The Ugly Underbelly of Russia-gate

Exclusive: The dangerous demonization of Russia has spilled over into the creepy behavior of U.S. pundits spinning ugly conspiracy theories when tragedy strikes Russians, writes James W Carden.

By James W Carden

The reaction among a number of high-profile media figures to Monday’s bombing of the St. Petersburg Metro, which killed 11 and seriously injured dozens, has been among the more shameful and troubling manifestations of the anti-Russian frenzy we have witnessed in recent months.

A military parade on Red Square. May 9, 2016 Moscow. (Photo from:

While the White House was quick to offer the Kremlin condolences for the Metro bombing, the reaction of the American media and pundits was largely focused on a new conspiracy theory — whether or not Vladimir Putin was behind this attack.

The smoke hadn’t cleared from the Metro before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s resident Russia hand Anna Borshchevskaya appeared on France 24 to imply that the bombing might have been Putin’s doing in order to distract from the anti-corruption protests of last week.

Borshchevskaya, who according to the Washington Institute’s website is its Ira Weiner Fellow “focusing on Russia’s policy toward the Middle East,” informed viewers that there’s a history of Putin using such tactics in order to tighten his grip on power, and raised the unproven conspiracy theory that the spate of apartment bombings that shook Moscow in 1999 was Putin’s handiwork.

All throughout the day, facile parallels to the 1999 bombings popped up on social media. Only hours after the bombings, chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov took to Twitter with messages such as:

“Tragedy in St. Petersburg. Once again ‘unknown terrorists’ perfectly timed to serve Putin’s political agenda. Forget protests, back to fear.” And later: “Such dark suspicions are based on 18 yrs of similarly well-timed attacks in Putin’s Russia, as I document in Winter Is Coming. Clockwork.”

Former Conservative Party MP Louise Mensch, now a liberal media darling because of her support for the Russia-gate allegations against Donald Trump, told her 223,000 Twitter followers that “Putin has zero compunction about killings Russians for his own ends.”

The Atlantic’s David Frum, who of late has found himself the object of fulsome praise from embittered Hillary Clinton partisans, tweeted: “Remember Beslan & the 1999 apartment bombings. It takes years to learn truth about terror attacks in Russia – often not even then.”

The reference to the Beslan school siege in 2004 was particularly appalling since that terrorist attack was ordered by a Chechen warlord whose militants took some 1,100 people hostage, including 777 children. After a three-day standoff, Russian security forces stormed the school to liberate the captives, but at least 330 hostages were killed, including 186 children.

As troubling as it was for Frum to cite that terrorist incident, it was not terribly surprising coming as it does from the longtime enabler and cheerleader of America’s disastrous interventions in the Middle East and author of George W. Bush’s infamous “axis of evil” speech.

Another member of neocon royalty, John Podhoretz, wrote that he found it, “Interesting that the bomb blasts in Petersburg come so hard upon the demonstrations — giving Putin cover for a huge crackdown.”

Ugly Humor

These Russo-phobic reactions are reminiscent of the cartoons published by the jejune French satirical rag Charlie Hebdo, which made sport of the deaths of 92 members of Russia’s Red Army Choir in a plane crash last December. Here’s how The Hill described some of the cartoons:

A Russian orchestra performs a concert at Palmyra’s ancient Roman theater on May 5, 2016, after Syrian troops, backed by Russian air power, reclaimed the ancient city from the Islamic State. (Image from RT’s live-streaming of the event)

–One cartoon shows a choir member singing “AAAAAA” as the plane is going down. The caption says the Russian choir has expanded its repertoire.

–Another cartoon illustrates the whole choir singing to fish at the bottom of the Black Sea with the downed plane in the background. The caption reads, “Red Army choir conquers a new audience.”

–A third cartoon shows the plane nose-diving with the words: “Bad news… Putin was not on board.”

Russians, as we have seen, have long been treated as fair game no matter what the situation (recall the mocking tone of American coverage of the concert that celebrated the liberation of the ancient ruins of Palmyra, Syria, from ISIS).

So, needless to say, the indecency shown by Frum, Mensch, Podhoretz and the rest is not particularly new. This sort of casual contempt for Russia and Russians became a feature of the 2016 campaign, which was rife with evidence-free reports supporting Hillary Clinton’s claim that Trump was Putin’s “puppet.”

Some of that storyline was developed in collaboration between Hillary Clinton’s supporters and the fiercely anti-Russian government in Ukraine. Politico reported that Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American working as a consultant for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), met with top Ukrainian officials in Washington to push the narrative that Trump was under Russian influence.

Clinton’s defeat only added more fuel to the anti-Russia frenzy of angry Clinton supporters — and their fury is now debasing our political discourse. But the Clintonites and their neocon allies are now going even further, in Stalinist fashion, urging Americans to investigate the loyalty of other Americans.

Leading the charge is Neera Tanden’s Center for American Progress, which recently launched “The Moscow Project,” which takes the Democratic Party narrative blaming Hillary Clinton’s defeat on “Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election” to a new level. Painting Trump as a traitor, “given Trump’s obedience to Vladimir Putin,” the project encourages Americans to scour the Internet for evidence to buttress the disloyalty allegations against Trump and his backers.

Bashing Bernie

And then there is the tireless Clinton shill Peter Daou, second perhaps only to Tanden among unreconstructed Clinton apparatchiks. Daou’s self-appointed mission of late has been to tie Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters to the Kremlin, tweeting claims like, “It is becoming increasingly clear that Bernie’s diehard supporters, those who became avowed Hillary haters, were influenced by #Russia” and “On the one hand, you had Russia hacking the DNC, on the other, Bernie Sanders and his diehards trashing the DNC. And Trump loved it.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking to one of his large crowds of supporters. (Photo credit: Sanders campaign)

Daou is hardly alone in his effort to anathematize Sanders supporters. But credit for spearheading that effort should probably go to the Internet tabloid The Daily Beast, which has twice published widely discredited and brutally mocked articles which have attempted to portray Bernie Sanders’s supporters as pawns of the Kremlin.

Where all this will lead is anyone’s guess, but judging by precedent, nowhere good.

As my esteemed Nation colleague, Patrick Lawrence has warned: “the reigning Russophobia worsens America’s creeping isolation in world affairs — evident for years but rarely mentioned among us, and so another of our delusions. At bottom, Washington still operates according to Bush II’s ‘with us or against us’ construct, and the world’s vote starts to tilt toward the latter. In the end, the Russians will not be a lonelier people as a result of our efforts. We will be.”

Meanwhile, the American political establishment finds itself firmly in the grip of yet another Red Scare.

James W Carden is a contributing writer for The Nation and editor of The American Committee for East-West Accord’s He previously served as an adviser on Russia to the Special Representative for Global Inter-governmental Affairs at the US State Department.

79 comments for “The Ugly Underbelly of Russia-gate

  1. April 8, 2017 at 11:42

    You can blame the US media but the biggest reason people are worried if Putin was complicit in this recent Moscow bombing, is because there’s a deluge of evidence that points to Putin orchestrating the 1999 apartment bombings that killed 300 and wounded 1200. It’s not a liberal thing either, this idea was originally (and still is) pushed by conservative journalists.

  2. Tommy Jensen
    April 8, 2017 at 11:29

    The ugly disgusting face behind the mask of “Western values”.

  3. April 7, 2017 at 03:12

    But they keep telling me that Russia is America’s natural enemy. Do you mean that Russians are real people just like Americans?……..Do they have families with children in Russia? Do they like French Toast?………WHAT, I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT I’M HEARING! You mean that I’ve been lied to all these years?

  4. backwardsevolution
    April 6, 2017 at 22:14

    Well, here we go. Tomahawk missiles striking Syria. Way to go, U.S.!!!!! Rah, rah, fricking rah!

    If Russia strikes back, I hope that they take out Washington, D.C. first. They’d be doing the world a favor.

    • Dave
      April 7, 2017 at 00:11

      backwardevolution : It is not a red line for Russia. Red line is in Ukraine. There very existence is threatened if NATO move in. They have to take a stand there. No question about it.

  5. Jeanne Feuers
    April 6, 2017 at 21:07

    Demonization of Russia? Not at all. The false flag speculation is related to what Putin might conceivably do to distract from the anti-corruption protests. He’s had opposition voices murdered. A death toll of fourteen who just happened to be riding the subway is less focused but still provides an excuse to crack down on anyone opposing him.

    Without more information this is a speculation, not even a theory, but it is one that is anti-Putin but pro-Russian.

  6. DannyWeil
    April 6, 2017 at 20:04

    The US is savaging both its material reality and subjective reality. It is surely now the most dangerous country in the world and has been for some time. Imperial conquests under the rubric of humanitarian concerns punctuates the sordid prevarication and mendacity of US foreign policy.

    The unfortunate part is that there is no real resistance. The youth have been totally basted in commercial culture and mis education.

    War, or what the reactionaries like to refer to as Economic Keynsianism, is what the oligarchs desire.

  7. backwardsevolution
    April 6, 2017 at 19:07

    Ron Paul on Syria (right at the beginning of the video):

    “Actually before this episode of possible gas exposure, and who did what, things were going along reasonably well for the conditions. You know, Trump said to let the Syrians decide who should run their country and peace talks were breaking out, and al Qaeda and ISIS were on the run, maybe defeated.
    So it was like, despite their problems with this foreign policy, it looked like there was some benefit. But it looks like maybe somebody didn’t like that, so there had to be an episode. […]

    And who would benefit? It makes no sense, even if you were totally severed from this and take no sides of this, and you were just an analyst, it doesn’t make any sense for Assad, under these conditions, to all of a sudden use poisonous gases. I think it’s zero chance that he would have done this, you know, deliberately.”

    As Ron Paul said, we have the neocons, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Gulf States, the MIC, the oil concerns – all wanting to overthrow Assad. Assad was getting the upper hand, with the help of Russia and Iran, and that was just too much for the evil players to bear. Ron Paul said that Trump first of all came out tough against Syria, but now has softened his stance. Let’s hope so.

    The co-host said:

    “The reaction is epitomized by Boris Johnson…’s what he said: ‘All evidence points to the Assad regime.’ Then in the next sentence he called for a ‘thorough and international investigation’. Well, how do you have all the evidence pointing to someone if you haven’t had the investigation yet? I think it’s interesting that the initial stories about this attack came from two sources: one of them is an NGO based in the U.K. that’s not even in Syria, and the other is a U.S.-funded group called the White Helmets.”

    • Marko
      April 6, 2017 at 19:40

      “…‘All evidence points to the Assad regime.’ Then in the next sentence he called for a ‘thorough and international investigation’. Well, how do you have all the evidence pointing to someone if you haven’t had the investigation yet? ”

      I’m sure that the MSM reporter doing that interview with Boris Johnson asked him that very question , right ? Haha , fat chance.

      I don’t put much faith in these “investigations” myself , though they should be done. The U.S. and the West have outsized influence on all of these presumably international bodies , so results are invariably skewed in one direction. It’s like the collapse of WTC7 – the first thought of absolutely everyone who saw that collapse was : ” looks like a controlled demolition “. So NIST investigates and doesn’t even check for evidence of explosives. The fix is in , always.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 6, 2017 at 19:50

      The co-host also pointed out that McCain was furious over so-called Russian meddling in the U.S., and yet he thinks it’s his right to meddle in everybody else’s affairs. Somehow that’s different.

      • CitizenOne
        April 6, 2017 at 20:54

        Agree with the point that there was no potential gain for Assad in gassing people just as the USA backed off the threat of military intervention. Now we are right back to a renewed effort for military intervention by the USA. The timing is perfect. But it it is most certainly not perfect for Assad or the Russians. It is perfect for the USA to instantly reverse the course of backing away from a military overthrow of Assad and go full tilt ahead into a military clash with Assad and Russia.

        There is also another factor to be considered here that ISIS wants a conflict between Russia and the USA to possibly create tensions leading to military action between the two superpowers. The timing would also be perfect for that too.

        So far we have played our part to the fullest expectations of ISIS threatening to renew our efforts to wage war against Assad. It remains to be seen if Russia plays their part to defend Assad and blame ISIS for the event and challenge the USA in its conclusions.

        We already have an uneasy truce with Russia and Trump under attack for rigging the election and now that truce is tested by a gross assault on humanity with chemical weapons.

        Assad is the last person I would suspect to deliberately destroy the truce America had with Russia to allow Russia to defeat ISIS American Neocons and ISIS have the most to gain from such an attack so they are the most likely suspects.

        False flag scenarios are the traditional fire starters for wars. It is just the way it is done. The movie The Princess Bride featured the plot in a comical movie but these false flags like the movie where the plot is to drag the princess across the border, kill her and blame the enemy are all to real and have occurred all throughout history.

        The media have historically been the town criers for the deceit ginning up the public into a war frenzy. Like the Sheriff of Nottingham, they portray a false narrative in order to preserve their military might against all challengers right or wrong.

        Back in the day, William Randolph Hearst was the Rupert Murdoch of his time when yellow journalism fired up America with the war cry To Heck with Spain, Remember the Maine. That was a false flag and modern research has shown that a boiler explosion was responsible for the sinking of the American Gunboat. It might have been an inside job of sabotage to blow it up and gin up a war and make lots of arms manufacturers rich while grabbing up lands far and wide. We most certainly did not learn any lessons of restraint there since we easily won the Philippines, Cuba,and a lot of other property from a ship explosion blamed on Spain.

        There were other staged events which benefited America and the western world too. The sinking of the Lusitania and Pearl Harbor clinched our reasonable faith that false flags could change the world for the better.

        9/11 was perhaps a turning point but before that Tonkin Gulf was a false flag disaster which reaped nothing unless you consider Nixon’s China deal an upbeat outcome of Vietnam. That would be a most cynical betrayal of veterans to conclude that.

        But back to 9/11 and Operation Ignore where Bush II was hypnotized by Cheney into allowing it so Cheney could realize his dreams and aspirations of war as laid out in the PNAC Plan for a 21st century American Military global hegemony.

        It is quite clear that for good or for evil, the false flag has been used in every case of war to compel a quiescent nation into a fired up fire breathing dragon.

        Hermann Goering was asked how the Nazis convinced the Germans to go to war in an interview with a prison psychologist and U.S. Army Captain Gustave M. Gilbert that took place in Goering’s jail cell in Nuremberg Jail.

        His answer was simple. He stated that “Naturally the common people don’t want war. But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”

        Indeed it does work in every country including America. It has been used many times. It is being used right now and we are in danger of being led off to war by this or that event around the world in which we are increasingly bent on military intervention to solve any provocation whether or not it is real or just fake news.

        • backwardsevolution
          April 6, 2017 at 22:54

          CitizenOne – ISIS is the U.S., manufactured and created by the U.S. to do its bidding. ISIS was currently losing, so that’s why the neocons are so anxious to get in there.

          • Dave
            April 7, 2017 at 00:05

            Backward Evolution: Right on the mark. Just add Saudi Arabia and Gulf States. ISIS never was much of a country or a threat. As you say It has been manufactured for other purposes. These kind of games had been going on a for a very long time in the colonized countries, including South Asia, by British, U.S., and others. They are Masters at this.

  8. CitizenOne
    April 6, 2017 at 18:58

    I sure hope nobody is buying it. We still have Mutual Assured Destruction right? Nobody is getting off a one sided nuke fest as the winner. I am hopeful we are settled in that mode. But perhaps not. We have folks like Newt Gingrich wanting to solve global warming cheaply through geoengineering a sun reflecting blanket of smog all over the planet so we can keep building CO2 and hiding its effect until one day it will become a continue geoengineering or die proposition. He actually thinks this is a solution to our problems. It seems rather devilish if you ask me.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 6, 2017 at 19:36

      CitizenOne – these guys are short-term thinkers. In their quest for more and more growth, they grasp at anything – anything – to keep their profits rolling along. Look at Fukushima! A complete disaster, but still others call for more and more nuclear. They’d probably build on a fault line again if they could get away with it. It’s simple, CitizenOne, in their minds they think wishful thinking and clicking their heels together solves any problem. Unbelievable.

      They just cannot grasp that on a finite planet you can’t have perpetual growth. But to them, it’s easy, we’ll just all travel to some distant planet and live there. There, solved! They do not sit in reality.

  9. April 6, 2017 at 17:27

    This is getting uglier, now Schiff has got his way and Devin Nunes is stepping down as chair of the “Russia hacking”committee. Also, Tillerson is now announcing that his previous stance to let Syrians decide on Assad has changed, and the Trump administration is weighing options against Assad and said Russia would have to consider how it will deal with Assad. I e-mailed NPR to tell them many folks are suspicious of the Khan Sheikhoun attack and do not believe Assad is behind it. I signed my message “A listener who turns off NPR when I perceive a lie”. I will call the White House (202-456-1111) tomorrow to express my disagreement with Tillerson’s new stance, saying that investigation has not been done. 21st Century Wire has an article saying that Al-Qaeda kidnapped 250 Syrians from 2 Syrian villages last week, and Syrians believe the dead are from those villages. Also, the pictures that I saw of White Helmets “aiding” the victims looked suspiciously like the victims were manikins.

    Glad you’re bringing out music challenging this dumbed-down and dangerous era, Orwell. We see that the elder Dylan does not produce that kind of material anymore. Neil Young does, though sometimes. Are there others? And Marko, we are definitely in the Twilight Zone!

    • backwardsevolution
      April 6, 2017 at 19:12

      Jessica – yes, I read an article that showed white flatbed trucks next to the dead bodies (the same type of trucks that eye witnesses say were used a few days earlier to take hostages away). Who knows, these people may have been gassed elsewhere, then just brought to the scene and placed on the ground. Nothing would surprise me now.

  10. April 6, 2017 at 17:05

    Pretty cold-blooded of Frum, etal., to cast doubt on Putin’s sincerity. I immediately thought of the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 by the Israelis. I don’r know else cold have done such a thing. That was a first in perfidy and depravity.

    • Dave
      April 6, 2017 at 20:38

      Robert Keith: I had similar thoughts. The Moscow protests, St. Petersburg Metro Bombing, Sarin Gas attack, all happening within one week. These are not isolated events. C.I.A., British M-15, Israels’ Mossad; together their reach goes far and wide.

  11. Drew Hunkins
    April 6, 2017 at 16:56

    I apologize for getting a bit off topic, but it’s really looking like the Trump admin is going to green light a regime change war on Damascus.

    It’s looking extremely likely that the Zionist Power Configuration in America is going to get its regime change war in Syria. This is preposterous!

    Israel’s always desired that Assad be removed as Syria’s leader. It’s looking like the ZPC has cajoled and browbeaten (and possibly blackmailed somehow?) the Trump admin into actually putting this outlandish war on the front burner. This is completely unacceptable.

    For Washington to fight another regime change war on behalf of Israel is beyond belief! This is at a point in time when U.S. citizens are suffering under poor wages, strained public-sector budgets, drug addiction, a dental health care crisis, and un and underemployment.

    It seems only Russia can stop this madness but Russia may very well see it as being too dangerous to stand in the way of a Washington-Tel Aviv hell bent on Mideast war. The Kremlin will likely step back and say ‘we’re not going to risk nuclear war over Assad.’ Perhaps the American public can once again save the day like in 2013 when they made it perfectly clear they would not countenance an Obama-Killary war on Syria. To his credit, Obama backed down.

    Assad’s one of the last state leaders in the world who speaks up for Palestinian rights and criticizes Israeli human rights violations at almost every opportunity. This is the number one reason he’s been totally vilified in the Western press and targeted for liquidation.

    A war for the ZPC this would be. Can the insouciant American public yet again stop this insane dash to essentially see another obliterated and failed state in the Maghreb and Middle East?

    • Sheryl
      April 6, 2017 at 17:11

      I used the White House website to contact President Trump and beg him to not attack Syria. It probably won’t do any good, but at least I did something. The whole thing is making me sick.

    • Dave
      April 7, 2017 at 00:59

      Drew Hawkins: Russia is too weak to counter. It is not in their interest.. Russia will save the day for Ukraine. It is where their red line is. In Ukraine, their very existence is threatened.

      I hope, for the sake of the World Humanity, that this calamity can be avoided. But you never know. Trump had been hesitating. You could see on his face, he looked unsure for two months. But he had no choice, otherwise he would have been taken out. But he has crossed that line now in his heart too. Steve Bannon has been banished and Trump definitely joined in the Neocon Agenda. He looked very confident in his last two or three appearances. And he always wants to act some thing like a Macho Man.

      U.S. Presidents from Eisenhower to Carter, and even Reagan did all those things; foreign interventions, regime changes etc.. But still they were reasonable men, and believed in Diplomacy.

      The country since Clinton, is now run by Wall Street Masters, people like Sandy Weill, Think Tank Neocons, MIC, Pentagon, The whole Intelligence Apparatus, and Media which is owned by a select group. Who are the Owners, Main Operators, People are hesitant to say as they may be accused as anti-xxxxxx. The country is run from two Capitols, Washington D.C., and the Other One which people hesitate to name.

      Cruise missile have starting raining all over Syria.These are not very happy times unless one becomes oblivious to all what is going on. Which, for some of us is hard to do. From what has been going on since summer last year – Russia meddling, Russia Threat, all over TV and airwaves day and night – I sometimes feel that I am living a Mad House.

  12. mike k
    April 6, 2017 at 16:27

    My emotions sometimes run pretty high when considering those who are destroying our world. And I believe that being passionate about our situation has real value. But sometimes I have to remind myself not to fan the embers of hate and violence within me into flames that could carry me away into the kind of feelings I deplore in others, and end making me no better than them. I respect this site and it’s commentators both for their passion for the truth, and their ability to not let it get out of hand. You are all teaching me.

    • Dave
      April 6, 2017 at 22:14

      Mike: Thanks for these beautiful words.

  13. Kalen
    April 6, 2017 at 14:31

    What is ugly is that this kind of heartless bastards embellishments that cannot remotely be called journalism are at the level of viciousness of a hot war or just moments before hot war start.

    Dehumanization of Huns, Reds or Japs was a vital part of the war preparation and psychological warfare, where enlisted executioners of pen murder hope for peace as a second war casualty after the truth.

    Those degenerated immoral bastards who peddle war must be brought to justice like Goebels was for killing with his mouth and his pen.

  14. Lois Gagnon
    April 6, 2017 at 14:20

    Perhaps we should turn the story line around and accuse the regime change crowd of being behind the Russian subway bombing. It seems a lot less far fetched than accusing Putin who has worked diligently to restore a descent living standard to his country after the Harvard wrecking crew got done trashing it.

    As we all know, it’s always the instigators who accuse their targets of doing what they themselves are guilty of. Why should this time be an exception?

  15. April 6, 2017 at 13:56

    Dan Kuhn, that is startling for supposedly “free press”. I have for awhile avoided Newsweek and Time, even The Atlantic, New Yorker and Mother Jones, which I used to read, seeing how partisan they are now since this last dreadful election cycle. I like to hear John Batchelor’s interviews with Stephen F. Cohen, and they are being labeled “Communists” by partisans. It is interesting that the so-called right-wing journalists such as Hannity, Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson, are more measured in their approach, whereas what’s called “the Left” (what’s really left of them?) are absolutely rabidly foaming at the mouth!

    I erred on the date of Emmett Till’s murder, was August 28, 1955, and Bob Dylan wrote “The Ballad of Emmett Till” about it. We need musicians to challenge this insanity now, such as he did then. I used to write and sing political songs, but corporate music has become so controlled now.

    • April 6, 2017 at 16:24

      Jessica, you’re right about Tucker Carlson. He demolished that
      McCarthyite Moron Adam Schiff, just humiliating him, so much so
      that youtube has removed that interview !!!!!!
      And, by the way, I’m a singer-songwriter, and I’m writing
      songs now in the old-Dylan vein, looking forward to Singing Truth to the Liberal Delusionals !

    • Marko
      April 6, 2017 at 16:56

      Exactly , Jessica.

      When Ann Coulter can come across to progressives as a rare ” voice of reason ” on mainstream TV , we have definitely entered The Twilight Zone.

  16. April 6, 2017 at 13:32

    Purging commenters who dissagree with the official line seems to be growing as well. I have been purged from commenting on stories in the Asia Times and Newsweek in just the past two weeks. I would like to ask your readers if any of them has experienced that problem.

    • Drew Hunkins
      April 6, 2017 at 17:05

      I was purged from CommonDreams. My posts would frequently focus on the writings of major intellectuals like Mearsheimer and Walt, James Petras, Paul Craig Roberts, Jeffrey St. Clair, Diana Johnstone and Alison Weir and yet I was still banned.

    • pft
      April 6, 2017 at 18:52

      Yes indeed. Only banned outright by Common Dreams and Daily Kos but sometimes comments are blocked, probably some filter. I dont go near any MSM comment sites. Even here some of my comments don’t get posted. There are certain topics which cant be discussed or so it seems, although what those are may vary from place to place.

  17. April 6, 2017 at 13:30

    The vicious behavior of even the followers of these psychopaths in this Neo-McCarthyism era is truly chilling. I have read, however, that the citizens of many nations, South America, Europe, Asia, Philippines and I assume others, clearly recognize the horrific bully behavior of the United States and will challenge in whatever ways they can. Duterte of Philippines, no angel but surely outspoken, Marine Le Pen, Orban in Hungary, for some, are quite vocal about the hypocrisy of the West’s warring behavior. I read last night that Vladimir Putin calendars are selling like hotcakes in Japan, because Russia sent aid to Japan after the horrific earthquake of 2011.

    We’ll just have to push back against this psychopathic, immoral behavior, as long as we have to, in whatever ways we can. I suspect a false flag attack in the St. Petersburg subway bombing, as I learned that it occurred 100 years to the day after Lenin and a group of Bolshevik dissident exiles arrived to the Petrograd (St. Petersburg) train station from Switzerland and Germany (April 3, 1917), to begin their plans for the Bolshevik Revolution, and we know from writings of Anthony Sutton and others that western industrialists were involved in financing the Bolshevik Revolution. Something smells fishy here to me. Also note the recent protests in Russia led by Alexei Navalny, who challenges “corruption” of Medyedev and Putin, just about a week before this attack. Navalny is not a graduate of a Russian university but rather of Yale here in US, has by his own admission received funds from NED in the past, and apparently NED does not record such funding in their books so still could be funded by them for covert ops. Seems to me I smell a rat.

    It is disturbing to witness how little questioning Americans are able to do, apparently worshipping the chains of their masters, too many having turned into sheeple. Someone last night on CN cited the horrific murder of Emmett Till, a young black man in Mississippi in the 1960s, who admired a white woman, instigating her husband’s outrage, culminating in other bigots participating in his vicious murder. I hope we have not returned to that kind of viciousness, but I wonder when I heard on this morning’s news that Arkansas is anxious to execute eight people on Death Row within the next month before a court ruling would prohibit use of their injection pharmaceutical. What have we come to?

    The Joseph Goebbels method of propaganda is working well here, aided by Twitter.

    • Marko
      April 6, 2017 at 16:49

      “…I have read, however, that the citizens of many nations, South America, Europe, Asia, Philippines and I assume others, clearly recognize the horrific bully behavior of the United States and will challenge in whatever ways they can. ”

      As they should. Remember the 2013 Gallup Worldwide poll ? Over 600,000 people were sampled in 65 countries and the U.S. was cited as the country most dangerous to world peace , by a wide margin. Graph :

      In a sane world , there would be an all-inclusive “coalition of the willing” in development with the goal of eliminating this scourge.

  18. Eric Sundin
    April 6, 2017 at 13:19


    With no knowledge of history
    we shall lack all perspective.
    MSM sophistry
    provides picture defective.

    Each crisis seems sui generis
    appearing a mystery.
    In accounts sweetly generous
    to White House’s pillory.

    Then by some pretend solution
    covered up in spinned confusion.

  19. Knomore
    April 6, 2017 at 13:03

    The US MSM has gone off the Deep End. Hope they stay where they land. This is crazy stuff. Only people who lived through or remember the McCarthy era can begin to untangle this web of created lies and ultimately, desperation compounded by stupidity.

    It will be interesting to see what the Susan Rice scandal brings to this flaming mess.

  20. April 6, 2017 at 12:53

    All these personalized and vicious insults against Putin and Russia are not only disgusting and stupid, but they only serve to underline to the Russians that we are not to be trusted, that we are a deadly enemy. What happens when the next false warning of incoming ICBMs occurs in Russia? Or at what point do the Russians just decide they would be better off to strike first?

  21. mike k
    April 6, 2017 at 12:50

    Actually our definition of abnormal and insane needs to be expanded to include almost all of us. True sanity is a rare and difficult achievement. Those who accomplish this feat become objects of ridicule and persecution by those who have not.

    • Brad Owen
      April 6, 2017 at 13:56

      Yes the Congress of Cultural Freedom, or more appropriately “Free dumb” (CCF, look it up on EIR’s SearchBox) did their work well in preparing us for the Post-War World Order. Hitler & Mussolini couldn’t triumph by breaking violently through the front door, so their sponsors triumphed by stealthily breaking & entering through the unguarded back door.

  22. mike k
    April 6, 2017 at 12:40

    Lies and propaganda are the deadly handmaidens of war makers. Those who spew this venom are just as guilty as those who pull the triggers and drop the bombs, and make the bombs, and fund the warfare videos to warp the young minds addicted to them. We live in a culture saturated with open and hidden violence. Those who feed their minds with this stuff can be trusted to accept this insanely violent culture as “normal.”

  23. Bill Bodden
    April 6, 2017 at 12:26

    As troubling as it was for Frum to cite that terrorist incident, it was not terribly surprising coming as it does from the longtime enabler and cheerleader of America’s disastrous interventions in the Middle East and author of George W. Bush’s infamous “axis of evil” speech

    The only explanation I can come up with to explain the continuing role of Iraq war criminals in the corridors of power is that they are walking and talking examples of the spiritual death Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed in his Riverside Church speech. –

    • April 6, 2017 at 16:09

      Martin Luther King was murdered because of that Riverside Church speech.

  24. John Doe II
    April 6, 2017 at 12:07
  25. Exiled off mainstreet
    April 6, 2017 at 11:59

    The democratic faction of the ruling uniparty has totally jumped the shark and gone fascist on the Russia issue. The GOP was always questionable and is under pressure from this deplorable development. Unfortunately from the international perspective, it might likely be a favourable result if the yankee regime simply collapsed economically or otherwise. Unfortunately it would be extremely dangerous to have the resulting instability in an area possessing so many nukes.

  26. Michael Eremia
    April 6, 2017 at 11:47

    Brilliant. Crazed neocons, and the complicit media, are determined to steer President Trump into a nuclear confrontation with the Russian/Chinese military alliance. It remains to be seen if Trump can stay focused on his campaign statements: (1) “Regime change is not on my Aministration’s agenda”; (2) “Nuclear weapons in a war are the greatest threat to humanity – not Global Warming”.

  27. D5-5
    April 6, 2017 at 11:39

    This article says to me that had Bernie stayed the course and won the office we would be experiencing the same Russia-demonizing and hysteria, directed at him. Challenge to the neocon core program will not be tolerated.

  28. Michael Eremia
    April 6, 2017 at 11:38


  29. mike k
    April 6, 2017 at 11:07

    In a world dominated by liars, a truth teller will be demonized and persecuted. In the same way that psychopaths learn to be charming, habitual liars learn to fake telling the truth beautifully. The trick is like method acting – you deeply pretend you are telling the truth when you lie. Your act becomes so good that you end up falling for it yourself, and this gives your whole performance an air of sincerity.

    Understanding this helped me see how Wolf Blitzer could pull off his performance on CNN. He has trained himself to deeply and truly to believe the garbage that his controllers put in his ear. He has become a perfect and compliant corporate mouthpiece; he has identified himself with his programmers. He has the kind of unreflective obedience that the military attempts to instill in it’s recruits. His handlers need never fear that Wolf will have a deviant thought of his own….

    • dave
      April 6, 2017 at 14:41

      He loves Big Brother.

  30. Robert Bruce
    April 6, 2017 at 10:59

    “Perfectly timed to serve Putin’s political agenda”, tweeted Kasparov.
    You could point to anyone whose objective it was to demonize Putin.

    • mike k
      April 6, 2017 at 11:09

      Kasparov is longing for another Yeltsin.

  31. Joe Tedesky
    April 6, 2017 at 10:04

    For a country that makes a big deal about ‘bullying’ America proves unable to control it’s meanspirited natural instinct to pick on and diminish others. If setting for our American youth a responsible type of adult leadership by good example, well we have failed as a grown up society with our ridicule of the Russian tragedies. My parents automatically would have sympathized with the families of the dead Russians even more so if so called ‘smart people’ in our Western countries had made fun of all those tragic loss Russian life’s. I can just see my mother now turning off the tv if a ignorant person such as David Frum were to appear on the boob tube after he made such vile uncaring for human life comments. Frum and pundits like him would have had only one chance to make a good first impression, and by making such a terrible commentary out of another country’s awful loss, well my parents would have never found them intelligent in slightest way ever again.

    The first call then President George W Bush took after the 911 was from a sympathetic and caring Vladimir Putin, who also offered our American President his country’s help towards tracking down and bringing to justice these evil terrorist who were said to be responsible for the loss of close to 3,000 American lives. If more Americans were to hear and know this would it make a difference?

  32. Bruce Dickson
    April 6, 2017 at 09:55

    In some deep-seated recess of what might remain of an American objective self-image, is there a dawning horror that it has become a beast addicted to the rampage and can only be stopped from without?

    Is all this manic, destructive and increasingly isolating behaviour on its part just a bellowing cry for the rest of the world to do to it what it cannot do itself – but knows it must, i.e., stop?

    Further, still, is it being egged on by others poised to profit handsomely off its demise, others who have insinuated themselves far closer to its collective psyche than Russia or China ever could?

    • April 6, 2017 at 16:02

      Has become a Beast?!? It has been a Beast since the very beginning !!!!!!!!

  33. DannyWeil
    April 6, 2017 at 09:36

    The deep state can laugh for they know few believe in it. Soon,the deep state will make believer of us all

  34. Rajer Pell
    April 6, 2017 at 09:26

    For the graziollinth time, if the bastards accuse anyone of a crime, it is a crime the bastards are committing in great numbers. The Atlantic’s David Frum, who of late has found himself the object of fulsome praise from embittered Hillary Clinton partisans, tweeted: “Remember Beslan & the 1999 apartment bombings. It takes years to learn truth about terror attacks in Russia – often not even then.” Someone please alert that fat worm to the events surrounding 9/11. Holy crap these people are creepy AF

  35. April 6, 2017 at 08:54

    All based on the total American belief in the need to neutralize both Soviet Communism & now to colonize what’s left over from the collapse of the SU. I would bet that even Consortium News is anti-communist when it comes right down to it.

    • jo6pac
      April 6, 2017 at 10:38

      I think you need to get up on the times. The USSR was a commie place and the new Russia is not. Just saying

  36. bill
    April 6, 2017 at 08:53

    not conspiracy theories as such but ugly allegations unsupported by evidence- criminal and /or malicious conspiracies happen everywhere every day but usually people are not charged with conspiracy and these dont come out in courts as people continue on to commit the illegal act which is far easier to prove and the conspiracy offence becomes as well superfluous as offenders are already headed to prison( esp if you are black and “unconnected” in the USA!!!)

  37. Marko
    April 6, 2017 at 08:40

    I was a Bernie supporter and the most compelling thing about him to me was his authenticity. His message was consistent and , frankly , he didn’t seem like the type who was comfortable telling outright lies. Hillary and Trump , on the other hand , seemed not to know , or to care , whether what they said was truthful or not , as long as it “worked” as a campaign message.

    When I hear Assad and Putin speak ( and Lavrov as well ) I get more of the Bernie vibes and less of the Hillary / Trump vibes. I’d make the same comparison regarding RT vs. American MSM.

    I don’t think any are perfect angels by any means , but I certainly don’t have a problem with being called a Bernie Bro , or even an Assadist or a Putinist , given the more “establishment” monikers I might be forced to choose from.

    With regard to the most important issues of the day ( especially war , civil liberties , elite crime , and such ) I think D.C. politicians and the U.S. MSM are – collectively and almost universally – among the most compulsive and destructive liars on the planet. They’re both skilled in the art and shameless in the practice. It’s become pathological , and dangerous , and I’m simply not buying that shit any more.

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 6, 2017 at 10:09

      Marko you are not a lone. I’m with you on everything you said.

    • Bill Bodden
      April 6, 2017 at 12:31

      I was a Bernie supporter and the most compelling thing about him to me was his authenticity. His message was consistent and , frankly , he didn’t seem like the type who was comfortable telling outright lies.

      If Bernie had been elected president all members of the Washington establishment would have ganged up on his just as they did against Jimmy Carter – and that would have included the oligarchs in the Democratic (?) party.

    • rosemerry
      April 6, 2017 at 16:19

      I agree. Putin is demonized, and inhumans like Louise Mensch are believed, while Putin’s standing in Russia remains high, unlike the Western leaders who claim goodness and morality, with no evidence of either. The assumption that Assad (or perhaps Russia) suddenly bombed innocents then followed up with bombing hospitals, crimes that the USA is often guilty of, was at once accepted with gruesome details by the MSM, while two years of terrible destruction by USA/UK/Saudis in Yemen are ignored. Last weekendt, the US madm 20 air raids on Yemen, yet THIS happens and all guilt goes to Syria and Russia.

    • April 6, 2017 at 16:54

      Yes, Marko, you are right on. Putin comes across as level-headed and reasonable, which is something that is missing in Washington. We are all fortunate to have someone like him at Russia’s head. He’s obviously primus inter pares when it comes to world leaders.

      • Dave
        April 6, 2017 at 20:28

        Robert Keith: Yes. It is clear to people elsewhere (beyond U.S. and E.U. borders) in the World, the current Russian Leadership is very intelligent, competent, wise, pragmatic,and smart, and as you said level headed. West knows it. It is the biggest nightmare of our Ruling Class. They have duped the public here, for a long time now, but they are unable to dupe the World beyond our borders.

  38. JRGJRG
    April 6, 2017 at 08:37

    Given the well-established involvement of neocons in perpetrating 9/11 as a false flag attack on the US to justify war and oppression in the US (which left-gatekeeping journalists still refuse to touch, despite overwhelming evidence), it is not surprising in the least that these same neocons are engaging in psychological projection of their own sinister policy of false flag attacks on Vladimir Putin.

    • Brad Owen
      April 6, 2017 at 12:13

      I’ll go even one better; The protests over corruption sound like the same kind of machinations as the “Color Revolutions”, “Arab Spring” and the”Resist Movement”, and even 911 itself, all sponsored ultimately by the oligarchs of The City and The Street through their Deep State apparatus that they established in the post-war forties (what LaRouche calls the modern version of the British Empire; what it has become). The Russian oligarchs (the beneficiaries of the West’s post-Soviet Union looting operations, and wishing for a return to the “good ole days” of Yeltsin) are their allies, who probably sponsored the protests (like Soros sponsoring the “Resist Movement”). The bombs are probably from Chechen terrorists (probably dialed up from the Deep State rolodex of London and Wall Street/DC) to try and provoke Putin into a harsh over-reaction, destabilizing himself in the eyes of his Countrymen (he’s wildly popular over there…here too, among some of us). All of this is to stop The New Silk Road from taking hold of the World’s imagination (Russia’s a major founding partner in this policy), which will decisively kill the modern “British” Empire of The City and The Street…and they are desperately panicked about their impending loss of global dominion. And Trump TODAY will probably get onboard with the New Silk Road policy of peace and development for the good of all, the whole World.

      • Libby
        April 6, 2017 at 12:41

        I think you hit the nail on the head with fear of the new Silk Road. We can add to this the international alt-right’s -including in the US – ‘election’ of Russia (as the ‘whitest country’ in the world) as the new Third Rome and of Putin as the ‘superior leader’ -or ‘alpha male’. Fear of both of these forces could well be what is behind the frenzied demonization of Russia by the neoliberal powers-that-be.

        • Brad Owen
          April 7, 2017 at 07:21

          St. Petersburg bombing, now cruise missiles on a Syrian air force base, on the same day that the Presidents of America and China meet, where the main topic of discussion would have been America coming onboard the New Silk Road, effectively changing our World alignment from Trans-Atlantic to Trans-Pacific, and transfering from geopolitics and war, to Marshall Plan-style development projects and peaceful cooperation (New Silk Road is the largest human under-taking ever…dwarfing even WWII exertions). This is no coincidence. I smell a deliberate Deep State derailment of Trump’s drift away from Empire & colonial wars, towards cooperation with fellow Sovereign Nations. Trump’s been chumped by the Deep State, and might be too vain to admit he was steered wrong (that was always a threat). God help us all; friend and foe alike.

  39. Geoffrey de Galles
    April 6, 2017 at 08:09

    Judging by the absence here among Consortium News commentators of any reference to it, I imagine many among them would appreciate being apprised of Russian scholar Stephen F. Cohen’s superb weekly interviews with John Batchelor on the latter’s JB Show, during which all-things-Russia get discussed. Each of these podcasts extends some 40 minutes, or thereabouts. Go google on John Batchelor / Stephen F. Cohen @ audioboom.

  40. April 6, 2017 at 07:59

    Pax -Americana/Washington consensus and the petro-dollar r on life support and the only thing keeping it a float is war and more war. US industrial capacity is over 65 percent related to the military industrial complex. That say it all with out a boggy man they r toast. The Billionaire guy from china said it at a recent forum I think Davos . Since 1991 the US has spent over 20 trillio n dollars on war. How many bridges can be refurbished with that money how many schools can be bult how many potable water plants can be built.
    Excpetionalism is a disease how can a society allow their drinking water to be so contaminated. FLINT. Only in the land of the free.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 6, 2017 at 09:57

      And Flint is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • Exiled off mainstreet
      April 6, 2017 at 12:01

      While I fully concur with your characterisation of US reality, it seems to me you are being unfair to Mussolini, who on his own, not as an end of Nazi era Hitler lackey, was definitely not as odious as the modern yankee iteration of fascism.

    • Realist
      April 6, 2017 at 16:14

      Clearly the American state, with or without President Trump, wants a major war, perhaps a global war. This is why every incident, such as the St. Petersburg terrorist attack and the alleged sarin gas incident in Syria, is immediately ascribed to Russian, Syrian or Chinese treachery without the slightest bit of evidence collection or rational analysis. They want to play on the fears of the already duped public… and it seems to work everytime. Now Nikki Haley is threatening an illegal war, not just by proxy, against the Syrian government whether the UN approves it or not. McCain and the other warmongers in Congress are promising the same, whether the Congress takes a vote on the matter OR NOT! Only Rand Paul is a voice in the wilderness advising against these unconstitutional acts.

      I say that if whoever is running the American government (and it sure ain’t Trump who has been made a sock puppet for the neocons recently) wants a war, and if it’s to be legitimate rather than an unconstitutional act of treason, 1) Congress ought to pass such declarations of war and the president must sign them, 2) a UNIVERSAL draft must be immediately reconstituted to accommodate the anticipated massive casualties in a war involving major powers such as Russia and/or China, and 3) a robust war tax must be immediately passed to cover all expenses since the national debt is already running approximately one trillion dollars per year. Since such a war would be a global clash of civilisations of existential consequence to this country and its vassals, not just the workers and the poor should financially support the effort, but the corporations and war profiteers should pony up the lion’s share of the costs. If this threatened war is so freaking critical to not only the interests of the United States, but also its very survival, these measures should be instituted ASAP, right now, this very afternoon. Let’s see the support they get from the public when forced to come to grips with the neocon madness. I think the American people will seek regime change in Washington rather than Moscow, Damascus, Tehran, Bejing and wherever else neocon imaginations run wild.

      • backwardsevolution
        April 6, 2017 at 18:04

        Realist – you’re right. Tell the people what it will cost them, in lives and in money. Then tell every congressman and senator to get on their army boots and lead the charge. Send Nikki Haley up front, waving her UN flag, flanked by Adam Schiff, Lindsay Graham and John McCain.

        How is Trump supposed to fight against this crap? He’s being overwhelmed by a bunch of warmongers. He needs to stall, wait for the evidence, but if he does, he’s then being labelled another “Obama”. He can’t win.

        Trump needs to take charge and tell them he’s going to wait for the evidence.

      • Dave
        April 6, 2017 at 20:11

        Realist: Well said. With President Trump neutered, It may very well be that there is plan of the Neocons to implement the Full Spectrum Dominance Doctrine now instead at a later date.

        As clear to people elsewhere in the World, the current Russian Leadership is very intelligent, competent, wise, pragmatic,and smart. West knows it. It is their biggest nightmare. They have duped the public here, for a long time now, but they are unable to dupe the World beyond U.S. and EU borders.

        Russia is still weak. And may be, the West wants to take care of the Business now before it stabilizes further under the current Leadership.

        Russia (Soviet Union before) has been under sanctions – and the threat of physical annihilation – of The West for a 100 years now – with a slight breather for few years recently when they invested to put up few McDonald’s there. They have survived so far is a testament to their resilience, and courage.

        When Trump pronounced yesterday : “The Civilized World” will not tolerate it . . .” a feeling comes over which one better not share.

        Starting from the East Coast all the way to Los Angeles, when you look at the cities what one sees is a picture hard to describe. City after City, one is afraid to go into large areas of the cities even during day, forget about night. Thirty or forty millions or more of the citizens in permanent underclass, gangs, gunfire, desolation, and despair. And leader after Leader has the audacity to proclaim : ” The civilized World will not . . .”

        When will the country and its’ inhabitants learn some wisdom?

        • Realist
          April 6, 2017 at 21:14

          Sadly, as the day has unfolded, Dave, I am convinced that Trump is now only acting as a puppet (not Putin’s but a neocon sock puppet) and a full scale war with Russia has been decided upon by whomever it is that is running the show.

          Russia has essentially been accused of abetting war criminals and Tillerson has basically declared war on Syria and its allies, which includes Russia and Iran. Russia cannot tolerate being smeared in such a fashion and they cannot afford to simply cut and run.

          When the American airforce attacks Syria’s air defenses and airforce, with Russian planes and pilots in the target zone, the small Russian expeditionary force will be compelled to defend with S-400’s and bring down American planes. They will quickly escalate to a full exchange of cruise missiles. Russia will be forced to target the American carriers from which the fighter jets are launched, as well as the Turkish Incirclik air field. When NATO starts targeting and military bases in Russia, Russia will launch a full attack against the missile batteries in Poland and Rumania, plus NATO military assets throughout Europe. They have to, since those NATO forces on the border will begin what they were intended to do all along, invade Russia (they’ve done dry-runs of occupying Russian villages). Russia has also said it would RESPOND with nukes in such a scenario. America has always said it reserves the right to launch a nuclear FIRST STRIKE against Russia. Both nuclear responses are baked in the cake and may happen within the first hour that this exchange begins.

          This is it. This is basically a declaration of war by Washington and the prelude to the end of civilisation. The neocons, the Dims, Hillary, the MIC, the spooks and the American media have gotten what they wanted. I cannot bear to watch them, but Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow must be having a non-stop on-air orgasm over this. They must have converted from Trump haters to Trump lovers since his policies have suddenly become indistinguishable from Hillary’s on the matter of war with Syria and Russia.

          Taking this matter to the United Nations is an exercise in futility. Taking it to the EU is a waste of time. Since China would be destroyed along with the rest of the world in any nuclear exchange between the US and Russia, perhaps Xi can try to talk some sense into Trump and let him know that China must act to prevent this madness… assuming there is still enough time.

          • Realist
            April 6, 2017 at 21:33

            Indeed, the end has already begun as CBS news has just reported that Washington has launched a cruise missile attack against Syria. At least 60 missiles, so far no fighter jets. Circle the date on your calender: April 6th, 2017, the day that World War III began. Thanks, Obama… for not putting the kybosh on this long ago.

          • Dave
            April 6, 2017 at 22:10

            Realist: Checked CBS, you are right. The country is run by Insane Barbarians, who are literally madmen. How sickening!

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