Tillerson’s Bad Hand in Kremlin Showdown

President Trump’s hasty decision to attack Syria may have lightened political pressure at home but Russia’s retaliation – suspending a key “deconfliction agreement” – left Secretary of State Tillerson as supplicant at the Kremlin, reports Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

The Russian media offered no complete account of what may have been accomplished during Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s two-day visit to Russia, but there were hints of what the Russian negotiating position would have been behind closed doors and what may have justified Vladimir Putin making two hours available for Tillerson in what was otherwise a very busy day for the Russian President relating to domestic concerns.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at his swearing-in ceremony on Feb. 1, 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

Before Tillerson’s arrival Russian media reported widely on his failure the day before at the G7 meeting to win support for imposing more sanctions on Russia for backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in light of the chemical weapons event in Idlib on April 4. That proposal was raised by U.K. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson and affirmed by Tillerson but rejected by all other G7 members. With that resounding defeat, Tillerson had no sticks from “the international community” to wield as an ultimatum against the Russians, telling them to get behind a U.S.-imposed “regime change” in Syria or suffer the consequences of further economic isolation from the West.

Tillerson also carried little in the way of carrots, given President Trump’s retreat on his campaign pledges to improve relations with Russia. Tillerson’s empty diplomatic bag was a topic discussed on Russian prime-time television the evening before his arrival. Senior Duma member and United Russia Party leader Vyacheslav Nikonov rhetorically demanded of Tillerson on the Evening with Vladimir Solovyov talk show: “So, make us an offer of what it means to go with America, what it brings us, and then we will consider it.”

In effect, Nikonov was calling the Trump administration’s bluff. He and the Russian elites understand perfectly that Donald Trump has no political capital to spend to get Congressional approval of normalized relations with Russia.

Just as the Tillerson-Putin meeting was taking place on Wednesday, another widely watched Russian talk show First Studio on the Pervy Kanal state channel opened with host Artyom Sheinin  posing a baiting question to the American journalist Michael Bohm, a frequent visitor to the program who is often used as a punching bag. Referring to Tillerson’s initial meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the doubt that Putin would grant Tillerson a meeting, Sheinin said, “I believe there is the practice in big corporations for a new visitor who has come to see the boss to first undergo a ‘screening interview.’ It looks as if Tillerson passed this screening process and so he was allowed in to speak to the boss. Do you think this was a positive thing?”

In other words, the Russians knew that Tillerson came with empty hands and that he was the suitor, not the one being wooed. Tillerson came to discuss reinstatement of the Memorandum of Understanding on Deconfliction in Syria because on the U.S. side there was great concern over Russia’s refusal now to speak at the regional level to U.S. military counterparts and avert clashes on the ground and in the air that could lead to escalation of confrontation and possibly to all-out-war. The Russian withdrawal from the deconfliction arrangement following the U.S. missile strike on a Syrian airfield on April 6 put the continuation of U.S.-led military operations against Islamic State militants inside Syria in danger.

On April 8, senior Pentagon officials were denying that the Russians had severed all military-to-military hot lines, but there was a cold sweat in Washington. The uncertainty over whether Syrian and Russian air defenses might take aim at NATO aircraft had already led the Belgians to publicly announce cessation of all their flights within the U.S.-led anti-terror coalition. Presumably other NATO members had come to the same conclusion.

Meanwhile, my information backchannels indicate that the Russians set down their preconditions for reinstatement of the deconfliction arrangements: no further U.S. air attacks on Syrian government positions. We may be sure that this was the major subject for discussion and possible agreement during Tillerson’s talks with Putin.

The result may be something similar to the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 when the U.S. claimed victory publicly as the Soviets pulled their missiles out of Cuba, but privately the U.S. had granted what Moscow had wanted, the removal of U.S. missiles from Turkey. But Putin is no Nikita Khrushchev, who lost prestige among his Kremlin peers for striking the agreement with the Americans; Putin is likely to gain stature from such an arrangement.

The U.S. Media’s Take

Meanwhile, the mainstream U.S. media presented the Putin-Tillerson meeting in relatively neutral terms given the American press corps general hostility to all things Russian. The Washington Post did better than other media outlets, with Moscow Bureau Chief David Filipov and his colleague covering the State Department in Washington highlighting the undeniable fact that the parties were “sharply at odds” and noting:

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

“Russia made it clear it was unwilling to roll back its strategic alliance with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The talks appeared unlikely to bring any significant breakthroughs after last week’s missile strike plunged U.S. relations to one of the lowest points since the Cold War. But despite the growing rifts, some general compromises were discussed.”

The areas of potential compromise were possible reinstatement of the information-sharing “deconfliction” Memorandum of Understanding with the United States that the Russians suspended immediately after the April 6 missile attack and creation of a U.S.-Russian working group to find ways to ease tensions between the two nuclear superpowers.

After that, the authors moved on to more trivial pursuits such as Donald Trump’s latest remarks about Assad being “an animal.” However, even amidst this swill there were a few points worthy of note because they gave expression to Russian policy positions at the talks: Russia’s refusal to accept ultimatums, such as Tillerson brought with him over choosing ties with the U.S. or Syria; Russia’s rejection of the allegations that Assad was behind the chemical attack in Idlib; Russia’s call for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate the use of chemical weapons there; and Putin’s likening the present situation to the one immediately preceding the U.S. invasion of Iraq. All of these important points are presented in the article at face value, alongside U.S., U.K. and other Western accusations directed against Russia

The New York Times coverage gave more attention to American action than to Russian reaction, as the opening of its cover headline for its several related articles indicates: “U.S. Pressures Russia …” The sub-article dealing with the Tillerson visit devotes more attention to what came before and after Putin’s meeting with Tillerson than to what they may have agreed on. The Times bureau chief David Sanger noted how Tillerson was held in suspense as his anticipated meeting with Putin was left in doubt until the last minute, what was described as a typical maneuver by the Russian president to keep his interlocutors off balance, a characterization which ignores the widely reported urgings of Russia’s talking heads before Tillerson’s arrival that their President not receive him because of the objectionable message on Syria that he had laid out on Monday at the meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Italy.

Indeed, the Times article said almost nothing about what may have justified the Putin meeting and what was agreed other than the working group to ease tensions, which Sanger correctly identifies as devoted to small and not the big divisive issues.

Gilbert Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015

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88 comments for “Tillerson’s Bad Hand in Kremlin Showdown

  1. mike k
    April 13, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Much thanks to Gilbert Doctorow for as much of an inside look at Russian diplomacy as we are likely to get – what with the spin-polluted propaganda that tries to pass itself off as news here in the US.

    Russia has made it as clear as it can to the befuddled US administration that it is not going to be pushed around by Uncle Sam or any of his allies. This is what infuriates the global domination freaks among the elites of the shadow government. We are left to await their next awkward blunder.

    • evelync
      April 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Meanwhile Tillerson has little credibility and trust from Americans who are outraged that Exxon knew all along about the looming impacts of climate change, even as they themselves revised their own future multi year drilling plans, while they cynically hired faux scientists to try to derail this country’s initiatives to mitigate that existential threat.
      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-climate-change-almost-40-years-ago/

      He is not someone who has the strength of character, apparently, to deal with a major looming crisis in a responsible way.
      Rather a weak man, buffeted around by short term economic/political pressures who is then publicly left holding the bag….
      As Gilbert Doctorow has revealed in this article.

    • Mary in Las Vegas
      April 17, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Hear! Hear! Excellent observation! The US always expecting to ‘win’ in negotiations is just so disappointing to those who have the faith. The fact that Russia has not and will not bend to the US has to be very frustrating to those whose plans are foiled at every turn. Too damn bad! Just cut out the meddling in other countries…period…
      The US will never control Russia!

  2. Brad Owen
    April 13, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Completely different view on EIR website, in their “Hot News” column on the right side of the web, and also on LaRouchePAC on the left-side column of their web. When Trump and Tillerson are able to get away from their “British Handlers” (on behalf of ALL the old, dynastic, oligarchic, Imperial family lines infesting Europe; via the “special relationship”, in the strenuous effort to keep their combined “Western Empire” alive), a different tale is told. The Trans-Atlantic Community (Western Empire) is gradually being displaced by the Trans-Pacific Community (a U.N. as FDR envisioned it: a peaceful community of Sovereign Nations pursuing the common ends of mutual development; no more colonies overt or covert, no more Power Blocs contrived by geopolitics to keep oligarchs and their deep-state apparatus in the driver’s seat), grounded on the strength of Russia, China, Japan, India, and eventually America working together to achieve these ends. THIS is the new ZeitGeist stepping onto the World Stage as the old one slowly exits the World stage; its’ act, finally, being up. I’m not surprised they are trying hard, via their MSM, to persuade the people otherwise.

    • mike k
      April 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      The problem Brad is that the New Zeitgeist stepping on the stage must avoid stepping on the tail of the American Dinosaur, which can still whip around in a nuclear minute and knock all the pieces off the World Chessboard!

      • Brad Owen
        April 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

        True. There are plenty of American Tory Loyalists still around, vigorously trying to sabotage partnership with Russia. The Changing of ZeitGeists, the Shifting of Paradigm, whatever we call “IT”, is fortunately not entirely in the hands of humanity (or so I believe). If it was, we would all be truly “effed” from the caveman days, and never would have gotten as far as we have. There is something on EIR about Vernadsky and the Noosphere (spelling).

      • Skip Scott
        April 14, 2017 at 8:14 am

        Mike-

        I wonder if you’ve heard this quote from Putin regarding negotiating with Obama:

        “Negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon. The pigeon knocks over all the pieces, s**ts on the board, and then struts around like it won the game.”

        I think that pretty much describes US foreign policy for some time now. That is the real worry. Every indication is that the deep state is crazy enough to destroy the whole world if they don’t get their way. They are like 3 year olds throwing a tantrum. I have been going to sleep at night wondering if I will wake up to WWIII, or even get to wake up at all.

        • Typingperson
          April 14, 2017 at 9:11 pm

          Your recounting of Putin’s comment re Obama made me think of a great and telling scene in a very worthwhile Russian documentary about Putin.

          Don’t know how to link by phone but it’s called “President.” Readily available on YouTube.

          (I watched it in Dec. I knew zippo about Putin at that point. All the USA people and media were working themselves into an hysterical lather about how he was the great Satan / evil genius of Russia / existential threat-meddler-enemy to the USA, which seemed a bit much–and, also, baffling–so I did a lot of googling to educate myself and find out more about the guy.)

          In the scene, Putin and Obama are doing a photo-op for the press corps at a formal state event in Europe. They’re sitting in chairs next to each other facing the press and they do a staged handshake. Obama has a giant friendly cooperative ear-to-ear grin going on and Putin is sitting in his chair with a stoic impassive expression, looking a little bored and impatient. It’s clear he doesn’t like being trotted out for the dog and pony show.

          Obama, while maintaining his grin for the photographs, gives Putin an exhortative side-look, clearly telegraphing: Get with the program–Look happy and friendly.

          Putin registers Obama’s look, shifts in his chair, and dutifully pastes a frozen, fake rictus smile on his face. Still looking like he’d very much prefer to be elsewhere.

          It’s priceless.

          One thing that really strikes me from observing Putin in news videos and reading, for instance, the transcript of his 4-hour, wide-ranging annual year-end press conference, is how direct, well-informed, intelligent and un-phony he appears, compared with US leaders like Obama or Hillary. (I’ve avoided watching Trump on TV–can’t stomach it.)

          Putin’s usual mien is serious, sober, formal, thoughtful and guarded / careful. But he has a very sophisticated, highly developed sense of irony, a sharp wit and an excellent sense of humor. When he smiles or laughs, it’s real.

          So different from US politicos. Obama, Hillary, Trump et al look like scripted obedient smiling on-message corporate robots by comparison. Fake, blundering amateurs all too willing to shuck and jive for the powers that be, aka Deep State.

          Putin don’t shuck and jive. No wonder these USA politico-empty suits are so threatened by him.

          One thing that comes across in this doc is how much he cares about his country–and the Russian people. Wish that were true of USA leaders. They don’t give a damn about the American people. Not whom they serve.

          • Curious
            April 15, 2017 at 8:46 am

            To agree, when asked about the difference in political discourse, Obama merely said “Americans smile more” as if that is to be imitated and somehow better. I hated the phoniness then as I still do now.

        • Maybe instead of beer, drink more vodka.
          April 16, 2017 at 5:24 am

          That is the funniest joke I heard since the 4 nun joke, maybe because I did play chess before. I also did judo for a short while. Putin most likely kick my ass in both, but if he really said this I like him even more.
          The 4 nun joke:
          4 nuns were traveling cross country & got into a really bad accident & ended up at St. Peters gate.
          St. Peter aske the 1st nun has she ever sinned. She said yes, “We were traveling & saw this really long line of women so we decided to get in line too. We got in we saw naked men.”
          St. Peter said, “that’s ok you can go in, just wash your eyes in the holy water & you can go in.”
          St. Peter asked the 2nd nun if she ever sinned. She said yes, “I went to the same place as the 1st nun, I tipped the nice man dancing & accidently touched his private part.”
          St. Peter said, “that’s ok you can go in, just wash your hands in the holy water & you can go in.”
          All of a sudden the 4th nun cut in front of the 3rd nun. The 3rd nun asked the 4th nun, “Why did you cut in front of me?”
          The 4th nun said, “Let me gargle before you stick your ass in the water.”

        • IC
          April 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm

          This is not a real quote from Putin about Obama. Please don’t spread made up stories; we have enough of that already.

      • Mary in Las Vegas
        April 17, 2017 at 12:18 pm

        And accomplish what by their ‘tail whipping’? Nuclear war? That is the position the US is being backed into…other friendly countries to their US are slowly but surely walking away from their toxic dessert table.

    • D5-5
      April 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks to Brad on this recommendation for EIR’s helpful coverage today. I’m not sure, Brad, which specific piece you’re referring to, but I found “Progress seen on Putin-Tillerson talk” indicating anxiety over Russia’s withdrawal of the “de-conflict” agreement is part of the deal-making, and could come back on if the US guarantees no further strikes on Syria. Also found information on Russia-UK spat over US-Russia to establish “working group.”

      • D5-5
        April 13, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        This from EIR is valuable insight on the Brits involvement in pushing the chemical incident story as well as announcing the UK will reject Russia’s appeal to The Hague for an investigation. Much tension indicated here between British envoy Rycroft and Russian counterpart Safronkov, UN Security Council April 12 meeting. Also reports international experts are coming forward to dispute the “British-orchestrated lies” re chemical incident charge, one of whom is MIT’s Prof Postol.

        https://larouchepac.com/20170412/us-and-russia-establish-working-group-british-are-furious-plus-more-truth-comes-out

        • incontinent reader
          April 14, 2017 at 1:36 am

          Russian Deputy Permanent Representative Safronkov was brilliant at the 4/12/17 7922nd UNSC meeting in his castigation of Rycroft, and of the Brits, US, and their coalition, for their fabrication of the facts of the Khan Sheykun air strike, and their support of the jihadists, though there was no coverage of it in the MSM. You can see it at: http://webtv.un.org/watch/the-situation-in-the-middle-east-syria-security-council-7922th-meeting/5396221165001 (Safronkov’s presentation begins at 30:01; Syrian Ambassador’s Bashir Jafaari’s begins at: 1:04:46) – and also read the transcript at: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/PV.7922 when it is completed and published in a few days.

          I’ve often wondered, given the CIA’s sub rosa support of ISIS and the al-Qaeda related groups, and John McCain’s open support of and assistance to those groups, that they (McCain, et al) could be detained indefinitely as prescribed by the NDAA. So, why not turn the tables and at least raise a hue and cry that the law should be prosecuted against those at the top who have violated it?

          • Gregory Herr
            April 14, 2017 at 10:26 am

            Thanks for this link. I’ve skipped a bit for starters and haven’t yet heard the Syrian representation, but wanted to first get back to remark that the statements from Bolivia and Uraguay are particularly trenchant. Much of the world knows what’s up in Syria…in the States, not so much.

      • Brad Owen
        April 13, 2017 at 1:48 pm

        Look around on the website. Keep an eye on it going forward. Look back into archived material. An interesting search for their search box: “FDR-Stalin correspondence”. What appears to be happening now, is exactly where FDR wanted to go, post-WWII. The genesis of the New Silk Road policies is right here, on the EIR website. And THAT is because LaRouche is dedicated to seeing FDR’s vision come to fruition (he’s 93 now and served in India; he got a close-up view of the British
        Empire’s ops.

        • b.grand
          April 13, 2017 at 8:17 pm

          Oh, please! Sta-Lyn is a nutcase in decline.

          While you’re searching, take a look at the L-PAC video telling you that the planet Earth “NEEDS” 13 [thirteen] Billion humans to staff the techno-future.

          So get busy breeding, Brad. Don’t worry about robots taking your children’s jobs: mechanization will create more jobs! And don’t worry about feeding, housing, water and energy. (Maybe your children will BE the energy, just like in matrix!) Don’t worry about avoidance of epidemic with twice as many people on the planet as we have now. Lyn has it all figured out. We’ll get the fusion online, build NAWAPA, and everything will be just peachy.

          So hurry up and make babies, Brad, and if they’re among the cadre, they’ll colonize a galaxy far, far away!

          • Brad Owen
            April 14, 2017 at 3:50 am

            Just more character assassination. Funny how it’s not as convincing anymore. Must be that paradigm-change thingy.

          • Seer
            April 14, 2017 at 4:52 am

            I cannot say that I follow LaRouche-ism, but I KNOW that the paradigm of perpetual growth on a finite planet is a doomed one.

            I encourage folks to investigate Jevons Paradox (efficiency only leads to MORE consumption), Sir John Glubb’s Survival of Civilization (essentially noting that ALL empires collapse), and Dr. Albert Bartlett’s lectures on humans and the exponential function.

          • April 14, 2017 at 11:47 am

            Thanks Ivanka.

            http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/14/roaming-charges-2/:

            “Ivanka, our Park Avenue Electra, did it. She’s the one who softened her daddy’s leathery heart by forcing him to watch those dreadful pictures of dead and dying babies, eyes fixed on the carnage scrolling across the screen like Alex in Clockwork Clockwork Orange. The obscene photos made Donald squirm. His eyes even moistened. Then he began to tremble with rage.

            “What kind of evil animal could kill innocent babies, Ivanka?”

            “A monster, Daddy, a real monster. You must do something! This cannot stand!”

            “But do what, Sweetie? I’ll call that guy who works for me, Steve something. He’ll know what to do…”

            “No, not Bannon, daddy. He won’t do a damn thing. Call Jared. He’s already talked to the generals. They’re dialing up the targets right now.”

            “Ivanka, I’m so glad I picked you to join me in the West Wing. I only worry about the business. Are your brothers really up to it on their own?”

            Or at least that’s the story that the press lapped up, from a White House that is springing more leaks than a Texas pipeline. The narrative we are being presented features Ivanka as a civilizing force on Trump’s troglodyte impulses, civilizing in this sense meaning the cavalier use of US military power in one of the most fraught regions of the world in the name of humanitarianism.”

        • Brad Owen
          April 14, 2017 at 7:24 am

          to Seer:
          your body is perpetually growing, yet staying the same size. It is perpetually having to replace and sustain, sometimes improve (with exercise, or study, which changes brain structure and connections, body tissue composition, etc…). This the nature, the reality of existence. There is no static state-in-perpetuity, which is a defunct medieval concept.

    • Libby
      April 13, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      I think you are making an important point. Add to it that the ‘alt-right’, both here and abroad, seems to have selected Putin as their ‘natural leader’ and Russia as the Third Rome. And I think you are right too that this is behind the MSM as ‘State media’.

    • Kiza
      April 13, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      I had a hearty laugh at your nutty leftist comments. Aaah, the alt-right conspiracy to rule the World with Putin on top. Libby please reveal your source of funny mushrooms, because you are smoking some mighty good sh**.

      You are repainting your blue pills to look red.

  3. Sally Snyder
    April 13, 2017 at 11:40 am

    As shown in this article, the United States has a decades-long history of interest in toppling the Assad regime:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/04/the-cias-prophetic-vision-of-syrias.html

    As is typical of Washington, it’s all about what is in it for America’s business interests.

    • Seer
      April 14, 2017 at 4:53 am

      Yes, ALL wars are about resources!

  4. April 13, 2017 at 11:43 am

    It could not be more clear now that this is not democracy; the industrial military fascist state is blatantly obvious.

  5. nancy
    April 13, 2017 at 11:57 am

    It’s pretty obvious the Russians are the chessmasters while the U.S. can barely manage checkers.

    • Sheryl
      April 13, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      Ha! It certainly seems that way.

    • Kiza
      April 13, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      You are exaggerating, the current situation is not much chess-like. Tillerson went to Moscow to threaten but with an empty bag. His failure was not in Moscow then at G7. The current US administration is in a bind: how to get Russia out of Syria? It cannot offer any carrots to Russia whilst its military stick would beat the holder up (US) more than Russia, already militarily well entrenched in Syria. In other words, the Trump administration is caught up between the rock (US Establishment) and the hard place (Russian Establishment). Neither wants to budge and he can only continue his bluster and bull.

      I would love to read what the US military junta thinks of dislodging Russia out of Syria – what the US losses would be. Traditionally, the mercenary armies such as the US one are not great with losses, which reduces chances of attempting to kick Russia out of Syria militarily.

      It is a pity that in this great article of Dr Doctorow’s it is only at the end that he mentions why Tillerson went to Moscow – to deliver a US ultimatum to Russia. Dr Doctorow starts by explaining that Tillerson went to Moscow without either a carrot or a stick (further EU sanctions). The sanctions under Obama have hurt Russia but they have also badly hurt the EU economy. Before MH17 shootdown was used to force EU to impose sanctions “related to Ukraine and Minsk”, the annual bilateral economic exchange between EU and Russia was at around E320B. About 1/4 of this was lost due to sanctions. Therefore, only EU could hurt Russia further, but five out of G7 said no. Therefore, expect a new false-flag which will kill EU citizens to force new sanctions on Russia, just as Obama did.

      Otherwise Trump will never be able to deliver for Israel what Jared ordered him to do.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 13, 2017 at 11:28 pm

        KIza about those sanctions it is rumored in small circles here in America that these sanctions placed on all these countries has also hurt American companies. Not all American commerce relies on defensive industry spending. America’s farming and off highway industries maybe examples of this failed American sanction imposition craze.

        A couple of weeks ago I wrote how I could see how Iran and N Korea are the next Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as sure as there is a moon in the starry night time sky, I hope my speculating this is found to be totally absurd and throughly wrong. Although, this White House seems determined to make the news everyday with a new news story bigger than the one the day before it. It just seems to me, that with all of these hell bent militarist in charge, that I picture each one of them in a Situation Room trying ever so hard to out do each other with a better idea than the one the chump warmonger before them put on the table, and then you have Jared and our beautifully Electoral College voted in President ‘I’ve got a secret plan’ to make the decisions…I mean what could go wrong with that? And no I’ll never wish we had had Hillary in the White House instead!

        I’ve been reading where Jared has been raised on Zionism, and if that is true, then this can’t be good for Iran. Iran which for the U.S. should mean a new market to sell goods too will never see this kind of American love all because Israel won’t allow it.

        N Korea which could be simpler if the U.S. would help finalize the armistice from back in 1953, and lift the sanctions on N Korea this could by all accounts make a world of difference on the Peninsula, but then if peace did break out what would happen to Raytheon? Oddly if America blows up Pyongyang, then what will come of Raytheon’s on going business market? Maybe when the shooting starts Raytheon will cash out, but in time Raytheon will surely lose it’s age old war toy market either due to war or peace…I guess.

        Just thought I’d pass along some of my thoughts while I still have them in my head. Hope all is well, take care Joe

        • Kiza
          April 14, 2017 at 2:16 am

          Dear Joe, love your comment as always. I am ok and hope you are well. Let’s hope both Syria and Korea turn peaceful.

        • April 14, 2017 at 8:30 am

          American businesses have long slavered to get into the Cuban market, but, for the most part, they accept that the need is, first and foremost, to make an example of any leader or nation that defies the world’s Godfather. The American establishment is unanimous about that. And pathological as well.

  6. SteveM
    April 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Re:”Indeed, the Times article said almost nothing about what may have justified the Putin meeting.”

    “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” Putin’s greatest asset is that he does not personalize business. He’s a political genius.

    BTW, American (Trump) foreign policy has been hijacked by the Neocons and steered by the Generals in Trump’s inner circle who whisper sweet war-monger nothings in his ear. The State Department is an appendage of the Pentagon. Nitwit big
    mouth Nikki Haley is not a diplomat but a splenetic Pentagon mouthpiece and Rex Tillerson is an emasculated empty suit as Secretary of State.

    • Kiza
      April 13, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      Love your description of the Trumpistas: the blabber-mouth and the suited eunuch. Yet, the teary head-puppet is the funniest: “my daughter told me to kill people to save the childr’n”.

  7. D5-5
    April 13, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Zero Hedge April 13 is reporting that the pentagon has acknowledged US air striking near Deir ez-Zor and killing hundreds of people from release of chemical gas stored in the area by ISIS and al Qaeda forces. “Syria accuses US of hitting ISIS chemical weapons depot killing hundreds; Russia sends drones.” Also reported by Sputnik and Information Clearing House.

    ZH says: “As we reported earlier, the Syrian general staff said that the US-led coalition struck an ISIS depot in Deir ez-Zor on Wednesday, poisoning and killing several hundred people, including civilians.”

    “. . . the Syrian military said this fact proves that the terrorists possess chemical weapons”

    • Marko
      April 13, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      The U.S. and coalition forces have bombed CW warehouses and other CW-related facilities multiple times between Iraq and Syria. This makes the question in the current case quite clear : Who had and who dispensed the sarin gas ?

      The Syrian bomb-drop on the CW warehouse is a non-issue , if anyone believes in fair play. And if , by chance , sarin residues are discovered in the warehouse debris , this whole thing is much ado about nothing.

    • April 14, 2017 at 8:34 am

      It’s been covered extensively. Global Research carries a piece by Michel Chossudovsky that actually examines major media articles that report CIA operations where they teach ISIS how to use chemical weapons and talk about their plans to have them used in order to make it appear that Assad is the culprit!

  8. April 13, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Russia is on a railroad line that extends from the Pacific coast of China to London. Branch lines extend to Poland, Spain Iran and all the countries with names ending in stan.

    Many thousands of farmers fled to the inner farmland of Russia when the US overthrew the democratically elected government of Ukraine.

    Now Russian farmers export more wholesome non GMO food than Russian arms exports and almost a third of Russian gas exports.

    Russian farmers own the center position on the chess board. They are proving organic farming is more potent than hollow US illusions of world domination via atom bomb terrorism.

    • Stan Expat
      April 13, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      This turn around of the ag industry in Russia has been dramatic. Russia became the worlds largest producer of wheat in 2016, all GMO-free, and has gone from one of the largest chicken importers to net exporter in 2 years. Russia was a valuable customer for food products from Scandinavia and Europe so the sanctions hurt both those regions a great deal, in fact collapsed the who dairy industry of Finland. As an American living in Russia for some time, I noticed a lot of grumbling about lack of preferred French cheese and Finland’s butter, milk and salmon and chicken and egg prices increased suddenly. Within 6 months no one was complaining any more. The domestic chickens turned out to be better and lower cost. Russian cheese making jumped in quality and variety and have become export items. An explosion is cattle ranching occurred soon after Putin asked a rhetorical question of why Russia with unlimited virgin grasslands and water imports all its beef. That was all it took for investment and free land grants exploded cattle ranching and by 2020 Russia is expected to be the largest producer of non-antibiotic free range beef for export.
      Import Substitution started out as an embarrassing term but now, just 2 years later it has become an item of pride and economic growth. If the sanctions are ever lifted, Europe has still lost its biggest customer that has now turned into its biggest competitive threat.

      • Kiza
        April 13, 2017 at 10:27 pm

        Do not forget that the climate change (the natural one, not the profit-oriented AGW) is opening up vast virgin agricultural lands in Siberia by drying out marshes and swamps.

        See Donald, some swamps are getting dried out, whilst your swamp dried you out like a raisin!

        The permafrost in the North is melting, which is unclogging the Siberian rivers, which are emptying water from the central marshlands. It may take a decade but the potential is huge.

        • Joe Tedesky
          April 14, 2017 at 1:13 am

          To all of the above comments let me be the one to say it, ‘and for Russia all for the better’.

          Ultimately the irony will be that while America made Russia suffer, Russia strengthened it’s internal society, while at the same time mighty America’s domestic programs grew weaker.

          Americans know they are being robbed, but by the huge corporate news media and entertainment industry’s controlling of the narrative, you would never know it. Proof of this existence was seen with the Trump, and Bernie supporters….and if you include Stein and Gary Johnston then it gets even bigger the sampling of discontent. And don’t forget the massive Independent voter, along side the No voters, and it’s all proof that Americans aren’t stupid, as much as they are overwhelmed by the system which pervades over their lives.

          Okay I’m a Putin apologist, but after reading almost all his speeches of the last three years I see in him a leader. While the Western media portrays him as a demon, his actions although seemingly deliberate are over shadowed by his restraint and willingness to negotiate towards a common goal. On the other hand America seems to have shallow leadership qualities, and a hubris problem of the kind that loves to resort to it’s military, and of late infatuated with missiles and bombs.

          • Skip Scott
            April 14, 2017 at 8:38 am

            Perfect analysis Joe. I read Putin’s speeches and interviews myself, and it is amazing what a different picture you get of the man than what the MSM provides. As for us Americans, we know we’re getting screwed, but I think many need better and more information. The MSM still has a lock on the narrative for most of them regarding foreign policy, and most of them are too busy trying to pay the bills to seek out the truth.

  9. Stiv
    April 13, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Very interesting. This is the type background a working stiff like me would have problems finding in my limited time. Thank you.

  10. D5-5
    April 13, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Recent news at Sputnik at April 13 2000+ hours GMT indicates Lavrov and Putin report positive developments with Tillerson, including that no strike on Syria will happen again, and there will be an investigation of the April 4 incident.

    This Sputnik piece is titled ”Lavrov reveals what pleased Russia in US stance on Syria.”

    It’s difficult to believe Tillerson agreed to this last, and it may indicate he won’t be long for the position, or he will deny it and say he was “misinterpreted.”

    Putin intends to go to The Hague on the chemical incident April 4, with this being resisted by UK, but, again, whether Tillerson’s apparent agreement here is official who knows, given the continuing inconsistencies from the Trump administration.

    Putin earlier said that US-Russia relations have reached a new low under Trump, which means lower than with Obama. Should we then ask does this end (or significantly subdue) Russia-gate, with Donald having proven his manhood and obligatory US enmity toward Russia?

    Trump is not Putin’s puppet after all and was playing the man cleverly for some reason. Therefore, the MSM can tear up Russia-gate and give him an award? Rachel, what do you think?

    The reformed criminal Donald, whose crime had suggested the possibility of getting along with Russia will now be forgiven because he is chastened and has proven himself a deserving leader having attacked Syria on the basis of a few hours’ reports from inside the area of the chemical incident, with information supplied by Assad’s enemies?

    Additionally, in case you need further proof of the man’s new testicular prowess and overall glory, consider his idiotic threats toward North Korea, with (now developing) he might send in the Navy Seal team that assassinated Osama Bin Laden to take care of Kim Jong Un.

    • D5-5
      April 13, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      I would just like to add that misinterpreting the North Koreans as aggressively wishing to attack other countries is ruinously misinformed, as shown over the past 23 years back to 1994 and the crisis at that time, initiated by Bill Clinton and resolved by Jimmy Carter. The North Korean stance is defensive, not offensive. Kim Jong Un is interested in developing his country with economic projects. He has been deliberately groomed in the style of (and look of) Kim Il Sung, his grandfather, who is revered to almost God-like status in that country. Neither he nor his father were the crazy lunatics as portrayed by the West. His father was peculiar, true, with interests in jazz and American sports, but he was not a lunatic.

      The answer to North Korea is a peace treaty. China has now come forward after the Trump Mar a Lago cake-celebrating fest to say North Korea can count on Chinese protection if it will reduce its nuclear arsenal program. North Korean pride may refuse this offer, I don’t know. But if they do that does not mean they want to attack anybody. Their country is small, with 25 million population, very poor and in need of economic development. Their army is large but outdated.

      Meanwhile, let us keep in mind that the personal style of the North Koreans, which is similar to the South Koreans, tends to be resistance to being bullied and pushed around. Koreans are blunt, perhaps to a fault, but they’re not good at subservience. We in the West have continually miscalculated North Korea and come to wrong conclusions, which relate to our global hegemonic policies and the excuse to keep troops in the region. I suggest Trump visit Pyongyang and see for himself, or at the least try to get informed somewhat, as he apparently did in listening to President Xi in the recent visiting. He seems to fluctuate between very simple-minded and belligerent.

    • James lake
      April 13, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      I don’t trust Sputnik news website

      It really lack analysis and the website presents everything with a positive spin.

      Anyone that saw the press conference with Lavrov and Tilerson know they didn’t agree on anything.

      The whole meeting was ridiculous
      Russians really must like talking

      • Kiza
        April 13, 2017 at 10:33 pm

        It reads like you would prefer war. Which would be consistent with your previous aggressiveness here. I am not Russian, but I respect that they like talking before shooting.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 13, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      D5-5 – “In effect, Nikonov was calling the Trump administration’s bluff. He and the Russian elites understand perfectly that Donald Trump has no political capital to spend to get Congressional approval of normalized relations with Russia.”

      There it is. Trump can do nothing. I’m sure Trump’s thinking on Russia and war hasn’t changed (he wants to stop war and do business), but he’s hamstrung by Congress and Senate, the media, almost every single Democrat, the progressives, many Republicans…..he can do nothing.

      When you put someone in a straight jacket, don’t expect they can move. Way to go, people!

      • Kiza
        April 13, 2017 at 10:35 pm

        A new false-flag to break the impasse, see my comment above.

        • Skip Scott
          April 14, 2017 at 8:44 am

          I think you’re dead right on that Kiza. It is amazing how these “terrorist strikes” coincide perfectly whenever there is a bump in the road of the forever war. We can only hope that some last second sanity will save us from Armageddon. Someday Europe will wake up and realize the good ol’ USA is using them like a $10 whore.

          • Kiza
            April 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

            Skip, my favorite saying is that the old whore Europe will rediscover virtue right after Israel discovers generosity. The old crooked whore is not worth even ten bucks.

    • Seer
      April 14, 2017 at 6:17 am

      Your post reminded me of a question that I had, and that’s that I wonder whether Trump isn’t setting the baseline here after which things can only get better? It’s possible that this is all a lot of show, and, one could hope, that, if Trump really has any craftiness to him, Trump is actually playing along with the neocons and will actually lead them right into the wall.

      Figure that Flynn’s overt appearance of being “friendly” towards Russia was something that the neocons could attack. Tillerson was the next target. Perhaps Trump learned from this, learned that being covert, while appearing to be in tune with the neocons, is the only way forward. That during the campaign Trump spoke in more favorable terms of Putin would tend to suggest that he really does believe what he said: was there really ANY gain to him have spoken as such? Putin and Russia’s hand is a lot stronger. The US empire is collapsing and its power is clearly becoming highly unstable (it sees everything as a threat and is lashing out everywhere). Will the neocons have the last laugh, will they be actually playing this as a means of gaining greater infiltration of Russia, or will Putin combined with Trump’s desire for a better relation with Russia kick the legs out from under the neocons (hopefully once and for all)?

      As much as I don’t believe that Trump is smart, I also don’t believe that he’s stupid. He’s the biggest mind-f#ck that has probably ever existed at such a high level. If anyone wishes to be a “better” leader then I would think that learning from Putin couldn’t hurt. NOTE: I’m not a supporter of Putin; I am only putting this all in the context of world leaders; I basically oppose centers of power (it’s that “power corrupts, and absolute power…” thing).

  11. April 13, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    It is fascinating to hear about Russia from inside Russia, thank you, Gilbert Doctorow, as opposed to the immature American viewpoint of not being able to move beyond the old, defunct Soviet Union. I loved Safronkov telling off Rycroft, and also got a charge from Lavrov asking Andrea Mitchell where she got her manners, when she shouted a question at him. Nancy, great statement, that the Russians play chess and the US plays checkers, although I think it may be marbles! Trump referring publicly to Assad as “an animal” is embarrassing.

    There may be a slight shift in the conversation, hopefully, if Tillerson and Trump can pry loose from the neocons’ chokehold and get down to negotiation rather than bluster and threat. I am rooting for the sanity of the Russians taking the conversation to a better level. Interesting, Ann Coulter has spoken out on Assad in the last few days, I saw, asking Trump why he is going after Assad when he is one of the sanest Mideast leaders, and that Christians in Syria are terrified about the prospect of Assad being removed. That is her perspective, and every word helps. There are many Palestinian refugees in Syria, and they also respect Assad for giving them refuge.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 13, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      Jessica K – good comments. Lots of Iraqi refugees in Syria too; Assad took them in. Yeah, some “animal”! Not.

      The Russians realize that Trump is crippled by the neocons and others. I’m sure Putin knows that this is NOT the way Trump really feels, but he can do nothing else. Putin will have to be the intelligent one – again!

      But as Paul Craig Roberts has said, Putin should not trust the U.S., should not compromise, because they will eat him for lunch if he does. I’m sure he knows this.

    • Kiza
      April 13, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      Another excellent comment Jessica, kudos.

    • Skip Scott
      April 14, 2017 at 8:46 am

      I find it amazing that I’m actually agreeing with Ann Coulter. Maybe she’ll have Eva Bartlett on her show next!

  12. Realist
    April 13, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Really? Tillerson thinks that suddenly Russia is going to jump at the opportunity to choose sides with Washington rather than Syria? Why would that be? Who has real skin in the game and who is simply trying to impose their will on other countries simply for that sake alone? This war is existential for Syria, Iran and Lebanon, three countries within a stone’s throw of the Russian border. Russia has had and needs to maintain good relations with these neighbors. It also needs to calm the roiling waters amidst the radical Islamist movement within the greater Middle East, including those parts such as Chechnya and Dagestan, within its own borders.

    If America has any goal beyond pure and simple world hegemony, it is merely to make a few more bucks for its Gulf Arab clients via yet another gas pipeline, this time through Syria… well, that and to curtail Russian gas sales to Europe undoubtedly through dumping and underpricing. Is taking such an economic hit supposed to be another incentive for Russia to see and do things Washington’s way?

    Give me a break, unlike their American “partners,” the Russians still have some functioning brain cells and are not inclined either towards economic suicide or caving in to intimidation when America escalates to violence like some back alley gangsters. They are not willingly going to let the American hit men break both their legs without putting up a fight. They are obviously not simply going to defer to American ultimatums and act against their own best interests, as all of Europe has done for decades.

    They barely scrapped through such an era back in the 90’s when Yeltsin sold out his country for a title and all the free Stolichnaya he could drink on Uncle Sam’s tab. Nope, if Washington wants Russia to cry “uncle,” they’re going to have to show Putin what they’ve got–“put up” for Putin or STFU. It may be enough to destroy the planet, but it won’t be enough to make Russia crawl on its belly, not again.

    The psy-ops mavens at Langley don’t seem to understand the human mind any better than Heinrich Himmler did. I mean these guys are maestros at being “insane in the brain,” if insanity is truly repeating the same ineffective behavior and expecting a different result. How many of the wars these thugs have started since WWII have they actually won? Besides Panama and Grenada? It’s clear that the sociopaths in the CIA are absolutely incapable of discerning intent or resolve by other human beings, and the sycophants in NATO and the EU know only how to hide behind their Uncle’s skirts and boo upon command. Both will be taught a lesson the next time they demand that Russia do the impossible to placate their hubris. Unfortunately, that lesson probably won’t last long as any survivors inevitably perish during the long nuclear winter.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 13, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Realist – “…make a few more bucks for its Gulf Arab clients via yet another gas pipeline, this time through Syria… well, that and to curtail Russian gas sales to Europe undoubtedly through dumping and underpricing.” That’s exactly what the game is. If Russia gives an inch, they will crush him by “dumping and underpricing”.

      I’m quite certain that Putin spelled out to Tillerson in no uncertain terms that he means business. I would have liked to have been the interpreter at that meeting.

    • SteveM
      April 13, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Re: Realist. “This war is existential for Syria…”

      That is an incisive observation that the Western MSM either totally misses or totally ignores. (Because they are lapdogs for the Neocon Nomenklatura.)

      The Syrian forces know that if the U.S./Saudi/Israel Sunni Jihadists take power it will be all over for the Shia, Kurds, Alawites and Christians in Syria. I.e. the usual slaughter of revenge. For them, it is indeed an existential struggle.

      P. S. And wave goodbye to any future public Palm Sunday celebrations:

      https://twitter.com/sahouraxo/status/851136499034857472

    • Dave P.
      April 13, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      Realist: Thank you. Your analysis is incredible. I just want to add that these guys at Langley and other Centers of Power in Washington seem to be very ignorant of the World and its’ inhabitants over there where they have been busy destroying the functioning societies to pieces. And they are ignorant about Russia, and its’ people. I think this comes from their arrogance based on U.S. exceptionalism. For them, in their pleasant safe environment, it is simply like playing game of golf or some thing like that. Over there in those countries, for its’ people it is a question of survival. It is true for Russia too. For their own survival ,they have to learn to think, they have to learn to understand about Western Countries where the threat come from. And those Nations have to learn about other cultures.

    • Kiza
      April 13, 2017 at 10:51 pm

      Great analysis Realist, but you forgot to mention the role of Israel in Syria. US and GCC are only one half of the story, the other half you left out. It is not only EU which is hiding behind the skirt of the big, dumb Uncle. Israel is also waiting for Uncle Sam to deliver the goodies – Golan and other juicy parts of Syria, as well as Israel’s domination of ME. Without crushing Syria and then Iran, the uncle will not deliver, which means that the coward may become hysterical.

  13. Liam
    April 13, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/23225#efmAGIAHu Wikileaks reveals 2012 Clinton email which states “Al-Qaeda is on our side in Syria”.

    • Marko
      April 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      Somewhere there’s a 2017 Tillerson email that states : “Al-Qaeda is still on our side in Syria”.

  14. April 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    The US has dropped a MOAB, Mother of All Bombs, on a terrorist stronghold in Afghanistan, according to NPR news. Whose decision might that be, on this chosen day? My mind asked, would Clinton have done the same? This is worse than anyone could have imagined. Who made the primary decision?

    • Marko
      April 13, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      That’s Trump trying to compensate for those small hands again. It doesn’t work. He’s already proven he’s no man by the way he’s let the neocons lead him around by the nose.

      Next time Trump wants to ” grab some….. ” , he can simply reach down into his own pants.

    • SteveM
      April 13, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      The Pentagon does that stuff to justify the weapons. It’s also why they send B-2 bombers parked in Missouri on 30 hour (20 million dollar) bombing runs to the Middle East.

      P.S. And we’re supposed to cheer the “Warrior-Heroes” who flush our tax dollars down the toilet.

  15. backwardsevolution
    April 13, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Gilbert Doctorow – great article! Thank you so much.

    As far as the MSM goes, Tucker Carlson at least tries to get to the bottom of things. He asks pointed questions of his guests, goes after both sides. Last night he had on Al Mottur, Democratic strategist, former member of Hillary for America. OMG, just listen to this guy! Mottur seems to think that it’s great to have bad relations with Russia, and Tucker skewers him.

    Then Tucker has a short commentary at 8:56 where he talks about how the Democrats are going after Tulsi Gabbard, and says, “Some day we’ll figure out how and why the left went crazy.” Worth listening to.

    Then up comes Stephen Cohen at 10:36 to provide his views on the insanity. Cohen says his concern is that Russia will over-react, and he says that he’s “never been as worried as I am today about the possibility of war with Russia”.

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

    If you can, watch it from the beginning to the end of Stephen Cohen at 15:23. To hear the idiot at the beginning is worth it just to see how they think, then the commentary is great, and then what Stephen Cohen has to say is downright scary.

    • Kiza
      April 13, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      You scared me now – Prof Stephen Cohen is right next to Dr Doctorow in his understanding of Russia, the two best experts. One would expect anything but Putin to over-react, because Putin is as cool as a cucumber. As someone wrote above – he is perfect in separating personal feelings (ego) from business at hand.

      Regarding the global nuclear war, I am much, much more concerned about the Law of Unintended Consequences than any plan by US, Russia or China. US plays with guns and explosives too much for anyone’s safety (imagine, they were trying to take guns away from individuals, but it is fine for the state to keep playing with the stuff on a regular basis). Even if that two hour warning was given, what if there was a misunderstanding somewhere in the chain of command and some Russian unit got obliterated by US missiles? Sh** happens.

      Where I come from there is a saying: children should not be playing with flame because it will eventually burn them. By constantly showing off its muscle the US state is undertaking huge risks. The most disheartening is to learn that most people in the West believe that because the nuclear war is not in anyone’s interest it will never happen, almost exactly the same thinking as before WW1.

      I will watch Prof Cohen, maybe he is talking about the same thing.

      • backwardsevolution
        April 14, 2017 at 1:50 am

        Kiza – “…imagine, they were trying to take guns away from individuals, but it is fine for the state to keep playing with the stuff on a regular basis.” So true. These guys shouldn’t even be able to handle a plastic squirt gun.

        Paul Craig Roberts said: “Less than 100 days in office, and Trump is already a war criminal along with the rest of his warmonger government.

        The entire world knows this, but no one says it. Instead, Tillerson, who has been heavy with lies and threats has the confidence to go to Moscow to tell the Russians that they have to hand over Assad to the American Uni-Power.

        Tillerson’s mission demonstrates the complete, total unreality of the world in which Washington lives. Try to imagine Tillerson’s arrogance. If you had been bad-mouthing and threatening strong, important people, would you feel comfortable going over to their house to have dinner with them? Does Tillerson think that now that Russia has largely freed Syria of US-supported ISIS, Russia is going to turn Syria over to Washington?”

        http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/12/is-that-armageddon-over-the-horizon/

        If I were Tillerson, I would have hung my head in shame. Let’s hope he did.

        • Marko
          April 14, 2017 at 7:13 am

          Paul Craig Roberts :

          “So, here is the situation. Two countries with nuclear forces expect that the insane fools who rule the West are going to attack them with nuclear weapons. What are Russia and China doing? Are they begging for mercy?

          No. They are preparing to destroy the evil West, a collection of liars and war criminals, the likes of which the world has never previously experienced. ”

          Yep , PCR sums it up pretty nicely.

  16. Ben Tao
    April 13, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    The question of what the US has to offer Russia paints the clear picture that Washington is a Mafia organization. All they have to offer is an (unreliable) promise: “We won’t commit aggression and murder on your people and allies if you cooperate.” They have nothing else to offer other than protection from themselves, but they have proven their promises are worthless, so in the end they offer nothing. The US world policy depends on their adversaries’ fear of them, but when the new Russia, China and Iran are involved, where’s the fear? Where’s Bashar al-Assad’s fear? Where’s Kim Jong Il’s fear? Where’s Duterte’s fear?

    • mike k
      April 14, 2017 at 7:20 am

      Right. If your only working tool left is your weapons, then you try to bully people. The US is like a crazy guy with a gun, incoherent and dangerous. This is who Putin has to deal with. We are really lucky a cool dude like him is in charge of the Russian Responses to our craziness.

  17. tina
    April 13, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Trump did say Make America Great again. He said “Bomb the shit out of isis”, Chinese currency is our enemy, NATO is obsolete….
    Here is my personal favorite,: “We will go it alone, with others”. How many more excuses does anyone need? Trump is weird, selfish, wealthy, a very good golfer, blond, a father, a salesman, a realtor ….Trump is not a president. Well, yes he is the president, but you all know what I mean. Do you really think Trump would like to sit down and have a soda or beer with you? Trump knows me , he is just
    like me… The only difference is Millions of dollars. Trump hates your guts and wants your money. We should all buy his suits and ties, and his daughter’s dresses and jewelry. I really do remember Bill Clinton And Chelsea and her husband hawking their products to us, to make America Great Again. Please support billionaire and buy Trump products. He is our president, after all, and we owe him our money because we love him

    • mike k
      April 14, 2017 at 7:23 am

      Tina, your love for Trumpie is exactly what a lot of us are feeling! lol…….

  18. Sunset
    April 14, 2017 at 2:07 am

    I didn’t think Putin would meet with Tillerson, but unless I dreamed it, I read tonight that Trump received a beautiful letter from Putin (hand delivered?), that he would work with Putin to destroy ISIS, no more anti-Assad strikes, and that the US would stop funding terrorists (Gabbard’s plea). It gave me such a ray of hope. But wouldn’t that be all over the news if it were true? All over the fake MSM news, though true? Guess we will see tomorrow.

  19. Lee Francis
    April 14, 2017 at 3:31 am

    Sanctions against Russia are a double-edged sword. It is an open secret that Putin sits uncomfortably between two key factions: the Euro-integrationists and the Eurasian Sovereignists. The first group composed of liberals and oligarchs want integration into the US dominated New World Order (NWO). These are very much opposed to western sanctions as expected. On the other hand the Eurasian Sovereignists argue that if Russia wants to be an independent state with both the military and ECONOMIC clout to stand up to Russia, then it must break away from the globalists institutions such as the WTO, IMF, EU, NATO. and develop an independent economic pole based around the Eurasian Economic Union. US-EURO sanctions against Russia is playing into the hands of the Eurasian sovereignists, who have argued all along the the US control of the NWO and its institutions make Russia vulunerable to financial and economic warfare. All the talk about a free-trade area from Lisbon to Valdivostock must be resisted as this will just be an invitation for western capital to penetrate the Eurasian heartland. Any co-operation between Russia and the west must be based upon and case by case basis. Sanctions have led to Russia deploying a policy of import subsitution and setting up its own alternative to SWIFT. Russia like China is also stockpiling gold and running down its purchase of US Treasuries. The great game continues.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2017 at 7:40 am

      The “great game” is a reflection of the lack of trust and hostility between nations. The game is moved by the thought, “We will not be safe and in control until we dominate the whole globe.” This is the underling paranoid theme of the whole affair. It powers the meme that I must have many more weapons than my enemies (everyone) to be on top and safe. I must have all the money in the world economy to feel secure. I cannot trust anyone, because they are all thinking with the same logic as myself. I have to get them before they get me.

      Is it any wonder that this thinking produces the unhappy, dangerous world we are living in? The only outcome this dynamic is heading for is Armageddon, the final showdown between the most paranoid players……

  20. April 14, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Interesting piece, but what will President KUSHNER think of this meeting?

    I hope the Russians finally understand, that they can’t trust the Americans, no matter who’s in the WH.

  21. Herman
    April 14, 2017 at 7:09 am

    While America invests enormous amounts in its military the results beyond creating suffering and a staggering waste of resources have been minimal since WWII. Its main weapon, heretofore effective was the ability to impose sanctions at great cost to its adversaries. But every action creates a reaction, and adversaries are beginning to organize and fight back. Likely, the potency of that weapon will continue to diminish and the US will be forced to forgo the arrogance now demonstrated by our leaders and diplomats.

  22. April 14, 2017 at 8:21 am

    “The result may be something similar to the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 when the U.S. claimed victory publicly as the Soviets pulled their missiles out of Cuba, but privately the U.S. had granted what Moscow had wanted, the removal of U.S. missiles from Turkey.” The missiles in Turkey were obsolete and slated for removal anyway. Of everything I’ve read about the missile crisis, the Jupiters vs the Polaris missiles situation is the most confusing. I cannot make heads or tails of it. Turkey wanted the Jupiters to stay in Turkey, because, as Secretary of State Dean Rusk noted (and assuming this was true) “The Turkish reaction was, ‘Well, the missiles are here and as long as they’re here, you’re here.'” How that makes sense, I don’t know. The Americans, and their NATO force, was ‘in’ Turkey with Polaris missiles stationed there just as surely as if they were obsolete Jupiters. (from Sheldon Stern’s “The Cuban Missile Crisis In American Memory – Myths Versus Reality.” Chomsky is quite taken with Stern and I came across a mention by him of this book by Stern, but it had not come out yet. I wonder whether Chomsky has read Stern’s book and, if he has, I wonder whether Chomsky is any happier about Stern’s scholarship now that we learn how hard Stern has fallen for JFK and the myth of Camelot.

  23. Marko
    April 14, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Gareth Porter makes the case for possible phosphine release from the targeted warehouses and responsibility for at least some of the victims in this article at Truthout :

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40222-new-revelations-belie-trump-claims-on-syria-chemical-attack

    You have to check his link-outs to get a good feel for the whole story. Also , see my comment at 9:25 AM on 4/14/17 for some more info on phosphine – use in IEDs , etc.

  24. Mark Thomason
    April 14, 2017 at 10:23 am

    The end of the deconfliction arrangements is important in ways not mentioned in Western media.

    It is a necessary step if Russia means to shoot down any Western aircraft or missiles. It is a threat to do so, and preparation to do so.

    • Marko
      April 14, 2017 at 11:37 am

      I’ve scarcely seen the deconflict mentioned at all. I agree that the termination is important , for the reason you cite and also because the rebels won’t be getting advance notice on Syrian or Russian air strikes. Their merry band of crisis actors will have to be quick on their feet if they want to pull off another production like the one on the 4th.

Comments are closed.