The Democrats’ Russia-gate Obsession

National Democrats are so wedded to the Russia-gate strategy for destroying President Trump politically that they are willing to risk destruction of the planet in a nuclear war, explains Norman Solomon.

By Norman Solomon

Some leading Democrats in Congress are eager to turn the summit meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin away from avenues for improvements in U.S.-Russian relations, even if that means deflecting it toward World War III.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that “the White House announced that the meeting with Mr. Putin would be a formal bilateral discussion, rather than a quick pull-aside at the economic summit meeting that some had expected.”

Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer criticized the lack of a “specific agenda” for the Trump-Putin discussion and tweeted “the first few things that come to my mind” — with 10 items denouncing Russia and not a single step to help avert a nuclear war between that country and the United States.

What a contrast with another Democrat, former Sen. Sam Nunn, who signed a June 27 open letter that urged Putin and Trump to focus on “urgently pursuing practical steps now that can stop the downward spiral in relations and reduce real dangers.” The letter emphasized “reducing nuclear and other military risks.”

But these days, apparently, the Democratic leadership in Congress has much bigger fish to fry than merely trying to avert a global nuclear holocaust.

The Democratic Party leaders on Capitol Hill can’t be bothered with squandering much political capital or sound-bite airtime on the matters highlighted by the open letter, which Nunn — a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee — signed along with former top British, German and Russian diplomats.

Four Proposals 

The open letter offered four crucial proposals for the meeting between Trump and Putin:

Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 10, 2015, at the Kremlin. (Photo from Russian government)

— “The starting point could be a new Presidential Joint Declaration by the United States and the Russian Federation declaring that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. This would make clear again that leaders recognize their responsibility to work together to prevent nuclear catastrophe, and would be positively received by global leaders and publics.”

–“A second step could be to increase military-to-military communication through a new NATO-Russia Military Crisis Management Group. Restarting bilateral military-to-military dialogue between the United States and Russia, essential throughout the Cold War, should be an immediate and urgent priority. The focus of these initiatives should be on reducing risks of a catastrophic mistake or accident by restoring communication and increasing transparency and trust.”

–“A third step could be to collaborate to prevent ISIS and other terrorist groups from acquiring nuclear and radiological materials through a joint initiative to prevent WMD terrorism. There is an urgent need to cooperate on securing vulnerable radioactive materials that could be used to produce a ‘dirty bomb.’ Such materials are widely available in more than 150 countries and are often found in facilities, such as hospitals and universities, that are poorly secured.”

–“Fourth, discussions are imperative for reaching at least informal understandings on cyber dangers related to interference in strategic warning systems and nuclear command and control. This should be urgently addressed to prevent war by mistake. That there are no clear ‘rules of the road’ in the strategic nuclear cyber world is alarming.”

Low Priority

But top Democratic Party leaders hardly give high priority to such concerns. On the contrary: For many months now, their preoccupation has been to double, triple and quadruple down on an insidious — and extremely dangerous — political investment. Party leaders have positioned themselves to portray just about any concession from Trump in bilateral talks as a corrupt payoff.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was ringing a familiar bell when she proclaimed on CNN in mid-May: “Every day I ask the question, ‘What do the Russians have on Donald Trump financially, politically or personally that he’s always catering to them?’”

“Given their vehement political investment in demonizing Russia’s President Putin,” I wrote in late April, “Democratic leaders are oriented to seeing the potential of détente with Russia as counterproductive in terms of their electoral strategy for 2018 and 2020. It’s a calculus that boosts the risks of nuclear annihilation, given the very real dangers of escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow.”

Days ago, looking ahead to the scheduled discussion between the two presidents at the G-20 summit in Germany, the home page of the Washington Post carried this headline: “Months of Russia controversy leaves Trump ‘boxed in’ before Putin meeting.” The tagline noted that “whatever course Trump takes will likely be called into question.”

Powerful custodians of the USA’s hugely profitable military-industrial complex prefer it that way. They aren’t much interested in any course toward Russia other than antagonism if not belligerence. There is enormous commitment to heading off the “threat” of genuine diplomacy and rapprochement.

‘Madness of Militarism’ 

Elite guardians of the U.S. warfare state, committed to what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism,” certainly don’t want a modern-day incarnation of the “spirit of Glassboro” that emerged 50 years ago when President Lyndon Johnson met at length with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin.

President Lyndon Johnson

Standing next to Kosygin at the end of their summit at a New Jersey college, Johnson said: “I have no doubt about it at all” that “it does help a lot to sit down and look a man in the eye all day long and try to reason with him, particularly if he is trying to reason with you.”

If Trump says anything like that after meeting with the Kremlin’s leader this week, you can expect some misguided Democratic partisans to denounce him as a Putin tool.

While many people are eager for constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia, on Capitol Hill the efforts to prevent such a possibility are fierce and unrelenting. Ultra-hawks like Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are among quite a few Republicans doing all they can to prevent genuine diplomacy between Washington and Moscow. But much of the most unhinged rhetoric is coming from Democrats, often with the “progressive” label.

To sample just how far downhill the discourse has gone in the frenzy to take genuine U.S.-Russian diplomacy off the table, consider this tweet that a longtime member of Congress with an antiwar past, Democrat Maxine Waters, sent out a week ago: “When Trump goes to kiss Putin’s ring at the G20 meeting, maybe he should just return to Russia w/ him & their favorite amb. Sergey Kislyak.”

The director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Matthew Rojansky, pointed out days ago: “The momentum in relations between the world’s two big nuclear powers is now so negative, that it really is time to call a halt to anything that looks like further escalation or deterioration.”

Yet that negative momentum is what many members of Congress are trying to increase. Words like “irresponsible” and “reckless” don’t begin to describe what they are doing.

Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

 

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101 comments for “The Democrats’ Russia-gate Obsession

  1. Sally Snyder
    July 6, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Here is an article that looks at what a former U.S. president had to say about the current state of politics in the United States:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/06/the-united-states-oligarchy.html

    It’s these same “dark forces” that are sponsoring the anti-Russia sentiment in the United States because they have a great deal to gain by warmongering.

    • July 6, 2017 at 11:14 am

      Yes Sally…oligarchy+ plutocracy+military-industrial complex = formula for failed state

  2. mike k
    July 6, 2017 at 11:10 am

    The US Oligarchs, drunk with power and hubris, are playing a game they cannot control, and are putting us all at risk of annihilation. Constructive dialog between the two Nuclear Super Powers is vital common sense. Anything else is madness. Trust and a solid disarmament plan will take time to forge. Now is that time. Before the Doomsday Clock strikes Midnight for us all

  3. Joe Tedesky
    July 6, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I blame this Russia hate program mostly on Hillary Clinton, and John Podesta’s. Imagine stoking the embers of war, all because you loss an election. Yes, I understand a very crucial election loss, but I ask you, war, really? Who in their right mind wants a WWIII with Russia? My assumption it’s people who believe they will escape any loss from war, and that they will be saved if war does come their way. What a foolish bubble to live in, when and if WWIII should occur these same warmongers who crave a battle with the big bear, will be the same ones pushing and knocking women and children over, as they rush to the doorways to save themselves, realizing how they are safe in their protective bubble no more. Granted the super elite may have bunkers to hide in, but will they have enough time to get to those safeways they built for themselves? A lot of them won’t make it.

    The Democrates I swear are sabotaging their own political party, and I ask ‘why’. The modern day Democrates are an example of a political party which has sold it’s soul, all for the hefty price of a Wall St. speech as to be their well earned reward at the appropriate unreported time to be given to their business class donors. Gone is the Democratic Party who in the twentieth century represented the party of the people. This transformation away from the populace of the masses has left the average voter with little to choose from. So as a result the candidate starved voter either votes Republican, Independent, or they don’t vote at all. You can’t call yourself a democracy if there are no democratic choices.

    Most of this Russian fearmongering is a creation of a Democratic Party sore loser mentality at work, and all of this fearmongering has been delivered to the gullible public by a bought and paid for news media, who have left all of their journalistic ethical values waste away to dust. Give me a responsible nonpartisan media, and then let’s talk about democracy.

    • July 6, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Don’t forget the opportunistic scoundrels like Dmitri Alperovich, a Jew from Ukraine, whose Russophobia has factored heavily in the current mess via his CrowdStrike fairytales.
      “CrowdStrike and the DNC continue to hide their “Russian hacker evidence” from investigators,” by Alex Christoforou: http://theduran.com/how-crowdstrike-is-working-with-the-dnc-to-hide-its-russian-hacker-evidence-from-investigators/
      “DNC and CrowdStrike are acting like defendants with something to hide in declining to allow government investigators access to the server.
      The private company CrowdStrike’ investors include Warburg Pincus, whose president, Timothy Geithner, worked for the Clinton and Obama administrations. The Clinton campaign’s largest corporate contributor, Google, whose employees donated more than $1.3 million to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign last year, also has funded CrowdStrike. During the election cycle last year, the DNC paid CrowdStrike more than $410,000. This year, it has collected more than $121,000 from the party.
      “The only things that pay in the cybersecurity world are claims of attribution,” Mr. Carr [cybersecurity consultant] said. “Which foreign government attacked you? If you are critical of the attack, you make zero money. CrowdStrike is the poster child for companies that operate like this.”

      • backwardsevolution
        July 6, 2017 at 12:35 pm

        Anna – good post.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm

        One evening while watching C-Span I listened to Dmitri Alperovich with his softly spoken tone tear into how terrible Putin is. Alperovich was a guest at an Atlantic Council forum that was moderated, and had audience attendance. I had a hard time listening to all the lies that were being put forward, and regretted that Alperovich was not being debated by the likes of Professor Stephen F. Cohen.

        Thanks for including this Anna Joe

        • Orcus
          July 7, 2017 at 10:04 am

          You are probably aware, but he is a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council.

      • July 11, 2017 at 3:58 am

        Dmitri Alperovich….. Hmmm… where have I heard that name before….

        https://eugene.kaspersky.com/2011/08/18/shady-rat-shoddy-rat/

        “Here are our findings: unlike malware from the abovementioned sophisticated samples, we found no novel techniques or patterns used in this malware. What we did find were striking shortcomings that reveal the authors’ low level of programming skill and lack of basic web security knowledge.”

        Well my goodness! That certainly does not sound like a 1337 hax4r with mad spells! Could it be that his kung-fu is weak? Ah, I see you already referenced Carr. Now why doesn’t anyone interview HIM?!

    • Skip Scott
      July 6, 2017 at 11:44 am

      I happened to hear some of ABC’s world news last night as I was cooking dinner. I wasn’t paying it much attention, but I think the story was on the upcoming summit. Anyway, one thing I did hear was them repeat the “17 intelligence agencies” lie. So even after the NYT retraction, and Clapper’s admitting it was just 3 agencies worth of hand picked analysts, the lie goes on.

      If Trump doesn’t grow a set soon, and really talk some sense directly to the American people as to why we need to seek detente with Russia, we are doomed. There is a special corner in hell for people such as Schumer, Waters, and Pelosi, for putting their pettiness above the safety of humanity.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 6, 2017 at 12:39 pm

        Skip Scott – yes, since no one bothers to correct these guys on the “17 intelligence agencies” lie, Trump needs to address the American people and let them know exactly what did happen.

        • Miranda Keefe
          July 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

          His base already is behind him. The Maddow listening crowd is already so propagandized against him and Russia that they’ll not believe anything he says, especially after Maddow and others like her tell them how Trump is a traitor. The insiders are isolated from the fly over people who are Trump’s base and have convinced themselves that except for a few KKK types the base now regrets voting for Trump and wish they’d voted for Hillary. They think this way because they only listen to each other and so they buy their own bullshit.

          Trump going to the people is not necessary. Trump growing a pair and doing what’s right is. But I am doubting more and more that he will or that he ever was sincere in his stated hope to work with Russia.

          We’re in big trouble, folks, and we’re entirely dependent on the prudence and wisdom of Vladimir Putin. Those of us who pray ought to pray he finds the wisdom to thread this needle.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 6, 2017 at 4:13 pm

            To further make your point Miranda, I will tell you about how the other day in the comment section of ZeroHedge.com under an article talking about Trump’s CNN wrestling video, the ZH commentators were having a ball making fun of the news media. This group of ZH loved Trump’s video. I personally don’t like seeing an American President going so tabloid, but then that’s me. Now I don’t know the whole of the demographics which writes their comments on ZH, but I’m sure that CNN and MSNBC isn’t taking into consideration this fairly large crowd of young investor types when they think they have a handle on Trump’s popularity. Miranda you are right, the elite corporate have created their own realities, there by stretching a huge bubble around themselves, so much so that the truth and the real realities of life doesn’t matter much to them….then to boot they are baffled by the loss of Madam Hillary, Go figure.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm

        The perpetrators of this all the time war machine should be forced to live out their remaining years in Mosul, or Aleppo. Their underlings in crime should be forced to roam the streets of Europe looking for safe and accepted refuge. There again it would be far cheaper to just hang them, but I won’t go there, because I’m no fan of capital punishment….yay good news for the bad guys, Joe’s a whimp.

        That ’17 Agency Jazz’ is going to be put alongside the ‘single bullet theory’ and ‘jet fuel brought down the Twin Towers’. I’m right there with ya Skip, it’s all insane. The cringe worthiest moment is when someone your talking to starts repeating these lies, and you find yourself at first bitting your tongue with anticipation until the words suddenly come flowing out of your mouth, and you hope for the love of Jesus, Mary, and Ralph that your getting the details right. I had this encounter last week over dinner, and I do believe I educated the curious more than I entertained the disbelievers, but who really ever knows?

        Take care shipmate Joe

        • Skip Scott
          July 7, 2017 at 11:50 am

          I have tried turning friends and relatives on to CN to get them to see the light. It usually doesn’t work. Even though they were duped with “weapons of mass destruction” 15 years ago, they still buy the latest round of MSM BS.

          Enjoy the day Joe, who knows how many we have left. Give the puppy a pat for me.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 6, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      “a political party which has sold its soul” No Kidding Joe, Totally worthless at this point but the good thing is there is no reason to support them in any way, and plenty of time to get behind some sort of alternative. Let’s get together on a good alternative…

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm

        Yeah, I know incredible isn’t it, especially when I knew of the Democrates deceit from way back in 1972. Dummy me got suckered in again back 2004, I have a gay daughter and I was throughly done with the all the time war America had consigned itself to, and the Democrates seemed like the right choice. Yeah, so once again I must face the truth, and realize I have no political party….none. In someways that’s okay for lonely old me, but what about the rest of the nation?

        • July 6, 2017 at 4:54 pm

          Jill Stein?

          • exiled off mainstreet
            July 6, 2017 at 8:32 pm

            She seemed all right until she became the front woman for the recount effort to overturn the election which was closed off before it could reveal that the democrats probably stole votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but not enough to overturn the surprise results.

          • July 6, 2017 at 11:44 pm

            Stein did not stop the recount , judges did. Anything which exposed how fraudulent federal elections are would have been good.

          • Patrick Lucius
            July 7, 2017 at 9:11 am

            In pushing for the recount vote she became a Hillary supporter. No Hillary!

    • Chloe
      July 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      Excellent comment, and when President Obama, in his exit speech, said something along the lines of “don’t worry, I’ll be here, nearby,” I believe he meant that he’d be behind the scenes manipulating this myth of a Trump-Putin bromance, and stoking the fires of impeachment, all as revenge for the birther nonsense that Trump perpetrated. Thanks a lot Obama, for being such an eloquent speaker in an empty suit, and for putting your ego above the safety of the planet. Sick! And Hillary is equally culpable, but she is staying safe within the confines of her Chappaqua mansions, guzzling Chardonnay. Such an inspiration for our youth!

      There is nobody left with power to protect the 80% of us from the predations of this Koch-capitalist-free-for-all that the soulless Republicans are orchestrating. Bernie Sanders is the one with the biggest audience, and they are doing their damndest on both sides of the aisle to bring him down. It isn’t going to work, because We the People are with him, and no amount of propaganda will dissuade us from fighting what is right and what is moral.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 6, 2017 at 4:31 pm

        I admire you Chloe for your sticking to your guns. We the people should stand firm, and fight this corrupt system. Our hopeless feeling must be replaced with a new optimism, as this is where ideas of how to overcome this oligarchical empire may flow from, if we are to ever face down this challenge of imperialism.

        Obama I’m sorry to say, is just what you called him a ‘political suit’. Maybe if I knew him personally I could make excuses for him, but I don’t so I won’t. History may prove Obama dragged his feet where he could, and did the best he could with what he had to work with, but then by some people’s estimation, that is not good enough. I think that by looking back now, we could say Obama had his feet cut off when he assembled his Cabinet. Is it possible that Obama could have tweeted his way out of his being captured by Neocon’s, if he had gone on Twitter? Yeah, we progressives loss a lot because of his choices in picking a Cabinet, and with that we now have Bernie. I sincerely hope Bernie is mostly of what people want him to be.

        Thanks for jumping in there with your comment Chloe Joe

      • exiled off mainstreet
        July 6, 2017 at 8:35 pm

        I agree about Obama, and I agree with you about the Koch crowd and its malicious intent, but Sanders, by spouting the obviously phony Russia bullshit despite the proven fact that the DNC prevented him from fairly becoming the nominee reveals that those who accused him of being no more than an establishment sheepdog had it right.

    • Miranda Keefe
      July 6, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      “Yes, I understand a very crucial election loss, but I ask you, war, really? Who in their right mind wants a WWIII with Russia?”

      Remember that Hillary and her ilk are all NeoCons in everything but name. Now NeoCons are bullies and they deep in their gut believe that if you push hard enough that your victim will not push back but will submit. In their minds the problem always was that Obama didn’t push hard enough for Russia to back down.

      I do believe Hillary wants war. But she thinks a limited war in Syria of taking out Assad and bloodying some Russian troops will not lead to escalation and eventually WWIII (which it will) but to Russia backing down and Putin being replaced by a new Yeltsin.

      So is she crazy? Well, her ideology is crazy, that’s all I’ll say.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 6, 2017 at 4:38 pm

        Miranda, everything you think about Hillary is true, in my estimation. Here is an even more scary thought, what if Hillary subscripts to the belief that we should hit Russia, and maybe even China, before these countries accomplish anymore with their own nations weapons build up? This mindset is even more worrying to me, than the mindset of merely collecting up a bunch of small countries and handing them over to the Israeli’s and the Saudi’s. Hillary after all these years of myself watching her, would seem to be a perfect candidate for this group who believe that now is the right time to strike, while we have the advantage…or we think we do.

        Thanks Miranda for your contribution, I always like reading what you have to say – stay well Joe

        • Miranda Keefe
          July 6, 2017 at 9:24 pm

          Thanks, Joe. I like what you contribute too, it always makes me think and want to add my thoughts.

  4. Dave P.
    July 6, 2017 at 11:18 am

    The congress woman Maxine Waters, and Carl Lewis, and others so called progressives have been at this “Trump and Russia Threat” for a quite a while now. Even if you have watched it already, it will be fun to refresh your memory with this three minutes video of Maxine Waters – and cohorts standing next to her – at a press conference after Trump won last year. Link is below:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zzBOSD_Gg8

    I am amazed and disgusted at the fact that ignorant and corrupt people of this caliber have been in congress for thirty, forty years now directing the state of affairs of this Mighty Empire. You would love this video of the conference. Nancy Pelosi is there too. She is not much better either.

    • Dave P.
      July 6, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Sorry, the video above has some background noise. This is a better video of Maxine Waters at press conference.

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

      • backwardsevolution
        July 6, 2017 at 12:50 pm

        Dave P. – below the video someone made this comment: “Put the crack pipe down, lady.” She is smoking too much Israeli money.

  5. Abe
    July 6, 2017 at 11:37 am

    A senior spokesman for a Muslim Brotherhood front organization with links to Al Qaeda, who also is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, is publishing articles in American newspapers urging Trump to attack Syria because he can do so “without triggering World War III”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/weve-attacked-bashar-assad-and-yet-no-world-war-iii/article/2627453

    Mohammed Alaa Ghanem is a Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council and Government Relations Director for the Syrian American Council (SAC) in Washington D.C.

    The Syrian American Council is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood, the ideological precursor to Al Qaeda and ISIS.

    Before ascending to the highest positions of ISIS and Al Qaeda, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Osama bin Laden, and Ayman al-Zawahiri belonged to a common belief system: the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Armed opposition forces in Libya and Syria are dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. By 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated groups led the terrorist forces opposed to the elected government of Syria.

    Ghanem serves as the Senior Political Adviser, Government Relations Director, and Strategist for the Syrian American Council.

    Ghanem’s Muslim Brotherhood inspired op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Politico, the Hill, the New York Post, the Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and the Atlantic Council MENASource.

    • July 6, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      I believe M.B. is shia and Al Q. is sunni; not allies.

      • Beard681
        July 7, 2017 at 1:22 pm

        No, the MB is Sunni. Just not rabidly anti-shia as other Islamist groups.

    • Abe
      July 6, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      The Shia vs Sunni “divide and conquer” mentality is reinforced by parties seeking the dismemberment of Iraq, Suria, and other states to fabricate a “New Middle East”. Doctrinal beliefs, political relationships, and military alliances in the region are more complex and nuanced.

      Al-Qaeda in Syria (Al Nusra and other brands) is dedicated to replacing President Bashar al-Assad’s government with an Islamist regime. Al Nusra leader Abu Muhammad al-Golani has been critical of the Brotherhood for deviating from traditional Islamic teachings, yet the Nusra Front has been documented using materials from the Brotherhood in the group’s religious indoctrination program.

      In 2014, the Syrian Brotherhood elected Mohammad Hekmat Walid to a four-year term as the group’s leader. During a May 2015 interview with Al Jazeera, Walid refused to publicly condemn the Nusra Front or ISIS as terrorist groups. He instead called Bashar al-Assad and his regime “the biggest terrorists” in Syria. Walid also condemned the counterterrorism work of the international coalition in Syria as selective, as well as “suspicious and confusing.”

      The Brotherhood had defended the Nusra Front in 2012 after the United States labeled the group a terrorist organization. Farouk Tayfour, then the Syrian Brotherhood’s deputy leader, called the designation “very wrong and too hasty” given what he called the “grey atmosphere” at the time in Syria. According to Tayfour, the Syrian people view the Nusra Front as a reliable defense against “the regular army and Assad’s gangs.”

      • July 6, 2017 at 11:41 pm

        Does the Brotherhood , Al Nusra cooperation extend beyond their mutual enemy Assad?

    • exiled off mainstreet
      July 6, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Mohammed al Ghanem is as much a war criminal as was the editor of Der Stuermer, who the allies tried for war crimes based on the dissemination of propaganda at Nuremberg in 1946. Actually, I think that the new evidence which shows that CNN’s pundit admitted that the Russia crap was a “nothingburger” is an admission to his own guilt for war crimes. Rachael Maddow should be charged similarly, so she would have to stay put in yankee-land to avoid arrest on the same basis.

  6. Drew Hunkins
    July 6, 2017 at 11:58 am

    All of us CN fans fully realize that if (a big if) Trump does happen to reach agreement with Putin on Friday for any sort of even the most mildest form of detente in some or another tiny area, our Zio-militarist dominated media will immediately splash headlines and soundbites across the Western world about how Trump capitulated to the Kremlin and gave away the entire store to Moscow.

    The obsessive and nauseating Russia baiting will be relentless.

    With the Democratic mainstream (and of course the rabid McCain-L. Graham GOP) and the Zio-militarist establishment press dead set on vilifying Russia we’re in a real quandary with possibly all of humanity at stake. On his good days, the big oilman Tillerson seems to be the only statesmen in Washington who’s dealing with any of this with a somewhat level head.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 6, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Really, Drew Hunkins. I noticed today that The New York Times announced the beginning of Dutch trials on MA17 which kind of reminds me of the U2 incident that scuttled Eisenhower’s meeting with Krushchev. It seems that TPTB cannot condone good relations with the Russians…

  7. Mild-ly Facetious
    July 6, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    FTR #964 Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

    Introduction: As we have noted in many previous broadcasts and posts, cyber attacks are easily disguised. Perpetrating a “cyber false flag” operation is disturbingly easy to do.

    This is of paramount significance in evaluating the increasingly neo-McCarthyite New Cold War propaganda about “Russian interference” in the U.S. election.

    Compounding the situation are some recent disclosures and developments:

    We learn that the CIA’s hacking tools are specifically crafted to mask CIA authorship of the attacks. Most significantly, for our purposes, is the fact that the Agency’s hacking tools are engineered in such a way as to permit the authors of the event to represent themselves as Russian.

    The NSA’s elite hacking technology has been made widely available to the hacking community, courtesy of “The Shadow Brokers.”
    During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Michael Flynn was professionally involved with numerous cyber-security and cyber arms manufacturing firms: “ . . . . The month before Flynn joined the advisory board of OSY Technologies, NSO Group opened up a new arm called WestBridge Technologies, Inc., in the D.C. region. (The company was originally registered in Delaware in 2014, but formed in Maryland in April 2016.) Led by NSO Group co-founder Lavie, WestBridge is vying for federal government contracts for NSO Group’s products. Hiring Flynn would provide NSO Group with a well-connected figure in Washington, to help get its foot in the door of the notoriously insular world of secret intelligence budgeting. . . .When you’re trying to build up your business, you need someone who has connections, someone who is seen as an authority and a legitimate presence,” Johnson said. Hiring someone with Flynn’s background in intelligence would ‘open up doors that they wouldn’t have had access to,’ Johnson said.Throughout 2016, Flynn worked for a number of cybersecurity firms personally and through his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group. In addition to his advisory board seat at OSY Technologies, he sat on the board of Adobe Systems, a large software company with Pentagon contracts, and the boards of the cybersecurity companies GreenZone Systems and HALO Privacy. (Though Flynn described himself as an Adobe advisory board member in his financial disclosure paperwork, the group said in a statement that he provided only “periodic counsel to Adobe’s public sector team.”) . . .”

    NSO Group and OSY Technologies specialize in spear-fishing attacks, one of the methodologies used in the hacks of U.S. election computers. Is there any link between Flynn’s cyber-security/cyber arms links and the high-profile hacks during the campaign?
    A GOP tech database–Deep Root–Exposed the data of almost two hundred million American voters to widespread scrutiny. Is there any connection between Deep Root, the GOP and the alleged Russian hacking of U.S. voting computers?
    Following a Bloomberg report about widespread Russian hacking of American elections systems: “ . . . . Kay Stimson, spokeswoman for the National Association of Secretaries of State, said the members of her group — which represents the chief election officials in 40 states — were taken aback by the allegation that 39 states were hacked. ‘We cannot verify any information in that report,’ Stimson told Benzinga. “It has some claims that have raised some red flags. I don’t know where they’re getting it. We’re not able to assess to the credibility.’ She said that some cybersecurity firms were engaging in scare tactics at the state and local levels. ‘There are cybersecurity firms making some wild claims,’ she said. ‘It is a very aggressive industry.’ . . .”

    With the high-profile hacks being attributed–almost certainly falsely–to Russia, there are ominous developments taking place that may well lead to a Third World War. During the closing days of his Presidency, Obama authorized the planting of cyber weapons on Russian computer networks. Obama did this after talking with Putin on the Hot Line, established to prevent a Third World War. Putin denied interfering in the U.S. election.

    The conclusion that Russia hacked the U.S. election on Putin’s orders appears to have been based on a CIA source in the Kremlin. Even when that intelligence was delivered, other agencies weren’t ready to accept the CIA’s conclusion and it took intelligence from another nation (not named) to provide the final intelligence tipping point that led to a broad-based conclusion the not only was the Russian government behind the cyberattacks but that Vladimir Putin himself ordered it.

    That ally’s intelligence is described as “the most critical technical intelligence on Russia,” however the NSA still wasn’t convinced based on what sounds like a lack of confidence in that source. Thus, it looks like a CIA Kremlin source and an unnamed foreign intelligence agency with questionable credentials are the basis of what appears to be a likely future full-scale US/Russian cyberwar.

    Of paramount significance is the fact that IF, on Putin’s orders (and we are to believe such) Russia continued to hack U.S. computer systems to influence the election, Putin would have to have gone utterly mad. Those hacks would have precluded any rapprochement between Russia and the United States under a President Trump. There is not indication that Putin went off the deep end.

    read more >> http://www.spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-964-lies-damned-lies-and-statistics/

    • F. G. Sanford
      July 6, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      “Even when that intelligence was delivered, other agencies weren’t ready to accept the CIA’s conclusion and it took intelligence from another nation (not named) to provide the final intelligence tipping point that led to a broad-based conclusion the not only was the Russian government behind the cyberattacks but that Vladimir Putin himself ordered it.”

      I get a big kick out of Emory’s site. Many of his interpretations run counter to conventional wisdom, but based on my own readings, he is accurate more often than not. The VIPS don’t necessarily concur with him; he has steadfastly maintained that “Fast Eddie” Snowden is the “Obverse Oswald” and represents some kind of psyop/limited hangout. If taken based on his assessments of the Glenn Greenwald/Pierre Olmidyar milieu, that seems believable. But, you gotta keep in mind. Dave Emory is listed in “The Encyclopedia of American Loons”. To some extent, that may be a badge of honor. Just about everybody who has attempted to unmask American “State Crimes Against Democracy” has either ended up listed there or has been “debunked” by Snopes. Snopes is regarded by many as a CIA disinformation operation. Emory generally shies away from any derogatory attributions to Israel, though he does occasionally mention the so-called “Bormann Jews”, those finance entities who have supposedly managed Nazi wealth with which Bormann affiliates absconded to South America and elsewhere after WWII.

      Dave’s three part series on Watergate recorded back in the eighties was recently re-posted, and it’s very enlightening in view of current events. It’s a great reminder that our government never tells the truth about anything…so good luck if you’re expecting good faith negotiations with the Russians at G-20.

      For those wishing to “learn more about Tulsi Gabbard”, a refrain I keep hearing among CN readers, Emory provides plenty of in depth information; not much of it is reassuring. Just use the search box. And that “not named” intelligence agency he mentions? It’s Israeli Intelligence, for those of you unfamiliar with standard methods of attribution.

      • Abe
        July 6, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        Martin Bormann was Adolf Hitler’s personal secretary. Knowing Hitler viewed Slavic people as inferior, Bormann opposed the introduction of German criminal law into the conquered eastern territories. He lobbied for and eventually achieved a strict separate penal code that implemented martial law for the Polish and Jewish inhabitants of these areas, including corporal punishment and death sentences for even the most trivial of offences.

        Bormann supported the hard-line approach of Erich Koch, Reichskommissar in Reichskommissariat Ukraine, in his brutal treatment of Slavic people. Alfred Rosenberg, serving as head of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, favored a more moderate policy.

        After touring collective farms around German-occupied Vinnytsia in Ukraine, Bormann was concerned about the health and good physical constitution of the population, as he was worried that they could constitute a danger to the Nazi regime. After discussion with Hitler, he issued a policy directive to Rosenberg that read in part:

        “The Slavs are to work for us. In so far as we don’t need them, they may die. The fertility of the Slavs is undesirable. As to food, they are to not get more than necessary. We are the masters; we come first.”

        In our current context, Schumer and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle may be easily described as “Bormann Jews”.

      • Abe
        July 6, 2017 at 3:11 pm

        Schumer is a member of the bipartisan Senate Ukraine Caucus that celebrates “the political, military, economic, and cultural relationship between the United States and Ukraine.”

        There’s a lot to celebrate in Ukraine these days
        http://spitfirelist.com/news/ukrainian-city-of-lvov-lviv-commemorates-world-war-ii-pogrom-death-of-u-s-nazi/

        • Abe
          July 7, 2017 at 7:55 pm

          Shukhevychfest, an event celebrating Nazi collaborator Roman Shukhevych, was held in Lvov on the anniversary of a major pogrom against the city’s Jews.

          Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, in a statement called the event “disgraceful.”

          On 30 June 1941, Ukrainian troops, including militiamen loyal to Shukhevych, began a series of pogroms against Jews, which they perpetrated under the auspices of the German army, according to Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder and other scholars. They murdered approximately 6,000 Jews in those pogroms.

          The day of the festival was the 110th birthday of Shukhevych, a leader of the OUN-B nationalist group and later of the UPA insurgency militia, which collaborated with the Nazis against the Soviet Union before it turned against the Nazis.

          Shukhevychfest was part of a series of gestures honoring nationalists in Ukraine following the 2014 revolution, in which right wing nationalists and neo-Nazi militias played a leading role.

          On 13 June 2017, a Kiev administrative court partially upheld a motion by parties opposed to the veneration of Shukhevych in the city and suspended the renaming of a street after Shukhevych. The city council had approved the renaming earlier in June.

          The director of Ukraine’s Institute of National Remembrance, Vladimir Vyatrovich, who recently described Shukhevych as an “eminent personality,” defended the displaying in public of the symbol of the Galician SS division. Responsible for countless murders of Jews, Nazi Germany’s most elite unit was comprised of Ukrainian volunteers. Displaying Nazi symbols is illegal in Ukraine but the Galician SS division’s symbol is “in accordance with the current legislation of Ukraine,” Vyatrovich said.

          The first waves of Jewish immigration to the territory now occupied by the State of Israel began from Russia in the late 19th century. Between 1882 and 1903, approximately 35,000 Russian Jews arrived in groups to the southwestern area of Syria, then a province of the Ottoman Empire. While these groups expressed interest and “fondness” for Palestine, they were not strong enough in number to encompass an entire mass movement as would appear later on in other waves of migration. Between 1904 and 1914, 40,000 Jews immigrated mainly from Russia to southwestern Syria.

          Between 1919 and 1923, 40,000 Jews, mainly from Eastern Europe arrived in the wake of World War I. The British occupation of Palestine and the establishment of the British Mandate created the conditions for the implementation of the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Many of the Jewish immigrants were ideologically driven. Between 1924 and 1929, 82,000 Jews arrived, many as a result of anti-Semitism in Poland and Hungary. Of these approximately 23,000 left the country. Between 1929 and 1939, a new wave of 250,000 immigrants arrived. The British government limited Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine with quotas, and following the rise of Nazism to power in Germany, illegal immigration to Mandatory Palestine commenced. Following the Second World War, Jews from Poland and Eastern Europe were smuggled to Italian ports from which they traveled to Mandatory Palestine. A major wave of Jewish immigration, mainly from post-Holocaust Europe and the Arab and Muslim world took place from 1948 to 1951.

          The largest number of Russian Jews now live in Israel, not in Russia. Israel is home to a core Russian-Jewish population of 900,000 and an enlarged population of 1,200,000 (including non-Jewish members of Jewish households). The post-Soviet immigration of the 1990s accounts for 85–90% of this population.

          In 2015, Jewish immigrants from Russia and former USSR (891,700), Romania (199,400), and Poland (185,400) constituted 19.34% of the population of Israel.

          Ethnic Russian, Ukrainian and Polish Jews in America, including post-Soviet Jewish immigrants, exert a powerful influence in the pro-Israel politics of the United States. Their lack of concern about right wing forces unleashed in Ukraine with the 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev, and their keen political interest (call it an obsession) in escalating conflict with the Russian Federation, are noteworthy.

    • mike k
      July 6, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      If hacking was going to trigger WWIII, it would have done so long ago. Governments, the military, corporations have been at this since computers came into wider use. The only thing new is the effort to puff this up as a serious excuse for threatening Russia with war. This BS is on the same level as saying Trump is being blackmailed by the Russians for engaging in weird sex games. Anything will do when you are trying to pick a fight.

      • mike k
        July 6, 2017 at 3:16 pm

        You don’t have to be a cyberspace expert to see through this bullshit game being played about hacking. This is like, Yo Mama too!! On the street it’s known as starting a humbug.

    • July 6, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      DNC was a leak by murdered Seth Rich according to Assange and Gucifer 2 ( former British ambassador Craig Murray states he carried the leak to Europe).

      Podesta was a Phish according to Podesta and everyone else.

      There was no hack.

      • glitch
        July 6, 2017 at 7:38 pm

        THANK YOU! (sorry for yelling)

  8. Bob In Portland
    July 6, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    What does Putin have on Trump?

    No, the question is, “What does the CIA have on Pelosi?”

  9. backwardsevolution
    July 6, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    “Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer criticized the lack of a “specific agenda” for the Trump-Putin discussion and tweeted ‘the first few things that come to my mind’…”

    We all know Shylock Schumer’s first few things are:

    Israel
    Israel
    Israel
    Israel
    Israel

    There.

    • Miranda Keefe
      July 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Could you avoid implying Schumer is a douche bag because he’s Jewish (using the derogatory term Shylock) instead of because he’s a Zionist. They aren’t the same thing. Not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews.

      Thank you.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 6, 2017 at 5:52 pm

        Miranda – I didn’t really know that Shylock was Jewish. I just thought he was a sleazy, conniving man. Only learned about him while helping with homework.

        • Miranda Keefe
          July 6, 2017 at 9:27 pm

          I love Shakespeare, but his portrayal of Shylock in the Merchant of Venice is very much a stereotype. While Shakespeare was trying to say that even a stereotypical, money grubbing Jew was still a real human being, I’m afraid his portrayal has become a source of much anti-Semitic thinking on Jews.

          Thank you for being gracious in receiving my input! :)

    • Dave P.
      July 6, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      backwardsevolution: Yes, that is it. It is not the MCI’s huge profitability that is the main reason as Norman Soloman writes. It is the Wall Street Financial, Media, and Entertainment Industry Oligarchies, who are the real culprits who want to conquer the entire Globe to bring it under their financial control. Norman Solomon, like many others are hiding everything behind this MCI mantra. MCI has some role in it but it is not that significant. These Oligarchies are using everybody, including MCI to implement their agenda. The late Alexander Cockburn, who himself was Jewish, was one of the very rare voices who used to write about this issue openly.

      I would repeat here again what I wrote in my comments yesterday.

      Most of the politicians, cater to AIPAC, and these Oligarchies. Many of them are clever, opportunistic, manipulative type of people, without any substance, depth or integrity, who want to climb up by whatever means.

      I am reminded of the conversation in Leo Tolstoy’s novel “Anna Karenina” between Levin and his friend prince Oblonsky at Levin’s country estate, where he lives. Levin talking to prince Oblonsky:

      ” . . . we are aristocrats, and not those who can only exist by the favor of the powerful of this world, and who can be bought for twopence halfpenny”.

      The new Senator from California Kamala Harris, Adam Schiff, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and the rest of the pack are one of those – includes most of them – who have been bought for twopence halfpenny. That is why we are where we are now.

      The biggest losers in this Economy have been descendants of the people, who with great effort, and sacrifice cleared the forests and bush, suffered privations and dangers in their lonely log cabins, worshipping in their small log churches, under great threat from the wild animals, rattlers, and also the American Indians. There were so much of sacrifices made by these people in building during the first three centuries, that one’s heart goes out to them. A significant percentage of these descendants are now retreating to the deserts, to the open spaces, to forests up north, many of them living in their mobile homes – and those deplorables Hillary was putting down are in the same boat. These people have lost all voice. Most of their elected leaders are sold out to these Oligarchies or other lobbies.

      And by far the biggest Winners are the Financial lords of Wall Street, Media and Entertainment Industry. And the others Gainers are so called high tech, latte sipping inhabitants on the West Coast and elsewhere, and other professionals like doctors. A very large percentage of them are the newcomers from other countries. These very affluent smarties on the West Coast do not know much about the real American history.

      The World’s very existence at stake. There seems to be no way to get the message out to the public about the dangerous turn of events the World is at. It is time that important people talk to the leaders of that community, which controls the Media, address this issue and try to help in all ways possible.

      • July 6, 2017 at 5:09 pm

        Native Americans were the victims of European genocide.

        • Dave P.
          July 6, 2017 at 5:59 pm

          BannanaBoat: I do feel for the Native Americans fate. But I just described a situation as it was.

      • Joe Average
        July 6, 2017 at 10:23 pm

        Dave,

        especially the first paragraph contains an extremely valuable secret that many people don’t realize. From whatever perspective you look at the economy, you’ll always end up with finance – especially banks. Each company needs the services of banks – be it for short term funding, the emission of shares or simply transferring money (payments/earnings). The MIC and even the Entertainment Industry Oligarchs depend on banks. Indirectly civilians are involved as well. Funds (for example pension funds) have to invest their money in order to make profits for their members. (With a European style Social Contract those funds wouldn’t be necessary. Sadly Europe is on its way to Americanize everything, so Europeans sooner or later will also be dependent on funds.) Banks (and the stock market, although it also depends on bank services) can ruin a company or they can make it big. Basically the money changers and a few large money owners (bank owners) run the whole show. Peter Koenig has written excellent articles that show the interconnectedness of everything – some articles published on ICH.

        On a side note: As far as I know the American Indians got screwed over and over by the settlers. If they had been treated fairly they might not have been a danger at all to those who cleared the forests and bush, etc. in the first three hundred years. PCR recently wrote of a slogan that seems to be printed on t-shirts in the US: “You can trust our government. Just ask the Indians.”

        • Dave P.
          July 6, 2017 at 11:32 pm

          Thanks Joe Average. I agree with you. You have provided lot of information. I am going to read Peter Koenigs articles. You are right about the American Indians. I just wanted to show the hardships the settlers faced. But these Operators in these Financial, Media, and Entertainment Oligarchies are evil, and dangerous people; they are a threat to the humanity. Most of the settlers were hard working, honest, and decent people.

      • Ronald Cunningham
        July 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        obviously you know very little about American history too. The black Slaves built this country up to where it became a world. By free slave labor.

  10. SteveK9
    July 6, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    ‘National Democrats are so wedded to the Russia-gate strategy for destroying President Trump politically that they are willing to risk destruction of the planet in a nuclear war, explains Norman Solomon.’

    Really says it all. What kind of people would do this? The Democrats have now sunk much lower than the Republicans. Something that until today, I would not have thought possible. What we need now is a younger version of Bernie Sanders … not sure though, who that would be. Whatever corporate Democrats want, I think that is the best hope for the country to change course. New parties just don’t seem a viable option, although if there were a Progressive Party (not just a ‘wing’ of the Democrats), I would join.

    • Miranda Keefe
      July 6, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      A younger version of Sanders is NOT what we need. Sanders is a sheep dog for the corporatist Democrats when push comes to shove and he is too pro-Israel and too much behind the American Imperial Project. He jumped on the band wagon to blame Russia, totally ignoring that what Wikileaks revealed was the DNC cheating against him. Yet he’s abandoned Single Payer, only talking about it, and getting big money out of politics, not even talking about that at all. He funneled $100,000 of funds given by small contributors (I assume still averaging $27 each) to his “Our Revolution” into the coffers of the Unity faux grass roots organization, which really exists to co-op progressives in the party to unite to elect Neo-Liberal, pro-war, anti-Russia stooges like the idiot they recruited to run in Georgia.

      No. What we need now is another Henry Wallace, a man of intregity (or a woman) who is on the right side both domestically and with foreign affairs.

      • July 6, 2017 at 5:14 pm

        Sanders was threaten or a Judas Goat to begin with and he ignored one of the greatest opportunities in USA history when he ignored Jill Stein’s gracious offer of the presidential position on the Green Ticket.

        Occupy Wallstreet was the real deal.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      July 6, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Tulsi Gabbard comes to mind. Sanders himself, by playing his role as a grovelling lackey in the fall campaign after the documentation that the DNC denied him the nomination cashed in his own chips. If that was not enough, by parroting the Russian propaganda since November 8, he has eliminated any residual legitimacy he may have possessed. I wonder if his wife’s role as president of a small Vermont university and an FBI investigation (whether justified or not) may have been the means the power structure used to blackmail Sanders.

      • exiled off mainstreet
        July 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm

        I hadn’t seen Keefe’s comment with which I fully concur before coming out with my response immediately above.

        • Miranda Keefe
          July 6, 2017 at 9:31 pm

          Well, you’re great comment still is very pertinent even so! Thanks.

          Being referred to as “Keefe” is strange. My adult son for some reason ended up being known by our last name to his friends, so it sounds like you’re not talking about me! :)

          Please call me “Miranda.” Thanks.

  11. Michael Kenny
    July 6, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    If Putin had remained within Russia’s internationally-recognized borders, there wouldn’t be a problem with him in the first place. A settlement acceptable to Ukraine is the necessary and sufficient condition for the improvement of relations between Putin’s Russia and the rest of Europe and the US. Senator Schumer addresses that essential condition. Senator Nunn does not. Putin’s American supporters sought to hype Trump into a Putin stooge and, unfortunately for Putin, they succeeded. (Whether Trump is, or ever was, Putin’s stooge is unclear!) Those who are now complaining about Russiagate are thus the very people who made it inevitable. A lovely example of beware of what you wish for! I don’t believe there is any real danger of a nuclear war between Putin and the US. What interest would either side have in starting one? In addition, if Putin ordered an attack, would his soldiers obey him? In 2017, we are marking the anniversary of the most famous military mutiny in Russian history. Why would modern Russians be so different from their ancestors? Also, the idea that a nuclear war = destruction of the planet is a bit outdated.

    • F. G. Sanford
      July 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      “…and the US. Senator Schumer addresses that essential condition.”

      Michael, you finally exposed yourself with a syntactic shibboleth. I wonder if anyone else noticed?

    • backwardsevolution
      July 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      Michael Kenny – wow, they still exist! It all started with Ukraine? Really?

      How dare Russia move their country so close to U.S. military bases!

      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/02/proof-russia-iran-want-war.html

    • Miranda Keefe
      July 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      Just a word of advice.

      Go peddle your CIA bull shit somewhere else. Everyone here is too aware to buy it. You’re wasting your time.

      • glitch
        July 6, 2017 at 7:45 pm

        Let him waste his time. He provides a good, simple example. Bit like ‘correct the record’.

    • Adrian Engler
      July 6, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      The conflicts started earlier. A first important step was when in 2008 Saakashvili started an attack on South Ossetia and the Russian peacekeepers stationed there with an agreement supported by OSCE – which was then portrayed in the Western media as a Russian attack on Georgia (a commission of the council of Europe came to the conclusion that Georgia had started the war, but that was not reported widely).

      Then, of course, after the coup in Ukraine in 2014 (supported by the US with people like Victoria Nuland who talked about midwifing it), the conflict escalated further. People in some parts of Ukraine did not recognize the coup, and like many nationalists in Western Ukraine before the coup, in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, after the coup, local people occupied administration buildings. Democratically elected members of the Ukrainian government left the country after credible death threats, and there was not even a semblance of a constitutionally correct impeachment procedure. Turchynov, who had grabbed power with the help of armed right-wing paramilitary groups, treated the conflict with people who did not want to accept the coup as something that should be crushed with military force, and the Ukrainian army together with fascist militias like the Azov battalion, started a war against a part of the Ukrainian population. All that is hardly Russia’s fault.

      As far as the annexation (secession from Ukraine with a decision of the Crimean parliament followed by a vote about joining the Russian Federation is concerned), this is certainly a certain transgression and, like the coup before that, the Ukrainian constitution that does not allow such a secession was violated. But a few facts should be taken into account:
      – It is clear that an overwhelming majority of the population of Crimea was and is in favor of joining the Russian Federation. This is not only the result of the referendum, but it is also confirmed by Western and international polls (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/03/20/one-year-after-russia-annexed-crimea-locals-prefer-moscow-to-kiev/#7f791a50510d). This should not be too surprising because a vast majority of the population of Crimea consists of ethnic Russians (Crimean Tatars were split about 50% about whether to join Russia) and there had been a strong movement for rejoining Russia in the 90es.
      – Before the referendum, Russia never had more troops on the Crimean peninsula than was allowed by the treaty with Ukraine. Of course, in principle, although they could move freely on Crimea, their presence was meant to be related to the Russian port and they should not have interfered in internal matters. But it is certainly a milder transgression than invading a country.
      – The fears of many people on Crimea of nationalist armed groups seems to be justified. There had been smaller attacks, and just a little later, over 50 people were killed by Ukrainian nationalists in the mostly Russian-speaking city Odessa.

      The takeover of Crimea did not lead to any bloodshed, and it does not seem too far-fetched that similar clashes like in Donbass with terrible bloodshed would have broken out on Crimea if Russia had not allowed the unification.

      Should Crimea be forced back under the rule of Ukraine against the will of a vast majority of its population? That seems to be neither realistic nor desirable.

      For Donbass, the situation is different. Russia supports the Minsk treaty, according to which Donbass should be peacefully reintegrated into Ukraine and receive a special status with more autonomy (in Donbass, most people are Russian-speaking and many reject nationalist Ukrainian ideologies). The Minsk treaty prescribes different steps for both Ukraine and the militias in Donetsk and Luhansk – a special status for the area, returning border control to Ukraine, release of prisoners, a general amnesty, … In principle, different steps of both sides should happen in parallel, but first, in the Ukrainian constitution, the possibility for such a special status has to be created. So far, this has not been done, and it does not seem likely that this will soon happen. What could Russia do about this?

      It does not seem, at all, that Ukraine really wants a peaceful reintegration of Donbass. In contrary, it does everything in order to sever the ties with that part of the country. There is even a complete blockade – first it was initiated by extremists and Poroshenko opposed it because it hurts Ukrainian economic interests, but then, under the pressure of radical nationalists, he made the blockade official government policy. Electricity to these parts was cut and trade blocked (of course, in that situation, Russia provided electricity and allows trade with Donbass, but it would be absurd to blame it for such moves that have very good humanitarian justifications, one can hardly expect Russia to take part in that blockade). Observing these actions, it rather looks as if the Ukrainian government is pushing away Donbass and does not want a reintegration, at all. This seems plausible, because among the population in Donbass, few people would vote for the nationalist Ukrainian parties, and Donbass could disturb the attempts to remake Ukrainian society into a monolingual Ukrainian-speaking one. If Ukraine wants a reintegration of Donbass, they should go forward with the implementation of the Minsk treaty, if they don’t want this and push Donbass away, it is absurd to blame Russia (but this seems to be used strategically in order to receive support from Western countries).

      As far as some Western Putin supporters are concerned, I also think they are often a problem. Some people have an image of Putin as some kind of heroic anti-Western (or anti-“NWO”) fighter. In reality, I would say he is a rather pragmatic politician who would be ready to collaborate constructively with Western countries if they were ready to do so, as well.

      • Dave P.
        July 6, 2017 at 5:35 pm

        Adrian: Very good summation. But there is lot more area in South East Ukraine which is Russian Speaking, and majority of population which is Russian and Russian Ukranian mix. Kharkov, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Nikolayev are Russian Speaking cities – essentially Russian cities. Since the boundaries can not be changed, the whole South East Ukraine should be an autonomous republic with in Ukraine – with a federal constitution. The South East Ukraine was attached to Ukraine- a State in the West Ukraine area created by the Germans during First World War – by Bolsheviks in 1922.

        It is not going to be easy for the people in Donbass to live with the Ultranationalists ruling in Kiev after what they have done to the people in Donbass. And it is happening right in the middle of Europe, I would say with the tacit approval of West European Countries. And they are having their referendums in Scotland and elsewhere in Europe!

        • Mild-ly Facetious
          July 6, 2017 at 6:40 pm

          Dave P. – This is the sort of historical accuracy and political honesty that is remote/out of sight to most Americans. Thanks for your sharp pronouncement of true and accurate facts-of-the-matter.

        • exiled off mainstreet
          July 6, 2017 at 8:51 pm

          Russia showed great restraint in not liquidating the entire post-coup Ukrainian state in light of the facts of the coup and these facts. The Ukrainian state should be partitioned if not liquidated. The Poles also have problems with the fact those running the Ukrainian state are largely heirs to the Banderites who liquidated Poles on behalf of the Nazi regime they collaborated with during the Nazi occupation.

        • Skip Scott
          July 7, 2017 at 12:06 pm

          Adrian and Dave P-

          Very good comments. I would mention a third possibility. The Kiev nazis would love to submit the east and south to ethnic cleansing, basically force the ethnic Russians to emigrate to Russia. If not for Russia keeping an eye on them and helping the locals, they probably would have already done it. This is probably what the USA wants as well, along with getting Ukraine into the NATO bucket, and subjecting them to IMF rape and pillage.

        • Joe Average
          July 8, 2017 at 1:58 pm

          Adrian and Dave,

          both of you have written excellent comments form a mainly* neutral point of view. I would like to add some information that had been hidden in the news, but was hardly discussed anywhere. Probably many people will remember that famous phone call of Nuland and Pyatt. During that conversation they discussed possible candidates for ruling Ukraine. Many forgot about another person debated about in that phone call – Klitsch. This “Klitsch” is Vitali Klitschko – now mayor of Kiev. The political aspirations of Klitschko (and his party) had been prepped up by the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation (read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_Democratic_Alliance_for_Reform). Maybe the US and Germany (or even the EU) had been competing in toppling the Ukrainian parliament or everything happened in collaboration. In any case, there was more than just tacit approval – especially with German politicians trying to mingle in internal Ukrainian affairs.

          If it weren’t bad for a small percentage of Ukrainians, the fate of the LGBT community could be funny. Whilst several German politicians (especially from the German Green Party, like Rebecca Harms, who was present during the protests in Kiev) always whined about the lack of tolerance towards the LGBT crowd before 2014, suddenly fell silent. I’m still waiting for the day when that German Nuland imitation starts protesting for Human rights in the streets of Riyadh. For some unknown reason my gut feeling tells me that this will never happen.

          * I’ve added the word mainly, because a 100% neutral point of view is impossible, except maybe for describing scientific discoveries, although some scientists that even observed objects might “act” differently when tried to measure.

          • Joe Average
            July 8, 2017 at 4:25 pm

            I forgot to mention another aspect that had been left out of the MSM reporting. The Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement also includes a passage referring to military corporation:

            The agreement commits both parties to promote a gradual convergence toward the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy and European Defence Agency policies. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine%E2%80%93European_Union_Association_Agreement)

            The German Version of the wikipedia-article is more detailed. It mentions military assistance on European Basis. It’s the same semantics game that played over and over in politics. Formally Ukraine wouldn’t have joined any military alliance (a proposal made by Kissinger), but covertly it would’ve been some.
            In a similar way laws had been bent concerning German military presence in Eastern European countries. German military units are in Lithuania on a rotational basis, so – according to some politicians – there’s no permanent presence of German troops.

      • Miranda Keefe
        July 6, 2017 at 9:38 pm

        When the Euromaiden coup happened, they basically tore up the constitution of Ukraine.

        That meant the only legit government in Crimea was the Crimean government. Any sense that they were bound by a now defunct constitution, requiring them to submit to an unconstitutional coup government, was null and void.

        There was nothing illegitimate about the actions of the Crimea Parliament to call for a referendum nor their asking for the Russian troops already stationed in Crimea to provide them security.

        • Dave P.
          July 7, 2017 at 2:05 am

          Miranda Keefe: Very good points you made. Very True.

    • July 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Crimea fairly voted for annexation. Russia is legally in Syria , USA is commiting a capital war crime by being in Syria.

      USA has a first strike nuke policy. I believe Russia does not.

      Escalation happens.

      The USA has almost had, within minutes , massive nuke launches because of false radar readings etc.

    • Dave P.
      July 6, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      Michael Kenny: Senator Schumer should have been addressing this issue to his buddies in Jerusalem to stay within their internationally- recognized boundaries as specified by U.N. in 1948, instead of talking nonsense about the birthright of Russians in Crimea to hold a referendum and join back with their brothers in Russia, done all according to international law.

      I wonder sometimes, living his whole life with those Wall Street criminals, how rotten the soul of Chuck Schumer must be by this time.

      • Skip Scott
        July 7, 2017 at 9:15 am

        You just need to look at Schumer, it’s in his eyes- PURE EVIL. Mr. Kenny never considers anything that contradicts his narrative, and he never replies to rebuttals. He is a hit and run troll.

    • Patrick Lucius
      July 7, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Thank God Russia stood up to protect Crimea. Regarding borders Michael, we backed a pro west anti Russia illegal coup government right on Russia’s borddr, when we guaranteed the new government billions in loans day after coup. By the way, they got rid of a democratically elected guy–the impeachment vote fell short. Rule of law anyone?

    • Patrick Lucius
      July 7, 2017 at 9:52 am

      No.

  12. backwardsevolution
    July 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Norman Solomon – good article!

    “Standing next to Kosygin at the end of their summit at a New Jersey college, Johnson said: “I have no doubt about it at all” that “it does help a lot to sit down and look a man in the eye all day long and try to reason with him, particularly if he is trying to reason with you.”

    If Trump says anything like that after meeting with the Kremlin’s leader this week, you can expect some misguided Democratic partisans to denounce him as a Putin tool.”

    And Trump should say it, anyway. He needs to ignore the warmongers, step up to the mike and say, “Enough.” With our lives hanging in the balance, they’re trying to dictate how much time Trump should spend with Putin? I’d tell these evil tools to step off and then take whatever time is necessary to bring about better relations with Russia.

  13. mike k
    July 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Michael Kenny has made a comment now so full of bullshit that he has fully qualified himself as a troll.

  14. mike k
    July 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    “The idea that a nuclear war = destruction of the planet is a bit outdated.” (Michael Kenny) Straight out of the neocon madmen’s handbook. Makes you feel real safe with these dudes in charge of things, eh?

    • backwardsevolution
      July 6, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Yeah, put him on a flight with all the other neocons and send it off to Fukushima. They’re crying for help. Let the neocons show us how it’s done.

  15. delia ruhe
    July 6, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Until the Dems have come up with a fool-proof way of manufacturing some “evidence” for Trump’s collusion with the Russians, they aren’t gonna give this a rest. The sum total of America’s allies (minus the British PM) thought the tale of Saddam’s WMD was bullshit — and they even refused to sign on to Bush’s “coalition of the willing” — but that didn’t end the fiction because Americans who believed it had grown from one-third to two-thirds of the population.

  16. Abe
    July 6, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    The bipartisan Russia-gate obsession is about demonizing Russia for its support of Syria and Iran.

    The roster of pro-Israel hawks like John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Senate Democratic Leader, and Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services make it easy to spot the major source of the unhinged rhetoric.

    Except for Solomon, who seems rather reluctant to acknowledge the pro-Israel War Party’s political investment in Russia-gate.

  17. Realist
    July 6, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Madness.

  18. ranney
    July 6, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    I feel like I’m watching a slow motion horror movie – one that I’m pretty sure doesn’t have a happy ending. For months now, ever since the Dems decided on the hate Putin tactic to get rid of Trump, I have watched idiotic or possibly insane people who we have elected to represent us, behave in strange mindless ways like they are under hypnosis or something. Like others I’m sure, I have looked for a “hero” to come and save us from the looming disaster, but I know now there isn’t one. The closest thing we have now, oddly enough, is Putin himself, who does seem to comprehend the seriousness of the situation – certainly no one in current positions of power in the US seems to, from the President to his cabinet, to Shumer and Pelosi and FBI Comey and the Pentagon big wigs and on and on.

    I realized today that probably my grandsons aged 15 and 17 are part of the last generation of humanity. I don’t thing there will be one after that group. I can’t quite figure out how I feel about that – it’s a combination of being unutterably sad and also totally numb.

    • mike k
      July 6, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      You are realizing and facing a very painful truth ranney. This is not just about some bad stuff that happened to come up in this time. This tragic dimension of the human experiment has been stalking us from the earliest days of humankind. The question is, can a species that gains great powers through increasing intelligence, use those powers to benefit all life, or will it use those powers to destroy life? “I set before you Life and Death, Love and Hate – choose Life and Love.” It’s very simple; Love or perish. Our time is very short now to make the right choice.

      Some scientists think the reason we are not detecting signals from other civilizations in our vast Galaxy is because those who reached our level of development all failed to make the right choice, and destroyed themselves. I prefer to do what I can to help us beat the growing odds against us. Even if the “Big One” hits while I am still alive, I want to have tried to help find a better way…..

  19. July 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    With me being from St.Louis and black, (though I guess that shouldn’t make any difference) I considered Maxine Waters one of my heroes. Hers and the CBC’s total fealty towards a president who did so much to harm to the poor and working class, who happen to be largely black, reminded me of the Reagan Democrat…white working class voters who cut their noses off to spite their faces. I’d hoped we were smarter, but kind of refreshing… I was starting to develop a superiority complex, which is never a good thing, until “we” helped elect Obama.

  20. g
    July 7, 2017 at 3:10 am

    America…put your nuclear ‘sticks and stones’ down and fight Global Warming together with the rest of the World.

  21. July 7, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Amazing that Robert Parry and his crew have to keep focusing on this issue, such a sorry situation in these “Disunited States”! Since I have intuited (perhaps incorrectly) that CN commenters are mostly White, it’s good to hear from Scott in St. Louis — where I read his state is returning the minimum wage to $7.70 hourly, since small business owners apparently had difficulty dealing with increase to $10 hourly, unfortunately our whole work/monetary system being so tilted against working class. And I hope Scott also reads Black Agenda Report, and everyone here, too, because it almost looks to me like the Black activist leadership is stirring more actively than the White activists against this daily peddled crap that could incite war. They’ve had some good articles on Maxine Waters, one by Glen Ford said she had “lost her mind” since Russiagate

    The DNC still denies access to the server, the most critical evidence of this alleged cybercrime, denies access even to Mueller, alleged “arbiter of truth” to this story. Zero Hedge has an article today on this. What are they trying to hide? Even Lindsay Graham, certainly no impartial party when it comes to Putin and Russia, who is chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation, believes the server should be made available.

    Last thing, there’s an excellent article by Charles Hugh Smith on Zero Hedge today, titled “Our Political Parties Are Obsolete”. Well worth a read.

  22. AnthraxSleuth
    July 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    The democrats need a nuclear war to cover up all the crimes they committed just in the past year.

  23. Tom
    July 7, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    All the Democrats care about is spinning this to their advantage to win the 2018 midterms and the 2020 election. Because it’s “classified”, they say they don’t have to ever reveal any of this. We’re starting a new war with Russia over this. I mean, “interfering with an election” IS and act of war. So just trust us. We know what we’re doing.

    Corporate media continues to hype this propaganda because all that matters is money. Wanna be a multi millionaire “network news star”? Do what we say and say what you’re told to say. Otherwise, you’re a nobody.

  24. Kevin Beck
    July 9, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Every day, I ask myself, “What hold does Nancy Pelosi have on the Democrat Party that she keeps bringing up issues of Russia-Trump collusion? I mean, what amount of insanity has taken hold of the Democrats that they can’t accept that they were losers after last year’s elections? Do they really think that removing President Trump from office will result in Hillary Clinton ascending to the throne?”

    Hey, Nancy: Last year’s elections marked the culmination of a six-year slide in relevance for your party because of the anti-American Barack Obama that you so gleefully supported for his entire presidency. You still refuse to admit that you lost in the battle of ideas last year, and are trying to force a new paradigm upon the country. America should not be ruled by the ideas of some aging hippie from Haight-Ashbury, or some equally incompetent criminal from Westchester County, New York.

  25. July 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    There’s an article that follows-on to yours posted at https://jackpineradicals.com/boards/topic/russiagate-psyop-progress-report-far-exceeds-expectations/ . Here’s the beginning with author’s permission to republish with attribution:

    “Russiagate” Psyop Progress Report: Far Exceeds Expectations

    The Ukrainian Origins of “Russia-gate”

    Contrary to the prevailing narrative in U.S. political discourse, “Russia-gate” neither started as an extraordinary intervention in American elections nor was it really about Putin helping Trump win. It was originally a routine foreign intelligence collection operation by the Russians that turned into a Strategic Psyop – a political destabilization program – that works primarily (and only) because the intended target group has overreacted to the suggestion of foreign meddling in its own, internal political processes.

    What we know about electronic surveillance against the DNC appears to trace back to Russian counter-intelligence operations directed at a U.S. consultant of Ukrainian origin on its staff named Alexandra Chalupa, who was employed by the Democratic Committee from 2004 to June 2016.

    In early January, Politico reported a concerted effort by the Clinton campaign to work with the Ukrainians, and the US Embassy in Kiev, to dig out dirt on Paul Manafort and by extension, against Trump.

    The origins of Russiagate in DNC opposition research in Ukraine may have been missed at the time it was originally reported in Politico. After last week’s blowup about the Russian Lady Lawyer who dropped supposed Russian opposition research on Donald Trump Jr’s lap, this part of the story shouldn’t be overlooked.

    There is some valuable information here, particularly if you’re looking for the genesis of the Steele Dossier that set off Russiagate when it appeared at the same time last summer that the Russian Lady Lawyer dropped in at Trump Tower, simultaneously Ms. Chalupa dropped off the DNC payroll. It certainly appears from the article that there is an earlier chapter to the story that may have originated with Ms. Chalupa at the DNC and her allies in the Ukraine and in the State Dept. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

    [. . . ]

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