Russia Rises From the Mat

The U.S. government doesn’t want to admit that its heady “unipolar” days are over with Russia no longer the doormat of the 1990s, but Washington’s arrogance risks war, even nuclear annihilation, explains Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

In Moscow, the preparations for the May 9th Victory Day parade began in the middle of the final week of April. Heavy equipment including mobile ICBM carriers and the latest battle tanks, together with troop formations passing through Red Square, carry on the long tradition established in Soviet times of demonstrating the nation’s military might on this day for televised dissemination across the entire expanse of Eurasia.

Meanwhile, preparations have also been made for this year’s edition of another Victory Day parade that began just one year ago but is likely to become a still more enduring tradition, the so-called March of the Immortal Regiment in which ordinary citizens carry photographs of their own family heroes from WWII: fathers, grandfathers, mothers and grandmothers who fought on the front or worked at defense positions behind the lines.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

These processions, which are held in towns across Russia, tap into a nationwide wellspring of emotion and pay tribute to the fact that every family in the country lost members to the WWII war effort. Every one.

This extraordinary sense of loss from war is something that sets Russian consciousness apart from American consciousness and at times makes it difficult to recall that we were allies in that epochal war. The 40 years of Cold War alienation between us is another factor that dims what we once achieved together. For these reasons, President Vladimir Putin’s evocation of our WWII alliance when he spoke before the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September 2015 and called upon the United States to link arms with Russia and head up a multinational effort to defeat the Islamic State and vanquish terrorism fell on deaf ears in the U.S.

Tense Relations

The past several years have not been easy for relations between our countries. And yet, if looked at with some detachment, the apple of contention between us can and should become the very source of our future mutual understanding and cooperation in addressing constructively the world’s many problems. Both nations in their own way take pride in their independent spirit and creative contributions to peace and generalized prosperity. Both nations are great powers that determine the world’s destiny. Both are “hammers,” not “nails.” For that very reason we are often at odds.

On the U.S. side, triumphalism over its self-declared “victory” in the Cold War in 1989, gloating over the economic and social collapse of the Russian Federation in the 1990s, and ambition to secure Woodrow Wilson’s vision of a world safe for democracy through interventions abroad intended to hasten the seemingly inevitable course of history all heightened the tensions in Russian-American relations way beyond where they would naturally have been from the inherent competitiveness of two great powers.

Until the eye-opening display of Russian military gear and capability beginning with the bloodless reunification with Crimea of spring 2014 and running through the resoundingly successful five-month Russian air campaign in Syria starting in October 2015,

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of  Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

American behavior towards Russia in the new millennium had been conditioned by a now seriously outdated view of its potential adversary as a failing state lacking in economic might and in social coherence to withstand serious pressure from outside, enjoying unjustified international rights inherited from its Soviet past and having as its only military props an aging strategic nuclear force that would be practically unusable if push came to shove because that would spell national suicide.

The reality today is what President Boris Yeltsin foretold to Bill Clinton when Russia was in a supine position, protesting lamely against American intervention in Russia’s old client state, Serbia: “think again, because Russia will be back.”

Indeed, under Vladimir Putin Russia has come back as great powers usually do. It may be smaller than the USSR, but it is vastly more fit, with a mixed market/directed economy that is far more agile and better managed, with conventional forces that approach and in certain domains exceed Western standards. Russia’s living standards are higher and it possesses strong reserves of patriotism to support a shared sense of its place in the world. Russia is now a formidable and arguably unbeatable foe if confrontation is where some U.S. policymakers want relations to go.

There are those Americans who look back with nostalgia to what they perceive as Ronald Reagan’s negotiations with Moscow “from a position of strength.” U.S. Ambassador to Russia at the time, Jack Matlock, has made it clear that the U.S. carefully avoided any appearance of abusing its relative advantage when dealing with Mikhail Gorbachev to reach a dramatic relaxation of tensions through dismantling the Soviet Union’s Eastern European empire on mutually agreed terms. But even if we assume that the “position of strength” was an invisible driver of those talks, in conditions of today’s revitalized Russia such an approach is only bringing us tit-for-tat escalation of military and political posturing.

Nuclear War Risks

In such a climate of heightening tensions, the law of averages tells us that if something can go amiss it will, and there is presently too little shared trust to ensure that faulty launch warnings or some similar technical or human errors will not lead to irrevocable counter-responses, ending civilization on Earth as we know it.

Statesmanship and common sense dictate that the United States and Russia seek ways to engage with one another in permanent rather than episodic manner, and that we deal with each other in a spirit of equality and mutual respect.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

That is the essence of foreign policy “realism” – the judicious use of American power – which has been injected into the ongoing presidential campaign as a guiding principle by Republican candidate Donald Trump. He has no proprietary rights over it, and it would be a good thing if congressional candidates gave it a test drive as well because it is the only approach to international affairs that can save us from needless confrontation and risk of nuclear war, which is where we find ourselves today.

Only when this critical threat has been resolved can we move on to the unquestionable benefits of constructive programs of cooperation between Russia and the United States in peace-keeping and support for political processes in the world’s hot spots, in investment and trade, in culture and education, in sports, in science and technology, and in the many other forms of interaction at the level of ordinary citizens which characterized these relations in happier times.

Gilbert Doctorow is the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. His most recent book Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015.  © Gilbert Doctorow, 2016


55 comments for “Russia Rises From the Mat

  1. HighlanderJuan
    May 10, 2016 at 09:08

    Are we all forgetting that israel and the Rothschilds control the United States, and that the U.S. federal government has not represented the will of the American people for decades? All things are not equal, especially if America is controlled by foreign powers, and suicidal powers at best. Get rid of the foreign controls of the United States, and that includes the whole zionist NWO crowd, and then peace may have a chance. As long as zionism controls the west, there will only be war and destruction.

    “We Jews, we the destroyers, will remain the destroyers forever. NOTHING that you will do will meet our needs and demands. We will forever destroy, because we need a world of our own, a God-world, which it is not in your nature to build.” — “You Gentiles” p.155, Maurice Samuel

    And no, I am not an anti-Semite, but I sure as hell am anti-zionist.

  2. Dieter Heymann
    May 9, 2016 at 10:03

    Every nation has a set of national interests. Misreading the national interests of Russia is dangerous stupidity as President Obama discovered with the recent Ukraine putsch, a major blunder of his administration. Of the three remaining “major” candidates for our presidency only Mr. Trump gives hints that he understands Russia’s national interests. Ms. Clinton and Mr. Sanders do not. Both are neocon warmongers when it comes to Russia. Both do not understand that it is against the national interest of Russia that the Baltic and Black seas become 100% controlled by NATO which is why Mr. Putin eased the Crimea back into Russia and buzzes US warships and planes near the Russian coast of the Baltic.
    And then there is Moldova. There will be national elections in Moldova this year. Polls seem to show that the pro-Russian Socialists may become the largest party in Parliament. The Socialists oppose the joint Moldovan-US/NATO exercises going on now. Where is “Socialist” Sanders? Why does he not support his Moldavan brethren? Here is the answer. In 1918 there were “Socialists” in Germany as well as in France. Yet they wholeheartedly supported what became WW1. That is what “Socialists” do.

  3. Abe
    May 5, 2016 at 14:42


    Speaking of alleged “risks” to security…

    Following on the 3 May BBC propaganda broadcast on MH-17, mainstream media like Newsweek continue their breathless promotion of deception operative Elliot Higgins and the Bellingcat site.

    Last year, Newsweek loudly proclaimed that Higgins was “Putin’s MH17 Nemesis”.

    On 4 May 2016, Newsweek’s perpetual “Russian invasion” spotter Damien Sharkov loudly proclaimed “Heavy Armored Military Column Spotted Moving Toward Frontline in Ukraine”.

    Sharkov’s authority is — you guessed it — a video that “appears to show” something nefarious according to Bellingcat’s perpetual “Russian invasion” spotter Higgins.

    Fake “citizen journalist” Higgins “fact checks” the disinformation produced by the Pentagon and Western intelligence regime, and rubber stamps it with the Bellingcat “digital forensics” seal of approval.

    Higgins and Sharkov have an interesting connection.

    Sharkov, who manages Newsweek Europe’s social media channels, holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Politics from King’s College London.

    King’s College London is known for its partnership with the Washington based Atlantic Council, a “regime change” think tank.

    Higgins is listed in a May 2015 Atlantic Council report as a Visiting Research Associate at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. In fact, Higgins is a key author of the May 2015 Atlantic Council report titled, “Hiding In Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine”.

    The Atlantic Council constantly challenges the efforts of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization, tasked with monitoring the conflict in Ukraine.

    The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine continues to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons foreseen in the Minsk Package of Measures.

    The latest SMM reports simply note “a similarly low number of ceasefire violations as the previous day”.

    Higgins and Sharkov are back at it, accusing the OSCE of failing to “spot” their perpetual “Russian invasion”.

    And the Mighty Wurlitzer plays on…

  4. Peter Loeb
    May 3, 2016 at 12:49


    So many comments that there is barely time in a day to read them with
    any kind of care.

    What there is to add is that thanks and appreciation should be
    given to Mr. Doctorow for his continuing portrayals of Russia and
    his incisive reporting.

    Basic to a reinterpretation of the so- called “cold war” is a careful
    reading of Joyce and Gabriel Kolko’s analysis in LIMITS OF POWER.
    This is a daunting task (the book is over 700 pages) but it addresses
    the alliance during World War Two as well as various domestic factors.

    (Follow-ups are 1. Gabriel Kolko, MAIN CURRENTS OF CONTEMPORARY

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  5. Anna Ohanoglu
    May 3, 2016 at 07:16

    Tea — Silk way of Georgia, or «Putin’s nightmare».
    Expert assessment of Academy of Geopolitics
    The traffic of goods to China and back across Eurasia, passes and through the territory of Georgia. In Georgia it was understood at once and leaning on administrative command foundations of economy of China, started exporting Georgian wine in Celestial, on new «Tea — Silk ways». For 2015 Georgia opened 5 large centers for sale of Georgian wines in the different provinces of China. And this year Georgia plans to export to China over 11,7 million bottles of Georgian wine (it makes 64% of total exports of wines of Georgia) according to «New Tea – Silk» ways. As it became known, this way was laid by the ex-president of Georgia M. Saakashvili, on the terminal of the Ukrainian city of Ilyichevsk. After dismissal from a position of the president of Georgia, nowadays M. Saakashvili is the governor of Odessa region of Ukraine. In December, 2015 it became known that Ukraine and China will begin a cargo transportation on «A silk way» bypassing Russia. In the middle of December the first train sent within new «A silk way» arrived from China to Georgia. It was the reply of special services of the Russian Federation to the statement of the governor of Odessa M. Saakashvili to the Russian President before sending these freights from Ukraine to China according to «New Tea – Silk» ways: «Here it – Putin’s nightmare!» . The only obstacle an embodiment in life «A tea Silk way of Georgia» are wars in the region of the Caucasus (Karabakh, Abkhazia) both in Syria and in Iraq.
    About a failure of military aggression of Azerbaijan against Karabakh experts of our Academy of Geopolitics already wrote (See. «Blitzkrieg of Azerbaijan against Karabakh failed» —
    ). On the other hand, China tries to insure «A great Silk way» in Iraq and Syria. Besides, China showed rejection for itself creation on ruins of Iraq and Syria of Kurdistan which is urged to block «A great Silk way» after a victory over ISIL. Thus, China defiantly left a shadow to declare the readiness to defend the global project in Levant to which over one thousand years — see: «Currency war of the USA against the People’s Republic of China: China wins» — .
    Arayik SARGSYAN, academician, Honorary Consul of Macedonia in Armenia, President of Academy of Geopolitics, the representative of AIC in Syria.

  6. nikoliy
    May 2, 2016 at 13:38

    Unfortunately, all was not well before Obama. The problem is that US “automated” the fight against the USSR. What do I mean by that: Clinton was obviously a problem for Russia because unlike Bush and Regan he saw the collapse of USSR as something US archived and not something done by Gorbachev and Eltsin. Clintons triamfalism of the 90s was unopposed by Russia because it was being robbed at the time. Clinton had directly caused a problem for Russia in former Yugoslavia, but I don’t know if he deliberately continued the policies that were started under Regan. CIA kept antagonizing Russia by directly supporting Chechen terrorist (I say terrorist because most of the local population did not want a war, most of the war was fought by Chechen extremists and outside mercenaries).
    When Putin was chosen as PM in 1999 he actually made an official request to US to cease its intelligence activities supporting the Chechens. Putin himself was very much pro West and after 911 he saw it as an opportunity to work with US. Unfortunately, Bush was not able to recognize and act on such an opportunity and instead US just took advantage of Russian cooperation. While supporting anti-Russia movements in all the former Soviet Republics and former Warsaw Pact members, or as he put it “promoting democracy”.
    During the Cold War it was common practice for both sides to provoke a reaction from the other side by sending flights of bombers or shops near the border. During the 90s Russia almost stopped doing that at all, only a couple of recorded incidents occurred. US on the other hand kept up the pressure on the Russian border.
    Obama seems to have a very primitive understanding of international politics. Most of it, I believe, comes from following Brezhinskys ideas.

  7. elmerfudzie
    May 2, 2016 at 12:36

    Ronald Reagan was not acting from a position of strength. At best, those who held office before and after him acted as nothing more than sounding boards for the real power, a unelected group of men. They are manipulators and world planners who act with great power -behind the scenes. I’m speaking here about the Club of Rome and the Bilderberg Group, who I might add, and with a dazzling regularity, are kept out of all corporate media outlet discussion. Reagan so despised the Neocon lackey’s sent to control him by the Club of Rome/ Bilderberg’s that he fired them all, followed by prosecution and jail sentences but the powers that be sent forward an even stronger opponent to peace, justice and world democratic idealism; George H.W Bush. Even Nixon couldn’t put up with these Neocon lackey’s and fired four of his cabinet secretaries. These same oligarchs and feudal lords (from the Group and the Club) fear, that a democratic and capitalist Russia would over-heat the world economy, thus shifting their powers of price controls, buying and selling commodities between subsidiary corporations, fiat currency inflation and “free trade” ( as opposed to fair trade) away from their manipulating hands and over to the east, where I might add, over-heating has already taken place; China’s unoccupied, newly constructed cities, abandoned iron works, finished products, daily riots and so on…I ask that that these movers and shakers, return to their castles in Lichtenstein and southern France and please, please leave the rest of humanity alone…As my papa used to say, it will all come out in the wash.

  8. May 2, 2016 at 10:20

    The fact that America has shifted from being a vibrant democracy, to an out-and-out oligarchy, is instanced in the complete lack of an effective opposition to the powers-that-be. These powers-that-be are embedded in in the key institutions: the deep-state (including the military) the media, global corporations, the banks and academia. Such opposition as there is has been overwhelmed by a consensus which is apparently above challenge. This may seem like a position of enormous strength, however it could also lead to disastrous outcomes. In non-democratic systems where opposition is either completely missing, or generally ineffective, crazy policies and decisions get made. This is the problem with group-think. For when everyone is ‘thinking’ the same, nobody is thinking at all.

    Nazi Germany is a prime example: it was not the wisest strategic decision for Hitler to choose to conduct a simultaneous war against the United States, the Soviet Union and the British Empire. Anyone with any sense could see that this was going to end in disaster. And it surely did. This could never have happened in a democracy since there would have been strong counter-vailing voices and massive public opposition to such a foolish course of action.

    It would appear that the absence of any significant opposition to the military-corporate-media-banking cartel has precisely led to the serial strategic foreign policy failures that we have borne witness to. Moreover, US foreign policy has also had the effect of pushing Russia and China, regardless of their long-term disagreements into a de facto alliance, precisely the outcome which Zbigniew Brzezinski warned about in 1997.

    ”If the middle space (Russia and the former Soviet Union rebuffs the west) … forms an alliance with a major eastern actor (China) then America’s primacy in Eurasia shrinks dramatically.”

    Yet US foreign policy blunders on like the bull-in-china-shop, seemingly totally oblivious to the outcomes of the policies and actions. But they can only get away with this since there is a black-hole where the opposition should be.

    One can only be pessimistic insofar as the time for this opposition to coalesce is getting very short, and the US political and military elite, cheered on by a media which verges of a condition which can only be described as paranoid schizophrenic, seems to be baying for some sort of military confrontation with both Russia and China.

    • Anthony B Clifton
      May 2, 2016 at 15:14

      @ Lee Francis

      Typical of the Kremlin’s cynical propaganda. So the Kremlin’s propaganda apparatus is starting to spin its next conspiracy theory. Its the old rule of Disinformation to insinuate that your opponent is guilty of what YOU yourself have done. Accuse your enemy of the Crimes that YOU yourself have committed. Slyly suggest that your opponent is as treacherous and deceitful as YOU yourself are. Attempt to confuse your enemy with false accusations to “Muddy the waters” so that it becomes impossible to distinguish the difference between yourself and your enemy. Yes, that’s an old trick Komrade but it won’t work this time as Vladimir Putin has left too many dead bodies behind him since 1999. Here are just a few of them.

      Boris Nemtsov – Shot dead on Moscow’s Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge about 11 p.m. on Feb. 27. Russian investigators identified a former Chechen police officer with ties to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov as the mastermind, though Nemtsov’s supporters believe this is a cover-up. Nemtsov had been preparing to release a report on Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine before he died, and also was to meet with U.S. politicians in a bid to harshen sanctions against Russian officials.

      Boris Berezovsky – Was found hanged in his bathroom in his home outside of London on March 23, 2013. A coroner could not say for certain whether Berezovsky had taken his own life or had been murdered. Berezovsky had been an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin ever since he came to power in 2000, repeatedly calling for his ouster.

      Alexander Perepilichnyy – Mysteriously dropped dead while jogging near his home in Surrey, England on Nov. 10, 2012. Initially, two autopsies proved inconclusive and toxicologists did not find anything suspicious, but three years later, in 2015, a leading British botanist revealed that a rare poison had been found in his body. The poison, Gelsemium, is known for being used by Russian and Chinese contract murderers. Perepilichnyy’s friends believe he was killed by the Kremlin: he had provided Swiss prosecutors with evidence against top Russian officials implicated in tax fraud and theft from the state treasury.

      Sergei Magnitsky – Died in Moscow’s Butyrka prison after nearly a year behind bars on charges his allies say were fabricated. Magnitsky had uncovered a massive, $230 million corruption scheme by Russian tax officials, police and other high-ranking officials. Investigators imprisoned him on the same charges he leveled against authorities. An independent investigation later found he was killed by abuse and deliberate negligence from prison officials. His death prompted a diplomatic scandal between Russia and the United States, with the U.S. government imposing sanctions against all Russian officials implicated in the case.

      Natalya Estemirova – Was seen being abducted in Grozny, Chechnya on July 15, 2009 and later found dead, with bullet wounds to her head, in a ditch by the side of the road in Ingushetia. Estemirova was one of the most outspoken critics of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, and had devoted her career to exposing human rights abuses in Chechnya. Investigators pinned the blame on a Chechen rebel, though Estemirova’s colleagues suspect a massive cover-up.

      Anastasia Baburova – Shot dead in central Moscow on Jan. 19, 2009. A Novaya Gazeta reporter, she had investigated neo-Nazi groups in Russia. Her murderers were later identified as two members of a neo-Nazi group, though experts later said Russia’s security services likely played a part in the killing, since the assassin had used a gun with a silencer in central Moscow in broad daylight.

      Stanislav Markelov – Shot dead along with Baburova on Jan. 19, 2009. Markelov was a prominent human rights lawyer who had worked with Natalya Estemirova on investigating human rights abuses in Chechnya and had represented journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was also murdered years earlier.

      Anna Politkovskaya – Shot dead in her apartment building in Moscow on Oct. 7, 2006. The killer had been lying in wait for her near the elevator. An investigative reporter for Novaya Gazeta, she was a fierce critic of Putin, Kadyrov and the FSB, and had uncovered numerous human rights abuses in Chechnya. The mastermind behind her murder was never found.

      Yury Shchekochikhin – Died suddenly and mysteriously on July 3, 2003, just days before a scheduled trip to the United States to meet with federal investigators to discuss money laundering by Russian officials in U.S. banks. Shchekochikhin, an investigative reporter for Novaya Gazeta, had made a name for himself by exposing corruption and organized crime.

      Sergey Yushenkov – Gunned down near his home in Moscow on April 17, 2003. A liberal politician, Yushenkov had pushed for further investigation into the 1999 apartment bombings that paved the way for the Second Chechen War. Like Alexander Litvinenko, he believed Russia’s FSB had orchestrated the attacks in order to boost support for military action in Chechnya.

      Who’s next?

  9. Garric
    May 2, 2016 at 03:09

    Imaginary objective of the EU – the support of the Baltic states against Russia. Has anyone thought about the purpose of the Baltic States? Their goal is simple, very simple. Their economy is in the doldrums. They need money. They use old way wich was proven of the post-Soviet period. They shout about the Russian threat. You was already given them money before. It’s like a drug to them. They remember it and know how easy it is to get more dose. They just have to shout: “Russian go”. It’s simple.

  10. John
    May 1, 2016 at 20:11

    Eggheads, listen up ! It’s not about who is elected ! It is about who the elected APPOINT to various positions. The APPOINTED work in the shadows and are UNKNOWN to the general public. The APPOINTED are not held responsible…..How long before you get this !

  11. J'hon Doe II
    May 1, 2016 at 17:45

    Anthony C —

    It is essential to understand that post 1917 the Jewish terrorists that had been subverting the Russian Empire for decades previous now constituted the established regime. In fact only in 1922 did the Jew Lenin officially conceal Jewish Bolshevism’s atrocities against ethnic Europe under the veiled title of the Supreme Soviet. Naturally this was not meant to purge the government of Jews or their deadly weapon of Communism only camouflage it from the rest of the world. The Atrocities of Jewish BolshevismIndeed the only threat to Jewish Bolshevik consolidation of power was the ethnic European native inhabitant and even those who had been duped pre-1917 by false advertising were very quickly realising that Communism was not the fantastical ‘workers utopia’ promised. The Bolshevik methodology was implemented quickly and the seizure of grain had been introduced by the summer of 1918. Bolshevism Jewish Bolsheviks seized livestock, crops, grain, and farm implementspurposely imposed heavy taxation and grain seizure to starvation level to instigate native resistance providing a ‘plausible excuse’ for the Bolshevik authorities to use force against the population (beatings, torture, and rape.) Thus confiscated grain by the cartload was deliberately left to rot in the open air to infuriated the civilians and incite violent resistance. The psychology worked perfectly and resistance broke out almost immediately. The largest, most organized, and therefore the longest-lasting was in Tambov.

    • Anthony B Clifton
      May 2, 2016 at 15:01

      @ J’hon Doe II

      Fascist parasites like you say it all. Look it you? You pathetically attempt to push meaningless Lies that nobody for one minute believes for a warmongering tyrant who invalidates his own Lies every time his starts another war like in Ukraine or Syria or murders more innocent people like the passengers and crew on MH17 and now innocent Syrian civilians by indiscriminate bombing.

      Listening to Russian trolls like you is like listening to some stupid fool trying to ague that the world is flat not round. By all means, Keep on trying to do it though as the more you try to push you Lies, the more you Russian trolls show yourselves for who and what you really are. Like watching a bad movie, the more you try to watch it, the more revolting it gets.

      The is an excellent article regarding Russia decent into Fascism

      Russia’s Lurch Toward Fascism

      “We run the risk of missing critical aspects of Russian policy if we assume that Moscow’s continuing invasions of Ukraine are exclusively about Russo-Ukrainian issues. One of the founding fathers of Soviet studies, Adam Ulam, observed back in 1965 that empire was the biggest obstacle to reform in Russian history. That is still the case; the Kremlin’s attempts to destroy the foundations of Ukrainian statehood, sovereignty, and territorial integrity are also aimed at Russia’s domestic opposition to Putin. It represents the culmination of his campaign to suppress political dissent under a wave of officially imposed quasi-religious nationalism akin to that of the later Tsars and (more recently) to the late Stalin and late Brezhnev periods.

      Thus, Moscow’s Ukrainian operation has been accompanied by ever-mounting pressure against media and other critics of the regime, and by the suppression of domestic dissent. Indeed, even as Moscow fulminates against supposed neo-Nazis and anti-Semites terrorizing Ukraine, its media regularly publishes articles darkly speculating about the allegedly Jewish origin of Russian dissidents and its officials feel no inhibition about making openly anti-Semitic remarks to their foreign interlocutors. Evidently, Moscow feels that it alone has the right to employ Antisemitism as a weapon of political warfare.

      This, coupled with escalating domestic repression and mounting religious-nationalist chauvinism of the state and official media, evokes the late Stalinist and Brezhnev periods. But what we really see emerging are clear aspects of fascism. Not long ago, the columnist George Will called Putin a little strutting Mussolini. The description fits; although the Russian government remains a patrimonial Muscovite autocracy, symptoms of fascism abound — and they are multiplying.”

  12. Abe
    May 1, 2016 at 17:36

    The anti-Russia propaganda is surging this week before the May 9 Victory Day holiday that commemorates the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union at the end of Second World War.

    The BBC television program “The Conspiracy Files: Who Shot Down MH17?”, scheduled to air on 3 May 2016, will be yet another infomercial for deception operative Eliot Higgins and his fake “citizen journalist” team at Bellingcat.

    The BBC program is a much ballyhooed “stand-upper” à la the May 2015 Australian “60 Minutes” broadcast with Michael Usher

    Higgins has been manufacturing propaganda since 2012.

    On 15 July 2014, the day of the Ukrainian military airstrike on the separatist-held town of Snizhne in eastern Ukraine, and three days before the MH-17 crash, Higgins launched the Bellingcat website.

    Vice News, Rupert Murdoch’s 70 million dollar Gen Y-targeted media channel, immediately crowed about how “Citizen Journalists Are Banding Together to Fact-Check Online News”.

    The United States and the EU used the dramatic 17 July 2014 downing of MH-17 to justify a third round of sanctions against certain sectors of Russia’s economy. Canada, Japan, Australia, Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine also announced expanded sanctions against Russia.

    Higgins has repeatedly claimed to have “indisputable” open source “evidence” that MH-17 was destroyed by a Buk missile supplied by Russia.

    Higgins’ primary “pieces of evidence” — a video depicting a Buk missile launcher and a set of geolocation coordinates — were supplied by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior via the Facebook page of senior-level Ukrainian government official Arsen Avakov, the Minister of Internal Affairs.

    The Atlantic Council used video of Higgins and Michael Usher from the Australian “60 Minutes” program “MH-17: An Investigation” to promote the report.

    Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of Programs and Strategy at the Atlantic Council, is a co-author with Higgins of the Atlantic Council report, highlighted Higgins’ effort to bolster Western accusations against Russia:

    “We make this case using only open source, all unclassified material. And none of it provided by government sources.

    “And it’s thanks to works, the work that’s been pioneered by human rights defenders and our partner Eliot Higgins, uh, we’ve been able to use social media forensics and geolocation to back this up.” (see video minutes 35:10-36:30)

    However, the Atlantic Council claim that “none” of Higgins’ material was provided by government sources is an obvious lie. Higgins’ Buk missile video was provided by the Ukrainian government.

    • Anthony B Clifton
      May 2, 2016 at 14:52

      @ Abe

      Russian army’s 53rd Air Defence Missile Brigade (based out of Kursk) shot down Malaysian Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine using an SA-11 missile fired from TELAR 312. Australia got ahold of a video shot by some of the first Russian rebels (local Rambo wannabes) who arrived on the scene right after the shoot-down. That is when they told “DNR” commanders in real time that the plane thought to be a Ukrainian transport was actually a civilian airliner. Next thing they did at the crash site was to secure it by going through bags of the victims and taking out things like phones and other things of value. Looting skum.

      Making things worse is the fact that Russia, which just a day after the shoot-down demanded in the UN Security Council that an international investigation be started at once, now is vehemently against one (because they know that the evidence that one of their SA-11s did it is incontrovertible). In fact, if the issue is proposed and comes to a vote in the UNSC, Russia will veto it. That will just be the final confirmation that Russia was the guilty party, but sadly those responsible, up to Putin of course, will probably never be held responsible. However, the Dutch, who have pieced together the wreckage, recovered numerous fragments from it of the shrapnel from the SA-11 warhead, and have been able to identify the course of the oncoming missile, will probably be releasing their findings in the coming months. Those findings will point to only one possible culprit–Russia.

      The anniversary was marked by a sick display at Hrabove Ukraine where the wreckage impacted, as “DNR” leader Zakharchenko arrived in uniform with his heavily armed bodyguard of regular Russian Spetsnaz soldiers, and a number of locals turned out with “DNR” flags. One sick banner said on it “They killed you and they continue killing us” (correct actually if the “they” is Russia). Others held the flags of the countries of the victims, though the Malaysian flag was put upside down making it into the Polish one. A sick little monument was dedicated, written in Russian, stating that 298 innocent victims of the civil war died there. A “civil war” where most of the “pro-Russian” dead and wounded are repatriated to another country–Russia–is no civil war. It is a war of invasion, full stop.

      In another hypocritical move, Russian Foreign Minister and supreme liar Lavrov brought flowers to the Dutch embassy in Moscow. Somebody should have thrown them in his face. In any case, the ceremony and Lavrov’s sick move were nothing but pure cynicism.

      On the day after the atrocity was committed by Russian insurgents with Russian BUK anti-aircraft missile system who where trained, equipped and under the supervision of Russian military personnel, Russians in Moscow gathered in from of the Dutch embassy and laid flowers and toys and asked for FORGIVENESS

    • Abe
      May 2, 2016 at 17:46

      BBC coordinates propaganda with Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat:

      “Tomorrow, 9pm BST, BBC 2 (UK) – Conspiracy Files: Who shot down MH17? We release our new #MH17 report as it finishes”

    • Abe
      May 4, 2016 at 12:31

      The latest steaming pile from Bellingcat predictably impresses propaganda bullhorns like the BBC and Kiev’s Ukraine Today, and the Higgins fanboys like “Anthony B Clifton” and Bellingcat’s own resident troll “boggled” (see the comments)

  13. J'hon Doe II
    May 1, 2016 at 17:29

    To those of you who might miss the irony of this – Dzerzhinsky very actively and cruely prosecuted adherents of the Orthodox church after the October 1917 revolution in Russia, so this public display of the executioner placed right next to the symbol of his victims looks strange to say the least, __ Anthony C.


    Please examine Dzerzhinsky’s atheism in the below link… .
    It follows the pattern of atheist (Christ hateing) commenters here.

    (go deep) — knock and it shall be opened to you… .

    • Anthony B Clifton
      May 2, 2016 at 14:50

      @ J’hon Doe II

      What a country of extremes this Russia is. During the Soviet era, affirming or attempting to practice your religion or faith got you an all expense paid one way trip to the frozen scenic wonders of the Russian far North or even worse, to a Soviet Mental hospital to be “Reprogrammed” to be a “Productive and useful citizen of the Socialist state” I remember the plight of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Russian Pentecostals who had to hole up in the U.S. embassy for years to escape from being a “Guest” of the Soviet state and get that prized Exit visa out of the Socialist paradise that Soviet Russia was supposed to be and into the Free World.

      Now we are seeing a 360 degrees about face. From being a Atheistic, Godless Communist state to a Oppressive self-styled orthodox theocratic bastion of “Traditional Christian values” however a Fascist KGB/FSB dictatorship would be a more accurate description of Putin’s Russia today. Vladimir Putin, ever the cynical, KGB trained exploiter, manipulator and fascist despot simply uses religion just like all his despotic ancestors have. Putin doesn’t have a Religious bone in his body. There is only one higher power in his universe and that is Himself. The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill is and has been a tool of the Russian state whether Communist or Putin’s Russia.

      He’s was a KGB agent who more than likely informed on his fellow clergy and was used during the Anti-Nuclear protests of the early 1980s in Western Europe by the KGB to put a ‘Human’ face on the Soviet Communist Monster that he served and now he has received his payoff for decades of loyal service to the Russian State of whatever political persuasion. The Russian Orthodox Church that was once nearly destroyed under Communism has Powerful influence and patrons in Russia. In return for its “Blessing” and validation of whatever Vladimir Putin does or says it receives its share of the Loot that the Powerful in Russia have divided up for themselves. That means that the Russian Orthodox Church, like every other institution in Putin’s Russia has been corrupted and made subservient to its patron Vladimir Putin. Russia

  14. Anthony C
    May 1, 2016 at 15:14

    Russia is a hollow superpower because the only, and I do mean the ONLY reason why anybody still pays attention to it is its military capabilities, first of all its nuclear arsenal. In its present state of slow decay, Russia does not in any way contribute to human progress – it is no longer a scientific powerhouse (all scientists have long left for the West), its education and medical services are in shameful condition, the living standards of large swathes of the Russian population are at the third-world level, especially once you move a hundred kilometers away from Moscow and St. Petersburg, and they are getting ever worse amidst the current economic crisis. But the worst thing of all is that Russia does not really have a civil society that could resist Putin’s push for absolute power and his efforts to strip Russian citizens of whatever few remaining freedoms they still have left. The nation is torn between its imperial, tzarist times and the soviet times, both of which were characterized by repression of individual liberties. Actually, I recently saw a perfect illustration of the current state of minds in Russia at a small Russian police station – a polished bust of KGB’s founder Dzerzhinsky and a Russian Orthodox icon hanging right next to it. To those of you who might miss the irony of this – Dzerzhinsky very actively and cruely prosecuted adherents of the Orthodox church after the October 1917 revolution in Russia, so this public display of the executioner placed right next to the symbol of his victims looks strange to say the least, but that is the essence of today’s Russia for you – confused, disoriented, no longer understanding the difference between right and wrong, living, together with its leader, in a nightmarish imaginary world of its own where it sees itself as a great power surrounded by devious foes. Very sad. I once thought that it deserved better than this.

    • Bart Gruzalski
      May 1, 2016 at 18:00

      So you are Anthony C–employed by NSA? Your points about Russia are simply propaganda. The Russian ruble is on the rise, The Russian stock market is doing well. Russia has one of the top three stashes of gold in the world, along with China and the USA, The Russian military was and continues to be effective in Syria, Russia has chased away USA spy aircraft, and on and on. Even Obama had to admit that Russia was a force to be respected. Your shrill propaganda will continue to proliferate up to May 9th, when Russia will have a May day parade.

      All the candidates are welcoming war with Russia except Trump and likely Sanders. Your propaganda is ineffective on the world stage–it is only to be fed to us domestically, and it is less and less persuasive to those who are paying attention, which includes the generation of millennials.

      • Anthony B Clifton
        May 2, 2016 at 14:39

        @ Bart Gruzalski

        Try another conspiracy theory kremtroll as that one is a bit worn out. Still in denial? That’s not surprising. Like an alcoholic in denial of his disease but yet is dying of Cirrhosis of the liver, Russia is in that mode of denial today. It’s actually more pathetic than sad as Russia once had a golden opportunity to go in another direction. Few countries in history have had such a choice while remaining relatively intact physically. The road to democracy was wide open to Russia in the early 1990s however it appears that democracy simply isn’t in the Russian political DNA. Russia MUST be some sort autocratic despotism of some sort or another it would appear.

        This time Communism has been replaced by fascism. I suppose in some twisted sense the choice of Fascism seems logical in a nation like Russia. You can’t go back to a Czarist autocracy in the literal sense in the 21st Century. That would be too embarrassing wouldn’t it. So Russia went Fascist complete with a ‘Fuehrer’, a cult of personality, a revival of nationalism just like the Fascist dictators of the 20th Century did and a ‘Mission from God’ to reclaim some lost glory of the past. The NovoRossiya’ just like the ‘New Germany’ of the 1930,s

        There is an excellent article in the Moscow Times today titled. “Russia chooses bombers over pensioners”

        It details how Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is slashing the budgets for healthcare, education, old-age pensions, disability and investments in human capital and funneling the money into the areas that are nearest and and dearest to him the most. His wars in Syria and Ukraine and The Military and of course, his beloved Siloviki, FSB Secret Police. Well, you can’t have a dictatorship without a secret police apparatus spying on everyone now can you? We are seeing Russia making it’s final transformation into a fascist police state. So what chance do Russia’s disabled have against the all mighty, all powerful fascist state of Vladimir Putin that apparently cares little about the welfare of it’s own people and more about the megalomania of it’s dictator Vladimir Putin.

        • Joe L.
          May 2, 2016 at 16:43

          Well if Putin is a “dictator” then he sure is a popular one – how many “popular” dictators do you know throughout history? I kind of get the feeling that he is not a “dictator” since he was elected and before you say that he is going to be President for life or something like that, remember that there are other countries, democratic countries, that have no limits on how many terms a leader can have – I am Canadian and I believe that our country is one of them (I also believe this is the same for Australia, Britain etc.). Obviously you have a lot of hate toward Russia, and Putin in particular, along with your grammar so I can probably guess where you are from – starts with a “U” ends with an “E”. Just because you call someone a “dictator” does not make them so and I believe that the entire world, even the west, acknowledged Putin’s “election” and him being leader of Russia – even if they don’t like it.

          Gallup: “Russian Approval of Putin Soars to Highest Level in Years” (July 18, 2014):

          WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Vladimir Putin’s popularity in Russia is now at its highest level in years, likely propelled by a groundswell of national pride with the annexation of Crimea in March on the heels of the Sochi Olympic Games in February. The 83% of Russians saying they approve of Putin’s leadership in late April/early June ties his previous high rating in 2008 when he left office the first time.

      • Joe L.
        May 3, 2016 at 13:24

        Bart Gruzalski… I liked the line wondering if Anthony C is employed by the NSA! Likely if he was employed by anyone it would be CENTCOM, if he truly were working for the US Government. That being said, I do believe that all governments employ people to try and manipulate social media – US, Russia, China, Ukraine, Canada, Britain, France etc. Though, as the revelations from Edward Snowden revealed about NSA spying on the entire world, even allies, I think the US likely employs the most people doing this. Also, it should be of no surprise to anyone when even Hillary Clinton has hired trolls to try to take down Bernie Sanders supporters on social media and I also think that corporations like Monsanto do this as well, look at any YouTube Channel with videos on GMO’s and they will be swarming with people that outright defend Monsanto forgiving Agent Orange, DDT, along with all of the ill effects such as what was seen in Aniston, Alabama. Anyway, the Guardian did a story years ago about the US Government manipulating social media.

        The Guardian: “Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media” (March 17, 2011):

        The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

        A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

    • J'hon Doe II
      May 1, 2016 at 18:49

      Anthony C — the living standards of large swathes of the Russian population are at the third-world level, especially once you move a hundred kilometers away from Moscow and St. Petersburg, and they are getting ever worse amidst the current economic crisis.

      — realism,

      • Neil
        May 2, 2016 at 09:01

        J’hon Doe II – We currently live in a glass house and should not throw stones.

        The living standards, healthcare and other measures of poverty are at a third world level in the US if you move just a couple of miles from the center of big cities such as Manhattan, Philadelphia or D.C. let alone visit a post-industrial wasteland such as Chester, PA.

        Just think of the amount that is being wasted on corporate welfare in the U.S. defense budget to buy weapons that do not work and are not needed while kids in Flint cannot even drink the water from the tap.

        We need to get the hawks and their defense contractor paymasters out of power and start spending the federal budget on improving the lives of regular Americans.

      • Anthony B Clifton
        May 2, 2016 at 14:41

        @ J’hon Doe II

        Self introspection has never been a quality that Russians are good at as its always been easier to blame the West for every evil internally or externally. If it where then Russia would be in a much better place and in much better shape today but it’s not. The same mistakes which have caused Russians so much misery in the past are being perpetrated once again and There is no sign that anything will change.

        Another dictator, economic and political isolation, blatant agression against a weaker neighboring nation like Ukraine, increasing political repression inside Russia being masked by xenophobic nationalism.
        Learning from the mistakes of the past is essential for any nation to NOT perpetually repeat them but such is not the case in Russia. There is an old saying. “The definition of insanity is to do the same things over again and expect different results” Russia will have to suffer yet again because of it unwillingness to learn from the mistakes of its past.

    • Andrew L
      May 2, 2016 at 13:02

      Anthony C – One of the most dangerous things we can do is to believe our own propaganda (aka bs)

      • Anthony B Clifton
        May 2, 2016 at 14:44

        That a prophetic quote coming from a Russian. The Great Dictator in the Kremlin is his own worst enemy. Russian propaganda is so mind numbingly STUPID and UNBELIEVABLE that people just shake their heads in amazement. And for desert he throws in Russian trolls with their pathetic attempts to impersonate and pose as citizens of Western countries with those fake names that are obviously made up to corrupt any meaningful public discourse and debate with Russian propaganda but that too isn’t working as illustrated by the recent Pew Research Center report the indicates the Russia and it dictator Vladimir Putin are the LEAST regarded nation in the world, no doubt as a direct result of the obviously blatant LIES propagated on Russian Media.

    • Oleg
      May 2, 2016 at 21:49

      it seems we are talking indeed to special kind of people here. Who go to police stations in Russia, read the Moscow Times… I myself for Christ’s sake have not been inside a Russian police station for a long, long time. And I cannot make myself read the Moscow Times, sorry, it is such a hollow propaganda outlet mixed with female escort ads… So please go ahead with your tour of Russian police stations, I am sorry I wasted my time talking with you.

    • Oleg
      May 2, 2016 at 21:57

      I recently drove from NYC to Canada through Buffalo. Oh my, I really haven’t seen such a place in Russia, ever. And yeah, your grammar betrays you. It is really hard for a Russian speaker to master English punctuation, for instance. I know. Go and study harder, comrade ))

  15. May 1, 2016 at 14:50

    Looking back at how it occurred, one can certainly argue the Soviet Union’s self-dissolution was a major disaster not good for its own people who suffered through the economic “shock therapy” of Yeltsin, and not good thing for the world which lost a political counterbalance to transnational capitalism. Not that things could have remained as they were – no, I’m not saying that. But the USSR had already taken great strides towards opening its society and political system. It would have been much better off to follow the path that little Belarus did – small economic reforms while maintaining its safety net and its socialist nature. But by the USSR dissolving itself as it did, it opened the way for the critical twenty years of US hegemony, The twenty years that have led us precisely to the chaos and inequality we see all over the world. Because without a counter-balance to the US, the old adage “absolute power corrupts absolutely” holds.

    It’s important to recall that the “fall of Communism” wasn’t exactly that. A more apt description for the period between 1989 and 1992 would be the democratization of the Eastern Bloc. It is worth remembering that in the majority of the countries of the Eastern Bloc, the 1989 revolutions meant opening their systems to multi-party elections. In a great many countries, people voted the socialist parties right back into power. The crisis came when the USSR dissolved itself, and Yeltsin crushed Russia’s fledgling democracy in its nest with the attack on the Russian Parliament (a violently anti-democratic move which was applauded by the United States) and, with the near-dictatorial power he now held, Yeltsin took down the path of isolationism and economic “shock therapy”. This period of crime, primitive accumulation, and social collapse in Russia (where life expectacy fell to 50 years) was the period where Russia and her resources were handed to the West by Yeltsin on a golden platter but more importantly, Russia pulled back completely from a role in world politics. It was at this time, with no one opposing it, that the United States began fomenting “Color Revolutions” in Eastern Europe and the Post-Soviet Space (which meant creating the far-right authoritarians we see killing their own citizens in Ukraine today). It was at this time that the US, along with the unified (against the better judgement of many) Germany, assaulted and dismantled Yugoslavia in a replay of some of the most brutal fighting since the Second World War. It was at this time that the US took over the Middle Eastern oil fields and laid siege to the Iraq of its former good friend Saddam Hussein.

    It was also when, with the break up of social democracy in the face of what was passed of as the “failure of Communism”, the oligarchs of the West were able to start to dismantle the New Deal programs that had been created to salve the social crises at home which the example of another economic system had created. This led directly to the bank collapses and inequality we see all over the US, Japan, and Europe.

    This is how we got to the crossroads we are at today, with the Iraq War showing that a people can still resist an onslaught by the United States (much as Vietnam showed, but to less effect) and with Russia again taking a role in world politics, and China beginning to turn its economic might into political might. The US is up to its old tricks of trying to conquer the world, but the world is starting to push back.

    There might be those who say “Oh, the fall of the Soviet Union was the fall of communist totalitarianism! The destruction of an ‘Evil Empire'”! but I don’t think so. Certainly, the Soviet Union of the 1930s was shockingly repressive in its drive to industrialized. And this period, followed by the Second World War which subjected the whole society to regimentation out of sheer need of survival certainly created in the USSR some repressive features. But following the war – with de-Stalinization, and the thaw with the West leading to Perestroika – was actually an amazing period of reform and political progress. After all, we all heard about how “repressive” and “totalitarian” Communism was, yet when the time came it opened its system to democracy and economic reform without (for the great most part) a shot being fired. This is a success in many regards. An example that a system works, not that it failed. For whatever the failures of the USSR in its history, all countries must be allowed to progress and grow. We should no more imagine the whole of Soviet history to be the Stalin period of the 1930s as we should think of all of US history as depression, Jim Crow, lynching, and labor/mgmt violence. If the USA can move from something as hideous as slavery and genocide to what it is today, then certainly the USSR could have moved from repression and totalitarianism to something more suitable. And the fact that it reformed itself in with Glasnost and Perestroika proved it was possible and it was underway. Unfortunately, it was the machinations of the US (who helped Yeltsin crush Soviet/Russian democracy) who ensured that things would take a terrible turn that it did. All in the US drive for global hegemony using the same tactics that Allen Dulles invented in the 1950s.?

    • Anthony B Clifton
      May 2, 2016 at 15:49

      @ Our Hidden History

      “Looking back at how it occurred, one can certainly argue the Soviet Union’s self-dissolution was a major disaster not good for its own people who suffered through the economic “shock therapy” of Yeltsin, and not good thing for the world which lost a political counterbalance to transnational capitalism”


      The Russians are too good at Screwing up their own country all by yourselves with no help from anybody. In just the last 100 years alone Russia has had Two Social/ Political upheavals because they will not adopt Democratic principals based on the Rule of Law. instead they turn to men like Vladimir Putin and he promises order and prosperity and for a while it may seem like he’s delivering but it’s all a sham because they can’t keep it up as Russia is seeing right now. Trading liberty for order and prosperity doesn’t work because in the end you lose all three. The price Russia had to pay for the Soviet Union’s failure was high and now it looks like they haven’t learned a thing. Their headed in the same direction that the Soviet Union took, Failure. it is truly Pathetic that the Russians cannot or will not learn from the mistakes of their own history?

      The world pity’s Russians as they seem to prefer to ruled by despotic rulers and dictators like Vladimir Putin. So long as Russia is ruled by Vladimir Putin or men like him Russia will always be corrupt and weak. Putin has to go out of his way to remind the world that Russia is still a nuclear power which is a sign of weakness in itself. Putin is not to be feared, he is to be contained so that inevitably, nature will do to him as it has done to every other dictator before him.

      Communism of which the Soviet Union was based on collapsed on its decayed and rotten foundations which was exactly what the West led by the United States wanted. The whole idea of “Containment” of Communism by the west was to prevent the spread of its poisonous tentacles around the world as it sought to do until the CANCER of communism could metastasize in the very country that it came from, The Soviet Union and finally die which it did. Communism died exactly the way it should have died. Not because of what the West did but because of the complete inability of Communism to work and deliver what it promised. Few would deny any longer that Communism–Marxism-Leninism and its variants–meant in practice bloody terrorism, deadly purges, lethal gulags and forced labor, fatal deportations, man-made famines, extrajudicial executions and show trials, and genocide. It is also widely known that as a result millions of innocent people have been murdered in cold blood. Yet there has been virtually no concentrated statistical work on what this total might be. With this understood, the Soviet Union appears the greatest megamurderer of all, apparently killing near 61,000,000 people. Stalin himself is responsible for almost 43,000,000 of these. Most of the deaths, perhaps around 39,000,000 are due to lethal forced labor in gulag and transit thereto.

      The reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev, Glasnost and Peristroika as there were called where thought by many to be the best that you could hope for in the Soviet Union. Not the demise and dismantlement of the Communist system in the Soviet Union but a reformed Communist system more amenable to limited market and political reforms. That’s what Gorbachev was after. To save the communist system Gorbachev needed money, capitalist money and there was only one place he could get it. He needed $100 Billion dollars in financial aid from the west and in order to get it he had to give the west something it wanted and that was Eastern Europe so he gave it back to its rightful owners but the coup of the Hardliners in August 1991 “Trumped” him before he could enact his reforms with the money he expected from the west. So yes, the west was not prepared for the total collapse of the Communist system in Russia.
      But men like Truman and Reagan could see the utter unworkability of the communist system, more from a philosophical perspective such as the lack of human rights and the suppression of freedom of religion than the hard economics and politics that their advisers were concerned with and they where right. That’s what made these two men outstanding leaders of the free world. Their ability to factor in the human element. Communism could NEVER work because intrinsically, it goes against human nature and Truman and Reagan knew it

      • Oleg
        May 2, 2016 at 21:42

        Really. You have it all mixed up completely. The communism is dead, long ago, and Russians were the ones who killed it for good. And Russians were the ones who took the brunt of it. If you want to feel sorry for us, thank you, but no. We will manage ourselves as always. Russia now is as capitalist as they come. So what is your problem now?

  16. J'hon Doe II
    May 1, 2016 at 13:36

    A quick history of Provocations, Provocateurs, world wars and actual Mass Murders.
    Whose Wars… ? — Who is really forcing Russia’s hand???


    Britain Must Apologize For The Balfour Declaration
    06 Nov 2015
    Posted by Mary Carmel News in FREEDOM, Historyt

    TagsBritain’s Colonization and wars, Genocide, UK/Israeli Zionism, WWI and WWII, Zionist occupation of Palestine, Zionist usury of US

    Introduction by Mary Carmel

    To quote Ron Paul, “It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.”

    America was an independent country, with a non intervention policy, until central banking finally took control. It was very much like other nations in Europe and this is why Americans declared their independence from it! We fought the American Revolution as well as the War of 1812, to avoid the British/Zionist central banking system, only to end up in our own ‘Civil War’… the damage, and loss of life in the US was unspeakable. Provocation and interference by the Bankers, BAR Association, & the Vatican had almost destroyed the United States. Their results, the theft of the Thirteenth Amendment to our Constitution (clearly forbidding these people from serving within our government at all). They also assassinated President Lincoln (They also attempted to kill President Andrew Jackson several times). The people kept going, not understanding the complexities of this new ‘US Corporation’ that answered to The Vatican Crown Corp, no longer representing the people, the foundation of our form of government had been secretly perverted, as our forefathers has warned us, they would attempt this.

    This infiltration left our nation infested by the Zionist plague, as it did to others in Europe and elswhere, and propelled everyone toward WWI, and then WWII, all in the name of the British/Zionist Empire. Years later, President John F. Kennedy, in his attempt to remedy the situation, was also assassinated. This left America in a state of post traumatic shock, and it just spiraled from there, with the reappearance of the Bush Dynasty, always covertly covering up Israel’s deceitful actions with a false flag, one being the attack on the USS liberty, another 9/11/2001, ushering in the madness of The Patriot Act, and criminal proxy wars war with the Middle East. Becoming part of the Anglo American Axis, has caused more destruction, and genocide than the world can bear, including the present attack from within on the US people by Barack Obama. I sincerely hope, since we have recently recovered the Thirteenth Amendment, that the people involved are brought to justice, and America may have the chance for restoration, returning to the country it once was. I also have that hope for other nations that have been systematically weakened along with us.

    Russia, and other Eastern European countries know too well, the danger of this assault from within by the same perpetrators. Palestine has had far too much aggression and loss of life, it has to stop now! The world has had enough! We are now marching toward WWIII, with the same people in control, just a different generation of bankers and corporations that seek total control… globally. This time, it threatens the sovereignty of ALL nations, as this ‘Axis of Evil’ operating illegally under the guise of the UN ‘peace keeping’ organization, continues to commit crimes against humanity in the Middle East, Africa, South America, Ukraine, etc… They keep knocking on Russia’s door to pick a fight, as well as China’s.

    The forced integration, into Palestine many years ago, under the Balfour Declaration, that has resulted in so many lives, is now being forced upon the Europeans, Americans, and countries everywhere, by design. If we cannot look at history, to see the PATTERN here, the destruction it has brought to the world, and understand who is responsible for this, we have learned nothing! The usury of America, by the British/Zionist cabal, to fight their wars is sickening. Russia AND Germany were once destroyed by this evil as well. It is now overdue…this apology, before we are all dragged into a nuclear killing spree that will ultimately destroy all of humanity. MC



    2nd November 2012

    Ever since UK Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour pronounced the Balfour Declaration on 2 November 1917, promising a homeland for the Jews in Palestine,

  17. Joe Tedesky
    May 1, 2016 at 12:18

    If only America’s goal were to spread democracy throughout the world, then what a wonderful world this would be. Instead, since the end of the USSR, America expected Russia to become a subservient follower, much like Europe, but Russia said ‘no’. All the while Bill Clinton fed Yeltsin drinks, Slick Willy moved NATO missiles ever closer up against Russia’s borders. This was after James Baker promised Gorbachev how NATO would not move its missiles any closer than they already were (Germany), so much for handshakes. Putin encouraged outside investment, but when he finally decided to slow that down, well he upset the Western Bankers, and this ain’t good. I guess making ten percent of something, isn’t as good as making eighty percent of nothing, or so it goes. Rather than putting their weight behind diplomacy the powers to be in the West have invested heavily into arming all the countries which are on Russia’s borders. Why, this military buildup is considered a solution I will never know. I have thought for most of my adult life, how if only America and Russia were allied together, how this would be a really good thing. If there is any chance for the world to disarm it’s nuclear and conventional weapons arsenal, then it would mean that this type of procedure would start with the Eagle and the Bear as it’s cofounders. The world has become to small for all these wars, and blowback has, and will continue to become a way of life. Now, is the time to rally behind a diplomatic approach to our learning how to live amongst each other.

    • J'hon Doe II
      May 1, 2016 at 14:07

      Joe Tedesky
      May 1, 2016
      If only America’s goal were to spread democracy throughout the world

      Capitalism rules over democracy/always has and I’d say that
      May Day has a Momentous History in regard to equality.

      Today Is Our Day

      This May Day, we should celebrate the historic triumphs of the labor movement and the struggles to come.
      by Jonah Walters

      The first May Day was celebrated in 1886, with a general strike of three hundred thousand workers at thirteen thousand businesses across the United States. It was a tremendous show of force for the American labor movement, which was among the most militant in the world.

      Many of the striking workers — who numbered forty thousand in Chicago alone — rallied under the banners of anarchist and socialist organizations. Trade unionists from a variety of ethnic backgrounds — many of them recent immigrants — marched shoulder-to-shoulder, making a unified demand for the eight-hour day.

      The movement to limit the workday posed a significant threat to American industrialists, who were accustomed to demanding much longer hours from their workers.

      In the late nineteenth century, successive waves of immigration brought millions of immigrants to the United States, many of whom sought work in factories. Because unemployment was so high, employers could easily replace any worker who demanded better conditions or sufficient wages — so long as that worker acted alone. As individuals, workers were in no position to oppose the dehumanizing work their bosses expected of them.

      But when workers acted together, they could exercise tremendous power over their employers and over society as a whole. Working-class radicals understood the unique power of collective action, fighting to ensure that the aggression of employers was often met by a groundswell of workers’ resistance.

      For the last decades of the nineteenth century, industrial titans like Andrew Carnegie and George Pullman could get no peace. Periodic explosions of working-class activity provided a check on their power and prestige. But industrialists and their allies in government often responded with brutal force, quelling waves of worker militancy that demanded a fundamentally different kind of American prosperity, one in which the poor and downtrodden were included.

      The movement for the eight-hour day was one such mass struggle. On May 1, 1886, workers all over the country took to the streets to demand a better life and a more just economy. The demonstrations lasted for days.

      But this surge of working-class resistance ended in tragedy. In Chicago’s Haymarket Square, a police massacre claimed the lives of several workers after someone — likely a provocateur working for one of the city’s industrial barons — tossed a homemade bomb into the crowd. The Chicago authorities took the bombing as an opportunity to arrest and execute four of the movement’s most prominent leaders — including the anarchist and trade unionist August Spies.

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 1, 2016 at 14:37

        Wouldn’t it be nice, if in America the workers had a political party which would represent them? Appreciate your joining in on the conversation.

        • Anthony B Clifton
          May 2, 2016 at 15:53

          Wouldn’t be nice the Russian people had a leader who was committed to Democracy, Rule of Law and Individual Freedom instead of the Kleptocratic, Corrupt, Fascistic Dictator that they have now named Vladimir Putin.

          • Oleg
            May 2, 2016 at 21:20

            Actually, I think there is more individual freedom in Russia than in the US. Definitely more than in Canada and Germany (I used to live in these countries). The rest is just laughable propaganda, sorry to disappoint you. All facts are there for those who want to know. Who don’t – continue to watch MSM.

    • Bill Bodden
      May 1, 2016 at 14:09

      I have thought for most of my adult life, how if only America and Russia were allied together, how this would be a really good thing.

      Never happen. The way of the world is such that the alpha male (or female) and his (or her pack) will seek sole domination. The United States is the current top dog, but with more and more expensive militarism, decaying infrastructures, extremes of wealth and poverty, arbitrary application of laws and shredding of the Constitution Uncle Sam could join the last Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler and other overzealous emperors in the dust heap of failed empires. The American military serving as Israel’s mercenaries in a war against Iran or as neocon toys against Russia could accelerate the process.

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 1, 2016 at 14:36

        Bill, I am afraid you are right, on all counts. I’m also fearful that in order for America to change it’s ways, it will take a huge catastrophic event of some kind, to make our country wise up. Thanks for your reply.

      • Oleg
        May 2, 2016 at 08:52

        “The way of the world is such that the alpha male (or female) and his (or her pack) will seek sole domination. ”

        Oh boy, how dead wrong you are! This is the American thing, yes, but the rest of the world thinks differently! The rest of the world wishes and knows how to cooperate without beating down your opponents to the dust! You think if YOU want sole domination then Russia for instance wants it. Which is very untrue and really perplexing to the Russians. But you do think so and that’s what makes you fear the future so much because you are sure Russia will come and treat you like some silly red down thing from the Hollywood. And that’s is what makes the situation so dangerous!!! NOBODY wants to conquer you or dominate you or something like that. Not now, not in the future. This is just your own paranoia! Deal with it.

        And in the meantime, think of all the lost opportunities for all mankind, lost during the last 30 years of squabbling, attempts to dominate, geopolitical games, etc. This WAS the new American century. The world under American leadership. And what the world has achieved? In 1960-1970s, during detante, there were vast improvements in the economic situation, world peace, living standards, science, technology, people went to space, people went to the Moon! And what do you have to show for the last 30 years? Iphones? Made in China, by the way.

        • Bill Bodden
          May 2, 2016 at 12:28

          Oleg: Where you appear to be wrong is in jumping to the unwarranted conclusion that I am in favor of the US being the top dog. I am probably at least as opposed to that concept as you are – if not more so.

          The rest of the world wishes and knows how to cooperate without beating down your opponents to the dust!

          Except for a few regional authoritarians. You might check out some of John Pilger’s articles and films (e.g.: The Rape of East Timor: “Sounds Like Fun” – and ponder the European Troika that crushed Greek resistance to the European imposition of austerity – for openers.

    • Joe L.
      May 2, 2016 at 14:48

      Joe Tedesky… Respectfully, I have to disagree with the first line of your statement “If only America’s goal were to spread democracy throughout the world, then what a wonderful world this would be”. Frankly, I believe that the world knows what democracy is already and if they move toward democracy then it will have to be the will of the people without any outside interference. I believe that it is the US’ belief to spread “democracy” or “freedom” or “whatever” is really the problem. It is like the US believes that it is better than everywhere else, exceptionalism, and needs to interfere to reshape the world in its’ image. What would Iran be like today if the US/Britain did not overthrow their democracy? What would Guatemala look like today if the same did not happen to them? There actually could have been a whole mess more of thriving democracies in the world today if the US did not overthrow their governments and replace them with dictators. I think that it is the attitude, exceptionalism, and interfering in other countries internal politics that has led us to the messed up world that we live in today (the western world as a whole is guilty of this as well). Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see all countries become democracies but I believe that they have to be democracies of their own making and that also does not mean that they have to support or align with the US or the western world but that the government simply expresses the will of their people. My other belief is that US interference in other countries internal operations actually harms democracy because countries feel that they have to protect themselves from outside forces – such as USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, Open Society etc. by cracking down on media, organizations etc. Overall, I just would like to see the US be a great power; along with China, Russia, India, Germany, Britain, France etc.; but stop with its’ interference in the world and trade peacefully. I truly hope that we will get to a multipolar world without a world war but if the US, and our western world, continue down the road of trying to control other countries by making them submissive to our geopolitical goals by surrounding them with military bases then it will turn out badly for everyone.

    • Eileen Kuch
      May 9, 2016 at 17:29

      Valid point, Joe. America’s goal wasn’t to spread democracy around the world at all, but to orchestrate regime change – either by invasion, as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – or by orchestrating “color revolutions”, as in Ukraine and Georgia.
      The Muslim and Asian nations never had democracy; and, as a whole, never wanted it. Russia was never a democracy; and, it, too, rejected it. Yes, Bill Clinton moved NATO missiles ever closer to Russia’s borders – while, all the time – feeding Boris Yeltsin vodka. This was after James Baker (Reagan’s Secretary of State) had promised Mikhail Gorbachev how NATO wouldn’t move its missiles any closer than they already were (Germany); so, much for handshakes.
      And, US officials wonder why the Russians distrust them so much. Russia’s had a history of staving off invasions from neighboring countries. Boris Yeltsin was a drunkard, and Slick Willy took advantage of his weakness – as had the Jewish Oligarchs who plundered the Treasury, while the Russian people starved. However, Yeltsin avenged Clinton’s betrayal by naming Vladimir Putin as his successor .. and Putin got to work, ousting/arresting Mikhail Khordokhovsky and sending the others fleeing to Israel.
      It was Putin who revitalized Russia’s economy – raising its standard of living – and overhauled its military to the powerhouse it is today. We can thank Bill Clinton’s betrayal of Yeltsin for Russia’s superpower status today.

  18. Bill Bodden
    May 1, 2016 at 11:55

    … but Washington’s arrogance risks war, even nuclear annihilation

    And that risk will continue with Hillary the Hawk and her neocon accomplices in the White House. Time to hold our noses and consider voting for Trump.

  19. Bart Gruzalski
    May 1, 2016 at 11:38

    The “liberal” press and blog writers want to label Trump’s “America First” position either as fascist OR as a reincarnation of the anti-war position of Charles Lindbergh OR both. It’s neither. What infuriates mainstream media and its presstitutes is Trump’s rejection of imperialism.

    America first–not Europe, not Israel, not Saudi Arabia. ’bout time.

    POTUS and his buddies want to keep the 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report secret because it might offend Saudi Arabia. A lot of Americans, including many who lost loved ones in the Twin Towers, want to know what really happened. Looks like an America-Second position on a significant issue that involves all Americans. Likewise, we give $3B every January to Israel. How many decent jobs would that create in the US? That is yet another American-Second position.

  20. Madhu
    May 1, 2016 at 11:17

    I worry very much about the nuclear aspect too. I would like more fruitful relations with Russia, although I don’t always understand the desire to create grand partnerships between the US and some other favored nation (Russia, China, Iran, etc.) as opposed to practical work when interests overlap.

    Are we recreating the dynamics of Able Archer 83 but in a kind of permanent way? It is frightening that there is so little commentary in the media on this subject in much of the public and without the sense of carefulness and fear the was once a part of the public consciousness in the US.

    NATO Allies Preparing to Put Four Battalions at Eastern Border With Russia
    U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense says buildup is response to Moscow’s military activity near the Baltics

    Wall Street Journal


    The Board is deeply disturbed by the US handling of the war scare, both at the time and since. In the early stages of the war scare period, when evidence was thin, little effort was made to examine the various possible Soviet motivations behind some very anomalous events… When written, the 1984 SNIE's [assessments][3] were overconfident." That estimate, written by veteran Soviet analyst Fritz Ermarth, downplayed the hazards.

    GWU National Security Archives

    The-Able-Archer-War-Scare-Declassified-PFIAB-Report (GWU national archives).

    Are Ashton Carter or Michelle Flournoy part of the Fritz Ermarth “world” of nuclear strategizing? And he’s part of that whole EMP strangeness, isn’t he, which I suppose is just another way to get contracts and forward certain agendas that run together between NATO, Washington and the military industrial complex.

  21. Brad Owen
    May 1, 2016 at 11:05

    Trump’s Word is written on water; worth about as much as Hitler’s non-aggression treaty with Stalin was. Both Trump and HRC are just two slightly different ways of reaching a VERY bad ending for USA. I see Stein as the only way out of this “Scilla & Charybdis” threatening us, if Sanders folds. Right-wingers can vote for the libertarian party guy. Then we’ll have Green and Libertarian Parties to replace the dead & dying Republicans and Democrats, after the Four-Way Race of 2016 is over…presuming the USA isn’t killed off by The Great Crash and collapse and the “Long Emergency” ordeal of Martial Law & Order first, before the Election.

    • Charles Fasola
      May 1, 2016 at 14:28

      Are you being serious or are you some sort ofwould-be stand up comic. Stein besides having no experience or at best extremely limited experience in foreign policy and diplomacy, has only rudimentary knowledge of most of government in general. Listening to her speak on matters economic exposes her complete lack of knowledge in that discipline. Coupled with her complete lack of understanding of money. Then there’s the sickening green agenda itself which she supports wholeheartedly. An agenda that plays right into the hands of the corporatists who are enemies of all things except profiteering.
      As for libertarians, I will only state they are a group of delusional jack asses. They blame government for any and all problems, instead of the unsatiable greed of the free-market crowd. The most laughable aspect of it all is supporters of free-markets are so misinformed, misguided and just plain stupid to see there are no such things as free-markets. The free-marketeers are completely dependent on the government and that those same individuals make up the government and control it. Socialist government is evil if it benefits the common good. If those that benefit from government programs and intervention are they themselves, well then it’s fine. Wake up.

      • Brad Owen
        May 2, 2016 at 03:57

        In answer to your only question asked; yes, I’m serious as a heart attack, and I obviously have a differing view of Stein and Green policies. Stephan Zarlenga of American Monetary Institute (AMI) informs the Green’s monetary policies; in the end the ONLY THING backing a Nation’s money is an organized, well-trained, productive & creative, Labor Force, NOT gold, silver nor any other commodity. ONLY such a Labor Force as described, can take rocks out of the ground and turn them into Fords and Chevys; a gold brick will not do it, the Rentier/parasite Trump won’t do it either. I do agree that the Libertarians are fairly useless; that’s what right-wingers like though, useless things (so far as any promotion of The General Welfare is concerned).

  22. dfnslblty
    May 1, 2016 at 10:23

    Thankyou for this excellent view of the usa situation –

  23. Brad Benson
    May 1, 2016 at 08:00

    The final two paragraphs echo what I have been saying about Trump for some time. When Sanders is pushed out and throws his support to the WAR CRIMINAL, I won’t have any trouble voting for Trump. It may be lesser of two evils, but when our survival depends upon it, I can’t waste a vote on Dr. Jill Stein just to salve my ideological soul.

    • David Walters
      May 9, 2016 at 09:58

      When has voting in America not entailed voting for the lesser of two evils?


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