Oliver Stone Defends His Putin Interviews

Director Oliver Stone saw his four-part interviews with Russian President Putin as a way to give Americans a better understanding of a leader who has been demonized in the mainstream media, reports Dennis J Bernstein.
By Dennis J Bernstein

Not surprisingly, the U.S. mainstream media, which has obsessed over the Russia-gate “scandal” for months, is bashing director Oliver Stone for his four-part series of interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the grounds that Stone should have been tougher.

But Stone’s subtle and probing interviews of Putin — The Putin Interviews airing on Showtime — give the viewer a revealing inside look at the Russian leader, who is by all accounts extremely popular among Russians with approval ratings of around 80 percent.

Oliver Stone interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin in Showtime’s “The Putin Interviews.”

I spoke with Stone at his Los Angeles offices on July 25th, soon after he was honored with the Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award by Consortiumnews.com, hosted by award-winning investigative reporter, Robert Parry.

Stone also will receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award “for his extraordinary contribution to the art of film” at the 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival in August.

Dennis Bernstein: Oliver Stone, how important was it for you to win the Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award? Gary Webb, for those who don’t know, was the reporter who broke the story about the CIA’s relationship to drug traffickers.

Oliver Stone: Gary Webb was a hero of mine, as is Bob Parry. Bob has been with ConsortiumNews for many years. I met him when he was investigating the Iran-Contra affair back in the early 1990s.

DB: Of course, Gary Webb was shredded for the way in which he was able to document the end result of the CIA’s involvement with drug traffickers. For a moment he was lauded, but then he was very quickly run out of the trade.

OS: The Iran-Contra affair is a typical example of this country’s hypocrisy. It was a huge story and what Reagan did was impeachable. The mainstream press didn’t want another shake-up of the government after Nixon. There was never any proper investigation of that mess. When you hear this latest Russian hacking business, it makes you even angrier because the stuff that truly deserves to be is not investigated.

DB: Why did you choose to interview Putin at this time?

OS: While I was in Moscow talking to Edward Snowden a couple years back, I met with Mr. Putin and asked him about Snowden. He was very forthcoming and gave me his very sensible take on the whole affair. I thought it would be a good idea to continue the interviews, though I wasn’t sure he would cooperate. We did a series of four visits over two years, starting in June of 2015 and ending in February 2017. I am sure that if he had not been optimistic about the project he wouldn’t have continued. We would be in Moscow for just two or three days and it was difficult to see him for more than a couple hours at a time.

Of course, at the time, the 2016 election was supposed to be in the bag for Ms. Clinton. We went back in February to interview Putin about the election results, which became notorious. Our intention was to make a profile of a world leader who had been villainized by the United States in an almost cartoon fashion since 2006-2007. The fact that the election blossomed into this huge issue only added fuel to the fire. You’ve seen the criticism of the film in the mass media here.

DB: The corporate mainstream reporting on the Ukraine has been amazing.

OS: It is an historical inaccuracy. If you read the accounts at the time in the Washington Post and the New York Times, there was zero coverage from the other side. Reporters were dismissing these stories as conspiracy theories and this was “on the day of.” It was so evidently a coup, the Europeans knew it. Yet, in the United States, we seemed, as we often do, to be blissfully ignorant of the other side of the story.

We are looking for some justification for restarting the Cold War. It was almost as if we were back to confronting the Soviet Union again. We have been stalking Putin since he starting putting the economy back together again. Around 2004 you start to see the earliest criticism of him as a dictator and an embezzler, and so on.

And talk about meddling in elections, Putin was understated when he said that the United States was all over the Russian election in 2012. We have a clip of [Assistant] Secretary of State Victoria Nuland saying how we were trying to do all this good work in Russia, etc. We were blatantly interfering in their election. In 1996 we completely rigged the election for Yeltsin. He was so unpopular after four years in office that the communists were poised to take back the government. We arranged for him to get a gigantic loan from the IMF, among other things.

DB: What would you say were some of the most surprising moments in the Putin interviews?

Director Oliver Stone interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin for Showtime’s “The Putin Interviews.”

OS: Well, already in the first interview we were discussing the very real threat of nuclear war. I asked about Clinton’s aggressive rhetoric and Putin said, well, we’re used to this from American political candidates. We heard it from Romney back in 2012. I think Putin assumed that Clinton was going to win the election. Trump’s name never came up. You know, Russian diplomats complain that the Americans talk to them like cowboys, like barbarians. From the perspective of other countries, we declare wars in our election campaigns.

Putin talked with me at length about nuclear parity. I don’t think most Americans realize that when Bush abrogated the non-proliferation treaty in 2001 we were removing one of the principal cornerstones of our national security. And then we put the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] in Poland and more recently in Romania.

In 2009 Obama announced that we would be spending trillions of dollars to modernize our nuclear arsenal, and now Trump declares that we are going to win the next war. It is frightening as hell to the Russians. Putin pointed out that they currently have one-tenth of our military budget. All kinds of horrors could be in store if the United States tries to press its advantage with nuclear weapons.

DB: Was it your intention in these interviews to try to humanize Putin, if not for US leaders, at least for the American people? To give them the sense that there is someone we can deal with, who we can step back from the brink with?

OS: I am sure that he was willing to speak to me, to a private citizen, to someone not in a position of political power, because he wanted to send a message to the American people. I am sure he was quite surprised that Showtime picked it up and disseminated it in our country as well as in Europe.

Putin is well aware that the media in this country never really brings across what he is trying to say. I have been very impressed with his speeches. For example, the theme of his 2007 Munich [Security Conference] speech is still very relevant. He saw what was going on in the world, with our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. That speech was never really reported here in the United States. It is disgraceful that we cannot take an important foreign leader seriously and report his own words.

DB: It seems this is the way you succeed in US journalism, by bashing so-called enemies as opposed to trying to understand them and articulate their position.

OS: Even in the depths of the Cold War, Khrushchev and later Brezhnev weren’t ridiculed on a personal level to the extent that Putin has been.

DB: Clearly we live in dangerous times, perhaps more dangerous than at the time of Cuban missile crisis.

OS: We’re seeing Europe begin to wake up and realize that NATO is not what it was proposed to be and that the United States is not such a great partner to have. Maybe the US is just interested in Europe as a buffer state between us and them. Maybe Europe is beginning to feel more like a hostage than an ally. If the United States cannot yield its superiority, it is going to be a very rocky road ahead for everyone.

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom. You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net.

123 comments for “Oliver Stone Defends His Putin Interviews

  1. jfmxl
    August 4, 2017 at 18:28

    @joe average

    ‘A few comments above I had written that the best way to deprive google of it’s power is to use other search engines.’

    i agree there … gigablast is my new default search engine …

  2. Joe Average
    August 3, 2017 at 23:49


    thank you for the information. Sooner or later something like this was going to happen. Sadly I’m using that search engine far too often. The best way to take away power from google is to boycott that company by turning to (the few) alternatives left (duckduckgo, yandex, qwant, baidu, …)

  3. Patricia Victour
    August 3, 2017 at 10:47

    I would encourage everyone to watch RT as a companion to sites like Consortiumnews and others. It’s not hard to understand why those in control in US are so terrified of RT. With no corporate sponsors and no obvious state interference, RT is free to actually present news – and usually both sides of it by having on guests from different perspectives – in a much more low-key and dignified manner than the infotainment format of CNN or MSNBC. I often hear stories first on RT that are later, reluctantly, published in US as indeed factual, so I don’t feel I’m being brainwashed by Putin/Russian propaganda. I knew I didn’t want Clinton for President (or Trump) well before the primaries from many different sources. There is no comparison between what we are fed here by the MSM on foreign news and what you see on RT. Of course there is always some level of bias in any media, but the level at RT is much lower as far as I can tell. In this day, who really knows “what lies beneath.”

  4. jfl
    August 3, 2017 at 03:08


    no, i’m sure your not calculating at all … just spilling what’s regarded by ‘grown ups’ as a heedless, needless assault of their sensibilities. it used to be the kids had to attend to the conventions of the world – larger than their own playpen. now we all have to live in the playpen with the kids and their indulgences. i suppose it’s always been that way … and now i’m old, when i was your age was an even more self-indulgent fool than you are, i’m sure. maybe still am.

    there is another post up at wsws.org on google … Google’s new advertising program tracks offline shoppers, violates privacy. they’re tying together people’s credit card records – actual store purchases – with their online activity. selling it to the sellers, of course.

    another aspect of google’s beyond the pale behavior is its hosting of corporate email via gmail.com’s false fronts. here are some of the outfits i’ve corresponded with that are actually gmail accounts … and all of the correspondence with them is now read, analysed, archived forever by google … with the ‘outside’ correspondents thinking they’re corresponding with straight-shooting, fully-qualified domain names.

    …@aaas.org American Association for the Advancement of Science, USA
    …@artifex.com ‘… offers a complete document handling and management ecosystem to developer … Trusted by the world’s leading technology and services companies for over 23 years’, USA
    …@brown.edu Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    …@crru.ac.th Chiang Rai Rajabat University, Mueang Chiangrai THAILAND
    …@edoceo.com Business – Technology – Engineering We make mobile ready HTML5/CSS3 web-based business applications go. We leverage Lean startup methods and the Open Stack, USA
    …@fightforthefuture.org A nonprofit working to expand the internet’s power for good Fight for the Future is dedicated to protecting and expanding the Internet’s transformative power in our lives by creating civic campaigns that are engaging for millions of people. Alongside internet users everywhere we beat back attempts to limit our basic rights and freedoms, and empower people to demand technology (and policy) that serves their interests, USA
    …@ilaw.or.th ?????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????? iLaw.or.th inviting you all to create laws that foster the good life for everyone, THAILAND
    …@ips-dc.org Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) is a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more equitable, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful society, USA
    …@ivaw.org Iraq Veterans Against the War, USA
    …@jill2016.com Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for potus, 2016, USA
    …@khaosod.co.th Khaosod English, a large newspaper/media organization in THAILAND
    …@myhome.net website seems to be defunct, USA
    …@nd.edu The University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana USA
    …@postcarbon.org Leading the transition to a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable world, USA
    …@prachatai.com Prachatai, a USAID funded online newspaper in Bangkok THAILAND
    …@zendesk.com Zendesk Support puts all your customer information in one place, USA
    …@truthdig.com Los Angeles entrepreneur Zuade Kaufman, who serves as publisher, and journalist Robert Scheer drilling beneath the headlines, USA
    …@usaid.gov USAID, the cia/us state department itself

    if you have a look at the page linked above you can see how to go through your own correspondents’ list and identify the crypto-gmail accounts.

    google, in my opinion, is worse than the nsa. and people eat it up like candy. what did yeats say about the spiralling gyre and the center that would not hold? happening right before our eyes.

  5. pete
    August 2, 2017 at 20:09

    Too bad Americans do not realize that the Ruling Class (New World Order. globalists, neocons, oligarchs, deep state,) own and use the mass media to foment hatred between political parties and nations to rule the whole world. Nations wishing to remain free are demonized, bombed and destroyed. No care for “collateral damage”, foreign or domestic. Americans unwilling to wage eternal war and carnage, but seek peace and understanding with the whole of mankind are ridiculed and defamed. Citizens daring to promote “America first” are treated as traitors to their lust for total world control, as all too obvious towards our President. Most of the 500 federal representatives obviously disdain the man elected to put “America first”. Looks like he got “swamp fever” trying to drain the swamp. Double-crossing his constituents who prefer peace with Russia, he signed sanctions which even he cannot rescind.

  6. jfl
    August 1, 2017 at 23:56

    interesting identical posts with different handles above … the second one seems a calculated insult to any women who might read it, there are ‘leftist’ pigs, too … have the same email address as well? the work wsws.org did on the issue is good … no one else has done anything … but spamming this site is not required. robert parry covered it himself the other day.

    here’s a link to the google page referred to by Damon above … Our latest quality improvements for Search … i put a box around ‘Search ranking’, and bolded the referenced text. apologies for the blinking gifs … straight from the googleplex … i use firefox and found an add-on to toggle them on and off.

  7. backwardsevolution
    August 1, 2017 at 22:06

    halfofanNSAgarbagecunt – “…a censorship engine rather than a search engine.” Very well put!

  8. jfl
    August 1, 2017 at 20:46

    i have saved a few of vladimir putin’s addresses … some of lavrov’s, too, but we’re talking about putin here

    listening to the russians is like listening to strange visitors from another planet … compared to listening to the comic characters in charge of our government in the ussa.

    it’s shameful, disgraceful … trump and his vp are just the latest and greatest, there are 535 behind them in the house and the senate. 9 more supremes.

    there is no hope to be had from the us political class and their patrons. none. zero … forget them. don’t waste time following them.

    we need to organize in our 150,000+ voting precincts, put together real democratic platforms in each and choose people from among ourselves …to drive the neocons out of our temples of government, simply to kill the cia, the nsa, to seize control of the federal reserve and to drive the financiers out of government as well, and the fossil-fuelers.

    the alternative is to sit on the couch eating popcorn, watching the disaster unfolding on all three fronts tv and riding the h-bombs down with the fusiliers, financiers, and fossil-fuelers. with a yahoo! or more likely with a slack-faced drool.

  9. Gregory Herr
    August 1, 2017 at 16:46

    This interview–and/or the book “National Security Cinema”–may be of interest to film buffs. The authors have good things to say about Oliver Stone and his films. Picks up steam as it goes along…


    • Bob Van Noy
      August 3, 2017 at 08:25

      Excellent article Greg thank you.

  10. delia ruhe
    August 1, 2017 at 14:08

    “Maybe the US is just interested in Europe as a buffer state between us and them. Maybe Europe is beginning to feel more like a hostage than an ally.”

    There’s no “maybe” about it. Washington didn’t give a damn about Europe when it coerced the EU into accepting that batch of former Soviet states as EU members — just so those states could be used as locations for US military bases and even as places for ICBMs trained on Moskau. If the EU had a say in it, those states would never have been accepted, as they could not meet all the requirements. Now, the EU is stuck with them — and we’ve seen what a problem they are.

    What’s a bit less certain is that the EU is “beginning to feel more like a hostage than an ally.” Yes, the last batch of anti-Russia sanctions has elicited the first public expression suggesting that Europe is fed up with Washington trampling over Europe’s interests and may even do something about it. That shows promise. Yet we have to remember that Europe has behaved like a meek vassal for seventy years: that may be a habit it doesn’t want to break. We’ll see.

  11. August 1, 2017 at 13:14

    You can’t vote out Tyranny. Why doesn’t anybody understand this? It’s historical fact.

    And voting in our duopoly of inverted totalitarianism owned & operated by an oligarchy? Is this some form of demented irony?

    Number 1 reason: They don’t read. Last figure I read was that 40% of the adult population of the US is ‘functionally illiterate.’

    Number 2 reason: What would be the percentage of people who get all their information from corporate tv news, corporate magazines, and corporate newspapers? 90%? More?

    I talk to people, give out web addresses; this site, truthdig, counterpunch, others, just in the hopes that some will actually go to one or another and read. I copy articles and hand them out to people (printer ink is not cheap!). Does it do any good? I don’t know but there has been a few solidly Republican types over the years that actually come up and asked for my opinion. Whether they follow through I don’t know, but this behavior is somewhat heartening.

    I’m glad there are sites like this. And people like you posters out there. It gets awfully lonely at times.

  12. Mark A.
    August 1, 2017 at 10:53

    Great interview and well deserved prize. In a different America, the Gary Webb award would be the new Pulitzer Prize. But I guess we should stop calling the mainstream media ‘mainstream’, and instead call them what they are: PR outlets of the CFR pushing its imperial designs while crushing any adversary (including Gary Webb back at the time). The following short article once again reminded me of this simple but stark truth: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-american-empire-and-its-media/5600442

  13. exiled off mainstreet
    August 1, 2017 at 01:31

    Great article and great interview. Stone is one of the few Hollywood types who has not sold out to the increasingly odious power structure.

  14. August 1, 2017 at 00:02

    Its David and Goliath.

    Any journalist who writes what he believes to be truth has his reputation impugned by the gang of national Editors who have hi-jacked propaganda to their own ends.

    My best wishes and fervent hopes go to Oliver Stone. Its not just his Putin interviews which the owners of America find objectionable, its the Snowden documentary and the Untold History with Peter Kuznick.

    Stone has raised the lid on a foul-smelling pot of social sewage that America Inc thought it had disposed of. Rather than confront their nightmares they prefer to ignore them and that means ignoring Stone as best they can. They wheeled out Charlie Rose to do the job but he made hardly a dent, being bought and paid for as he is but determined to appear unbiased.

    I think Stone and his supporters are winning. We just need to hang on against the oppressive load of opponents for a little longer. The financial basis to their power is coming apart and their ability to grow that commercially has failed for several years. Only the absence of choice is preserving the predatory capitalism of AngloAmerica and preserving that requires the alternatives to be lambasted, insulted and ridiculed as we are seeing accorded to the BRICS and other well-known independent countries. Patience.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 1, 2017 at 00:43

      RBHoughton – excellent post. “Patience” is good advice. Thank you.

  15. Furtive
    July 31, 2017 at 23:32

    Oliver Stone video interview in LA last Wednesday.

    Last video warns about sanctions imposed by the crazy con-men Con spirators in Con-Gross, who are llegally usurping Article I of the US Constitution


  16. July 31, 2017 at 20:39

    Watching Stephen Colbert and audience almost openly mock and laugh at Mr. Stone regarding the Putin interviews was one of the most shameful and telling things I’ve witnessed recently. I have deep respect for Oliver Stone, and absolutely none for those who simply shill for the State propaganda apparatus. We all owe Mr. Stone a debt of gratitude for his work.

    • mike k
      July 31, 2017 at 20:45

      Colbert’s audience are mostly half-drunk, late night types with nothing to do but show their stupidity.

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 31, 2017 at 21:51

        Gary, years ago Johnny Carson made Mark Lane look like a fool on air. I really loved Johnny Carson, but when I saw that clip years later, I lost total respect for him. Mark Lane was right about JFK from the very instant the news was broadcast until his last breath recently. My fondest hope is that we have a memorial to those Brave American and Foreign investigators that refused to be harassed into silence.
        Gary Webb, Oliver Stone and Robert Parry awould have prominent positions there…

        • Gregory Herr
          July 31, 2017 at 23:33

          I admired Mark Lane since the time I viewed the Buckley interview. So calm, cool, and determined in the face of Buckley’s antagonism.

          • Bob Van Noy
            August 1, 2017 at 08:24

            He was an American Treasure…

    • Realist
      August 1, 2017 at 00:10

      Mr. Colbert used to be funny. Now he just makes an ass of himself every day. Hillary Clinton was never funny, but she also makes an ass of herself every day. Moreover, she’s concentrated and refined her uber assitude into a tell-all book that’s soon coming out. It won’t be funny but will provoke a lot of laughs.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 1, 2017 at 00:40

      Gary – yes, I saw a clip from that interview. I used to think Stephen Colbert was funny, but I can’t even watch him now. What a fall from grace! I thought he was more intelligent than that. What a way to earn a living, make yourself look stupid. He doesn’t even come up to Oliver Stone’s ankles.

      • Nancy
        August 1, 2017 at 11:47

        He was only playing a role on the Colbert Report. Not really funny himself, much less intelligent. Now he’s as much a clown as Trump. They’re both playing their roles with gusto!

    • Jessejean
      August 1, 2017 at 11:19

      Gary– you are so right. I wonder what Colbert’s price was. Maddow’s was 7 million I read. From the CORPORATIONS, Kiza.

  17. July 31, 2017 at 20:36

    Good interview by Dennis Bernstein and gratitude to Oliver Stone for the Putin Interviews, which are published in paperback by Skyhorse Publishing as well as Dan Kovalik’s “The Plot to Scapegoat Russia”.

    It is disturbing news today that the US and NATO are talking about arming Ukraine because of “Russian aggression” just after President Putin announced Russia’s decision to expel 755 US diplomats as countermeasure to the new sanctions Congress passed against Russia. The US is doing all in its power to provoke war.

    • mike k
      July 31, 2017 at 20:50

      Warmongers don’t really need a real excuse for their actions; anything will suffice. Once they have their target audience convinced their prey is evil and/or insane (like Kim Jong Un) they have all the excuse they need to attack. They appeal to the darkest aspects of their audience; reasoning is not involved at all.

  18. Jessejean
    July 31, 2017 at 19:38

    These are always great intelligent discussions here at CN. but I rarely see the word or idea of “corporate ” born and bred. It is corporations that push and cause and benefit from our wars. It is corporations that spread the propaganda “news” that keeps us in everlasting ignorance. It is corporations that have bought and paid for our congress, not to mention our presidents, both parties and most of the States governments. It is corporations who give CEOs all the profits of our economy so that we don’t have enough money to build a bullet train from Dundas to Dimwit. Our entire republic is being consumed by corporations and yet we–.the pretty-well-informed-and-sincerely-progressive-people–continue to discuss the problems of our country as discreet, unrelated, screw-ups when if fact we are in the midst of a corporate coup that has been planned and executed for the last 40years. I weep for Ceasar, not Cato.

    • mike k
      July 31, 2017 at 20:42

      It’s hard to cover all the ways the rich and powerful have devised to screw us. But the regulars here are fully aware of your corporate concerns. Citizens United has gotten coverage. After all, corporations are just a lot of legalese, written by lawyers for rich people to justify oligarchic theft.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 31, 2017 at 21:40

      Jessejean, I was stunned by an article published by Voltaire Net (very reliable in my opinion) that indicates that David Petraeus, continued to organize illegal arms shipments while at KKR, to me an obscenely direct indication that the MIC is fast and illegally at work. I’ll ask it here and again, where is the vaunted American Legal system?
      This is a War Crime or it ought to be. I’m not a lawyer,but if I were, I’d be screaming my head off about my profession’s silence…

    • Seer
      July 31, 2017 at 23:45

      ALL EMPIRES COLLAPSE. Has nothing to do with ideology, type of leader OR whether corporations are running rampant.

      Corporations are polished tools of capitalism, and capitalism is the most polished tool of GROWTH.

      What ALL empires have had in common is that they have all been predicated on perpetual growth. Find and read Sir John Glubb’s Survival of Civilization (it’s bootlegged out on the Internet). Note his excellent accountings of how empires form and then collapse. A rise and then a fall, a parabola, ALL. We have built in growth as being necessary; our economic functions totally rely on “interest,” and “interest” is really just growth (expected).

      Of course, greed exists. It’s a human trait.

      • Brad Owen
        August 1, 2017 at 05:34

        You unknowingly plead the Synarchists case. This is their favorite line of attack on progress via dirigism/democratic socialism. It represents feudal stagnation, frozen in time, frozen in mind, to an unchanging status quo, and does NOT represent Nature: one does not stick one’s foot in the same river twice, growth is necessary just to maintain the body. Cells are replaced entirely every seven years; you are not the same person you were seven years ago (the fact that YOU are not your body is another discussion).

        • Brad Owen
          August 1, 2017 at 05:35

          This is why I sometimes think the Synarchists will win the Field of Ideas.

        • Joe Average
          August 3, 2017 at 23:26


          since you seem to have some economic insights maybe you can help me to figure out a question that boggles me for some time: How can there be endless growth on a finite planet? (Infinite growth is basically what every main stream economist is trying to sell us. Let’s see how long the market for oil can grow.)

    • backwardsevolution
      August 1, 2017 at 00:35

      Jessejean – yes, you’re right: oil and gas corporations, financial corporations, arms manufacturing corporations, agricultural corporations, pharmaceutical/insurance corporations, resource corporations, media corporations, technology corporations, etc.

      These corporations have a strangehold over the country, along with AIPAC.

      All money needs to be removed from politics. Pay them well, but if they take money, they go to jail.

      • Jessejean
        August 1, 2017 at 11:16

        Backward—if only. We’ve tried it here in my hometown, only to abandon it after one election. The political maneuverings were stunningly opaque in a town so small ( at the time). However, this year we had a very progressive woman run from out of nowhere on a completely grassroots campaign and win. Bernie has lit a fire.

    • Kiza
      August 1, 2017 at 05:40

      Blaming corporations is a very poor allocation of blame, popular on the left. It is a bit like blaming the Bible or Koran for the wars. There are people behind the corporations, individuals, either running the corporations or owning the corporations. Maybe it is groups of people with common interests, maybe the boards of directors or similar. Corporation is just an organisational structure and and legalistic entity, nothing more. Corporation cannot profit from war, it cannot enjoy the spoils of war, only the people standing behind it can.

      Giving corporations personality and equating them with human beings is exactly what the people standing behind them want, to profit uninterrupted and to deflect responsibility. Therefore, please stop blaming “corporations”, leave that kind of bull to Naomi Klein and her ilk. Think always “who” not “what”.

      • Dave P.
        August 1, 2017 at 12:32

        Kiza: Very good observation, I totally agree.

        • Kiza
          August 1, 2017 at 21:03

          Yeah, very similar to the war on terror. Soon, we will be at war on most abstract nouns and we will hate the organisational structures which make us write silly things.

      • backwardsevolution
        August 1, 2017 at 21:48

        Kiza – well, I think the people behind the corporation was implied in what we were talking about. Of course it’s the people. It’s just easier to say “the corporation” instead of “the people behind the corporation”.

        Jessejean – yes, transparency is the key, but these sleazy politicians just love being opaque, all the better to hide what they’re up to. Hopefully the new lady will work out well.

        • Skip Scott
          August 2, 2017 at 07:53

          Yes, it is the people behind the corporation, but it is also the corporate structure. When one scumbag dies, there’s another to replace him. Corporations are competing power structures that seek to undermine governments’ power. Governments are supposed to represent the will of the majority, with some respect for minority rights. Corporations represent the will of the board and the shareholders. Maximizing profit is their primary goal, almost to the complete exclusion of any other. Globalization is the takeover of government sovereignty by corporate power.

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 1, 2017 at 23:18

        Kiza, at first your telling us not to blame ‘corporations’ threw me a little off. I was then thinking, so how else should we refer to this entity who robs from the poor to enrich the enriched. I thought well, maybe refer to them as ‘corporate elite’ or ‘the wealthy 1%’, and I guess that would do it, but then I realized the point you were trying to make. You seem to be wanting to point to the individuals, and not for us to allow these individuals to escape condemnation under the universe umbrella of the mere description of being called ‘corporate’. Right?

        I know that if I in my future comments I say ‘corporate’ you will more than likely assume to who I am referring too. Although, if somewhere in my comments I do happen to make my name references a little more personable, you would like this all that much better.

        I’ll do my best, because I’m always trying to learn how to do better, but if I should slip up, be sure to let me know.

        Now, can we come up with a better phrase than ‘Deep State’?

        • Dave P.
          August 2, 2017 at 00:32

          Joe, Most of people in America work for corporations, and their fathers did, and so did their grandfathers. It is rather confusing for them when the articles, comments or somebody on TV or Youtube blames corporations for all these bad things. Most likely what Kiza meant is we should name specific things about corporations and name names.

          Regarding Deep State there were few hints in today’s news article in Sputnik International News. Link to it is below:


        • Kiza
          August 2, 2017 at 09:50

          Yes, you are mostly correct Joe. But it seems that I was not clear when I thought that I was. I was trying to explain that corporations are being used as a shield, as one degree of separation/isolation between the greedy elite and their deeds. Before the corporation became a legal entity practically equal to you and I, and there is an argument that it is even above a real person (supralegal), the responsibility used to be individual or applied to a group of persons. When things go really bad, the corporation goes bankrupt, the elite behind it loses a bit of money, but they just go on to another one to do the same bad things again, because it was the corporation which broke the law, or polluted the environment or …. not the people who really did it.

          When the left accepts the vernacular of the elite, which is very common these days (the famous oxymoron – humanitarian war) – the conservatives refuse, but the left jumps on board, then it accepts that which should not be: it is not a corporation which is doing bad things, it is some people standing behind it, like a little man behind a curtain in the Wizard of Oz pulling the levers.

          I would love to explain this even better, but this is completely off topic here. Perhaps, I could just reformulate my argument to the old gun-rights argument: it is not the guns which kill people then people who aim and pull the trigger. Likewise, it is not the tool such as a corporation which does bad things, it is the people who use the tool. Only fools blame the tool.

          • Dave P.
            August 2, 2017 at 12:08

            Kiza: “. . .Likewise, it is not the tool such as a corporation which does bad things, it is the people who use the tool. Only fools blame the tool.”

            Yes, you are right. No body touched those criminals like Sandy Weill after 2008 crash. No names were named.

      • Realist
        August 2, 2017 at 01:37

        Corporations are a legal shield used by the wealthy and powerful to deflect legal responsibility, civic duty, and tax liability among other risks and responsibilities that the rest of us remain directly exposed to. These shields are one more weapon given to people who least need protection from the state. They already have enough financial and legal clubs to beat the rest of us down. It was only in the 19th century, unless I am mistaken, that corporations were given the privilege of personhood under U.S. law and only a couple decades ago they were given far more protected free speech than the rest of us combined when money was equated to speech by the courts. In this century, corporations were apparently given the right to enforce their “religious beliefs” (how is it even possible for a legal dodge to have a religion?) by the court under the provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare).

        Yes, the perpetrators of perfidy who utilise the protections of corporate fronts ought to be the ultimate targets of social justice and the law, but to get to them we will first have to direct a few legal broadsides against the corporations per se that shield them. Of course, the law serves those who write it, and the rich, protected and abetted by their corporate shields, are the individuals (many of them not even American citizens) who commission the writing of our laws by the politicians whom they control through “free speech,” i.e., political campaign contributions. The top establishment elites have so many layers of legal protection surrounding their empires and so much control over us that it will take a reset of our whole society after some major catastrophe to see a reformulation of true “liberty and justice for all.”

        • Kiza
          August 2, 2017 at 10:02

          Thanks Realist, you put your finger right on it, you understood my point because you already thought the same.

          How can society give corporations most of the rights of a real person, but very few responsibilities? Not being able to die as you or I makes the corporation obviously totally different. This is why, when I heard for the first time the explanation of a corporation as a legal entity, I was shocked. My first thought was – this is worse than a king before Magna Carta. Corporations are not kings, they are not emperors, they are the immortal highlanders. Why? Cui Bono? Nobody would create a monster such as this without some very strong interest. Sorry, I could keep going on but this is so terribly off-topic.

  19. Maggie Silver
    July 31, 2017 at 19:32

    Excellent article. Oliver Stone is absolutely right about Putin, Ukraine, the U.S. Media, and the danger of nuclear war. I wish most Americans would understand and investigate these matters, and not just believe the mainstream media.

  20. July 31, 2017 at 17:03

    Just don’t think anyone realizes the difficulty of questioning someone involved in the continuing Cold War with Russia because of what was really going on behind the scenes and never acknowledged – like what happened during Iran’Contra, and Putin’s role in it.

    • Skip Scott
      August 1, 2017 at 09:52

      Please excuse my ignorance, but what was Putin’s role in Iran/Contra? I tried to look it up on google and duckduckgo, but came up empty.

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 1, 2017 at 12:19

        I was wondering the same thing.

        • Martin - Swedish citizen
          August 1, 2017 at 16:11

          Oh, Putin has a hand in everything! ;) One incredible guy: when a meteor hit ground and sank in an ice-covered lake near Chelyabinsk, for example, he dived to the bottom and picked it up, all by himself.

          • Kiza
            August 1, 2017 at 16:32

            Joe and I had a discussion here recently how the Clintonite DNC in US would blame Putin for the killing of Seth Rich.

            The problem of almost all Western leaders is that the dog called Putin eat their homework. This is why nothing works in the West any more, that is why neither the elections are fair nor the trains run on time.

          • Gregory Herr
            August 1, 2017 at 16:57

            When Putin was 10 he was in direct communication with Oswald. They had met during Oswald’s time in the Soviet Union.

          • Kiza
            August 1, 2017 at 20:43

            Gregory, this is because Putin had to pass a practical of an entrance exam into KGB: help kill JFK to qualify (for when you grow up). Did he not pass that one with flying colors?

          • Joe Tedesky
            August 1, 2017 at 23:04

            Kiza, it’s all coming to life. The Seth Rich story, has now officially been kidnapped by the DNC connivers, and their media lacky’s. CNN, is going on about how the Rich family just wants FOX and other investigative journalists to stop with their continuing on about young Seth’s murder. The rest of the story, is where Bloomberg, and CNN, puts the ‘shame’ on FOX for keeping up this investigation.

            Then there was the story you linked to the other day Kiza, on zerohedge, where it is being suggested that Seth was in touch with Russian lawyer Natalia V. Veselnitskaya. If I recall the article well enough, I do seem to remember the article made mention of how it was speculated that the Russians were behind Seth’s murder…. ah Putin can’t be to far out of the sights in the crosshairs, of this kind of intrigue, can he? Why hell no, because as easily as Martin uses his sarcastic muses to stir the pot, Putin is responsible for everything bad, so why not Seth’s murder? Although, this would be out of character for Vlad, since Seth Rich was not a journalist.

            Hope this attached link doesn’t send this into moderation.


          • Realist
            August 2, 2017 at 01:00

            Putin is downright omniscient and Russia omnipotent, at least based on the accusations made by the brainiacs in Washington. Since Washington is so outclassed and put at a disadvantage so many times by those darned Russkies (with an economy the size of Italy’s, a military 1/10th the strength of the United States’ forces and only one foreign base compared to a thousand for Washington), why don’t we just join them instead of trying to beat them? You know, ride the coattails of these supermen who have apparently achieved “full spectrum dominance” and share the spoils. Or, is what we say and what is real at variance perhaps?

          • Realist
            August 2, 2017 at 01:08

            Joe, there is a current article by Mike Whitney on the Unz site that outlines the big picture in the “Putin ate my homework” grand unified theory of everything by Hillary Clinton. You and the others here will surely want to check it out. Url posted in separate following box.

          • Kiza
            August 2, 2017 at 02:49

            Realist, I really, really like it: “The Grand Unifying Theory of how Dog Putin ate all Western Homework“, which is the Holly Grail of the Western Deep State politics.

            Joe, I do not know what else to say about the constant spin coming out of DNC’s lackeys: as long as there are buyers, they will keep manufacturing. The only question is – is people’s stupidity endless. A little while ago, I came up with this concept of crowd sourcing of DNC lies. Why not get the whole of Internet to invent DNC spins and lies, there is much more imagination outside of DNC.

          • Bob Van Noy
            August 2, 2017 at 11:52

            For Joe, above, I’ve heard but cannot confirm that the chief investigator is Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Brother!

    • Joe Wallace
      August 2, 2017 at 01:04


      “I believe it is a plan. They are creating a story. In order to sell something, you first need a story.”

      Couldn’t agree more. Anything that departs from the official “narrative” is mocked, ridiculed, disparaged, discredited. To uproot the official narrative, which is usually simple and straightforward, a journalist must dig deep down in the weeds. But investigation reveals complexity. It takes time and money to report it. It’s not encouraged, and offers few career rewards for those who undertake it. So much easier to just “go along” with the (wrong) official version of the truth.

  21. Martin - Swedish citizen
    July 31, 2017 at 16:23

    I have watched the first two parts on YouTube, and find them extremely important. Any citizen with a serious interest and concern for what is happening in the world will agree. And yet, they have not been shown on Swedish television and hardly even commented. A notorious reporter on state Tv dismissed them on their website with being too nice to Putin, although “I haven’t seen them”. It was not in the interest of Swedish msm propaganda to show them. The same reporter states on tv btw that Russia started the war with Georgia and that there was no coup in Kiev. This is the reality of Swedish mass media and democracy these days.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 31, 2017 at 16:35

      Thank you for that insight Martin. I hold Sweden in very high regard and if your very literate country is having MSM problems, it gives us a very real sense of the enormity of our dilemma. Please keep connected here and encourage others to join us we rather desperately need each other right now.

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        July 31, 2017 at 18:02

        Thanks, mutually!
        Yes, it is an enormous problem, indeed.

        • Martin - Swedish citizen
          July 31, 2017 at 18:05

          It is easy to describe the msm in Sweden: one voice only.

          • backwardsevolution
            August 1, 2017 at 00:27

            Martin – thanks. Sweden probably follows along with whatever the world central bankers are doing as well? Ditto for globalization? Hushing up rapes by refugees?

            One voice. That’s such a shame.

          • Brad Owen
            August 1, 2017 at 05:25

            Yes Backwardsevolution, the dynastic House of Bernadotte’s Carl XVI Gustaf, and the extended family (their shadow government)’has probably got the orders from the House Of Wittin, Saxe-Gotha, Windsor ; “let’s roll”. The Synarchy’s bankers are executing ThePlan. I imagine a strictly neutral PanEuropa in the future, of Royal Houses and neo-feudal regions sans Nations, over-seen by the Mangerial Elite, with their intelligence community secretly sowing the seeds (what has in fact been happening since 1945, it’s the Venetian way of Oligarchy) of enmity between USA and Russia/China to foil FDRs post-WWII Vision for the World, what JFK tried to get the Country back to. From EIRs search box: “Return of the Monarchs; politics for a New Dark Age”.

          • Kiza
            August 1, 2017 at 05:29

            Martin, you mentioned TV, also known as Talmud Vision. Is that why? The Swedes used to be among the most intellectually free in Europe, what happened? Did the regime become the slaves of the US (Assange example) through US buying off everything and everybody with limitlessly printed US$? Sorry, I already know that Swedish media are one voice only (SJW voice) but why, how did it get to this? Sorry but I am curious.

          • Martin - Swedish citizen
            August 1, 2017 at 14:59

            Thanks for the comments. First, I actually am a monarchist, I think it has a definite value not least because they are another kind of people than the politicians.
            Most Swedes would agree, I think.
            How come the total lack of divergence emerged in Swedish msm? This is a key question that I (and I think many others, including here) have wondered about. At first, I thought the lies about Ukraine and Russia were mistakes, so I contacted A major Swedish paper (Svenska Dagbladet) about one such instance, all up to the chief editor and got the answer that they don’t write the truth but what they want the truth to be. Same story with Swedish state television, also copied to the managing director. I was probably not so clear, but what I meant with one voice was not only state tv, but all major daily papers and commercial tv as well.
            How does this happen? I don’t know, and I think your guesses are as good as mine, plus I think many of the articles on here provide important pieces to the puzzle. I am sure the situation is similar, with variations, across Europe, perhaps in Germany there is more debate and more critical public opinion, so I have heard.
            Probably, Sweden is not in the position any more , as in the days of Palme, to speak out. Swedish exports, it is sometimes pointed out, are very much reliant on US IR rights and components etc. One free lance journalist was apparently genuinely concerned about a comment I made to him. He referred to having used credible news sources for his article as source criticism. These sources were big Western msm and news agencies. He realised the problem with perpetual references and that the initial data may be fake, but I later saw an article in the same manner. He had not changed style. There is probably little market for the truth. Established well known journalists have hinted between the lines at the editors.

          • Martin - Swedish citizen
            August 1, 2017 at 15:13

            Interviewed on TV in 2014 probably, our minister of foreign affairs, Ms Wallstrom, stated that (don’t recall the exact words) we intend to win this propaganda war (with Russia). It sounded like an unintended slip of the tongue.

          • Kiza
            August 1, 2017 at 16:16

            Martin, thank you very much for trying to answer my question. I can only offer my speculation (opinion) from what you wrote. The attitude of the people in the media that you describe is that dangerous mix of soft intellectual and moral decline not uncommon in the post-modern Western societies. I would be surprised if this decline is applicable only to the Swedish views of Russia. Russia is probably just a useful scapegoat, a useful focus for the national and individual fears and frustrations, as someone online compared the Russians now with the Jews in the European thirties. Limitless immigration into Sweden is perhaps another indication of the decline.

            I have spent a bit of time in Sweden and I did get a superficial impression about the good and the bad of its society. Yet, I did not get an impression that the global Jewish financial mafia which is leading the assault on Putin and Russia now has any distinct influence in Sweden, this is why I asked this – for you to rule it out. Then, the Sweedish need for scapegoating someone must be the reason for accepting the mafia’s fake news and spreading them locally. It is pure contagion instead of plan, it is probably the mentioned fear and the insecurity of the Swedes that makes Sweden a fertile soil for the mafia’s lies (copying of the “news” from US). This may be how Sweden differs from other European countries such as France, where the Jewish financial mafia rules everything.

            The attitudes of the media people that you describe are familiar. One of the fringe benefits for some of the people working in the media is this god-like belief that they control what their audience thinks – this is what it means that they write not what the truth is then what they want the truth to be.

            Finally, scapegoating Russia now is quite a dangerous endeavour because since 1930s the Jews invented nuclear weapons and some of them helped Russia acquire them. This confluence of the fears of loss (of everything) in the developed Western nations and the mafia’s revenge for both perceived historical injustices of Russia against the Jews and for Putin’s throwing down of the mafia’s yoke off the back of mother Russia are leading the world into this extremely dangerous territory.

          • Bob Van Noy
            August 1, 2017 at 18:36

            Wonderful thread. Very helpful. Thanks to all. We have spanned the globe with this commentary and I thank you all for it…

          • backwardsevolution
            August 1, 2017 at 21:39

            Martin – I too believe a benevolent king/queen is preferable, one who loves their country and will do what is best for it. Take politicians out of the equation, and you’ve got a chance.

            “…they don’t write the truth but what they want the truth to be.”

            Kiza – “It is pure contagion instead of plan…”

            I believe it is a plan. They are creating a story. In order to sell something, you first need a story. All major media are in sync, along with central bankers, most economists, academics, the intelligence agencies. Then there is the BIS, IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization, NATO, UNHCR.

            They are all following orders. That is what I see. Think about it. They are too much on one page, the world over, for it to be random coincidence. Let me know what you think.

          • backwardsevolution
            August 1, 2017 at 21:53

            There are probably many more, but I forgot the Council on Foreign Relations.

          • Kiza
            August 2, 2017 at 02:07

            backwardsevolution, it is only my guess but my experience in life tells me that there is much more chaos than planning. Whoever is running the show cannot successfully pull the strings of everybody in all Western nations simultaneously. When I studied management, they mentioned something called “the scope of management”, that is how much can one person control. The story of the former East German thought police Stazi was a good case study. Technology is a good management multiplier, but still one manager can manage on average only about five underlings. In other words, despite all the technology one would need a vast network, a vast bureaucracy (or Artificial Intelligence) to control everything and I have no evidence that such exists yet, even in Deep State.

            This is why I believe that what is going on is partly planned/controlled, partly confluence of interests and needs and partly inertia (pack mentality, group think etc). All three are important, but without the first one it would probably not be happening. Therefore, “the planners” who you mention are the masters of our universe but even they cannot and do not control everything. I hope I have not misunderstood your question.

          • Kiza
            August 2, 2017 at 02:30

            I must admit that I do not a priori subscribe to Martin’s monarchism, only because I believe that no ruling system is perfect for ALL situations. There are many moments in history when the enlightened monarchy performed an extremely positive role. Then, there is that old argument that the hereditary hold on a society brings a vested interest to protect it from the value extraction till the death of the host, common with the bourgeois leaders of society. In other words, a king wants to leave a host healthy enough for his progeny to feed on. The British system of a monarchy combined with parliamentary democracy is often taken as an example of a perfect combination. Yet, it is still driving UK down like a runaway train.

            This is why I do not believe in any system for all situations. But I must say that Putin’s “autocracy” is doing pretty well for Russia now. Somehow, Putin and his entourage (advisers) managed to centralize power through sheer popularity and be doing exceptionally well for Russia, just at this moment. If I were Russian, I would not want any more “democracy” than I have under Putin (unless I was on the payroll of some Western NGO), because this really appears to work.

            What is good for Sweden, I do not know. Maybe the Monarchy could help find a way out of the societal troubles, especially help find a solution for the runaway immigration.

          • backwardsevolution
            August 2, 2017 at 02:57

            Kiza – thanks for your reply. I feel there was a coordinated plan. I understand what you mean, though. Hard to control everything. But I do feel that all of the above-stated actors I cited were involved. The story they were pushing was globalization (“It’s good for you,” we were told). They were aiming for a one-world government.

            As I’ve been watching what’s going on, I’ve seen, for instance, New Zealand move, then Australia, then the U.K., then Japan, etc. It doesn’t matter on what; it was on lots of different things (central banking, media narrative, Russia, whatever). It was lock-step. I thought, “That’s odd, everybody on the same page? What’s up with that?”

            Of course there’s going to be some chaos, and what you say is interesting as far as management. But IMO there was a concerted effort to get as close as they could in moving things along as quickly as possible.

            They had a story all laid out. Well, it’s fine to have a story, but in order to be successful you have to sell that story; it won’t work unless the public buys it, gets on board. They didn’t. Witness Brexit, Trump’s victory. People have not bought the story. Things are now going sideways and they’re desperately fighting to get the story back on track by blocking Trump at every turn.

            As Martin posted above: “…they don’t write the truth but what they want the truth to be.” And they were all doing the same thing.

            Just the way I’ve seen things as I’ve been watching them. Cheers, Kiza.

          • Kiza
            August 2, 2017 at 03:21

            “I’ve seen, for instance, New Zealand move, then Australia, then the U.K., then Japan, etc” Could you not explain this also with pack mentality? Perhaps we will know more one day soon.

            I like the forthcoming cancellation of cash in the Western countries as a great example of a planned imposition of totalitarian controls. Perhaps you should have mentioned that one.

          • Martin - Swedish citizen
            August 2, 2017 at 04:32

            Thanks all for this fruitful exchange of different angles on this problem!
            I have little doubt the propaganda effort in Sweden at least is imposed from the government. I don’t know for sure, but many pieces of info point in that direction, including the (unintentional?) declaration of intent to win the war by the FM, and the deployment of a new entity for propaganda warfare within the defence. There is cooperation in this area with other EU countries, e.g. Latvia.
            At the same time, factors that you mention, Kiza, seem very valid,too. They would be the ones for the truth and a return to free information to employ?
            i am not sure about Russia as a scapegoat, worth thinking about, but my impression is more of painting a false picture of Russia as a huge threat. There is the traditional fear of Russia here, but actually my impression is that more and more people recognise the anti-Russian bias, ridicule it, are fed up and confused about what happened to independent media.
            I totally agree about the decline in journalism overall.
            I suppose culture and legacy determine to a considerable extent how a country is best governed. I noticed how Putin in Stone’s interview stated something like that in his opinion the present Russian limited democracy suited the country best, that it needed time to develop in the direction of more democracy. To me, this echoed one of Palme’s speeches, on the importance of patience in politics. He meant that it is crucial to change things in the desired direction slowly, with as much consensus as possible, in order to make them lasting and provide for harmony in society. I find it wise.

          • Kiza
            August 2, 2017 at 09:26

            Martin, I find it a little strange that you are a self-declared monarchist but at the same time you keep quoting the late Olof Palme, who was one of the greatest European politicians ever, a social democrat (which would be left off the center now). But this makes our discussion only more interesting. Thanks very much for debating.

          • Martin - Swedish citizen
            August 2, 2017 at 14:18

            Kiza, Thanks for your interest! I am happy you share these important concerns.
            It may sound strange to quote Palme and be a monarchist, but the support for the monarchy is overwhelming. I simply believe the monarchy unites, brings continuity. The king has no political power, as I am sure you know.

          • Joe Average
            August 3, 2017 at 23:09


            a few comments below this one I’ve seen that you’ve got the impression that in Germany is more debate. Sadly I have to disappoint you. Debate is happening on some alternative web sites. The best ones are Nachdenkseiten, KenFM (also featuring reports in English) and Jung & Naiv (youtuber). If there’s a critical report on MSM it’s mainly broadcast when most people are sleeping.

        • Bob Van Noy
          August 2, 2017 at 11:46

          Olof Palme, I’ve heard him called “The Swedish Kennedy”, seems to be most impressive to me and it interests me that he died in a similar way as Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy. I don’t know about his murder, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if there were a connection. He was also involved in Iran Contra?


      • arnaud
        August 4, 2017 at 14:49

        Surely the decline of Sweden was best shown in the disgraceful false rape charges against Julius Assange . 6 years + of illegal detention and torture for no crime committed, disgusting.

  22. mike k
    July 31, 2017 at 15:29

    “If the United States cannot yield it’s superiority… That is just not going to happen Mr. Stone, and you know it a lot better than most Americans. Hubris like ours just doesn’t go away without an enormous inner and outer struggle. Power concedes nothing without being forced to do so. (F. Douglas).

    • Stephen Berk
      July 31, 2017 at 18:43

      Agreed. But eventually the rest of the world, or much of the rest of it, might do just that. The US now is nineteen trillion dollars in debt with its infrastructure crumbling. This while China builds the new silk road bullet train through Russia and Europe. See the book on it by economist F. William Engdahl, who has a good blog. China also holds the lion’s share of American debt. The US is a classic case of what former Yale scholar David Kennedy called “imperial overstretch” in his “The Rise and Fall of the Great Empires.”

      • Skip Scott
        August 1, 2017 at 07:30

        Stephen Berk-

        Thank you for your insightful comments. There are many intelligent commenters here at CN, and I hope you’ll become one of the “regulars”.

      • Joe Wallace
        August 2, 2017 at 00:46

        Stephen Berk:

        Thank you. I’ll echo what Skip Scott says.

        The U.S. is threatened by China’s attempt to bind together the Eurasian continent, as though they will be taking away our markets. Instead of building up our own infrastructure — why don’t we have high-speed trains from Seattle to San Francisco to Los Angeles, and criss-crossing the continent? — I suspect we’ll be launching plans to sabotage Chinese efforts. Our arrogance shows in referring to the South China Sea as “an American lake.” Maybe it was at one time. Not anymore.

      • Joe Average
        August 3, 2017 at 22:52


        the nineteen trillion dollars is the official number for the US.

        If my memory doesn’t play tricks on me Mike Whitney once had written an article on CP, putting the number closer to 45 trillion dollars if you add the debt of states, counties and cities (Detroit had to file for bankruptcy and recently I had read that Houston may have some financial difficulties as well.). Additionally many state-run institutions – for example hospitals – have run up some debt as well. On a personal level many US citizens are indebted (and even larger numbers defaulting) with auto loans, credit card debt and student loan debt.

        Another article that I had once read on RT put the US debt at 60 trillion dollars.

        Regardless of which number is closer to the truth, rough times are ahead.

    • Kiza
      August 1, 2017 at 05:19

      One of my pet interests is comparing the decline and fall of the Chinese Empire and the US Empire. I often try to put myself into the shoes of the Chinese when they were facing this decline and fall. Many Chinese must have seen that the Empire was going down because it was making so many wrong decisions and doing so many wrong things. All their efforts, just like the valiant efforts of the commenters here, were directed at correcting the path, bringing the rail engine of the state back on tracks (I wonder what the Chinese were trying to do to save the empire and the nation). But all to no avail. Why? Because the mandarins (bureaucrats) of the Chinese Empire and the deep-staters of the US Empire could not let go of their privilege, their scheming and their squabbles. A friend of mine compared them to these African monkeys who put their arm inside a hollow three to grab a banana and then they will not let go of it until they get their arm chopped off and their brain eaten as a delicacy. Everybody in the Empire, including the mandarins and the deep-staters, would be better off if the empire would survive, but they just will not let go of the banana they grabbed.

      • Abi
        August 2, 2017 at 03:59

        Why does this monkey have to be “African”? As someone born and raised in Africa, I find it not only offensive but also factually inaccurate. African monkeys are not stupid.

        • Kiza
          August 2, 2017 at 09:18

          Hello Abi, this story is about how much smarter the African people are than the African monkeys, because this is how the people hunt the monkeys. Besides, to my knowledge, the monkey brain is a delicacy only in Africa. I was not trying to be politically correct then truthful because the story would fail to be convincing if I made the monkeys Asian, for example. Please let me know where the story is “factually inaccurate”, I am willing to listen and learn.

  23. Drew Hunkins
    July 31, 2017 at 15:11

    I just finished up reading the book of the interviews, entitled “The Putin Interviews” by Hot Books-Skyhorse Publishing. It’s a tremendous read that contains much material that’s not in the documentary film series.

    One thing that stands out is Putin’s incredible erudition and breadth of knowledge, it’s astonishing. Regardless of what one thinks of Putin — I happen to believe he’s a vilified leader who’s actually done some positive things for the common Russian people, he’s not a saint, but a much maligned in the Western mass media — the man has got to be one of the brightest, most knowledgeable statesmen on the world stage today.

    • jo6pac
      July 31, 2017 at 18:27

      If you have time and a chance check his twice year 4 hours question from the press and citizens in Russia. Amazing and there is no Amerikan politicians that could do that.

      They’re on u-tube

      • Lonkal
        August 1, 2017 at 16:15

        Valdai Club.

    • Stephen Berk
      July 31, 2017 at 18:37

      As a retired university academic (US History), who has one specialty in US Since 1945, I would add my positive view of Putin. He is a reasonable man, diplomatic, highly educated. He never returns insults to Americans for the foul things their media tells them about him. Yet the putrid American establishment (both major parties) treat him worse than Stalin. Putin, on the other hand does not trade insult for insult. He even compared John McCain to Cato the Elder, a Roman “patriot” who was always calling for the total destruction of Carthage. He said he admired that aspect of McCain, but he thought Roman cooperation with Carthage would have been better for both countries. I just finished reading the Interviews also. They ought to be required reading for every American college student to cut through all the media crap. Time was when James Reston edited the New York Times and they had such excellent journalists as Arthur Crock, who reported JFK’s highly unorthodox views honestly. The NYT today is opposite from that. You can get more truth from the tabloid New York Daily News than the Times, or indeed the Washington Post. Stephen Cohen, Princeton and NYU emeritus scholar and foremost Russian expert, who dissents from the official view, is boycotted by all media except FOX News, where Tucker Carlson. So we get more truth on Russia on Fox than the NYT and the rest of the War Party. Paul Craig Roberts, an independent thinking conservative with an excellent website, has referred to Putin as the only real statesman left in the world today. Many of Stone’s interviews prove it. And Stone did not throw soft balls. He asked many tough questions, and he, Stone, demonstrated far more sophistication, edudition and knowledge of public affairs, as well as interviewing ability than the mainstream media hacks whom Roberts likes to call the presstitutes. Eventually, the American establishment’s insufferable arrogance will come back to bite them. No country can act this arrogant, treating its European “allies” as satellites, keeping them in line through financial and legal extortion, without eventually paying a big price. The world is becoming more and more fed up.

      • Azad S.
        July 31, 2017 at 19:43

        Stephen Berk: “I just finished reading the Interviews also. They ought to be required reading for every American college student to cut through all the media crap.”

        Yes, I agree. It sure will awaken lot of young minds. I watched Putin’s speeches at Valdai Discussion Club Meet. The following is the link for a summary of his 2014 speech at that gathering in Sochi. This speech in 2014, like his 2007 speech in Munich, is very pivotal to his political ideas.


        • Nancy
          August 1, 2017 at 11:34

          I wish it would awaken young minds. With all due respect, most young people seem content to live through their phones, eating up whatever Google and Amazon are dishing out. I sincerely hope I am wrong.
          P.S. Great interview of Stone on his great interviews of Putin.

          • Lonkal
            August 1, 2017 at 16:35

            Leave the phones out of it, I’m reading this on my phone right now. People who hate on smart phones seem not to get that they are information consumption devices.

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 31, 2017 at 19:45

        Thank you Stephan Berk. It truly means a lot. I like to say, we’re fighting a battle here…

      • Realist
        July 31, 2017 at 19:56

        Beautiful analysis. Spot on.

        As a retired academic, you know how much academe has changed in our lifetimes, it’s not just politics and the media that have eroded. Look how academe has crucified Stephen F. Cohen!

        • Kiza
          August 1, 2017 at 05:08

          Realist, my thoughts exactly again. We must have been brothers in another life.

          Is it not fascinating how the old-style intellectuals, usually academics, have disappeared, to be replaced by hired “intellectual” guns. Most academics are either silent, worrying where the next grant will come from, or they have jumped on the same bandwagon as the media and they offer analysis/writing services for any cause, even if it will bring millions of dead. Sadly, I have to notice that this kind of honest and precise analysis can come only from a retired academic, which Mr Berk openly states he is. That is the kind of intellectual climate that academics have to endure now, a government salary used to give them unsurpassed freedom of expression but now it obliges them to say and write what the regime/deep-state wants.

          • Joe Wallace
            August 2, 2017 at 00:34


            “Is it not fascinating how the old-style intellectuals, usually academics, have disappeared, to be replaced by hired “intellectual” guns.”

            Reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson’s observation that “History is hard to know because of the hired bullshit.”

        • Kiza
          August 1, 2017 at 17:38

          Here is a very interesting story how the British/English University of East Anglia, after its climate hockey-stick emails were hacked in the pre-Wikileaks times, hired a PR consultant Neil Wallis of Outiside Organization to cover up one of the biggest academic frauds in academic history. University spokesperson Trevor Davies said they hired him because it was just a “reputation management” problem that they don’t handle well.


          If the fish rots from its head, the Western societies rot from their academic brain.

          • Realist
            August 2, 2017 at 00:44

            America skimmed the cream of the crop from Europe before and after World War II. My generation was largely educated by these paragons, most of whom were not only intellectual giants but men of impeccable ethics and kindness. Frankly, I don’t think we have lived up to their example and fondest hopes. Too much grubbing for money and fame rather than focussing on what’s true, right and beneficial. These days, to be considered one of the top contributors in the hard sciences, you must start your own successful business in addition to publishing your best work. I suppose the criterion is book contracts and even television chat shows in the social sciences and humanities. I’ve heard it said many times that unless they can make money in the market place, your ideas just aren’t very important.

          • Kiza
            August 2, 2017 at 01:55

            It reads as if science became yet another intellectual prostitute.

          • Realist
            August 2, 2017 at 02:08

            By all means, Kiza. More than anything, what university administrators want from their faculty today are contracts and patents.

          • Bob Van Noy
            August 2, 2017 at 10:25

            Kiza, Realist, Joe Wallace. You’ve touched on an interest of mine. I’m an undisciplined reader, taking little direction, but two of my main sources were Mark Van Doren and Jacques Barzun from Columbia University. I followed them carefully, and deeply admired their scholarship and method. As I recall, Robert Hutchins was much talked about within the Eastern Establishment as a sort of management prodigy. All of these individuals fit into a kind of Classic Intellectual Elite. Hutchins was hired as the youngest College President in the Country by The University of Chicago where he employed many impressive European (Mostly Jewish) intellects and built U of C into an impressive institution. However, the University was charged by individuals like the Walgreen Founder, as fostering Communism during the height of the “Red Scare”, and Hutchins (Academic Freedom) moved on and the institution reacted negatively to his prior leadership thus, The Chicago Boys. My take, this is when American Higher Education changed. However, In my opinion the very best new Professors, the ones likely to be labeled Leftist, also moved on to supposed lesser schools and remain there doing well but receiving little mention. The American Secondary Education System may be crippled but under the surface it is alive and vibrant…. This is why you get, for instance, a Milton Friedman over a Michael Hudson the latter has no microphone!

      • elmerfudzie
        August 2, 2017 at 11:38

        Stephen Berk, I very much approve of your comments. In the recent past, I commented about the current media hysteria (Russo-phobia) and ultra-right nature of the so-called, two party system..Gone are the days of the old traditionalists like Elizabeth dole. If Richard Nixon were in office today, his politics would be labeled “socialist” “social democracy advocate”. The complete absence of common sense inside the beltway, has finally evolved into a kind of all out madness, where a man without any previous political credentials (Trump) sits in the Oval Office..and now we must accept all those “unintended consequences” that are sure to follow…I’m hinting here at the likelihood of war with North Korea. To paraphrase that great author and professor of sociology, Michael Parenti: In Italy, prior to WWII industrialists and big land owners were drastically cutting wages and raising prices. The Italian government had to provide the big owners with copious subsidies and tax exemptions. This was and remains (today here in America) a government policy of corporate welfare-ism. The strong desire of our citizenry at large for social democracy and populism were answered by destroying social welfare expenditures and drastic cuts were made (Bill Clinton). Parenti said and I quote: “Does all of this sound familiar?” Just prior to WWII Italy, there were drastic roll backs in the standard of living and in order to advance the fascist agenda that the plutocrats and tycoons wanted, the ruling interests destroyed all democratic rights, fast forward in time… AKA “Patriot” and NDA Act(s). The solution was to smash their organizations and their political liberties for example; Seattle, WA and Ferguson MO riots, Industry moguls, banksters, agricultural associations, (just like today’s GMO folks) met with Mussolini to and created a fascist revolution in Pre-WWII Italy. Within two years after the corporatists seized the government apparatus and powers, Mussolini had shut down all opposition newspapers, crushed unions, liberals, Catholic resistance (antiabortion today) , democratic, and republican parties…again DOES ALL THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU????

        • Joe Average
          August 3, 2017 at 22:34


          for the most part your comment is right on the spot. Especially your observation of the roll back in the standard of living provided a new angle to the whole picture. The spending on the poor and refugees is blamed negative balances. This reasoning in turn is used for fire sales of communal assets. It has always been a fight between the haves and the have-nots. Again the have-nots and remaining “middle-class” are looking in the wrong direction for the ones responsible. Let’s hope they’ll wake up before it’s too late.

          • Joe Average
            August 3, 2017 at 22:39

            The finger on the mouse button was faster than my mind. I wanted to add that a politician doesn’t necessarily need political credentials. It’s the same with businessman. For starting and running a successful business someone doesn’t necessary need an MBA. Look at the two of us. We’re discussing political topics and at least one of us – me – does neither have political credentials nor any degree in political science.

          • elmerfudzie
            August 8, 2017 at 21:00

            Joe Average, How has it come to pass, that the citizenry at large seem to have fallen asleep when their individual future(s) are at stake. Paul Craig Roberts once said, and quote him: ….
            “one cannot help but wonder at the insouciance of the American people. Where are they? Do they exist or are they a myth? Have they been put to sleep by an evil demon?

      • elmerfudzie
        August 2, 2017 at 13:14

        Stephen Berk, My reply to your comment got bumped down this page-

  24. Bob Van Noy
    July 31, 2017 at 14:53

    Nothing but the truth being spoken here from the interviewer to Oliver Stone and I hope in the Commentary. I can’t thank you enough Dennis Bernstein, Oliver Stone and Robert Parry for this Exceptional site!

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 31, 2017 at 15:54

      Make that the two of us, who find this site amazing, and of course having Dennis Bernstein interview Oliver Stone is even more reason to thank Robert Parry for being the person he is.

      I hope that someday in the future the Oliver Stone documentary ‘Ukraine on Fire’ will be shown somewhere in America, or anywhere if you would rather, but that this censorship veil is lifted and never to return. I am one who believes that we Americans are living inside of a 1984 style police state. Don’t let Seinfeld reruns, or Dancing with the Stars, fool you. Life may appear to be okay, but when you finally do discover that we have been taken over by a police state, it may then be too late to do anything about it.

      Thanks to truth keepers such as who grace the pages of this site, we here at least have a window into the real world, where other Americans who don’t bother to search out the truth are certainly at a loss. Bravo, Oliver Stone for giving us a lifetime of great movies, which can, and do make a difference. Also thank you Dennis Bernstein, and especially a thanks goes to Robert Parry for hosting such authors has he does on this terrific truth telling website.

      • jo6pac
        July 31, 2017 at 18:25

        I’m in, make it 3

        • August 1, 2017 at 00:07

          Me too.

          And btw congratulations to Robert Parry for his recent well-deserved prize

      • Chris
        August 1, 2017 at 21:30

        Hi Joe,

        since mid July you can buy Ukraine on Fire at Amazon


        It’s worth the money!



        • Joe Tedesky
          August 1, 2017 at 22:43

          Thank you very much Chris. I really appreciate your telling me this. Proof there is more good, than bad.

        • Bob Van Noy
          August 2, 2017 at 09:01

          Thanks Chris, I just ordered it…

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