Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 05, 2021

Bashing Russia When One Needs It Doesn't Work Well

Russia had recently said that it would take a more assertive stand against the sanctions and Navalny nonsense the 'west' is throwing at it.

Today the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell visited Moscow. He had a talk with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

It was showtime:

Borrell said he had conveyed the EU’s unhappiness about the jailing of Navalny. “I have conveyed to Minister Lavrov our deep concern and reiterated our appeal for his release and the launch of an impartial investigation of his poisoning,” he said.

But his remarks were overshadowed by Lavrov’s forceful rebuke, in which he repeated his doubts about the West’s conclusion that Navalny was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent — a conclusion that German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally announced in Berlin, where Navalny was treated. Laboratories in France and Sweden, as well as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, confirmed the German findings.

Overall, it was a disastrous performance by Borrell, who acknowledged that the EU had not taken any step toward imposing new sanctions on Russia over the Navalny case. Borrell, a former foreign minister of Spain, then stood by silently and semi-smiling as Lavrov took the last word to slam the EU as “unreliable” and to say he hoped EU heads of state and government use a planned discussion about Russia at their March European Council summit to adopt a new path.

“We are getting used to the fact that the European Union are trying to impose unilateral restrictions, illegitimate restrictions and we proceed from the assumption at this stage that the European Union is an unreliable partner,” Lavrov said. “I hope that the strategic review that will take place soon will focus on the key interests of the European Union and that these talks will help to make our contacts more constructive.”

Adding an exclamation point to Borrell’s troubled visit, Russia expelled three EU diplomats — from Germany, Poland and Sweden — for attending demonstrations in support of Navalny, an EU diplomat said.

The Politico writer above has missed the point of today's visit.

Borrell could say little to defend his position as it is Europe that needs Russia. The EU, under the ever incompetent leadership of Ursula von der Leyen, has screwed up the common purchase of vaccines against Covid-19. Van der Leyen has bought too little too late. Called out for that she reacted with panic and nearly started a trade war over the issue:

The EU's bulk purchase of vaccines had been agreed by member states in June last year, but press coverage in Germany had been turning hostile since late December. The knives were out for Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The commission went into fight mode, wading into a highly public row with AstraZeneca, which lasted throughout last week. However, by Friday the vaccine issue took an explosive turn, when the commission triggered Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

In the space of a few hours, the commission was on a collision course with the Irish Government. Unionists, who had already called for Article 16 to be invoked, were outraged. Brexiteers gloated that the true nature of the EU had been laid bare, and even die hard supporters of the European project were left scratching their heads.

Since Friday, the commission has been trying to explain what happened. However, it appears a sizeable amount of goodwill has been burned at a time when Ms von der Leyen has been desperate to steer the EU’s vaccine policy on to an even keel. And within the commission a blame game is under way.

Von der Leyen has personally screwed up the vaccine purchase. She needs to get hundreds of millions of vaccine doses and she needs them fast. Otherwise she has little chance to stay in her job.

Russia has developed an excellent vaccine:

From 21 days after the first dose of vaccine (the day of dose 2), 16 (0·1%) of 14 964 participants in the vaccine group and 62 (1·3%) of 4902 in the placebo group were confirmed to have COVID-19; vaccine efficacy was 91·6% (95% CI 85·6–95·2).

Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is still not approved for use within the EU but that will soon happen. It could be produced relatively fast if Russia would give licenses to EU companies. Van der Leyen sent Borrell to Moscow to ask for that and to thereby save her ass.

Lavrov of course took the chance to give the EU a well deserved dressing-down.

Borrell could say little to counter him. He later released a rather lame statement that condemned the expulsion of the diplomats but announced no counter move.

The U.S. should expect a likewise assertive treatment from Russia.

Yesterday President Joe Biden gave an aggressive (and stupid) pep talk at the State Department in which he also bashed Russia:

I made it clear to President Putin, in a manner very different from my predecessor, that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions — interfering with our elections, cyberattacks, poisoning its citizens — are over. We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interests and our people. And we will be more effective in dealing with Russia when we work in coalition and coordination with other like-minded partners.

Trump did not 'roll over' with regards to Russia but constantly took very aggressive actions against it. Russia did not interfere in U.S. elections, it did not launch cyber attacks and it did not poison its citizens. Making such false claims will not help to gain Russia's help when it is needed.

It will be impossible for Biden to solve issues in Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere without Russia's cooperation. It will take more than saying 'pretty please' to get that.

Biden added this nonsense:

The politically motivated jailing of Alexei Navalny and the Russian efforts to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are a matter of deep concern to us and the international community.

Mr. Navalny, like all Russian citizens, is entitled to his rights under the Russian constitution. He’s been targeted — targeted for exposing corruption. He should be released immediately and without condition.

Navalny is in jail because he has constantly violated, since April 2020, the conditions of his probation. The case goes back to a lawsuit a private company, the exclusive distributor for Yves Rocher in Russia, had brought against him ten years ago. Back than Navalny and his brother ran a transport business that bilked the company out of several hundred thousand dollar. In another case Navalny defrauded a state owned timber company he worked for by channeling it's purchases through a company he owned.  Several regular courts have found him and his brother guilty. The dude is a fraudster who should serve his time.

As for 'Russia's' handling of 'peaceful protests' take a look here.

Russia's Foreign Ministry first reaction to Biden's talk shows that it knows what the 'west' is really attempting.

Russia in RSA 🇷🇺 @EmbassyofRussia 9:42 UTC · Feb 5, 2021
💬
#Zakharova: We took note of the Western comments on social & political situation in Russia. It's an attempt to contain our country, interfere in its domestic affairs. Russia isn't the only one who West has its sight on: it is concerned about everyone who can compete with it.

Russia will take care that these plans will end in failure.

Biden should stop bashing Russia and President Putin. He can only lose by competing with him. Biden's approval rating is only at 61%. Putin latest approval rating is 64%. Time to declare a winner?

Posted by b on February 5, 2021 at 19:06 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Thankyou B for keeping us informed of the intricacies of the EU bullshit and Russia's hardening towards it. The change in the balance of power between China+Russia (and even Iran) is becoming palpable, the US and their UK and EU sidekicks can blow as hard as they like but they cannot blow the house down. Quite the opposite, they just make the house stronger and squander what is left of their soft power.

Nordstream 2 will supply NG to Germany and the EU, Navalny will stay in prison where he cannot provide irritation (and be kept alive), EU citizens will be getting lots of shots of Sputnik, and China will continue to grow while the West stays stuck in its malaise. Even the oil price has recovered strongly to bolster Russia's finances.

The repeated meltdowns and tantrums from the West at the new realities will be entertaining to watch, as long as they keep their fingers away from the red war button.

Posted by: Roger | Feb 5 2021 19:20 utc | 1

Leyen only screwed up in a world where using the Russian (or Chinese, for that matter) vaccine was a realistic option. We don't live in the world: in the real world, there's pressure from the Big Pharma lobby, and geopolitical pressure from the USA.

In this world, Ms. Leyen (the EU) was just collateral damage from American imperialism.

Posted by: vk | Feb 5 2021 19:30 utc | 2

RE: b on February 5, 2021 at 19:06 UTC

"It will be impossible for Biden to solve issues in Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere without Russia's cooperation. It will take more than saying 'pretty please' to get that."

I doubt that Biden really wants to solve any of those issues. As I have been saying for years, from the viewpoint of Biden's bosses -- the US power-and-financial elites -- the cost of the wars is the purpose of the wars. There is truth in the oft-heard saying "all wars are bankers' wars."

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 5 2021 19:34 utc | 3

Didn't the clown also promised to "defend democracy globally"?

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 5 2021 19:35 utc | 4

Analyzing the 2020 coup d'état

Some new analysis has come out about the 2020 US presidential elections.

The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election - TIME, February 4, 2021

There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. ...

For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President. Though much of this activity took place on the left, it was separate from the Biden campaign and crossed ideological lines, with crucial contributions by nonpartisan and conservative actors. The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory. It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding.

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. ...

***

This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum. It is the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. ...

That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream–a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it. And they believe the public needs to understand the system’s fragility in order to ensure that democracy in America endures.

The establishment is accusing Trump of a coup.

Trump and January 6: The evidence of a planned political coup - WSWS, February 4, 2021

The impeachment brief filed Tuesday by the nine impeachment managers from the House of Representatives makes an irrefutable case that former President Trump is guilty of advocating, preparing, fomenting and inciting the armed attack on Congress on January 6, 2021, with the goal of overturning the results of the 2020 election and maintaining himself in power.

The brief lays out coherently and in considerable detail the efforts by Trump over a period of six months. First, during the election campaign, he repeatedly cast doubt on the legitimacy of the vote if he did not win it. Then, after the polls closed, he denied the results as votes were counted by state officials, many of them Republicans, showing that Democrat Joe Biden had won by a margin of more than seven million in the popular vote, as well as in enough of the key “battleground” states to bring victory in the Electoral College.

After the members of the Electoral College in 50 states and the District of Columbia met on December 14 and formally cast their ballots, giving Biden the victory by a margin of 306 to 232, Trump, in the words of the brief, “fixated on January 6, 2021—the date of the Joint Session of Congress—as presenting his last, best hope to reverse the election results and remain in power.”

Trump summoned tens of thousands of his supporters to Washington D.C. on January 6 with promises that the event “will be wild.” He repeatedly declared that Congress had the power to overturn the electoral votes of the states he was contesting—it does not—and even that Vice President Mike Pence had the power to unilaterally reject the votes of these states—he did not.

He has repeatedly and explicitly backed the use of violence by his supporters against his political opponents, going back to the 2016 campaign, and he intensified these exhortations throughout the last weeks of 2020 and the first week of 2021. As the House brief notes, in the weeks preceding the congressional certification, Trump issued a series of incendiary statements denouncing the “rigged” and “stolen” election, calling on his followers to “fight like hell” and “fight to the death.”

January 6th was just the culmination of the coup d'état. It had been ongoing for over four years. Philip Schuyler said it best on Twitter:

The CIA may not be the ultimate hijacker of the election but whoever that entity is could not have accomplished it without CIA planning and FBI assent.

This is a coup masquerading as election fraud.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 5 2021 19:36 utc | 5

thanks b! kudos to russia for standing up for itself... it needs to do more of this when faced with constant lying and propaganda... the west is not going to stop any of it.. whether it is navalny, or guaido or whatever other stooge they want to use as a wedge to bash others, it is not going to fool everyone... russia and etc, need to counter and get the message out...

@ karlof1 - the video we wanted to see is in b's post .. see the link in this line "As for 'Russia's' handling of 'peaceful protests' take a look here."

i was unable to open your lavrov comments from the other day karlof1...

Posted by: james | Feb 5 2021 19:36 utc | 6

Well, if Euros come to the conclusion that relying on US and UK is a bad idea because they will take everything for themselves and will leave other Westerners to die, then it's a good thing - whether the mess is Leyen's fault or another nasty trick from UK/US. Anything that can push Europe further towards Russia and far away from America is a good thing.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 5 2021 19:39 utc | 7

Thanks b! I see you acquired the video provided to Borrell by the MFA from its Twitter page:

"As for 'Russia's' handling of 'peaceful protests' take a look here."

Biden's approval numbers will rapidly sink over the gross mishandling of the Covid relief package as I noted in a comment yesterday that's now supplanted by this newer description that only captures a fraction of the divisive politics ongoing within the Outlaw US Empire. Every single pocketbook related issue will be under the political microscope and the vast majority go against the Donor Class's desires.

Biden ought to heed Maria Zakharova's advice to mind his own business and deal with the Outlaw US Empire's numerous internal problems.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 5 2021 19:41 utc | 8

This is how the ending of empire looks like. It's fun to watch. It is clear that the West is out of its depth. And the rest of the world is taking notice.

Posted by: Steve | Feb 5 2021 19:42 utc | 9

The US has squandered its over whelming economic superiority since WW2 by allowing a handful of oligarchs to hijack the economy for their personal financial gain. China is the rising economic power in the world and Russia will be most likely be firmly allied with them. In all probability the US will continue to bankrupt itself with military spending while the Dollar collapses due to QE. Does Europe want to go down with the ship or make new friend to the east?
Best stock up on popcorn

Posted by: Ramon ZarateThe US h | Feb 5 2021 19:45 utc | 10

3 February 2021 18:36
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

"I understand those who think that Russia could be more aggressive in reacting to the openly high-handed, unseemly rhetoric from Western leaders. In our diplomatic and political culture, we are not used to resorting to thuggish rhetoric. We are polite people and are used to achieving our goals in a civil and civilised manner. As we say: “God is not in power but in truth.”

We also have a good proverb that should be remembered: “Honey is sweet, but the bee stings.” Those who take our polite manners for a sign of weakness are making a big mistake."

and

17 September 2020
Having bad ties with any country have never given us any pleasure. We do not like making such statements in which we sharply criticise the position of the West. We always try to find compromises, but there are situations where it is hard not to come face to face with one another directly or to avoid frank assessments of what our Western friends are up to.

I have read what our respected political scientists write who are well known in the West. And I can say this idea is starting to surface ever stronger and more often – it is time we stop measuring our actions with the yardsticks that the West offers us and to stop trying to please the West at all costs. These are very serious people and they are making a serious point.

The fact that the West is prodding us to this way of thinking, willingly or unwillingly, is obvious to me. Most likely, this is being done involuntarily. But it is a big mistake to think that Russia will play by Western rules in any case – as big a mistake as like approaching China with the same yardstick.

The new President claims he will return to a diplomatic approach, beef up the career diplomatic corps, reduce political influence in State diplomatic efforts.

But all trust is lost. Mr. Blinken has put out some relatively neutral statements on foreign policy, but there is always the little propaganda jab at Russia in them.

So the US Govt. promises to 'grow up' and stop its raciest propaganda against Russia, while, in the same breath, continuing its childish behaviour.

Pathetic. Appalling. Do they know how they look?

Posted by: powerandpeople | Feb 5 2021 19:46 utc | 11

Mr. b.

Spain and Spaniards are Nobodys in the pecking order of the European Union or NATO.

When a "Southern" face is needed - a Catholic rather than a Protestant - a Spaniard is put forward.

It is a sad thing to watch how low Spain (and Italy) have fallen and how content they are with that position.

Posted by: fyi | Feb 5 2021 19:47 utc | 12

#11 'racist', not raciest.

Always been amazed that people don't pick up on the foul racist overtones in the western media and political statements on Russia and its President.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Feb 5 2021 19:50 utc | 13

Mr. Roger

The Europeans could have done exactly the same things that Germans did inside Germany to support Nord Stream II in case of Iran and JCPOA.

I wonder why they did not do so.

Do they hate Iran and Iranians as much as Americans?

Posted by: fyi | Feb 5 2021 19:55 utc | 14

It's go time. hopefully Putin is up to it. He made several severe mistakes in the past:
1. lukewarm response in Syria, allowed the Americans to take oil rich eastern Syria.
2. Let Ukraine fall into SA/West/NATO's hands.
3. Not stand up to US/West/NATO and defend Iran more forcefully
4. Lukewarm tepid response in UN, never mentioning all the wars and atrocities USA/West/NATO has bee doing around the world: yemen, Iraq, Sudan, etc, etc

So far, Putin has been timid and always stepping back, this appearing weak to US/West/NATO. BIG MISTAKE! They take his timidity as a sign of weakness.

As I said, it's GO TIME! Let's see if Putin is the awesome 3D chess player everyone says he is.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Feb 5 2021 19:57 utc | 15

With all the multinational, powerful, world leading Pharmaceutical companies that were created in Europe, by Europeans, still operating to this day in Europe, it a disgrace to see Israel managing to get its people vaccinated first. Shocking.

Posted by: Et Tu | Feb 5 2021 20:06 utc | 16

B wrote :

It will be impossible for Biden to solve issues in Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere without Russia's cooperation. It will take more than saying 'pretty please' to get that.

This statement suggests that America and Russia are working toward a common goal in these countries. I doubt very much that anybody here believes this. Certainly not B. Why then make this statement? Why accept the frame of discussion by which the US is a benevolant actor?

The issue that the empire endeavours to solve in Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and just about anywhere in the rimland is the one of a fully integrated, succesfull and independant competitor whose growing success unequivocally threatens the rentier system imposed on the world for centuries.

So far, the empire has been rather successful in dealing with this issue as fires rage across the continents.

Posted by: robin | Feb 5 2021 20:06 utc | 17

A statement expressively written for Mr Biden to read aloud, hopefully without any noticeable issues:

"The politically motivated jailing of Alexei Navalny and the Russian efforts to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are a matter of deep concern to us and the international community.

Mr. Navalny, like all Russian citizens, is entitled to his rights under the Russian constitution. He’s been targeted — targeted for exposing corruption. He should be released immediately and without condition."

And a slightly amended statement:

The politically motivated jailing of Julian Assange and the US/British efforts to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful publishing are a matter of deep concern to most the international community.

Mr. Assange, like all Global citizens, is entitled to his rights under the US, British and EU constitutions. He’s been targeted — targeted for exposing corruption. He should be released immediately and without condition.

One Hegemonic state's "political prisoner", seems also to be another states externally supported and funded adversary.

Posted by: time2wakeupnow | Feb 5 2021 20:13 utc | 18

Compared to what I've seen at police riots here within the Outlaw US Empire, the video is rather tame but certainly serves its purpose to call out the EU's double standards. Admittedly, after Pompeo's rampaging around the world with his many lies, deceits and smears, Blinken's job wasn't going to be easy. Unfortunately, he shares much of Pompeo's mindset and is thus little better since that mindset is fantasy-based, not factual reality. Too many within BidenCo think of the world as a Burger King restaurant where the motto is--Have it Your Way!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 5 2021 20:16 utc | 19

The West is highly exercised about Navalny's arret for bail-jumping. Surprisingly there is nothing about Julian Assange's detention in supermax Belmarsh for, um, bail-jumping. How selective.

Posted by: loftwork | Feb 5 2021 20:19 utc | 20

loftwork | Feb 5 2021 20:19 utc | 20... exactly right! russia would be well served to make this exact parallel too and see the response if any from the west...

Posted by: james | Feb 5 2021 20:25 utc | 21

Biden reads the TelePrompTer less than adequately. He warms to the task a bit in the snarling passages but still seems to barely know what he is saying. Looks more and more like a victim of elder abuse.

By now everyone knows they get to do a photo op with Mr. President but will negotiate with someone else. Someone else who also scarcely knows what they are doing. Someone else who may have the backing of whoever organizes this charade, but who lacks the power and prestige of a President. This cannot persist for long. The Harris also seems less than ready for the task.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 5 2021 20:32 utc | 22

Et Tu #16

Cuba has a vaccine for its people too. The EU is a basket case.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 5 2021 20:36 utc | 23

Putin has received the message!

Biden thinks he is sending Russia a message. But the message has already been received.

It is irrelevant in the Navalnyi case if novichok was ever used or if it ever existed apart of planted traces on water bottles. A state actor claiming "novichok" proves a state actor was behind the Navalny poisoning operation, ie. it must have been Russia or the West. As Sergei Markov pointed out, it could not have been some "Siberian mafia".

Suppose Russia did not poison Navalny:

  1. Putin knows the West did it.

  2. The West knows Putin knows.

That is one hell of a message to send to Putin: "We will poison your citizens with impunity and blame you for it. There is nothing you can do about it."

What else could Biden possibly add to this?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 5 2021 20:44 utc | 24

Et Tu | Feb 5 2021 20:06 utc | 16

With all the multinational, powerful, world leading Pharmaceutical companies that were created in Europe, by Europeans, still operating to this day in Europe, it a disgrace to see Israel managing to get its people vaccinated first. Shocking.

Under Trump and Jared Kushner, some 16-19 million doses of vaccine disappeared. I wonder where Israel got its vaccine from?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 5 2021 20:54 utc | 25

Posted by: fyi | Feb 5 2021 19:47 utc | 12

You should have qualified that statement adding politicians, Spanish politicians are nobodys, but do not discard Spain, not because of Spain itself, but because half a billion people speak our language, and growing.

The great Russian writer Limonov after living a few years in the USA said that the undertaker of the US Empire is not going to be Russia, nor China, it is going to be Mexico, all states with spanish names will go back home to Mexico, well, maybe not all of them, Alaska will go back to Russia. Valdez and Cordoba, even though you guys write it as Cordova.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 5 2021 21:11 utc | 26

"Do they (the western 'allies') hate Iran and Iranians as much as Americans?
fyi@14
No they don't hate them.
But they are afraid of them- half of the political class is composed of US Agents, and the police and military are all ultimately under the control of the CIA and the Pentagon.
No government in Europe dares to defy the US Deep State. The fate of Corbyn is too often seen as a local provincial English matter. So was the collapse of Syriza. In fact both were warnings to America's 'allies' that they are states living on a leash and not a very long one.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 5 2021 21:30 utc | 27

55 in USA have died after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine federal system reports.
Posted by: snake | Feb 5 2021 21:37 utc | 28

It is mentioned in the SOTT article that the death rate for vaccinated ppl is 11.1 per million. I wouldn't hesitate to take up the offer if it's that low...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 5 2021 22:03 utc | 29

In that any Western Media that visit Gelendzhik and corroborate the videos produced by the Russian journalist and the Russian TV network would completely sink Navalny's 'documentary' and cause the entire Navalny Saga to become doubted, why hasn't there been any efforts, even at the highest level, to facilitate visits?

The lack of promotion of those videos is puzzling.

Posted by: chet380 | Feb 5 2021 22:08 utc | 30

I wonder, occasionally, how The Swamp measures the 'success' of its BS.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 5 2021 22:08 utc | 31

Biden accuses Russia of "poisoning our citizens," and b replies that never happened. My immediate reaction is that Biden's remark was an addled Freudian slip... referring to Navalny of course. At least he didn't continue to pursue the alleged bounties in Afghanistan, though earlier remarks of his (as POTUS) did dredge that up again.

Someone mentioned the rebounding oil and gas markets; just remember that those markets are global and this gives first aid to the US industry as well, which to my thinking is in far worse shape than Russia's. Looks like Nordstream II will be operating by the end of 2021 (as predicted by OIES,) though at what capacity is also subject to political monkeywrenching.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Feb 5 2021 22:13 utc | 32

Does Europe want to go down with the ship or make new friend to the east?

Ramon ZarateThe US h | Feb 5 2021 19:45 utc | 10:

Europe will go down with the ship.

Posted by: Ian2 | Feb 5 2021 22:35 utc | 33

Russia has had enough of jostling with the EU, with the covid vaccine chaos most EU members will turn to Russia for the sputnik v. Germany will see sense and push the completion of the pipeline.
Russia will start earning from gas, vaccine, military sales and oil prices.
Thanks B for the piece.

Posted by: Judge | Feb 5 2021 23:07 utc | 34

@29 "It is mentioned in the SOTT article that the death rate for vaccinated ppl is 11.1 per million. I wouldn't hesitate to take up the offer if it's that low... "

If tests have not been made over a long term ( years ), as per the mRNA "vaccine ", then some time down the line that rate could increase dramatically ? Would you take that gamble ?

Posted by: Fíréan | Feb 5 2021 23:12 utc | 35

Interesting that this comes right after Merkel said that Germany should consider Sputnik vaccine, now that it's efficacy looks really good. Could it be that it was a signal to Leyen that she should look East for more vaccines and stop being stupid, and she dispatched Borrell at once to ask for more, or is it just a coincidence?

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 5 2021 23:22 utc | 36

From The New York Times archives, 2011: After telling readers that he has "Nordic good looks, a caustic sense of humor and no political organization," Times reporter Ellen Barry (12/9/11) related some relevant background:
He has appeared as a speaker alongside neo-Nazis and skinheads, and once starred in a video that compares dark-skinned Caucasus militants to cockroaches. While cockroaches can be killed with a slipper, he says that in the case of humans, “I recommend a pistol.”

Posted by: Godfree Roberts | Feb 5 2021 23:25 utc | 37

fyi,

The economic interests were much less, and the probability of significant fallout from the US was much higher, with respect to Iran. There is a limit to how much the EU will stand up to the US, that limit will increase as the US slowly implodes and China rises. Iran is much better served by its recent economic agreements with China.

Posted by: Roger | Feb 5 2021 23:52 utc | 38

Blinken piles the propaganda on thick with a trowel. Numerically formatted and snipped by me.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov today...
The Secretary reiterated President Biden’s resolve to protect American citizens and act firmly in defense of U.S. interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies. This includes

1. the release of Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed ...
2. The Secretary raised Russian interference in the 2020 United States election
3. its military aggression in Ukraine and Georgia
4. poisoning of Aleksey Navalny
5.the SolarWinds incident..."

1. Spies, no doubt to eventually settled by 'trade'
2. Did not happen
3. USA Coup in Ukraine, protecting culturally Russian population from the coup Government, now awaiting Ukraine to meet the terms of the agreement it signed to create autonomous region...a long wait!!!
3. Protecting self-declared autonomous region, then protecting from US instigated (and armed) aggression against the Russian peace keeping force - in which Russian peace keepers were killed.
4. Fabrication by Germany, UK et al
5. Who knows. Some claim Israeli sub-contractors were best placed, but there is no evidence (and if Israeli never will be).

And Blinken knows he is posturing and when he says this. And he knows Russia knows he knows. It is designed to sneer at the Russian diplomats. And they know that. But it doesn't work. And has never worked. And will never work. He knows that, too.

So this is 'feeding the chickens' - virtue signalling to US people in support of a tissue of lies the politicians created.

Well, forget about foreign policy based on consent by the US middle class.

Blinken lies to them by proxy, and clearly thinks the people of middle USA are gullible fools. Disrespectful.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Feb 6 2021 1:03 utc | 39

C. Leander 1898, genius, illustrator, and and ... He exposed Rothchild vile global agenda. China is not going to give the USA Rothchild vassal a pass, see Opium Wars. Russia has also decided. The puppets do not get killed. JFK, RFK, MLK, all failed in the USA as "great". The Military Industrial Complex, global investors decided, USA? Vassal of Israel. Bible & Sword, Barbara Tuchman, important and Christopher Hitchens indeed. Vanga great seer, may soon be correct in Hopi Earth #5.

We must do our best to enjoy each moment in these insane times.

Posted by: RKelly | Feb 6 2021 1:11 utc | 40

All--As Maria Zakharova reminded everyone at her weekly briefing, Borrell's visit was long in the making and not just made on the fly.

Here are the links to the opening remarks prior and the closing remarks and media questions. I found Lavrov's initial statement curious:

"I would like to reiterate that we are ready to discuss any topics of interest to you, including regional conflicts and other matters. The main problem we all face is the lack of normalcy in relations between Russia and the European Union – the two largest players in the Eurasian space. It is an unhealthy situation, which does not benefit anyone." [My Emphasis]

The EU's bigger than China?! Or was he just adding a bit of diplomatic flattery to ease the tension? Given what Lavrov said next, I'm inclined to think it a bit of flattery:

"Sporadic discussions on hot international topics or mutual concerns and complaints cannot replace a systematic, comprehensive approach to our relations – an approach we used to practice before. It was implemented through the appropriate mechanisms, but was later dismantled by the European Union unilaterally. Therefore, the time is ripe and even overripe for a detailed, honest review of the state of affairs in relations between Russia and the EU. I hope that, alongside other matters you plan to focus on, we will be able to consider this fundamental topic." [My Emphasis]

A bit of a riot act pronouncement, particularly when considering the events that led to the unilateral dismantling of relations. In his closing remarks, Lavrov was very open about Russia's views/feelings about the current situation:

"We reviewed in detail the state of relations between Russia and the EU. Clearly, they are going through a rough period, partly related to the unilateral illegitimate restrictions imposed by the EU under far-fetched pretexts. [My Emphasis]

Quite the diplomatic slap in the face I'd say and quite deservedly so. Lavrov's tone improved after this passage in his following paragraph:

"We share the opinion that further degradation of our ties may lead to negative and unpredictable consequences. We hope that during the strategic review of relations with Russia at the next EU summit scheduled for March 2021, its participants will opt for constructive, professional and pragmatic interaction. Our differences may not go away, but it is better to have as few as possible." [My Emphasis]

The EU says its ready to work with Russia in a number of areas. When it comes to regional problems, Lavrov didn't hesitate to remind everyone what entities are responsible:

"We discussed other crisis-ridden regions, including Syria and Libya. We understand that continuing instability continues to weigh down the situation in Europe, including in the context of the inflow of migrants and refugees to the EU. We believe it is necessary to overcome the existing problems, but not to forget about the events that preceded everything that we are now witnessing. Clearly, there would be much fewer of the problems had many Western states refrained from reckless geopolitical gambles in the Middle East and North Africa." [My Empasis]

Lavrov was being very generous there by using the term "gambles" instead of what IMO is the proper term--Crimes. After a few other topics, Lavrov addressed actions that occurred during the pandemic:

"I would like to express our regret that during the coronavirus pandemic when it would seem that all countries in the world should unite and act as one, some forces in the EU have used this issue to accuse Russia of disinformation. Russia has proved by deeds its willingness to help all of its interested colleagues, including in the EU, to counter this dangerous virus. If we really want to stop these information wars and false rumours, we must agree with the European Union to create one more channel and to buttress our talk about disinformation with facts that will allow us to consider mutual grievances at the professional level. Our proposal remains valid.

"We are willing to discuss issues linked to the EU’s plans on the post-Soviet space (the South Caucasus and Central Asia) in which the EU displays substantial interest. We hope that in drafting its policy, the European Union will consider Russia’s lawful interests near its borders and in its relations with its next door neighbours and allies. It would be right to agree on principles that would include commitments not to interfere in the affairs of sovereign states, be it in the post-Soviet space, West Balkans or anywhere else.

"This was an honest discussion. We did not conceal our differences but were motivated to discuss them in the open rather than harbour a grudge against each other. At the same time, we tried to promote our contacts wherever it was beneficial to both sides. We are ready for this. Today, we heard assurances that the same opinion is forming in the EU." [My Emphasis]

My advice to the EU is to cease listening to the English speakers for they're the source of the "disinformation" and all other international illegalities, a very longstanding trait since Elizabeth and Drake.

And that's all there is for the moment as the media questions aren't included in the transcript yet, although they're available in the video. It's a very odd situation since commerce is still robust and vibrant despite the pandemic. Putin put the negative dynamic very well in his Davos speech--"phobias of the past"--which the EU must jettison if fruitful relations between the EU and Russia are to occur in the future. Lavrov seems to have delivered that same message rather starkly, and not just to Borrell, but to the entire EU mission that accompanied him.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 6 2021 1:24 utc | 41

Who were the business titans involved in the informal alliance with leftist activists? Not, apparently, people in social media, as they had to be pressured into going along with the agenda. At least that's what the Time article says.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 6 2021 2:09 utc | 42


@ Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 5 2021 22:08 utc | 31

"how The Swamp measures the 'success' of its BS."
That appears to be no more than chatting among marketing scammers, who imagine whom in their experience has been similarly fooled.

They know that the sheeple don't want the bad news of truth, or the trouble of finding it, and will avoid the disorientation if pulling back the curtains, by settling for a comfortable narrative.

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 6 2021 2:37 utc | 43

@35 Fíréan

That's a timely perspective, thank you. When I read that story that 55 had died but over 10 million vaccinated I thought the margin of adverse effect was quite slender. But your point is well taken, that time will tell with this radically new technique whose testing the US population are formally part of.

And also, we don't hear of ANY adverse effects with Sputnik V or the Chinese vaccine. And I would not expect to hear of any such effects with any other vaccines professionally tested and produced in a responsible way (i.e. not for profit alone).

Death is quite the adverse effect. And the way it happens, with the sudden fainting or weakness, followed by death, is very troubling.

To paraphrase the famous line of Josey Wales to the bounty hunter: "Dying ain't much of a vaccination, boy."

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 6 2021 3:04 utc | 44

@ 40 karlof1... thanks for all that...

@35 firean and @43 grieved.. on a vaccine related note - craig murray stirred the hornets nest in a post from today - Piers Corbyn and Free Speech

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2021 4:36 utc | 45

@ karlof1 | Feb 6 2021 1:24 utc | 40 with the detail about the interaction between Lavrov and Borrell....thanks

I haven't had a tv in over 30 years but being online one can't help but know that it is Super Bowl weekend in the US and so any part of America that might be paying attention is not and the rest are mainlining the America as shining star koolaid.

What happens to the EU in relation to Russia and China will effect the timeline of empire's demise, not the overall trajectory. It will be messier and take longer if the EU hangs on to the coattails of empire longer but the overall suffering may be necessary to break the voodoo brainwashing that the elite who own global private finance have over the masses in the West.

As I and others have written here before, China and Russia are forcing the world to change and the populace of the West is not rising up to save itself....but I don't think it will support holding back China/Russia either.

And the shit show soap opera continues...what's next? Is the pot boiling yet?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 6 2021 4:46 utc | 46

All would do well in comparing the number of military bases the U$A has around the globe, compared to Russia & China, when the empire whines about the threats they mount against the U$A.

Who has who surrounded ? Duh!!

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 6 2021 5:10 utc | 47

"Despite recently closing hundreds of bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad—from giant “Little Americas” to small radar facilities. Britain, France and Russia, by contrast, have about 30 foreign bases combined."

And these are the ones we know about...

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 6 2021 5:14 utc | 48

https://thegrayzone.com/2021/01/28/alexei-navalny-myth-wests-russian-opposition-figure/

From the Grayzone on Navalny...

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 6 2021 5:20 utc | 49

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 6 2021 1:24 utc | 40

My advice to the EU is to cease listening to the English speakers for they're the source of the "disinformation" and all other international illegalities, a very longstanding trait since Elizabeth and Drake.

That is the key of it all, the Brits are gone, they were the eternal breaks for true integration, unfortunately they got the eastern belt in as the new Trojan Horse, but the belt can be disciplined if the empire is busy with its internal problems.

Those introductory remarks confirmed to Lavrov the necessity of applying plan A, which included a tasty dessert for the business lunch, the expulsion of EU diplomats while the head of EU diplomacy is at the table, what a slap, but Borrell great mistake was to start with Navalny from the very beginning, driven by the illusion that he is negotiating from a position of strength, nothing farther from the truth with all the crises the EU is going thru.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 6 2021 6:35 utc | 50

...
"how The Swamp measures the 'success' of its BS."
That appears to be no more than chatting among marketing scammers, who imagine whom in their experience has been similarly fooled.

They know that the sheeple don't want the bad news of truth, or the trouble of finding it, and will avoid the disorientation if pulling back the curtains, by settling for a comfortable narrative.

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 6 2021 2:37 utc | 42

I came back to MoA to comment on a conversation I had an hour ago with an acquaintance whom I meet for coffee a couple of times each week. I had a quick whizz through the latest comments and your remarks were in the same ball park.

She wanted to natter about Idi Amin, prompted by a movie she'd seen recently about the 'rescue' at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. She was disgusted by the butchery attributed to Amin. I told her I'd read the book about the events and that I understood how she felt, adding "Knowing what I now know, I wonder how much of it was true?"

"How could you doubt it? It was all over the News, coming from everywhere!"
I told her that there are News Stories about Wars & Strife every day and many of them are upside down and even fictional. Her reply was words to the effect that "That might be true today but no-one could possibly doubt that story."

I cited the Russia and China bashing, and Iraq, AfPak, Libya and Syria as current examples and her reply was that "There's squabbles going on everywhere it's IMPOSSIBLE to keep track of them all."

And that reminded me of a 'study' by the U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute. circa 2010 called Constant Conflict by R Peters.

That Daydream appears to have come true. There IS constant Conflict and the US is responsible, directly & indirectly, for the vast majority of the current conflicts around the World.
i.e. the Assholes, in the US of Assholery, have Normalised War. And there's so much of it that the Peasants & Wage Slaves lose track of them...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 6 2021 6:46 utc | 51

Navalny is a far right wing nutter as seen in the video link here. If it works.
https://youtu.be/BP2LqZ65M5M?t=2796
Starting with the Biden lie about his Foreign Policy on Yemen it moves on to show that the UK dark state has been cavorting with Navalny and then the video to show just what kind of pillock this man really is.

Posted by: Carver | Feb 6 2021 7:08 utc | 52

Australian-British journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker John Pilger on US-western Empire hypocrisy

https://twitter.com/johnpilger/status/1357290515964719107

Hypocrisy World Champions. Australia demands the 'immediate' and 'unconditional' release of the convicted Russian fraudster Alexei Navalny. Australia demands nothing for the Australian journalist Julian #Assange, convicted of nothing, tortured.


Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 6 2021 7:39 utc | 53

michaelj72 | Feb 6 2021 7:39 utc | 52

with regard to Australia calling for the release of a man convicted of embezzlement and then violating parole, I wonder just how much they must hate Assange. I believe he was quite the troublemaker in Oz and had hacked into some places that really don't like sunshine.

can any of the folks from down under tell me what the general perception of Assange is? Is he ever talked about in the pub? It is quite fashionable to consider US regular working people as uninterested and dis-informed. Is it significantly different in Australia?dd

Posted by: d | Feb 6 2021 8:15 utc | 54

sorry, hit enter too early. my post above

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 6 2021 8:16 utc | 55

Wait, the approval rating of Putin is just slightly higher than Biden's? Seriously?? Biden is a highly polarizing politician in the USA.

What has happened? I used to believe Putin is highly popular in Russia with a clear majority of the people approving his policy.

Posted by: m | Feb 6 2021 9:06 utc | 56

@ Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 5 2021 20:54 utc | 25

Under Trump and Jared Kushner, some 16-19 million doses of vaccine disappeared. I wonder where Israel got its vaccine from?


DO we have proof of this? I'm sure Max Blumenthal or many others like him would be keen to jump on such a story?

If so, Interesting how 'treason' in the US means meeting with foreign leaders to avoid nuclear war, while syphoning medicine paid for by US taxpayers to save Americans lives (presumably for personal profit) to one of the world's most toxic countries will never be discussed, let alone investigated or prosecuted.

Posted by: Et Tu | Feb 6 2021 10:42 utc | 57

Posted by: Clueless Joe 7

Anything that can push Europe further towards Russia and far away from America is a good thing.

Good for whom? The question needs to be addressed. We know how America deals with issues it considers unfavourable to its interests and it is important that we consider the various actions it could take should Europe turn eastward.

There are key regions of the world map that the empire would much sooner burn down than allow to join the main competitor.

Posted by: robin | Feb 6 2021 10:48 utc | 58

Posted by: Sam F 42

They know that the sheeple don't want the bad news of truth, or the trouble of finding it, and will avoid the disorientation if pulling back the curtains, by settling for a comfortable narrative.

This is so true and it explains how completely dissonant concepts like humanitarian wars are so simple to sell. Marketers know that people who have surrendered all political awareness and tacitly support foreign policies will resist any introspection that may uncover their own bad decisions. There is a moral investment that folks will bitterly defend even when ugly reality whacks them in the face.

"They hate us because of our freedom" will always get more traction than "they hate us because we're assholes".

Posted by: robin | Feb 6 2021 10:50 utc | 59

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 5 2021 22:03 utc | 29

If its a vaccine you need then the numbers are low. If one you don't need then way too high, but that is something we decide for ourselves.

However the quoted article is different to what I read, from memory at around Jan 25, there were 400 deaths and about 10,000 serious side effects including reported to the CDC, they have a website that lists the data. Historically it is estimated that only about 1% of vaccine side effects are actually reported, we can chose to believe or disbelieve that as suits our mindsets.

If taking the Russian vaccine then the long term side effects will be pretty predictable, if an mRNA then it is an unknown as testing has never been done. We are in fact the test subjects.

Posted by: Gravel Rash | Feb 6 2021 12:21 utc | 60

Julian Assange has strong support in alternative media but is not discussed in MSM. The Australian political fabric seems to have been traumatised by the sacking of Prime Minister Whitlam by the US-UK and ever since both major parties have bowed to the will of the USA. The general silence of most of the public concerning the persecution of Julian Assange indicates that real participatory democracy is neither alive nor kicking in this part of the world, and that both the people and the politicians are too scared to take their heads out of the sand.

Posted by: Ray Bergmann | Feb 6 2021 12:29 utc | 61

michaelj72 | Feb 6 2021 7:39 utc | 52

There was a lot of support for Assange while he was in the embassy, but the lack of interest and demonisation by successive governments, with the assistance of the (majority Murdoch owned) Australain press as well as compassion fatigue, have weakened support.

The PM has said wanly that Assange would be welcome to return to Oz, but no real consular or legal support has been provided.

The sort of reporting Craig Murray and a few others provided was nowhere to be seen in Australia, and the Guardian has developed a particular hatred for him.

A slew of anti-free speech amd secret trial laws have been passed, journalists and whisleblowers raided and jailed, and despite years of calls for a federal integrity body the can has been repeatedly kicked down the road with federal ministers blatantly rorting public funds.

There is no bill of rights in Australia, so it is becoming increasingly repressive. Covid lockdowns and contact tracing are normalised. Australia bends over for the US and five eyes, bisarre defence cotracts ship money offshore.

One can only imagine Wikileaks is a threat to their "arrangements".

____

The AstraZeneca injection is gene therapy not a vaccine.

Posted by: DeQuincey | Feb 6 2021 12:42 utc | 62

Here's one for the COVID skeptics;

"We looked at evidence for or against a genuine pandemic of a respiratory virus. If we actually had a pandemic of a Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), wouldn’t you expect that there would be more medical oxygen used?” Dr. Huber observed.

“We found something very interesting. Wall Street does not like bogus stories. Wall Street does not like hoaxes. The earning statements for medical oxygen providers must be on target,” Dr. Huber noted. “We looked at the suppliers and distributors of the three biggest Medical Oxygen companies listed on Wall Street.”

Dr. Huber’s investigative team found that annual sales actually declined from 2019 to 2020. The three largest medical oxygen providers (Air Products APD; Air Liquide AIQUY; and Linde LIN) combined sales in 2019 were $64 billion dollars. The combined total for 2020 dropped to $61 billion.

Dr. Huber’s forensic investigation team also realized that if hospitals were being overwhelmed with Covid-19 pandemic patients, the hospitals would need to purchase significantly more equipment and supplies, such as I.V. bags and poles, as well as syringes. They checked the Wall Street number for the five largest companies that provide medical supplies.

“The five largest medical supply companies in the US are: McKesson, Amerisource Bergen, Henry Schein, Cardinal Health and Medline Industries,” Dr. Huber explained. “Although these five companies’ sales increased slightly in 2020 over 2019, the growth rate for the past year has slowed compared to the five-year aggregate overall growth rate for these companies.”

Posted by: DeQuincey | Feb 6 2021 13:05 utc | 63

...
I believe he was quite the troublemaker in Oz and had hacked into some places that really don't like sunshine.

can any of the folks from down under tell me what the general perception of Assange is? Is he ever talked about in the pub? It is quite fashionable to consider US regular working people as uninterested and dis-informed. Is it significantly different in Australia?dd
Posted by: d | Feb 6 2021 8:15 utc | 54

Re: quite the troublemaker in Oz.
I just looked up Wikipedia's Assange article and read the first Early Life page, which covers his troublemaking and includes being dragged into court by the Feds. It was amusing because he got off with a reprimand and a $1,200 penalty.

Wiki's entry is dispassionate and reflects the facts I'm familiar with quite accurately.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 6 2021 14:49 utc | 64

Posted by: Gravel Rash | Feb 6 2021 12:21 utc | 60
(Covid vaccine)

I know you mean well but I said IF the death rate is 11.1 per million.
I'm in the 'ancient' demographic and in dilapidated good heath. I expect to be offered Covid vaccine soon after all the vital, At Risk, people have been vaccinated.

I will not accept vaccination until I am satisfied that the downside is being carefully measured and accurately and comprehensively reported/available to browse. I'm optimistic that the results will be sought and reported, considering the candor in which they've indulged when fessing up to, and apologising for, their numerous blunders along the way.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 6 2021 15:17 utc | 65

Carver | Feb 6 2021 7:08 utc | 52

https://youtu.be/BP2LqZ65M5M?t=2796
Thanks for that! It was interesting and new for me. This an alternative address for the same video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2796&v=BP2LqZ65M5M&feature=youtu.be

As an old fogey myself, I was particularly taken with the number of deaths from Pfizer vaccine in Europe,(438) and that France had decided to use it only on people under 65.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 6 2021 16:13 utc | 66

DeQuincey | Feb 6 2021 13:05 utc | 63

I read somewhere, could have been Xinhua news, that Venezuela was shipping oxygen to Brazil because their hospitals were running out of it, as a result of the number of Covid-19 cases.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 6 2021 16:23 utc | 67

Et Tu | Feb 6 2021 10:42 utc | 57

Under Trump and Jared Kushner, some 16-19 million doses of vaccine disappeared. I wonder where Israel got its vaccine from?


DO we have proof of this? I'm sure Max Blumenthal or many others like him would be keen to jump on such a story?

https://www.truthorfiction.com/20-million-missing-vaccine-doses-jared-kushner

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Disappearing+vaccine+doses%3F&t=h_&ia=web&iai=r1-0&page=1&sexp=%7B%22cdrexp%22%3A%22b%22%2C%22plexp%22%3A%22b%22%2C%22artexp%22%3A%22b%22%2C%22prodexp%22%3A%22b%22%2C%22prdsdexp%22%3A%22c%22%2C%22biaexp%22%3A%22b%22%2C%22msvrtexp%22%3A%22b%22%2C%22videxp%22%3A%22a%22%7D

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 6 2021 16:40 utc | 68

Apologies! Something I did (I have no idea what) seems to have upset the formatting.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 6 2021 16:42 utc | 69

foolishman.... learn to use the ''PREVIEW" option before posting it..

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2021 16:50 utc | 70

Even outside of the EU, the UK continues to meddle:

British Former Tory Leader Accuses EU of 'Kissing Russia's Backside' for Sputnik V Praise

Posted by: vk | Feb 6 2021 19:57 utc | 71

Mr. Paco and Mr. Roger

Thank you both for your comments.

So, if I understand you correctly, no state in the European Union is sovereign; they are abjectly afraid of the Mad King.

Posted by: fyi | Feb 6 2021 19:57 utc | 72

D @ 54:

The situation regarding Australian public opinion towards Assange is complicated and hard to explain. I think most people privately believe he has done nothing wrong and should be released. His imprisonment though is not a popular discussion topic. The mass media here do not cover his trial but rely on crumbs from the BBC - and even the BBC appears to pay no attention to him though it had a reporter attending his trial every day last year. So-called quality media like Guardian Australia will only mention him if some juicy fake tabloid garbage surfaces that could discredit him.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 6 2021 19:58 utc | 73

@ 73 jen... i find the contrast with the media outlets fairly significant myself.. the fact assange is ignored and navalny is put up on a pedestal shows just how vacuous the media truly is.. not just vacuous... it is intentionally obfuscating and making a story or not, depending on whether it serves the empire... i can't see it any other way myself..

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2021 20:01 utc | 74

Dan @ 54, Hoarsewhisperer @ 64:

There is a 2012 drama film about Julian Assange as teenage hacker who gets into a US military database in the late 1980s. Anthony LaPaglia plays an Australian Federal Police detective tasked to find him. The film is called "Underground: the Julian Assange Story". The film reflects Australian opinion towards Assange which was sympathetic at the time.

Knowledge of Assange's childhood may play some part in the private sympathy Australians feel. He, his mother Christine and half-brother spent years in hiding fleeing an ex-husband of Christine's who was part of a weird cult called The Family. A documentary has been made about this cult. It may be available on YouTube or Netflix.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 6 2021 20:16 utc | 75

thanks to all who posted regarding Assange's public image in Australia. I fully understand that many people tend to go along with what the teevee or radio says about public figures. The deafening silence coming from Australia regarding Julian and this recent news of one of the government calling for the release of Navalny leads me to think the media's part in manufacturing consent is indeed awesome.

one other question, is there a sense of unity or patriotism in Australia? The english tend to pull together when they sense they are under attack. Do the ozzies ever circle the wagons?

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 6 2021 20:40 utc | 76

Has this site always been full of Russian apologists and sycophants? Would have that they shat gold but the amount of excuses provided.

Posted by: J | Feb 7 2021 4:19 utc | 77

@DeQuincey | Feb 6 2021 13:05 utc | 63

Dr. Huber’s investigative team found that annual sales actually declined from 2019 to 2020. The three largest medical oxygen providers (Air Products APD; Air Liquide AIQUY; and Linde LIN) combined sales in 2019 were $64 billion dollars. The combined total for 2020 dropped to $61 billion.

One symptom of America's extreme dysfunction is that hospitals are closing during the pandemic. "Two weeks ago, as the virus crept closer and people in other parts of the state started dying, the owners of the city’s only hospital thought it a good time to close down with just a few hours’ notice on the grounds the facility was losing money." (Emphasis added.)

Clearly, fewer hospitals means less demand for oxygen, so companies like Air Products have lower revenue.

Posted by: Cyril | Feb 7 2021 6:45 utc | 78

@J #77:

Has this site always been full of Russian apologists and sycophants? Would have that they shat gold but the amount of excuses provided.

To a person brainwashed by decades of Western Russophobic propaganda and lacking critical thinking skills to realize that, a normal objective attitude towards Russia would look like “sucking up to Russia”.

Posted by: S | Feb 7 2021 9:49 utc | 79

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2021 20:01 utc | 74

Yes, our media is down to gaslighting us 24/7, it's their business plan, propaganda all day so they can get paid per click/view and get rich. It doesn't work and it's annoying, but that is irrelevant.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 7 2021 12:36 utc | 80

Has this site always been full of Russian apologists and sycophants? Would have that they shat gold but the amount of excuses provided.
Posted by: J | Feb 7 2021 4:19 utc | 77

Haven't you noticed that Western 'leaders' are, almost without exception, mendacious, visionless, juvenile twerps & puppets to their "DONORS"? And that's the upside.

The downside is that they're all simpering fools rushing to queue up to spout GW Bushes "We don't talk to Ter'rists" dross. Putin isn't too proud to talk to ANYONE if it'll reduce tension or avert a potential catastrophe. For that, he has my undying respect.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 7 2021 12:52 utc | 81

I can see the USA pressuring the EU not to use the Sputnik V vaccine to protect American pharma profits in Europe. If the EU approves of the use of Sputnik V, then I would expect the Biden would put sanctions on RDIF and the lab that developed it.

Posted by: Erelis | Feb 8 2021 3:58 utc | 82

Posted by: J | Feb 7 2021 4:19 utc | 77

Is the single letter alias the new fashion among trolls these days?

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 8 2021 4:09 utc | 83

J @77

J, have you stopped beating your wife?

By the way, anyone who even suggests that my question is loaded and thus inappropriate is a J-apologist who supports wife-beating.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 8 2021 13:14 utc | 84

J @Feb7 4:19 #77

The reference to gold is supposed to bait us into antisemetic comments about J-ish people?

Sneaky Hasbara shit.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 8 2021 16:08 utc | 85

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