Streetwise Professor

January 25, 2012

Birds of a Feather

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 5:21 pm

To the utter jubilation of one long time commenter, Wikileaks’s Julian Assange has been hired to host an interview program on The Propaganda Network Formerly Known as Russia Today.  Said commenter and I have polar opposite views on this, but this announcement validates my response to one of his comments last night:

And many authoritarians support Wikileaks, precisely for the reason that Wikileaks exists: it is at root a fundamentally anti-American project, and that’s quite attractive to many authoritarians.

And, as I have noted repeatedly in the past, thereby inciting paroxysms of rage by another frequent commenter, RT is first and foremost an anti-US project.  That is its primary purpose.  It is an important piece of Putin’s information operations directed at the west generally, and the US in particular.

Assange is also virulently anti-American.  Among the most virulent, in fact.

So this pairing is perfectly understandable, and I came quite close to predicting it.  I certainly pointed out the logic of the marriage in that comment.

This whole relationship gives the lie to Assange’s pious claims that he is about openness and transparency and freedom everywhere.  If he were, he would not be pimping (or is it whoring?) for an authoritarian government that is notoriously secretive, and which routinely engages in widespread surveillance of anybody and everybody.

Assange might have a little more credibility if he were an equal opportunity leaker.  But no chance of that.  Especially now.  Now that he is a kept man.

Yup.  Just another anti-American poser wrapping himself in pieties.

And Assange cares too much about his health to do to the Russian Foreign Ministry what he did to the State Department. This brings to mind what Orwell wrote about Gandhi:

It is difficult to see how Gandhi’s methods could be applied in a country where opponents of the régime disappear in the middle of the night and are never heard of again. Without a free press and the right of assembly, it is impossible not merely to appeal to outside opinion, but to bring a mass movement into being, or even to make your intentions known to your adversary. Is there a Gandhi in Russia at this moment? And if there is, what is he accomplishing? The Russian masses could only practise civil disobedience if the same idea happened to occur to all of them simultaneously, and even then, to judge by the history of the Ukraine famine, it would make no difference.

Now Putin’s Russia is far softer than Stalin’s USSR of which Orwell wrote. But to say that Assange would be in far greater peril were he to do against Russia than what he did against the US goes without saying.

But that’s really rather idle conjecture, because the basic fact is that Assange has no interest in doing so. The enemy of his enemy is his friend. And now his employer.

And for more on RT, check out this report from Al Jazeera(!):

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  1. He is quite explicitly not RT’s employee. They signed a contract for 10 shows, that is all – and in all likelihood because all other networks are too scared to touch the political prisoner Assange.

    As for the rest of your post, we already all know your double standards: Glory to democracy and free speech unless it happens to cast the US in a bad light, in which case the hell with it all.

    Face it, SWP. You’d have been a gleeful, mass-murdering commissar had you been born in one of the Orwellian societies you speak of in this post.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 25, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

  2. The little boy in Berkeley , coming home by sea or by air -?

    -Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely-and this is vividly and eloquently proved in Orwell’s short novel. “Animal Farm” is a simple fable of great symbolic value, and as Orwell himself explained: “it is the history of a revolution that went wrong”. The novel can be seen as the historical analysis of the causes of the failure of Putinism , or as a mere fairy-tale; in any case it tells a good story that aims to prove that human nature and diversity prevent people from being equal and happy ,or at least equally happy.

    Comment by Anders — January 25, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

  3. Do you stop in Stockholm to see your ortodox Hate-monger Wikileaks-KGB- partner “Izrail Schmerler , Israel Adam Shamir, Adam Ermash , Jöran Jermas ” and his son Johannes Wahlström ?

    Comment by Anders — January 25, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

  4. What better way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Syrian uprising? The Yak-130 is a relatively new aircraft, as it was first used in official missions by the Russian air force in 2010. And while it’s designed as a trainer airplane for other, more lethal aircraft, the Yak-130 can be outfitted for reconnaissance and light-attack missions, making it a handy little machine for, oh, say, strafing crowds of protesters or convoys. Libya had also signed up for an order of them back before things went south for the Gadhafi regime and the deal fell apart. Either way, thanks, Russia, for marking the one-year anniversary of the Syrian uprising with this gesture. I am sure millions of Syrians feel the same way.

    Comment by Anders — January 25, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

  5. I am honored to be the subject of the Two Minutes Hate on the part of so many SWP commentators.

    It tells me that I must be doing at least something right. :)

    Please, do continue.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 25, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

  6. In hour 17 of my day, so I will just make my reply short and not so sweet:

    1. Never have expressed any glee at his extradition-not rendition. Typical rhetorical excess=bullshit. So you are both factually incorrect and hysterical in your comparisons.
    2. Yeah, Assange doesn’t have a voice. Nobody’s *ever* heard of him. Sheesh. You gotta do better than that.
    3. The idea of a continuum is clearly beyond your grasp. By any metric, Russia is far inferior on issues of surveillance, privacy, etc.
    4. Yeah, he has a contract, and as @wikileaks tweets, he has control over the program. Precisely b/c RT knows he will reliably regurgitate the anti-US Kremlin line.
    5. Viktor Bout probably *did* do things that are perfectly legal in Russia. No doubt he did what he did with the acquiescence, and probably connivance of the Russian government. Which is exactly why they lost their shit over it. There you go.
    6. Yeah, legal process, assassinations–what’s the big difference?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 25, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

  7. Which counties has Russia liberated?

    Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 25, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

  8. Re Putin’s Russia: ask Politskaya, Magnitsky, Kungayeva, Markelov, Litvinenko (whom you did mention). Not one Islamic terrorist among them. No. They do not kill wholesale like Stalin. Retail. Targeted. Much more efficient. And if Assange were so foolish as to try the same thing, he would end up the same way.

    The traitors who get ten years are the ones who get a trial.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 25, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  9. Yeah, that is a pretty funny joke, S/O.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 25, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

  10. You have yet to come close to addressing the galactic hypocrisy of Assange whoring for authoritarian Russia. And don’t weasel about “contractor” vs. “employee.” Whores usually don’t fill out W-2s. They perform purely on a contract basis.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 25, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

  11. There’s no hypocrisy involved. He trafficked in property stolen from them. Revelations from the Manning hearings suggest he, and his organization, was an accessory before and during the fact, not just after. So State Dept. went after them. Hardball? Yes. Hypocrisy? Hardly. The Wikipussies want to hit, but they don’t like to get hit back. Sorry. Not the way it’s played.

    ASSange is a poser who claims he’s all about high principles. That’s where the hypocrisy comes in.

    But, of course, he’s not about any principles except (a) the exaltation of Julian Assange, and (b) hatred of the US.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 25, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

  12. S/O-you are TFF. I am sorry for your family’s tribulations. But to blame the US is delusional, even for you. Talk about starting the story at the end. The USSR was a shambolic mess because of what Russians did to themselves. And the thieves who feasted on the corpse of the USSR were Russians. Yes. All those liberal Red Directors, secret policemen, apparatchiks. Reading John Stuart Mill in their free time. You crack me up sometimes.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 25, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

  13. Re Putin’s Russia: ask Politskaya, Magnitsky, Kungayeva, Markelov, Litvinenko (whom you did mention).

    I don’t want to go wildly OT, but you largely speaking of oranges and apples here. Most, probably all, of these people were not murdered by the Russian state (i.e. Putin/KGB/whatever) but by quite independent actors. Many other cases have direct analogies with events that have happened in democracies such as the UK or the US.

    PolitKOVskaya was most likely murdered for by the Kadyrovites; possibly, ordered directly by Kadyrov himself (who, according to her, directly threatened her in a 2004 personal conversation). Markelov was certainly killed by nationalists, who were – if you noticed – sentenced to life in prison.

    Kungayeva was killed by Budanov, who you’d note served eight years for it. That, BTW, happens to be at least 7 and three quarters more years than the MAXIMUM that Frank Wuterich, the leader of a US squad that massacred 24 Iraqi civilians, will get. For years the West has dissed Russia for its relative leniency towards war criminals, but when US soldiers started engaging in their own war crimes the US courts and general populace took a practically identical approach of apologetics and blaming the victims. The title of the Atlantic editorial says it all: “Why We Should Be Glad the Haditha Massacre Marine Got No Jail Time.”

    I haven’t delved into the details of the case, but whatever the truth – there are different versions, BTW – the Magnitsky case does appear to be a very severe and high-profile travesty of justice. But the evidence indicates that it was private and mercenary motives that were at play. Nor is it completely unique to Russia, except to the extent that Magnitsky was a white-collar professional and exceptionally well-connected person whose associates could make a real din (such people, I agree, have very little to fear in the rare cases that they are prosecuted in the US). Every year, about 500 people die in detention in the US alone. There are credible reports (it was in the NYT, I can dig them up if you wish) that several Guantanamo prisoners were essentially murdered during their detention there.

    Finally, Litvinenko. For a start, according to William Dunkerley’s recent book on the subject, the UK coroner never even issued a classification of the form of death; or more accurately, it has been classified a state secret (just as with the mysterious death of David Kelly). A number of other things don’t add up, such as the elegant, prose-perfect deathbed denunciation of Putin produced by Litvinenko – a guy who barely spoke English. The journalist Edward Jay Epstein covered all these discrepancies and more a few years ago in the article “The Specter That Haunts the Death of Litvinenko”, which I highly recommend. As I said, this affair is very murky and any number of actors other than the FSB could have done the killing and/or benefited from it.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 26, 2012 @ 1:33 am

  14. Damn, I missed this whole thing!

    Comment by Howard Roark — January 26, 2012 @ 1:39 am

  15. Every year, about 500 people die in detention in the US alone… – Clarification: Pre-trial detention.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 26, 2012 @ 1:41 am

  16. Short responses specifically to #14:

    Re-1. Apologies if I misinterpreted you. I distinctly remember one comment you made in the past in which you spoke of the Manning-Assange connection and the prospect of greater trouble awaiting him than Sweden with relish.

    Re-2. Please don’t pretend. He does have a voice, but only thanks to the Internet and a few sympathetic media outlets (the most prominent of which is RT). These voices are drowned out by anti-Assange propaganda.

    Re-3. The idea of CONVERGENCE is clearly beyond your grasp. While the gap between Russia and the US used to be very wide in terms of “surveillance, privacy, etc”, it is now far smaller than I suspect you’d care to admit.

    Re-4. Once again, any criticism is automatically conflated with a “anti-US Kremlin line.” Do you really have your head so far down your jingoistic ass to believe that absolutely nobody can have an issue with how the US acts WITHOUT them either suffering psychological conditions or being Kremlin flunkies?

    Re-5. The world’s largest arms dealer wants to take out a small-timer. Doesn’t want the competition. By extraditing him to the US when he never even set foot there. And Russia is supposed to take it all with a grin? What would the US say if Saudi Arabia started extraditing American adulterers or Muslim apostates while they’re holidaying in Thailand?

    Re-6. Already addressed.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 26, 2012 @ 1:55 am

  17. I saw a story, or might have been a video I didn’t open the thread, on Max Keiser entitled “In Russia you have freedom but no rights and in America you have rights but no Freedom”.

    That pretty much sums it up succinctly.

    Comment by gardener1 — January 26, 2012 @ 2:45 am

  18. […] Streetwise Professor: Birds of a Feather […]

    Pingback by Wikileaks - Julian Assange - Page 59 - PPRuNe Forums — January 26, 2012 @ 5:36 am

  19. John, I guess you are retarded, but not too surprising.

    Mingrelian is a sub language of the Georgian family, Mingrelians laugh at Russian and Apsua attempts to state they are not “Georgian” and FYI Adjarans are ethnic Georgians too, from the Laz tribe.

    Mingrelians are uniformly Georgian Orthodox Christians. No need to spread the gospel.

    Georgians/Mingrelians and Apsua have both lived in Abkhazia for all of recorded history, the Apsua were generally highlanders, the Georgians/Mingrlians were the lowlanders, and built all of the architectural monuments in Abkhazia.

    Georgians/Mingrelians were the majority for most of recorded history in Abkhazia, aside from the two centuries post Ottoman invasion of Abkhazia when they had been deported or killed for refusing to convert to Islam, something the Abkhaz had no problem with.

    Abkhazia was a part of the Kingdom of Abkhazia-Egrisi which was a Georgian Kingdom, the Kingdom of Imereti, the united Kingdom of Georgia, and was administered as part of the Kutaisi governorship under Russian occupation, during the Russian revolution and civil war, and the brief period of Georgian independence from 1917-21 the Abkhazians chose to be unified with Georgia.

    As for South Ossetia, Ossetians first moved into the province in large numbers in the late 18th C, they did not become even a parity in the region until the early part of the 20th C, and did not become a majority in Tskhinvali until the 1960’s.

    Javakheti was predominantly Georgian until the mid 19th C when the Russians began deporting muslim Georgians and replacing them with Armenians from Turkey.

    It seems that you might be another one of these Armenian racists, but never mind.

    Comment by Andrew — January 26, 2012 @ 9:11 am

  20. Poor little Berkley boy quoting Sakarov .Selectivity and dishonesty is the propaganda- tool of a demagog .

    “georgia is a little empire.” Guess who said that? Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist, i.e an anti-communist. Mr. Sakharov knew about georgian imperiliast, chauvinist, anti-democratic mindset. You must be surprised!?!?

    Mr. Sakharov on Russian inferiority complex and Imperialist, chauvinist mindset

    When he wrote an article for Literaturnaya Gazeta that scientists must become one of the main supports of peaceful coexistence, “countering imperialist reactionaries, nationalism, adventurism, and dogmatism,” he was addressing those words to the West. Later he was seeing that there were things to resist inside the country. It seemed that the Soviet hawks were as much more in need of
    restraint, but the Soviet press was not available for an open discussion of that vital issue.

    “who could objectively set him in the service of the interests of Russian imperialism.” How?

    Yet Putin has reverted to the Soviet habit of blaming unrest on outside agitators, suggesting that “American partners” are manipulating the protesters. The question, especially from the West’s point of view, is whether Russia will descend into expansionist chauvinism. Even if it were not of the global, absolutist type that was typical of the U.S.S.R., that would still be an unwelcome development. Still, the world coped with a much worse Russia. Let us be optimistic.

    Comment by Andes — January 26, 2012 @ 11:31 am

  21. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. Is a famous Karl Marx quote , but he forgot the third time. Then history repeat itself in Russian –

    Tsar Putin doesn’t understand who the protesters are or who should represent them, according to Kudrin

    Count Tolstoy, excommunicated by the state Church in 1901, was not the only
    one who saw Russian life in somber colors. Another count saw Russia in the
    same light. Entirely a man of the government, Sergei Witte (1849–1915), the
    first constitutional prime minister of the Russian empire, tried to combine authoritarian
    rule with dynamic modernization. In a report to the emperor in 1905, he admitted that the people’s uprisings that shook Russia at the time “cannot be explained by the partial imperfections of the present government regime, are not just the activities of extreme parties,” that “the roots of these uprisings undoubtedly lie deeper,” and “Russia outlived the forms of the existing system and aspires to a legal system based on civil liberty.” This was an unpleasant truth for the autocracy. And after recovering from the scare of the revolutionary explosion of 1905, the tsar dismissed the prime minister who said unpleasant things to him.

    The World of Andrei Sakharov: A Russian Physicist’s Path to Freedom Gennady Gorelik

    Comment by Andes — January 26, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  22. And Sublime Oblivion’s support for an accused rapist is not at all unusual for a Russian male, after all Putin supported the former Israeli President when he was accused of raping a female staff member by saying “he was a real man”

    Looks like Sublime Oblivion is a misogynist, and we all know they are usually……

    Comment by Andrew — January 26, 2012 @ 1:31 pm


    SWP and rabid rytb,

    I still see crickets on my Al Jazeera once equaled Jihad TV, now it’s as American as applie pie argument cuz it has a budding rivalry with RT over Syria coverage, with RT saying the foreigners shooting people are Islamists getting outside backing while Al-Jazeera presents them as plucky freedom fighters. But boy, does the Professor love to cite the television channel that has lots and lots of staffers in common with Rusiya al Yaum. Go look it up on Facebook and VKontakte.

    Ah but rytb, start lecturing S/O on how the Pentagon/State Department backing the Muslim Brotherhood is patriotic. After all, they’re against Assad, and Assad is being armed by Russia, ergo they’re good. Who cares if they turn Syria into a giant rocket launching pad against the Israeli Golan Heights, drag Syrian Orthodox Christian women off the streets and beat them for driving/not wearing a burka, etc? Once again hatred of Russia trumps any fear of long term Islamism’s consequences or even concern about Israel’s security.

    Politically, Qatar maintains a seemingly contradictory set of alliances. U.S. officials consider Doha a close ally. Qatar hosts U.S. Central Command and has the Gulf’s only Israeli Interests Section.

    But for years, Doha has also openly fostered ties with some of the region’s most controversial Islamic militant groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Sheikh Hamad, in a Sept. 7 interview with al-Jazeera, said he believed radical Islamists whose views were forged under tyrannical governments could embrace participatory politics if the promise of real democracy and justice of this year’s Arab revolts is fulfilled.

    Ya’ll don’t want to go there. And that’s fine. This place is turning into one giant ball of hate anyway.

    “As for South Ossetia, Ossetians first moved into the province in large numbers in the late 18th C, they did not become even a parity in the region until the early part of the 20th C, and did not become a majority in Tskhinvali until the 1960’s.” Hmmm Andrew, sounds not unlike the complaints of Serbians that Albanians didn’t start outbreeding them in Kosovo until the Sixties. But we all know you believe Georgian nationlism is God’s gift to the Caucuses while Serbian nationalism is evil. And if hundreds of thousands of Georgians choose to live in the Russian Federation, than they clearly have a case of Stockholm syndrome. But to me your argument that all Russians are racist against Caucasians despite centuries of intermarrying with them especially Armenians is about the same as all those idiot La Raza activists running around touting the glories of made-up Azatlan, the same land their Spanish ancestors conquered so easily because the tribes the Aztecs subjugated hated them for practicing human sacrifice and cruelty.

    I suppose since the U.S.-Russian propaganda war is heating up RFE/RL will have to up the ante and take revenge for the hiring of Assange by hiring Boris Berezovsky, and making darn sure listeners can’t call in and ask him about all the people he had killed back in Moscow.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

  24. “But, of course, he’s not about any principles except (a) the exaltation of Julian Assange, and (b) hatred of the US.”

    No, it is your hatred of Russia that trumps all other prudential concerns, including keeping U.S. troops firmly supplied in Afghanistan via the Northern Route, or concern about the CME’s reputation after it became a witting or unwitting accomplice to the greatest theft of customer accounts in American history (and possibly a ‘dry run’ for a bigger ‘bank holiday’ massive theft of Americans’ brokerage and bank accounts).

    This blog has basically replaced LR’s as the daily two minutes Russia hate, period. It goes far beyond Putin and has little to do with him personally, unless you all are so idiotic as to believe NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine would be wildly popular in Russia or have ignored that the more Chinese get to express their opinions the more they resent the U.S. for turning their country’s savings into toilet paper.

    And Anders, I ain’t in my golden years. Not my a long shot. And you can barely write in English, didn’t they teach you better in Norwegian schools than that?

    So rytb, I want to see a full-throated defense of arming Islamists to overthrow Assad. Especially since Syria’s border with Israel has been (with the exception of one recent incident) quiet for the past twenty three years — EVEN after the Israels bombed a Syrian reactor.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  25. And I could give a crap about Assange. If he himself is not an inofficiele mitarbeiter his organization was riddled with Anglo-American spook plants. There were plenty of Wikileaks that appeared designed to bolster, rather than detract from, typical American silovik foreign policy goals. After all, if the horse of genuine secrets has left the barn already, the best way to hide it is to release the donkeys, pigs, and all sorts of misinformation alongside it. That’s why I can’t believe a guy as educated as SWP takes so much of the whole Wikileaks ‘story’ at face value. I mean, you really believe that one little poor bastard Pfc Manning got all those files all by his lonesome? C’mon…that’s child like belief in the Establishment’s narrative.

    For that reason, I seriously doubt he’ll ever even step foot in an RT studio, all his stuff will be done remotely like the Keiser Report.

    And rytb, I sincerely hope Assad peacefully steps down in favor of a coalition government. But if it’s done the way Al-Jazeera seems to want in a bloody civil war with NATO and Turkey supplying the guns and money, the only winners will be the Islamists. And if you don’t think there aren’t some in Washington who want to create the next round of enemies to fight and resist the defense cuts that are coming, you are a very naive or self-deluded creature.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

  26. And I constantly bring up day x of no indictments or arrests in the MF Global heist on this blog to remind SWP of his responsibilities in his field of expertise. Having a different or even liberast point of view on Russia as a hobby is one thing, blogging about the house on fire across town while someone takes a dump in front of your office and steals all the cash registers with impunity is another thing. That’s the analogy for what Don Corzine and a’s bankster oligarch bosses SWP fears offending have done.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  27. Next Mr. X will inform us of the conspiracy behind the 9/11 attacks. Stay tuned to Tinfoil News Network for more exciting developments.

    Comment by Yoshi — January 26, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

  28. Yoshi (what is that, a Super Nintento character?), um no. You are a troll.

    Wake up. Even the tinfoil hat wearers are right twice a day, whereas some of your ‘mainstream’ sources are essentially exercises in misdirection and crowd control.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

  29. Mr X and his Berkley doppelgänger suffer from a Stockholm syndrome. They took the Russian country from you and you don’t see it. But you love Putin. Why? Because you wants to love him and you want us to love him . Why? Because he stands for his rich friends not for the people . He speaks what you want to hear . He is so totally corrupted it is impossible for you to understand . He can stand in front of media and answer any question and talk like a racist pig . He doesn’t use teleprompter like Obama. He is not a top educated and smart and intelligent like Obama , but he can use populist and racist rhetoric . He brought Russia from ruin to one of the most corrupt economies in the world . Still he is the president of the biggest and the richest by resources country in the world. The only self-sufficient country in the world on energy . (But not on manufactured goods ) That is why you want us to love Putin. I just want a man like him and his oligarchs and Siloviki friends go to hell .

    Unfortunately racist and chauvinist Putin-Mafia supporters do not live in reality. They live in a virtual reality thus most of their comments here , are to read for having a good laugh. They are so narrow minded and misinformed what is going in the rest of the world. You don’t have a clue what democracy and freedom are on the first place. Who made you to robots and slaves and so proud of it ?

    America is comprised of every nationality and ethnicity in the world. It’s not the people of the world that America opposes, it’s the policies of their governments. Countries that cling to system of spheres of influence totalitarianism and status quo tyranny , will never be allies of the US and the western democracies . The people the US have to fight off within the US itself through means of democracy. It’s a pretty good system.

    History proves that all dictatorships, all authoritarian forms of government are transient. Only democratic systems are not transient. Whatever the shortcomings, mankind has not devised anything superior. Famous Putin quote -He lost his friend Gaddafi and now he is loosing Assad in Syria

    Lol- double standard is known as twice as good morals
    Good luck with the Orwell union

    It would seem Putin believes that while Russia “integrates” the post-Soviet space, taking in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with others (Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Moldova) possibly adding up, the US is free to “integrate” Canada, Mexico and other Central American, Caribbean states, forming the “NAFTA Union” superstate. India, China and the ASEAN nations may form their own regional superstates: an Orwellian future, like in “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (first published in 1949) by George Orwell.

    Comment by Anders — January 26, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

  30. Discussing anything with you is about as useful as banging one’s head against the wall, Anders, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

    1. I did not write the Georgian comment #34, as indicated by the fact the author is marked “john” (as opposed to “Sublime Oblivion”). Just FYI, basic reading comprehension, etc.

    2. I have no interest, none whatsoever in your feelings for Putin. Etch his face on your toilet and take a dump on him daily, who cares? What I do care about are pesky little things like facts, and an aversion to lies.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 26, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

  31. The aversion of facts and lies from a Putin mafia supporter . Transparency international and Human Rights Watch are not that easy to manipulate as Russia Today little Berkley boy .

    Comment by Anders — January 26, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

  32. Anders,

    I have no real dog in the fight over whether Putin stays, as he has announced he intends to, or leaves the Kremlin before his term ends. None. Let the Russian people vote, and I hope and pray it’s an honest election. But that’s it.

    All of Washington’s lecturing of Russia has proven futile and counterproductive — ALL of it. But it keeps a certain category of people — what the Washington D.C. lawyer James George Jatras calls ‘the Demintern’ (after the old Communist Internationale) — gainfully employed. From the NRI and NED to useless ‘think tanks’ like the Jamestown Foundation, to the Prague palace of RFE/RL funded with my taxpayer dollars, and one could even argue by extension SWP’s bete noir Russia Today would not exist without the Demintern it mirror images in the first place.

    I have never praised Julian Assange and have no use for the man. I haven’t seen any S/O comments praising him either, but maybe I missed something. That’s ok, I have a life and a job. You on the other hand are retired and make most of your postings at 3 a.m. Oslo time. Which suggests after heavy drinking.

    What I care about is that ultimately this whole blog is turning into one big misdirection play and chance for its author to put all his frustrations about the economic and social collapse of the United States onto Russia.

    TSA rolling out rubber gloves groping? Talk about Putin’s use of excrement in his phrases.

    MF Global customers robbed in broad daylight with (thus far) impunity and CME pulling a Sergeant Schultz ‘I know nuthing’ routine? Lecture us more about how Russia represents the apogee of the ‘Natural State’.

    U.S. government backing Islamists who’ve taken over Libya and soon Syria? Talk about the single Russian warship sent to Syria being a rustbucket instead.

    U.S. government stepping up surveillance and getting into bed with Google? Talk about how SOPA’s no big deal and Russia is still a more surveillance society.

    And so on and so forth. You’d almost think we were already living in Oceania learning to hate Eurasia. Or is it Eastasia this week?

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

  33. The present regime may have abandoned the compulsive economic ideologies of the Communist past, but it has not developed anything like an open society. And yet the case for freedom is about far more than abstract morality. It’s a practical matter, as the communist heroine and martyr Rosa Luxemburg explained in 1918 when she argued against Lenin’s suppression of hostile opinion, and against the closed society: “Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element … [S]uch conditions must inevitably cause a brutalization of public life.” Subsequent decades proved how right she was.

    Russians are used to electoral fraud. There were never any expectations that the Dec. 4 elections would be carried out with complete honesty, any more than Russia’s past votes were. But this time, instances of ballot irregularity were recorded by mobile devices and then posted on the Internet, to which more than 40 percent of Russians now have access. Outrage—and calls to protest—flashed from computer to computer. Political discourse is thriving in blogs, tweets, posts to Facebook, uploads to YouTube—challenging the regime’s old-media monopoly on news and opinion.

    One can have “reform” without liberalism, and Russia’s regime remains far from the rule of law—something even more important than “democracy.” The Russian bureaucracy has not abandoned its habit of failing to fulfill its contracts and obligations. In democratic countries, contracts are enforced, delinquents fined or dismissed, and when we speak of the rule of law, we mean contract law as well. But Russians remain justifiably skeptical about the political process. The problem is not primarily economic or even political. It is a certain lack of much feeling for community in the sense of a civic or plural order.

    That may be changing among the young, educated class. Yet Putin has reverted to the Soviet habit of blaming unrest on outside agitators, suggesting that “American partners” are manipulating the protesters. The question, especially from the West’s point of view, is whether Russia will descend into expansionist chauvinism. Even if it were not of the global, absolutist type that was typical of the U.S.S.R., that would still be an unwelcome development. Still, the world coped with a much worse Russia. Let us be optimistic.

    Comment by Anders — January 26, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

  34. Can Sublim Berkley boy and Moron X tell me about Vladimir Kulikov , he does not sound as crazy a Putin bootlicker like you ?

    Sounds like the Putin-Mafias propaganda network have to go to USA to get the right bootlickers ?

    My name is Vladimir Kulikov, I student of television.

    I am very sad for everything that is happening right now in this country’s journalism, domestic television. And I am even more sad for everything that happens in our country. To be honest, the last three years I really ponder about moving to another country. I am very worried.

    In interviews, you very often talk about responsibility, about personal responsibility, about the fact that any decisions you take and feel that will feedback of millions. I am interested in the following question.
    Now in our country is developing a very serious revolutionary situation. I feel it in conversations. I also can feel it in the Internet comments. And I wonder, what will be the strategy of your personal behaviour during the revolution in the country?

    How do you realise your level of responsibility? Are you ready to go in the People’s Court (surely this is likely be the result of a revolution), and are you willing to defend your decisions and their ideals? Do you understand what most likely the court will necessarily be biased, because all the revolutionary courts are biased? Do you understand that, most likely, you can get the death penalty?
    Are you ready to brave it and accept it as did Saddam Hussein, or do you emigrate to the friendly North Korea, the death of the leader so that you sympathize with, as opposed to Vaclav Havel ? Thank you.

    Vaclav Havel hails retraction of Putin ‘role model’ prize

    “Vaclav Havel thinks it was very wise of the panel to reconsider its choice,” Havel’s secretary Sabina Tancevova told AFP.

    “The award should be given to people like Anna Politkovskaya or Sergei Kovalov or Liu Xiaobo — people who devoted their lives to protection of human rights and freedoms and promoting democracy,” she added.

    Comment by Andes — January 26, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

  35. And one last thing Prof: EVERY SINGLE ITEM the people Al-U.S. friendly Jihad TV interviewed while criticizing RT could be said about Fox News, MSNBC, or any of the big three networks. They report useless celebrity or dog stories, they don’t report that much on the war in Afghanistan, or hell for that matter the wars in Mexico. They don’t report about American silovik agencies or U.S. government surveillance. They don’t go out of their way to put on critics of the U.S. Establishment policies except for the recent run when they HAD to cover Ron Paul. And they mostly instinctively favor of the government position on almost every issue.

    And why is Al-Jazeera presenting Ed Lucas as an expert on Russia anyway? The man is a fanatical pro-Baltic nationalist hack with a dismal track record of predictions about Russia’s economy. He even said Russia would probably split into three or four mutually antagonistic states back in the 1990s. He’s Igor Panarin with a slick British accent and strong Establishment backing. Go read some real accounts of bizarro discussions with Ed Lucas at Eric Kraus blog:

    Ch. One: What do you think about the polemic arguing that Russia still supposedly poses a threat, particularly coming from such writers as Edward Lucas? E.K.: You should consider track records — not just for fund managers but also for journalists! Lucas has been systematically — indeed comically — wrong about Russia since 1997. He is married to his political positions and his entire worldview is based upon personal spite and the profound conviction that his particular values are the only valid ones. There is nothing wrong with making bad calls — it happens to all of us. What is inexcusable is to persist, despite all the evidence to the contrary. In September 1998, Ed Lucas warned me that the ruble was going to 10,000 to the dollar, the Russian economy would collapse by at least 25%, the Communist hordes would seize Moscow and Russia would break down into four mutually antagonistic, nuclear-armed regions. Of course, this proved to be utter nonsense!

    Beyond the personal issues, Russia is an inherently conservative power. Lacking natural boundaries, she has historically sought to minimize the very real threat from the West by erecting barrier states. Russia was utterly devastated by the West on three occasions: the Napoleonic Wars, followed by the two World Wars. This strategy ended with the Soviet Union, but like other major powers, Russia will seek to maintain her sphere of influence. Modern Russia poses no threat to her neighbors, some of whom have difficulty recognizing the fact that the Soviet Empire is gone forever — a restoration of the Soviet Union being about as likely as a restoration of the Holy Roman Empire! For a citizen of a country which joined the illegal invasion of Iraq on transparently fraudulent grounds, and which has recently become engaged in the Libyan civil war in a transparent play for oil assets, to warn about the dangers of an expansionist Russia is frankly Orwellian.

    Read more:

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

  36. In fact, I’d say being compared to Eric Kraus to Igor Panarin, whom I once saw on a Moscow subway platform, is an insult. Panarin has been more willing to change his positions when the facts change.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

  37. And Simonyan said protesters should burn in hell? Really? Why didn’t anyone else including the Moscow Times report that before Al-Jazeera discovered those magic tweets? It reminds me of Pajamas Media today claiming that a Campaign for Liberty website associated with Ron Paul is selling the Procols of the Elders of Zion. Sure, Paul himself would just tolerate selling a book totally imimical to his stated philosophy, especially after giving interviews to Haaretz. Give me a freakin’ break, this is all planted pro-Establishment fakery.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  38. Moron X You do not need to tell us about your hate and aversions against” NRI and NED ‘think tanks’ like the Jamestown Foundation, to the Prague palace of RFE/RL ” Tell us something we do not know . Your not interested in freedom for the Russian people – just as little as you are inserted in freedom for the people in Bosnia , Kosovo , Libya and Syria .-

    Comment by Andes — January 26, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

  39. Moron X – Take your pills – KGB owned Independent said the same –

    but the editor-in- chief Margarita Simonyan set the tone for the channel’s coverage when she wrote on her Twitter feed that the protest leaders should “burn in hell”.

    Comment by Andes — January 26, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  40. Moron X On the Kremlin’s English-language channel Russia Today, which on some topics is freer than its Russian-language equivalent, all the protests have been covered, but the editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan set the tone for the channel’s coverage when she wrote on her Twitter feed that the protest leaders should “burn in hell”.

    It also compared the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been attacked by liberals for his strong Russian nationalist views, to Emma West, the British woman recorded making a racist rant on a tram. The channel claimed the two are “made for each other” but are treated differently by a hypocritical Western media.

    But even personalities loyal to the Kremlin agree that for a well-educated society with ever-increasing levels of internet access, the stifling propaganda of state television will have to change.

    Comment by Andes — January 26, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

  41. Sorry rytb, some dude posting that stuff three years ago…or some goons manipulating the Google cache…is not hard evidence related at all to Mr. Paul’s views.

    How about they post photos on your Facebook page of you in a hot tub with Putin while we’re at it?

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

  42. This is like attributing vorobey’s calls for Russophile scumbags to be put into concentration camps to SWP.

    And rytb, for a middle aged or older lady, you sure do love the f-word.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

  43. What’s the matter with you X. You called RoPaul *Mr.* Paul. I thought it was *Dr.* Paul with you lot.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 26, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

  44. Yeah sure, such a reliable source, the Independent, owned as Andes (did he go to Peru, or has he been drinking harder in these cold, cold Oslo winter nights?) says.

    And rytb, after over four years of digging for the slightest piece of dirt on Dr. Paul, the best they can come up with is one moronic dude’s post on a Campaign for Liberty FORUM which any one can register and post at that nobody bothered to delete because nobody read it? That’s it? And Roger Simon and these other idiots are hyperventilating/lying that Paul somehow endorsed this?

    God I’d hate see what would come out if SWP ran for President and someone was paid to trawl for hateful, insane comments here. Starting with the ‘let’s bribe Pakistan…ANYTHING but rely on the Northern Supply route’ comment.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

  45. SWP, still waiting for your next appearance on CNBC, PMSNBC, or Cramer to ask why Corzine hasn’t been given his perp walk yet…

    Oh that’s right, that ain’t gonna happen. You’d rather suck up to your buddy the guy who runs the CME who says Celente should shut up about his money getting stolen.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

  46. And ya’ll still can’t respond to my point — why is Al-Jazeera eight years after being ‘jihad TV’ for airing anti-Iraq war views or Bin Laden videos suddenly an oh-so-respected source? Because they back American foreign policy now? I thought you hated all channels funded by state-owned natural gas monopolies. Oh wait I guess I was wrong.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

  47. Mr. X. For the 50th fucking time (yeah-I’m middle aged and use that all the time: I am the B52 of F-bombers) I believe Corzine should get the perp walk. And for the 50th fucking time Corzine is *NOT* the CME. I am sorry that you are so mentally limited that you can’t distinguish between the two. Corzine fucked (KABOOM!) the CME. You think they like him? They hate him with the heat of 1000 suns. Can you get that into your thick skull?

    Sorry, purely rhetorical question.

    Re Al Jazeera–Not a fan, but if they can look down on you, you must be really, really low. They look down on RT, with justification. Case closed.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 26, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

  48. And re me running for president. What a laugh. My longtime view is that anyone who wants to run for president should be disqualified as unfit for the job.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 26, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

  49. I rest my case…rytb = bitter old lady, lotsa cats, and a fridge stocked full of liquor. Anders = Norwegian, retired, fridge full of liquor. Damn, I should make a love connection between those two. A match made in Russophobic heaven!

    And if Dr. Paul has to be held to the standard of apologizing for every kook that takes a fancy to him or every PLANT that claims to endorse him, then let’s hold everyone to the Dr. Paul standard. Hell, it isn’t as if Paul is funding the kooks and Islamists. That would be the neocons, the EU, Al-Jazeera, et al, all tryinig to tell us they’ve changed, they’ve learned the error of their ways, they won’t stone women or execute homosexuals upon seizing power in Damascus or stockpile rockets on the border with Israel. Trust us. After all, we’re the people who brought you the war in Iraq.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

  50. “Take a fancy to”? Really? The guy works for his Campaign for Freedom.

    You’re the one with a man crush on Paul. And Putin too. Too weird to even try to imagine.

    And do you, a Russophile, really want to bring liquor into the conversation? Really? Or is vodka not liquor?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 26, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

  51. “Re Al Jazeera–Not a fan, but if they can look down on you, you must be really, really low. They look down on RT, with justification. Case closed.” Which is why so many people who used to work at Al-Jazeera now work for Rusiya Al Yaum, if you believe Facebook and VKontakte.

    And yes, I get that the CME is not Corzine, but they ought to be joining the lawsuits against the bastard. And they’re not. He came, he took a dump in their office chair, and they’re a bunch of p$$$$$ to use Robert Kiyosaki language cuz they just sat on their asses and took it. After all, it was only their customers money, not their money, right?

    I suppose we’ll have indictments on MF Global when OJ finds the real killers.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

  52. X. CME could not be a party. They were not damaged directly. There are, you know, like actual rules that determine who can be a party to a lawsuit. So yes, since it was their fucking (KABOOM) customers’ money, not theirs, it is their customers that have standing to sue. Not the CME. And the CME is not the USDOJ, or the States Attorney in IL, so it cannot indict even if it wanted to.

    Direct your vitriol at the correct target, please. Don’t just regurgitate what Celente says. Or maybe you are Celente in which case you don’t have a choice.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 26, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

  53. “71.“Take a fancy to”? Really? The guy works for his Campaign for Freedom.” Yeah, and being Campaign for Freedom they’re obligated to read every single stinkin’ post some dude may have left at their forum, like EVER, and probably his emails too. Cuz they have so much money and time for that. This is transparent bullshit designed to scare the hell out of aging Jewish voters in Miami, the same ones that voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000 (and yes, I have talked to people who’ve met Jews who like Pat personally, at least).

    And is he a paid employee or just a volunteer? Hmmm…Simon doesn’t say. Where’s your link? Your evidence?

    ‘Man crush’ is not the same thing as recognizing that every pro-Federal Reserve bankster, pro-Establishment whore gangs up on the guy, usually with bull$#% made up stuff like this volunteer’s conviently hidden post

    the CNN reporter who asked Paul how he felt about the little old lady who said she wouldn’t vote for him in New Hampshire because she couldn’t shake his hand in a room crowded with 300 mostly reporters

    or the fake ‘pro-Paul’ video that was actually made by Huntsman supporters now getting sued for it

    or the rednecks paid to wear pro-Rand t-shirts in Klan regalia by Rand’s opponent back in 2008, or that Rand worships aqua Buddha, or that Rand was ‘irate’ at the airport when he got detained (go look at the Tennesseean video).

    or giving the guy 89 seconds in a CBS debate or barely over a minute in a four-man debate more recently

    So yeah, defend any of that SWP, you fake libertarian poser.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

  54. “CME could not be a party. They were not damaged directly.”

    Damage to their reputation?

    “Direct your vitriol at the correct target, please. Don’t just regurgitate what Celente says. Or maybe you are Celente in which case you don’t have a choice.” Ha ha ha, if I were Celente I’d have had a six figure amount of gold in the bank but for the MFers, but I’d also be a hell of a lot older and wrinklier.

    Yes there are rules about standing to sue. But you can’t tell me not a single person who works for the CME had money invested at MF Global? That’s interesting.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

  55. And the same applies to you. Put out the house fire in your back yard or at least start fighting it before worrying about the rest of the world.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

  56. And S/O is right, you also have weird, foreign-server hosted and seedy looking Viagra ad links popping up at the bottom of your blog. Better get on it before you get hit with the SOPA or whatever international treaty Obama signed hammer if the One gets a second term and his minions get tired of your disses. But wait, you could always appeal to those saintly federal courts you say are so busy protecting our rights, you know the same ones that locked up Bernard VonNotHaus as a domestic terrorist for selling gold and silver coinage with Ron Paul’s face on them.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

  57. X. The reputational effect does not give CME as a corporation standing. Nor does the fact that individual CME employees, even if officers, give *the corporation* standing.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 26, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

  58. tldr;

    * I was recently flabbergasted to learn that VOA is PROHIBITED from broadcasting to its own citizens.

    * Many of those who fled to the West in 1945:
    a) Had no choice in the matter (Germans)
    b) Were collaborators and expected worse than what actually eventuated. When the SU drove the Nazis out of the Baltics and West Ukraine, the level of collaboration was found to be so high, that a decision was made to prosecute only the most odious cases. After all, why are there still any Baltic and Ukrainian SS veterans left? By the logic of the Robert Conquests of this world, they should have all been personally shot by Stalin and Beria. Yet here they are.
    c) Were outright war criminals (Ukrainians, Latvians, Russians, you name it). It boggles the mind how many managed to start businesses, raise families and die of old age in the West, having butchered so many in their youth.

    Comment by So? — January 26, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

  59. Anders,

    Yeah,yeah. Norwegian penis BIG, Russian penis small. What are you bitching about? The boundary dispute has been settled in your favour. Russia is not your problem. Take care of you multi-culti disease first.

    Comment by So? — January 26, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

  60. If rytb thinks Ron Paul is a ‘Nazi’, the man whose idol Ludwig von Mises had to flee Austria due to Nazi persecution based on Mises’ Jewish ethnicity, and that he’s a ‘Nazi’ for opposing unlimited aggressive warfare, and unlimited fiat printing that led to Nazism in Germany…that leaves even me speechless.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 10:13 pm


    the real story about Rand Paul’s detainment. Gawker is full of crap, not unlike their buddies at TMZ who got caught lying about Jesse Ventura’s ‘road rage’ incident in California while ‘The Body’ was actually in Minnesota at the time.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

  62. Speechless, X? Promise? Promise?!?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 26, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

  63. Every know and then I appear to kick some ass and point out how rabidly authoritarian your fans are SWP, but then I ride off into the sunset like Shane.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

  64. now [sic] typing too fast.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

  65. The M-346 is the favorite in the Israeli trainer jet competition. It’s basically a westernized Yak-130.

    Comment by So? — January 26, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

  66. Snuffy Smith Mr. X – The Putin mafias useful idiot .

    whatabout watching the bird ?

    You might want to try using Google — how to sabotage a relationship

    And Simonyan said protesters should burn in hell? Really? Why didn’t anyone else including the Moscow Times report that before Al-Jazeera discovered those magic tweets? It reminds me of Pajamas Media today claiming that a Campaign for Liberty website associated with Ron Paul is selling the Procols of the Elders of Zion. Sure, Paul himself would just tolerate selling a book totally imimical to his stated philosophy, especially after giving interviews to Haaretz. Give me a freakin’ break, this is all planted pro-Establishment fakery.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 26, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

    but the editor-in- chief Margarita Simonyan set the tone for the channel’s coverage when she wrote on her Twitter feed that the protest leaders should “burn in hell”.

    Comment by Anders — January 27, 2012 @ 2:41 am

  67. X: Shane? Kicking ass? Your gradiosity is showing.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 27, 2012 @ 9:53 am

  68. SWP, Birds of a Feather is an apt title for Assange, but why associate Assange’s political/nationalistic views with the value of Wikileaks? I value CNN, BBC, FOX as valuable contributors to transparency without subscribing at all to their political viewpoints. In fact CNN et al pontificate endlessly about fair and ubiased reporting. Rubbish. The competition of ideas and mud-slinging in the open is what keeps me free from political detention or worse an FSB cocktail. Celebrate Wikileaks for its novel method of setting information free, and dis-associate it from Assange’s narrative.

    Comment by scott — January 27, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

  69. The Irony of Wikileaks
    By threatening U.S. diplomacy, the hard left is undercutting its own worldview.

    By and large, the hard left and the Alex Jones morons in America and around the world would prefer to see the peaceful resolution of disputes rather than the use of military force. World peace, however, is a lot harder to achieve if the U.S. State Department is cut off at the knees. And that is exactly what this mass revelation of documents is going to do. The essential tool of State Department diplomacy is trust between American officials and their foreign counterparts. Unlike the Pentagon, which has military forces, or the Treasury Department, which has financial tools, the State Department functions mainly by winning the trust of foreign officials, sharing information, and persuading. Those discussions have to be confidential to be successful. Destroying confidentiality means destroying diplomacy

    Comment by Anders — January 27, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  70. According to KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, the post-Soviet regime of pretended democracy was not supposed to last twenty years. It was designed to overpower the West in ten years. So the plan didn’t work. So Russia’s hidden totalitarian structures have begun to decay. They have remained under fake bourgeois auspices too long; and besides, there is no Stalin to lead them. In this matter we should remember what Stalin said to his henchmen during his last days: “You are like blind kittens; what will happen without me? The country will perish because you do not know how to recognize enemies.”

    What Bukovsky goes on to describe is the fate of these blind kittens, caught up in the crisis of Russia’s false democracy. One might say it is the crisis of a deception gone too long, carried too far by structures that can no longer bear the load. A world war might have once saved the current Russian regime, granting it renewed legitimacy in the midst of crisis. But now it is too late. According to Bukovsky, the incompetence of the regime is such that if Stalin were alive today he would have them all shot. “They cannot even blow up the buildings in their capital city without exposing themselves and leaving traces,” Bukovsky added, referring to the 1999 apartment bombings that were used to justify the KGB’s return to power. “Nothing [in the KGB/FSB] works as it should,” says Bukovsky.

    So how will this Kremlin, with its third generation blind kittens, survive the growing groundswell of popular opposition? Bukovsky says that the KGB understands how to manipulate mass movements with its network of double agents. But in the end, this method will not work. “The social atmosphere in due course becomes ever more politicized, radicalized,” Bukovsky explained. In the end, the KGB cannot join the protests against itself without damaging its own position. And so, Russia faces a serious political crisis in March or April. This crisis will likely grow, and spiral out of control.

    Such is the hopeful, optimistic language of Putin’s opposition – represented by Vladimir Bukovsky. It does not entail fear-mongering or anti-Western propaganda. It simply describes a regime that has lost touch with its people. Such a regime may accuse the United States of fostering a revolution in Russia, or threatening the whole world with nuclear destruction; but the game of deflecting criticism in the wake of fraudulent elections does not appear to be working.

    The year 2012 should prove decisive for Russia. Will the anti-Americanism take Russia by the throat? Or will the KGB regime lose its grip? One year from today we should know the answer. –

    Comment by Anders — January 27, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

  71. Goebbels X, could you be any more queer in your adoration of Putin and Ron Paul?

    Comment by Andrew — January 28, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  72. andrew Dzhugashvili, aka junior Stalinist,

    1. Let’s make something very clear. I am an American. And very proud of it. But you are too dumb to understand.
    1a. Ahhhh… calling me “racist.” You sound like a typical liberal. You, andy Dzhugashvili, must be a racist, sexist, homophobe, anti-immigrant, anti-union, bla-bla-bla bigot.
    2. I remember the little yellow bus taking you to school. Therefore, I will repeat and do it slowly so you can (hopefully) understand. The question was about the language (Mingrelian), i.e. the spoken word, i.e. how people communicate not about the ethnic group (the Mingrelians). Mingrelian language is different from georgian language. the moronic georgians don’t even allow the Bible to be published in Mingrelian! At least 600,000 people speak Mingrelian. They are entitled to have the Bible in Mingrelian. The Bible has been translated to languages where there are 2,000 speakers, but your favorite anti-Christian georgians are acting in ungodly and chauvinistic manner.

    3. You write “No need to spread the gospel.” Now we know you are against the Great Commission of Jesus Christ! I feel sorry for you and hope you change.

    4. Abhkazia is the homeland of Abhkazians; it was occupied by chauvinist, racist georgians. Ossetia or Alania is the homeland of Alans, aka Ossetians; it was occupied by chauvinist, racist georgians. Javahkh is the homeland of Armenians; it was occupied by chauvinist, racist georgians. It is not “Javakheti,” it is Javahkh, you illiterate cretin. But you can repeat the georgian propaganda ad nauseum.
    4a. You are a good example of the failure of the government schools in America. Your hero, human monster and cruel, bloody dictator Joseph Dzhugashvili, aka Joseph Stalin(ethnically georgian), artificially drew the borders of the “little empire” (as correctly described by late Andrei Sakharov).
    4b. Here is a multiple choice question for a moron like you. Are you for preserving the borders drawn by your hero Joseph Stalin?
    a. Yes,
    b. No,
    c. Errr… I dunno its beyond my pay grade,
    e. I’ll get back to you after I get the answer from my lying paymasters in Tbilisi and my necktie chewing, loser, clown uncle mishiko.

    5. georgians are pathetic, lazy people. They used to sell oranges. Plus, they made good petite thieves. They erase the Armenian and Abkhaz letters from the churches and claim them as georgians. Have you now shame, junior Stalinist Andy?
    6. Here is another multiple choice question. Who invented the Georgian first alphabet? But since you are intellectually dishonest, you won’t admit, will you.
    7. Aren’t you ashamed of being a racist georgian?
    P.S. I watched you on PMSNBC running away in the dress from the battlefield in georgia in August 2008.

    Comment by John — January 28, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

  73. Moron X is John ?

    5. georgians are pathetic, lazy people. They used to sell oranges. Plus, they made good petite thieves. They erase the Armenian and Abkhaz letters from the churches and claim them as georgians.

    pathetic racist moron –

    Comment by Anders — January 28, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

  74. @SWP, he might have gotten smart enough to use his boyfriends PC.

    But anyway, whoever “John” is, he shows a poor grasp of history, and the usual racism that goes with Putin supporters.

    BTW John, South Ossetia is not “ancestral Ossetian land” their “ancestral land” is in the Don and Volga basin, from which they were driven in the 15th century by the Mongols.

    Medieval and early modern period
    The Ossetians are believed to originate from the Alans, a Sarmatian tribe. They became Christian during the early Middle Ages, under the Byzantine and Georgian influences. Under Mongol rule, they were pushed out of their medieval homeland south of the Don River in present-day Russia and part migrated towards and over the Caucasus mountains (into the kingdom of Georgia and into the lands of present-day North Ossetia-Alania),[13] where they formed three distinct territorial entities. Digor in the west came under the influence of the neighboring Kabardins, who introduced Islam. Kudar in the south became what is now South Ossetia, part of the historical Georgian principality of Samachablo[14] where Ossetians found refuge from Mongol invaders. Irón in the north became what is now North Ossetia, under Russian rule from 1767. The vast majority of the Ossetians are Orthodox Christians; there is also a significant Muslim minority.

    The Ossetians are immigrants to what is now known as “South Ossetia”, while the Georgians are native.

    BTW John, the UN has expressed concern about the Armenian and Abkhazian destruction of Georgian inscriptions in Churches in Abkhazia, and the Russian/Ossetian destruction of Georgian historical monuments in Samachablo.

    As for “Georgian propaganda” about the Russians settling Armenians in Javakheti in the early 19th century, you are uneducated and listening to far too much Armenian propaganda.

    Here is the truth:

    Armenians have compactly resided in Southern Georgia for almost 170 years. When after the war with Turkey (1828-1829) Russia obtained the Black Sea coast from the Kuban to Poti and the largest portion of the Georgian provinces of Meskheti and Javakheti, the Armenians living on the Turkish territory began to massively resettle to the territories of the Russian empire. It was during this process that Armenians settled in the Akhalkalaki district (Javakheti), where they soon outnumbered indigenous Georgians; in 1903, the majority of 54,816 people living in 150 villages of the district were Armenian). After 1829, 2,536 Armenian families resettled to the neighbouring Meskheti (centre-the city of Akhaltsikhe) from Erzerum, while smaller groups of their compatriots had lived there earlier as well; in 1913, 41,873 Armenians lived in the Akhaltsikhe district (16,499 in the city, the rest in 16 Armenian villages).On the eve of the Bolshevik coup, Armenians amounted to as much as 82% of the entire population of the Akhaltsikhe district.

    Comment by Andrew — January 29, 2012 @ 2:14 am

  75. “I would actually prefer if X=John. That would mean that there’s only one.” Only one who bothers to point out the rampant hypocrisies and ludicrousness of this blog and its amen corner of weird Russophobes?

    But no, I don’t put Georgians down with racist rants. Pointing out that Georgian soldiers refused to die for Misha the Tie Eater’s mistake is not putting Georgians as a people down, it actually plays up their Caucasian shrewdness. Ditto for their successes in Moscow, all jokes about flower salesmen aside. It’s like saying all Indians in America are represented by that Quik E Mart guy on the Simpsons.

    They did stand, fight and die by the hundreds of thousands in WWII.

    And unlike John I’m aware that Andy so he claims is a Kiwi, which makes his fixation on insisting that Americans must continue to subsidize Misha the Tie Eater’s government all the more bizarre. Kiwis after all being the folks who didn’t want U.S. Navy nuclear powered vessels in their waters, and the country where Russophile Russian bond jockey par excellence Eric Kraus recommends buying agricultural land.

    “They cannot even blow up the buildings in their capital city without exposing themselves and leaving traces,” Bukovsky added, referring to the 1999 apartment bombings that were used to justify the KGB’s return to power. “Nothing [in the KGB/FSB] works as it should,” says Bukovsky.” Why is 1999 trutherism a-ok but 9/11 trutherism anathema, to the point that Ron Paul gets denounced for not denouncing a girl who asked him about it? He certainly didn’t agree with her.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 29, 2012 @ 2:20 am

  76. SWP, don’t you think there’s something vaguely La Raza-ish about a Kiwi’s Georgian fixation and Georgians as perpetual victims of the dastardly Russians? It would be like some Danish kid coming to UTEP, getting a tan, smoking some grass and joining MeCha. Except there’s probably not that many Mechistas at UTEP.

    And are you aware that one of Obama’s top foreign policy advisors if not mentors since his Columbia days was Z. Brzezinski? That’s according to University of Illinois law professor Francis A. Boyle.

    That’s the same Brzezinski that bragged about how he started arming Islamists in Afghanistan before the Russians invaded in 1979. So Andy Dzughashvili and the Jamestown Foundation’s odd fixation on Caucasian separatism and jihad fits with the Bzrezinski m.o.

    But once again, j-had is a-ok at this blog so long as its against Russia.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 29, 2012 @ 2:24 am

  77. And while I’m at it, maybe I’ll dig into my heritage and try to get appointed as Ambassador of the Lakota Nation to Moscow.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 29, 2012 @ 2:27 am

  78. I thought you claimed to be of Norwegian descent X?

    As for the nuclear ships rant, not everyone in NZ supports it X, which you would know if you did some research.
    I certainly do not support it, but even most of those who do are happy with non-nuclear ships.

    And X, an FSB team got caught planting explosives in another apartment building, that is the difference.

    Look up Ryazan incident, if you are capable.

    And the Russians do it fairly often.

    Comment by Andrew — January 29, 2012 @ 9:11 am

  79. And in the Caucasus they do it all the time.

    Comment by Andrew — January 29, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  80. To do what they were accused of having done without expert assistance, however,
    Chechen terrorists would have needed to be able to organize nine explosions (the four that took
    place and the five that the Russian authorities claimed to have prevented) in widely separated
    cities in the space of two weeks. They also would have needed the ability to penetrate top secret
    Russian military factories or military units to obtain the hexogen.
    Finally, Chechen terrorists would have needed technical virtuosity. In the case of the
    Moscow apartment buildings, the bombs were placed to destroy the weakest critical structural
    elements so each of the buildings would collapse “like a house of cards.” Such careful
    calculations are the mark of skilled specialists, and the only places in Russia where such
    specialists were trained were the spetsnaz forces, military intelligence (GRU), and the FSB.
    Another troubling aspect of the apartment bombings was the timing. The bombings were
    explained as a response to the Russian bombing of Wahhabi villages in Dagestan in August
    1999. A careful study of the apartment bombings, however, showed that it would have taken 9
    from four to four and half months to organize them. In constructing a model of the events, all
    stages of the conspiracy were considered: developing a plan for the targets, visiting the targets,
    making corrections, determining the optimum mix of explosives, ordering their preparation,
    making final calculations, renting space in the targeted buildings, and transporting the explosives
    to the targets.
    Assuming that these calculations were even approximately correct, planning for the
    apartment bombings had to begin in the spring. They therefore could not have been retaliation by
    Chechen terrorists for the Russian attack in Dagestan, which occurred only days before the
    bombings took place. They might, however, have been part of a plan that included the Chechen
    invasion of Dagestan, the Russian bombing of the Wahhabi villages, and the apartment
    bombings. But such a plan could only have been implemented by elements of the regime in
    cooperation with the FSB.
    The strongest indication that elements of the Russian government were responsible for
    the bombings, however, was the history of the supposed training exercise in Ryazan. In that
    incident, the FSB was forced to admit that they had put a bomb in the basement of a civilian
    apartment building because they were caught in the act.
    The incident began on the night of September 22, six days after the bombing of
    Volgodonsk, when police answering a call reporting suspicious activity discovered a bomb in the
    basement of the building at 14/16 Novosyelov Street. Experts arriving at the scene found that the
    bomb tested positive for hexogen. Within minutes, not only the building but also the surrounding
    neighborhood was evacuated. In all, nearly 30,000 persons spent the night on the street. Police
    surrounded the airport and railroad stations, and roadblocks were set up on all of the roads
    leading out of the city.
    The origin of the bomb was determined, however, in a totally unexpected way. On the
    evening of September 23, a call to Moscow was made from a public telephone bureau for
    intercity calls. The operator who connected the call caught a fragment of conversation in which a
    caller said there was no way to get out of town undetected. The voice at the other end of the line
    said, “Split up and each of you make your own way out.” The operator reported the call to the
    police and they traced the number. To their astonishment, it belonged to the FSB.
    A short time 11
    later, with the help of tips from the population, the police arrested two terrorists. They
    produced identification from the FSB and were released on orders from Moscow.
    On September 24, Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the FSB, announced that the bomb in
    the basement at 14/16 Novosyelov had been a dummy and that the incident had been a “test.” He
    congratulated the residents of Ryazan on their vigilance. This explanation stupefied the residents
    who had assumed that the bomb was real. The FSB said that the bomb was a dummy and that the
    explosive material in the sacks attached to the detonator was sugar. It said the gas analyzer that
    detected hexogen had malfunctioned.
    Several months after the incident, however, Pavel Voloshin, a reporter for Novaya
    Gazeta, interviewed Yuri Tkachenko, the sapper who defused the “dummy” bomb. He insisted
    that it was real. Tkachenko said that the detonator, including a timer, power source, and shotgun
    shell, was a genuine military detonator and obviously prepared by a professional. At the same
    time, the gas analyzer that tested the vapors coming from the sacks unmistakably indicated the
    presence of hexogen.
    Voloshin asked Tkachenko if the gas analyzer could have given a false result. Tkachenko
    said that this was out of the question. The gas analyzers were of world class quality. Each cost
    $20,000 and was maintained by a specialist who worked according to a strict schedule, checking
    the analyzer after each use and making frequent prophylactic checks. These were necessary
    because the device contains a source of constant radiation. In the end, Tkachenko pointed out, 12
    meticulous care in the handling of the gas analyzer was a necessity because the lives of the
    bomb squad’s experts depended on the reliability of their equipment.
    Voloshin also interviewed the police officers who answered the original call and
    discovered the bomb. They also insisted that the incident was not an exercise and that it was
    obvious from its appearance that the substance in the bags was not sugar.
    Voloshin’s articles in Novaya Gazeta had a major impact. Doubt became so widespread
    that the FSB agreed to participate in a televised meeting between its top officials and residents of
    the building at 14/16 Novosyelov. The purpose of the program was to demonstrate the FSB’s
    openness, but the strategy backfired. During the program, which was aired on NTV, on March
    23, FSB spokesmen could not explain why the “exercise” was carried out without measures to
    protect the health of the residents, why the gas analyzer detected hexogen, or why bomb squad
    experts mistook a dummy bomb for a real one. When the program ended, the residents were
    more convinced than ever that they had been unwitting pawns in a FSB plot and only through a
    miracle escaped with their lives.

    In fact, the building at 14/16 Novosyelov Street was an odd choice for a test of vigilance
    because there was an all-night grocery store in the building, and residents could easily have
    assumed that someone unloading sacks of sugar was doing so for the store. As the target of a
    terrorist attack, however, the building was very well suited, especially if the goal was to claim
    the maximum number of lives. Like the building on Kashirskoye Highway in Moscow, 14/16
    Novosyelov Street was a brick building of standard construction. In the event of an explosion, it 13
    would have offered little resistance, and there would have been little chance for anyone to
    survive. At the same time, since the building was on an elevation, in the event of an explosion it
    would have hit the adjacent building with the force of an avalanche and, because the weak, sandy
    soil in the area offered little support to either building, probably would have toppled it. In this
    way, the tragedy in Ryazan would have eclipsed all the others.
    In the face of evidence of FSB involvement in the bombing of the Russian apartment
    buildings, the government has refused to respond. It reacted to Berezovsky’s allegations by
    accusing him of funding the terrorist activities of Chechen rebels.
    The most serious evidence that the leaders of the government bombed their own citizens,
    however, is presented by the Ryazan incident and, in that case at least, the Russian authorities are
    perfectly equipped to refute the allegations that have been made against them. They need only to
    produce the persons who carried out the Ryazan training exercise, the records of the exercise,
    and the dummy bomb itself. The FSB, however, has refused to do this on grounds of secrecy and
    evidence relating to the Ryazan incident has been sealed for seventy-five years.
    The government has also prevented any inquiry by the parliament. In March 2000, a
    group of deputies proposed to send to the general prosecutor a request for answers to questions
    regarding the incident in Ryazan. The Duma voted 197 in favor and 137 against. However, 226
    votes, an absolute majority, were needed for passage, and this was not achieved because the proKremlin Unity party voted unanimously against. In February, another attempt was made to open
    a parliamentary inquiry into the Ryazan incident. In this case, 161 deputies voted in favor and 14
    only seven against, but the remainder of the 464 members of the Duma abstained. As a result,
    the attempt failed.
    In fact, the greatest support for the government’s denial of any involvement in the
    bombings is fear of the implications if it turns out that the regime was behind them. Even the
    residents of the building at 14/16 Novsyelov were reluctant to draw conclusions about possible
    government involvement, although they unanimously rejected the notion that the incident had
    been a test. The most they would say was that someone tried to blow them up without offering an
    opinion as to who.

    Comment by Andrew — January 29, 2012 @ 10:06 am

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