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Russia Did It!

Or maybe not...
Friday, March 16, 2018, 7:03 PM

This past week saw an enormous outpouring of respect and admiration for Stephen Hawking upon his passing.

In contrast to his frail health in life, his contributions to our understanding of the universe were prodigious and robust. Hawking's elevation of rational and intellectual truth above all else, even his failing body, inspired a generation of science lovers.

Perhaps, too, he represented something in desperately short supply in today's world: intellectual integrity.

Our lives are now fraught with easily-disproved fantasies, frauds and fictions being pushed to us through the media by institutions with deliberate agendas trying to engineer specific outcomes.

Those of us with a pragmatic mindset and an ability to recall (even quite recent) history, often find ourselves with mouths literally agape at the obvious deceptions being foisted upon what appears to be a terminally-gullible public.

Why do so many continue to blindly trust the same government agencies that have brazenly and repeatedly lied to them over the past recent years?

If this craziness continues for much longer, at a minimum, we'll face a punishing market correction/crash from which there will be no meaningful recovery in the lifetime of those reading this article.

At worst, we face the prospect of World War III, fought with nuclear weapons. If that were to happen, the lifetimes of many reading this article will be a lot shorter.

Yes, it’s that serious.

Non-stop Fictions

I risk running afoul of one of the strongest propaganda campaigns of my lifetime when I state that I'm not at all worried about Russia.

Nor am I swayed by the long parade of recent attempts to convince me that Russia is behind nearly every ill action. This includes the recent nerve agent attack in the UK.

I have no informed opinion yet on whether Russia or a different party was behind this act. But I can tell you that the burden of proof to establish Russia’s culpability has not even remotely been met.

If you find yourself triggered by what follows, please note that my over-riding interest here is the truth. My priority lies in assuring that we use our remaining national resources wisely; not squandering them on a monumentally stupid act like sparking a war with a major nuclear power. I’ve been completely consistent on this point over the years.

While the rush to judgment against Russia has been nearly universal by western countries, I would ask us all to please take a deep breath and to remember this:

While this is an historical embarrassment, it's critical that we remember that the vast intelligence agencies of both the US and the UK were deeply complicit in promoting the false narrative that Saddam had vast stores of chemical weapons, claiming that he was within 45 minutes of launching massive and damaging strikes against American and British targets.

Of course, no such chemical weapons existed. There were no stockpiles of WMDs. The Iraqi military also had no means of delivering them, via missiles or aircraft. And more to the point, Saddam had never once threatened to do so at any point in time.

But none of that mattered. Saddam was relentlessly built up as a mortal and imminent threat in the press by a vast “coalition of the willing”.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

~H. L. Mencken

(And for clarity's sake: Saddam was a cruel despot. I'm not defending his character. But he certainly wasn't the existential threat the West claimed him to be, and his removal certainly didn't merit the high cost the world has paid.)

Almost everything that I now read about Russia, including the emotional certainty by those delivering the news that it must be true, is precisely identical to that which accompanied the disastrous (and immoral and illegal) attack of Iraq by western powers.

How can people so quickly forget this very recent and colossal blunder?

In my world, when someone intentionally lies to me in way that causes harm, the burden of proof their future claims need to meet in order for me to believe them skyrockets. Said differently: once my trust is broken, it never comes fully back.

Further, if such claims, threats and retaliations against a much more potent power like Russia could once again trigger war -- but on a tremendously more dangerous scale -- shouldn't the evidence involved be held to the very highest standard possible?

In US law, when a person is being tried under criminal charges, the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt":

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

The standard that must be met by the prosecution's evidence in a criminal prosecution: that no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts except that the defendant committed the crime, thereby overcoming the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

(Source)

So in the recent UK nerve agent attack, can there be “no other logical explanation” besides an intentional hit job by Putin?

Let’s examine the ‘proof’ that's been offered so far by British Prime Minister, Teresa May:

The UK government is manufacturing its nerve agent case for ‘action’ on Russia

By Nafeez Ahmed

On Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that former Russian spy, Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia, were poisoned with “a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia” known as ‘Novichok’.

The chemical agent was identified by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down. May referred to the British government’s “knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent and would still be capable of doing so” as a basis to conclude that Russia’s culpability in the attack “is highly likely.”

On these grounds, she claimed that only two scenarios are possible:

“Either this was a direct act by the Russian State against our country. Or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.”

The British government’s line has been chorused uncritically by the entire global press corps, with little scrutiny of its plausibility.

(Source)

The case, such as it is, rests on the proposition that the presence of Novichok confirms that this was either the result of Russian State action or the negligence thereof by allowing it to get into the hands of assassins.

No samples have been released yet for independent analysis, so we're forced to trust the word of the UK government for now. That’s ding #1 to the case. I'll feel a lot better about the facts after other independent and transparent entities have analyzed the samples.

As the investigative journalist, Nafeez Ahmed, went on to point out in the rest of the article, there are a host of state actors with the capability to manufacture the Novichok nerve agent, including the UK, the US, Ukraine, and Israel -- all of whom may have varying and significant motivations to implicate Russia at this moment in time.

It’s utterly and completely illogical to simply say “Russia invented this stuff, so it must be Russia who did it”. Such a claim wouldn't stand up in a court of law as being “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Not even close.

Let's look at this next statement by Teresa May:

Her ‘reasoning’ can be deconstructed thusly:

“The poison in question was once produced by the Soviet Union in a place called Uzbekistan. But I’m going to say 'Russia' instead, even though the two counties don't even border each other. Anyways, because it was once produced by the Soviets there, we can be certain the Russians used it now to kill our double-agent.”

The lack of context and transparency is astonishing. The overly-simplistic logic is astonishing.

Is May's conclusion correct? Who knows? The truth is, we don't have enough evidence yet to come to any hard conclusions. 

To build a tighter case, you’d want to have the nerve agent sample(s) analyzed. Does it reveal some identifying chemical fingerprints that would prove it came from Russia? You'd push your police forces work to catch the person(s) responsible for administering the agent, and get a solid confession along with a paper trail (or its electronic equivalent) all open to public scrutiny.

We don't have any of that type of evidence yet. But the rush to judgment is now nearly complete. A number of strong sanctions are already being placed against Russia, risking much.

As for ‘reasonable doubt’, it turns out it's not clear at all that the presence of Novichok is a tell-tale sign of Russian involvement.

A very simple web search turns up the fact that it was the US military who helped Uzbekistan decommission the former Soviet chemical weapons site where Novichok was stored and tested:

U.S. and Uzbeks Agree on Chemical Arms Plant Cleanup

May 1999

The United States and Uzbekistan have quietly negotiated and are expected to sign a bilateral agreement today to provide American aid in dismantling and decontaminating one of the former Soviet Union's largest chemical weapons testing facilities, according to Defense Department and Uzbek officials.

Earlier this year, the Pentagon informed Congress that it intends to spend up to $6 million under its Cooperative Threat Reduction program to demilitarize the so-called Chemical Research Institute, in Nukus, Uzbekistan. Soviet defectors and American officials say the Nukus plant was the major research and testing site for a new class of secret, highly lethal chemical weapons called ''Novichok,'' which in Russian means ''new guy.''

(Source)

Now, after reading that, nobody could possibly say that the presence of Novichok, all by itself, proves that it must have come from modern-day Russia.

Because we know for a fact that both the Uzbekistan and US government had access to Novichok, there’s no “chain of custody” that can be proved here that results in Russia being the only actor with access to Novichok.

To Ms. May’s other accusation: what if was Uzbekistan who lost control of some of that Novichok under its supervision back in the late 1990’s? What would Russia’s responsibility for that slip-up be today? Enough to risk a shooting war over?

Now, to fast-forward, let’s turn to the New York Times' coverage on March 12th, a full eight days after the March 4th nerve agent attack on Skripal. By this time, the paper had had plenty of opportunity to scan it’s own archives:

“It is now clear that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia,” Mrs. May said in the House of Commons. “The government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.”

She said that either the poisoning was a “direct act of the Russian state against our country” or that Moscow had lost control of its nerve agent and had allowed it to get into the hands of others.

(Source)

At no point in this article, or any other I’ve so far read, does the New York Times recall for its readers that Novichok was kept at a facility in Uzbekistan that the US military helped to dismantle and clean up in 1999.

Isn’t that a relevant fact that introduces credible alternatives to the assertions of Ms. May? Given what we experienced leading up to the Iraq invasion in 2002, we need to be asking these sorts of questions -- as the possible consequences are so severe.

What a responsible media organization (which many of my closest friends continue to insist the New York Times is) should do in its coverage is point out that many other world players could easily, and with reasonable doubt, have had access to Novichok. Objective and balanced reporting would have done that. 

Further, even if the Novichok used to poison Skripal and his daughter did not come from old stockpiles, it could very easily have been manufactured as Dave Collum (the Cornell Chemistry professor who writes the fantastic annual Year In Review summary that appears on Peak Prosperity each December) makes clear here:

This, too, could have and should have been part of the reporting. Why wasn’t it?

Given this omission, and the eminently-likely probability that the UK itself manufactured Novichok at Porton Down at some point in order to study it (as the US, Israel, North Korea, etc have all likely done, as well) what does the presence of Novichok in the recent nerve agent attack tell us about where it came from, who used it, and why?

In a court of law? Virtually nothing.

And when a war could be triggered? Worse than nothing. It’s dangerous and irresponsible.

A former member of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (the FCO is Britain's equivalent of the US State Department), Craig Murray, writes that the carefully worded phrase “of a type manufactured by” (seen in the articles above) is pure propaganda:

Of A Type Developed By Liars

Mar 16, 2018

I have now received confirmation from a well-placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days. The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, “of a type developed by Russia” is the precise phrase used in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany yesterday:

"This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War."

When the same extremely careful phrasing is never deviated from, you know it is the result of a very delicate Whitehall compromise. Porton Down is still not certain it is the Russians who have apparently synthesised a “Novichok”. Hence “Of a type developed by Russia”.

Note developed, not made, produced or manufactured.

It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.

(Source)

Let me propose that antagonizing a major nuclear power using such flimsy “evidence” and weaselly wording is insane. The UK may well get a “conviction” in the court of public opinion (and may have already done so), but what’s been released so far would never stand up in a court of law. Sadly, as already noted, it wouldn’t be the first time the intelligence and political machinery went entirely off the rails in the UK or the US.

I’ve written extensively over the years (here, here and here) about the forms of propaganda being used to demonize Russia (as well as sell us all more consumer goods), and the risks that those deceptions entail. In short, if this all ends in a shooting war between the West and Russia, you can kiss goodbye a lot of things -- your standard of living probably the least worrisome of the lot.

As a counterbalance to the high degree of existential threat the western military powers apparently perceive as coming from Russia, I would simply offer these two facts:

  • Entire Russian Military budget for 2017 = $70 billion
  • The US’ increase in military expenditures for 2018 will be $90 billion (from $610b to $700b)

In other words: merely the increase in the US' military budget will be 128% of Russia’s entire military budget.

So here’s the bottom line: when war is on the line, shouldn't we insist that the very highest standards of evidence be used? And because the general public bears the worst costs of war, shouldn't that evidence be made freely and publicly available with full transparency?

Should we readily believe the UK government which has only so far made two claims: (1) it looks like Russia did this and (2) “trust us”?

I, for one, cannot. Not after the Iraq WMD fiasco.

I admit that, as a critically-thinking individual, I'm personally annoyed and offended that the level of evidence being offered up here falls so far below the minimum standards of proof. The implication is clear: those in charge think we're easily-led idiots.

The question for us as a society to answer is: Are we?

Well, we are if we allow our leaders to drive us all again into an unnecessary and preventable war.

Conclusion

The case presented (so far) against Russia by Teresa May could not and would not stand up in a court of law. The standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” has not been met. In fact, the case falls so ridiculously short of that standard that we're reminded of the slip-shod rush to war in Iraq back in 2003.

The elements are all the same: (1) serious charges levied against a proposed enemy, (2) a lack of any actual evidence presented to the public, and (3) a near universal and non-stop repetition of the charges by the press without any serious questioning or appropriate context.

My concern, as always, is avoiding an unnecessary war, especially one that could be so damaging.

As I wrote back in 2016 in the report Do We Really Want a War With Russia?

Where we could analyze the Russian-US situation from a variety of directions – political, historical, etc. – I am going to do it from the psychological perspective.

I see the neocons and likuds as very damaged and traumatized individuals. They carry a set of internal wounds that express on the outside as a very belligerent and hostile set of postures and actions.

If I were to guess at their internal wound, it might be something along the lines of “I was really hurt as a child and nobody will ever hurt me again like that.”

The best way to not be hurt is to lash out as fiercely and as rapidly as you can, in every circumstance. The motto is “Do on to others before they do on to me.”

The mistake you and I could make would be to assume on any level that these people share our world view and will not “go all the way” before turning back. They are not built the same. The ends always justify the means to these people. They do not rationally calculate outcomes because they are operating from a very wounded and highly irrational spot.

Have you ever tried using logic on someone who is in a full emotional meltdown? How did that work out? Not well, right? In fact, it almost certainly made things worse.

Well, as I worried, here we are.

Yes, somebody really wants a war with Russia and they seem determined to get it. Shame on the media for again failing to perform its role even minimally. Again.

I remain confused why so few others in the public see these patterns of deception yet.  I'm especially confused as to why Europe would go along with all this given that they receive so much of their daily energy needs, from Russia. Should Russia ever turn off the spigots, Europe would collapse in a hurry, economically, financially, and possibly socially.

I fully anticipate an emotional reaction to this piece, but my role is to call things as I see them. I'll ignore any responses that are merely ad hominem, or attempt to portray opinions as facts (i.e. “look this is the sort of thing Russia does, so I believe they did it!!”)

Instead I appeal to the use of logic, data and reason. Let's have an open debate based on those.

Given the stakes involved, shouldn’t we appeal to our greatest intellectual and rational abilities? It’s what Stephen Hawking would have encouraged.

Thanks for persisting through this long article. The punchline to it all is: War with Russia is a distinct possibility, and the West is increasing that risk through escalating provocation.

Should a war break out, it could be along a variety of dimensions which are outlined in Part 2 below.

For now, it should be (hopefully) sufficient for you to take the threat seriously and to make whatever provisions seem prudent to you. To our European readers, such preparations seem even more necessary because you will be close to the front lines of any direct, conventional hostilities that break out.

In Part 2: How To Prepare For War (Updated Version), we explain how conflict can take many forms: trade wars, energy wars, financial wars, cyberwar, shooting wars, and nuclear war. We lay out in great detail the steps we, as individuals, can do to prepare for each.

And fortunately, this preparation comes with an upside: as many of these precautions will be life-enhancing steps even if -- hopefully, if -- tensions de-escalate from here.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

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70 Comments

jerryr's picture
jerryr
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 31 2008
Posts: 128
Fake poison in the same old bottle

From "Moon of Alabama" blog:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/theresa-mays-novichok-claims-fall-a...

The British government claims that its own chemical weapon laboratory at Porton Down, only a few miles from where the incident happened, has identified the poison as one of the 'Novichok' chemicals.

But in 2016 a leading chemist at Porton Down had doubts that such chemicals exist....

The former Soviet scientist, Vil Mirzanyanov, who 'blew the whistle' and wrote about the 'Novichoks', now lives in a $1 million home in the United States. The AFP news agency just interviewed him about the recent incident: Mirzayanov, speaking at his home in Princeton, New Jersey, said he is convinced Russia carried it out as a way of intimidating opponents of President Vladimir Putin.

"Only the Russians" developed this class of nerve agents, said the chemist. "They kept it and are still keeping it in secrecy."

The only other possibility, he said, would be that someone used the formulas in his book to make such a weapon.

"Russia did it", says Mirzanyanov, "OR SOMEONE WHO READ MY BOOK".

richcabot's picture
richcabot
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2011
Posts: 166
sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1810
Newsweek: Russia will retaliate if soldiers in danger

 

RUSSIA SAYS IT WILL ATTACK U.S. MILITARY IF TRUMP STRIKES SYRIA AGAIN

BY TOM O'CONNOR ON 3/13/18 AT 2:27 PM

Top Russian officials have threatened to retaliate with force if President Donald Trump orders an attack that could endanger the lives of its soldiers stationed there in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s campaign against rebels and jihadis near Damascus.

Army General Valery Gerasimov warned on Tuesday that the U.S. was preparing to launch raids against Moscow’s ally, the Syrian government, as it attempted to clear the pockets of insurgents—some of which were once backed by the West—in the suburbs of the capital city of Damascus. Gerasimov, who acted as chief of Russia’s general staff and deputy defense minister, claimed that the U.S. would strike under the false pretense of a chemical weapon attack—a tactic that Russia has denied the Syrian military utilizes—and vowed to fight back.

“In the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s armed forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles,” Gerasimov said, according to the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

[To me, this sounds like they are indicating that they will shoot back at US airplanes and ships that launched the missiles.]

richcabot's picture
richcabot
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2011
Posts: 166
Another notable item in the same story

I found this item in the story rather amazing since the official line is that the uprising was a spontaneous sympathetic response to the Arab spring.

Russia intervened in Syria in 2015 at Assad’s request, helping him overcome a 2011 uprising sponsored by the West, Turkey and Gulf Arab states. 

Rector's picture
Rector
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 8 2010
Posts: 495
False Flag Imminent

I don't know how to characterize imminent anymore. . .things I thought were right around the corner seem to be years away still. . .but I have recently become convinced that we are being prepped for war with Russia.  Why?  Because the economy is collapsing, we are overpopulated with expensive pensioners, and the march toward globalism must continue. 

Other enemies haven't worked out.  The "Islamist threat" can't get it together and pose no real threat to the homeland.  The worst we get from them or false flags attributed to them are a few days of "thoughts and prayers" and more proxy wars that don't impact the people at home.  You can't wipe out big chunks of the population that way.

China is simply too intertwined into the global and US economy for the globalists to take on right now.  Who would make all the iphones, buy all the oil, and invest in US T-Bills?  We can't destroy the Chinese. . .we NEED the Chinese.

That leaves the Russians an economy small enough to wipe out without destroying the global economy, familiar enough as an enemy to the simpletons recalling the cold war, and just tough enough to make for a "good" conflict with the desired results - lots of population reduction, lots of munitions sold, and a blind eye to what the other hand is doing while we save democracy.  

The method - a false flag attack or provocation - just like many of the major wars of the twentieth century.  Recall the sinking of the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and 9/11.  This time we are being prepped for a "cyber attack on the power grid".  All the benefits of an EMP without the nasty damage to the transformers - it can last long enough to cull the herd, declare martial law, bring Trump to heal, and mobilize the nation for war - but no so long as to interfere with next season at Martha's Vineyard.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-sanctions-energygrid/in-a-first-u-s-blames-russia-for-cyber-attacks-on-energy-grid-idUSKCN1GR2G3

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/15/us/politics/russia-cyberattacks.html

https://www.npr.org/2018/03/16/594371939/u-s-accuses-russia-of-cyberattacks-on-energy-infrastructure

This is my prediction.

Rector

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5663
Russia Expels 23 UK diplomats

Russia responds with predictable proportionality.

The UK doubles down on the silliness by escalating beyond "highly likely" into the Twilight Zone:

A spokeswoman for the U.K. Foreign Office said that Britain had anticipated Moscow’s response.

“Russia’s response doesn’t change the facts of the matter—the attempted assassination of two people on British soil, for which there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable,” the spokeswoman said but added that "we continue to believe it is not in our national interest to break off all dialogue between our countries but the onus remains on the Russian state to account for their actions."

From 'highly likely' top 'no alternative conclusion.'

That's a big jump.  They are doubling down.

Pretty sad from the nation that invented and idolized Sherlock Homes.

Here are some alternative conclusions:

  • It was a family affair somehow - jilted lover, angry ex, crazy mother in law.
  • It was Turkey.  
  • It was Israel.
  • It was the US.
  • It was Ukraine.
  • It was Saudi Arabia.
  • It was the UK government (see next video...a pretty solid explanation?)

Means, motive and opportunity exist in each of these areas.  None can be excluded based on the evidence so far offered.  So, yes, alternative conclusions remain.  

treebeard's picture
treebeard
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Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 599
How can this end well?

I guess the silver lining to these dark clouds, that is if you like black humor, is perhaps we go bankrupt before we can manage to attack anyone.  700 billion in department of defense, than add in related expenses in veterans affairs and nukes in the department of energy etcetera, where are we at?  I have heard were at a trillion in total spending before the latest increase.  Meanwhile pension funds are 5 billion under funded, 70% of Americans are living pay check to pay check, mean retirement savings are at under 100,000, but the median retirement levels are $5,000 for working families.

Retirement homes are turning into automobiles, people are figuring out how to take the back seats out of their cars to fit in beds, millennials are figuring out how to live in vans. Student loan debt is at all time highs, automobile delinquencies are starting to soar, and now credit card is climbing again. Tiny house movement?  Translate, welcome to the 3rd world movement.  Another 2008 event and perhaps they will not be able to paper over it with funny money.  Another war?  Game over for the US as global super power.

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Posts: 755
Putin’s Interviews

I know Putin may have more skeletons in the closet than most US politicians, possibly even the Clinton’s, but, in interview, he sounds intelligent, rational and the responses he considers, measured.  His motives, for the most part, sound like they are aimed at improving Russia, rather than a special interest group.

He is easier to listen to than many western politicians.

Lemonyellowschwin's picture
Lemonyellowschwin
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Posts: 559
Britain's Motive?

I totally get the sinister reasons behind why the first W. Bush Administration started a carefully-planned propaganda war against Saddam Hussein leading up to a real, and illegitimate, war against Iraq. 

Can someone please explain the U.K.'s motives in starting/escalating a propaganda war against Putin/Russia?

When one party falsely accuses the other party of a very bad thing, one expects to see a clear motive for the false accusation.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5663
I'm no expert...but...
Lemonyellowschwin wrote:

I totally get the sinister reasons behind why the first W. Bush Administration started a carefully-planned propaganda war against Saddam Hussein leading up to a real, and illegitimate, war against Iraq. 

Can someone please explain the U.K.'s motives in starting/escalating a propaganda war against Putin/Russia?

I'm no expert on UK politics, but the US is already involved in a pretty hyperbolic Russia demonization program where Russia has been accused of everything from hacking DNC servers, hacking the election (wrong term, I know, but that's how bad things are), hacking the nation's power grid, to operating hyper-effective social influencing troll farms.

The UK has a long history of following along with US trends and wishes (dodgy dossiers and all that).

But the video I linked above shows that Teresa May's party, the Torries, is losing ground very rapidly to the Labour party.  Well, had been.

Here's the top image from Google at the moment:

Corbyn is being painted as "blind to the truth" even though no truths have been established, and losing ground to Teresa May over her handling of the topic.  Allegedly, I should endeavor to point out...these polls and such are very easily and quite often rigged during a propaganda push.

Worse, Corbyn has been painted in all the top media outlets of the UK as being possibly a traitor but certainly dangerously ignorant over his stance on the Skripal poisoning.  

His offences?  Simply calling for evidence first, decisions second:

The Labour leader doubled down on that cautious approach on Thursday night. “This horrific event demands first of all the most thorough and painstaking criminal investigation, conducted by our police and security services,” he said.

“To rush way ahead of the evidence being gathered by the police, in a fevered parliamentary atmosphere, serves neither justice nor our national security.” Corbyn warned against a “McCarthyite intolerance of dissent” over Russia. “Labour is of course no supporter of the Putin regime, its conservative authoritarianism, abuse of human rights or political and economic corruption,” he said.

(Source

That all sounds rather measured and statesmanlike to me.  

But the Torries represent big corporate interests and wielding the power of the state whenever possible for narrow political ends.  The nearly deranged rantings of Boris Johnson (Teresa May's choice as Secretary off State for Foreign Affairs) are hopefully an acute embarrassment to all thoughtful UK citizens.

As a prime example of propaganda, done heavy handed and clumsily and rather obviously in the trademark way of the BBC, I would offer up this image of a recent set featuring Corbyn in a Photoshopped Russian hat set against a Moscow skyline in menacing red tones:

Isn't that dramatic?  How awesome!!

/sarc

It's good to know that movie set designers have work at the BBC after the movie shoots are over.  I'm detecting the work of this set designer again:

Okay, I was just having a bit of fun there.  But it did remind of an over-the-top-movie set...

Speaking of the BBC, they of the still unexplained "WTC building 7 has just collapsed" 20 minutes before the event, I'm finding that lots of people share my jaded, critical view of their 'work.'

Here's one such comment that wraps up the entire sentiment of the Corbyn/BBC farce:

Great summary.

At any rate the 'reason' for the UK possibly being behind this range from the mundane to the deeply worrisome.

Mundane would be "to score political points at a key moment."  Teresa May has been doing a horrible job on the Brexit negotiations by most accounts and her party was flagging badly at the polls against Labour.  This event 'solved' both problems at once.  The benign(est) explanation is that the Skripals were poisoned with Novochok as described but the UK government then did not look too closely at the particulars of who might have actually done it preferring to immediately spin it to best effect for political gain by blaming Russia.

Worrisome would be that the UK government is one part of a large machine encompassing several governments all seeking to initiate a war with Russia.

I have no idea where the truth lies, but I do know that the statements made so far by the UK government and the media are not even remotely supported by the facts presented so far.

 

 

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Posts: 5663
A Blast From The Past

I think we'd all like to believe, deep down, that something as serious as a war would not be conjured up 'just because' and then be 'justified' using completely fabricated evidence, but that view, nice as it is, does not comport with history.

Here's a blast from the past.  See if you detect any echoes to today's situation.

In the [BBC] programme, Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, was reported as having told Mr Blair that Washington had fixed policy on a war against Iraq and was going to fit the intelligence around that policy.

Despite the humiliation of losing its director general, Greg Dyke, over its allegations concerning David Kelly, the government arms control officer, the film contained powerful condemnation of the government.

It included interviews with former officials who had al ready broken in public with the government's Iraq strategy. It also quoted extensively from leaked documents first revealed by the Daily Telegraph.

In the most startling revelation, the programme claimed that at a meeting on July 23 2002, Sir Richard said a war was inevitable, adding that the facts and the intelligence were being fixed round the policy set out by George Bush's administration.

The claim was based on several reliable sources, Panorama said.

It claimed that Sir Richard briefed Mr Blair that the quality of intelligence sourcing for some claims made in the run-up to the publication of the intelligence dossier was developmental, adding: "The source remains unproven." Nevertheless, Mr Blair told MPs two weeks later: "The intelligence picture they paint is one accumulated over the past four years. It is extensive, detailed and authoritative."

The programme also claimed that British intelligence was unable to convince neutral members of the UN security council, such as Mexico, of the dangers of Iraq's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.

The programme quoted Adolfo Zinser, former Mexican ambassador to the UN, referring to a meeting with MI6. Mr Zinser said: "I asked them: 'Do you have full proof of the existence of these weapons at any one of these particular sites that you are referring to? The MI6 officers told me: "No."

(Source)

Sometimes you just have to fit the facts around the policy.

The policy right now is "demonize Russia."  

What the ultimate purpose of that policy is, or what it seeks to achieve, remain open questions.  However the risk such a policy entails is war, and whether that's intentionally achieved or an accidental by-product of clumsy policy aims is irrelevant.

That risk is why I wrote part II of this report.  We all need to understand that war drums are being beaten, and risks are involved.

Algie's picture
Algie
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Posts: 27
Thanks Chris, you've filled

Thanks Chris, you've filled in some of the blanks for me.  Here in the UK, my BS-o-meter (tm) has been going off the scale for the last weeks.  Not helped by my educated friends and colleagues bemoaning the audacity of the Russians attacking someone on British soil.  The ability to critically analyse information appears to be atrophying in the population.

My own analysis only leads to one terrifying conclusion...

  • Russia has nothing to gain from this.  Zip. Nadda.  Even if they did, why use such an obvious weapon?  This is a false flag attack to set up the Russians
  • So why do that? Because the population need a bogeyman.
  • Why? If you know anything about the 3 E's then you know change is coming.  As a politician, would you rather be in charge of the descent, and able to do nothing about it, or would you rather have someone to point at and blame them as everything goes to hell in a handbasket?
  • The population are being prepared.  War is coming and it's not going to be a pretty little foreign war that we can all watch from the comfort of our homes.  One way or another, this one is going to hit us all.  Personally, my money is one cyber warfare

I used to think Theresa May was one of the few (very few) politicians I had a modicum of respect for.  Not anymore.  

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Posts: 189
Australia sez "me too"

It never ceases to amaze me how Australian governments are so eager to stick their noses into other peoples' affairs:

Both the British and Australian governments have repeatedly said they are consulting closely on responses to the poisoning, raising the prospect that Canberra will take out its own measures against Moscow along with others [sic] countries that are rallying around Britain over the unprecedented use of a chemical weapon on British soil.

Source

Shakespeare wrote of "Low-crooked curtsies, and base spaniel fawning." (Julius Caesar Act 3 Scene 1.) How repulsively true. Oz has been rather good at base spaniel-fawning for as long as I can remember, with one glorious, swiftly-despatched exception.

I am sure the Russians are quaking in their boots at the terrifying prospect that the full might and majesty of the Australian nation and its federal government may be brought to bear against — whomever. It is so comforting to know that all forensic and legal procedures have been openly and publicly followed and the results made patent.

Bah!

We're being led by the nose and sooner or later that nose will be grievously hurt. Serves us right. So sad.

In Oz I see daily proof that mass delusions are easy to establish and maintain when an independent, inquiring and analytically-minded press has largely been eradicated. Speaking for myself, I cannot bear even to glance at the front pages of the Murdoch press any more — too emotionally and psychologically damaging. Yet people read this stuff daily. Unbelievable. Little wonder the readers seem invincibly convinced that the world is seething with baleful terrorists who hate us and everything we stand for and would swiftly murder us all in our beds if it weren't for our wonderful, admirable, plucky security systems and "robust" laws and military interventions in the Middle East standing between us and Them. Democracy? Forget that. These are serious times!

Good grief. How much psychic damage can a nation absorb?

Chris wrote: "I fully anticipate a emotional reaction to this piece". Rest assured that my emotions consist of joy that you have written it, pleasure at its logic and careful exposition, and full agreement with its conclusions.

And yes, I have tried to reason with someone in emotional meltdown and no, it did not end well. It felt so good when I stopped...

(By the way, don't adulate Hawking too much. In physics he was stellar. In philosophy he was quite out of his depth.)

 

 

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ezlxq1949
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Poland 1939

It's the Völkischer Beobachter and Poland all over again.

Only this time it's the noble, justice-loving Anglosphere bearing the false witness.

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KathyP
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Exasperation and Rattlesnakes

It exasperates me to no end when persons near and dear to me, who have ostensibly fine intellects, fall for this propaganda and accept proclamations of Russia's guilt without demanding ANY hard evidence.  It must be the relentless repetition of assertions of Russian involvement that never stops in the mainstream media.  It is a very lonely existence to not accept statements of guilt that are not accompanied by evidence.  It also helps to watch absolutely no television.

Add to that, the failure to recognize the parallels to the "weapons of mass destruction" meme in the propaganda build up to the Iraq war.  No wonder the late great Gore Vidal referred to us as "the United States of Amnesia."  Gosh, people, it was only 15 years ago!!

Thanks for letting me vent.  Here's a link to The Saker's latest:  "Hold my beer and watch this!"

https://thesaker.is/hold-my-beer-and-watch-this/

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jtwalsh
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Posts: 267
How Russians View Things

Just a few tidbits from my readings of Russian authors.  I am struck by the way Solzenitsyn's words seem to be just as descriptive of our present situation in the United States as they were of Russia at the end of the Soviet Union. Tolstoy's thoughts on how people react to danger also seem to be an accurate description of our time.  Putin's words are most ominous, but not without historical precedent, or without reason. If we continue on the present course, it will not end well.

 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.

Leo Tolstoy

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.

Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace (Kindle Locations 15991-16011). Waxkeep Publishing. Kindle Edition:

At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal power in the human soul: one very reasonably tells a man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of escaping it; the other, still more reasonably, says that it is too depressing and painful to think of the danger, since it is not in man’s power to foresee everything and avert the general course of events, and it is therefore better to disregard what is painful till it comes, and to think about what is pleasant. In solitude a man generally listens to the first voice, but in society to the second.

Vladimir Putin:

"From the beginning we failed to overcome Europe’s division.  The Berlin Wall fell but invisible walls were moved to the East of Europe.  This has led to mutual misunderstandings and assignments of guilt.  They are the cause of all crises ever since."

"Nobody should have any illusion about the possibility of gaining military superiority over Russia.  We will never allow this to happen."

JT

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locksmithuk
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Australia vs Russia
ezlxq1949 wrote:

It never ceases to amaze me how Australian governments are so eager to stick their noses into other peoples' affairs

I suspect that it's not a case of sticky beaks by Australia, but instead doing what it's told - just like the UK is doing. Malcolm Turnbull is about as strong as a wet celery stalk in a typhoon, so I expect he'll tow the line, even if the stark reality to him is that Russia could casually walk over and obliterate Australia in a heartbeat. Or maybe Turnbull believes the US would repeat its last-minute WW2 cavalry performance. Servility, stupidity or delusion - the outcome of blind accedence is the same.

New_Life's picture
New_Life
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Posts: 257
FIFA World Cup boycott

Personally I'd support this...

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/spy-poisoning-world-cup-boycott_uk...

But my stance is mainly related to a wild rumour that is also circulating where by England maybe asked by FIFA to host a postponed tournament in 2019...   cool

#FakeNews?

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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Posts: 2230
Rector wrote: This time we
Rector wrote:

This time we are being prepped for a "cyber attack on the power grid".  All the benefits of an EMP without the nasty damage to the transformers - it can last long enough to cull the herd, declare martial law, bring Trump to heal, and mobilize the nation for war - but no so long as to interfere with next season at Martha's Vineyard.

With you, bro.  Made the same prediction yesterday.  It's so obvious it hurts.  Gonna go to the bank and get some extra cash, top off the home supply.  

 

VIVA anyway -- Sager

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peter31
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Posts: 33
View from the UK frontline

As a Brit close to the epicentre of all this, I don't have much to add to what other posters have written so I'll keep it short:

Did Russia do it? - in my view almost certainly not, as I can't see any rational motive, and whatever you may think of Putin, he strikes me as being very rational.

Am I embarrassed by our UK politicians? absolutely.  I heard the debate in Parliament on the radio when May announced that it was "highly likely that Russia was responsible".  Politician after politician got up to agree with May and denounce Russia.  The lone voice of reason was Jeremy Corbyn (Leader of the Opposition), who asked May whether she had made a sample of the poison available to Russia to analyse, as they had requested, and cautioned us not to jump to conclusions too hastily.  He was met by shouts, jeers and denunciation after denunciation from Government MPs, backbench members of his own party and the media, and silence from front bench members of his own party, some of whom may be hoping to replace him as leader.  I think that by speaking with the voice of moderation he has probably put his own political career at risk.

Do I think the public are stupid to believe this nonsense so uncritically? - yes.

Do I think we are being prepared for war with Russia? unfortunately yes, although I can't imagine why.  The hysteria has reached such a pitch that it's very difficult for anyone to say, in private or in public, anything supportive of Russia or suggest that anyone else might be responsible (see "Corbyn", above).  I guess that's usually the way it is in the run-up to a war. 

www.postpeakmedicine.com

Pipyman's picture
Pipyman
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Posts: 55
God help us!

I used to think I was being egotistical, because I so dearly wanted others to adopt my perspective on key issues. However, I had the realisation recently that what bothers me is how people think, not what they think. I am so tired of walking through life surrounded by programmed, dumbed down zombies; many of whom I’m sure have higher IQ’s than I do. The propaganda is so powerful that I really see no way of turning this ship before the iceberg; whatever form that takes. The vast majority are wilfully ignorant too. With the clamp down on decenting voices on YouTube and the power of groupthink to identify any decenting voice as the enemy, we truly live in dangerous times. Navigating them is only going to get more difficult and more painful. Quite possibly, leaving us with a choice of survival or speaking out. God help us indeed. This is f****d-up.

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Posts: 755
Zombie Apocalypse
Pipyman wrote:

I am so tired of walking through life surrounded by programmed, dumbed down zombies; many of whom I’m sure have higher IQ’s than I do.

Egad!  The zombie apocalypse has already happened.  We are in the middle of it and didn't even notice it happening.

I wonder if playing Slim Whitman LPs will work in this case?

Seriously, Pipyman, you hit the nail on the head.  The zombies go balistic if you try to deprogram them.

 

New_Life's picture
New_Life
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Posts: 257
RT on BBC Question Time

Interesting debate last week.

First Question on the programme..

"How certain are you that the Salisbury attack is beyond doubt the responsibility of the Russian state"

https://www.rt.com/uk/421501-rattansi-salisbury-bbc-question/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-43425911/sir-keir-starmer-all-o...

 

Seems an awful lot of jumping to conclusions, could it of been many actors, eg. criminal mafia gangs, CIA plot?

mememonkey's picture
mememonkey
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Posts: 244
Syria is Where the Action is.

I don't believe the objective here is for an actual shooting war with Russia, although that is a very real possibility as the consequence of what this really appears to be about. 

At the risk of repeating myself from my related Russian Roulette  post In the Off the cuff thread this incident appears to me to be part of a coordinated campaign to deleglitimize Russia's role in the UN security Council and to associate/tar  Putin/Russia  with the illegal and dastardly use of "Chemical Weapons"

Conversely this is trying to build worldwide (NATO) public consensus and support for future and imminent unilateral military action in Syria as just proposed by Nikki Haley on the part of the US for a robust military strike against Assad in the face of past and now future supposed dastardly chemical weapons attacks by Assad.

The US is effectively telegraphing their foreknowledge of imminent "Assad Chemical weapons attacks"   and more ominously our unilateral  military response to it  (probably cruise missile strike)

The Russian military is making no bones about it:

http://eng.mil.ru/en/news_page/country/[email protected]

Sergei Rudskoy wrote:

In regard to information about preparation of provocations by insurgents in the Eastern Ghouta, the Russian party has evidence that American instructors have trained several groups of insurgents near al-Tanfa in order to hold provocations with chemical weapons in the south of Syria. 

In the early March, the sabotage groups were deployed in the southern de-escalation zone near Daraa. formations of so-called Free Syrian Army are located there.

They are preparing provocations using explosive devices fitted with poisonous agents. In the future, this fact will be used in order to accuse the government troops of using chemical weapons.

Components for these chemical munitions have already been transported to the southern de-escalation zone under cover of humanitarian convoys of a number of non-governmental organizations.

Insurgents have not only components for poisonous agents but also detonating fuzes camouflaged as packs with cigarettes. 

Besides, the Jabhat al-Nusra armed formations with support of so-called ‘White Helmets’ are preparing staged chemical attack near the settlements of al-Habid and Qalb Luza located 25 km northwest Idlib. Therefore, 20 containers with chloride have been delivered there.

It is planned that the event shall be widely broadcasted in the western mass media.

Such provocations will give the USA and its coalition grounds for an attack against military and government facilities in Syria.

"The Russian Ministry of Defence stressed that there is clear evidence of preparations for the possible strikes. There are groups of missile carriers deployed in eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and Red Sea. It causes a question – whom will the USA support with these strikes? Will it be the Jabhat al-Nusra and its affiliates that commit outrages in the country? The Russian General Staff continues monitoring situation in the Syrian Arab Republic," said Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy.

What's different and so Dangerous from a potential escalation scenario  is that Russia has vowed to Respond to said strikes on both the missiles and their launching platforms.  i.e. the missile carriers, should they endanger embedded Russian Military personnel embedded with Sryia Government forces.  The Russians don't make idle threats

Coming on the heels of the Putin's announcement and recent demonstration  of the hypersonic missile  Kinzhal or "Dart" which the US has no known feasible defense It's easy to see how "you sunk my battleship" escalation could rapidly ensue.

Given Putin's strategic posture and history of actions  I suspect there are very high level 'Deconfliction' talks going on.  I also wouldn't be surprised to see the Russians preemptively  publish their evidence of America collusion with Chemical weapons training of insurgents if they truly have that and it's useable.  Not that would make much of a dent in the worldwide media propaganda matrix.

The only real win for Putin is if they can effectively blunt any missile attack with their missile defense/ EW systems.   Everybody loses if they actually start sinking ships.

A renewed war effort in Syria especially with NATO blessing and involvement  and direct assault on Assad/Damascus is an even better present for Netanyahu than US embassy in Jerusalem. 

mememonkey

Yoxa's picture
Yoxa
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Joined: Dec 21 2011
Posts: 268
Lead by Example
Quote:

 The zombies go balistic if you try to deprogram them.

It often works better to lead by example without saying too much. People hate being lectured, even if you're right. Especially if they detect a note of superiority. Learn how to ask some leading questions then leave it alone to let the ideas simmer. Some will eventually think for themselves, and for those that won't there's really not much you can do.

So focus on making preparations rather than pronouncements. Get your own act together in every way you know how, and be cautious about what you say and to whom. On one hand we want to tell the world what they need to know, but on the other there's value in keeping a low profile if things get bad.

 

 

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Posts: 5663
The Next Steps in Syria Are Key

I do believe that one has to be well grounded in the Syrian conflict to understand the Skripal propaganda. 

Certainly there’s the usual bruised egos of the emotionally stunted NeoCons to take into consideration, but there’s also the very probable fact that the main regional power brokers in the Middle East know all too well that their oil is not infinite and that time is running out to secure any sort of lasting upper hand.

This next article written by someone in Beirut who I’ve never heard of, makes a lot of points that ring true for me.   I’ve reproduced most of it, but included the link in case you want to track down more.

THE REGIONAL-INTERNATIONAL DEMARCATION LINE IN DARAA IS APPROACHING FLASHPOINT

March 16, 2018

Beirut – from Elilah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Today, Ghouta and tomorrow Daraa …

This is not about Syria nor about the war on its soil: it is all about an open war between the axis led by United States of America, Europe and their allies in the Middle East against the axis led by Russia and its allies. It’s a war about control, influence and dominance in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

It is natural for the US to resist the loss of its unilateral dominant status that has held since the collapse of the Soviet Union, from 1991 until 2015. September 2015 is the date when Moscow decided to send its air force, navy and some ground special forces to the Levant to announce its presence to the world there and give birth to its superpower capability after decades of absence.

It is therefore natural that the US defends its world unilateralism and tries to block the awakening of the Russian genie by mobilising all its energies and those of its western and arab allies to push back against the (successful) attempts by Russia to prove its diplomatic skills and military power through the window of the Levant.

So it is indeed natural that the US should try to hit the weakest link (Tehran) in the Russian-Chinese-Iranian alliance by attempting to thwart the nuclear agreement signed by the United Nations and the five permanent members of the Security Council plus one (Germany).

All this is caused by the successful (in Russia’s view) outcome of the war in Syria, in which the US failed in its attempt to redraw the map of the Middle East, divide Iraq and Syria, hit Hezbollah in Lebanon and extract parts of northern Syria for itself and Turkey, and the southern region for Israel.

(…)

So did the Washington hawks succeed in their quest? The simple answer would be: No, they didn’t.

But these US hawks are still exploring various avenues to accuse Russia of supporting the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, discredited for years by the restless hammering of mainstream media (which has become an obvious tool in the hands of decision makers) who painted al-Qaeda as “moderates” for all the seven years of war.

The US aimed to discredit  Moscow’s leadership at the UN to intimidate and to halt the efforts of President Vladimir Putin to end the war in Syria and stop the partition of the Middle East, and to prevent Russia from completely eliminating the bulk of Jihadis In Iraq and Syria.

It required Moscow to use 11 “vetoes” at the UN to reject multiple attempts by Washington and its allies to strike Syria and topple President Assad. Russia played very cleverly its diplomacy in Syria by creating de-escalation and de-confliction areas in the north, around the capital, and in the south to cut Syria into squares and freeze the war in different strategic areas so that it could devote enough forces to striking ISIS first and then al-Qaeda and its allies.

ISIS has been reduced to a small pocket under US protection in north-east Syria. Actually, this area situated east of the Euphrates is today ISIS’s safe haven and it is therefore forbidden for Russia and the Syrian governmental forces to strike the terrorist group. Previous attempts resulted in the US heavily bombing local forces and their allies.

However, Russia has given enough time to the Syrian government to gather its forces, strike al-Qaeda and clear various enclaves, limiting the control of al-Qaeda and its allies to the vicinity and the city of Idlib, around Damascus (al-Ghouta and Yarmouk) and in the south (Daraa and Quneitra).

The Syrian army managed to divide the Ghouta areas despite the frenetic anti-Russian campaign mounted by mainstream media and the failed US attempts at the United Nations to stop the war on al-Ghouta and to keep this enclave as a sore thumb at the back of the main capital Damascus.

The US’s anger at the Syrian-Russian attack on al-Ghouta needs to be made clearer here: the US occupation of al-Tanf Syrian-Iraqi borders aimed to create a launching platform for its military operations towards Deir al-Zour in the north and al-Ghouta in the east. The US plan was to occupy the city of Deir al-Zour and al-Qaim north-east and the capital Damascus. But Iran went around the area where the US forces were positioned, isolating these in the al-Tanf pocket, and made a qualitative leap to liberate Deir al-Zour and al-Qaim by defeating ISIS forces, who withdrew towards the US area of influence east of the Euphrates.

Moreover, Al-Ghouta is a clear demonstration of the US’s failed plan to attack Damascus. The strategic military planning and link between al-Tanf and al-Ghouta was possible had the Syrian Army and Russia not intervened on time to surround it and attack jihadists to force these to surrenderer and pull out to Idlib. The US thought to create a real menace against Damascus and at least  prevent the parliamentary and presidential elections due next year. By controlling Ghouta, jihadists were supposed to keep up the pace of bombing to render the Syrian capital “unsafe”.

The US and the International community tried to stop the battles of al-Ghouta to no avail. This prompted Washington to exercise its favourite hobby of imposing sanctions on Russia, without succeeding in stopping the Syrian army (fighting without its allies – except Russia) from recovering its control over Ghouta. The answer came immediately from Moscow by bombing Daraa and hitting al-Qaeda’s area of influence in an indication as to where the future theatre of military operations is expected to be.

Again, events are moving very fast: the US response came quickly through its UK ally when Britain took advantage of the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergey Skripal in London to accuse Moscow of being behind his assassination. The message here is clear: all means are legitimate for the control of the Middle East, specifically Syria.

Israel followed by demanding the return of  the UNDOF troops, withdrawn in August 2014 following the abduction of 47 UN peacekeepers by al-Qaeda (the ransom for their liberation was paid by Qatar). The Israeli demand coincided – I have learned from well informed sources –  with the gathering of forces of Syria’s allies, including Hezbollah, in Daraa, in preparation for future wide scale military operations. 

The US considers that the battle of Daraa is directly against itself and its Israeli ally, especially as it is party, along with Russia and Jordan, to the agreement to reduce the escalation there, to serve Israel and secure its security in southern Syria.

In this tense political climate it requires no imagination to link the issue of the Russian former spy spy to the aggressive statement of President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials who threatened to use military force against the US and any other country in Syria if necessary.

The Syrian war is far from being a normal one. It is THE war between two superpowers and their allies, where US and Russian soldiers are directly involved on the ground in a war of domination and power. The lack of victory in the US eyes is worse than losing a battle. Even more, the victory of Russia and its allies on Syrian soil in any battle is therefore a direct blow to the heart of Washington and its allies.

Russia understood the US, UK and NATO’s message, including that of the mainstream media, and had no other choice but to escalate the pace of war in Syria as harshly as possible.

The superpowers are on the verge of the abyss, so the danger of falling into a war of cosmic proposition is no longer confined to the imagination or merely a sensational part of unrealistic calculations.

(Source

The summary is that everything is now extremely tense, and the US is (again) in danger of being on the losing side of a conflict (if it’s not already there) and that’s just not a place it likes to be.  So there’s that element. 

The recent dramatic shifts in power structures in DC, especially the use of a CIA director as Secretary of State, all look extremely hawkish and like the NeoCons have, again, won the power struggle in DC.

What happens next?

War is a distinct possibility.

 

nonplused's picture
nonplused
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Posts: 2
No one will survie war with Russia

I have to correct Chris on a minor point he made here.  The results of a war with Russia will not be just economic, they will be catastrophic.  No one will survive for long not even in Australia.

Eventually, any battle to try and significantly destroy or even worse occupy Russia will go nuclear.  Even if the US missile defense was sufficient, which it isn't, the resulting carnage would be life ending for the whole planet.

The US knows that it's current missile defenses are not currently ready to ward off a Russian counterstrike and most of the US would be destroyed.  That is why Russia announced new weapons that will be deployed over the next 5 years, they don't need them now.  So the only choice the US would have in a war on Russia is to conduct a massive first strike.  Well, even if that were successful in preventing any Russian counterstrike, the radiation and airborne dust created would end agriculture in the Northern hemisphere within 1 year and the southern soon after.  What a lot of people fail to realize is that there is a chian reaction when you start dropping nuclear bombs, which are bad enough, but it doesn't end there.

Once Russia is thoroughly nuked not only those bombs go off but all the nuclear bombs they hit in their silos also go atmospheric and likely critical.  All the nuclear power plants either hit or now abandoned also go atmospheric, just like Fukushima.  That amount of radiation combined with the crop losses due to the nuclear winter and subsequent collapse of society means that eventually all nuclear power plants everywhere go Fukushima.  All this will happen even if Russia cannot fire one single missile back at the US, but they can.  Many in fact.  They have been preparing for a "first strike" against them for many years.

And a bomb shelter won't save you unless you are prepared to stay there longer than the half life of plutonium.  We are talking 100's of thousands of years.  You probably don't have enough food stocked up and you will run out of air and water.

Putin seems to understand that another war involving nuclear weapons means the end of life on the planet.  It is a shame that the west does not.

Oh and I almost forgot, a thought I had about ballistic missile defense, even if you can hit it, who says it doesn't detonate?  Free radiation and an EMP for you.

AKGrannyWGrit's picture
AKGrannyWGrit
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Posts: 456
Nonplused

Gee you joined in June of 2010 and only posed twice!  I think you should comment more.

You are probably right but no one wants to talk about reality and use common sense.  Guess if we don't talk about the consequences they don't exist.  Too bad stupid isn't painful.

Well said, now please share more often!

AKGrannyWGrit

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pat the rat
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Posts: 108
I don't get it?

If the Russia is the people who tried to do the in the old double agent ,then why are they still alive ? Something not right there, just can't think of what it is, just is not right!   

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pat the rat
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I don't get it?

If the Russia is the people who tried to do the in the old double agent ,then why are they still alive ? Something not right there, just can't think of what it is, just is not right!   

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MRush
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coup d'etat

Has anyone noted that all the recent Trump administration replacements are CIA? Tillerson to Pompeo. Pompeo to Haspel. McMaster to Bolton (if that happens). I would submit that we are witnessing an overt coup d'etat by the intelligent services in the face of an erratic, undisciplined and "moronic" (to use Tillerson's characterization) POTUS.

One need only to tune in to the MSM for additional proof. CBS regularly trots out the reptilian neocon and ex-CIA deputy director, Michael Morell. Brenner (War on Terror architect) and Clapper (ex-NSA liar in-chief) make regular appearances on the major networks as well. Then, there's John McLaughlin over there on MSNBC. Of course, Russia, the ever-evil-empire (3Es), is the arch-villain.

To me, this is about being bested by Russia at every step of the way. Chess master Putin has checkmated the US ever since Obama took office. He has called us out for the corrupt global power we are. The US Perma-State is pissed, and as already posted in this thread, Syria is likely to be the playground.

In a world where propaganda rules and lies and innuendo are treated as truth, the Skripal poisoning makes complete sense. We are not even talking about false flags here. This is nothing more than a blatant coup of our government, our media and finally our souls.

Perhaps too strident for PP?

MR

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dcm
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Excellent Beirut Article

and, once again, thanks for saying what few will dare to say Chris

I think, perhaps, that the US grossly underestimates, among other things, the dramatic fall of its its reputation in the world community in the short 17 years since 9/11/2001. Above anything and anyone else, the internet has "helped" compete with the truths Uncle Sam repeatedly tries to sell on Iraq, Afghanistan and everything and everywhere else. This site is a testament to that. In another weird twist, the exponential resource fall, resource competition and biological destruction inevitably and perhaps ironically leaves the whoever the current global power happens to be holding the blame bag in a lot of strange and unexpected ways.

I'm not sure where all of this will lead

But I'm sure it's nowhere good.   

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Admissions From the Top U.S. General in the Middle East

Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia: Top Three Stunning Admissions From the Top U.S. General in the Middle East (Haaretz)

Quote:

The top U.S. general in the Middle East testified before Congress on Tuesday and dropped several bombshells: from signaled support for the Iran nuclear deal, admitting the U.S. does not know what Saudi Arabia does with its bombs in Yemen and that Assad has won the Syrian Civil War.

U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, commander of the U.S. Central Command, arrives to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 13, 2018

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

 

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Syria

I think that this link provides some explaination of the bizarre behaviour of the UK politicians.

https://ejmagnier.com/2018/03/16/the-regional-international-demarcation-...

Perhaps it is just the passing of the demonize Russia baton from the USA to the UK now that RussiaGate is finally running out of steam.

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A Gigantic (and hilarious) Fail By the FCO

As I referenced in the article above, Craig Murray, the form FCO officer, correctly pointed out the weasel phrasing that was "of a type developed by" said absolutely nothing about where the poison may have come from but was then used by the UK government to finger Russia.

Clearly he struck a nerve and his blog has exploded with traffic and comments.

The FCO had to respond, so they did.  Here's Craig:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued a statement to refute my report from well-placed FCO sources that the British government continually re-uses the phrase “of a type developed by Russia” because its own scientists refused government pressure to say the nerve agent was made by Russia, and as getting even agreement to “of a type developed by” was bloody, the government has to stick to precisely that rather odd choice of phrase.

This is the official British Government statement:

“We have no idea what Mr Murray is referring to. The Prime Minister told MP’s on Monday that world leading experts at Porton Down had positively identified this chemical agent. It is clear that it is a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. None of that is in any doubt”.

Which is perhaps the most hilarious fail in the history of refutation.

Ah ha ha ha!  That's hilarious!  :)  Craig says what's in doubt is the claim that it must have come from Russia and the FCO is restating that it is definitively 'of a type developed by Russia.'  Truly, a gigantic fail of a rebuttal.

The entire frame-up is unraveling badly and one way I know that it that there's nothing on the front page of the WSJ this morning about any of this.

Worse, the details of the crime scene are now falling apart rather badly.

Because of the timeline involved which involved the Skripals parking their car at 1:45 p.m. and being found "frothing at the mouth" at 4:15 p.m. there's a very strong suggestion that they had to have been poisoned during that time frame (and not via her luggage as being rather oddly and incoherently suggested now in trial balloon fashion).

The basic timeline we have is:

  • 1:45 p.m they park their car
  • They go to the Bishop's Mill pub
  • 2:20 p.m. they go to Zizzi restaurant
  • 3:35 p.m they leave the restaurant
  • 4:15 p.m. they are spotted ill on a park bench by bystander Freya Church and nearby police are alerted

Of particular note one of the first attending police officers, Nick Bailey falls ill too.  So far these are the only three people to have fallen ill, presumably from exposure to a Novichok class nerve agent.

Nick Bailey is a police officer in the Wiltshire Police and was rushed to hospital after he speeded to help Mr Skripal and his daughter following a suspected nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

(Source - The Sun, Also here, here and here

From the OPCW website: 

If a person is exposed to a high concentration of nerve agent, e.g., 200 mg sarin/m3 (see table) death may occur within a couple of minutes.

Poisoning takes longer when the nerve agent enters the body through the skin. Nerve agents are more or less fat-soluble and can penetrate the outer layers of the skin. However, it takes some time before the poison reaches the deeper blood vessels. Consequently, the first symptoms do not occur until 20-30 minutes after the initial exposure but subsequently the poisoning process may be rapid if the total dose of nerve agent is high.

(Source

So the time frame here is between a couple of minutes if aerosolized, and a maximum of 30 minutes if administered through the skin.

We don't know the time frame of action of a novichok (if indeed that's what was used, we still lack independent confirmation of that) so let's be generous and say it has a mechanism of action that is twice as slow as any other nerve agent.   I will say that toxicologically (my PhD is in toxicology, by the way) this makes no sense if we are to believe that the Novochoks are 5x to 10x more lethal than VX.  Typically a more lethal poison has a higher binding affinity for the target enzyme or protein and therefore operates more rapidly, not less.

But even if we give it a 2x longer operating action, they still had to have been dosed somewhere between the end of their stay at the restaurant and the park.  Not before.  (Please also recall that the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean leader's brother, in Kuala Lumpur was a skin route administration of VX which dropped him in  minutes.)

This is where it all gets rather interesting.  Because the police sargent, Nick Bailey, falls ill so rapidly, we have to suspect aerosol administration meaning they had some fo this stuff on them and wafting about, or their breath was so toxic that he could fall ill from it.

Most oddly, we have this (still not yet scrubbed down the memory hole) account posted in the BBC:

Meanwhile, a doctor who was one of the first people at the scene has described how she found Ms Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench, vomiting and fitting.

She had also lost control of her bodily functions. The woman, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved Ms Skripal into the recovery position and opened her airway, as others tended to her father.

She said she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on Ms Skripal's face or body. The doctor said she had been worried she would be affected by the nerve agent, but added that she "feels fine".

(Source - BBC)

Say what?

Hold on here.  This means that this woman doctor was in direct proximity to Yulia Skripal and her father, was the first to have moved her off the bench into a recovery position and attended to her in close proximity for 30 minutes and after all that "feels fine."  This person was the very first then to have handled Ms. Skripal intimately, which you'd appreciate if you've ever handled the dead weight of an unconscious individual.

Police typically do not get as physically involved with ill people as doctors, so I have to assume Mr. Bailey got unlucky and somehow touched a spot on one or both of them that was absolutely loaded with poison, while the doctor and everybody else who arrived mere moments later missed that (those) same area(s).

Further, 'other people' tended to Mr Skripal.  Presumably they are all fine because the only reports we have are of the three poisonings; the two Skirpals and Nick Bailey.

And none of the people at the restaurant have exhibited any signs of nerve agent poisoning, and also not the ambulance drivers (air for her, ground for him), and none of the attending doctors or hospital staff.

Nobody else. Not one other person.

Just Nick and the Skripals.

Hmmmm....this really stinks to high heaven here.

How did Nick Bailey get dosed to such an extent that he was in serious condition for days afterwards?  How did nobody else get dosed even mildly?

Since Nick was struck so rapidly we have to understand that this nerve agent is not something the Skripals could have experienced in their car, or much earlier in the day, and then wandered about with for very long.

Further, it would be impossible for them to have been so heavily dosed that a transfer contact to Nick would have been such a serious event without them falling ill themselves almost instantly.

Therefore we can conclude, with a high degree of likeliness that they were dosed after the restaurant, so somewhere between 3:35 p.m and 4:15 p.m.  And we can conclude that whatever was on or about them was not easily transferred to numerous other nearby persons, including those who handled them directly in the immediate aftermath.

If I were a dispassionate investigator, I would be taking a very close look at the only other person besides the Skripals to have been struck down by the poison.  That would be normal investigative procedure.  This is just what the evidence suggests at this point.  I'd want to exclude that person as a normal course of the investigation so we could move onto the next subjects and suspects.  

Finally, the CCTV cameras are critical here because it's most likely the poisoning happened right there on the park bench.  The only administration route that makes sense to me that absolves the sergeant too would have been that the would-be assassin had an aerosol can that they unleashed as they walked by which struck the Skripals, did not stick to their clothes or skin appreciably enough to affect anyone else later, and then a diluted cloud wafted off in a direction where the only other victim was Mr. Bailey.  Not impossible, but also not my first theory (because relying on air flow and breathing patterns seems risky and fraught with risk of failure). Best to interview every possible witness at the park quite thoroughly would be my vote. 

At any rate, the fact that the US news has pretty much dropped this tells me as much as anything.  This could get mighty embarrassing for some folks.

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No survival

Couldn't agree more.  I read that all it takes is 10% of either the Russian and American arsenals to be detonated to end all life on earth, as I posted here before.  Nuclear war is not an option obviously, not something you can prepare for.  There was a poster floating around in the 60's when this was all more top of mind, it listed in order the things you needed to do to prepare for a nuclear strike, the last thing on the list of some 20 seemly rational items to do was to put your head between your legs and kiss your #%s goodby.

The complete absurdity of it all, and for what. For the lust of power, ego and wealth, some are willing to trade the lives of 7 billion people, all the biological life on the planet, and 5 billion years of evolution. The loss is not quantifiable, really beyond our capability to conceptualize.  And that is the heart of the problem.

By discussing this rationally, we make the unspeakable speakable, the insane sane, the irrational rational. The fact that current consciousness is so fractured and dissociated from reality is why these things can even be discussed without complete horror and revulsion.  It is like a thick dull fog that pervades our public discourse and awareness.  Because so many of us do not yet trust our own inner gut, we still put up with nonsensical babblings of our current outward authorities.  The need to fit within the current insane paradigm causes even the most sensible people to twist themselves into ridiculous knots.

How insane do our current culture institutions have to get before we throw them off in disgust.  The public narrative created by our media has become incoherent. Kudos to all of you working to create a different narrative and live a different kind of life.

 

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When Putin offers you tea...

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Everybody to get from street!

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thanks Chris

Thats an interesting breakdown of facts.  How can the cop get hit with the nerve agent when the doctor who actually cared for the victim came away with no ill effects?

And the "of a type developed by Russia" language is really fascinating.  Sounds like a bunch of cranky scientists I'd love to work with.

Sure seems like Corbyn - not that I like all the stuff he says - has the right idea here.  No rush to judgment.

Its good to remind us all about "WMD in Iraq" too.

 

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Matryoshka, Al-Khatib and the Cirque du Soleil

Hello Chris,

I'm sorry to bastardise your post with concision, but needs must : -

cmartenson wrote:

I think we'd all like to believe, deep down, that something as serious as a war would not be conjured up 'just because' and then be 'justified' using completely fabricated evidence, but that view, nice as it is, does not comport with history.

Sometimes you just have to fit the facts around the policy.

The policy right now is "demonize Russia."  

What the ultimate purpose of that policy is, or what it seeks to achieve, remain open questions.  However the risk such a policy entails is war, and whether that's intentionally achieved or an accidental by-product of clumsy policy aims is irrelevant.

As you are qualified and aware : -

Neurotoxins are toxins that are poisonous or destructive to nerve tissue. Neurotoxins are an extensive class of exogenous chemical neurological insults that can adversely affect function in both developing and mature nervous tissue. The term can also be used to classify endogenous compounds, which, when abnormally contacted, can prove neurologically toxic.

As you're also aware : -

Mother Nature is a serial killer. No one's better. More creative. But like all serial killers, she can't help the urge to want to get caught. What good are all those brilliant crimes if no one takes the credit? So she leaves crumbs.

Now, the hard part, why you spend a decade in school, is seeing the crumbs for the clues they are. Sometimes the thing you thought was the most brutal aspect, turns out to be the chink in its amour. And she loves disguising her weaknesses as strengths. She's a bitch.

But, suppose I just stopped right there and removed the urge to plagiarise Wikipedia and film quotes. Humour me instead by drawing upon the body politique, and how it is played out as public concensus with help from a 53 year old film script of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold : -

John Le Carre wrote:

What was my part in all this? I want to know.

You were a pawn in the plot. London knew it was no good just killing Fiedler. If he'd been killed, people would've started asking by whom and why. Maybe he'd told friends he suspected Mundt. Maybe he'd left notes, incriminating notes. London had to eliminate suspicion. Public rehabilitation, that's what they organized for Mundt. I was sent to discredit him. He was sent to discredit me.

And love?

We made it very easy for them. They used us. They cheated us both because it was necessary. Fiedler was nearly home already. If it hadn't been for us, Mundt would have been killed.

They were bloody clever. All the way down the line they were bloody clever.

Clever?

They were foul!

How can you turn the world upside down?

What rules are you playing?

There's only one rule.

Expediency.

Mundt gives London what it needs, so Fiedler dies and Mundt lives. It was a foul, foul operation, but it paid off.

Who for?

What the hell do you think spies are?

Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx?

They're not. They're just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me. Little men, drunkards, queers, henpecked husbands ... civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives.

Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong? Yesterday I would have killed Mundt because I thought him evil and an enemy. But not today. Today he's evil and my friend. London needs him. They need him so that the great, moronic masses you admire so much ... can sleep soundly in their flea-bitten beds again. They need him for the safety of ordinary, crummy people like you and me.

You killed Fiedler! How big does a cause have to be before you kill your friends?

What about your Party? There's a few million bodies on that path.

Art, immitating life, immitating art ?? : -

Or ?? : -

Or maybe ?? : -

Bank of Credit and Commerce International

With ?? : -

The Sandstorm Report

In accordance with your letter of instruction of 4 March 1991 we have prepared a report on these irregularities and related matters which have come to our attention during the course of our work. This comprised work in connection with the audit of team, which included partners and staff of Price Waterhouse, review of correspondence and other files previously held by and interviews with senior management.

Many of the findings summarised on this report arise from examination of documentation and interviews with former management by members of the investigation team. Whilst the findings are inevitably based on incomplete information, and certain details have not been corroborated, we believe that the enclosed report provides a fair reflection of what has occurred, although detailed analyses of specific transactions given in this report should be treated with care. Work by the investigation team is continuing and it is expected that many of the matters reported will be refined further as this work progresses. 

What weapons are being used ??

Are all of us looking in the wrong direction ??

Finn

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fionnbharr
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Straw Dogs by John Gray

Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals by John Gray pdf

 

The Death of Tragedy - page 97

Hegel wrote that tragedy is the collision of right with right. It is true that there is tragedy when weighty obligations are irreconcilably at odds, for then whatever we do contains wrong. Even so, tragedy has nothing to do with morality.
As a recognisable genre, tragedy begins with Homer, but tragedy was not born in the songs we read today in the Iliad . It came into the world with the masked figures, hybrids of animals and gods, who celebrated the cycle of nature in archaic festivals. Tragedy was born in the chorus that sang the mythic life and death of Dionysos. According to Gimbutas liturgical use of masked participants, the thiasotes or tragedy led ultimately to their appearance on the stage and to the birth of tragedy.
Tragedy is born of myth, not morality. Prometheus and Icarus are tragic heroes. Yet none of the myths in which they appear has anything to do with moral dilemmas. Nor have the greatest Greek tragedies.
If Euripides is the most tragic of the Greek playwrights, it is not because he deals with moral conflicts but because he understood that reason cannot be the guide of life. Euripides rejected the belief that; Socrates made the basis of philosophy that, as Dodds puts it, 'moral, like intellectual error, can arise only from a failure to use the reason we possess; and that when it does arise it must, like intellectual error, be curable by intellectual process.'
Like Homer, Euripides was a stranger to the faith that knowledge, goodness and happiness are one and the same. For both, tragedy came from the encounter of human will with fate. Socrates destroyed that archaic view of things. Reason enabled us to avoid disaster, or else it showed that dis­aster does not matter. This is what Nietzsche meant when he wrote that Socrates caused the death of tragedy.
The pith of tragedy is not the collision of right with right. There is tragedy when humans refuse to submit to circum­stances that neither courage nor intelligence can remedy. Tragedy befalls those who have wagered against the odds. The worth of their goals is irrelevant. The life of a petty criminal can be tragic, while that of a world statesman may be petty.
In our time, Christians and humanists have come together to make tragedy impossible. For Christians, tragedies are only blessings in disguise: the world - as Dante put it - is a devine comedy; there is an afterlife in which all tears be wiped away. For humanists, we can look forward to a time when all people have the chance of a happy life; in the meantime, tragedy is an edifying reminder of how we can thrive misfortune. But it is only in sermons or on the stage that human beings are ennobled by extremes of suffering.

Varlam Shalamo according to the gulag survivor Gustaw Herling a writer before whom all the gulag literati, Solzhenitsyn included, must bow their head, was first arrested in 1929 when he was only twenty-two and still a law student at Moscow University. He was sentenced to three years hard labour in Solovki, an island that had been converted from an Orthodox monastery into a Soviet concentration camp. In 1937 he was again arrested and sentenced to five years in Kolyma, in northeastern Siberia. At a conservative estimate, around a million people perished in these Arctic camps and one third or more of the prisoners died each year.
Shalamov spent seventeen years in Kolyma. His book Kolima Tales is written in a spare, Chekhovian style, with none of the didactic tones of Solzhenitsyn works. Yet in occasional terse asides, and between the lines, there is a message: whoever thinks that he can behave differently has never touched the true bottom of life; he has never had to breathe his last in a world without heroes.

Kolyma was a place which morality had ceased to exist. In what Shalamov drily called literary fairy tale, deep human bonds are forged under the pressure of tragedy and need; but in fact no tie of friendship or sympathy was strong enough to survive life in Kolyma: If tragedy and need brought people together and gave birth to their friendship, then the need was not extreme and the tragedy not great, Shalamov wrote. With meaning drained from their lives, it might seem that the prisoners had no reason to go on; but most were too weak to seize the chances that came from time to time to end their lives in a way they had chosen: There are times when a man has to hurry so as not to lose his will to die. Broken by hunger and cold, they moved insensibly to a senseless death.

Shalamov wrote: There is much there that a man should not know, should not see, and if he does see it, it is better for him to die. After his return from the camps, he spent the remainder of his life refusing to forget what he had seen. Describing his journey back to Moscow, he wrote:

It was as if I had just awakened from a dream that had lasted for years. And suddenly I was afraid and felt a cold sweat from on my body. I was frightened by the terrible strength of man, his desire and ability to forget. I realised I was ready to forget everything, to cross out twenty years of my life. And when I understood this, I conquered myself, I knew I would not permit my memory to forget everything that I had seen. And I regained my calm and fell asleep.

Finn

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sand_puppy
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Rector nails it: UK Spys Warn on Russian Assult on Power Grid

You don't believe the Russia hacked the elections?  Caused Catalonia to vote for separation? Destabilized the united states by fanning discord?  Killed hundreds at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Vegas?

OK, well they are going to attack the power grid!!!  Be afraid. 

UK Spy Agencies Warn Power Companies To Brace for Crippling Russian Cyberattack

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fionnbharr
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Stuxnet

Hi sand_puppy,

The EIA state that : -

As of December 31, 2016, there were about 8,084 power plants in the United States that have operational generators with nameplate electricity generation capacities of at least 1 megawatt (MW). A power plant may have one or more generators, and some generators may use more than one type of fuel.

That's an awful lot of infrastructure to protect.

However : -

Stuxnet is a malicious computer worm, first uncovered in 2010 by Kaspersky Lab. Thought to have been in development since at least 2005, Stuxnet targets SCADA systems and was responsible for causing substantial damage to Iran's nuclear program. Although neither country has openly admitted responsibility, the worm is believed to be a jointly built American/Israeli cyberweapon.

Maybe it'll be a home goal then ?? : -

... and we all know who Michael Hayden is : -

NSA warrantless surveillance (2001–07)

Finn

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SagerXX
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sand_puppy wrote: You don't
sand_puppy wrote:

You don't believe the Russia hacked the elections?  Caused Catalonia to vote for separation? Destabilized the united states by fanning discord?  Killed hundreds at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Vegas?

OK, well they are going to attack the power grid!!!  Be afraid. 

UK Spy Agencies Warn Power Companies To Brace for Crippling Russian Cyberattack

Came here to post this link.  SP is on the case...

 

Tick, tock, tick, tock...

 

Viva -- Sager

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Stabu
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Level of Population Control

I have a fair amount of New York liberals in my circles and all of them seem to be buying hook, line and sinker that Russians are pretty much behind everything bad in this world. To those I keep reminding one factual thing: the level of population control a given leader possesses. An example of this is: Kim's control of the North Koreans > Xi's control of the Chinese > Putin's control of the Russians > Erdogan's control of the Turks. None of the four are, of course, particularly nice people. But then again, very few Western leaders are particularly nice people either. Of course the Russian government wants to influence other governments and they even may have the tools and valid motives to do so, but more than that it seems to me that many Western countries - the US in particular - would strongly benefit from having a demon to destroy. Even if this never leads to physical warfare, just the relentless bashing of Russians may lead up to renegade groups within that country - that Putin, again, has very poor control over - to act out in a way that would certainly not be in the West's interest. Just remember what happened after the Soviet Union collapsed and a lot of Russian men started drinking themselves to death, since they couldn't fathom their loss of status. Imagine if this time, instead of drinking themselves to death, the Russians just start to indiscriminately hack Western utilities, financial infrastructure and defense systems. Safe to say, the West's current behavior is at best very foolish indeed...

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?

So does Russia have a Rothschild central bank?

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Plot twist!

Citing the usual “unnamed officials” ABC goes with this story citing 100% unnamed sources (again, this is my go-to identifier for a story that is complete bollocks):

U.K. officials now have a clearer picture of just how the attack was conducted, sources said. They believe the nerve agent was used in a dust-like powdered form and that it circulated through the vents of Skripal’s BMW.

Three intelligence officials told ABC News that the Russian military origin and the nature of the substance, a “dusty” organophosphate, are clear to them.

“It is a Cold War substance, something they claimed never to have,” one senior intelligence official said of Russia to ABC News. Sources said the substance is derived from G- and V-series agents in the 1970s, which are akin to the Novichok nerve agent.

The intelligence officials told ABC News up to 38 individuals in Salisbury have been identified as having been affected by the nerve agent but the full impact is still being assessed and more victims sickened by the agent are expected to be identified

(Source)

The flaws here are numerous:

1) How could the Skripals be ‘dosed’ in their cars through the air vents, meaning an aerosol route of administration (which leads to effects and/or death in mere minutes, not hours) yet wander around from 1:45 to 4:15?

2) How could Nick Bailey get exposed to enough to render him incapacitated while none of the other first responders reported any ill effects?  Also, if there was enough on them to transfer to Mr Bailey, then why were they not found dead or slumped in their vehicle?

3) Why do these unnamed sources now spout off about V and G series organophosphates, which are entirely different classes from each other and neither of which are novochoks? This greatly confuses the story line about what was used.

4) Where are these 38 stricken people?  The local hospital reported exactly zero beyond the three we know about.

This is one terrible piece of reporting on a lot of levels.  Looks like disinformation to me, but not very well crafted.  I'd place my money on a cub reporter for ABC being taken in by some individual without any actual clearances or insider knowledge.  This all seems rather poorly gleaned from old news reports that have since been tightened up.

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The guy who wrote the "plot twist" article was from Vegas

I think that I recognize the style and content of the BMW-Novochok story quoted above from ABC.  Just about the same as the Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting.  Creative and imaginative without any attempt to be coherent.

Probably the same guy or guys.

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(No subject)

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Explicit Syrian Linkage

Nothing subtle about this frame up!   The always execrable Nikki Haley explicitly connecting Syria and Skripal.   New false flag gas attack(s) in Syria coming right up.

Nikki Haley wrote:

Source   https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-18/russian-double-agent-reportedl...

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley compared the Skripal attack to North Korea’s use of a nerve agent to assassinate the half-brother of dictator Kim Jong-un — a murder that resulted in the designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. She linked the Salisbury incident to the increasingly-regular use of chemical weapons, especially in Syria, and urged Russia to “come clean” about the assassination attempt.

“The Russians complained recently that we criticize them too much,” she said. “If the Russian government stopped using chemical weapons to assassinate its enemies; and if the Russian government stopped helping its Syrian ally to use chemical weapons to kill Syrian children; and if Russia cooperated with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by turning over all information related to this nerve agent, we would stop talking about them. We take no pleasure in having to constantly criticize Russia, but we need Russia to stop giving us so many reasons to do so.”

 Our "leaders" running this travesty are truly evil and dangerous.

Mememonkey

 

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