Obama’s Flak Demeans Putin’s Posture

Exclusive: Afraid of neocon criticism, President Obama is going out of his way to insult Russian President Putin prior to a summit meeting. Obama’s press secretary mocked Putin as “desperate” and accused him of displaying poor posture in a meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The demonizing of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appears to know no bounds, with the White House and The New York Times going out of their way to mock his request for a meeting with President Barack Obama and then ladling on insults about Putin’s looks and posture

Indeed, what is perhaps most remarkable about the Times publishing an article bristling with such crude insults toward a world leader is that it almost passes without notice these days in Official Washington. One can only hope that Putin has an extraordinarily thick skin and doesn’t stoop to the level of the White House and the Times in dishing back insults about Obama and America’s newspaper of record.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Sept. 21, 2015.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Sept. 21, 2015.

If he did, there would surely be hell to pay with renewed demands from prominent American pols and pundits for “regime change” in Moscow. It’s as if everyone in Official Washington wants to play games with the possibility of thermonuclear war  to look really, really tough.

The article on Friday was co-written by Michael R. Gordon, the Times’ neoconservative national security correspondent who helped promote the Iraq War by peddling a bogus story in 2002 (co-written with Judith Miller) about Iraq obtaining aluminum tubes for nuclear centrifuges though it turned out the tubes were unsuitable for that purpose. Miller later left the Times but Gordon is still there, pushing for evermore “regime changes.”

It is in that context that Gordon and White House correspondent Peter Baker produced an article in which Obama’s spokesman went to extraordinary lengths to distance the President from Putin all the better to shield the timid Obama from a hail of criticism for deigning to meet with Putin.

Rather than simply defend the principle of meeting with foreign leaders with whom the U.S. has policy differences, Obama dispatched press secretary Josh Earnest to disparage and insult Putin, portraying the Russian leader as “desperate” for a meeting with Obama.

“It is fair for you to say that based on the repeated requests we’ve seen from the Russians, that they are quite interested in having a conversation with President Obama,” Earnest said. But he did not stop there. He commented in a derogatory fashion about Putin’s appearance in a meeting this week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As the Times wrote: “the White House seemed to go out of its way on Thursday not to show deference. At one point during his daily briefing, Mr. Earnest noted Mr. Putin’s habit of slouching while meeting with counterparts, pointing to a recent photo of him with Israel’s prime minister. ‘President Putin was striking a now-familiar pose of less-than-perfect posture and unbuttoned jacket and, you know, knees spread far apart to convey a particular image,’ he said.”

Clearly, such a casual posture in Netanyahu’s presence is shocking to U.S. officials who normally take on the appearance of trained seals, sitting at rapt attention waiting for Netanyahu to toss them some rhetorical tidbit and then jumping up to applaud. So, perhaps, the White House was just stunned not to see Putin acting in a similar way.

But what the photos of the meeting actually show is that both men had their suit coats open and both sat with their legs apart at least for part of the time. Putin also doesn’t appear to be “slouching.” Yet, the White House directed its Miss Manners’ finger-waving about proper posture only at Putin, not at Netanyahu.

Fear of Criticism

The White House wanted to make a public point by insulting Putin, the leader of a major nuclear power, because Obama is scared of criticism from neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks for agreeing to any kind of face-to-face meeting with the Russian president.

Yet, even during Josef Stalin’s brutal reign and during the height of the Cold War, American presidents regularly met with their Soviet counterparts. They did so in a mature and respectful way despite serious disputes between the two nations. From Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, presidents recognized the need to coordinate on important geopolitical issues whatever their personal feelings about the Soviet leaders.

Given the fact that both nations still have vast nuclear arsenals, one might think there should still be at least a modicum of decorum between the two sides. But Obama apparently feels that the Putin demonization in Official Washington is so powerful that he must insulate himself from attacks for just talking to Putin.

In a Times editorial on Monday, Obama’s team let it be known that Obama considers Putin a “thug.” For his part, Putin has refrained from returning this name-calling in kind, even continuing to describe American and European officials as his “partners.”

Though Obama has spoken with Putin on the sidelines of some recent international conferences, their last formal meeting was in June 2013. That fall, Obama canceled a summit meeting because Putin gave refuge to National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, who had revealed legally questionable bulk collection of data about Americans. Obama wanted Snowden prosecuted and imprisoned for the disclosures.

U.S.-Russian relations worsened in February 2014 when neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland helped orchestrate a coup d’etat in Ukraine, on Russia’s border, overthrowing democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installing a regime hostile to Russia and to ethnic Russians living in Ukraine.

The coup and the resulting Ukrainian nationalist violence directed against ethnic Russians sparked a referendum in which the residents of Crimea voted by 96 percent to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia, a development that was treated by the Obama administration and The New York Times as a “Russian invasion.”

When ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine also resisted the new order in Kiev, the coup regime announced an “Anti-Terror Operation” and dispatched troops including neo-Nazi, Islamist and other irregular militias to crush the rebels. Some 8,000 or more people were killed, mostly ethnic Russian civilians. When Russia supplied help to this resistance, the Obama administration and the Times deemed the assistance “Russian aggression.”

So, according to the latest “group think” of Official Washington, the current Ukrainian regime is a paragon of virtue, reform and human rights despite its continued corruption and its deployment of neo-Nazis and Islamists to kill ethnic Russian Ukrainians and Putin is the fount of all evil for not permitting the slaughter to go on unchallenged.

Though I’m told that Obama understands how inaccurate this black-and-white depiction is, he feels that he must go with the flow to avoid being denounced by the neocons and liberal interventionists as “weak.” Thus, Press Secretary Earnest was dispatched to describe Putin as “desperate” and lacking good posture.

Update: For their part, the Russians denied that Putin was “desperate” for a meeting with Obama and added that the Obama administration on Sept. 19 proposed the meeting between the two heads of state either on Monday or Tuesday.

According to Yuri Ushakov, a top foreign policy adviser to Putin, the Kremlin opted for Monday when Putin was scheduled to be in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly. “We do not refuse contacts that are proposed,” Ushakov said. “We support maintaining constant dialogue at the highest level.”

(The Kremlin’s statement included no insults about Obama’s appearance.)

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

image_pdfimage_print

52 comments for “Obama’s Flak Demeans Putin’s Posture

  1. mario deschenes
    September 25, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    I am wondering why Putin still insist on meeting Obama. He is just an empty puppet. He does not control nor decide anything. The neocons have such a grip on the government and the medias that I am afraid that we are heading for a major confrontation between Russia and the US. M.Putin is probably not an angel but he is a charismatic figure who is working for his people and admired by millions of people around the world. He and M.Lavrov stand tall against the incompetent and spineless Americans so called diplomats. Thank God, Russia is back in the international scene to stop the US destructive madness.

    • onno
      September 26, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      I couldn’t have said it better. I believe Obama needs a meeting with Putin more than reverse. After US fiasco’s in Iraq, Libya and now Syria USA has opened a can of worm and now realizes it cannot get out of its own foreign policy misery. Obama’s ‘RED Line’ his face was saved by Putin through negotiations NOT the BLUNT and stupid US military intervention by arming and financing Assad’s opposition. US support caused hundred of thousand people killed in Iraq and Syria who – due to the lack of money – are forced to leave their camps in Lebanon, Turkey Jordan to flee by the millions to Europe hoping to find paradise. Thank You Washington!

    • Antidyatel
      September 26, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      It is not surprising. The contrast between hollow puppet and acountry leader will be most sticking if they are placed side by side, plus MSMs will have a much tougher job for demonisation if both go for Q&A session together. I think Putin can be quite sure Obama has little chances to look good from all perspectives.

    • orly
      September 28, 2015 at 2:09 am

      symbols have symbolic value.

      what ever the situation, when two figure heads meet shake hands and smile, it makes it just a tiny bit harder to drum up a war.

    • NowhereMan
      September 28, 2015 at 10:55 am

      We used to be a relatively polite people–so what happened?

  2. Joe L.
    September 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I have to say our leaders in the west these days sound more and more like spoiled children with such childish rhetoric as calling names instead of serious diplomacy. I remember glimpsing over Putin’s article in the New York Times where he pointed out that no country was exceptional and I believe that Obama came back with some retort to the fact that no one wants to live in Russia or some other childish retort. I thought that Putin’s article was actually quite well thought out but Obama, and US politicians, just looked like spoiled children and it is surprising that such people can actually run countries and make decisions that affect in the entire world.

    My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal. – Vladimir Putin

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia-on-syria.html?_r=0

    Now here is part of Obama’s retort to Putin’s op-ed:

    But let’s make one thing perfectly clear: this is written by a man who is the head of Russia. Russia, where the air conditioning in the room conked out even though I was in the Presidential Suite. Russia, where no one smiles and where people actually look disappointed that they are white.

    Mr. Putin, we put a man on the moon and you barely got a monkey home safely. We invented the computer and you invented the way to steal it. Your country is filled with our fast food businesses and yet there is not one Russian take out place in the whole United States.

    You are known for Siberia, we are known for Big Sur. We make Cadillacs and Lincolns and God knows what you call those little square deathtraps. It’s one thing to put down exceptionalism, but before you do that, you at least have to produce one Broadway show, or make one commercial airliner, or invent one type of salad. – Barack Obama

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/albert-brooks/obama-putin-syria_b_3914774.html

    I think Putin’s article was well proved in Barack Obama’s response – stupid exceptionalism.

    • September 25, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      thanks for that juxtaposition … I remember that op-ed, I read it at a time when I was just waking up to that fact that our perceptions have been manipulated. since then, I have learned that Russians took reading the Pravda publications as an “art form.” one had to read between the lines. when the Russian diplomats read the news we have been fed, they probably laughed their butts off. I believe this is where they got the idea for RT (good on them). all they had to do was hire journalists willing to work with points of view from multiple angles, and the “veil” placed over our eyes would fall apart on it’s own. the following link is to an RT article where President Putin is practically saying, “stick and stones … but names will never hurt me.”
      http://www.rt.com/news/316449-putin-interview-names-tsar/
      the Russians know very well that the Pravda did not disappear, it only changed addresses.

      • Joe L.
        September 28, 2015 at 11:02 am

        Jose… Actually, as other people have pointed out the article for Obama’s response was written by Albert Brooks. I rushed through the article and it said by Barack Obama but I did not look at the top of the article which said Albert Brooks. Sorry for the misrepresentation, I guess this is a lesson for me to look a little better next time before I post something.

    • George
      September 26, 2015 at 2:21 am

      Was that really written by Obama? It looks like a fake.

      • Andrea
        September 26, 2015 at 10:43 am

        That is exactly what I was wondering too. It cant be true or is it?

      • victoria p
        September 26, 2015 at 5:43 pm

        It is a parody, written by Abert Brooks :) a good one

      • Joe L.
        September 28, 2015 at 10:20 am

        Yes, I believe it was Barack Obama since when you go to the article the authors name is “Barack Obama”:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/albert-brooks/obama-putin-syria_b_3914774.html

      • Joe L.
        September 28, 2015 at 10:24 am

        Maybe you are right, at a closer inspection it does say Albert Brooks on the top.

      • michael cusato
        September 28, 2015 at 10:48 am

        Look at the link. It was written by Albert Brooks – an American comic actor. Hence: satire (or parody).

    • Brad Owen
      September 26, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Geez. Our “Leaders” sound like insane, flippant Roman Emperors. They also have the Russian academy of sciences, where we have “The Big Bang Theory” on color TV, and we can no longer get a man into space (except on color TV) without hitching a ride. THAT would be the more pertinent contrast. Also, throw in the FACT that the purpose of China’s Lunar missions (yes they are sending robots to the Moon, my fellow Americans) is eventually to harvest Helium-3 isotope (or is it Hydrogen-3 isotope, forgive my ignorance, I’m American, and education is a threat to Empire) that’s laying around on the Moon like sand-on-a-beach, to bring back to Earth as fuel for nuclear FUSION reaction powerplants (which still need to be invented, which is ANOTHER “science-driver” program)…and meanwhile, we’re working on that third Star Trek movie.
      We are the Illusion. They are the Reality. BRICS will supplant The Street and The City…and the World will be better for it.

    • Howard
      September 26, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Wow. It’s scary how people mistake sattire for reality. To spell it out for you, Obama didn’t really write that response. “By Albert Brooks” should have been your first clue.

      • Joe L.
        September 28, 2015 at 10:47 am

        Hey Howard, I found Putin’s letter from the NYT and then I did a quick Google search for Obama’s response and then I clicked on it. The article said by Barack Obama and I did know that Obama has made some belligerent comments to Putin and about Russia so it was not so far afield. I should have looked at the very top. So I am sorry that you had to waste your time to make this comment, I should have looked a little harder. I rushed to post this, so I am sorry to waste your time.

      • Joe L.
        September 28, 2015 at 12:07 pm

        Howard… Yes, it is scary to mistake “satire” for reality. What’s more scary though is that the comments that Albert Brooks wrote in his article are not too far afield from what Obama or our western politicians are saying these days whether it is calling Putin a thug, comparing him to Hitler, or commenting by our media on everything from how the man sits (even if his counterpart sits the same) to putting a blanket on the first lady of China. That is even more scary and it is most certainly not “satire”!

    • Tenor
      September 27, 2015 at 8:09 am

      Duh! The comedien Albert Brooks wrote the reply to Putin’s OpEd — not “0bama”!!! However, it is a nice satire, and maybe the White House spokes-people also mistook it for the President’s as their Putin demonization is nasty & purile.

      • Joe L.
        September 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

        Tenor… Yes, you are right, the “comedian” Albert Brooks wrote the reply. I just simply did a quick search to see what Obama’s response to Putin’s letter was since I remember some belligerent language from Obama towards Russia and I found this. I should have looked a little more closely, sorry!

    • Dave M
      September 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      The article you refer to in the Huffington Post, “Barack Obama’s Answer to Putin’s Op-Ed”, was political satire written by the columnist Albert Brooks. It was not written by Barack Obama, and I am astonished that you thought it was. That shows severe gullibility on your part.

  3. Jay
    September 25, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    The lead author of the Times article, Baker, lied about bad intelligence having lead to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    Baker did this about 2 weeks ago in a Times book review of the Cheneys book. And no, Baker was not quoting the Cheneys.

    The point, even the infamous Gordon knows to avoid this lie.

  4. Joe L.
    September 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I think that people need to revisit Putin’s plea to the American people in the New York Times article entitled “A Plea for Caution from Russia” and Obama’s response, if it can be called that, in the Huffington Post entitled “WHAT DID I JUST READ?”. Maybe, like it is pointed out online, Putin is playing chess and Obama is playing checkers… such childishness from Obama and American politicians.

  5. Zachary Smith
    September 25, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    There is no way to know who wanted the meeting. The Russians say it wasn’t them, and the US says it was. Either party could be lying.

    The RT site reproduces a neocon article titled “Obama Would Just Look Like a Fool”.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/obama-would-just-look-fool-why-putin-obama-summit-bad-idea/ri9906

    Perhaps that’s why the White House wants to get in some early punches.

  6. Tom Welsh
    September 25, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Putin is intelligent, careful and punctilious. He will go through all the necessary motions, and hope to glean whatever he can. For example, Obama’s conversation may reveal quite a lot about who actually makes the decisions in US foreign policy.

    By the way, a press secretary is colloquially called a “flack”. “Flak” (short for “Fliegerabwehrkanone”) is a German term for one or more anti-aircraft guns, which is nowadays also used figuratively to mean a fierce cannonade (possibly of opposition, speech, or anything else).

    • Bill Bodden
      September 26, 2015 at 12:17 am

      “Flack” or “flak”? How about “presstitute”?

      Meanwhile, it appear Pepe Escobar’s money is on Putin.

      “Live from New York, It’s ‘Putin the Great’” by Pepe Escobar – http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/25/live-from-new-york-its-putin-the-great/

      • Bob Van Noy
        September 26, 2015 at 3:25 pm

        Read the link Bill Bodden and it makes complete sense to me. I’m not capable of imagining what the complexity of this Whitehouse is but it certainly appears to be clueless. I can imagine, however, Zbigniew Brzezinski plotting some silly Master Plan…

  7. incontinent reader
    September 25, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    If the short preview of President Putin’s 60 minutes interview with Charlie Rose is any indication, and I have no reason to assume it is not, Mr. Putin should win over a lot of undecideds- notwithstanding the non-stop hit pieces that the Times has been publishing. What Sulzberger and his cadre don’t realize is that they will eventually reach a tipping point where fewer and fewer people will believe their propaganda (or patronize their advertisers).

    The American public thought they were getting something of substance in the 2008 election, but instead got a ‘bait and switch’. Since then, the predation and propaganda has been ceaseless, while the need for a real leadership and vision, policies that meet the needs of all the people, respect for rule of law, and peace and stability are more pressing than ever. And, for all of the smoke emanating from Mr. S’s and his “Grey Lady’s’ tender fanny, the fact of the matter is that the Russians and Chinese are more in touch with good policy than anything coming out of Washington these days. It is embarrassing that we have to keep relying on them to pull our chestnuts out of the fire.

    • Bob Van Nly
      September 26, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      “the fact of the matter is that the Russians and Chinese are more in touch with good policy than anything coming out of Washington these days.”

      Thanks incontinent reader, so true and so totally embarrassing but it reminds me of the conversation that Jack Kennedy had with Bobby after a joint chiefs meeting where they agreed that they were insane or something to that effect. So little has changed…

  8. Fran
    September 25, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I’m hoping that Putin’s efforts are carried forward and the Syrians can decide their own leadership after this crisis is solved. I am very ashamed of Obama’s childish behavior and of his perpetuation of demonization of Russian’s very competent leader. I wish the USA had such a leader on the horizon but instead we have real idiots in charge.

  9. Joe L.
    September 25, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Mr. Parry… I have to ask how you do it? How do you report on this “stupidity” everyday, which should be so blatantly clear to even dimwitted, and not completely lose your marbles especially when it keeps repeating? I know for myself I have to turn it off every once in awhile but it so hard to escape from. We are living in the most insane times that I can think of and our politicians speak like “children” in a sandbox who pick on the poor kids for not having as much as they do. The most frustrating part is that logical articles, and thinking, as you present are not the mainstream but instead the childish rhetoric based on historically inaccurate fallacies are the commonly accepted narratives that drives the “group think” in our countries. How did we get to a point where “War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength”?

    • Daniel
      September 27, 2015 at 8:12 am

      Our elected officials and now-corporate dominated MSM do nothing BUT lie to us (except when telling the truth serves one of their corporate masters), and most of what is fed to us reads as obfuscation, meant to disguise relevant actors’ real intentions.

      In the case of Putin, we are fed a steady diet of demonization, I think, to build support among the population for any aggressive action we might want to take in the future to get him to do what we want…in the meantime, he is our best if not only hope at partnership in the ME to address the many horrible tragedies we have been party to.

  10. ltr
    September 25, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    The New York Times article by Baker and Gordon went through 3 drafts that I read, simply because I was interested from the time a meeting was announced. Each draft became more antagonistic toward President Putin, with the second and final draft shockingly hostile.

    The open disdain shown for Russia and China, though to a lesser extent, as well is continually shocking, saddening and self-defeating for us.

    • Cassius
      September 28, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Vlad Putin could snap these posers’ necks like twigs; I wouldn’t worry too much about his “posture”, Kids.

  11. HTFD
    September 25, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Maybe it’s boredom. President Putin must get rather bored having to point out what most middle school aged would know as a given, but all these who feel they are superior have to go over ever minute detail before it sinks into their oversize ego driven brains.

    As to the NYT, well as usual that bird cage liner is getting picked to pieces over it’s have baked article on Syria over neglecting to include the CIA role in this whole Middle East crises that is now EU’s refugee mess.

  12. Bill Bodden
    September 25, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    At one point during his daily briefing, Mr. Earnest noted Mr. Putin’s habit of slouching while meeting with counterparts, pointing to a recent photo of him with Israel’s prime minister. ‘President Putin was striking a now-familiar pose of less-than-perfect posture and unbuttoned jacket and, you know, knees spread far apart to convey a particular image,’ he said.”

    After Obama’s disrespectful selfie with that gorgeous but ill-mannered Danish prime minister and his current English poodle while a speaker was giving a eulogy for the great Nelson Mandela, neither he nor any of his staff is in a position to criticize Putin for a lack of decorum. At least Michelle had enough class to be offended.

    “President Obama poses for a funeral selfie and gets chummy with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt but Michelle does not look impressed: President Obama was caught committing a funeral faux pas — snapping a selfie during Nelson Mandela’s memorial service with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and British PM David Cameron.” BY Leslie Larson – http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/president-obama-poses-funeral-selfie-article-1.1543188

    • Joe L.
      September 25, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      Bill Bodden, well played sir! I almost forgot about that selfie!

  13. F. G. Sanford
    September 25, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    “Change Your Regime” Barry sings to Putin to the tune of, “Begin the Beguine”

    Some day I will change your regime,
    I’ll destabilize, politically render-
    Your central bank too broke to find a lender,
    Your total collapse won’t be a dream.

    I’m with you once more on the hotline.
    We’ve got submarines patrolling the Baltic-
    Our missiles are aimed and ready for frolic,
    I’m going to change your regime.

    A nuclear war will be such adventure,
    Your desperate cries will clutch at my heart.
The treaties we swore never to break forever-
    Hostilities never, never to start.

    What moments divine, what rapture serene-
    Until you began to assert your regional interest.
    And now that the Donbass is claiming that they are repressed-
    I know but too well what they mean.

    So please don’t make me change your regime-
    Let the Syrian war continue to wreck and dismember- 
Any peace that the Shiites or Assad only remember-
    When the neocons changed the regime.
    
So I’m going to change your regime – make you pay!
    Till the star on the Kremlin falls down on your head from above you.
    Till you whisper to me, “I’m a thug but darling I love you!”
And you’ll suddenly know how the neocons play-
Whenever we change – a regime! Whenever we change a regime!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boJ2RZ545Ik

  14. September 25, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Weak? It is weak to recognize the breadth, depth and power of distributed human intelligence?

    Democracy is an ancient tool used by humans to focus distributed human intelligence. It has been going on since we sat around the fire in front of our caves and decided what to do tomorrow.

    Distributed human intelligence is entangled with big still banging, accelerating at the speed of life.

  15. September 26, 2015 at 4:21 am

    What the neo-cons don’t appear to understand is how the tactic of insulting Putin is concentrates attention on him. Once the public begin to look at the Russian leader they get the opposite impression to the one intended. Putin cuts a dignified figure, who talks intelligently without feeling the need to stoop to insults. He answers questions diligently in a straighforward way, and appears to understand the neo-con psyche perfectly.

    With their stupidity and ignorance they make so easy for him, as they slip and slide on their own excrement.

  16. Peter Loeb
    September 26, 2015 at 5:33 am

    DEFINING THE TERMS OF DISCOURSE….

    The US continues to boast of its narratives (false as
    previous articles in Consortium have shown) re:
    Syria and the Ukraine. Is Russia getting “desperate”?

    That is clearly not the case.

    Is the US getting desperate? Apparently so. An acquaintance
    tells a story of a nephew being beaten up by a bully.
    He is being held to the ground all hands pinioned.
    His cousin asks if he wants some help….”No, no Uncle
    Willie, I’ve got him, I’ve got him!!”

    “Vlady” Putin and I don’t usually hang out together but with
    Russia’s continued plans for further investment in the
    East in Tehran, with the consistent vetoes in the UN Security
    Council of western resolutions on Syria ( a traditional US
    technique which the US begrudges anyone else from using to their
    advantage), it does seem most unlikely that Russia is
    “desperate”. From Russia’s perspective, I would doubt that retreat
    in Ukraine or Syria is on the Russian agenda. This is
    a supposition at this point unsupported by hard FACTS.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  17. Brendan
    September 26, 2015 at 5:37 am

    The purpose of the recent attacks on Putin is really just to deflect attention from the fact that western involvement in Syria has been a disaster. That disaster is also the reason for the recent diplomatic activity, including the meeting between Putin and Obama.

    There never was any logic in the arguments for overthrowing the secular Syrian government when there was no realistic possibility that it could be replaced by anyone more moderate. The number of real moderates fighting the government is insignicant, maybe even non-existent.

    Even moderates who are opposed to Assad would not not like to see him toppled right now. Many would even grudgingly support him at the moment, because they would be far more horrified by the extremists who would take his place. The only forces who are in a position to take over power are offshoots of Al Qaida who are in most cases even more fanatical than the original Al Qaida.

    Lately it has reached the point where it is becoming impossible to maintain the myth of a moderate opposition. Yesterday the Pentagon had to admit that rebels who were trained as part of an American $500m campaign to fight IS/ISIL had surrendered vehicles and ammunition to Al Nusra, Al Qaida’s official Syrian branch. This is less than two months after Al Nusra captured or killed other rebels from the same group.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34368073

    • Brendan
      September 26, 2015 at 5:44 am

      The nightmare scenario of Islamic extremists controlling all of Syria is not the only reason why Obama is agreeing to meet Putin. Another motivation for the meeting must be the concern of European governments about the influx of refugees into their countries. And if the Syrian government falls, the number would increase dramaticaly as many non-Sunni Syrians would flee, not from persecution but from extermination.

      Of course it’s the Syrians who would suffer by far the most in such a situation, but it would also be a burden on Europe. Even though European governments have obediently followed the neo-con Middle East policy for many years, there’s a limit to how much they are prepared to endure.

  18. Adele Roof
    September 26, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Obama’s defense of “American exceptionalism” is embarrassing and shameful. Sounds like the US has brought fast food restaurants to Russia. They’ve brought Tolstoy and Dostoevsky to us, plus Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, to name only a few.

    Is it really any wonder why Donald Trump is popular right now? When it comes right down to attitude, there’s hardly a difference.

  19. Joe Tedesky
    September 26, 2015 at 11:44 am

    By all of accounts of what I am reading this morning (9/26/15) the Russian presence in Syria is making a real difference. Over at Moonofalabama.org b is reporting, “The deployment of forces from Iran, Russia and Hezbollah along with the Syrian Army aims to recover key and strategic cities and areas under the control of al-Qaeda and ISIS in the first place. Damascus gave Hezbollah 75 tank to become part of this organized- irregular organization. It is the first Hezbollah armored brigade composed of new T-72 and T-55 tanks to support the group’ Special Forces on the ground.” b goes on to report, “The source ended: “The direct Russian intervention and involvement in the Syrian war was decided after Turkey’s violation of the undeclared red lines by giving facilities and supporting al-Qaida and its allies to enter Syria into Kessab and later to Idlib provoking the Russian bear who believed that national interests are threatened. The lost of Idlib upset the battle balance in all of Syria. Russia and Iran informed Turkey that such a support will have serious consequences and that Iran and Russia’s national security have been put in jeopardy. After having seen the reaction on the ground and the direct intervention of Russia and Iran, Turkish President’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Assad could be part of the future of Syria. It is a kind of late apology for the strategic mistake that needs to be rectified now. Turkey’s wrong move in Idlib led even the United States and Europe very close to chanting: Long Live President Assad.”

    Over at Juancole.com Professor Cole is reporting how Israel has had it’s wings clipped:
    “Because Russia came into Syria, Israel had to come to an agreement with Moscow about Israeli F-16s attacking convoys and other targets of Hizbullah in Syria. The danger is great that it will inadvertently kill Russian advisers or troops.
    The coordination worked out between Israel and Russia effectively “clips Israel’s wings, denying it the prerogative of entering Syrian airspace at will and striking unilaterally. Since Russia is allied with Iran in Syria, in essence Israel may be asking Iranian permission.”

    So by these accounts Russia is having a real positive effect helping Assad defeat ISIS.

    Today on rt.com a Russian news site, they are talking about the NATO build up within the Baltic States. Between NATO and Russian military excercises, one can only hope this all remains a drill.

    If only the U.S. would come to it’s senses and ally with Russia, and China. Although, talk like that in America is quickly becoming unpatriotic. Yet, a real American Patriot would do the opposite of any plan laid out by the Neocon/Likud agitators. Sanctions, are making America and Europe less solvent. Wars, are depleting our national reserves. So, how is this Project for a New American Century working out? Not!

    • Bob Van Noy
      September 26, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Great reporting and analysis Joe it underscores the value of this site. Between the reporting and analysis; we’re probably getting better insight than at any other time of international conflict. The internets…brought to you by DARPA.

    • dahoit
      September 28, 2015 at 9:20 am

      The PNAC is going swimmingly for the Zionists,as with 9-11,they are the only benefited people.

  20. James lake
    September 27, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Breaking news bbc at UN ( sarcasm)

    David Cameron its reported on bbc said Assad could stay for a transitional period.

    Julie bishop, Angela merkel, have been making similar remarks.

    There is definitely movement in the western governments; a lot of back tracking going on.

    This is purely due to the fact that they were presented with a scenario where they would have to go through Russia and Iran plus Assads army, who are loyal to get unseat Assad.

    It is rumoured Chinese ships are on the way to Syria in time for UN meeting.

    • Andrew Nichols
      September 28, 2015 at 1:01 am

      The Brits and the Ausiies aren’t making such decsions independently. They are just following the US lead. It’s cringeworthy seeing papers the likes of the Australian reporting Canberras decision as something they thought of all by themselves.

  21. Allen
    September 28, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Watching the Putin interview on 60 minutes I could not help but sense that he is heads and shoulders above every single American politician in diplomatic tact, skill and restraint. He very carefully avoided the kind of “redneck” behavior this very article attributes to the Obama administration. His answers were brief, restrained, well versed and supremely diplomatic. That one guy is worth more than the total of the US Congress and the Presidency.

  22. William Rood
    September 28, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Who is it that’s desperate? Obama has been desperately trying to find an ally not aligned with either ISIS or Assad. He couldn’t find one, so now he’s creating them but they immediately defect to allies of ISIS.

  23. Bruce
    September 28, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Suck It IN, Earnest! Yer Nuking FUTS!! Everyone wants to go to Tehran; REAL PNAC Attackers want to Go To HELL!!! – Dick Cheney & Company

Comments are closed.