Dec 9 2019 12:32 utc | 80

Japanese Nobel laureate lowkey defending American coup in Bolivia:

In Nobel speech, Akira Yoshino says lithium-ion batteries will play key role in future sustainable society

By "sustainable society" he must mean "a society without Bolivians".

Posted by: vk | Dec 9 2019 12:37 utc | 81

What the Trumpist who benefit from the same tax cuts will not tell you...and wh the swamp will not be drained...and the fact that what they hate and do not want to is extending socilism to the poor, but they keep it for the rich...and the US military.....Harsh capitalism for the rest, so that they can be squeezed and plundered from cradle to grave...

Billionaire Dan Gilbert donated $750,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee.

He then received massive federal tax breaks for a multi-billion dollar real estate project, even though it didn’t qualify for the program.

America has socialism for the rich, harsh capitalism for the rest.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 9 2019 13:42 utc | 82

What the nazis promise and what they do once at power....warning for angry people thinking of voting the "right wing populists"....Recognize the patterns followed in Bolivia...

It's time to talk about the Banality of Evil.

The Nazis didn't start with genocide...

Heck, they didn't even start with the Nuremberg laws..

They started with mass privatization of public services!

They took public works projects and gave it to private enterprises.

Nazis promised that they would respect workers' unions.

Well, first they cracked down on all union leaders

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 9 2019 13:58 utc | 83

pogohere @ 69

Have you read Gustafson's Crisis amid Plenty: The Politics of Soviet Energy under Brezhnev and Gorbachev ?

Sorry, but no. My only awareness of Gustafson comes from the Nature article that caused my comment. Soviet oil policy is not in my range of interests.

the circumstances that enabled the Russian government to maintain control of most of the assets for the benefit of the Russian people.

Yes, in theory. However, "fufillment of the plan" often led to barter deals, black markets, and a gangster element that survived even the harsh Soviet policing. The government tried to benefit the people, but was increasingly unable to.

I am not aware of whether or not he otherwise issues "blatant insults in favor of clearly constructed arguments."

I was unclear. "Blatant insults" did not refer to Gustafson, but rather to ideologues like Moravcsik.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 14:09 utc | 84

Jackrabbit @ 71

Media hype extremist views - like open borders and trans - so that they can be used as strawmen to knock the left while neo-McCarthyist smears are used to squash dissent.

I completely agree. If you are interested in the trans issue, there is a horrifying story at National Review The Tragedy of the Trans Child. Apparently, blocking puberty of young children is now a standard thing (if one believes National Review). Guaranteed to make everyone despise the IdPol/trans idiots pretending to be leftists.

IMO the Democratic Party has co-opted the progressive left. We saw Obama make a concerted effor to co-opt the civil rights Movement. He positioned himself as the culmination and terminus of their hope for equality.

I would say that the DP has ejected the progressive left and substituted a bunch of IdPol phonies and Hillary-bots who act out the worst rightwing caricatures of progressivism. Obama was even slicker, convincing lefties that he was one of them even as he pissed away Congressional majorities in the name of bipartisanship and carried Wall St/MIC water all the time.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 14:20 utc | 85

@ vk | Dec 9 2019 12:37 utc | 81 "...propaganda warfare tactics of the likes of WADA is dangerous."

Yes, but they're losing the plot, and the front to back ratio is changing, eg zero hedge > "Pentagon Alarmed Russia Is Gaining 'Sympathy' Among US Troops" ... at some point people, the marks, twig to the con, and then the con has the result of...yeah, ruining the con, the outcome over time is to destroy the credibility of the speaker, and enhance the credibility of the "target", ie Russia.

"nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally. Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year."

Note that the rate of change is very fast. They've lost the story.


More deeply, violence and threats work more than one way, and their long-term secondary effects undermine any momentary advantage. The bully has only violence...this begs the important question, what happens when the bully loses? I've seen what happens in a bar's not pretty.

Posted by: Walter | Dec 9 2019 14:20 utc | 86

Documents show US leaders misled public on progress in Afghanistan War: report

Senior U.S. officials knowingly concealed evidence showing a lack of progress throughout the 18-year war in Afghanistan, according to a cache of documents obtained by the Washington Post.

The interviews, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, span the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations and reveal U.S. officials frequently acknowledged the nation was wasting vast amounts of money attempting to transform and Westernize the nation.
John Sopko, head of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which conducted the interviews, told the newspaper the documents demonstrate “the American people have constantly been lied to” on Afghanistan.

No one is surprised.

Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State

Article is from 2014, but it is as relevant as ever.

If you understand the Afghan government as a narco state, then the fact that opium production has actually increased –while the U.S. spent billions on counternarcotics efforts and troop numbers surged – starts to make sense. A completely failed state – Afghanistan in 2001 – can’t really thrive in the drug trade. Traffickers have no reason to pay off a toothless government or a nonexistent police force. In such a libertarian paradise, freelance actors – like Saleem, the heroin cook – flourish.

But as the government builds capacity, officials can start to demand a cut. It’s not that there’s a grand conspiracy at the center of government, but rather that, in the absence of accountability and the rule of law, officials start to orient themselves around a powerful political economy. Big drug barons with links to the government take over the trade. People who don’t pay, or who fall out with government officials, might find themselves killed or arrested.

Was amused to read that the State Department spokeswoman had pulled out the standard-issue, fill-in-the-blanks form (entering in the **blanks**: counternarcotics and opium harvests):

"The U.S. government, for its part, acknowledged that there are no quick solutions at hand. “The U.S. interagency is developing an updated **counternarcotics** strategy for Afghanistan,” says Jen Psaki, the State Department’s spokeswoman.
“These are long-term efforts that build the foundation for eventual reductions in **opium harvests**.”"

Posted by: librul | Dec 9 2019 14:29 utc | 87

Sasha | Dec 9 2019 13:58 utc | 83 says:

'warning for angry people thinking of voting the "right wing populists"'

Unfortunately, today, it is the 'Globalist', Soros supported, left that are fascists of our day. It is the left, with their 'Antifa' storm-troopers that are shutting down free speech, shutting down scientific debate, undermining electoral and judicial systems around the world, and undermining the sovereignty of nations in the interest of a global dictatorship called the 'rules based international order'.

It is not the right wing populists that one should fear as much as the those that scream 'fascist' at any one who resists the 'Global Dictatorship'.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Dec 9 2019 14:39 utc | 88

dh-mtl @ 88

While I agree with all you say about Soros/Antifa/RBIO, I think the internationally organized (via Bannon, etc.) fascists are every bit as dangerous.

Genuine democracy today is in the situation of Poland in 1939 - trapped between fascist and communist (today, globalist) armed camps. Like Poland, it is quite incapable of defending itself and will soon be conquered.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 14:48 utc | 89

vk @ 79

Even during the infamous "Brezhnev stagnation", growth was 1-3% per year - comparable to the developed capitalist nations since the 1990s.

I would agree. People in the USSR were, by and large, satisfied with the internal economic situation under Brezhnev, which was far better than it had been under Stalin. They had some consumer items; they were able to save a little money to buy a car; and Western propaganda was mostly suppressed by intense police efforts.

Putin's boom of the early 2000s was not comparable to the Soviet boom. Russia's status today are completely dependent on China (which, ironically, has the Soviet system of government) and the modernization from the old Soviet weapons and know-how it already had.

I think you are comparing apples and oranges.

Russia today is a ghost of its former self. Only 65M people, huge chunks of territory (Kazakhstan, Ukraine) gone. The fact that it still can compete on a global scale (and in the face of Western subversion, sanctions, and war provocations) is amazing.

Russia may be dependent on Chinese trade; but China is also dependent on the Russian nuclear umbrella. I see no sign that the Chinese are encroaching on the Russian economy. Russian companies are building out the new Russia. Стро̀йга̀змонта́ж built the Kerch Strait Bridge, not the Chinese who build bridges all over the world. Russia is noted for building pipelines, railroads, and lately airliners. Even with a large exodus of talent to Israel, Russia continues to produce quality weapons that are far better than mere "modernization of old Soviet weapons". Not bad for a population smaller than Germany's.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 15:07 utc | 90

@ about democracy... Genuine or otherwise.

This idea seems lost... what we speak of as "democratic" is not democracy with the emphasis on the people ruling, rather it is that rule - by individual, junta, or any other form, that puts the best interests of the people first. Properly "democracy" as it is used now means "rule for the people". κανόνα που ωφελεί τον λαό... (I think)

Naturally that sort of rule means that the apparatus of an Nth Democratic State have to pay close attention to the people and their desires., and respond in ways that are good.

It's perfectly obvious that democracy beyond a small group is plain silly.

Posted by: Walter | Dec 9 2019 15:19 utc | 91

And I would proffer "American breakup: secession is much closer than we think" (Spectator, the guy's flogging his book).

Lack of attention by rulers to what is good for the people brings breakups.

Posted by: Walter | Dec 9 2019 15:22 utc | 92

Walter @ 92

You should do some digging on whom you are proffering. Your author is as hard right as one can be:

Francis "Frank" Herbert Buckley is a Foundation Professor at George Mason University (Antonin Scalia) School of Law, where he has taught since 1989.[1] Before then he was a visiting Olin Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.

- Wikipedia

George Mason is a hotbed of Koch libertarianism, hosting the Mercatus Center. The Olin foundation is one of the original rightwing think tanks. The Antonin Scalia Law School? Need I say more?

the center advocates free-market approaches to public policy. During the George W. Bush administration's campaign to reduce government regulation, the Wall Street Journal reported, "14 of the 23 rules the White House chose for its "hit list" to eliminate or modify were Mercatus entries".

- Wikipedia, Mercatus Center

The kind of breakup advocated by Mr. Buckley would basically destroy federal oversight and greatly enhance the power of elite criminals like the Kochs.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 15:41 utc | 93

@ Dear John... the ad hominem, again. If the devil says it, and it's true, then it's still true. A little thought, pal. If you only pay attention to the speaks who please you, then you condemn yourself to ignorance about your enemies...

Yes, indeed, the sort of breakup he describes would very probably result in the disaster you describe. I did not notice the author being in favor of such a breakup. Did anybody?

Is Professor Panarin, who long ago predicted breakup, or Szilard, also hard right koch propagandist?

Kindly do not assume what you do not know, for example that Walter was ignorant of the nature of the proffered author. But it was not the author 's nature that was the point. Breakup was the topic.

Breakups happen when the rulers fail to put the good before themselves.

That's the point.

Posted by: Walter | Dec 9 2019 16:05 utc | 94

Walter @ 91

I've seen this term - Nth Democratic State - before at MoA. But a google search turns up nothing.

Can you please tell me what the "Nth" stands for, and what the entire phrase means? Thanks.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 16:05 utc | 95

@ Posted by: dh-mtl | Dec 9 2019 14:39 utc | 88

This is the European (and maybe, American) point of view. In the rest of the world, it is fascism, allied with neoliberalism, that is killing people (see Bolivia and Syria as the latest examples).

And Soros is not leftwing. He is sponsoring fascist movements and politicians in Latin America in order to achieve the same objectives. He's a capitalist, he will support anything that will help preserve the integrity of the system.

The left-right political spectrum is a liberal fabrication, consolidated in the immediate post-war period. I recommend reading Arthur Schlesinger's The Vital Center, where he explains what is liberal (Western) democracy and how it should work. As an important Cold Warrior, his opus and voice had significant impact and influence in early post-war Western Civilization.

@ Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 14:48 utc | 89

Assuming you're a first worlder (or from a peripheral country of the EU), I will call your post social-democrat propaganda.

And let's stop with this myth that the Polish are the "good savages" of Europe. They tried to conquer a good chunk of Soviet Russia during the Civil War (as part of their imperialistic aspirations) and lost (not only they lost, but they weren't conquered just because the "miracle in the Vistula") and then, during its partition, there were a lot of Nazi Polish who were more than happy to serve under the Third Reich (and a lot of Communist Polish who were opposed, too). Polish nationalism at that time was essentially a delirious ambition from the members of the nobility and urban upper classes from Warsaw.

Posted by: vk | Dec 9 2019 16:14 utc | 96

Breaking good news: Paul Volcker, the American Margaret Thatcher, has died:

Paul A. Volcker, Fed Chairman Who Waged War on Inflation, Is Dead at 92

Posted by: vk | Dec 9 2019 16:17 utc | 97

Today WADA fascists deprived Russia of the right to host international competitions for 4 years.

Mortally offended and wounded by the successes of Russia on the world stage (Syria, Crimea (cherished for NATO), active development of the Arctic, Russian possession of the Northern Sea Route, gas pipelines to Europe and China, S-400 supplies to Turkey (and not only), leadership in the nuclear field, Russian immunity to Western sanctions, unique new weapons of Russia, etc.), Western elites use essentially the only lever pressure on Russia (the leadership of WADA/IOC is entirely Westerners, it’s also clear who sponsors it), implementing a policy of denigrating and direct discrimination against Russian athletes. Sport is essentially the only area where Russia still remains "subordinate" to the West.

Back four years ago, in times of the “doping scandal” during the 2016 Olympics, I wrote that Western elites will continue to use this tool (WADA) to denigrate Russia. So it happened. Moreover, the upcoming Olympics 2020 is far from the last, where Russian athletes will continue to be discriminated against on a national basis. "Informants" like clown Rodchenkov, and other slanderers, will be used again and again.

The use of doping and other violations by Western athletes will continue to stubbornly “not be seen” by WADA, or be considered “insignificant”. Naturally, no removal of entire(!) countries(!) from the competition follows. Sport fascism is good only in relation to rebellious Russians.

Posted by: alaff | Dec 9 2019 16:22 utc | 98

Bevin #62
Brilliant description!! And add to that, the EU is now bailing out Israel universities and supporting messianists wherever it finds them (US, Brazil, the Gulf, Isr., etc)

Posted by: Mina | Dec 9 2019 16:27 utc | 99

John Brewster - 90
Did you by chance confuse Russia with Italy? Because Russia has close to 150M people, not 65M, significantly more than Germany. Granted, less than USSR back in 1939, but militarily more powerful compared to Germany - and possibly with more exploited resources.

vk - 79
I tend to agree with the view that the key factor in USSR's demise was that it couldn't sustain the competition with the Kapital and wasn't able to develop, "progress", "grow" at the rate the West was showing off. US and USSR levels were far closer back in 1950 than in 1980, and the discrepancy was only growing. Reagan fanboys might argue that he sped up the decaying process, but troubles and upheavals were going to happen, no matter what. Now, why this rate of progress was so different is another matter, and probably the most important one - both for 20th century history and for the fate of the West in this century.
It's also painfully obvious that the only path outside downright servitude for Europe is to distance itself from the USA and seek if not a direct alliance at least a clear partnership with Russia and a "detente" with clear rules on their borders and a common declaration of neutrality over Ukraine - as in: no side will try to annex the whole country, which either would be split up or ideally would have a heavy dose of decentralization and localism. But it is of vital importance for the actual survival of Europe that atlanticists and Russiaphobes be hunted down and expelled from any position of power or influence - be it from economy, media, politics.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Dec 9 2019 16:28 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.