Questioning the Russia-gate ‘Motive’

A key pillar of the Russia-gate affair is the assumption that Russia’s leaders wanted to stop Hillary Clinton and boost Donald Trump, but the Kremlin’s views on last year’s election were much more nuanced, writes Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia over Russia-gate, hysteria about Russia supposedly corrupting and manipulating the U.S. political system. This panic originated with Obama administration holdovers in the intelligence community who outlined the narrative while providing few if any facts — and it has been carried forward by Democrats, some Republicans hostile to President Trump, and by the U.S. mainstream media.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the third presidential debate in 2016, during which Clinton called Trump Vladimir Putin’s “puppet.”

The Russia-gate frenzy has similarities to the madness that followed the 9/11 attacks when public passions were manipulated to serve the geopolitical agenda of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. In that case, civil liberties that had become accepted norms in the U.S. were suddenly cast aside – and the public was deceptively led into the invasion of Iraq.

In both cases – the Iraq War and Russia-gate – the U.S. intelligence community played central roles by – regarding Iraq – promoting false intelligence that Iraq was hiding WMD and had ties to Al Qaeda and – in the Russian case – assessing (without presenting evidence) that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic emails and their publication via WikiLeaks to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign and to help elect Donald Trump.

While the Iraq deception was driven by the neoconservatives in the Bush-Cheney administration, the Russia paranoia was started by the nominally left-of-center administration of Barack Obama in the closing months of his presidency. It has been fanned ever since by liberals and centrists in the Democratic Party and the never-Trump contingent in the Republican Party as well as the mainstream media – with the goal of either removing Trump from office or politically crippling him and his administration, i.e., to reverse the results of the 2016 election or, as some might say, reverse the “mistake” of the 2016 election.

Because promoters of the Russia-gate hysteria talk about the Kremlin’s “war” on the U.S. political process, the frenzy also carries extreme dangers, even greater than the death and destruction from the Iraq War. Russia is the only country on earth capable of turning the United States into ashes within a day. And even as U.S. journalists and politicians have casually – and sloppily – hyped the Russia-gate affair, the Russians have taken the growls of hostility from the United States very seriously.

Rumbles of War

If Russia is preparing for war, as the latest issue of Newsweek magazine tells us, we have no one but our political leaders and media pundits to blame. They have no concern for Russian national sensitivities and the “red lines” that the Russians have drawn. U.S. senators and congressmen listen only to what U.S. “experts” think the Russian interests should be if they are to fit into a U.S.-run world. That is why the Senate can vote 98-2 in favor of elevating President Obama’s executive sanctions against Russia into federal law as happened this past summer so President Trump can’t reverse them.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting room at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, at the outset of a bilateral meeting on July 14, 2016. [State Department Photo]

There have been a few U.S. journalists and academics who have examined the actual facts of the Russia-gate story and found them lacking in substance if not showing outright signs of fabrication, including,, and But they make up a very small minority.

Instead the major U.S. media has taken the Jan. 6 “Intelligence Community Assessment” accusing the Russians of meddling in the 2016 election as unassailable truth despite its stunning lack of evidence. According to President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, that “assessment” came from a “hand-picked” group of analysts from the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency, not the “all 17 intelligence agencies consensus” that the public was repeatedly told.

Perhaps the most significant challenge to the Russia-did-the-hacking “assessment” came from a study of the available forensic evidence by a group of former U.S. intelligence officers with relevant technical expertise from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

The VIPS’ analysis of the known download speed of one batch of Democratic emails concluded in July that the emails were likely extracted by a local download, not an external hack over the Internet, i.e., an inside job by someone with direct access to the computers. But the VIPS findings were largely ignored by the U.S. mainstream media, which has treated the original “assessment” by those “hand-picked” analysts as unchallengeable if not flat fact.

Besides the conventional wisdom that Russia did “hack” the emails and somehow slipped the emails to WikiLeaks, there is another core assumption of the Jan. 6 report – that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the hack of the Democratic emails and their publication through WikiLeaks because of his contempt for Hillary Clinton and his desire for Trump to win.

Indeed, the Jan. 6 “assessment” treats this supposed motive as the central evidence of Russian guilt, since actual physical or testimonial evidence is lacking. Yet what is also missing from the report is any recognition of other attitudes among the Russian political elite that would go against the report’s thesis, including whether Putin would have taken such a risk in the face of a widespread consensus that Clinton was the near-certain winner – and the strong possibility that any Russian operation would be exposed. An evenhanded intelligence “assessment” would have included these counter-arguments even if in the end they were cast aside. But the Jan. 6 report offered no such context or balance.

A View from Moscow

However, from my perspective – having participated in some of the leading Russian public affairs programs in 2016 – I heard Russian insiders close to President Putin expressing grave doubts about whether a Trump presidency would be good for Russia.

Red Square in Moscow with a 2016 winter festival to the left and the Kremlin to the right. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Political talk shows are a very popular component of Russian television programming on all channels, both state-run and commercial channels. They are mostly carried on prime time in the evening but also are showing up in mid-afternoon where they have displaced soap operas and cooking lessons as entertainment for housewives and pensioners.

The shows are broadcast live either to the Moscow time zone or to the Far East time zone. Given the fact that Russia extends over nine time zones, they are also video recorded and reshown locally at prime time. In the case of the highest quality and most watched programs produced by Vesti 24 for the Rossiya One channel, they also are posted in their entirety and in the original Russian on Youtube.

The panelists come from a rather small pool of Russian legislators, including chairmen of the relevant committees of the Duma (lower house) and Federation Council (upper house); leading journalists; think tank professors; and retired military brass. The politicians are drawn from among the most visible and colorful personalities in the Duma parties, but also extend to Liberal parties such as Yabloko, which failed to cross the five-percent threshold in legislative elections and thus received no seats in parliament.

(Since I live in Brussels, I was flown by the various channels who paid airfare and hotel accommodation in Moscow. That is to say, my expenses were covered but there was no honorarium. I make this explicit acknowledgement to rebut in advance any notion that I and other outside panelists were in any way “paid by the Kremlin” or restricted in our freedom of speech on air.)

During the period under review, I appeared on both state channels, Rossiya-1 and Pervy Kanal, as well as on the major commercial television channel, NTV. My debut on the No. 1 talk show in Russia, “Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev,” on Sept. 11, 2016, was particularly useful because I had a chance to speak with the host, Vladimir Soloviev, for five minutes before the program.

I put to him the question that interested me the most: whom did he want to see win the U.S. presidential election. Without hesitation, Soloviev told me that he did not want to see Trump win because the celebrity businessman was volatile, unpredictable — and weak. Soloviev added that he and other politically knowledgeable Russians did not expect improved relations with the U.S. regardless of who won. He rejected the notion that Trump’s tossing the neocons out of government would be a great thing in and of itself.

The Devil You Know

Soloviev’s resistance to the idea that Trump could be a good thing was not just an example of Russians’ prioritizing stability, the principle “better the devil you know,” meaning Hillary Clinton. During a chat with a Russian ambassador, someone also close to power, I heard the firm belief that the United States is like a big steamship which has its own inertia and cannot be turned around, that presidents come and go but American foreign policy remains the same.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and astronaut Mark Kelly speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona. March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

This view may be called cynical or realistic, depending on your taste, but it is reflective of the thinking that came out from many of the panelists in the talk shows.

To appreciate what weight the opinions of Vladimir Soloviev carry, you have to consider just who he is – that his talk show is the most professional from among numerous rival shows and attracts the most important politicians and expert guests. But even more to the point, he is as close to Putin as journalists can get and is familiar with the President’s thinking.

In April 2015, Soloviev conducted a two-hour interview with Putin that was aired on Rossiya 1 under the title “The President.” In early January 2016, the television documentary “World Order,” co-written and directed by Soloviev, set out in forceful terms Putin’s views on American and Western attempts to stamp out Russian sovereignty that first were spoken at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007 and have evolved and become ever more frank since.

Soloviev has a Ph.D. in economics from the Institute of World Economics and International Relations of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was an active entrepreneur in the 1990s and spent some time back then in the U.S., where his activities included teaching economics at the University of Alabama. He is fluent in English and has been an unofficial emissary of the Kremlin to the U.S. at various times.

For all of these reasons, I believe it is safe to say that Vladimir Soloviev represents the thinking of Russian elites close to Putin, if not the views of Putin himself.

I encountered similar skepticism about Trump elsewhere as well. On Sept. 27, 2016, I took part in the “Sixty Minutes” talk show on Rossiya 1that presented a post-mortem of the first Trump-Clinton debate the day before.

Presenter Yevgeny Popov and his wife and co-presenter Olga Skabeyeva made a point that was largely missing in Western news coverage – that the Democrats and Republicans had largely switched positions on the use of military force, with Clinton taking the more hawkish position and Trump the more dovish stance.

Doubting Trump

Yet, Russian politicians and journalists on the panel were split down the middle on whether Trump or Clinton was their preferred next occupant of the Oval Office. The Trump skeptics noted that he was impulsive and could not be trusted to act with prudence if there was some crisis or accidental clash between U.S. and Russian forces in the field, for example.

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona. March 19, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)


They took the cynical view that the more dovish positions that Trump took earlier were purely tactical, to differentiate himself from his Republican competitors and then Clinton. Thus, these analysts felt that Trump could turn out to be no friend of Russia on the day after the elections.

One Trump doubter called Trump a “non-systemic” politician – or anti-establishment. But that is not a compliment in the Russian context. It has the odious connotation applied to Alexei Navalny and some members of the U.S.- and E.U.-backed Parnas political movement, suggesting seditious intent.

The Oct. 20 program “Evening with Vladimir Soloviev,” which I watched on television from abroad, was devoted to the third Clinton-Trump debate. My main takeaway from the show was that there was a bemused unanimity on the very diverse panel that the U.S. presidential campaign was awful, with both candidates having serious weaknesses of character and/or careers. Particular attention was devoted to the very one-sided position of the U.S. mass media and the centrist establishments of both parties favoring Hillary Clinton.

Though flamboyant in his language, nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the LDPR Party, touched on a number of core concerns:

“The debates were weak. The two cannot greet one another on stage, cannot say goodbye to one another at the end. They barely can get out the texts that have been prepared for them by their respective staffs. Repeating on stage what one may have said in the locker room. Billions of people around the world conclude with one word: disgrace!  This is the worst electoral campaign ever.

“And mostly what we see is the style of the campaign. However much people criticize the USSR – the old fogies who ran it, one and the same, supposedly the conscience of the world. Now we see the same thing in the USA: the exceptional country – the country that has bases everywhere, soldiers everywhere, is bombing everywhere in some city or other. …

“Hillary has some kind of dependency. A passion for power – and that is dangerous for the person who will have her finger on the nuclear button. If she wins, on November 9th the world will be at the brink of a big war.”

Zhirinovsky made no secret of his partiality for Trump, calling him “clean” and “a good man” whereas Clinton has “blood on her hands” for the deaths of hundreds of thousands due to her policies as Secretary of State. But then again, Zhirinovsky has made his political career over more than 30 years precisely by making outrageous statements that run up against what the Russian political establishment says aloud.

Zhirinovsky had been the loudest voice in Russian politics in favor of Turkey and its president Erdogan, a position which he came to regret when the Turks shot down a Russian jet at the Syrian border, causing a rupture in bilateral relations.

The final word on Russia’s electoral preferences during the Oct. 20 show was given by the moderator, Vladimir Soloviev: “There can be no illusions. Both Trump and Clinton have a very bad attitude toward Russia. What Trump said about us and Syria was no compliment at all. The main theme of American political life right now is McCarthyism and anti-Russian hysteria.”

This being Russia, one might assume that the deeply negative views of the ongoing presidential election reflected a general hostility toward the United States as a country. But nothing of the sort came out from the discussion. To be sure, there was the odd outburst from Zhirinovsky. But otherwise the panelists, including Zhirinovsky, displayed informed respect and even admiration for what the U.S. has achieved and represents as a country. But the panelists concluded that the U.S. has a political leadership at the national level that is unworthy and inappropriate to its position in the world.

Yet, back in the U.S., the ongoing hysteria over Russia-gate and the perceived threat that Russia poses to U.S. national interests, risks tilting the world into nuclear war.

Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, Does the United States Have a Future? was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide.


147 comments for “Questioning the Russia-gate ‘Motive’

  1. mike k
    December 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    The whole Russiagate affair stinks to high heaven, and exposes the bankruptcy of American politics. We show ourselves to be the clueless sixth graders of the world, and the biggest threat to world stability and peace among nations. How ironic that the Russians who we endlessly disparage, turn out to be so much more mature and ethically sound than ourselves.

    • David G
      December 18, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      Even if I conceded that Russia-gate were well-founded, and agreed with the “hand-picked” analysts’ conclusions, and uncovered a coherent narrative from amid all the various unrelated Russia-TrumpWorld contacts – all of which I *DON’T* – but even if I did, my advice to the U.S. would be:

      Suck it up, buttercup!

      Even if all this stuff is true, it’s still just part of the push and pull of international relations here on gradually baking planet Earth. Something to be evaluated and responded to rationally and proportionally as the work of statecraft goes on. Not a valid reason to upend domestic and international politics, or have a temper tantrum about Russia, which is still going to be there after the U.S. has stamped its feet and held its breath.

      And it should go without saying, Russia-gate – even granting reality to its whole silly, baroque construction – is much less than the U.S. has done to almost every country on the globe, often repeatedly.

      • Broompilot
        December 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm

        Amen to that DG.

      • Realist
        December 19, 2017 at 5:51 am

        There’s a refreshing bit of candor!

      • slobobba
        December 23, 2017 at 1:32 am

        pretty much sums it up for me.

    • Michaelwme
      December 18, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Russiagate follows the essential Soviet enemy created in the ’40s. After WWI, the US demobilised and closed defence plants, and went into a brief depression.

      In the ’40s, that depression became the ‘primary post-war depression,’ meaning there must have been a secondary depression, i.e., the Great Depression. A theoretical economist at a small college in East Anglia named Keynes came up with the equations that explained the Great Depression, its cause and cure, and it was money and banking, not the war. Two brilliant practical economists, Adolph and Tojo, figured out how to use the theory of Keynes to end the Great Depression, cutting unemployment from more than 25% to less than 0%, but both passed away in the mid ’40s, and most feared the Great Depression would return, when Truman found the solution: have the USSR replace the Axis. The US Congress didn’t want to spend any money, but Truman got the Marshall Plan to stop Western Europe from all going Communist (and the Plan created lots of American jobs), plus the growing defence industries and military prevented a return of the Great Depression.

      The collapse of the USSR necessitated a new enemy. Bush, sr used Panama and Iraq. Clinton used Somalia, Yugoslavia, and Iraq. Bush, jr used Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama used Libya and Russia. And now Trump is using Russia, Iran, and the DPRK.

      Trump refuses to have every word prepared by experts, as all his predecessors did, so his words are very different, but his actions are not all that different. His foreign policy follows that of Obama, the Bushes, and Clinton.

      • Patrick Lucius
        December 19, 2017 at 2:15 am

        That’s pretty good… But does Trump want Russia as an enemy? I don’t think so.

    • JoAnne
      December 20, 2017 at 12:22 am

      Too true

    • December 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      The Russians are now ethically sound? I think that’s a bit of a stretch.

    • Peter Loeb
      December 22, 2017 at 7:29 am


      “The Alien Act of 1798 [under Washington’s successor,
      John Adams, the only non-slave-state President in the first
      30 years of the USA] empowered President John Adams to
      deport ‘all such aliens as he shall judge dangerous’
      or such as he suspects of treasonable machinations.’
      The Sedition Act punished with fine and imprisonment
      ‘any false, scandalous and malicious against the
      government of the United States…with intent to defame
      said government.’—cited from Francis Jennings’
      REVOLUTION TO EMPIRE (2000, P. 312)

      Note: All terms subject to contemporary definitions.
      Persons of color were property,Native Americans
      were not “citizens”, Quakers and other groups
      not pledging allegiance to the Constitution were
      eliminated, Catholics as well etc.

      Instead of “taking a knee” to the as yet unwritten
      “anthem” (1812), many of these groups fled to
      Canada for freedom. In the mid 18th century
      a former slave in the UK was set free by the British
      courts. The UK made slavery unlawful in
      1834. While the US was rule still ruled by
      slave states.

      Fugitive slaves were trying to escape to Britain
      to fight for their freedom and against their former
      masters.(underground railroad)


      l. I think Dr. Doctorow is much too kind to use the word “nuanced”
      in his article. certainly we know that major powers try to
      influence events in foreign nations and not always by “nuance”.
      This can include outright bribery such as in the UN General Assembly
      (non-binding) vote on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital 12/ 21.

      2. It approaches the absurd to believe that Russia influenced one
      candidate in 2016’s general election. Of course, all major nations
      do favor elections with one result over another. The US is
      a notable example again and again.

      3. One becomes sick and tired of regurgitating these tired
      discussions again and again. “Another US election is soon
      upon us. After that yet another. Unless the issues concern changes
      in either or both of the US parties’ strategies, further discussions
      of 2016 are no longer relevant.

      4.If Americans like the changes under the current Administration,
      they can express their views at the ballot box. This assumes
      that the Democratic Party will provide a reasonable alternative
      beyond plans and promises.

      5. In voting their beloved tax bill, the GOP has given its opponents
      issues they would not have had had that bill failed. We now await
      what is ordinarily called “the CR” in Congress, the “continuing

      6. As the votes in 2018 and beyond approach we will face where
      to get the money to cover the deficit. “Social Security”/”entitlements”?
      Even the Republican Majority Leader of the Senate in a radio interview
      doubts this can be passed “without a bipartisan effort” while admitting
      that that will probably not be in the cards.

      As usual, thanks to Doctorow for his insights. Let’s move on.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  2. Joe Tedesky
    December 18, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    It would be a wonderful thing to if Rachel Maddow would have as her guest Gilbert Doctorow, but then me winning the billion dollar lotto would be as wonderful as well.

    • David G
      December 18, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      My version of that fantasy is that Chris Hayes – who on some level has to know better – one day takes a look at his savings and kids’ college funds, sees there’s enough there, and decides to just go on his show and tell the truth for the hour, or maybe only 15 minutes, they’d allow him before cancelling his show.

      Rachel I think is just a creature of this stuff. Asking what she’d do or say freed of establishment ambition and control is like wondering what a fish would say if it could just get the water out of its mouth.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 18, 2017 at 5:11 pm

        Funny how but a few years ago we would have been talking about Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck the same way. I will say this, that by seeing Rachel, Chris, and Joy Ann, go ballistic over Russia with them sounding like warmongers, is a fine example of what a Corporate Pay Check will do for a person who prefers their career over principle. Hard to believe that Rachel was once a liberal icon over at Air America, but then again it’s hard to believe the Democrat’s are the Working Man & Woman’s Political Party. Everything in our America these days is upside down, or sideways at best.

        I have felt for a very longtime that the U.S. and Russia would make a perfect team to take on the problems of the world. I still hold out hope that someday I will see this union come about, and in a good way, as opposed to a bad way. Possibly Trump’s warning Putin of a terrorist attack in St Petersburg may open up the door to a continued détente, because Lord knows the world needs it.

        • john wilson
          December 19, 2017 at 5:35 am

          I wouldn’t want America on my team even if I was being eaten alive by a pack of starving wolves. At least the wolves wouldn’t want me to sing God bless America as they devoured me.

        • Theo
          December 19, 2017 at 6:33 am

          I absolutely agree with you.The world is in turmoil as it hasn’t been for long time.To me it seems most people especially in the West don’t realize it.

      • December 19, 2017 at 2:29 am

        I think Chris Hayes is beyond hope now. You can see it in his eyes. He’s a quisling who sold his soul to the corporation for his big paycheck.

        He has an insipid insidious look in his eyes.

        I knew he was lost when he shushed a black woman he was interviewing during the Primary when she started talking about Bernie. The camera was on him and he didn’t realize his silent signal to her went out over the air.

        I quit watching him. But I did see clips from Jimmy Dore of his insipid insidious attack on Susan Sarandon after the election.

        Maybe some day I’ll be sad about this, that a man who spoke the truth once about the corruption of power, has been corrupted by power. But not yet; I’m still just mad.

        • David G
          December 19, 2017 at 7:43 am

          I’m afraid you’re right, Miranda Keefe. Thanks for those examples.

          I still had some residual appreciation for Hayes until his hit piece on Randy Credico a couple of weeks ago. That’s when I realized that on the road he has chosen, there is no bottom, just down and down.

    • Abe
      December 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm
      • Joe Tedesky
        December 18, 2017 at 5:35 pm

        The chicken wanted to cross the road to avoid bumping into Rachel Madcow.

    • Abe
      December 18, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      Rachel Maddow Implied Sanders’ Supporters Disliked Clinton Due to Russian Propaganda

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 18, 2017 at 5:53 pm

        Hey Abe that video is a great example of Hillary & Rachel projecting their guilt of interfering into Russian elections, and it should be used as evidence here to. Thanks for sharing, your comments are always appropriate and in this case sometimes funny while also being informative. Joe

      • john wilson
        December 19, 2017 at 5:56 am

        Hi Abe, I watched your video too and it was very well done although nothing I didn’t already know. The pity is these sorts of informative pieces just aren’t seen by the public at large. By the way, do think Maddow looks a bit like Nikki Haley? Perhaps they are both hand maidens from Lucifer’s chamber of horrors?

    • Realist
      December 19, 2017 at 5:55 am

      The single challenging interview I ever saw her give was to Rand Paul. The rest are typically softball set ups. I’ve even seen Chris Matthews smack her down with a dose of reality on occasion. Her reputation vastly exceeds her abilities.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 19, 2017 at 10:12 am

        Realist, as you know it’s all about presentation, style, and performance. It’s ‘The Rachel Maddow SHOW’, not Hour, or Program, it is a SHOW. So, is Rachel more about entertainment, or is she really here to deliver the news?

    • DaveJoe
      December 19, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Why would a presstitute have a real expert on her show?

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 19, 2017 at 4:55 pm

        You make a valid point, it would be like me winning the lotto when I don’t ever gamble.

    • Dave P.
      December 19, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Joe, if Rachel puts Doctorow on the show, the Truth is going to come out. Her job is exactly the opposite – to conceal the Truth.

      The truth is:

      Russia is no threat to the West. Russia’s GDP is 1/16 of the GDP of U.S. and EU; its’ GDP in PPP terms is still 1/10th of GDP of U.S. and EU. Russia has always lagged far behind in technology of the West.

      The real economic threats to the U.S. are Germany, Japan, South Korea; add Taiwan too. We helped build these countries. Now lately you can add China and Mexico to the list; to where our corporations have moved their plants. Trump knows it. I had watched many of his earlier interviews a few years ago where he discussed all these issues.

      Truth is Russians do not need additional territories. They are not expansionary power as charged by the West. As has been extensively reported here in Media that their population is going down, and that Russia is of no consequence now. They will be hard put to keep up that territory they have.

      I read it in Der Spiegel; Martin Schultz, German SPD leader said that Nation State in Europe is dead. EU Head said that Europe is going to have this immigration from Africa. There is going to be tensions in Europe.

      Trump does not like immigration or Globalization which has been a disaster for American Middle Class. He does not like immigration to Europe either. I myself am not in favor of these large scale immigration to build Empire and in case of Europe to keep up this expansionary Capitalism. Limited merit base immigration like the one half a century ago was working well.

      In his article “Requiem for the American Empire” in Nation in around 1986, Gore Vidal wrote that Russia’s (Soviet Union then) land mass and America’s ingenuity are a perfect match. We should be partners not adversaries.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 20, 2017 at 12:27 am

        Dave when it comes to Europe and the flood of migrants drifting up from Africa and the Middle East I often wonder to how, and if the average indigenous European isn’t upset with the U.S. Coalition of the Willing when they connect all the dots. I mean is it not easy for anyone who does connect the dots to see who, and what, is at the center of these problems which plaque our societies? And, if these Europeans do connect the dots, then how does that constant dripping sound of war coming out of the U.S. Propaganda Mill not alert these European Homegrowns too not see the U.S. as the world’s greatest instigator of death, and destruction.

        Refugees are poor souls dislocated, and left abandoned, by the sad results of war. Although, most refugees are good, the experiences they encounter, coupled with their need to survive leave these people vulnerable to them being corrupted by shadowy unsavory masters who wishes to use them for illegal purposes. Then there is the ‘blowback’ aspect, which will appear among the mercenary, or the avenger who was created by such terrible events to which pushed them to react by carrying out a violent episode, as to make a point so profound to even if it means them committing suicide to make it.

        This culture of continual war must come to an end Dave. The world is getting smaller by the day, and this relying on violence to solve all the world’s problems is certainly not the way to cure what ills the world. War will need to be made a financial loser in order for any of this to change, and with that remark I will sign off with nothing much more to add, but hopefully I inspired someone to think. That’s the best I can do.

        Take care Dave. Joe

        • Dave P.
          December 21, 2017 at 12:57 pm

          Yes Joe, I understand the plight of refugees from Africa and ME. It is sad to look at the destruction of two millennia old historic cities like Aleppo.

          In my teen years, I grew up reading about African/Asian counties fight for independence. The Nationalist leaders, who wanted to nationalize their resources for the benefit of their people were eliminated one by one.

          I always enjoy reading your conciliatory comments. I wish the World Nations, especially the Western Nations can somehow learn the path of peaceful coexistence.

        • kiltdownman
          December 23, 2017 at 8:40 pm

          The europeans are not only indignant about the flood of refugees they also know perfectly well what caused it . Their governments are however ‘ vassals ‘ to the US government , and their masters – both locally and in Washington – do not act in accordance with the wishes of the populace .
          The rise of right wing politicians in Europe is likely attributable to a considerable extent to the refugee crisis . Thanks again America .

    • Gregory Kruse
      December 23, 2017 at 11:08 am

      She can’t do that because he might mention Israel in some negative way.

  3. Skip Scott
    December 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    “But the panelists concluded that the U.S. has a political leadership at the national level that is unworthy and inappropriate to its position in the world.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I bet these Russian panelists have the same view as the majority of Americans.

  4. mike k
    December 18, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    The whole glorious belt and road initiative, for all it’s superiority to an open military conflict, nevertheless is based on the myth of an ever expanding world of wealth and “progress.” It is just another version of the more and more is better and better meme, that is driving our planet to exhaustion and ecologic collapse. War is not the only cultural myth that humankind must grow beyond, if it is to survive. Excessive economic success will lead us to planetary failure.

    • Tannenhouser
      December 18, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      I kinda see it as Including the entire world as equal partners in global economics. It will connect a lot of different countries and alow them to participate in the global economy as opposed to the being captive to the western domination model. Which of course would be progress No?

    • Rob Roy
      December 21, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      Mike, I always read your thoughtful comments with interest. I agree with you here. Also, Doctorow’s article rings with insight and reality as usual. HE should be our ambassador to Russia.

      But, please, do not use the word, “meme.” You have used it here incorrectly. Almost no one uses it correctly. It’s become my pet peeve. RR

  5. Tannenhouser
    December 18, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Not that its worth much, however….I tend to think that the whole ‘brink of nuclear war’ is nonsense. I don’t think it will come to that. At worst it may be some type of false nuclear flag ala Jericho TV series.

    • David G
      December 18, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      Washington – and Chappaqua – are probably full of people in power who think similarly: that this can all be used to play games of power and profit, and turned on and off at will like a faucet, but who have no actual stomach for tangling with adversaries who can and will hit back.

      The problem is that the U.S., with its countless interventions and numerous aggressions, has trained the surviving countries outside its orbit to take the most dire possibilities seriously, and prepare accordingly.

    • irina
      December 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Because of course there is no possibility whatsoever of any sort of nuclear launch based on false ‘incoming’ data,
      or other sorts of accidents/system failures. After all, that has NEVER happened in the past . . .

      If not familiar with the Tunguska Event of June, 1908, I would encourage you to read up on it, there is a lot of
      information online following the Centennial Expeditions to the Tunguska region. It doesn’t take much imagination
      to visualize a similar occurrence over a large city or military installation, or to realize what that might lead to.
      (In fact, the much smaller meteorite which exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February of 2013 could easily
      have impacted the nearby Shagol Air Base, with unpredictable consequences.)

      In his signature work “By the Bomb’s Early Light” (1985), eminent historian Paul Boyer stated that the most
      dangerous time for nuclear conflagration was not the Cuban Missile Crisis, or the intense Cold War standoff
      of the early 1980’s. Rather, he said, the most dangerous time would be in the early decades of the next century
      (NOW), when multiple generations had become habituated to the presence of nuclear weapons in the world . . .
      and those who intuitively understood, post Hiroshima, how things had fundamentally changed, were gone.

      • Tannenhouser
        December 18, 2017 at 5:13 pm

        “Because of course there is no possibility whatsoever of any sort of nuclear launch based on false ‘incoming’ data,
        or other sorts of accidents/system failures. After all, that has NEVER happened in the past .”

        Of course irina, that’s not what the fear mongering is about tho is it? I’ve also read about a Tesla experiment at about the same time as Tunguska, that was way back however, so details may be blurred.

        I would agree that an ‘accident’ is more likely to happen once hubris sets in.

        • Virginia
          December 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm

          And not by accident, perhaps. People being more or less oblivious to the dire consequences!

        • irina
          December 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm

          The Tesla experiment (had to do with his radio tower, a very interesting project in its own right) was a
          contender for a while as a Tunguska explanation. But there were LOTS of eyewitness reports of ‘fire
          in the sky’ and all evidence pointed to an airburst of a space rock or comet core. The 2008 expeditions
          located a small, circular lake — Lake Cheko — which could be the terminus of the flight path and which
          has an unusual cone-shaped configuration with indications of a heavy metal bolide at the bottom.

          The Tunguska Event is precautionary, which original researcher Leonid Kulik (his story is fascinating also)
          realized back in the 1930’s, after his epic expeditions to the ‘fall zone’. He stated that “there is no reason
          a similar occurrence could not happen over a city — for example, St. Petersburg, which would have been
          directly in the middle of the impact zone had the earth turned just 3 more hours in its orbit before impact.”

      • Zachary Smith
        December 18, 2017 at 11:25 pm

        I’ve seen no mention of this close call:

        Stanislav Petrov, ‘The Man Who Saved The World,’ Dies At 77

        Except for him, 1983 could have been the end of the world as we know it.

        • December 19, 2017 at 2:39 am

          Petrov and Arkhipov are the two Soviet heroes of the Cold War who stopped nuclear holocaust.

    • Abe
      December 18, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      Comrade “Tannenhouser” likes to peddle “doubt” the same way “WC” did before that li’l potty mouth got him put in the “awaiting moderation” dog house.

      In fact, the risk of a nuclear war is rising because of growing non-nuclear threats to nuclear weapons and their command-and-control systems.

      In a conventional war, such “entanglement” could lead to non-nuclear operations inadvertently threatening the opponent’s nuclear deterrent or being misinterpreted as preparations for nuclear use, potentially sparking catastrophic escalation.

      Russian political scientist, academic and author Alexey Arbatov is one of Russia’s foremost experts in the fields of international relations, foreign and military policy, international security, and arms control and disarmament.

      Arbatov gave a Russian view of this problem and presented potential policy options here

      Arbatov has participated in many joint research projects with foreign experts on issues of strategic offensive and defensive weapons and compliance with international treaties on arms control.

      He has been a member of numerous advisory boards, including the Governing Board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the board of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the advisory board of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), the International Advisory Board of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), the board of directors of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), and is the vice president of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe.

      Arbatov played a leading role in the politics of post-Soviet Russia. He was a member of the Soviet delegation to START I negotiations, a bi-lateral treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms that was signed in 1991 between the United States and the Soviet Union. Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, he served for over a decade in the Russian State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly, and served on various committees.

      Arbatov was also a member of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission.

      Arbatov is an author and editor of many publications on issues of global security, strategic stability, disarmament, Russian military reform, and various current domestic and foreign political issues:

      Missile Defense: Confrontation and Cooperation (2013)
      Nuclear Reset: Arms Reduction and Nonproliferation (2012)
      20 Years Without the Berlin Wall: A Breakthrough to Freedom (2011)
      Outer Space: Weapons, Diplomacy, and Security (2010)
      Equation Security (2010)
      Nuclear Proliferation: New Technologies, Weapons, Treaties (2009)
      Beyond Nuclear Deterrence: Transforming the US-Russian Equation (2006)
      Defense and Security of Russia (2004)

      Not that any of it is “worth much” to comrade “Tannenhouser” or “WC”, however.

      • Tannenhouser
        December 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm

        Abe, I’m allowed to have my opinion, regardless as to what your Zionist addled grey matter wrongly believes about me or my reasons for being here. In the future I would kindly request that you leave me and any comment I choose to make here out of your dead horse beatings. I will afford you the same courtesy . Thanks for the Arbatov info. I doubt it will change my mind about nuclear war…. I am not being asphyxiated by a singular belief like some among us here though….so who knows…. Thanks again Abe.

      • Abe
        December 18, 2017 at 10:02 pm

        Calm down now, comrade(s) “Tannenhouser” / “WC”

        We all recognize that you’re highly allergic to all that “garbage about facts”

        Lord knows, we wouldn’t want to witness you “being asphyxiated” by reality.

        It’s quite obvious that any mention of Israel or pro-Israel Lobby motive is “beating a dead horse” for you and your Hasbara homies.

        “Israel” flashes on the computer screen and you’re all positively propelled into conniptions, paycheck or no.

        “Pointing out the obvious is so useless” in the main “opinion” you’re allowed to have.

        Anyway, thanks for the sudden tsunami of “kindly” troll “courtesy”.

        Sure beats that li’l orgy of cussing you indulged in the other day.

        As Israel-gate grinds forward, hilarious Hasbara “doubt” from trolls like “Tannenhouser” / “WC” will no doubt profusely ensue.

        • Tannenhouser
          December 19, 2017 at 11:24 am

          Ok then lets talk reality or rather your tenuous grasp on it.

          1st reality check. In 2011 a friend of mine was kidnapped in international water’s off the Gaza on an aid boat by IDF forces.
          I am better versed in the overreach and criminal ongoing of the Zionist regime occupying Palestinian lands than 80% of the general population.

          2nd Reality check. I have not once discounted or tried to distract from your incessant the Zionists did it message. All I did was ask a valid question (to someone else by the way) you are the one who attacked me as a Hasbera troll.

          3rd reality check Do I think your message is nonsense? Yes I do….I think this because all you do is ‘preach to the choir ‘ here. 90% of the people here are well aware of the simple facts you regurgitate at a full time job pace. So ya it is.

          • Tannenhouser
            December 19, 2017 at 11:35 am

            Reality check 4. The Zionist regime will most likely not go away and crumble like in your reality, one of the main reasons is people like you who hide in the shadows of alt media message boards spewing ineffectual data dumps and belittling those who are actually on your side as Hasbera trolls.

            Reality check 5. Despite the type of info you produce you actions place you closer to Hasbera than mine, as you have effectively shut down a valid stream of conversation with your cud chewing.

        • Abe
          December 19, 2017 at 4:09 pm

          Hasbara propaganda troll “Tannenhouser” clarifies “motive” with a tenuous li’l “talk reality” song and dance.

          Let’s review.

          Presumably it’s by no means an “attack” on CN for “Tannenhouser” to imperiously declare “ALL of this site and many more nothing more than Quixotic”

          See the comments for “Protecting the Shaky Russia-gate Narrative” (December 15, 2017) for Charlie Sheen-style “winning” brilliance from “Tannenhouser”.

          The troll loudly claims to be the only informed person in the room.

          Everybody but the troll and whoever “agrees” with him is hopelessly ignorant. Got that?

          The troll dismisses all other “CONments” but his own with utter contempt.

          The troll proclaims that there are “NONE asking the question that should be asked”.

          Apparently the “appropriate” (December 16) questions and “valid” (December 19) conversations are the ones advanced by the troll and whoever “agrees” with the troll.

          Yeah, well, that Hasbara propaganda strategy hasn’t quite worked out so well.

          Now “Tannenhouser” vomits up an awesome new Hasbara “reality check” list.

          The “reality check” 2-5 roster merely repeats the same Hasbara propaganda vomit “Tannenhouser” has been hurling for days.

          So “reality check” number 1 must be the kicker, some devastating retort to silence any and all questions about “Tannenhouser’s” most noble and generous “motive”.

          “Tannenhouser” claims to be “better versed” about “the Zionist regime” than “80% of the general population”.

          But now there’s this new added li’l twist:

          We’re all supposed to be impressed by a tale about “a friend of mine”.

          “Tannenhouser” shifts from Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel / pro-Zionist) to Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” / “anti-Zionist”) propaganda.

          The new Inverted Hasbara claim even goes so far as to mention “IDF forces”.

          Presumably “Tannehouser” is an unassailable authority because some “friend” got “kidnapped” by “the Zionist regime”.


          Let’s get real.

          Google the word “Hasbara” and note: About 1,260,000 results

          Right before “get you nowhere” troll “WC” had his potty mouth melt down and “you will get nowhere” troll “Tannenhouser” suddenly surged into “better versed” overdrive, comrade “WC” hilariously proclaimed that there were “no Hasbara trolls” here at CN.

          In fact, Hasbara efforts to “defend Israel online” are a reality.

          So what does allergic-to-facts “Tannenhouser” have to tell us?

          Our “better versed” Hasbara troll keeps on mumbling something about “Hasbera”.

          Google “Tannenhouser’s” word “Hasbera” and note: About 12,600 results.

          Ain’t no such “better versed” word. Just lots of mis-spellings.

          Nonplussed troll “Tannenhouser” loudly proclaims that “90% of the people here are well aware” of something or other, and whines that challenges to his “better versed” proclamations must be some sort of personal “attack”.

          There is absolutely no doubt that plenty more hilarity will ensue from the Hasbara troll army.

          “Tannenhouser” / “WC” vomit is merely the latest lame effort.

          • Tannenhouser
            December 19, 2017 at 5:45 pm

            Abe I was only voicing a question that I believe should be asked and hasn’t been. In retrospect I spose I did come on strong. My intent was to startle other’s into asking the question. Not to distract, belittle or incur the wrongful accusation of Hasbera troll. I am not nor have I ever defended Israel in the least; if that what you see then you are seriously mistaken.

            Attacking spelling is definitely Troll MO. If you were really interested in changing minds or awakening other’s you wouldn’t be data dumping in an echo chamber for your belief’s. The minds here don’t need changing they already know and see what you do, if not to the detail you seem to. Think what you want, just know that you have lost an ally, and you are 100% wrong about me. Keep up the good fight Abe.

    • Hans Castorp
      December 18, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      In the run-up to World War I, the eventual combatants had pretty much the same attitude.

      • Tannenhouser
        December 19, 2017 at 11:56 am

        The regular people were lead to believe such sure so they wouldn’t mobilize against their respective governments. WW1 or any war for that matter don’t ‘just happen’ there is/was/and always will be a pretext created by the bankers. WW3 is going on right now in case you haven’t noticed….. it hasn’t gone nuclear and probably won’t as full scale nuclear would be bad for business. Like I said ala Jericho or possibly the scenario laid out in Fredrick Phols The cool war. Full blown Armageddon, probably not. Even the bankers aren’t keen on a fallout 3 scenario.

      • Abe
        December 19, 2017 at 5:29 pm

        More “better versed” allergic-to-facts Doppelgänger gaslighting:

        “WC” likes to carry on about post-peak oil survivalist scenarios.

        “Tannenhouser” likes to carry on about post-apocalyptic survivalist sci-fi scenarios.

        Both blather about the “bankers” as our supposed saviors from doom.

        Funny how our cheery possibilitarian Hasbara trolls “just don’t think” that nuclear war is “possible”.

        Any other entertaining “possibility” will do for Hasbara trolls as long as it doesn’t involve any actual facts, military and political reality, or nuclear-armed Israel, which constantly threatens military attack against its non-nuclear-armed neighbors.

        According to Israeli-American historian professor Avner Cohen, author of Israel and the Bomb (1998), Israel first articulated an official policy on the use of nuclear weapons in 1966, which revolved around “red lines” that could lead to a nuclear response, including non-nuclear scenarios such as successful military penetration into populated areas within Israel’s borders, or the destruction of the Israeli Air Force, which are distinct possibilities given the current conflict in the Middle east.

        For more facts about Israeli nuclear doctrine

        • Tannenhouser
          December 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm

          Abe. Not once any where here (or anywhere) have I said nuclear war isn’t possible. Not anywhere. I have only stated I don’t believe it will happen the way it is being played up atm, with supporting references as to what I think is more likely. Any more words/ideas/thoughts you wish to falsely attribute to myself? Please feel free.

          • Abe
            December 19, 2017 at 11:17 pm

            Hasbara troll ‘splains’
            “the whole ‘brink of nuclear war’ is nonsense”

        • Tannenhouser
          December 19, 2017 at 6:11 pm

          Never held bankers up as our saviors from doom either, please do carry on. Keep up the good fight Abe.

          If I said nuclear war would possibly happen like a false flag Samson option, would that make you happy Abe? Given control of the narrative the Zionista have this would be possible no? Naw you would find a way to twist that too. Keep up the good fight Abe.

          • Abe
            December 19, 2017 at 11:19 pm

            Hasbara troll ‘splains’
            “the bankers aren’t keen on a fallout 3 scenario”

    • Abe
      December 19, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      “Tannenhouser” piteously claims to be “only voicing a question” that “should be asked and hasn’t been”.

      Alrighty then, comrade.

      Stop with all the beating around about “dead horses”.

      Please, dear comrade “Tannenhouser”, be so very kind as to write “a question” below in a sentence or continuous paragraph that has a question mark [that means one of these: ?] at the end.

      No beating around, no “CONment” sneers at CN, none of your other “asphyxiated” mischigas.

      Your question.

      Question mark at the end.

      I’ll answer it for ya.

      • Abe
        December 19, 2017 at 6:33 pm

        Oh, and dear comrade “Tannenhouser”, please do be sure to include at least one interrogative word [that means one of these: what, when, where, who, whom, why, how] so that we don’t end up with another one of those “better versed” statements trying to masquerade as a question.

        Take your time.

        Question word.

        Question mark at the end.

        Let us have it, comrade.

        • Tannenhouser
          December 19, 2017 at 6:57 pm

          Abe. In the data dump ending with the Russian Jewery Rennaisance about 7-8 posts below this comment, is a perfectly legit question. Two actually.

          Feel free.

          Keep up the good fight Abe.

          • Abe
            December 19, 2017 at 8:52 pm

            Answered. Now is your turn to ask what you proclaim “should be asked and hasn’t been”. Clock is ticking.

      • Abe
        December 19, 2017 at 7:57 pm

        Oh, come now, comrade “Tannenhouser”.

        Now you’re playing Twenty Questions parlor games again.

        Don’t be coy and run off, like all those other times.

        Let’s have that super awesome “only voicing a question” question that “should be asked and hasn’t been”.

        There’ll be plenty of time for those measly li’l “perfectly legit” queries of yours.

        Ask your “biggie”.

        Come on. Stay on task. This won’t take long.

        You can do it.

        Interrogative word. Question mark at the end.

        We’re all waiting.

        Don’t disappoint us all again.

        • Tannenhouser
          December 19, 2017 at 8:34 pm

          See the above comment Abe.

          Keep up the good fight Abe, yer winning.

  6. ranney
    December 18, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    What a wonderful article! I just wish Mr. Doctorow had written this months ago. It is helpful to understand the thinking of the whole Russian talk show culture – which sounds remarkably like ours except theirs sounds more like our talk shows USED to be like and no longer are, thanks to the neo-con Dems and their raging fury that Hillary wasn’t elected. It’s interesting to know that the Russians correctly perceived Hillary as a militaristic threat to world peace and Trump as being unstable and erratic.
    I also wonder if Obama loses any sleep over his disasterous behavior during the last months of his presidency.

    • Anna
      December 18, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      “I also wonder if Obama loses any sleep over his disastrous behavior during the last months of his presidency.”

      To be precise, Obama the Fraud was the driving force behind initiation of the anti-Trump activities.
      Overall, the country has been suffering from various high-placed parasites:
      Comment section: “… an inveterate liar and ass-kissing social climber. .” — That s was about about the lying Clapper but the same words are also ring true for Morell, Hayden, Obama, Mueller, Lynch, Rice, Haley…
      The Russiagate is falling apart and the chronology of the fraud reveals the main culprits name by name:
      The cheerleading presstitutes of MSM do not look good at all.
      “There is no doubt that… the Obama WH was at least aware and complicit but more likely an active participant in this conspiracy. We know that Susan Rice unmasked the surveillance. We also know what Farkas said on a public broadcast [] We know how Obama acted with closing Russian consular facilities. … This conspiracy at the highest levels of both Britain and the US is possibly unprecedented wherein disinformation and the use of the powers of law enforcement and state security to directly manipulate constitutional prerogatives must lead to increasing authoritarianism.”

      • jaycee
        December 18, 2017 at 7:27 pm

        The MSM – particularly NY Times and Washington Post – have responded to the recent development of this information by stating that “Russian meddling” is a flat fact which constitutes “objective reality” even though the very documents they claim establish this reality say just the opposite. The conceptual framework described by a Bush insider of creating “our own reality” appears to have been internalized across the whole political and media establishment.

        • Skip Scott
          December 19, 2017 at 8:19 am

          The Bush insider was Karl Rove, AKA “Turd Blossom”.

    • Gregory Herr
      December 18, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      Yeah, this is one guilt-ridden s.o.b.

  7. David G
    December 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    This piece by Gilbert Doctorow gets at the other of Russia-gate’s non-existent legs: not only is the factual basis lacking, but the very elements of the narrative are false or self-contradictory.

  8. Abe
    December 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    As Russia-gate is rapidly revealed as Israel-gate, it is important to consider questions of motive and political interference in terms of the history and current status of Russian Jews.

    According to the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, there are about 1 million people of Russian Jewish descent currently living in Russia.

    Israel has the largest population of Russian Jews in the world: 1.2 million.

    Vladimir Zhirinovsky, known for his political antics and controversial remarks about Jews, is the son of a Jewish father who is buried in Israel

    Four of Zhirinovsky’s relatives had been killed during the Holocaust. Zhirinovsky’s father, Wolf Eidelshtein, abandoned the family while his son was still an infant, and emigrated to Israel in 1949 (together with his new wife Bella and his brother).

    Zhirinovsky’s father was a member of the right-wing nationalist Herut party in Israel, and died in 1983 when he was run over by a bus in Tel Aviv. Zhirinovsky reportedly did not find out the details of his father’s life in Israel until many years later, or even that he had died.

    Historically, the vast territories of the former Russian Empire hosted the largest population of Jews in the world. The presence of Jewish people in the European part of Russia can be traced to the 7th–14th centuries CE. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the Jewish population in Kiev, in present-day Ukraine, was restricted to a separate quarter. Evidence of the presence of Jewish people in Muscovite Russia is first documented in the chronicles of 1471.

    During the reign of Catherine II in the 18th century, Jewish people were restricted to the Pale of Settlement within Russia, a territory that encompassed current day Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. Beginning in the 1880s, waves of anti-Jewish pogroms swept across different regions of the empire for several decades. More than two million Jews fled Russia between 1880 and 1920, mostly to the United States.

    The chaotic years of World War I, the February and October Revolutions, and the Russian Civil War had created social disruption that led to anti-Semitism. Some 150,000 Jews were killed in the pogroms of 1918–1922, 125,000 of them in Ukraine, 25,000 in Belarus. These were probably the largest-scale European massacres of Jews to date. The pogroms were mostly perpetrated by anti-communist forces; sometimes, Red Army units engaged in pogroms as well. After a short period of confusion, the Soviets started executing guilty individuals and even disbanding the army units whose men had attacked Jews. Although pogroms were still perpetrated after this, mainly by Ukrainian units of the Red Army during its retreat from Poland (1920), in general, the Jews regarded the Red Army as the only force which was able and willing to defend them. The Russian Civil War pogroms shocked world Jewry and rallied many Jews to the Red Army and the Soviet regime.

    In August 1919, the Soviet government arrested many rabbis, seized Jewish properties, including synagogues, and dissolved many Jewish communities. The Jewish section of the Communist Party labeled the use of the Hebrew language “reactionary” and “elitist” and the teaching of Hebrew was banned. Zionists were persecuted harshly, with Jewish communists leading the attacks.

    Following the civil war, however, the new Bolshevik government’s policies produced a flourishing of secular Jewish culture in Belarus and western Ukraine in the 1920s. The Soviet government outlawed all expressions of anti-Semitism, with the public use of the ethnic slur “Yid” being punished by up to one year of imprisonment, and tried to modernize the Jewish community by establishing 1,100 Yiddish-language schools, 40 Yiddish-language daily newspapers and by settling Jews on farms in Ukraine and Crimea; the number of Jews working in the industry had more than doubled between 1926 and 1931. At the beginning of the 1930s, the Jews were 1.8 percent of the Soviet population but 12–15 percent of all university students.

    In 1934 the Soviet state established the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in the Russian Far East, but the region never came to have a majority Jewish population. Today, the JAO is Russia’s only autonomous oblast and, aside of Israel, the world’s only Jewish territory with an official status.

    The observance of the Sabbath was banned in 1929, foreshadowing the dissolution of the Communist Party’s Yiddish-language Yevsektsia in 1930 and worse repression to come. Numerous Jews were victimized in Stalin’s purges as “counterrevolutionaries” and “reactionary nationalists”, although in the 1930s the Jews were underrepresented in the Gulag population. The share of Jews in the Soviet ruling elite declined during the 1930s, but was still more than double their proportion in the general Soviet population. According to Israeli historian Benjamin Pinkus, “We can say that the Jews in the Soviet Union took over the privileged position, previously held by the Germans in tsarist Russia”.

    In the 1930s, many Jews held high rank in the Red Army High Command: Generals Iona Yakir, Yan Gamarnik, Yakov Smushkevich (Commander of the Soviet Air Forces) and Grigori Shtern (Commander-in-Chief in the war against Japan and Commander at the front in the Winter War).

    During World War Two, an estimated 500,000 soldiers in the Red Army were Jewish; about 200,000 were killed in battle. About 160,000 were decorated, and more than a hundred achieved the rank of Red Army general. Over 150 were designated Heroes of the Soviet Union, the highest award in the country.

    More than two million Soviet Jews are believed to have died during the Holocaust in warfare and as civilians in Nazi-occupied territories.

    In the late 1980s and early 1990s, many Soviet Jews took the opportunity of liberalized emigration policies, with more than half of the population leaving, most for Israel, and the West: Germany, the United States, Canada, and Australia. For many years during this period, Russia had a higher rate of immigration to Israel than any other country.

    Russia’s Jewish population is still the third biggest in Europe, after France and United Kingdom. In November 2012, the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, one of the world’s biggest museums of Jewish history, opened in Moscow. Some have described a ‘renaissance’ in the Jewish community inside Russia since the beginning of the 21st century.

    • Skip Scott
      December 19, 2017 at 8:35 am


      Thanks for this comment. Once again I get an education. I am curious about the state of the Jewish community, especially what some call the “Russian Jewish Mafia” and Trump. It is very confusing to me. Jews like William Browder are behind the bashing of Russia, and the sanctions imposed by the US Congress, yet it seems there are many Jewish Oligarchs remaining in Russia. I know that no group is homogenous, and it is racist to think so, but I am curious that there is a ‘renaissance’ in the Jewish community at the same time as Jews like Browder seem hard set on destroying Putin. If you know more details, and/or can provide some useful links, I’d appreciate it.

    • Tannenhouser
      December 19, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      So Russia doesn’t call out Israel for it’s crimes because there are lots of Russian Jews and they are enjoying a renaissance as opposed to pogroms? Is that the take away?

      • Abe
        December 19, 2017 at 8:41 pm

        Consideration of Russian Jewish and other ethnic communities is a factor in Russian state diplomacy.

        That’s really not very difficult to comprehend for all of us who aren’t Hasbara propaganda trolls.

        • Tannenhouser
          December 19, 2017 at 9:30 pm

          So Russia doesn’t call Israel out for its crimes because of its ‘consideration’ of ethnic communities? Just so we are clear Abe, you are saying that a country with a population of 143 +million is willing to be disgraced, belittled, bullied and threatened on the world stage, next door and within it’s borders in an effort to consider a million people? So in short the Zionists have the bear by the short ones, Is that what you are saying?

          By the way you know what the biggie was, you just gave an answer to it here. Thanks. Keep up the good fight Abe.
          Your winning.

          • Abe
            December 19, 2017 at 11:12 pm

            My lengthier comment above provided an overview of the history and current status of Russian Jews in Russia.

            Sorry to disappoint you, “Tannehouser”. But there are no pogroms in the forecast.

            “Zionists” were mentioned only once. During the early Soviet period, Russian Jewish “Zionists were persecuted harshly, with Jewish communists leading the attacks.”

            I also mentioned Israel’s huge Russian Jewish population, and Zhirinovsky’s Jewish ancestry.

            My response to your statement masquerading as a question was to point out an obvious fact: “Consideration of Russian Jewish and other ethnic communities is a factor in Russian state diplomacy.”

            That fact is perfectly obvious for all of us who aren’t Hasbara propaganda trolls.

            You keep begging for attention instead of simply and straightforwardly posting this “question that should be asked” you keep moaning about.

            I did not answer your ballyhooed “should be asked and hasn’t been” question because you’re dodging around in a hilarious effort to run out the clock.

            Like doppelgänger “WC”, comrade “Tannenhouser” keeps whining about “attacks” and bragging ’bout his “biggie”, but we ain’t seen nothing yet.

            Add troll “Tannenhouser” / “WC” to the growing roster of Hasbara vomiting cowards.

        • Abe
          December 19, 2017 at 9:47 pm

          Comrade “Tannenhouser” posts one declarative statement after another, slaps question marks on the ends, pretends they’re questions, and then mumbles “you know what the biggie was”.


          You’re so close, almost there, comrade.

          Question word at the front (funny how you keep “forgetting”).

          Question mark at the end.

          What “should be asked and hasn’t been”.

          Come on, kid. You can do it.

          • Tannenhouser
            December 19, 2017 at 11:12 pm

            Abe. Is your brain that addled that you can’t comprehend the simple fact that you graciously answered the question already. As I am an equal opportunity employer I will repeat the question.
            Scroll back. The question is four back and your answer is three. It’s not that difficult man. (I’m assuming here sorry)
            Keep up the good fight Abe.
            Your winning.

            On anther note why do you think the Palestinians don’t call the Jerusalem bluff? I mean if they were to just say’ ok one state, that’s fine…. equal status and rights please. The Zionist response would definitely out them in a real way as an Apartheid regime, as they will never allow this. I know I know incoming data dump on how/why/when/who/where the Zionists control the Palestinians too.

            Keep up the good fight Abe
            Isn’t winning great?

          • Abe
            December 19, 2017 at 11:31 pm

            “I will repeat the question.” [Doesn’t repeat the question]

            “Scroll back.” [No question there anywhere, just more statements masquerading as questions]


            Hasbara troll “Tannenhouser” just can’t ever seem to get that breathtaking l’il “biggie” up.

          • Tannenhouser
            December 20, 2017 at 12:34 am

            No pograms in the future isn’t a disappointment to me Abe. Not sure why you would insinuate that….. wait maybe I do know.

            I’m hardly a coward. My question fit the parameters of such a thing in the English language. Pretending it was masquerading as something else isn’t due to an intellectual handicap on my part.

            Running out the clock? Abe I already got what I wanted from you. Thanks again, it was sweet. From here on in it’s just gravy.

            Keep up the good fight. Feel free to let me know what your thoughts are on calling the Jerusalem bluff.

          • Abe
            December 20, 2017 at 12:36 am

            Contrary to the Hasbara denial of propaganda troll “Tannenhouser”, Israel is a racial State that already is definitely out in a real way as an Apartheid regime.

            There can be no solution, be it in the form of two States, or following any other regional or international approach, as long as the apartheid regime imposed by Israel on the Palestinian people as a whole has not been dismantled.

            Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Not only does international law prohibit that crime, it obliges States and international bodies, and even individuals and private institutions, to take measures to combat it wherever it is committed and to punish its perpetrators.

            The solution therefore lies in implementing international law, applying the principles of non-discrimination, upholding the right of peoples to self-determination and achieving justice.

            States, Governments and institutions are called on to support boycott, divestment and sanctions initiatives and other activities aimed at ending the Israeli regime of apartheid.

            Hasbara propaganda attempts to deflect attention from the growing impact of the global BDS movement, and recent political initiatives to address the Apartheid regime in Israel.

            “Tannenhouser” has simply vomits mischigas according to Hasbara propaganda protocol, “defending Israel” with fact-free “opinion” that efforts to confront Israel’s Apartheid regime are somehow not “real”.

      • Abe
        December 19, 2017 at 9:11 pm

        Come on, comrade “Tannenhouser”. Now is your moment to truly shine.

        Stop running away from “voicing” the”biggie”, that magnificent question of yours that “should be asked and hasn’t been”.

        Don’t play coy and make us go dig around for it somewhere.

        Say it here and now, loud and proud, but with a clear interrogative word and a question mark at the end.

        Give us your very best shot, comrade: your amazing question in its full glory.

        I’ll answer ya right way.

        • Tannenhouser
          December 20, 2017 at 12:20 am


          Keep up the good fight Abe.

          If winning is fantasizing about my biggie (your verbiage not mine) and masquerading as erudite while just being boringly obtuse then you are all over it.

          Except you did answer my question, not sure how you can expect to be taken seriously in your claims that you didn’t. It’s plain for all to see above.

          Thanks again Abe your sweet.

          Any thoughts on calling the Palestinian bluff? Still to angry about answering my question that I never asked (I mean that you never did) maybe?

          • Tannenhouser
            December 20, 2017 at 12:40 am

            That last should read any thoughts on the Jerusalem bluff, (not Palestinian) most humble apology Abe.

          • slobobba
            December 23, 2017 at 2:27 am

            You two’s childish squabbling is a downer to an otherwise sober comment board. Please move on.

  9. December 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    With regards to Hillary Clinton, does anyone remember on the 1990s television show ‘Babylon 5’ where an insane, power-mad emperor has a collection of severed heads—those of his enemies—he talks to in order to gloat over their defeat at his hands? That’s what sprang to mind when Clinton cackled over the gruesome murder of Colonel Gaddafi. Why would any rational person have thought she was preferable to Drumpf, who, while dangerously unstable himself, at least pretended to understand the ramifications of starting a shooting war with Russia?

    On the other hand, Drumpf—who lacks not only principles but even the slightest amount of common sense—may yet find himself starting something world-ending just to try and placate the depraved savages baying for his impeachment, and that is something we all should fear. And to think we have the so-called “deep state” to “thank” for the present mess. UGH.

    • Annie
      December 18, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      I may detest Trump’s policies, but I’ve yet to figure out why he is perceived as so unstable. Kind of ridiculous when America itself has run amok, implementing a neocon agenda with it’s lawless wars, and castrating itself to a foreign power, Israel. The cold war really got underway during the Obama administration and could initiate a hot one, which sounds really crazy to me. Not to mention the media that has fallen into line with this agenda. Whose really unstable?

      • Leslie F.
        December 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm

        His fondness for nuclear chicken, for one thing.

        • Annie
          December 18, 2017 at 8:16 pm

          Not good, but it was under the Obama administration that they surrounded Russia with anti-ballistic missiles in what were former Soviet countries, created a coup in Ukraine which led to direct confrontation with pro Russian forces and as the article states Russia-gate got it’s start under the Obama administration, pushed by Clinton, and her fellow democrats. So far the back and forth rhetoric with North Korea is all talk, but during previous administrations there was no talk just shock and awe and wars based on lies, and millions of lives lost. To single Trump out as the crazy one, tends to negate the pathology that is very much a part of this country, and it distracts people from that realization.

          • Skip Scott
            December 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

            I don’t think it’s so much that Trump is the “crazy” one, as it is that Trump is a buffoon. His childish antics are embarrassing, as is his fragile ego. They all make horrible policy decisions (or jump to the will of the Deep State), but Trump looks and acts like a cartoon character while doing so.

        • Tannenhouser
          December 18, 2017 at 10:22 pm

          Leslie F. Can you name a POTUS that hasn’t rattled sabers with NK? Actually it happens so often one might begin to believe it was SOP for any POTUS, no? Even Obama claimed they would bury them. How unstable would you say he was?

      • mike k
        December 18, 2017 at 8:19 pm

        There are degrees of mental instability. Trump is pretty far out on the curve.

        • Annie
          December 18, 2017 at 9:41 pm

          I heard a reporter from CNN say that Trump responded to reporters questions and was raving. They showed the clip, and no raving. Russia-gate, sexual allegations, and he’s crazy have all been pushed, and to what end? To get rid of him. If Obama listens to a troika of women, Clinton, Powers and Summers, that want to overthrow Qaddafi, and does not heed the warnings of the Pentagon, and the Justice Dept, and goes forth with a war that destroyed a country, created the worst immigration crisis, along with death and destruction, is that not “crazy”? You can look at his policies such as naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as destructive, as he does the bidding of Israel, but then again we have never been an honest broker in that part of the woods. Why Mike is trump far out on the curve, anymore then his predecessors? What ever happened to actions speak louder then words, that I always heard as a child.

          • Kiza
            December 29, 2017 at 10:58 pm

            For what that is worth, I fully support your opinion Annie.

  10. Annie
    December 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    “But otherwise the panelists, including Zhirinovsky, displayed informed respect and even admiration for what the U.S. has achieved and represents as a country” I would like to ask why they would make such a statement, since as an American I would choke on those words knowing our history. An attempt at diplomacy at best. Thank goodness they followed it up with “…the U.S. has a political leadership at the national level that is unworthy and inappropriate to its position in the world.” Personally I like Zhirinovsky, although wrong on some issues he did nail Clinton, and all that blood on her hands.

  11. Drew Hunkins
    December 18, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Trump was trailing in virtually every single poll. Most reasonable people thought Trump was going to lose, therefore it’s very likely the Kremlin felt Trump was not going to be the winner. Why would Moscow risk interfering in the U.S. prez election knowing the impending winner was very likely going to be Killary? Once the warmongering queen was ensconced in the White House the Kremlin would know she’d seek bloody revenge for Russia’s interference in the prez election by ramping up sanctions, unleashing proxy forces on pro-Kremlin leaders around the globe, and harassing Russia’s border regions. It defies all sense.

  12. December 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Gilbert Doctorow’s article offers some interesting insights into the contemporary Russian view of its dysfunctional adversaries in the U.S., although it very much reflects the astute commentary that can be found on RT. Also, Abe’s comments above include good historical perspectives, along with some interesting observations on the enigmatic Zhirinovsky.

    December 18, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    I’m sure that most Russians supported Bernie Sanders, like I did. Trump was my second choice for a Peace candidate and got my vote over the Clinton/Bush Crime Family.

    • mike k
      December 18, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      I voted no to the whole rigged charade. Why endorse a crooked wheel? I don’t get my kicks from being abused. Belief in voting subtracts from real efforts that count. Voting is a basic scam of our undemocratic system.

      • Tannenhouser
        December 18, 2017 at 8:39 pm

        I suggest you do both…….

    • irina
      December 19, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      If you count the years H.W. spent as defacto (officially Vice) President during the Reagan Era,
      and the years the Hillary spent as SoS under Obama, from 1980 until 2016 there were only
      3 years that either a Bush or a Clinton did not hold one of the highest offices in the country.
      (2013-2016). That alone was enough for me to not ‘hold my nose and vote for Her’, all other
      considerations (and there were/are plenty) aside. I caucused for Bernie and voted Green.

  14. December 18, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    This article, linked below, by Parry, also ConsortiumNews, discusses the “Russia-gate” fiasco too.. But Parry rips apart the NYT”s recent published lies and propaganda regarding this topic. Seems that FOX and NYT are not that far apart anymore? I’ve never seen either, and never will.I believe that most citizens inside the USA think the NYT is a good news source. A very big problem here in the USA is mass ignorance, and apparently committed to remaining ignorant, by golly.
    Here’s the article:

    • turk 151
      December 18, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      The corruption of the New York Times is indeed a central problem of our democracy. It is still seen as the the vanguard of democracy, by those who perceive themselves in the know. None of the recent phony wars could have occurred without the NYT compiicity.

  15. Steven A
    December 18, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Above, Doctorow usefully adduces relevant anecdotal information regarding attitudes to the US election expressed in major Russian political talk show programs directed at a domestic Russian audience.

    Complementary to this, Justin Raimondo earlier adduced evidence on relevant aspects of Russian media geared for foreign consumption. He compared an assertion of the “intelligence Community Assessment” of January 6 to what we in fact know about RT’s coverage:

    “The report claims that RT and the Sputnik web site ‘began openly supporting Trump’s candidacy.’ This is untrue: if you bother to look at RT’s YouTube channel, for example, it’s clear that if they were supporting anyone it was Bernie Sanders. And a simple search of RT’s news stories shows that the station regularly echoed charges of racism directed at Trump by his opponents. With “support” like that, Trump doesn’t need opponents.” (hyperlinks omitted)

  16. whiteylockmandoubled
    December 19, 2017 at 12:20 am

    The Intercept now reporting that Jill Stein will provide all documents regarding her traitorous appearance at an RT event to the House Intelligence Committee. Can’t imagine a clearer illustration of the toxic cocktail of stupidity and malice at the heart of this garbage:

    Breaking: my sources tell me Mueller is feverishly drafting subpoenas for Rocky and Bullwinkle. We’re sure to get to the heart of this perfidy any moment.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      I just saw that at the Naked Capitalism site. Here is what the blogger there posted:

      Led by Dianne Feinstein, Democrats are exploiting Russiagate to eliminate the political opposition to their left. The innuendo spread against Stein and the Green Party contains all the classical elements of McCarthyism.

  17. Mark Thomason
    December 19, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Russia-gate has nothing to do with a stolen election. For proof, nobody is taking tech steps with voting methods to prevent it being done “again.”

    It is about removing Trump, reversing an election. It is a Constitutional coup just like the same people did in Brazil and Honduras a short while ago, Team Hillary. We even know when and where she called the meeting to plan it out, and who was there, shortly after the election.

  18. Zachary Smith
    December 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Everybody is writing about “Russia-gate”. I liked this brief observation I just read at the xymphora site:

    I think it is amazing that Strzok (or somebody) was able to mainline Clinton campaign oppo into the highest levels of the American political system through using his status as an FBI agent to pass off manufactured partisan dirt as processed and vetted FBI intelligence product. The only (highly ironic) reason this didn’t have election-swaying importance is that nobody in Washington thought that Trump had even the slightest chance of winning. You would think this level and kind of corruption for the Clinton campaign would be the lasting issue of #Russiagate.

    I sure didn’t think the evil ***** Hillary would lose! From all accounts she didn’t either, for like with Romney in 2012, she didn’t even have a concession speech prepared.

    • irina
      December 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      She did, however, cancel her planned victory/celebratory fireworks show,
      planned to go off after she was ‘declared the winner’. This was reported
      (briefly) on the evening before the polls opened. So she had plenty of time
      on Election Day to prepare a concession speech . . .

  19. hatedbyu
    December 19, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    the russia as bad guy meme that the media has pushed did not start with the wikileaks dump. it started, as far as i can tell, back in 08 when the georgians invaded south ossetia and tried to blame it on russia. this happened on the opening day of the olympics in china. the us media went with the “russia did it” story for a day and had to, quietly, very quietly, walk it back.

    fast forward to the hawks attempt to destroy syria. if memory serves, russia was asking the international community for restraint following the hawks destruction of lybia. so much fake news came out of that fiasco. when the hawks set their sites on syria, russia was there to thwart the attempts at the media war and then the proxy war.

    by the time of the sochi olympics, russia was persona non grata in the media. it was ludicrous.

    let’s not forget about the false narrative concerning the “color revolution” in ukraine. or the false accusations of russia’s “invasion” of crimea.

    there is something that is missing from all of this international statecraft.


    in the case of the “russian election collusion”, one could say that the democrats/clinton machine just needed a scapegoat and one was already there waiting . that’s at least plausible. certainly unprovable. as much as the collusion in question.

    but, if true, does not explain motivation for these other, more serious, events of the last nine years.

  20. Superduper LJ
    December 19, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I don’t watch much TV, not since the Rockford Files. I mean it has been a while now. . Maybe an NBA Finals game every two or 3 years , not even a Superbowl for 10 years at least but I was in the vicinity of a TV yesterday morning doing a task and “The View” was on, that Women’s circle with Whoopi Goldberg. They were focused on and in fact harping on Trump’s guilt regarding collaboration with the Russians in stealing the last election. There were no dissenting voices and there were no facts presented. Occasionally one of the gals would say something and the audience would emote and clap like Senators attending The Bibi Netanyahu Show on the floor of the Congress . It was startling. This is being spoon fed to anyone stupid enough the be watching “The View” every morning I guess. My take is like Politically Correct, multi cultural feminist Thought police straight out of 1984. Conditioning with ‘fact based’ opinions that are reinforced with a sound track and a feel good collective thing woman. SCARY because the women’s circle actually seemed to believe what they were saying was true and they were indignant about it. . Check it out. Why would I lie.

    • Skip Scott
      December 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm


      One of the most insidious aspects of the MSM propaganda machine is it’s crossover into shows like “The View”. It is part of the echo chamber. If they actually bothered to talk about evidence (or lack thereof) and engaged in a fact based logical argument, people would be prodded into actually thinking. But by taking as “given” so many refutable aspects of RussiaGate, they indoctrinate the sheeple into their “groupthink”. The impact on the MSM narrative being adopted by “average folk” is huge. It is the size of their bullhorn that truth tellers like Consortium News are up against. We should all do our best to support sites like this one, and spread the word that “your television is lying to you.”

  21. mike k
    December 19, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    A better world, with prosperity and happiness is possible, but it looks like the rich and powerful are going to destroy everything before we can get there. What a tragedy – the happiness of everyone is being ruined by the selfishness of a few. We are the largely powerless witnesses of everything worth living for being taken away by a small number of madmen without conscience.

  22. mike k
    December 19, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    For the power obsessed, wealth is a zero sum game – more money for you and me means less for them – and they want it ALL.

    • mike k
      December 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      And they are willing to do ANYTHING to get it.

      • mike k
        December 19, 2017 at 5:37 pm

        So a few million have to die starving or bombed to death – so what? Wealth and power trump everything. Got to play hardball to win the big bucks. Those who are destroyed probably were not worth much anyway……….

        • mike k
          December 19, 2017 at 5:41 pm

          The rich are the truly disgusting and evil members of mankind. To worship and admire them is to worship Satan.

          • slobobba
            December 23, 2017 at 2:52 am

            in the recorded history of our species, has there ever been a successful other way? I sadly concede it’s likely an evolutionary trait in our dna: destroy others or die yourself.

  23. mike k
    December 19, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    The American’s mind has become so dulled with constant nonsense, that few have any idea how dire our situation is today. See if you can persuade your friends to look at this awakening article by Chris Hedges:

  24. Tannenhouser
    December 19, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Abe, you already answered my biggy, your so kind.
    Keep up the good fight Abe.
    Your winning.

  25. Tannenhouser
    December 20, 2017 at 12:52 am

    Wow Abe. Hate to break it to ya again and again. I ain’t WC. Go ahead tho keep beating that horse if ya want. Bother’s me none, and apparently functions as your safe space. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are still winning, there have been some set backs recently which are encouraging, Syria being top of mind and the cluster that the Saudis made of Lebanon having an opposite effect. Even the Jerusalem thing may backfire as UNGC will be meeting on the question. One can hope yes? Imagine that eh Abe A hasbera troll wishing Israel gets its just deserts. Strange times we live in. Keep up the good fight Abe. Yer winning.

  26. Abe
    December 20, 2017 at 2:29 am

    The Hasbara troll gaslighting of “Tannenhouser” has been fully exposed.

    The ballyhooed “question” that “should be asked and hasn’t been” was indeed asked and answered repeatedly.

    “why has Russia not called out Israel […] are you afraid of the answer you get?”

    It was repeatedly pointed out to comrade “Tannenhouser” days ago that numerous investigative journalists and researchers have addressed the Russian objections to Israeli and Saudi behavior.

    But “Tannenhouser” troll deliberately plays dumb and ever more loudly proclaims the propaganda mantra: “Russia refuses to point this out”

    The troll keeps carrying on with fact-free claims that the Russians are “part of the scam”, “playing for the same side” and “play for the same team”, insinuating that Russia is “afraid” to do otherwise.

    “Tannenhouser” troll presents no factual evidence whatsoever to back up any of these claims.

    Indeed the troll repeatedly dismisses the facts of Israel-gate as mere “noise” and “garbage”, and loudly complains about “data dump” whenever relevant facts are presented.

    Flip-flopping wildly from Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel / pro-Zionist) to Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” / “anti Zionist”) and back again, the Hasbara trolls infesting CN all manifest the same dull inviolability: facts be damned.

    “Tannenhouser” troll goes “full retard” by trumping the “WC” troll Charlie Sheen “winning” strategy with a “Simple Jack” spiel.

    Hasbara (or “Hasbera” in “Tannenhouser’s” case) hilarity ensues.

    • Tannenhouser
      December 20, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Yes Abe you are sooo winning.

      Given the facts that abound in regards to actual malfeasance towards American ‘democracy’ perpetrated by the Hillary camp/DNC to suggest that Russia has outed, Isreal Saudi Arabia and the United states for their crimes, is as you say full retard.

      The Russians being part of the scam is /was conjecture on my part based (hense the qualifier ‘I cant help but feel they’, apparently context doesn’t matter to you) on the idea that they seem to be playing their part in the charade, given the proofs they have and not using them that is. More cherry picking to push an agenda, definitely Troll MO.

      Abe “numerous investigative journalists and researchers have addressed the Russian objections to Israeli and Saudi behavior”
      Is NOT the Russians outing the mentioned parties for their crimes.

      Again questioning that Russia may be afraid of something because they don’t out the mentioned parties, is hardly insuating they ARE afraid of something. It was a ? Abe not a statement of fact, that’s your territory remember?

      If you actually paid attention to what I type back to you it would be obvious that this statement “Indeed the troll repeatedly dismisses the facts of Israel-gate as mere “noise” and “garbage”, and loudly complains about “data dump” whenever relevant facts are presented. is pure cherry picking to push a personal agenda.(even more troll MO) I have dismissed YOU as pure garbage noise and a habitual data dumper, there’s a difference

      To suggest I flip flop on pro/anti Zionist is just pure fantasy, based on false assumptions.

      Anyways Abe, I am not going to argue with you any more. I have apologized for my original sin here here, think what you want about me, I don’t care. Just know that your assumptions are mostly wrong about me anyways:) You provide valuable info here to some and I no longer wish to get in the way of that, you have devoted a lot of energy towards me and I’m sure you can find better things to do. I know I will and can.I will be much more respectful when posing questions here in the future.

      My Kind Abe, would you care to share your vast knowledge and comment on the idea of the Palestinians calling the Jerusalem Bluff?

      Keep up the good fight Abe.
      Your winning.

      • Abe
        December 20, 2017 at 2:44 pm

        “Tannenhouser” vomited up a spectacular display of the signature evasiveness and fact-free “argument” strategy characteristic of online Hasbara propaganda trolls.

        Thanks for playin’, comrade. We got you.

    • Abe
      December 20, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      out (verb) – come or go out; emerge – “the truth about Israeli-gate is out”

      outing (gerund or present participle) – “Russia-gate investigations are outing the truth about Israeli interference in American elections”

      With the outing of Russia-gate as Israel-gate, the Hasbara troll army is out in force on the internet.

      Hasbara propaganda has intensified efforts to delay, distract, divert, deny, deceive, and distort any and all discussion of Israel-gate.

      Trolls come out brandishing different names and displaying various tactics.

      Trolls loudly shout statements that have no basis in fact or reality, and shout louder when outed.

      The specific online personas and user names – “Tannenhouser”, “WC”, GeorgyOrwell”, et cetera – are entirely irrelevant.

      What matters is the specific propaganda strategies used by the trolls.

      The Hasbara troll army desperately tries to disrupt online discussion of the workings of the Israel Lobby and Israeli influence on American foreign policy, Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestinian territory, Israeli collusion with terrorist forces operating in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and efforts to persuade the U.S. to attack Iran.

      Hasbara propaganda manifests in two forms:

      – Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Zionist / pro-Israel) propaganda

      – Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Zionist” / “anti-Israel” and fake “anti-Jewish or ‘anti-Semitic”) propaganda

      In the face of a sustained intellectual critique of Conventional Hasbara false facts and fake news claims of a “new anti-Semitism”, the Inverted Hasbara propaganda activity was developed.

      Inverted Hasbara operates based on false arguments advanced by individuals who masquerade as “harsh” critics of Israel and Zionism, often while spewing “anti-Semitic” epithets and abusive rants about “the Jews”.

      The internet is a playground for both Conventional Hasbara and Inverted Hasbara trolls.

      In addition to articles concerned with Israeli government actions and pro-Israel influence on American elections and foreign policy, Hasbara troll “comments” have proliferated in articles about Russia and Ukraine.

      A highly educational example of propaganda troll activity in the CN comments here:
      Blaming Russia for the Internet ‘Sewer’ (October 18, 2017)

  27. Curious
    December 20, 2017 at 2:39 am

    Thank you for adding to the discussion Mr Doctorow,
    I hope people will have a chance to listen to you after you have been there and in the media of Russia. Your personal experience and thoughts are of special value.
    I spent time in Russia as a part of the US media, and I found the people to be talented, warm, and very generous with their time. It’s also interesting to hear what they have to say when there is no microphone around to hear them, and they have a legitimate reason to feel this way of course.This is why I was especially offended when our Nobel prize winner Prez started the tragic events in Ukraine during the Sochi Olympics of all times, just to deliberately try to take any shine, glitter and honor away from the Russians during a world event and on their border no less.
    Add to this list of offenses these criminal elites took away the honor of most of the athletes bound for Rio, and now competitors in the SK Olympics have to compete under some flag other than their own. This is disgusting to see. I can’t imagine what our unelected, empowered humans(?), or Dept of Aggression have in store for the World Cup in Russia. If Russia is on the world stage they have to be targeted and slapped down for reasons only known to the sick and twisted indiduals doing this deed.
    Being an ex-media type I always look forward to your articles since you the one on camera discussing the issues, and I hope you also have some news about the upcoming Olympics and World Cup as well. How many times can a country be slapped in the face by the US hypocrites?

  28. Perry Logan
    December 20, 2017 at 9:14 am

    This just in: A Russian hacker has admitted to hacking the DNC–in a Russian court no less. I wonder how Hillary arranged for this:

  29. Zachary Smith
    December 20, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Julian Assange’s Lawyer Is Still Waiting for Robert Mueller to Call
    Investigators have yet to request information on WikiLeaks’ release of emails allegedly obtained by Russian hackers.

    The most likely explanation for this is that the entire Mueller investigation is a joke.

  30. Mild -ly- Facetious
    December 20, 2017 at 1:19 pm
  31. Abe
    December 20, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    In addition to distracting from the outing of Russia-gate as Israel-gate, all the gaslighting in mainstream media and Hasbara troll army activity is designed to divert attention from Israeli-Saudi-US Axis preparation for more war in the Middle East.

    Contrary to fact-free “conjecture” by hilariously dodgy Hasbara trolls, Russia is continuing to inform the global community:

    “The Russian Defense Ministry recently announced that the United States is training a new armed force at the former refugee camp in El Khaseq province […] What is even more curious is that militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra are going to form the backbone of this military force. The Western coalition led by the United States carries on its attempt to utilize radical militant groups in Syria, in spite of repeated statements that it is supposedly engaged in the region to fight such militants. According to the details provided by the Center for Syrian Reconciliation, American special forces instructors are forming new armed units from previously dissociated groups of militants. Local residents report that the Western coalition has been using what used to be a refugee camp for six months to create a new armed force, bringing militants to El Khaseq from various parts of Syria. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, some 750 terrorists arrived from Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, Abu Kamal and the territories to the east of the Euphrates. The newly formed backbone of the gang consists of more than 400 battle-hardened ISIS militants, who, due to the support of the United States left Raqqa last October with little effort. It is expected that soon this armed unit will be deployed in southern Syria to engage government forces. Earlier Russia’s media announced that the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov accused the Pentagon of lying to the international community regarding Washington’s plans to withdraw American forces from Syria. According to the head of the US Department of Defense, James Mattis, ISIS forces are defeated in Syria, but the war with them is not over yet […]

    “Saudi Arabia and Israel make no secret of their plans to strike Iranian and Hezbollah forces in southern Syria simultaneously with launching a military operation into southern Lebanon. It is expected that Washington is going to support these actions by providing close air support to Saudi and Israeli forces in Syria. That is why militants of the so-called Free Syrian Army, formed by deserters from the Syrian army, were being trained in Jordan. The strikes inside Syrian territory are to be launched from several directions – from the area of the Golan Heights occupied by Israel, across the Lebanese border once Lebanon is infiltrated by Israeli forces, and across the Jordanian border. It’s curious that there’s no more that 60 miles to cover from the Jordanian-Syrian border to Damascus, and over a half of this territory is already occupied by armed opposition forces. It cannot be ruled out that pro-US SDF Kurdish forces will strike Damascus from the east, although this step can provoke outrage in Ankara which seeks to impede any form of Kurdish expansion in Syria. Spontaneous attacks may also be launched from refugee camps, where ISIS militants are being trained, as it’s been announced by Russia’s Ministry of Defense.”

    Brace for Impact: Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US are About to Invade Syria
    By Alexander Orlov

  32. mike k
    December 20, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Friends, just ignore the trolls, and feast on the good stuff here. If there were not idiots and shills, there would be no need for an investigative site like this. In a strange way, we exist because of our opposites. Truth shines because of darkness.

    • D.H. Fabian
      December 21, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      I would appreciate the chance to comment on a side-issue here. US media overall have long abandoned their responsibility to “ensure an informed public.” Americans do see the most critically important issues from different perspectives, and we’re dealing with profoundly complex issues. Those who are not on the right wing do not (and never did) march in lockstep. Politics is messy. We must give careful thought to the tendency to dismiss anyone with whom we disagree as a “troll.” (Please check definition.) This is a discussion board, not an affirmation board, and people here do disagree on important issues. When lucky, discussing our differences can lead to constructive insights, giving us a better chance of being able to deal with current political realities.

      • Abe
        December 21, 2017 at 11:39 pm

        Israel and the pro-Israel Lobby utilize Hasbara propaganda trolls to manipulate public opinion as part and parcel of Israeli government propaganda initiatives.

        The Hasbara troll army consists of both individual sockpuppets and coordinated teams of trolls who target investigative journalism sites and online discussion boards.

        Hasbara encompasses both Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel / pro-Zionist) and Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” / “anti-Zionist”) propaganda narratives. Inverted Hasbara includes fake “anti-Jewish” or “anti-Semitic” narratives and various forms of “conspiracy theory”.

        The aim of Hasbara propaganda is to overwhelm honest discourse, disrupt and manipulate discussion, and denigrate any who disagree with the propaganda narratives as “liberal bougeoise”, “Kremlin puppets”, “anti-Semitic” and the like.

        Fake identities and accounts are used to disseminate Hasbara narratives through social media, blogs, and web commentaries.

        Judith S. Donath is a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and founder of the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Lab. She has written papers on various aspects of the Internet and its social impact.

        In her paper, “Identity and deception in the virtual community” (1999). Donath explains: “Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group’s common interests and concerns”.

        It is therefore necessary to recognize fundamental distinctions between honest discourse and deception, between genuine discussion and disruption, between fact-based analysis and baseless conjecture, between sincere disagreement and deliberate acts of diversion.

    • Abe
      December 21, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      Hasbara troll proposes new “be nice to trolls” policy.


      Israel is striving desperately to drag the United States into further destructive wars in the Middle East, and potentially a cataclysmic nuclear confrontation with Russia.

      Hasbara propaganda trolls attempt to deceive, distract, divert and disrupt discussion of:

      – the workings of the Israel Lobby and Israeli influence on American foreign policy
      – Israel’s flagrant violations of basic human rights and its illegal military occupation of Palestinian territory
      – Israeli collusion with terrorist forces operating in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq
      – Israeli Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD): an offensive arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons
      – constant Israeli military threats against Iran

      The Israeli government, major pro-Israel media organizations, Hasbara troll army “commenters” online weave a dense fabric of deceit.

      In 2009, Israel’s foreign ministry organized volunteers to add pro-Israeli commentary on news websites. In July 2009, it was announced that the Israeli Foreign Ministry would conduct “internet warfare” to spread a pro-Israel message on various websites.

      The program has expanded to a real Hasbara troll army that promotes pro-Israel policies in the press and online media.

      US/Israel-backed al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria advance key geopolitical goals of Israel, including permanent annexation of Syria’s resource-rich Golan Heights area.

      The illusion of a “threat” to Israel guarantees an ever greater cascade of military and economic aid supplied by slavishly pro-Israel politicians in the United States.

      Hasbara propaganda additionally aims at promoting fake news and conspiracy theories to divert attention from an actual and very public conspiracy: the efforts of the Israel lobby to manipulate politics in the United States.


      The basics of Hasbara propaganda are easy to identify:

      simplistic phrases, repeated over and over, designed to engage emotions rather than produce rational arguments, all shaped to fit into a narrative of good (Western-oriented Israel, the Middle East’s only true democracy) versus evil (Arab/Muslim terrorists who seek not only to destroy the Jewish state but kill all Jews).

      To persuade Americans to accept this impoverished account of the conflict, Hasbara propaganda rewrites history, rejects international law and ignores the struggle over land and resources that is at the heart of the conflict.

      Hasbara propaganda relies on public ignorance of basic facts about international law, the history of Zionist land grab efforts in Palestine, and Israel’s wars of aggression in the Middle East

      Conventional Hasbara (pro-Israel) propagandists works in tandem with Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” and fake “anti-Zionist”) propagandists


      Back in 2009, a propaganda organization known as “The Israel Project” published a manual titled “Global Language Dictionary”

      Written by Republican pollster and political strategist Frank Luntz, the Hasbara handbook of “The Israel Project” was labeled “Not for distribution or publication”.

      The manual published by “The Israel Project” is a treasure trove of scripted propaganda canards. For example, page 96 of the manual recommends: “‘Defensive’ and ‘preventative’ are the words that best describe Israeli military action.”

      “The Israel Project” is managed by an American-born Israeli, David Hazony, whose brother is an advisor and speech writer for Benjamin Netanyahu.

      Registered as an NGO, “The Israel Project” does not report any details of the origins of its funding.

      In addition to managing “The Israel Project”, Hazony is editor for the online propaganda site “The Tower” and a frequent contributor to major pro-Israel media and neoconservative organs like the New Republic, The Forward, Commentary Magazine, Moment, the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Chronicle, the New York Sun, and Jewish Ideas Daily.

      In 2004-2007, Hazony served as editor in chief of the Israeli Zionist journal Azure. He has also appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.

      Hasbara outlets like “The Tower” produce scripted articles, while “staff” from the “The Israel Project” write op-eds and make television appearances to disseminate pro-Israel propaganda.


      The comment sections of internet sites that post articles critical of Israel and Zionism are frequented by Hasbara propaganda trolls.

      Hasbara propaganda manifests in two forms:

      – Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Zionist /pro-Israel) propaganda

      – Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Zionist” / “anti-Israel” / “anti-Jewish or ‘anti-Semitic”) propaganda

      In the face of a sustained intellectual critique of conventional Hasbara propaganda claims of a “new anti-Semitism”, the inverted Hasbara propaganda activity was developed.

      Inverted Hasbara operates based on false arguments advanced by individuals who masquerade as “harsh critics of Zionism and Israel” while spewing “anti-Semitic” epithets and abusive rants about “the Jews”.

      The internet is a playground for both conventional Hasbara and inverted Hasbara trolls.


      In the United States, both the Democrats and Republicans are equally zealous:
      – in their loyalty to Israel
      – in their demonization of Russia
      – in beating the drum for more pro-Israel wars in the Middle East

      The pro-Israel Lobby, Israeli influence on both American political parties, and Israel’s constant efforts to direct US foreign policy toward war with Syria and Iran, are manifest realities.

      “D.H. Fabian” wants us all to believe that Israel is nowhere in the picture, that it’s all merely a fabricated “campaign” by “liberal bourgeoisie”.

      In fact, the longest, most expensive war in US history, the war that has drained out the US budget, the war that continues to shatter American families and lives, was promoted by pro-Israel warmongers.

      The Israel Lobby and pro-Israel politicians are working harder than ever now, beating the drum for more war.


      While we pretend that the Democrats and Republicans are two opposing parties, there’s a decades-long record proving that they have worked together toward implementing the same pro-Israel agenda.

      This collusion is secured by pro-Israel Lobby influence, warmongering pro-Israel think tanks, and outrageous Israeli interference in American elections.

      Israel has spent more than half a century meddling in the politics of the United States.

      The pro-Israel Lobby push for conflict in the Middle East has brought us to this point.

      Israel is now attempting to build support for a catastrophic final war aimed at “securing the realm”.

      If America has any remaining sense whatsoever, we will do much more than re-think this situation.

      Rejecting Israeli meddling, saying no to a Third World War on Israel’s behalf, we will truly and decisively drain the pro-Israel Lobby swamp.

    • Skip Scott
      December 21, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks mike. Good read.

  33. D.H. Fabian
    December 21, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    The anti-Russian Tale was launched shortly after the election as the Democrats’ “explanation” for Clinton’s defeat. They initially shouted, “Trump/Republicans stole the election,” but that excuse had grown old years ago. The Clinton camp then inexplicably shouted “Russia stole the election” before they had time to formulate an explanation. 2017 was devoted to efforts to build the Russian Tale. It has been a wildly convoluted tale, with every allegation to date falling apart in light of the facts.

    Most voting choices come down to economic issues. Democrats cannot own up to what they did. The Clinton “New Democrat Party” split apart the Dem voting base in the 1990s, middle class vs. poor, and the Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. In other words, the Clinton wing divided and conquered the Dem Party itself. And Russia had nothing to do with any of it.

    The Clinton wing’s efforts to portray a Putin/Trump bromance just look pathetically absurd. The 2016 election was dominated by two right wing candidates. Putin understood that either candidate ensured worsening international tensions, and (obviously) supported neither. Trump took office and promptly increased US/NATO troops near the Russian border, seen by the sane world as a potential US provocation of war against Russia — not a gesture of friendship. Add in Trump’s sanctions against Russia, seen by the sane world as economic warfare. Hopefully, in 2018, we/media can put the Russian Tale to rest to focus on the profoundly dangerous situation we’ve created for ourselves, both economically and politically.

    • Abe
      December 22, 2017 at 1:15 am

      Every Russia-gate allegation to date fallen apart in light of the facts, and nearly all the verifiable facts of blatant interference in the U.S. election point to Israel.

      Hasbara ‘splainers’ are now eager to “put the Russian Tale to rest” to avoid growing scrutiny of Israel-gate.

      Awareness of Israeli meddling and pro-Israel Lobby interference in American elections and foreign policy threaten a profoundly dangerous situation for Israel, both economically and politically.

      The Hasbara troll army is desperate to change the subject.

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