Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 27, 2020

To Keep Russiagate Alive 'Officials' Make New Claims Without Providing Evidence

There were allegations about emails that someone exfiltrated from the DNC and provided to Wikileaks. Russia must have done it. The FBI and other intelligence services were all over it. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

There were allegations that Trump did not really win the elections. Russia must have done it. The various U.S. intelligence service, together with their British friends, provided all kinds of sinister leaks about the alleged case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

A British double agent, Sergej Skirpal, was allegedly injured in a Russian attack on him. The intelligence services told all kind of contradicting nonsense about the case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

All three cases had two points in common. The were based on sources near to the U.S. and British intelligence community. They were designed to increase hostility against Russia. The last point was then used to sabotage Donald Trump's original plans for better relations with Russia.

Now the intelligence services make another claim that fits right into the above scheme.

Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed 'officials' and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan.

All that nonsense is again used to press against Trump's wish for better relations with Russia. Imagine - Trump was told about these nonsensical claims and he did nothing about it!

The same intelligence services and 'officials' previously paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, tortured them until they made false confessions and lied about it. The same intelligence services and 'officials' lied about WMD in Iraq. The same 'intelligence officials' paid and pay Jihadis disguised as 'Syrian rebels' to kill Russian and Syrian troops which defend their countries.

The journalistic standards at the New York Times and Washington Post must be below zero to publish such nonsense without requesting real evidence. The press release like stories below from anti-Trump/anti-Russian sources have nothing to do with 'great reporting' but are pure stenography.

The New York Times:

Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says

American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.
The officials familiar with the intelligence did not explain the White House delay in deciding how to respond to the intelligence about Russia.

While some of his closest advisers, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have counseled more hawkish policies toward Russia, Mr. Trump has adopted an accommodating stance toward Moscow.
The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals.

The Washington Post:

Russian operation targeted coalition troops in Afghanistan, intelligence finds

A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan, including U.S. and British troops, in a striking escalation of the Kremlin’s hostility toward the United States, American intelligence has found.

The Russian operation, first reported by the New York Times, has generated an intense debate within the Trump administration about how best to respond to a troubling new tactic by a nation that most U.S. officials regard as a potential foe but that President Trump has frequently embraced as a friend, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive intelligence matter.
The unit that officials identified as responsible for allegedly offering the bounties has also been linked to the poisoning and attempted murder of former Russian military spy Sergei Skripal in Britain in 2018.

Posted by b on June 27, 2020 at 13:43 UTC | Permalink

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If the Russians were truly inclined in a direction leading them to "pay bounties" for American scalps in Afghanistan, they would instead be doing what we once did: providing state-of-the-art Manpads to Afghan jihadis. Any sort of bar room or shit house rumor these days is attributed to "intelligence officials" or "intelligence sources", always unnamed of course.

Posted by: A. Pols | Jun 27 2020 14:34 utc | 1

Biden is the intelligence services’ ideal candidate—an easily manipulated empty suit. There’s a reason why charges of Biden wrongdoing are as easily dismissed as nonsensical charges against Trump and Russia get fabricated. And that reason is that the media is as happy to be manipulated as Biden.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 27 2020 14:45 utc | 2

Two puzzling and disturbing aspects.

The paragraph about "reasons to believe" is vacuous in the extreme:

"The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere."

We know from the past that US forces were torturing TOTALLY RANDOM INDIVIDUALS, occasionally to death. Needless to say, "officials did not describe the mechanics" of the interrogation, neither did not describe any corroborative details. The most benign scenario is that "captured Afghan militants and criminals" are pure fiction rather than actual people subjected to "anal inspections", "peroneal strikes", left overnight hanging from the ceiling etc. to spit out random incoherent tidbits about the Russians, like "it is also not clear".... A long list of "not clear"'s.

This is disturbing, although this is precisely the quality of "intelligence" that gets released to the public. The second disturbing aspect is that the article was opened to comments, and as usually in such cases, the comments are full of fury at Russians and Trump, and with the numbers of "recommend"'s reaching thousands. On non-Russian topics, if comments are allowed, one can see a much wider spectrum of opinion, sometimes with huge numbers of "recommend"'s to people who criticize and doubt the official positions. Here I lost patience looking for any skeptical comment.

Together, it is very crude "manufacturing of consent", and unfortunately, this is a workable technique of manipulation. Crudity is the tool, not a defect in this case. I will explain later what I mean, this post is probably too long already.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 27 2020 15:03 utc | 3

"The unit that officials identified as responsible for allegedly offering the bounties has also been linked to the poisoning and attempted murder of former Russian military spy Sergei Skripal in Britain in 2018."

Should read "The British intelligence unit that officials..."

Posted by: the pessimist | Jun 27 2020 15:20 utc | 4

Blaming the Russians is cover for the Dems taking a purposeful fall in the upcoming presidential election. Putting up first Hillary and then Biden as the choice of the DNC, is all the proof you need that they never intended to win in 2016 and they certainly don't intend, and don't want to, win in 2020. Not that it matters either way, Biden or Trump or the DNC or the GOP, Wall Street and the Five Eyes win either way and are the ones steering the Titanic.

Posted by: | Jun 27 2020 15:34 utc | 5

The unit that officials identified as responsible for allegedly offering the bounties has also been linked to the poisoning and attempted murder of former Russian military spy Sergei Skripal in Britain in 2018.

Ah. Porton Down and MI6 then. Did Porton Down use chemical weapons or biological weapons to kill the US soldiers in Afghanistan?

Posted by: BM | Jun 27 2020 15:35 utc | 6

the same crap over and over and over again, uncritically swallowed by the right wing democrats and retweeted endlessly, blared out over the usual propaganda organs. a nuclear war will kill a lot more people than the virus will, but seems to be considered worth risking to get political power. exactly what the intel community and neocons have against trump is not clear, but they are out to get him any way possible. meanwhile he cooperatively tanks his campaign for reelection by his idiotic response to the virus and the protests. whoever wins the election, we are so screwed.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 27 2020 15:37 utc | 7

The irony is, a much stronger case can be made and should be made, an airtight case in fact, that Israel is interfering in America's electoral process and in America's governance overall. Gee, I wonder why that's never discussed in the media, be it the conservative media or the liberal media or the so-called alternative media?

Posted by: | Jun 27 2020 15:37 utc | 8

Yes, this is hardly surprising or even newsworthy.

Most of the purpose of these sorts of stories is to further the agenda of the warmongers in the US government, that is to say, it's propaganda intended to gin up a case for war, as well as keep the public in fear of the "enemy out there" and thus to justify the continued rape of the taxpayer, transferring their taxes to the corporations involved in the military-industrial complez. There may also be some sort of hidden intelligence agenda wherein these stories are meant to get a reaction from various parties the "intelligence officials" wish to manipulate.

The same sort of thing is done with regard to China, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, in short, anyone the US (or Israel) doesn't like.

The main take-away is that the US government has gone past "ordinary" corruption to full-on criminal status. As a former criminal myself, it's interesting that the government can get away with crimes that dwarf anything us "ordinary" criminals can possibly commit. And they can do with the full support of the US taxpayer, both because most taxpayers are ignorant of the depth of the government's crimes and the ones that aren't are complicit. Both continue to pay taxes and continue to elect the same criminals every two and four years.

It's a perfect criminal enterprise. As we anarchists like to say, "Government *is* organized crime." People who believe it could be otherwise are deluded.

As I've said before, there is only one "solution", or rather, not a solution but merely the only effective way to fight back. One has to 1) engage in assassination of those who rule behind the scenes, and 2) steal the assets and information of the rulers and distribute it to the people, and 3) develop the technologies to combat the government's technology.

In short, the only effective way to fight nation-state crime is with what might be called "cyberpunk crime" - after the sci-fi fiction and RPGs of the 80's, 90's and 00's.

For a fictional view of what that might look like, check out the upcoming RPG called "Watch Dogs - Legion":
Watch Dogs Legion - E3 2019 Gameplay Walkthrough

For a "real" view, check this little Twitter video out:
Cyberpunk resistance in #Chile: they use lasers to knock down the regime's drones.

The attitude is summed up in this quote from a cyberpunk Web site:

A cyberpunk has attitude. This attitude is culturally and socially aware, just like the fiction from which they take their name. They question everything and anyone and decide for themselves what they believe is true. This path to understanding yields different world views and opinions, but diversity is key to a successful population. A cyberpunk knows that the system isn’t in your favor, and the deck is stacked against you. A cyberpunk knows how to hack the system so that doesn’t matter. Don’t fuck with a cyberpunk.

Cyberpunk as political theory is discussed here:
Cyberpunk as Social and Political Theory

Gareth Branwyn (Rucker et al.,1993: 64-66) provides a useful description of cyberpunk as both a literary perspective and as an actual worldview which gives a clear indication of its major concerns: 'The future has imploded onto the present. There was no n uclear Armageddon. There's too much real estate to lose. The new battle-field is people's minds...The megacorps are the new governments... The U.S. is a big bully with lackluster economic power...The world is splintering into a trillion subcultures and de signer cults with their own language, codes and lifestyles ...Computer-generated info-domains are the next frontiers... There is better living through chemistry...Small groups or individual 'console cowboys' can wield tremendous power over governments, co rporations etc...The coalescence of a computer "culture" is expressed in self-aware computer music, art, virtual communities, and a hacker/street tech subculture...the computer nerd image is passé, and people are not ashamed anymore about the role the com puter has in this subculture. The computer is a cool tool, a friend, important human augmentation...We're becoming cyborgs. Our tech is getting smaller, closer to us, and it will soon merge with us.'

These themes were first given expression in Gibson's novels which, as befits a postmodern aesthetic form (McHale, 1992a; 1991b), derive from a veritable jumble of cultural antecedents. Kadrey and McCaffery (1991) suggest the following influences: classic novels such as Frankenstein and The Big Sleep; the literary avant-garde represented by William S. Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon and Kathy Acker; the science fiction of Philip K. Dick, Michael Moorcock and J.G. Ballard; the cultural analyses of Marshall McLuhan -'to the 1960s what Baudillard, Kroker and Cook, and Deleuze and Gauttari are to the postcyberpunk era' (Kadrey and McCaffery, 1991: 18); the Situationist International's analysis of contemporary society (Plant, 1992); the music of the Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, the Talking Heads, mid-1970s David Bowie, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson and, crucially, the Sex Pistols and the Clash; films such as Cronenberg's Videodrome, Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth and, especially, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (itself based upon Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?); MTV and its 'youth TV' emulators; and, finally, one might also add the IBM PC and the Macintosh computer, the cultural and representational impact of which was at least as great as its economic and technological importance.

I find it fascinating that most of the persons and movement who influenced me and that I have referenced here before are mentioned: Burroughs, Dick, the Situationists, etc.

As the cyberpunks say, "The future is here. It's just unevenly distributed."

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 27 2020 15:43 utc | 9

@7, the nuclear war card, much like the race card, is a weak unsubstantiated argument against Russiagate. The DNC is no more likely to start a nuclear war with Russia than the GOP. Donald Trump is just as likely to start a nuclear war as Hillary was. Give me a break. My God, he's bolstering America's nuclear arsenal to include tactical nukes. In fact, I truly believe if Trump gets a second term, he would use tactical nukes. It's a cowardly strategy and Trump is a coward. He's the Coward In Chief, in fact. Maybe Fat Donny will use some of those tactical nukes against Iran even. He wouldn't invade and occupy Iran, but he would attack it because he already has in many different ways and a tactical nuke or several tactical nukes may just be the next way he attacks Iran. We'll see.

Posted by: | Jun 27 2020 15:44 utc | 10

True, these people present claims with no evidence all the time. That list is by no means complete.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jun 27 2020 16:09 utc | 11

I've said many times over the last few years that the 2016 US election was rigged to elect a nationalist to confront Russia and China and that neoMcCarthyism was planned as part of that as well as settling of scores (Assange, Flynn, Manafort). Few want to recognize this inconvenient truth but it is slowly validated over time.

Political hype from partisans, played 24/7 on MSM is used to divide us but there's little substantial difference between the faux populist pretended "outsiders" Trump and Obama. Their styles and and approach (overt/covert) may differ but the underlying New World Order goal is the same. The Empire establishment has gotten very good at playing us. The "US regime" hasn't really changed in 40 years or more (some would say since the JFK assassination).

The ideology of the Empire asshats (their "secular religion") is damning yet few want to talk about it:

  • Zionism
    a form of colonialism
  • Neoconservativism
    a form of aristocracy
  • Neoliberalism
    a form of fascism

Together, these are nothing more than power for power's sake. And that power gets more cruel as it accumulates.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 27 2020 16:11 utc | 12

They must have opened the gates of every asylum in the US, the comment sections of the WP and NYT prove it!

Posted by: namulit | Jun 27 2020 16:11 utc | 13

The US gave actual weapons and pay to kill Russians in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Jun 27 2020 16:38 utc | 14

@ 13 michael weddington.. projection is a powerful psychological force... it's unfortunate western media can't separate itself from being regularly fed by intel agencies.. many people appear too stupid to see how they are regularly being had.... it works for wall st and the military industrial complex though, so it will continue...

Posted by: james | Jun 27 2020 16:47 utc | 15

at 8, clinton was an even bigger hawk than obama, wanted to topple the syrian government, was involved in supporting the nazis in ukraine, in bed and cosy with the neocons, who have also infested the trump administration. trump, for all his flaws, has not started anything like the violence that both bush2 and obama unleashed. he is a warmonger cut from the same cloth, but not as dangerous specifically on the russia issue. look at the rehab job the democrats are doing on bush 2, look at what bolton is doing now. as fas as "unsubstantiated" goes, it was "unsubstantiated" for awhile that the u.s. was going to war based on lies about wmd's. but everybody with a brain at the time knew what was going on.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 27 2020 16:49 utc | 16

@13 exactly! what the ussr is alleged to have done is a small scale version of the u.s. supplying the mujahideen. just more exceptionalist empire bullshit.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 27 2020 16:51 utc | 17

Posted by: | Jun 27 2020 15:44 utc | 9

450, It is very irritating to see how casually you have USG drop tactical nukes on Iran. Maybe our resident ‘War With Iran’ troll is getting to you.
Where would you drop them? Nuclear sites? The nuclear dust has been shown to carry all the way to India laying waste to everything in it’s path (oh, and blocking the path to Tehran, where REAL men want go).
Tactical wouldn’t cut it. You’d have to drop a real one to end Iran.
I’ve shown here that Iran has MAD parity. Weren’t you paying attention?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 27 2020 17:01 utc | 18

@james (14) I think that you misunderstand the true dynamic. The MSM are not being duped by the intelligence agencies. Rather, they are willing accomplices in the project of creating a hostile climate towards Russia, China and any other nation or entity that refuses to bow down to the American empire.

Posted by: Rob | Jun 27 2020 17:19 utc | 19

I see a trend to get more articles like the above in the NYTimes or Wapo. It's reputation based reporting by reputation conscious newspapers and it is relying on reputable sources. It shifts the ratio between reputation and facts towards reputation. In a PR based society where money and power can buy/control reputation this is a very attractive trend. It's also the trend in social media: everything gets a reputation and items/people with bad reputation cannot be spread, get deplatformed, deranked, demonetized. If you look at wikipedia it is not allowed to refer to The Grayzone or Wikileaks because they have bad reputation. Only if a reputable paper quotes wikileaks then the original data can be quoted. The reputable paper has to think twice about though because they are associating themselves with a source of bad reputation.
I think I just said something important.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jun 27 2020 17:37 utc | 20

In this respect it is worthwhile to revisit the 3 year old interview of Aaron Mate with Luke Harding . If you look past the juicy bits of Aaron's intellectual superiority over Harding you can see Harding's thinking is entirely reputation based. Harding sees himself as a storyteller and stories need to be consistent in their reputation schemes. Russia bad, Trump bad, connecting the dots makes sense. Harding's sees confirmation that is he is doing well because his books sell well , people who dislike Trump and Russia appreciate them, and people who oppose them have a bad reputation. One can focus on the dishonesty of Harding but I'd put the emphasis slightly differently: Truth simply does not carry a lot of weight with Harding, he doesn't ask the question. It's much more important what people will think.
Of course people with different reputation schemes will also disagree with Harding but that does not make them better thinkers. Aaron states an important point: reputation is not enough. It's not that reputation does not matter.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jun 27 2020 17:53 utc | 21

@18 rob... i agree with you... and, yes i do understand that... it is the general public that are being are a willing accomplice.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jun 27 2020 17:55 utc | 22

Michael Weddington@13
You are right. This is an absolute classic case of projection. During the eighties the United States did not just offer the Taliban bounties to kill Russians, they actually financed the foundation of the Taliban and the Pakistani Intelligence agencies which carried out the work. And the Taliban was only one of several US financed murder machines killing and torturing secularists, socialists and townspeople-not to mention religious heretics such as the shia.
There are thousands of widows, orphans and other grieving family members in the former Soviet Union who know that not only did the Americans pay to have their relatives killed but they boasted about having done so in print and on air.
The Empire and its current rulers grows more corrupt, sordid and contemptible every day. And most American critics of this obscene circus are planning to sort the matter out by voting for Joe Biden in November. The world watches in wonder.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 27 2020 17:57 utc | 23

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Jun 27 2020 16:38 utc | 13

Yep, anything we accuse the Russians or Chinese of, you can bet we have been doing it all along.

If there is one idea the Borg finds anathema it is that our enemies are better people than we are.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 27 2020 18:02 utc | 24

The US is occupying Afghanistan to kill Afghans. The notion that anyone would need to pay Afghans to kill violent Yankees is preposterous.
But I'm tickled pink that the NYT and WaPo were willing to publish this nonsense. With a bit of luck it'll remind Germans, Japanese and Koreans that they don't enjoy the humiliation of living under US Military Occupation, either.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 27 2020 18:20 utc | 25

As for projection, US were doing this in Syria. Using jihadi's to kill Russians. Several cases where ISIS had the exact coordinates of Russian officers.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 27 2020 18:21 utc | 26

Some explanation or theory for my statement
.., it is a very crude "manufacturing of consent", and unfortunately, this is a workable technique of manipulation. Crudity is the tool, not a defect in this case. I will explain later what I mean, this post is probably too long already.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 27 2020 15:03 utc | 3

Crudeness is a tool for creating "wedge issues" that create useful splits in the public. To one side of the public it is acceptable and even laudable, the other side is protesting. The very protests show how despicable the other side is.

For example, there is an issue of "doing everything to defend the nation against terrorists". That is a pet issue for the right wing, but if positioned properly, it makes liberals cringe -- because they just get their jollies by seeing are valiant soldiers blown up and our maiden raped. If the liberals do not blink at lawless detention without limits, it is necessarily to ratchet it higher, "mild torture", say, water boarding. If the liberals swallow that, it can be ratcheted higher, the highest I read was justifying a scenario to threaten a father with crushing testicles of his son. (I think it was a law professor who was writing justification memos for Bush administration).

That was in the context of gaining votes in just enough districts. Here the context is the witch hunt on the opponents of the most spectacular achievement of Western civilization, American empire, and supporting war making machine (or war mongering which is safer). Opponents have to self-identify themselves and on the basis of their confessions, subjected to vilification, cancellation to Twitter accounts, ban of quotes in Wikipedia etc., and most importantly, the public has to know that these are despicable individuals that cannot be trusted.

What seems relatively recent, post-Hillary failure, is the following issue: doubting and belittling intelligence efforts of numerous agencies that determine objective truth by the means of interagency consensus. Self-identification of despicable ones has the form of raising quibbles, doubts and dragging out some facts that were placed in Wikipedia in the lax years of the past (Dilawar instantly came to my mind when I read about "insurgents and criminals in Afghanistan"). Those doubts can make Trump happy and most assuredly, they make Putin happy and so on. Anyone quoting MoonOfAlabama, Consortium News, The Grayzone etc. self-identifies as a tool, an idiot, or a malevolently written program.

In this story one thing is clear: Russians will not like it, doubting it would make Russians happy. The crudeness has the potential of provoking so far silent Agents of Evil. In any case, since all patriots with healthy minds automatically believe anything sourced to an "intelligence assessment" that presents already known villains as villains, trying to be plausible is at best a waste of effort.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 27 2020 18:33 utc | 27

Apart from the obvious cases where the editors of the main Western newspapers and television networks are flat out intelligence assets/extraofficial ministers of propaganda of the Western Civilization, there's also the cultural and ideological aspects of being a journalist.

The journalist is, essentially, the liberal man, the ultimate guardian of the capitalist moral values.

Here's an excerpt from a basic instruction manual (updated) for a journalist undergraduate from Brazil (which adopts the same doctrine as the USA's):

Os interesses do jornalista devem ser os mesmos que norteiam as causas coletivas e a opinião pública: a defesa da democracia, das liberdades individuais, da expressão, da livre iniciativa e dos direitos do consumidor; o combate a desmandos do poder, à corrupção e à arbitrariedade; a busca do progresso econômico e da justiça social; a promoção dos interesses brasileiros em harmonia com a construção de um mundo melhor no mercado globalizado; a proteção ao meio ambiente e o estímulo ao desenvolvimento sustentado.


The interests of the journalist must be the same that guide the collective causes and the public opinion: the defense of democracy, of the individual liberties, of speech, of freedom of enterprise and the consumer rights; to fight against the tyranny of the State, against corruption and arbitrariness [N.T.: of a politician]; for the quest for economic progress and social justice; the promotion of Brazilian [N.T.: or nationalist, insert the name of your country here] interests in harmony with the building of a better world in the globalized market [i.e. globalization]; for the protection of the environment and the stimulus to sustained growth.

The manual continues, and, at the end, the author not only reveals journalism is a devastating and extremely powerful political power - the so-called "fourth power" - but that the journalists should know that it is and should be proud of this. In other words, the journalists are essentially an extra-governmental institution.

That's why most journalists don't think they're doing anything wrong. They are simply following the manual, doing what they were programmed to do. No bribes are necessary (even though we know that it does happens in some cases).

Posted by: vk | Jun 27 2020 19:10 utc | 28

thank god for the coronavirus.

why wouldn't the russians do this? wouldn't they be stupid not to ensure some level of violence that they can attempt to direct? the russians aren't concerned about the propaganda mills here in the US. and something like this is very cheap. the US and Brits and French wouldn't think twice about funding an insurgency.

nobody in the US is responsible for anything. and invaders get what they deserve. the whole thing is based on nothing but lies and now listen to these whiny nihilistic crybabies. Kristoff is not talking about his own life and there is no risk to him from anything he says or does. same thing for the people that read this willing dolt.

none of them see their authority as a burden. because they are not doing anything. they are cheerleaders for causes, removed from consequence.

as if the Afghanis, and all of us, don't have the absolute right of armed self-defense. the Afghanis know this, so they must be defeated by drugs, heroin. and even then, it's Russia's fault. there is a profound avoidance of moral guilt, via scapegoating.

Posted by: jason | Jun 27 2020 19:13 utc | 29

I think I just said something important.
Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jun 27 2020 17:37 utc | 19

I’ve been reading you for a while, and you always do say something important. Keep posting.

Dang it, now I’m going to have Tuyzentfloot on the mind. Good handle. sticks in the mind.
Tuyzentfloot, Tuyzentfloot, Tuyzentfloot

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 27 2020 19:34 utc | 30

@vk, 40 years ago when journalism was in a much more comfortable position as now journalists also had an establishment role. Maybe not as much as now but still a lot. The Propaganda Model describes those days. What you have now is a very broadspectrum effort to reinforce groupthink : everything gets a reputation , reputation gets a higher weight, and any association you make with something with bad reputation will reflect on your reputation.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jun 27 2020 19:35 utc | 31

There's no deep philosophies or any other bullshit in the simplistic propaganda. Its just a matter of keeping new bad Russia bad China in the news cycle so its around people all the time. Most are not followers of news, but they hear it on the radio or a news break between reality shows or whatever.
Over the last six years, I have watched everyone around me move from thinking the US is the biggest threat to world peace, to thinking we now need US to protect us from the Russians and China.
The propaganda is simplistic and crude for the simple reason nothing more is required. Goering understood well how easy it was to shape the opinions of the peasants.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 27 2020 19:38 utc | 32

Tis' typical Oceania news aimed at the remaining Proles. As an antidote, I suggest binge watching just the first halves of the last 5 Keiser Reports, E1555-E1559, which will take about an hour of your time. It's very doable. Gather round your spouse and whoever else is sheltering at your home and get a dose of real news.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 27 2020 23:38 utc | 33

Hate Russia hate russia hate russia

That is all the nyt and wapo know - they learned it from Integrity Initiative who owns their reporters. Here is what the Institute for Statecraft has done for the BBC and what it is doing for the USA.

Thankfully there are still good journalists writing for the World Socialist Web Site.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 27 2020 23:48 utc | 34

Priming the pump for a Biden Presidency so his administration can hit the floor running with the Russia=Bad crap.

Posted by: Haassaan | Jun 28 2020 0:09 utc | 35

Haassaan @34

The very first thing Biden will do if he is elected (which I do not think is going to happen) would be to abdicate in favor of his running mate, who I anticipate to be Hilary Clinton herself.

Posted by: JasonT | Jun 28 2020 0:26 utc | 36

Sakineh Bagoom @ 29:

It helps to have a little song or poem to make the name stick in the mind:

Tuyzentfloot, Tuyzentfloot, riding through the fens,
Tuyzentfloot, Tuyzentfloot, warrior to the end,
Typing out the truth, pointing to the proof,
That's Tuyzentfloot! ... Tuyzentfloot, fleet of foot ... dah-dah-de-daahh ...

(Sung to the tune of some ancient TV series about Robin Hood.)


Posted by: Jen | Jun 28 2020 0:29 utc | 37

Tuyzenfloot #19

Thank you for your excellent post. Unfortunately wikipedia has a track record of being neither forced to follow the dictats of the state or just error prone.

Wikipedia is the complicit partner of the propaganda machine as outlined by Craig Murray and many who have monitored its malign activities.

It is helpfull for looking up information on frogs but it is definitely occupied by toads.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 28 2020 0:30 utc | 38

Trump wants better relations with Russia ? Oxymoron, you got to be kidding. Right ? After voiding and disregarding arm treaties and now attempting to shutdown Nordstream-2, one would think europeans would have a better understanding of Chump and gaggle of neo-confederates cretins. Alas...

Posted by: Sol Invictus | Jun 28 2020 0:42 utc | 39

Rob @18 is absolutely correct to say that the corporate mass media is consciously complicit in the schemes of the misnamed "intelligence agencies". Pay very close attention to the words they use:

The New York Langley Times sez "American intelligence officials have concluded..."

The term "concluded" is very carefully chosen by committee to avoid lawsuits. It is the very strongest word that the New York Langley Times can use to imply certainty without claiming that the misnamed "intelligence agencies" actually have any proof. That is to say that in reality the "conclusions" that the misnamed "intelligence agencies" came to are the result of "analysis", not evidence. The "conclusions" are thus at best wild-ass guesses by incompetent morons who are out of their depth and have never even been to Afghanistan.

Of course, "concluded" is pretty weak, even by the standards of America's misnamed "intelligence agencies", so examine the second step of the operation to firm up that flaccid and incontinent claim. The Washington Post Bezos Blog follows with "...American intelligence has found."

Well now, doesn't "found" imply evidence? Something concrete was "found"? Where is this "finding"?

But the Washington Post Bezos Blog plays it safe by suggesting that is what the New York Langley Times said, which of course ISN'T what the New York Langley Times said. If challenged, the Washington Post Bezos Blog can just claim incompetence (incompetence is a protected "identity" these days in America and incompetence is excused) and plea that they "misunderstood" the nonsense published by the New York Langley Times. In reality, though, the writers for the Washington Post Bezos Blog are also extremely careful in their word choice for these kinds of jingoism articles. The term "found" is the strongest that they could come up with that would assert the guilt of the Russians while not straying so far from "concluded" that they run any real risk of lawsuits. That both the New York Langley Times and Washington Post Bezos Blog skirt the edge of illegality on the same side of that edge in order to vilify Russia is expected to be overlooked by "patriotic" American readers.

Our host here at MoA obviously sees through this crap from the "Operation Mockingbird" mass media. Will you, dear Reader, continue to be sensitive to their tricks?

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 28 2020 0:47 utc | 40

Peter AU1 @Jun27 19:38 #31

Over the last six years, I have watched everyone around me move from thinking the US is the biggest threat to world peace, to thinking we now need US to protect us from the Russians and China.
The propaganda is simplistic and crude ...

Sometimes it is just innuendo. And any dissent can be smeared as originating in Russia and/or China.

Lara Logan Suggests China, Iran and Possibly Russia are Funding Antifa Protestors


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 28 2020 0:52 utc | 41

Posted by: Jen | Jun 28 2020 0:29 utc | 36
Thanks Jen. Hope to sing to my great-grands if I ever see them.

Tuyzentfloot said three times is akin to BeetleJiu-e, BeetleJiuc-, BeetleJi-ce?

Sorry Tuyzentfloot. A little fun at your handle’s expense. Again, good handle, and by repeating it we are making it famous/infamous?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 28 2020 1:21 utc | 42

Well, Russiagate has made a new dangerous turn. Now the Deep State is accusing Russia of killing American soldiers. This is a long way from cartoon Facebook pages and mean tweets. We will see how far this goes with the American people who did not put much importance on Russiagate over jobs, health care, rent, food, etc. The Deep State is looking to create a compelling "Russian 9-11" event.

Now, the Deep State can literally justify any action against Russia including military intervention and confrontation (no-fly in Syria?). A number of lawmakers are talking about more sanctions like kicking Russia off SWIFT. Expect all kinds of sanctions like this. And of course this is an anti-Trump move.

Ironic I suppose. The Deep State (Rice, et al) claim Russians are behind BLM riots. Otherwise US is a racial utopia. And now the Russians are making the Tailban shoot at American soldiers in Afganistan--who knew. Otherwise, US troops and the Taliban would be partying together in the poppy fields.

Posted by: Erelis | Jun 28 2020 1:39 utc | 43

Jen @ 36

(Sung to the tune of some ancient TV series about Robin Hood.)

With Paul Darrow (making good use of his Avon persona) as the Sheriff of Nottingham, perhaps?

"I request the axe, as is my right."

Posted by: Herr Ringbone | Jun 28 2020 1:52 utc | 44

Pakistani ISI operation targeted coalition troops in Afghanistan, intelligence finds would actually be truthful. Recently Pakistani PM Khan said that OBL was a "shaheed" in Pakistan in a speech, making him a religious hero.

Why does a section of Anglo spies keep on alienating Putin and thus driving him into Xi Jinping's hands? The only motive i can think off is Anglo stockholders making billions off MNCs creating near manufacturing monopolies in China, otherwise it is just plain daft.

Posted by: Antonym | Jun 28 2020 2:10 utc | 45

It must be said that with the various British, US, Ukrainian and other nations' attempts to make Russia and China (plus anyone else that TPTB don't like) look like Octopus Incorporated, with their tentacles in just about everything except maybe posting too many kitten videos on Youtube, that the intel agencies and the elites they represent, and the hangers-on and gravy-train riders in the media, are making themselves look like the peanut-brains they really are. They try to reduce all different narratives to one narrative about Russia and/or China that they can control. This might say something about the desperation or the lack of imagination (or both) that our controllers possess.

Denial, psychological projection of their faults and shock tactics onto others are the main weapons, perhaps even the only ones, they have. Eventually constant repetition will burn out. The issue is how many repetitions and reiterations occur before the general public becomes so jaded and familiar that a critical point is reached and these tactics no longer work as brainwashing tools.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 28 2020 2:22 utc | 46

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 27 2020 19:34 utc | 29
(Dang it, now I’m going to have Tuyzentfloot on the mind. Good handle. sticks in the mind.)

Now that you mention it, Tuyzentfloot always reminds me of a line in the old Bing Crosby song MacNamara’s Band:

Oh, me name is MacNamara, I'm the leader of the band.
Although we're few in numbers, we're the finest in the land.
We play at wakes and weddings and at every fancy ball.
And when we play the funerals, we play the March from Saul.

Oh, the drums go bang and the cymbals clang and the horns they blaze away.
McCarthy pumps the old bassoon while I the pipes do play.
And Henessee Tennessee tootles the flute and the music is something grand.
A credit to old Ireland is MacNamara's band.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 28 2020 3:20 utc | 47

@45 Jen

We know that it happened in the USSR, where eventually the people literally knew that they could take the government pronouncements to mean the very opposite of what they said. And thus, the people knew the truth, quite reliably.

It's happening here, and we move through the cloud of its happening. That "critical point" is a moving target. It requires differing degrees for differing situations. It can be seen only in contrast to events and their responses.

When we get more accustomed to recognizing it, we'll probably realize we'd already seen it a time or two already.

These are excellent concepts - thanks for putting them into words, and let's keep watching this.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 28 2020 3:34 utc | 48

These fabrications are all invariably "made in Britain". British are apoplectic about possible US-Russia rapprochement because it would relegate UK to geopolitical backwater. America after all needs "allies" only if Russia is an enemy. If it's not, then the whole trans-Atlantic architecture comes unglued, and picking America's pockets through one-sided trade deals becomes so much more difficult. And without picking America's pockets, the rest of the West (as well as Japan and S.Korea) instantly falls apart and dies.

Posted by: Venom | Jun 28 2020 4:47 utc | 49

The Americans are a colonial occupation army in Afghanistan--not to mention in Iraq, Syria, and other nations.

In the Orwellian world of America, however, America's criminal wars are portrayed as virtues no less.

Americans will thus whine like entitled snowflakes about being targeted by supposed Russian bounties in Afghanistan.

Whether this accusation is true or not, it's irrelevant.

The American Empire deserves to pay the price of its wars of aggression and colonial occupations in Afghanistan and indeed the world--in blood.

US War on Terror Kills Nearly 500,000 in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan

Posted by: ak74 | Jun 28 2020 6:36 utc | 50

And now the Guardian and all the "Integrity Initiative" trolls have got in on the act.

Russia offered bounty to kill UK soldiers

While Guardian journalists' brains were addled with coronavirus, the US IC infected them with projectionism.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 28 2020 7:51 utc | 51

That unit must have earned a work medal. Were they also responsible for Kennedy’s death, the Bermuda Triangle, Roswell and the Egyptian Pyramids?

Posted by: Vitor Vieira | Jun 28 2020 8:35 utc | 52

No, this is just uncontrolled cynicism. I'm sure proof of NYT claims is available and will be forthcoming just as soon as reporters have time for in-depth research. No doubt Sergei Skripal will confirm the story when they talk to him. Has anyone seen him recently? Seems strange not to rely on such a well-informed asset.

Posted by: loftwork | Jun 28 2020 8:54 utc | 53

Venom @ 49

Whilst agreeing with your view that basically our British PTB still try to run or have a say in running the World I disagree with your comment that we, through one sided trade deals, as well as the rest of the West, have been picking the US's pocket. Which is wrong on so many levels.

I'll only address one here, reserve currency, RC. An RC is only available to the country at the top of the economic pecking order and bestows full economic power over all others, in effect creating an Empire. As those of us outside the US are only too aware, the US is currently that Empire and regardless of whether there are elements of past Empires, the British in this case, still having a say in the new, we all are still its vassals.

Possession of the RC allows the US to pay for products not, like the rest of us with a currency kind of valued on the output of the country but with $, the cost of which used to be the paper it was printed on but now Ctl-P, i. e. effectively free until some mythical grand settling up in the future.

No-one has picked or tried to pick the US's pockets and survived, ask Saddam or Ghadaffi among others. If a trade deal looked less good for the US then it was because the US's PTB (not necessarily the politicians) wanted it that way for other reasons, like increasing profits or protecting large loans/vital export markets. Leaders like Trump might bleat on about WTO/China deals or non US NATO countries not paying their dues but that is all posturing or deal making positioning. His predecessors set them up for very valid reasons at the time which are conveniently forgotten now.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jun 28 2020 11:24 utc | 54

I am willing to accept all the supposition in this article as probable fact except one thing seems wrong to me:
"All that nonsense is again used to press against Trump's wish for better relations with Russia."

I see no real evidence that Trump wants better relations with Russia. I see all this Russiagate nonsense as way Trump can have his cake and eat it too.

Trump claims he wants better relations with Russia but the deep state is blocking that. Nope sorry not buying that bullshit. And I would think Russia has by now figured out that its Bullshit.

Posted by: jinn | Jun 28 2020 12:21 utc | 55

loftwork #53
Sergei Skripal is not available for comment as he has a short barrel pistol up his but in case he so much as squeaks. The grauniad will have another story written for it just as soon as integrity initiative re-inks the typewriter ribbon.

The NYT refuses to recognise the concept of truth as it does not contribute to 'the bottom line' as much as it should.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 28 2020 12:21 utc | 56

I dont think the articles in such as NYT are really designed to be rational. They are more in themselves serving as rationale that the believers can point to as justification - they are not intended to be critically evaluated but to create a noise a consensus. The interagency does not feel a need to prove anythin, its claim is all the proof that is needed. As with the FBI, works great until its not in your favor.

Also I suspect that paticular bit of news was intended to smooth any featers distubed by the envoy to Syria (or whatever) stating that his function was to make Syria a quagmire for Russia - not sure that is valid for budgeting.

Posted by: jared | Jun 28 2020 12:33 utc | 57

US Foreign Policy in brief:!148360008

Posted by: jared | Jun 28 2020 12:38 utc | 58

True there is no evidence and one should not forget the taliban freedom fighters armed by the US during Reagan's mandate.

Posted by: fayez chergui | Jun 28 2020 12:49 utc | 59

It's a shame how far Russia has fallen since WWII. It's a failed kleptocratic rump state that thinks it's something, and yet, when push comes to shove which will be very soon, China will march to Moscow unopposed. China is not going to stop growing and to support its growth it needs resources it doesn't have but its weakling neighbor Russia does.

The mighty Soviet Union, Putin is correct about this, is largely responsible for the defeat of the Nazis during WWII. Now they have become contemporary Nazis and support NeoNazism across the globe, going so far as to train the fascist shock troops. And then, in cowardly fashion because all fascists are ultimately cowards, they deny it rather than manning up and saying "yeah, we're doing it, what are you going to do about it?"

Both Russia and Israel caught the Nazi virus, apparently, considering both countries ultimately evolved into Nazism after evading it and defeating it during WWII. You don't defeat Nazism. Nazism just takes on a new skin and after WWII it adopted Israeli and Russian skin.

Why Are German Neo-Nazis Training In Russia?

Participating in paramilitary training is legal in Russia. Such training takes place under the protective umbrella of DOSAAF (Volunteer Society for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation, and Navy), an organization whose founding dates back to the days of the Soviet Union. The actual training, in which Germans reportedly participated, is provided by a club appearing under two different names: "Rezerv" or "Partizan." It takes place at a military facility on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. Until 2018, "Partizan" and its members were listed on the website of St. Petersburg's municipal office as a vigilante group in the Vyborg district. "That was prior to my taking office," a district representative told DW when asked about the matter.

Talking to local journalists in 2017, one of the organizers of the paramilitary camp confirmed that the center also provided paramilitary training for foreigners, "including Germans." Today, the center advertises both offline and online courses, including classes on handling weapons and on "military topography" — in June 2020 alone, it offers six different classes, bookable via the Russian social network Vkontakte.

Posted by: | Jun 28 2020 12:54 utc | 60

The reactions to this report are interesting.

While most at moa question the veracity, others (like TTG at SST) focus on the impact to their hero Trump, claiming yet another Democratic Party/Deep State 'gotcha'.

But what may be most pernicious is the acceptance of the report as 1) 'making sense' because of USA's support for the Mujaheddin that expelled the Soviets and 2) reinforcing the notion of a Putin - Trump connection. (See: jinn @Jun28 12:21 #55)

What we are seeing is a dynamic whereby accusations against Russia by the Democrats and accusations against China by the Republicans feed on each other to create an atmosphere of hate against both. Caitlin Johnstone has written about this dual hatred (Liberal NPCs Hate Russia, Conservative NPCs Hate China).

Caitlin also points to Ben Norton's tweet that places the NYT 'Russian bounty' claim in the context of USA's unwillingness to leave Afghanistan:

This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile

“US ‘intelligence’ agencies (ie, organized crime networks run by the state) want to sabotage the (admittedly very inadequate) peace talks in Afghanistan,” tweeted journalist Ben Norton. “So they get best of both worlds: blame the Russian bogeyman, fueling the new cold war, while prolonging the military occupation. It’s not a coincidence these dubious Western intelligence agency claims about Russia came just days after a breakthrough in peace talks. Afghanistan’s geostrategic location (and trillions worth of minerals) is too important to them.”


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 28 2020 13:10 utc | 61

@Richard Steven Hack

Finally a breath of fresh air here--charged with some electricity. No inflated, self-important, wilted word-bourgeois-salad.

Posted by: Elmagno | Jun 28 2020 13:18 utc | 62

Great economic powers have potential and motivation to become great military power. US has shot its wad sun is setting. Russia is good at political machinations but not so good at developing economy and sphere of influence. Over reliance on resources and military. Needs a shopping mall on the east coast. And dump the archaeic language - adopt spanish.

Posted by: jared | Jun 28 2020 13:34 utc | 63

I wonder how many Americans see through this kind of bs propaganda? I’d guess not more than 30%. My guess is not more than 30%. Raising awareness is not a simple task until it’s too late and the bombs start flying.

Posted by: krypton | Jun 28 2020 13:52 utc | 64

That weird poster pretending to be a leftist has gone full Atlantic Council troll! Those trolls are the kind of idiots who think China has an interest in territory as if geopolitics is just some kind of board game like Risk. That "China invasion of Russia" nonsense is how you know you are dealing with someone with the intellect of an eight year old.

Clue for the morons: China has no problem buying the resources they need and working for and paying a fair price for those resources. They are not Americans, after all.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 28 2020 13:54 utc | 65


Most americans are immune to such manipulations - they niether read nor watch news.

Posted by: jared | Jun 28 2020 13:56 utc | 66

In a series of tweets Sunday morning, Trump attacked the NYT report, calling it fake news. So far, I have only seen this reported in the Daily Mail.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 28 2020 14:01 utc | 67

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 28 2020 13:54 utc | 65

The amount of American whining about China garnering international influence on the cheap aka "doing business like a normal person would" is comical, considering the former chose to waste trillions into stupid wars all over the place like idiots.

Posted by: JW | Jun 28 2020 14:10 utc | 68


catching the Nazi virus, I like it. Amerika of course was infected before WWII, and thanks to sociopaths like the Dulles brothers, we out-Nazi'd the Soviets and became the 4th reich.

environmentalism, the occult, and technocratic transhumanism. Nazis were truly ahead of their time. I hope I'm not giving RSH a hard-on.

Posted by: lizard | Jun 28 2020 14:14 utc | 69

After having read all 120 comments on german atlantist news outlet Der Spiegel's,article which pretty much copies the ones from NYT WaPo and WSJ,I am happy to say that over a hundred of german responders recognize the fraud and many criticize der spiegel for unverified tendentious "reporting" and slavishly copying american MSM lies.

Posted by: willie | Jun 28 2020 14:31 utc | 70


“ Most americans are immune to such manipulations - they niether read nor watch news.”

Sadly you’re probably right. But it’s not just Americans who are easily manipulated. The PTB in most countries go to great lengths to propagandize their population to serve their interests and have the resources to do it quite effectively through control of the media, public schools, the military, etc etc. The US has added complexities in controlling the narrative, but has managed to keep a lid on “things” up until now.

Posted by: krypton | Jun 28 2020 14:46 utc | 71

@ Posted by: jared | Jun 28 2020 13:56 utc | 66

If you think modern propaganda warfare can be fended off by merely not reading the news, you're very naive.

Almost nobody reads the NYT and the WaPo. That's not where their importance lies. Their function - as stated by the father of propaganda theory, Karl Popper, and his disciple Friedrich von Hayek - is to serve as a credibility reserve. They are the "coordinators", the "origin". Their role is merely to shape public opinion of the so-called middle classes. The middle class is the clerical class of capitalism: its role is to serve as the "opinion shaper" of the lower classes. They are the "experts class", the class that makes up for capitalism's "high officers" (more or less the equivalent of what the Equestrian class); they are the bulldogs of the capitalist class. All the journalists are members of the middle class in the capitalist system.

This is the "first rate" sphere. To de facto spread the opinion to the masses, lower rates of "intellectuals" (this is the term Hayek used) are needed: teachers, local (council level) politicians, television channels and - nowadays - social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). The role of these "lower tier intellectuals" is to serve as a line of transmission between the higher tier (NYT, WaPo, universities, think tanks) to the masses, in an easy and friendly language.

Posted by: vk | Jun 28 2020 14:50 utc | 72


Judging by the metrum of your lyrics I would suggest it is on the"Ivanhoe" generic melody,not Robin Hood.

Posted by: willie | Jun 28 2020 15:03 utc | 73

@69 lizard

No argument from me here. Nazism is as contagious as COVID-19, apparently.

....catching the Nazi virus, I like it. Amerika of course was infected before WWII, and thanks to sociopaths like the Dulles brothers, we out-Nazi'd the Soviets and became the 4th reich.

Now Russia has decided to join the ranks. Nazism sure is alluring to authoritarians of every stripe.

Posted by: | Jun 28 2020 15:22 utc | 74


Agreed. But the very summary meme "Fake News" has largely neutralized that feature accept for those who agree to overlook the absense of credibilty often because it is necessary to thier job.

Frankly the contrived attempt at democracy does not quite work, that is not intended to mean that marxisms would be the solution. At some point some intellectuals will consider will consider what are realistic expectations from the state and from the people - is China really the new model, I am not too pleased with that possibility.

Posted by: jared | Jun 28 2020 15:35 utc | 75

The next great war will be between Russia and China, and, ironically, it will be stoked precisely because of their cooperation in dethroning America as the leading global superpower. I am not fooled by their propagandists asserting both countries have no hegemonic motivations. Once America is entirely dethroned, a power vacuum ensues (we're seeing it now as we type) and China will fill that power vacuum because Russia isn't capable. Russia is a puffer fish much like Trump is. It's all bark and no bite. When resource restrictions become dire, China will not play games with Russia and will not be held over a barrel and blackmailed to prevent its people from starving and freezing and dehydrating. China will just take what they believe is rightfully theirs at that point and Russia will be largely defenseless aside from its nukes. Just you wait and see.

Expect a War Between Russia and China in the 2020s

In fact, signs already abound of Russian nervousness as China relentlessly pushes its Silk Road initiatives, coercive economic practices, and diplomatic blandishments deep into the entire former Soviet space in Central Asia. Although the Chinese have so far refrained from asserting strategic-security rights in the geopolitical arc along Russia’s southern periphery, it is only a matter of time before some hyper-nationalist general in Beijing does so. The Russians can be relied upon to react with unrestrained fury.

But what will likely drive Russia to a defensive war with China before the next decade is out is the growing probability of Chinese territorial encroachment into Russia’s sparsely populated far eastern region bordering the Pacific. The Russian territories north of the Amur and east of the Ussuri Rivers in eastern-Central Asia, which currently demarcate the agreed boundaries between the two countries, are historically and insistently claimed by China. Chinese military maps even show these areas as Chinese territories.

These territorial claims, combined with the sheer population disparities – over 130 million people live in three Chinese provinces bordering Russia’s Far East, where the population is estimated at less than 8 million – and the need to secure long-term access to living space and natural resources almost preordains that Beijing will sooner or later demand revisions to what it calls “unequal” border treaties with Czarist Russia dating back to the mid-19th century. And although the Russians are equally bound to resist, it is not inconceivable that China at some point will demand access or land-lease rights to parts of Russia’s Far East, or, failing that, that the Chinese army will simply march across the border into Vladivostok, Russia’s only warm water access to the Pacific, to stamp China’s historic claim and rights to the region.

It is not clear at this juncture how Russia and China can step back from a conflict in the coming decade. But as China appears unlikely to relinquish its expansive territorial claims against its neighbors, including Russia, the onus for deterring China from seizing Russian territories will fall upon Putin or his successors in the 2020s.

The question of whether China really can be deterred as its geostrategic ambitions grow across Eurasia remains to be seen. If the current Xi-Putin bromance fails to tamp down Chinese expansionism, expect a war between the two nuclear armed states in the 2020s.

Posted by: | Jun 28 2020 15:40 utc | 76

"said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals." ....... Oh right, those torture sessions are always so reliable !! Waterboard anyone on the planet and within 5 minutes they will tell you anything they think you want to hear just to get out of feeling like they are surely drowning!!

Posted by: Billosky | Jun 28 2020 17:25 utc | 77 76

Piss off back to Israel if you want to spruik Israeli shit.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 28 2020 17:54 utc | 78


I've never been to Israel and will never visit that abomination. But China? Well, that's another story altogether. China likes Israel and has established quite a presence there despite the linked article above with which you took umbrage. You appear to be more offended for China than Beijing is offended for China.

Why the U.S. Can’t Get Israel to Break Up With China

Look at Bibi doing his Donald Trump impression for the Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan.

But despite the bow to U.S. warnings, Israel appears to be pressing ahead on other deals—highlighting a substantial gap in the positions of the two countries on whether commerce with China poses a security threat. Washington’s trade war with Beijing is making the tensions even more acute.

“Israel sees China as an opportunity,” said Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington. “For the United States, China is a threat—a three-pronged threat that’s strategic, commercial, and technological.”

For Israel, the opportunities abound. Chinese construction companies are expected to bid on upcoming infrastructure projects in Israel ranging from light rail to 5G telecommunications networks. And the Chinese are expected to invest billions of dollars in Israeli technology ventures in the coming years.

Already, Shanghai International Port Group is building a new container port in Haifa, which some U.S. officials believe could be used to conduct surveillance on the U.S. 6th Fleet whenever it ports at a nearby Navy base. Chinese companies are building another Israeli port in Ashdod and a light rail project through the greater Tel Aviv area, which will run a few hundred yards from the Israeli military headquarters. Meanwhile, Chinese companies invested some $400 million in Israeli start-ups in 2018 and $243 million in 2019, according to IVC Data and Insights.

I think it's time for the creation, in China, of the CIPAC (Chinese Israeli Public Affairs Committee).

Posted by: | Jun 28 2020 18:51 utc | 79

@ Sakineh Bagoom, Jen, Hoarsewhisperer, that is very nice of you. There are too many Robin Hood intros to figure out which one you mean but Ivanhoe also has three syllables and appropriate juvenile cheerfulness, not so different from the Bing Crosby song. Tuyzentfloot refers to the Spanish Armada(thousand fleet) but is really derived from an insane cartoon pirate who appears to have frequent AHA-erlebnissen.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jun 28 2020 18:53 utc | 80

@uncle tungsten, if you look at the actual edits of Philip Cross, they massage the pages of mainly british leftist and antiwar figures to damage their reputation .
Apart from the impact on readers there is also the more formal impact on wikipedia editing because it has rules about using reputable/reliable sources. Of course Philip Cross will be enforcing these rules enthusiastically in other articles but the rules are adhered to by many editors. It is natural and sensible to take in account reputation in your judgement but wikipedia is cultivating the mentality to be reputation conscious and to be very averse of 'fringe' sources (to become very mainstream). On top of that is has formalized this to make the function of reputation much stronger. This is a broad spectrum effort to reinforce groupthink.
The equivalent in the press is to extend the journalistic code with rules about reputation, just like there are rules about impartiality and neutrality. They reduce the autonomy of the journalist even further on top of general cultivation of groupthink in serious journalism. I define mainstream press using reputation: who do they take seriously and who not.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jun 28 2020 18:54 utc | 81

I thought of a way to clarify the reputation bias for this Russia claim: from a source with good reputation you require less proof than from one with bad reputation. Stronger: the first source is considered as true till the opposite has been shown, the second is considered false till proven right. People are very critical towards things with bad reputation(because they don't trust them and because they don't want to be seen as trusting them) and much towards things with good reputation. I believe it is sensible to take in account reputation to some extent, but it needs management. Traditional journalism does have some tools for that. Traditional mainstream journalism when done by skilled people with sufficient freedom will deliver value despite some consistent failures.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jun 28 2020 19:58 utc | 82

Posted by: Montreal | Jun 28 2020 20:28 utc | 83

@ Posted by: jared | Jun 28 2020 15:35 utc | 75

Ok. Waiting for your scientifically-based theory showing the solution to be published, then.

Posted by: vk | Jun 28 2020 21:48 utc | 84

The CIA/MI6 op against Russia, of which Skripal, the assassination of Litivenko and a litany of other false flags designed to malign Russia and was outed as Operation Beluga by French security veteran Paul Barril in a Youtube interview with a Swiss journalist many years ago. Count any attribution of Russian malfeasance originating in the US, British, or Canadian press as part of Operation Beluga.

Posted by: David | Jun 29 2020 2:53 utc | 85

I haven't had a chance to go through all the comments so my apologies if someone has already posted Caitlin Johnstone's piece about this shameless "state propaganda":

Stopped reading the NYT ages ago. The NYT bestsellers have a fucking joke for years and their recipes are worthless click bait.

"As we discussed yesterday, the only correct response to unsubstantiated claims by anonymous spooks in a post-Iraq invasion world is to assume that they are lying until you’ve been provided with a mountain of hard, independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The fact that The New York Times instead chose to uncritically parrot these evidence-free claims made by operatives within intelligence agencies with a known track record of lying about exactly these things is nothing short of journalistic malpractice. The fact that western media outlets are now unanimously regurgitating these still 100 percent baseless assertions is nothing short of state propaganda."

Posted by: krypton | Jun 29 2020 10:27 utc | 86

Here is my theory, formed by reading between the lines of the Russian spokesman's world-class trolling of the US "mission" in Afghanistan.

It goes like this:
1) The CIA is running a fantastically-lucrative drug-running operation in Afghanistan
2) So some Taliban and/or Afghani tribes were awash with US dollar bills, curtesy of the CIA
3) The US military raided some Taliban bases and were astonished at all those $$$.
4) The US military turned those Taliban over to the CIA to find out what gives
5) So the CIA simply made up this shit about Russian "bounty" to cover their sorry arse.

That is *at* *least* as credible as the idea that the Taliban had to be paid in cash to get them to shoot at GIs.

Because, you know, if you didn't pay the Taliban then they have no incentive to shoot GIs, amIright?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 29 2020 10:46 utc | 87

John Helmer, who seems to have an inside track on the Skripal (and MH17) stories, wrote last week that the driving force behind the Skripal nonsense was the UK Cabinet Secretary, Sir Mark Sedwell. Maybe Dances with Bears is read by Boris Johnson, as today he sacked Sedwell. One can read into the MSM reports that Sedwell, coming from spookdom rather than the Treasury - the usual source of Cabinet Secretaries - had been a failed experiment.
The impression that I have is that the small section of the populace who take any interest in the news beyond sport, resented the Skripal revelations, chapter by unlikely chapter, not because they approve of the Russians (“Putin”) - which they don’t - but because they sensed that the people being lied to and manipulated were not the UK’s enemies, or allies for that matter (not that the UK has many allies now), but the UK population itself, and the unpleasant memories of Blair and Campbell and WMD are sufficiently strong to cause unease amongst even the most Blimpish characters.
It only need Sir Richard “WMDs in Iraq” Dearlove to add his ha’pence, which I think he did.

Posted by: Montreal | Jun 29 2020 11:13 utc | 88

3 Killed As Separatist Group Attacks Karachi Stock Exchange

The separatist group, the Baluchistan Liberation Army, was previously best known for an attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi back in November 2018 that killed two people.

<> <> <> <> <>

My first thought: were they offered a bounty for attacking "regime interests" (or killing bankers)?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 29 2020 13:06 utc | 89

The good news is that hunger will quickly become a thing of the past. Nothing-burger can be replicated with nothing more than some electrons passing through circuits. NYT repeated the story (I did not find anything new except for "growing demands for action"), and YET ANOTHER STORY, Biden demanded action on that piece of thin air.

The bad news is that we may get waves of scurvy, beri-beri etc. because there are no vitamins in that food.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 29 2020 13:34 utc | 90

@89 Disgruntled investors unhappy with their mutual funds. I expect to see more of this kind of thing.

Posted by: dh | Jun 29 2020 14:10 utc | 91

Re: Yeah, Right | Jun 29 2020 10:46 utc

Methodologically, it is good to minimize assumptions. E.g. CIA running massive drug trade is an assumption.

Certain aspects of the story raise obvious points:

If you raid any organization that has to get some supplies (food, weapons, fuel for motorbikes etc.) you can expect some cash. Afghanistan is not like Sweden where you can do everything with electronic cash. An organization that does something against the law, say, paying workers off the book to evade social security payments (are Taliban fighters properly insured?) has higher propensity to deal with cash. A stash of cash can be found when you raid anyone in Afghanistan that is engaged in any kind of commerce. And given the local culture, you can find a little stash of weapons too.

I seriously doubt that American dollars are rare in Afghanistan. In illustrations to stories on Afghanistan, dealing with local currency requires handling huge parcels of paper, some may prefer more compact forms of cash.

Concerning results of interrogations, torture is a possibility, but one has to think what would you tell interrogators if they are insistent to hear something. If you know nothing, they will continue -- not pleasant even if they do not torture. If you know something that can implicate people who can avenge the betrayal, revealing this is truly the last resort. What remains is telling some harmless nonsense.

Only when this "nonsense" creates a more coherent picture with independent corroboration we have something to consider. From scientific point of view, one has to have a "null model", some definition of "random nonsense" that allows to estimate the probability that this "coherent picture with corroboration" is something worth investigating further. E.g. is this putative drug any better than placebo.

In my modest opinion, there is probability approaching 1.00 that the story of Russian bounties could be assembled from random nonsense and inevitable facts that some locations suspected to be connected to Taliban were raided, that some people were interrogated and an American was killed, with the only uniting aspect that all of that happened in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 29 2020 14:11 utc | 92

The war uniparty needs Russiagate to get the left to join its all war all the time. Hillary Clinton laid the seeds of Russiagate in the summer of 2016. She's very good at seeding conspiracy theories since the days of her vast right wing conspiracy. Whether you want to believe it, many deplorable Trump voters voted for to end wars. Outside dispensation Christian, the right is becoming isolationist. That leaves the left, and its myriad of legal and illegal immigrant, to become the new cannon fire. Tell them Trump and Putin are literally Hitler, and off they go. Understand the Anglo banking empire cannot have the "heartland" (Russia, India, and China) working for its own good. Probably one of the reasons so many H1 visa come from China and India. Make them part of Team Banker so to speak. Also you big hearted types can call people xenophobe over your beloved ethnic food. This ultimately goes back to the Halford Mackinder's theory of whoever controls the heartland, controls the world. So enjoy your very woke forever war.

Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Jun 29 2020 17:10 utc | 93

Very interesting comment by David Habakkuk at SST

I think what is going on in Britain may hold the key to understanding why this contemptible nonsense is being published in the U.S. at this time.

... It needs, I think, to be read in conjunction with a report in the ‘Guardian’ on 27 June, which it amplifies.

‘The Russian intelligence unit behind the attempted murder in Salisbury of the former double agent Sergei Skripal secretly offered to pay Taliban-linked fighters to kill British and American soldiers in Afghanistan, according to US reports.

‘The revelation piles pressure on the UK to take robust action against the Kremlin amid continuing anger over the government’s delay in publishing a key report on Russian attempts to destabilise the UK.’

The ‘Sky’ piece actually makes clear that these are claims originating in the United States, one of whose key purposes is to put pressure on the British government.


Another relevant development, although how this fits into the picture is at the moment very far from clear to me, is that the announcement yesterday that the former MI6 person Sir Mark Sedwill,who has been ‘National Security Adviser’ since 2017 and Cabinet Secretary since 2018, is to stand down in September.

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See more at the link


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 29 2020 17:20 utc | 94

This 'story' is very interesting and obviously untrue. One factor that seems to be ignored is the ISI/Pakistani one. The Taliban is a Pakistani military and political asset in Afghanistan. Tireless Pakistani efforts got the Taliban and the US to the negotiating table to get to an Afghan settlement, which Russia is on board as well.

For this story to be true, the Russians would have to get Pakistani approval to even talk to the Taliban, much less collude with them to kill coalition troops. In this hypothetical, the Pakistanis would say 'NO', because it would jeopardize the final Afghanistan settlement and because they would never allow Russians to open a channel of influence with their Taliban asset.

Let's say that either the Russians went ahead and colluded anyway with the Taliban, thereby disobeying the Pakistanis. This would mean now that the Pakistanis have to respond to show both the Taliban and the Russians that they are the political masters of the Taliban. The Pakistanis could do this by eliminating the militants who colluded with the Russians. On the other hand, if the Pakistanis approved of this Russo-Taliban collusion, then they would only do so by extracting a major price from the Russians which would be acceptable enough to risk throwing the final Afghanistan settlement going to the dustbin.

The Russians too would have their own strategic goals. Are any of those achieved by paying Taliban to kill coalition troops? I say NO. The only motive for the Russians would be revenge, and the Russians don't think that way. Revenge can be sweet cherry on top of strategic goals, but again, those goals have to be defined and they haven't been.

The Russians would also have to assess the risk when it comes to retaliation from the CIA/UK intelligence. Are the strategic goals that will be achieved with this collusion worth the cost of retaliation? But again, these goals would have to be defined. For example, Pakistan continued to support the Taliban throughout the Afghan war, despite denials. This sponsorship of the Taliban by the Pakistanis, led to numerous counter terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil, done by the TTP (Pakistani Taliban, different from Afghan Taliban). The TTP was sponsored by both Afghan and Indian intelligence who are opposed to the Pakistan sponsored Afghan Taliban. Additionally, Pakistan had to bear the brunt of US drone attacks on militants in Pakistan. All of these costs were acceptable to Pakistan because they came with accomplishing its strategic goals: keep the Taliban in Afghanistan in a strong position to eventually negotiate with the Americans to leave. But what are Russia's goals with this supposed collusion? Those are not defined in any news reports.

Posted by: Dalvash | Jun 29 2020 17:35 utc | 95

I do not know what "three ring circus" is, but judging from past uses of the phrase, this is it. NYT, WP, Congress.

Bounty Offers to Taliban to Kill U.S. Troops
Democrats asked for Trump administration intelligence officials to brief lawmakers on what they knew about a suspected Russian plot.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi requested that all members of the House be briefed on intelligence about a suspected Russian plot against U.S. troops.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi requested that all members of the House be briefed on intelligence about a suspected Russian plot against U.S. troops.
By Nicholas Fandos and Eric Schmitt
June 29, 2020
Updated 1:14 p.m. EST


IMHO, this is silly. GOP wizzes will convincingly attack this posturing. Democrats may lose votes left and right. It is like once you decide that dementia is good, you strive to appear demented.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 29 2020 17:37 utc | 96

I'm only 67 but I have seen a three ring circus. When I was 6 or 7 the Barnum & Baily/Ringling Bros. Circus came to town, bigtop and all. Under the bigtop there was the center ring with the main attractions and on either side two smaller rings were ancillary performers plied their trade while the big events ebbed and flowed from the center ring. It seems now like a scene that I couldn't have possibly witnessed; the whole town was there, and all the sights and sounds from an era now long gone. I immediately fell in love with a young trapeze artist, with her flowing blond hair and sky-blue body-suit. How do I even explain the world of my youth to my grandson. Oh well.

Now the Ringmaster, in boots, tails, and top hat implores the audience with his megaphone: "Ladies and gentlemen, please direct your attention to the center ring and you will witness one of the most harrowing, death-defying acts ever attempted under the bigtop! Uncle Joe will dive from our highest platform through the labyrinth of his own political past and land face-first in a bucket of his own spit. Ladies and gentlemen this feat has never ever before been attempted!" A single spotlight blazes on the figure on the platform, and as he looks down, mutters to himself: "It's probably no worse than managed care!"

Posted by: vinnieoh | Jun 29 2020 18:34 utc | 97

It's middle June, spooks sitting around the lunch table at Langley.
Spook 1 -- Hey we gotta come up with something new on Russia to get Trump - orders from the DNC.
Spook 2 - How about if Putin poisoned somebody?.. .No, that's old. How about a new dossier ... just kidding. I don't know.
Spook 3 - A new idea -- we could say that Putin is paying Taliban to kill US troops!
Spook 1 - Naw, that's not so new, Washington is already paying Taliban to kill US troops, from those hundreds of millions Washington sends to Pakistan. There would have to be a different spin on it....
Spook 2 - I got it -- Taliban only gets the money on a per-kill basis, to motivate them.. .new idea!
Spook 3 - That's it -- a bounty! A new spin and very newsworthy! Voters will leave Trump in droves!!!
Spook 1 - Yes, it would be 'mutiny from the bounty! . .hahahaha . .You call the Times, I'll get the Post. . . Also add that Trump was briefed and did nothing. . .let's roll!!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2020 20:26 utc | 98

U.S. Intelligence Confirms Russia paid Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers they found cash after raiding a Taliban stronghold with Putin's semen on it #sarcasm.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jun 29 2020 21:50 utc | 99

@92 Piotr Berman It might pay if we start from first principles.

The basic claim is that Russia is paying a bounty to Taliban who kill US and UK soldiers, and it is the payment of those "bounties" that are the reason why Afghanistan is now awash with US dollars.

It said so in the NYT "The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on the bounties included the recovery of a large amount of American cash from a raid on a Taliban outpost that prompted suspicions."

Okay. So all that cash = payment for kills = there must have been lots of kills. QED.

This leads to the obvious question: Has there been an uptick in combat fatalities amongst American and British troops inside Afghanistan? Yes? Or no?

If the answer is "no" then the story must be false, because it would require the Russians to be "paying in advance" which is, obviously, the complete antithesis of "a bounty".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 29 2020 22:53 utc | 100

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