The Existential Madness of Putin-Bashing

Exclusive: Official Washington loves its Putin-bashing but demonizing the Russian leader stops a rational debate about U.S.-Russia relations and pushes the two nuclear powers toward an existential brink, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Arguably, the nuttiest neoconservative idea – among a long list of nutty ideas – has been to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia by weakening its economy, isolating it from Europe, pushing NATO up to its borders, demonizing its leadership, and sponsoring anti-government political activists inside Russia to promote “regime change.”

This breathtakingly dangerous strategy has been formulated and implemented with little serious debate inside the United States as the major mainstream news media and the neocons’ liberal-interventionist sidekicks have fallen in line much as they did during the run-up to the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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)

Except with Russia, the risks are even greater – conceivably, a nuclear war that could exterminate life on the planet. Yet, despite those stakes, there has been a cavalier – even goofy – attitude in the U.S. political/media mainstream about undertaking this new “regime change” project aimed at Moscow.

There is also little appreciation of how lucky the world was when the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991 without some Russian extremists seizing control of the nuclear codes and taking humanity to the brink of extinction. Back then, there was a mix of luck and restrained leadership, especially on the Soviet side.

Plus, there were at least verbal assurances from George H.W. Bush’s administration that the Soviet retreat from East Germany and Eastern Europe would not be exploited by NATO and that a new era of cooperation with the West could follow the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Instead, the United States dispatched financial “experts” – many from Harvard Business School – who arrived in Moscow with neoliberal plans for “shock therapy” to “privatize” Russia’s resources, which turned a handful of corrupt insiders into powerful billionaires, known as “oligarchs,” and the “Harvard Boys” into well-rewarded consultants.

But the result for the average Russian was horrific as the population experienced a drop in life expectancy unprecedented in a country not at war. While a Russian could expect to live to be almost 70 in the mid-1980s, that expectation had dropped to less than 65 by the mid-1990s.

The “Harvard Boys” were living the high-life with beautiful women, caviar and champagne in the lavish enclaves of Moscow – as the U.S.-favored President Boris Yeltsin drank himself into stupors – but there were reports of starvation in villages in the Russian heartland and organized crime murdered people on the street with near impunity.

Meanwhile, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush cast aside any restraint regarding Russia’s national pride and historic fears by expanding NATO across Eastern Europe, including the incorporation of former Soviet republics.

In the 1990s, the “triumphalist” neocons formulated a doctrine for permanent U.S. global dominance with their thinking reaching its most belligerent form during George W. Bush’s presidency, which asserted the virtually unlimited right for the United States to intervene militarily anywhere in the world regardless of international law and treaties.

How Despair Led to Putin

Without recognizing the desperation and despair of the Russian people during the Yeltsin era — and the soaring American arrogance in the 1990s — it is hard to comprehend the political rise and enduring popularity of Vladimir Putin, who became president after Yeltsin abruptly resigned on New Year’s Eve 1999. (In declining health, Yeltsin died on April 23, 2007).

Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

Putin, a former KGB officer with a strong devotion to his native land, began to put Russia’s house back in order. Though he collaborated with some oligarchs, he reined in others by putting them in jail for corruption or forcing them into exile.

Putin cracked down on crime and terrorism, often employing harsh means to restore order, including smashing Islamist rebels seeking to take Chechnya out of the Russian Federation.

Gradually, Russia regained its economic footing and the condition of the average Russian improved. By 2012, Russian life expectancy had rebounded to more than 70 years. Putin also won praise from many Russians for reestablishing the country’s national pride and reasserting its position on the world stage.

Though a resurgent Russia created friction with the neocon designs for permanent U.S. world domination, Putin represented a side of Russian politics that favored cooperation with the West. He particularly hoped that he could work closely with President Barack Obama, who likewise indicated his desire to team up with Russia to make progress on thorny international issues.

In 2012, Obama was overheard on an open mike telling Putin’s close political ally, then-President Dmitri Medvedev, that “after my election, I have more flexibility,” suggesting greater cooperation with Russia. (Because of the Russian constitution barring someone from serving more than two consecutive terms as president, Medvedev, who had been prime minister, essentially swapped jobs with Putin for four years.)

Obama’s promise was not entirely an empty one. His relationship with the Russian leadership warmed as the two powers confronted common concerns over security issues, such as convincing Syria to surrender its chemical-weapons arsenal in 2013 and persuading Iran to accept tight limitations on its nuclear program in 2014.

In an extraordinary op-ed in The New York Times on Sept. 11, 2013, Putin described his relationship with Obama as one of “growing trust” while disagreeing with the notion of “American “exceptionalism.” In the key last section that he supposedly wrote himself, Putin said:

“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.”

Offending the Neocons

Though Putin may have thought he was simply contributing to a worthy international debate in the spirit of the U.S. Declaration of Independence’s assertion that “all men are created equal,” his objection to “American exceptionalism” represented fighting words to America’s neocons.

Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy

Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy

Instead of engaging in mushy multilateral diplomacy, muscular neocons saw America as above the law and lusted for bombing campaigns against Syria and Iran – with the goal of notching two more “regime change” solutions on their belts.

Thus, the neocons and their liberal-interventionist fellow-travelers came to see Putin as a major and unwelcome obstacle to their dreams of permanent U.S. dominance over the planet, which they would promote through what amounted to permanent warfare. (The main distinction between neocons and liberal interventionists is that the former cites “democracy promotion” as its rationale and the latter justifies war under the mantle of “humanitarianism.”)

Barely two weeks after Putin’s op-ed in the Times, a prominent neocon, Carl Gershman, the longtime president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, issued what amounted to a rejoinder in The Washington Post on Sept. 26, 2013.

Gershman’s op-ed made clear that U.S. policy should take aim at Ukraine, a historically and strategically sensitive country on Russia’s doorstep where the Russian nation made a stand against the Tatars in the 1600s and where the Nazis launched Operation Barbarossa, the devastating 1941 invasion which killed some 4 million Soviet soldiers and led to some 26 million Soviet dead total.

In the Post, Gershman wrote that “Ukraine is the biggest prize,” but made clear that Putin was the ultimate target: “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

To advance this cause, NED alone was funding scores of projects that funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Ukrainian political activists and media outlets, creating what amounted to a shadow political structure that could help stir up unrest when the Ukrainian government didn’t act as desired, i.e., when elected President Viktor Yanukovych balked at a European economic plan that included cuts in pensions and heat subsidies as demanded by the International Monetary Fund.

When Yanukovych sought more time to negotiate a less onerous deal, U.S.-backed protests swept into Kiev’s Maidan square. Though representing genuine sentiment among many western Ukrainians for increased ties to Europe, neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist street fighters gained control of the uprising and began firebombing police.

A screen shot of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland speaking to U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, at an event sponsored by Chevron, with its logo to Nuland’s left.

A screen shot of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland speaking to U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, at an event sponsored by Chevron, with its logo to Nuland’s left.

Despite the mounting violence, the protests were cheered on by neocon Sen. John McCain, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland, the wife of neocon stalwart Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, which was a major promoter of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

In a speech to Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, Nuland reminded them that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations.” By early February 2014, in an intercepted phone call, she was discussing with Pyatt who should lead a new government – “Yats is the guy,” she declared referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Nuland and Pyatt continued the conversation with exchanges about how to “glue this thing” or “midwife this thing,” respectively.

A Western-backed Putsch

The violence worsened on Feb. 20, 2014, when mysterious snipers opened fire on police and demonstrators sparking clashes that killed scores, including police officers and protesters. Though later evidence suggested that the shootings were a provocation by the neo-Nazis, the immediate reaction in the mainstream Western media was to blame Yanukovych.

Though Yanukovych agreed to a compromise on Feb. 21 that would reduce his powers and speed up new elections so he could be voted out of office, he was still painted as a tyrannical villain. As neo-Nazi and other rightists chased him and his government from power on Feb. 22, the West hailed the unconstitutional putsch as “legitimate” and a victory for “democracy.”

The coup, however, prompted resistance from ethnic Russian areas of Ukraine, particularly in the east and south. With the aid of Russian troops who were stationed at the Russian naval base in Sevastopol, the Crimeans held a referendum and voted by 96 percent to leave Ukraine and rejoin the Russian Federation, a move accepted by Putin and the Kremlin.

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine's Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine’s Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

However, the West’s mainstream media called the referendum a “sham” and Crimea’s secession from Ukraine became Putin’s “invasion” – although the Russian troops were already in Crimea as part of the basing agreement and the referendum, though hastily organized, clearly represented the overwhelming will of the Crimean people, a judgment corroborated by a variety of subsequent polls.

Ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine also rose up against the new regime in Kiev, prompting more accusations in the West about “Russian aggression.” Anyone who raised the possibility that these areas, Yanukovych’s political strongholds, might simply be rejecting what they saw as an illegal political coup in Kiev was dismissed as a “Putin apologist” or a “Moscow stooge.”

While Official Washington and its mainstream media rallied the world in outrage against Putin and Russia, the new authorities in Kiev slipped Nuland’s choice, Yatsenyuk, into the post of prime minister where he pushed through the onerous IMF “reforms,” making the already hard lives of Ukrainians even harder. (The unpopular Yatsenyuk eventually resigned his position.)

Despite the obvious risks of supporting a putsch on Russia’s border, the neocons achieved their political goal of driving a huge wedge between Putin and Obama, whose quiet cooperation had been so troublesome for the neocon plan for violent “regime change” in Syria and Iran.

The successful neocon play in Ukraine also preempted possible U.S.-Russian cooperation in trying to impose an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement that would have established a Palestinian state and would have stymied Israel’s plans for gobbling up Palestinian territory by expanding Jewish settlements and creating an apartheid-style future for the indigenous Arabs, confining them to a few cantons surrounded by de facto Israeli territory.

Obama’s timid failure to explain and defend his productive collaboration with Putin enabled the neocons to achieve another goal of making Putin an untouchable, a demonized foreign leader routinely mocked and smeared by the mainstream Western news media. Along with Putin’s demonization, the neocons have sparked a new Cold War that will not only extend today’s “permanent warfare” indefinitely but dramatically increase its budgetary costs with massive new investments in strategic weapons.

Upping the Nuclear Ante

By targeting Putin and Russia, the neocons have upped the ante when it comes to their “regime change” agenda. No longer satisfied with inflicting “regime change” in countries deemed hostile to Israel – Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, etc. – the neocons have raised their sights on Russia.

Billionaire currency speculator George Soros. (Photo credit: georgesoros.com)

Billionaire currency speculator George Soros. (Photo credit: georgesoros.com)

In that devil-may-care approach, the neocons are joined by prominent “liberal interventionists,” such as billionaire currency speculator George Soros, who pulls the strings of many “liberal” organizations that he bankrolls.

In February 2015, Soros laid out his “Russia-regime-change” vision in the liberal New York Review of Books with an alarmist call for Europe “to wake up and recognize that it is under attack from Russia” – despite the fact that it has been NATO encroaching on Russia’s borders, not the other way around.

But Soros’s hysteria amounted to a clarion call to his many dependents among supposedly independent “non-governmental organizations” to take up the goal of destabilizing Russia and driving Putin from office. As a currency speculator, Soros recognizes the value of inflicting economic pain as well as military punishment on a target country.

“The financial crisis in Russia and the body bags [of supposedly Russian soldiers] from Ukraine have made President Putin politically vulnerable,” Soros wrote, urging Europe to keep up the economic pressure on Russia while working to transform Ukraine into an economic/political success story, saying:

“…if Europe rose to the challenge and helped Ukraine not only to defend itself but to become a land of promise, Putin could not blame Russia’s troubles on the Western powers. He would be clearly responsible and he would either have to change course or try to stay in power by brutal repression, cowing people into submission. If he fell from power, an economic and political reformer would be likely to succeed him.”

But Soros recognized the other possibility: that a Western-driven destabilization of Russia and a failed state in Ukraine could either bolster Putin or lead to his replacement by an extreme Russian nationalist, someone far-harder-line than Putin.

With Ukraine’s continued failure, Soros wrote, “President Putin could convincingly argue that Russia’s problems are due to the hostility of the Western powers. Even if he fell from power, an even more hardline leader like Igor Sechin or a nationalist demagogue would succeed him.”

Yet, Soros fails to appreciate how dangerous his schemes could be to make Russia’s economy scream so loudly that Putin would be swept aside by some political upheaval. As Soros suggests, the Russian people could turn to an extreme nationalist, not to some pliable Western-approved politician.

Protecting Mother Russia

Especially after suffering the depravations of the Yeltsin years, the Russian people might favor an extremist who would take a tough stance against the West and might see brandishing the nuclear arsenal as the only way to protect Mother Russia.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, flanked by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria "Toria" Nuland, delivers his opening remarks to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the outset of a bilateral meeting on July 15, 2016, in Moscow. [State Department photo]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, flanked by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria “Toria” Nuland, delivers his opening remarks to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the outset of a bilateral meeting on July 15, 2016, in Moscow. [State Department photo]

Still, Official Washington can’t get enough of demonizing Putin. A year ago, Obama’s White House – presumably to show how much the President disdains Putin, too – made fun of how Putin sits with his legs apart.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest cited a photo of the Russian president sitting next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “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,” Earnest said, while ignoring the fact that Netanyahu was sitting with his legs wide apart, too.

Amid this anything-goes Putin-bashing, The New York Times, The Washington Post and now Hillary Clinton’s campaign have escalated their anti-Putin rhetoric, especially since Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has offered some praise of Putin as a “strong” leader.

Despite the barrage of cheap insults emanating from U.S. political and media circles, Putin has remained remarkably cool-headed, refusing the react in kind. Oddly, as much as the American political/media establishment treats Putin as a madman, Official Washington actually counts on his even-temper to avoid a genuine existential crisis for the world.

If Putin were what the U.S. mainstream media and politicians describe – a dangerous lunatic – the endless baiting of Putin would be even more irresponsible. Yet, even with many people privately realizing that Putin is a much more calculating leader than their negative propaganda makes him out to be, there still could be a limit to Putin’s patience.

Or the neocons and liberal hawks might succeed in provoking a violent uprising in Moscow that ousts Putin. However, if that were to happen, the odds – as even Soros acknowledges – might favor a Russian nationalist coming out on top and thus in control of the nuclear codes.

In many ways, it’s not Putin who should worry Americans but the guy that might follow Putin.

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).

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69 comments for “The Existential Madness of Putin-Bashing

  1. Jay
    September 12, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Right, and of course there’s Paul Krugman in today’s NY Times repeating further lies about President Putin.

    Krugman goes so far as to state as established fact that Russia/Putin used military force to annex Crimea.

    It’s like Krugman really thinks the “reporting” in the likes of the NY Times is a legitimate source.

    • rosemerry
      September 13, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Krugman is becoming even more extreme with his glorifying of the Queen of Chaos who will be worse than Obama if/when she becomes POTUS.

    • ltr
      September 13, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      Paul Krugman has become a wild neocon. The antipathy to Russia that Krugman represents is astonishing and as dangerous as astonishing.

    • ltr
      September 13, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/12/opinion/thugs-and-kisses.html

      September 11, 2016

      Thugs and Kisses
      By Paul Krugman

      First of all, let’s get this straight: The Russian Federation of 2016 is not the Soviet Union of 1986. True, it covers most of the same territory and is run by some of the same thugs. But the Marxist ideology is gone, and so is the superpower status. We’re talking about a more or less ordinary corrupt petrostate here, although admittedly a big one that happens to have nukes….

      • Idiotland
        September 13, 2016 at 8:53 pm

        What is also astonishing is the complete lack of any historical understanding of Russia and eastern Europe by these “journalists.” Krugman, like the rest of his sorry “newspaper” is a complete jackass.

      • T1000
        September 15, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        Oh, you mean like the corrupt thugs that run the u.s.a?

    • James Richardson
      September 15, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Has anyone mentioned or paid attention to the fact that most if not all of these Neo-Cons mentioned here are Jews.??

      • Bill Rood
        September 15, 2016 at 10:25 pm

        James, while it’s true there are Neo-Cons who are Jewish, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush and many others are not. There are also a growing number of Jews opposed to Israeli policies and even quite a few that are frankly anti-Zionist. Some are on the forefront of the BDS movement:
        https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/
        https://jewssayno.org/
        http://www.ijan.org/
        http://www.righteousjews.org/
        http://www.nkusa.org/
        I’m a Unitarian-Universalist. Last winter, UUs for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME) was pushing to get a BDS resolution on the agenda of the annual meeting of the (national) UU Association. They needed to get petitions circulated and signed at multiple congregations. One would expect I would hear about such an effort through my church. I did not. Instead, I heard about it through my association with Jewish Voice for Peace.

        There are also Jewish Israelis who genuinely want justice for Palestinians and oppose Likud policies:
        http://zope.gush-shalom.org/index_en.html
        http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/

        We should also remember that not all Zionists are Jews. Much of the early boost to what was called “restoration” at the time was provided by British Christian dispensationalists in the early 19th Century. The British Foreign Office viewed a potential Jewish state as a “buffer” that would weaken the influence of its primary rivals in the Levant and Suez area: the French and Ottomans. Zionists have used anit-Semitism as a tool to encourage aliyah and further their Zionist goals. They often showrf contempt for Jews in the diaspora, even during the Holocaust: http://izquotes.com/quote/234068

        Jews are not the enemy. The enemy is Zionism and the attempt to conflate Zionist with Jew and anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Don’t foster the confusion that helps the Zionist cause.

        • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
          September 16, 2016 at 11:12 am

          Excellent! Someone who denounces Israel but also anti-Semitism! Well done!

    • frederike
      September 16, 2016 at 3:11 am

      Sorry to say, but Krugman is willfully ignorant. I can’t explain his stupidity otherwise. Obviously he is too feeble to comprehend what the real issues are. He is stuck in his Zionist ideology of ideology of ideology…..
      I never read Krugman: he knows nothing. And the nothing of it is : nothing.

    • Quartermaster
      September 16, 2016 at 6:45 am

      Military force was used to take Crimea away from Ukraine. People making the assertion you are making simply ignore reality. Crimea has also become a prison and police state to keep dissent tamped down.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        September 16, 2016 at 11:14 am

        What he means is that military force was used to take Crimea, but as Russian troops were already there, it wasn’t technically an invasion.

  2. Lois Gagnon
    September 12, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    The western plutocrats and debt imposing banksters thought they had it made when Yelstin gave them the keys to the store. Having them confiscated must have been a rude comeuppance. Only puppet regimes who allow the looting of national treasuries and resources (including human ones) are acceptable to western imperialists.

    Americans need to recognize their so called leaders are in fact the least qualified people to run our foreign policy. They are mostly moral idiots masquerading as statesmen, stateswomen and journalists. They have yet to figure out the press they depend on is part of the ruling guard that prevents them from being informed as to the true nature of our policies. Too few know or care enough to access independent press like this. The consequences could be tragic for us all.

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 12, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      Lois, I agree with you. America would do so much better if it were to adopt a Matshall Plan Diplomacy and a Soft Power Foreign Policy. Why not, China is doing it with their New Silk Road Project. We still have plenty of off road heavy construction equipment manufacturers still here in America, sell that kind of stuff and forget the tanks. We can do better America, we just need the right leaders.

      America once a country of many thriving incorporated businesses, was bought up and dwindled down into but a very few large mega corporatocracy owned oligarchies. America has the largest military budget in the world, and it does everything it can to make sure that every nation on earth knows it. It’s a crying shame since there are many parts of the American culture who could do so much better interacting with the rest of the world, but no we allow the Neocon/H2P/Zionist to speak for us.

      The world is getting very tired of all these wars, and mayhem, and the day is drawing ever closer when everyone on earth will just finally start putting their foot down, and demand America stop it now, or else. America may have the largest military budget, but budgets aren’t what fight in the battles. What price exactly do you put on the indigenous? What incentive do you reward the soldier with to fight the enemy on their own homeland soil? With a DOD where the IG can’t locate 6.5 trillion dollars, well what does that suggest? It suggest a dynasty budgeted spoiled Pentagon, is what it says to me. They have so much money, that they lose 6.5 trillion dollars, and the media doesn’t report, and nobody seems to care. What dimension are we living in? Remember this; while America couldn’t spend enough to conquer the world, the world had to figure out how to defeat America on next to nothing….David used a stone.

      http://www.dodig.mil/pubs/documents/DODIG-2016-113.pdf

  3. Bill Bodden
    September 12, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Plus, there were at least verbal assurances from George H.W. Bush’s administration that the Soviet retreat from East Germany and Eastern Europe would not be exploited by NATO and that a new era of cooperation with the West could follow the break-up of the Soviet Union.

    Bush may or may not have been sincere in this instance. Regardless, anyone taking a spoken, or even written promise, from United States officials is doing so at a grave risk.

    For decades presidents, vice presidents and a multitude of politicians have taken oaths of office and recited pledges of allegiance that inevitably, often in short order, proved worthless.

  4. Bill Bodden
    September 12, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    By targeting Putin and Russia, the neocons have upped the ante when it comes to their “regime change” agenda. No longer satisfied with inflicting “regime change” in countries deemed hostile to Israel – Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, etc. – the neocons have raised their sights on Russia.

    Attacking Putin and Russia is something of a twofer for the neocons. In addition to promoting “regime change” this exercise also distracts from Netanyahu’s and other Israeli skullduggery.

  5. Bill Bodden
    September 12, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    In February 2015, Soros laid out his “Russia-regime-change” vision in the liberal New York Review of Books with an alarmist call for Europe “to wake up and recognize that it is under attack from Russia”

    Matt Lauer was deservedly criticized for his performance in the recent commander-in-chief forum, but he did get away with injecting the canard about Russia invading Ukraine.

    • Bart in Virginia
      September 12, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      The words “Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea” must appear on Post-It notes at the desks of all in the MSM who write about Russia these days.

      • Quartermaster
        September 16, 2016 at 6:48 am

        Such “theories” have on virtue – they are true. Russian Army and Marines took Crimea from Russia. Russia imported thousands of colonists and allowed them and their troops to vote in the “referendum” to overwhelm the natives so that Putin could cover his tracks. When the Donbas “rebels” were being crushed, Putin sent in troops and heavy equipment. The plan was to establish a land bridge to Crimea, which failed because Ukraine’s civil society rose against the invasion.

  6. September 12, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    If insanity defines America’s policy, then it is a delusional state that goes back a century at a minimum. When Churchill suggested the importance of ‘strangling the Bolshevik infant in its cradle,’ the U.S. took him at his word and invaded the young Soviet Union.

    The Anglo wing of the Anglo-American imperial project was up to its neck in Georgia in the twenties and thirties; Churchill, again, and Henry Ford and many others optimistically congratulated Benito and Adolf for taking care of the ‘problem in the East.’ One way of looking at World War Two was as an attempt to eviscerate whatever was going on in Russia that people called ‘communist.’

    The end of that culling of the herd, after Russia confronted the most hideous bloodletting in history, in Harry Truman’s and Secretary of State Byrnes’ minds, was a ‘poker game’ in which our nuclear ‘aces’ would tame the Red threat in Europe. Our agents were all over Ukraine then, implanting long term assets and exporting former fascists hither and yon.

    The madness of Mutually Assured Destruction revolved around Eastern Europe and Western Soviet jurisdictions like Ukraine. The premise for “Dr. Strangelove” arose from U.S. government documents.

    One might go back further in time. “My God, Maiwand” was a defining phrase in the ‘Great Game.’ The Crimean War entailed the same real estate and at least similar geopolitical issues as continue to underlie policy and practice.

    Maybe the lunacy of the present pass is that we believe that tried and true means, by long vetted ruling classes, can extract us from this death trap. Now that’s really a crazy set of hypotheses.

  7. Drew Hunkins
    September 12, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Shaking my head: What would I do without Mr. Parry’s trenchant and laser sharp columns and analyses? A true treasure.

    • rosemerry
      September 13, 2016 at 8:50 am

      I completely agree. The “exceptional” behavior of the USA is and has been a disaster for the rest of us, and the people of the USA have certainly not benefited either.

  8. Nancy
    September 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Official Washington exhibits an infintile public persona masking its creepy and deadly lust for dominance and respect. Rightfully, many Americans now appreciate Putin’s maturity and restraint. The likes of Nuland and Kagen, Clinton and McCain, Gershman and Soros and the NATO beast must continue to be highlighted as America’s least wanted in our foreign policy arena.

  9. Steven
    September 12, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    The US has left a wake of lies, death and economic disaster in all countries in which it has ‘run through’. Now, even the uneducated understand. The accessable information available to ‘we the people’, has lessened the affect that propaganda has given leaders for ever. A great example is the Wests bashing of the Russian President Putin. The truth is becoming obvious to more onlookers everyday. I really hope Mr Putin stays alive and continues his mission and fight against the elitists who have brought our planet to hear from destruction. JFK and many others failed at staying alive, I really hope he doesn’t fall to the same assassin’ s

  10. sergio sanguino
    September 12, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    it seems like if some businessmem or speculators like Mr Soros and the Kagans do not care a rap humankind’s future or perhaps due to his superman’s optimisitc viewpoint ( a racketeer and insane point of view indeed ) think , of course wrongly, that waging war against Russia is just a ” pleasant game”.or a hobby Gosh! We should speak up in order to stop a massacre worldwide and keep in mind that Russians are human beings and not “rats” who deserve to be wiped off from earth such as “Blond Beast”( Herrn Adolph ) wanted . “Untermeschen” he used to call them in a very pejorative way Moreover, we should also realise that the ecosystem will be destroyed And who is who to destroy people along with the ecosystem in God’s name or in an apparently “superior political doctrine”? Babbling ,babbling and just babbling like “loros borrachos”( drunkard parrots ) Bloody bunch of clever liars Live-and let-live should be the motto for those chaps like me who love life . Actullay, I confess I get excited when reading The Jew of Malta by C Marlowe What an amazing portrait of a very greedy and egocentric man .

    • Bill Bodden
      September 12, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      it seems like if some businessmem or speculators like Mr Soros and the Kagans do not care a rap humankind’s future

      This is part of the human condition and, presumably, the inspiration for Lord Acton’s dictum about the corruption of power. There has been a plethora of commentary for years about the concentration of wealth in one percent of the people. Concentration of power is similar in the hands of the plutocrats, corporations and political (Democratic and Republican) oligarchs who are completely divorced from and indifferent to the well-being of the people. This condition was particularly obvious in the pro-slavery states of the Deep South and has been clearly apparent ever since to students of the history of the United States and other nations under authoritarian rule.

  11. Joe Tedesky
    September 12, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    I need to hand it too Hillary. We are a little over twenty eight hours into the news cycle talking about Hillary’s hot flashes, and Hillary hasn’t yet blamed Vladimir Putin for injecting her with the pneumonia. I hope I didn’t just give any of her campaign managers any ideas, but seriously that’s how bad it really is, with this 2016 Election Year America. On the the bright side for Hillary, is all this talk about her health has dulled the FBI email investigation news coverage, that’s good, right? And gee, ain’t it great to have the Clintons back in the news?

  12. September 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    This past week, Hillary Clinton was still pushing the BIG LIE that Putin had “invaded and occupied Crimea”, while in fact the Russian annexation of Crimea was an effort by the residents of Crimea to protect themselves from the brutal military efforts of the fascist government created by the Obama Administration’s 2014 coup de tat that triggered a civil war in the Ukraine that is still simmering. So Hillary demonstrated for the world to see that she is as BIG a liar as Donald Trump! She just doesn’t lie as often as Donald Trump.

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 12, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      Crimea wants to be more a part of Russia, than Texas wants to be part of the USA.

    • Bill Bodden
      September 12, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      But Hillary’s lies have had much more serious and often fatal consequences.

      • Joe Tedesky
        September 12, 2016 at 10:54 pm

        Bill, you are right. While Donald bankrupted a few hotel casinos, Hillary has destroyed the world and bankrupted America…a small bit of difference, wouldn’t you say?

        • Kent Smith
          September 13, 2016 at 7:07 am

          What in the world are you talking about? Mrs Clinton hasn’t destroyed the world. She hasn’t bankrupted America. I understand that you hate her more than Hitler and Mussolini combined, but frothing at the mouth and shrieking utter nonsense seriously damages the credibility of these discussions.

          • Joe Tedesky
            September 13, 2016 at 10:29 am

            I stand corrected, she had help.

          • Bill Bodden
            September 13, 2016 at 12:49 pm

            The Queen of Chaos hasn’t destroyed the world, but she has supported and initiated policies that have destroyed the lives of millions of people in the world from death to displacement. I say that not out of hatred for Hillary and Bill Clinton but because I deplore what they have done and represent. To borrow from an old showbiz line, perhaps we ain’t seen nothing yet.

    • September 13, 2016 at 1:55 am

      Oh, and by the way, Hillary’s Putin “invaded and occupied Crimea” lie is as BIG a lie and as MALICIOUS a lie as the lies used by Adolf Hitler to “morally justify” his invasion of Poland!
      Christopher C. Currie

  13. September 12, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Great analysis Mr Perry. Its called blame shifting. Note how bread and butter issues are not getting much airplay. The Economy is tanking. The Petrodollars is losing its strength. The European economies r tanking. The recent G-20 has shown the economic shift to the east . Ash carter is still gallivanting around the world and stating PAX Americana way or the highway. The western stock markets and private banks as well as the hedge funds are over leveraged. Rockwell and Schief estimate it to be at 500 percent. When the financial derivatives crisis hit the world in 2007 came to being it was over leveraged at 120 percent. The velocity of money is at a virtual stand still in the western countries. It appears that history is repeating itself . The west has three options 1
    1: Restructure the debt
    2:Zero the debt
    3; War always zero’s the debt
    P.S I might add since 1979 the financialisation of western economies has been growing exponentially and the divide in potential earnings between the 99 percent and the 1 percent has never been so great since the Guilded age.

    • Bill Bodden
      September 12, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      Its called blame shifting. Note how bread and butter issues are not getting much airplay.

      Attacking a foreign bogeyman has long been a tactic for distracting attention from domestic problems.

  14. Joe Tedesky
    September 12, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Eddie could you submit some references? ..your comment sounds interesting!

  15. Land Lady
    September 12, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Great article, thank you Mr. Parry. I don’t watch TV but am disgusted that my newspaper ran a story on Saturday that the U.S. and Russia agreed to cooperate re: Syria; yet they have run no editorials congratulating Obama and Putin for this break-through and thanking John Kerry and Sergy Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, for their preliminary work on this truce. Only more Putin bashing, ho-hum the MSM seems identical with the Military Industrial Complex from where I sit. Disgusting.

    • Bill Bodden
      September 12, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      Your local or regional newspaper is probably like mine and most of counterparts – a relay outlet for establishment propaganda from the New York Times and the Washington Post.

  16. Varenik
    September 12, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    just to be fair to the Harvard boys, they did get somewhat of a comeuppance – for the insider trading, not for imposing misery, though.
    They remained (VERY) gainfully employed.
    Jeffrey Sachs, the architect of the whole ‘austerity’ delusion foisted upon Poland and then Russia, has turned 180 degrees around on the austerity by now. One giant freaking ‘oops’.

  17. William Beeby
    September 13, 2016 at 3:11 am

    Excellent article again from Robert Parry .

    I would just like to add two things.

    First , to my mind the biggest provocation inflicted on Putin is the accusation that he ordered the shooting down of MH17 which resulted in the deaths of all 280 people on board . The fact that the truth about who was responsible is still being kept from us speaks volumes in itself and surely the US govt. does know who did it but refuses to say just to keep the provocation alive.

    Secondly , I think it should be pointed out that although since WW11 all the countries of Western Europe have been mere vassals to America ( joined of course by Eastern European states when communism folded there ) they are NOT as in favour of this neo-con policy against Russia as America likes to think . These countries are now imposing these crazy sanctions ( none of which affects the US one iota ) just because they are being forced into it by Big Brother across the Atlantic . Even the UK , always rock solid with the US , is trying to improve relations with Russia and France and Germany , the other big players , are now desperate to do so. It is really just Poland and the tiny Baltic states who fully support the US in this outrageous folly.

  18. Paul Sylvio
    September 13, 2016 at 7:11 am

    I have read your piece, I have to you that it is well written, I hope those neocons read your piece also

  19. Gregory Kruse
    September 13, 2016 at 8:30 am

    This is getting to be a very long story, as new events are added, but I think it is important to start at the beginning every time. This is veritable history standing in staunch opposition to the propaganda of the vested interests who hope to become even more powerful and wealthy. Theirs is a much different game than most of us ever get to or want to play.

  20. Liam
    September 13, 2016 at 8:56 am

    The new expanded MH17 media push against Russia has begin. They are going to directly blame Russia/Putin for it and use British misinformation firm Bellingcat/RUSI to do so. Just yesterday two US based media organizations put out two pieces of obvious propaganda with no substantiated evidence. These two companies choose to boil the American people like frogs in order to keep this big lie afloat and bring us closer to war with Russia on behalf of the Neocons/Neolibs/Deep State. They know which way their bread is buttered and they know that if the lie of Ukraine and MH17 unravels that they and their 0.01% masters of the universe are toast with the American people.

    As always, they are doubling down. Thats what Neocons, Neolibs and their AIPAC controllers do. They always double down when they are losing the debate and they always call for a ceasefire to regroup and save their proxy armies when they are losing a war. That is what is going on behind the current stage of the Syrian war. They are losing. Their Saudi, Qatari, and yes, Israeli supported jihadist proxies are being wiped out by Russia and the Syrian Army. They now resort to the same strategy that they used in Ukraine when their Right Sector fascist battalions got caught in the Novorossyian cauldrons. They suddenly wanted a ceasefire. When the bulk of the Ukrainian army was caught in the most massive cauldron on July 17, 2014 guess what happened? MH17 was shot down. That horrific civilian disaster stopped the war long enough for the Ukrainian army to gain a reprieve although the US media never pointed that fact out at the time. Instead it was “Putin Did It” – blared across the global media front pages.

    And that “Putin Did It” theme is about to be expanded upon come the late part of September. They plan to use the Bellingcat manufactured info to directly blame Russia. The Dutch Safety Board is going to present another animation with Bellingcats ‘evidence’. It won’t be mentioned that Bellingcat worked with Dr. Igor Sutyagin of British ant-Russia think tank RUSI who also worked with Bellingcat/Elliot Higgins -(aka Brown Moses) on the 2013 Syrian false flag chemical weapons attack in Syria. It won’t be mentioned that Dr. Igor Sutyagin previously made verifiable false statements to the Daily Mail UK that do not fit the ‘official DSB MH17 report’ from October 2015.

    Here’s the link to that information: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9af_1432256107&comments=1

    MH-17 Mystery- Dr. Igor Sutyagin – Mi5/Russian Double Agent Who Gave Out Misleading Information On MH-17
    Overlooked….the mysterious Russian imprisoned US spy who gave the Daily Mail false witness testimony about MH-17

    Article from Daily Mail UK from dated July 18th, 2014 where Dr. Igor Sutyagin who works directly with Elliot Higgins aka Bellingcat gave out information that directly contradicts the official MH17 report of the DSB who are using Bellingcats information to frame Russia.

    In this article Dr. Sutyagin states that the Ukrainian Airforce had a IL-76 operating in the area which is why MH17 pilots changed course. In contrast, the official DSB report and the Ukrainian authorities state that Ukraine flew no sorties of any kind on that day, even though they had flown sorties for the previous 45 days while they bombed the civilian population in Donbass.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696975/Putin-blames-Ukraine-loss-Flight-MH17-298-innocent-souls-DOESNT-deny-Russian-separatists-shot-missile-McCain-warns-Hell-pay.html

    Excerpt from DM article:

    Dr Sutyagin’s theory appears to be supported by a route map which shows the passenger plane travelling on a different course to the ones taken by the previous ten MH17 flights. Twitter user Vagelis Karmiros collated the information from Flightaware, the largest flight tracking website in the world. Dr Sutyagin said: ‘There is a Ukrainian mechanised brigade blocked by separatists near the Russian border.

    It’s blocked on three sides by separatists and behind the brigade is the Russian border, so they can’t get out. The Ukrainians try to resupply them from the air by transport aircraft.

    ‘Now, the pilot of MH17 said that he “felt bad” and wanted to change course south to get out of the danger zone. But several kilometers to the south is a Ukrainian Army heavy transport plane, an IL76, or Candid, which has the same echo as a 777 on a radar screen.
    ‘The two planes came close. They tried to shoot down the transport delivering supplies to the brigade. They believed that they had been firing at a military plane, but they mistakenly shoot down a civilian airliner.’

    His comments came as Malaysia Airlines said it filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000 feet through Ukraine airspace but was instructed by Ukraine air traffic control to fly at 33,000. It would still have been in range of the missile were it flying at the higher altitude, however.

    Additional Daily Mail article featuring Dr. Sutyagin: Did MH17 pilot divert INTO the danger zone? Aviation expert claims captain made last-minute change of course over Ukraine because he ‘felt uncomfortable’ – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696975/Putin-blames-Ukraine-loss-Flight-MH17-298-innocent-souls-DOESNT-deny-Russian-separatists-shot-missile-McCain-warns-Hell-pay.html

    This is RUSI who Bellingcat directly work in collaboration with. This fact is left out of US media reports on the MH117 investigation.

    https://www.rusi.org/analysis/authors/ref:B4DD39DA614B84/
    Royal United Services Institute
    for Defence and Security Studies
    Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET, Great Britain
    T: +44 (0)20 7747 2600

    And here’s what that RUSI page reads: Igor worked at the Institute of US and Canadian Studies for 12 years at the Political-Military Studies Department where he held the position of the Head of Section, the US military-technical and military-economy policy.

    And here’s his Wiki page, it’s a very interesting read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Sutyagin He was a spy who the Russian government imprisoned for espionage. He was then traded to the US in exchange for 10 Russian spies who had been captured. (10 for 1.)

    Link to more on Dr. Igor Sutyagin, Elliot Higgins, RUSI, Syria, Ukraine – http://www.discussionist.com/101445081

    https://www.facebook.com/RUSI.org/posts/10151874237841718 Link to Dr. Sutyagin’s facebook page which reveals he and RUSI ‘analyzed’ the Syrian false flag chemical weapons attack in August 2013.

    The BBC covered Brown Moses aka Elliot Higgins work on Syrian chemical weapons attacks in September 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBpZV9C5MFU

    As for the truth about Bellingcats video’s…….

    A privately funded ongoing civilian investigation proves that Bellingcat’s pictures and video of the BUK are not genuine and taken over the late spring/early summer of 2014.

    1st episode: The apartment where the BUK in Zugres was filmed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvgaJYKRM8Y
    2nd episode: The in-frame Elderberry Bush that sinks Bellingcats timeframe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m140AXJxfyY?

    Now as to the soon to be conducted expanded MH17 media push against Russia…….

    Links to two US based media companies who are part and parcel of the boiling frog syndrome against Russia in service of the US Deep State.

    MH17 Investigation Blocked By Ukraine Conflict (2014) Published on Sep 12, 2016

    Journeyman Pictures https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0SvrHslpIA

    ” Facing Putin” – This unsubstantiated by fact propaganda piece that directly demonizes the Russian president with no verifiable evidence is to air in the US on September 20th right before the MH17 blame Russia narrative kicks in across the establishment MSM. National Geographic has really gone down hill and lost sight of what it used to be. This is blatant dark propaganda with ominous music and facial feature close ups all based on hearsay.

    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/facing/episodes/facing-putin/

  21. Maureen O'Brien O'Reilly
    September 13, 2016 at 11:41 am

    in her speech to the Foreign Legion Ms. Clinton stated “No other country in the world has alliances like ours. Russia and China have nothing close. We stand with our allies because generations of American troops fought and died to secure those bonds”. what?!?!
    These words are an attempt to shift history….. how much Russian and Chinese blood was shed to win WWII for our ‘allies’ Germany and Japan..?!?!

  22. onno
    September 13, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Again an excellent analysis by Robert Parry. Also the comments made are very complementary. Having lived in the USA for 25 years I wonder how the American people can live with this neocon administration since the murder of JFK and its cover-up. Since then apparently the CIA and FBI took control of the White House, it’s administration and also Congress.
    Russia with its long cultural history became a political ball under Gorbachev and Yeltsin of USA and when a strong leader like President Putin started to strengthen the Russian economy and military Washington’s anti Russia bashing started causing the re-birth of the Cold War. Especially when relations between Russia and Germany became to strong. US doctrines in the past always were directed to prevent an economic strong ties between Russia – Germany which would become a fierce competitor to US imperialism. Washington foreign policy is to keep a WEAK Europe dependent on USA and NATO and until today the European Commission are the puppets of Washington or even worse a colony of USA as we see with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) where Brussels will loose all control over its economy plus military. All administrative powers will be transferred to Washington including NATO.
    The Treaty of the European Union had a ‘Route Plan’ called ‘The White Book’ that set strict standards for EU membership, but this soon became a political document manipulated by Washington. One of the standards was ‘ NO CORRUPTION’ and soon we found out that despite these rules many former Soviet nations like Poland, Hungary, Romania and so on became members without ever being questioned about their corruption and even today these ex-Soviet republics are a major drain on the EU finances. And of course the incorporation of these former Soviet Republics was NEVER meant to be an economic association but ONLY a long term strategic and military objective for USA to dominate and close in on Moscow with placing Ballistic missiles on the borders with Russia. These EU nations spend $ 17 billion on buying US arms and planes plus NATO forces these poor nations to spend 2% of its GDP as NATO contribution. And guess what all this money comes from EU taxpayers to make US defense industry profitable.
    So this is what the Putin bashing is all about accusing Russia of aggression – which is a MSM propaganda lie – to support US defense industry. Russia NEVER invaded Ukraine, Crimea was NOT annexed but through a democratic referendum 96% of the Crimean people decided for the Russian Federation and finally NOT Russia shot down MH 17 with 298 killed but Ukrainian jets shot it down because of mistaken identity and of course Washington was an important collaborator in this tragedy and refuses to disclose it’s satellite evidence which Kerry said was in American hands. All a conspiracy to accuse Russia of aggressive acts that NEVER occurred. It reminds me of Joseph Goebbels, propaganda minister during the Nazi Regime in WW II: “Accuse the other side of that which you’re guilty off” Indeed Washington has become a true fascist copy of the Nazi Regime.

  23. Curious
    September 13, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    A good, concise history of a potentially bad situation. Thank you Mr Parry.

    A fine point: Gorbachev has also pointed to the meetings with Reagan in Iceland as important in starting a dialogue. I don’t think we should also leave out Reagan in the discussion as he then morphed into some ‘Star Wars’ banter later. Let’s not keep Reagan too pure here.

    Also, when one mentions Putin as ex-KGB I think it would be also prudent to mention George H.W was ex-CIA, which have their own agenda.

    But what struck me in your article was Gershman’s op-ed in the Post who “made clear that U.S. policy should take aim at Ukraine, a historically and strategically sensitive country on Russia’s doorstep where the Russian nation made a stand against the Tatars in the 1600s and where the Nazis launched Operation Barbarossa, the devastating 1941 invasion which killed some 4 million Soviet soldiers and led to some 26 million Soviet dead total”

    In the Post, Gershman wrote that “Ukraine is the biggest prize.” How does one make such a leap, after so much death and devastation? Is this the same cold blooded ilk that thinks killing people in the Middle East is ok as long as it’s not too many Americans who are killed? As Killary mentioned on 911, although forgetting 4 Americans were killed.

    What drove me personally crazy while in Europe, when a killing event happened outside the US or a plane went down, even the Times would report there were no Americans involved. Which are the ususal ethnocentric, soulless, crass, USA-isms reflected in our editors of the MSM.

    Gershman has sold his soul to a devil no one of us knows, considering he has a soul.

    p.s. And Liam, if you are correct and that ex-human Higgins stirs up MH-17 again with another set of pathetic lies, I hope Mr Parry gets wide distribution for a rebuttal.

    • Bill Bodden
      September 13, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Gershman has sold his soul to a devil no one of us knows, considering he has a soul.

      Gershman made a Faustian bargain with the Israeli Mephistopheles – the Israel Lobby.

      • Curious
        September 14, 2016 at 12:02 am

        Yes, foolish me for forgetting our Israeli “friends”. good point Bill.

        • Curious
          September 14, 2016 at 12:15 am

          And Israel got their billions anyway although Bibi wanted only 50 billion and not 39 billion. Let’s at least hope the legal experts are correct when they say it has been totally illegal for years, and especially now, for the US to provide so much money to a country who has not joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Since they still pretend to not have any nukes (disproven many times over) I think a good legal battle to take the billions away will be a just reward for the little rabid, racist country it has become. The billions coming back will be a great story Bill.
          I don’t think Hillary will allow such a thing though, which is just a wild guess.

  24. Bob Coo
    September 13, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Another “cheap insult” in the NY Times on Sunday, September 11: QUOTATION OF THE DAY “Vladimir Putin is a strong leader in the same way that arsenic is a strong drink.” GARRY KASPAROV former world chess champion and a fierce critic of the Russian president.

  25. Abe
    September 13, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    The Dance of the Cuckoos

    In numerous films produced during the late 1920s through the mid-1940s, slapstick comedian Stan Laurel played the clumsy friend of the pompous Oliver Hardy.

    A popular routine the team performed was a “tit-for-tat” fight with an adversary.

    A regular catchphrase, cried out by Ollie in moments of distress or frustration, as Stan stands helplessly by, is “Why don’t you do something to help me?”

    Today, Eliot Higgins and Igor Sutyagin play a Laurel and Hardy type duo of fake “independent” Western “experts” manufacturing propaganda against Syria and Russia.

    The deception duo of Higgins and Sutyagin regularly dispenses conspiracy theories masquerading as “open source analysis”.

    In 2013, Sutyagin did “something to help” Higgins (then operating as “Brown Moses”) by promoting Higgins’ allegations concerning the 21 August 2013 chemical weapons attack in the Damascus neighborhood of Ghouta, Syria.

    For more on Higgins and Sutyagin and the Syrian attack, see “Serious Questions about the Integrity of the UN Report: An Analysis” by Subrata Ghoshroy of MIT:
    http://web.mit.edu/sts/Analysis%20of%20the%20UN%20Report%20on%20Syria%20CW.pdf

    Sutyagin again did “”something to help” Higgins by promoting Higgins’ allegations concerning the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-14 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014.

    Shortly after the crash, Higgins and Sutyagin were both featured by the UK Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10984530/MH17-the-clues-which-may-lead-to-missile-launch-site.html

    As recently as April 2016, BBC Magazine valorized the conspiracy theories of Higgins and Sutyagin http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35706048

    Both employed by notable regime change think tanks, Higgins (Atlantic Council) and Sutyagin (RUSI) are a reliable Western “dirty work” double act.

    • F. G. Sanford
      September 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      A guy named Igor seems to crop up in the midst of every diabolical scheme.

    • Abe
      September 14, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Yeah, F.G., “You sair it!”

      As if Boris, the world’s greatest no-goodnik, wasn’t Badenov:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XujPnUNcB74

      Better “Sharrup you mouth!” before the next goof gas attack threatens our existence.

      • Abe
        September 14, 2016 at 1:03 pm

        All this Putin-bashing has been necessary to secure the installation of NATO’s active layered “Flying Squirrel” theatre ballistic missile defense project, that will create an impenetrable Iron Dome to protect Europe from falling into the clutches of Fearless Leader.

  26. ltr
    September 13, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/16/world/middleeast/white-house-split-on-opening-talks-with-putin.html

    September 15, 2015

    Obama Weighing Talks With Putin on Syrian Crisis
    By PETER BAKER and ANDREW E. KRAMER

    WASHINGTON — Mr. Obama views Mr. Putin as a thug, according to advisers and analysts….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/opinion/mr-putins-mixed-messages-on-syria.html

    September 20, 2015

    Mr. Putin’s Mixed Messages on Syria

    Mr. Obama considers Mr. Putin a thug, his advisers say….

  27. ltr
    September 13, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/23/opinion/david-brooks-snap-out-of-it.html

    September 22, 2014

    Snap Out of It
    By David Brooks

    President Vladimir Putin of Russia, a lone thug sitting atop a failing regime….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/opinion/thomas-friedman-putin-and-the-pope.html

    October 21, 2014

    Putin and the Pope
    By Thomas L. Friedman

    One keeps surprising us with his capacity for empathy, the other by how much he has become a first-class jerk and thug….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/opinion/sunday/thomas-l-friedman-whos-playing-marbles-now.html

    December 20, 2014

    Who’s Playing Marbles Now?
    By Thomas L. Friedman

    Let us not mince words: Vladimir Putin is a delusional thug….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/22/opinion/paul-krugman-putin-neocons-and-the-great-illusion.html

    December 21, 2014

    Conquest Is for Losers: Putin, Neocons and the Great Illusion
    By Paul Krugman

    Remember, he’s an ex-K.G.B. man — which is to say, he spent his formative years as a professional thug….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/opinion/thomas-friedman-czar-putins-next-moves.html

    January 27, 2015

    Czar Putin’s Next Moves
    By Thomas L. Friedman

    ZURICH — If Putin the Thug gets away with crushing Ukraine’s new democratic experiment and unilaterally redrawing the borders of Europe, every pro-Western country around Russia will be in danger….

  28. elmerfudzie
    September 14, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Obama added new depth to Webster’s definition of two rather common words, audacity and gall: when, during a well publicized speech, remarked that the Putin-Trump relationship is too cozy. Quote: “He loves this guy,” and continued..“Now their nominee (Republican) is out there praising a guy, saying he’s a strong leader, because he invades smaller countries, jails his opponents, controls the press, and drives his economy into a recession.” End quote..Ugh, one moment please President Obama, who? may I ask, continued the cruel incarceration practices at GTMO? And WHO permitted Corporate America’s consolidation of cable and newsprint into the hands of seven CEO’s and in less that two years, fired 25,000 journalists during your presidency?. Further, who was it that gave immunity from prosecution to Goldman Sachs banksters, thus driving our nation and many a foreign one into economic black holes? and WHO signed off, giving the nod to bomb little countries like Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria!…Yep, Prez O’Bomber even beat out Bush Jr’s bombs-away record.. as I previously stated “folks”, Obama’s got a lot of GALL and limitless- audacity! In terms of simple diplomacy, it’s unconscionable for a U.S. President to accuse a Russian leader (Putin) of being another Saddam! and this Prez is supposed to be a Harvard Grad?, a constitutional lawyer? who repeatedly dissolved the Constitution of the United States by reauthorizing the Patriot and NDA Act(s)?… Michael Moore’s book title now comes to mind: Dude, Where’s My Country?

    • onno
      September 14, 2016 at 6:12 am

      Excellent comment and summary of this Nobel PEACE Prize Laureate called Obama. I think he is smoking pot to come up with so much nonsense and so many lies. But on the other hand as a lecturer at a Chicago college what can you expect?

  29. Daniel
    September 14, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Another excellent summary. One quibble: should we stop calling the corporate owned press the mainstream media? Yes, it comes to most via the main stream (television, the NY Times, WaPo, etc.) but it is hardly representative of the views, needs and wishes of the majority of the citizenry – less so now than at any time before. Might I suggest ‘corporate-controlled media’? ‘Government-approved media’? ‘Minority-view media’? I suggest this because language matters, and the phrase ‘mainstream media’ suggests that the outlets it would include are a reflection of the greater society, which they most definitely are not.

    • Bill Jones
      September 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      I like “corporate media whores”. ymmv.

      I saw a description of “Cuttlefish journalism – using ink to hide and repel, rather than reveal.” over at Unz.com

  30. delia ruhe
    September 15, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Excellent overview — first one I’ve seen that actually begins with the carpetbaggers who set up ordinary Russians to suffer the worst decade of Russia’s existence since they were illiterate serfs before the revolution. (The carpetbaggers weren’t all from Harvard, nor were they all American. How well I remember TV footage of the Canadian PM and his Minister of Finance boarding a plane in Ottawa headed for Moscow. In that moment I felt a serious pang of sympathy for the Russians, who could not have known the depth of misery visits from such men would bring to them.) Putin isn’t my favourite world leader, but I can certainly understand why Russians give his foreign policy something like 85 percent approval.

    Obama has acted in a cowardly fashion, rolling over for the neocons, slapping heavy sanctions on Russia in keeping with the propaganda he is promulgating — and coercing Washington’s vassal states in Europe to go along with them, even if they do serious damage to the EU’s important relationship with Russia. All Obama is really doing is driving Putin into the arms of Beijing.

  31. L Garou
    September 16, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Unless of course he kills them first.
    (fingers crossed)

  32. richard feibel
    September 16, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THIS CABAL! ITISI MUCH DEEPER THAN THIS ARTICLE OR ANY OTHER HAS TO OFFER.THE ZIONIST CHEKKA /COMMMUNIST WHO ARE ONE AND THE SAME .THAT RUSSIA GOING BACK CENTURIES.THEY ARE THE ONES AS MY FATHER WAS WHO PROPAGATED THE ROMANOV CRIMINAL RAIDS ON THE JEWS AND OTHER VILLAGERS BY THE COSSACK MILITARY OF THE ROMANOVS.ROB PILLAGE AND STEAL ALL THAT COULD BE FROM THE BORDER WITH AUSTRO HUNGARIAN AND POLAND.GUESS WHAT THE HAPSBURGS DID NOTHING TO STOP THEM BUT THE PEOPLE LIKE MY FATHER WHO EXPERIENCED THE POGROMS KNEW THE TRUTH.AND THAT IS HOW THE CHEKKA BOLSHEVICS BECAME THE RULERS OF THE MARXIST SOVIET BOLSHEVIC CRIMINAL REVOLUTION..IN AMEREICA THE WARBURGS WHO WERE AT THE TIME ONE OF THE LARGEST BANKS FINANCED THE BOLSHEVIC REVOLUTION WITH 100M IN GOLD FROM THE KUHN LOEB BANK ,ACTUALLY A ROTHCHILD BANK.AND TO BRING IT UP TO DATE .IN THE 70S AND 80S BEFORE THE COLLAPSE OF THE USSR THE JEW CHEKKA BOLSHEVICS YELLED PERSECUTION .AND THE U.S OPENED ITS GATES TO THESE CRIMINAL MURDERS WHO KILLED MIILIONS OF RUSSIAN AND CENTRAL ASIAN PEOPLE.S THEY CME BAG AND BAGGAGE INTO THE US. AND WERE IMEDIATELY INSTALLED INTO THINK TANKS STATE DEPT AND PENTAGON ADVISORY JOBS .GIVING RISE TO THE SO-CALLED NEO CON MOVEMENT.ALL LIES AND PROPAGAND BY AIPAC ADL JDL K STREET ETC ETC.AND THE STUPID UNEDUCATED UNCARING ARROGANTLY STUPID FOX NEWS MORONS BUY THIS RIGHT WIGHT SHIT LIKE A KID TO CANDY .THESE ASS WIPE MORONS ARE THE REASON THE U.S IS ABOUT TO BE TOTALLY ENSLAVED AND MILITARIZED REGIME AND RUN BY THE COP STATE AGENDA.. R AFEIBEL

  33. Bill Jones
    September 18, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Here: from The Nation in 1998

    https://www.thenation.com/article/harvard-boys-do-russia/

    The Harvard boys who did Russia are now doing the US.

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