Gang of Four: Senators Call for Tillerson to Enter into Arms Control Talks with the Kremlin

Four United States senators are urging a new approach to U.S.-Russian relations based on renewed arms control efforts, but you probably haven’t heard about it from the mainstream media, Gilbert Doctorow and Ray McGovern report.

By Gilbert Doctorow and Ray McGovern

In a sad commentary on the parlous state of the U.S. media, a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from four United States Senators dated March 8 calling for opening arms control talks with the Kremlin ASAP is nowhere to be found in mainstream newspapers a day after its release on the Senate home page of one of the authors, Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). Nothing in the New York Times.  Nothing in the Washington Post.  And so, it is left to alternative media to bring to the attention of its readership a major development in domestic politics, a significant change in what its own senior politicians are saying should be done about Russia that was brought to our attention by …..the Russian mainstream media including the agency RIA Novosti, RBK, Tass within hours of initial posting.

What we have is, first, a genuine man bites dog story.  Two of the senators who penned the letter, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), have in recent months been among the most vociferous promoters of the unproven allegations of Trump collusion with the Russians. Now they are putting aside for the moment their attacks on Trump and members of his entourage who dared shake hands or share a joke with a Russian ambassador. They are openly calling upon the Secretary of State to send U.S. personnel to negotiate with Putin’s minions over our survival on this planet.

The authors were in a tough spot explaining their new marching orders for State. And they have done their best to impose consistency on what is patently a new policy direction holding great promise for sanity to be restored in U.S.-Russian relations.

First, they cover their backsides by the lengthy recitation of Russia’s bad deeds, including alleged election meddling in the 2016 presidential election, violation of international law in Ukraine and the like.

Secondly, they make the proposed arms talks look like a walk down the Rose Garden, with the Russians being told what to do from a position of strength. The objective is focused on inserting two of Russia’s latest weapons systems described by Vladimir Putin in his March 1 speech into the framework of the START treaty as it comes up for renewal. That and to resolve issues over alleged Russian violation of the Intermediate Range Missiles convention.

However, buried in this mumbo jumbo is that reference to Putin’s speech and the new weapons systems he described, which actually numbered six among them several never heard about before inside the Beltway and looking pretty ominous.  So, one may conclude that Putin’s intended “shock and awe” speech did have some effect in DC, even if so far no one is saying so, and even if so far, our leading newspapers have called time out till they can decide how to deal with the unwelcome news.

Wittingly or not, the Gang of Four has just opened a breach in the wall of contempt and loathing for Putin and Russia that has been building in Washington for months if not years now. The immediate task is for word of this development to go out to the broad public and for the relics of our once formidable arms negotiations teams to be brought out of mothballs to face Russian counterparts who have been waiting keenly for this moment.

Democratic Fissures

The unusual way in which the letter was made public — and the evident uncertainty on the part of the mainstream media as to how to play it — reflects widening fissures among Democrats.

Even among the most rabid fans of Hillary Clinton (and haters of President Trump) there is a growing sense that, for example, Congressman Adam “trust-me-the-Russians-hacked-our election” Schiff (D-Calif.) may not be able to deliver anything beyond the “trust me.”  And many are beginning to question whether the sainted Special Counsel, Robert Mueller may not be able to come up with much more than click-bait farms in St. Petersburg and dirt to put dubious characters like Paul Manafort in jail on charges unrelated to Russiagate.  (After all, Mueller has already been at it a very long time.)

And what would that mean for the re-election prospects of candidates like the superannuated Democratic-machine product Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), whose prospects are already waning?

Not to be ruled out is the possibility that the four senators may also be motivated by a new appreciation of the dangers of blaming everything on Russia, with the possible result of U.S.-Russia relations falling into a state of complete disrepair. The key question is whether President Putin can be de-demonized. That will depend on the mainstream media, which, alas, is not accustomed to reassessing and silencing the bellicose drums — even in the face of new realities like the petering out of Russiagate and Putin’s entirely credible declaration of strategic parity.

Gang of Four Letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

As posted on the website of Senator Merkley 

March 8, 2018

The Honorable Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC

Dear Secretary Tillerson:

We write to urge the State Department to convene the next U.S.-Russia Strategic Dialogue as soon as possible.

A U.S.-Russia Strategic Dialogue is more urgent following President Putin’s public address on March 1st when he referred to several new nuclear weapons Russia is reportedly developing including a cruise missile and a nuclear underwater drone, which are not currently limited by the New START treaty, and would be destabilizing if deployed.   There is no doubt we have significant disagreements with Russia, including Russia’s brazen interference in the 2016 U.S. elections; continued violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF); invasion of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea; and destabilizing actions in Syria. However, it is due to these policy rifts, not in spite of them, that the United States should urgently engage with Russia to avoid miscalculation and reduce the likelihood of conflict.

First, we encourage the administration to propose alternative solutions to address Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).  Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov admitted to the existence of this ground launched cruise missile (GLCM), but contended that the system was INF Treaty compliant.

Senior officials from the United States and Russia have said that the INF Treaty plays an “important role in the existing system of international security.” As such, we urge the State Department to resolve Russia’s violation through existing INF Treaty provisions or new mutually acceptable means.

Second, we urge the United States to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).  The Trump administration’s own 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) references Russia’s robust nuclear modernization program as a main justification behind the U.S. need to recapitalize its three legs of the nuclear triad.  An extension of New START would verifiably lock-in the Treaty’s Central Limits – and with it – the reductions in strategic forces Russia has made.

The New START Treaty, which entered into force in 2011, provides transparency and predictability into the size and location of Russia’s strategic nuclear delivery systems, warheads, and facilities. New START’s robust verification architecture involves thousands of data exchanges and regular on-site inspections.The United States confirmed in February that Russia met New START’s Central Treaty Limits and it stated that “implementation of the New START Treaty enhances the safety and security of the United States.” These same Central Treaty Limits could also govern two of the new types of nuclear weapons referenced by President Putin on March 1st – a case the United States can argue through the Treaty’s Biannual Consultative Commission (BCC).

Lastly, as the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review notes, Russia maintains a numerical advantage to the United States in the number of non-strategic nuclear weapons. The Senate, in its Resolution of Ratification on New START in 2010, took stock of this imbalance and called upon the United States to commence negotiations that would “secure and reduce tactical nuclear weapons in a verifiable manner.” Attempts by the Obama administration to negotiate an agreement on this class of weapons met resistance from Russia.  However, even absent the political space for a formal agreement or binding treaty with Russia, we urge the State Department to discuss ways to enhance transparency on non-strategic nuclear weapons.

Extending New START, resolving Russia’s INF violation, and enhancing transparency measures relating to non-strategic nuclear weapons will also help quiet growing calls from many countries that the United States is not upholding its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations.  The Treaty’s three mutually reinforcing pillars: non-proliferation, peaceful uses of the atom, and disarmament can only be advanced through U.S. leadership on all three.

There is no guarantee that we can make progress with Russia on these issues.  However, even at the height of Cold War tensions, the United States and the Soviet Union were able to engage on matters of strategic stability.  Leaders from both countries believed, as we should today, that the incredible destructive force of nuclear weapons is reason enough to make any and all efforts to lessen the chance that they can never be used again.


Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont)

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

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served in Army and CIA intelligence analysis for 30 years and, after retiring, co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

125 comments for “Gang of Four: Senators Call for Tillerson to Enter into Arms Control Talks with the Kremlin

  1. Zachary Smith
    March 13, 2018 at 17:28

    This essay is about Strange Things Going On, and it seems to be a ‘fit’ for Trump’s latest appointment. He has kicked out a former Exxon CEO from the State Department so as to replace him with the head of the CIA. So State is now under total control of Big Intelligence. Then this:

    Gina Haspel, CIA Deputy Director (Trump’s New CIA Director)

    The other uninspiring appointee that unfortunately made it through the vetting process is Gina Haspel, who was named as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on February 2nd. She was reportedly involved in the rendition and torture programs ca. 2003-4 and actually was senior officer in charge of one of the overseas prisons located in Thailand, which was the epicenter of the “enhanced interrogation” program and the site where al-Qaeda prisoner Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times, “tortured so brutally that at one point he appeared to be dead.” In 2005 she also ordered the destruction of the video tapes made of the interrogations to avoid providing evidence to any congressional inquiry into what had gone on.

    The appointment of Haspel is a sign that torturing people can be career enhancing if one works for the United States government. Her promotion was endorsed by the usual suspects including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who has recently advocated assassinating Iranians and Russians to send a message that the United States is “serious.”

    Trump is putting a genuine criminal in charge of the CIA. When I attempted to make a google search for the wiki of the woman, up popped this message:

    Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network. This page checks to see if it’s really you sending the requests, and not a robot

    Nice of them to announce they’re tracking me, but google would not allow that search to proceed no matter what I did. I’m left wondering if Israel isn’t about to add the CIA to the list of US entities it owns and operates.

  2. DougDiggler
    March 13, 2018 at 15:42

    Shamefully, Trump has fired Tillerson and replaced him with a dyed-in-the-wool war fanboy, Mike Pompeo. Whereas Tillerson had some Realist trappings as a residue of his time with Exxon Mobil, Pompeo is an avid fan of belligerence against Iran, China, North Korea and other nations around the world. It’s a crying shame Senators Feinstein et al hadn’t awoken to the shape of Global Nuclear Power Relations earlier, like when they were pouring coals on the fire of Russophobia for the past year. If the adults in the room do not seize control of US foreign opinion, we may be facing a July, 1914 moment with nuclear consequences.

  3. Bernia
    March 13, 2018 at 15:23

    The new SS is Pompeo, a Trump yes man. Forget anything like negotiations. It’s all about threats and counter threats.

  4. Bernia
    March 13, 2018 at 15:22

    Well, goodbye Mr. Tillerson. He was probably the last, and maybe the only, rational person in the Trump administration. The mad men are now at the helm of the Titanic.

  5. March 12, 2018 at 18:38

    Why would Russia negotiate with the USA, that only negotiates when it is holding a losing hand and then, as in Syria (after using the ceasefire to rearm its terrorist proxies) BREAKS THE DEAL every time.
    The US appears to be led by snivelling NeoCon chickenhawks with zero character.

    Well, bad luck America. Leaving these creeps in charge means that “The American Century” has lasted about 17 years. It gives every appearance of being over for America as Master of the Universe on the world stage. Good riddance.

  6. SuperiorMint
    March 12, 2018 at 16:05

    “Putin ate my homework!” That’s all I’m hearing from the DNC – I find it incredible that they would risk shoving the world close to a nuclear-war precipice because they refuse to look in the mirror and fix the real problems within the party. There’s no heroes anymore; no more good guys. The DNC and GOP are both abominations – the only reason I was mildly relieved that DT was voted in was that it might result in less butchery abroad for Chevron, Exon, BP et al. and possibly avert, you know, nuclear Armageddon.

    The more these “chicken-little”s are scrambling around screeching that Putin did it, the less credibility they have. As a party, I don’t know what they’re thinking. Seems they have a terminal case of Clintonitis – but I’m sick of this stinking red-russian-herring they keep throwing out to distract from their own failings. I think what they will find, is that they lose more power following the mid-terms. With the low quality, inept people they have guiding things now, I doubt they will be able to clean their message or change direction. A little myopic of them to blame Russia for their shortcomings. They are supposed to be the good-guys, the progressives, they are supposed to be for peace, for the little guy – the working people, the downtrodden. At the end of the day, turns out their nothing of the sort, they’re GOP-lite. Sickening.

    As for all the millionaires and billionaires finding safe burrows and other holes in the ground to try to safeguard themselves in case things go badly – how much have they done to prevent all of this, or rather, what have they done to help this grim state of affairs along. They figure if they can hold out for nuclear winter they can emerge like worms from their holes and start again. Wrong. It’s game over people. Google ultraviolet spring. See how that changes your perspective. There’s no coming back. Nothing is worth losing everything. No pipeline, no strategic asset, no resource, no votes, gold, power, nothing. Nothing is worth losing it all.

    Get your sh*t together DNC for the Love of God.

  7. March 12, 2018 at 15:18

    One of these days world leaders in politics, business, academia and religion will acknowledge spiritual truth and admit all people, all life and all things are part of the oneness and truly sacred – then war and senseless spending on products designed to kill and harm will end forever.

  8. Ames Gilbert
    March 12, 2018 at 13:33

    All good stuff, but since the last important treaties were negotiated, the U.S.A. has given ample reasons for distrust. The U.S. breaks and abandons treaties whenever it suits. Indeed, it is difficult to find any that the U.S. has kept! Why should the Russians trust the U.S. ever again?

    There are important parts of past treaties that the U.S. has not adhered to. What was to happen to the nuclear material in the warheads that were to be dismantled? Russia designed and built, per the treaty, a re-processing plant that changed and diluted the fuel of their warheads so it could never be used for warheads again. The U.S. promised to do the same, but never followed through (claiming technical difficulties that it could not overcome, despite the fact that Russia mastered and applied such technology). That is, there is no U.S. equivalent, and the U.S. has not broken down its warheads for nuclear power reactor fuel or any other use. So the U.S. still has all its material ready to re-use, while Russia has fulfilled all its obligations.

    Again, this is just one example amongst many. Why would Russian enter negotiations with proven liars and cheats? What possible advantages would there be, knowing that the U.S. has no honor, no decency, no record of living up to its obligations, whether incurred by treaty or by international laws it has subscribed to and signed?

  9. Rob Roy
    March 12, 2018 at 12:21

    Disgusting. NOW that Putin has called their bluff, they suddenly want to talk????? Putin will chew them up and spit them out.

  10. Silly Me
    March 12, 2018 at 07:44

    Another red herring.

  11. Fred
    March 12, 2018 at 07:39

    And Russia should trust the US the honor any agreement made because?

  12. fudmier
    March 11, 2018 at 22:43

    You might read Jake Sullivan, The world After Trump, in Foreign Affairs, pg 10, vol 97.. explains how best class pharaoh-capitalist, have invented a way to organize their chaos, in ways which avoid international law and treaty. Its involves something like in software where the OS spawns containers, so that software can operate in isolation from the rest of the software running on the same machine. apparently a group of the nation states jump in to a container and decide to do their thing, .. because they are in side the container no one else knows or cares what goes on ..quite interesting..

  13. E. Leete
    March 11, 2018 at 22:17

    Again I’ll point it out: the letter says they are trying to lessen the chances that nukes can NEVER be used again. Is that a Creepy Freudian slip? Nothing the bought and paid foe congress critters do surprises me, but seriously, they can’t even get such an important letter written correctly – or is that what they actually MEAN TO SAY?

    It should have read “INCREASE the chances that nukes can never be used again” or else “lessen the chances that nukes can EVER be used again.”

    People need the education that will get them in agreement to linit wealthpower – because humans are far too stupid and far too flawed to wield overpower. and that’s not an insult it’s the most important FACT.

  14. MLS
    March 11, 2018 at 21:09

    “(After all, Mueller has already been at it a very long time.)”

    Lovely framing – in parantheses even! Presumably for added impact as an all-knowing, wink-wink aside?

    The FACT of the matter is that Mueller – riding a blank check given to him by a legisltaure dominated by the President’s own political party – hasn’t been at it very long at all by the historical standards of Special Prosecutors.

    Never mind, in addition, that he has more scalps at this relatively early stage than many of his peers, and smelling more blood by the day.

    Is some of the Russia stuff hyped by political opponents of this boorish used car salesman? Sure.

    Is some of it willfully ignored by Russia apologists? Yup.

    Do bloggers have any idea what Mueller’s office is doing before he discloses it?


    • mike k
      March 11, 2018 at 21:36

      This commenter knows what Mueller is doing – he’s on a witch hunt. There’s no mystery about it whatever.

  15. Delia Ruhe
    March 11, 2018 at 18:14

    Gawd knows what negotiating “from a position of strength” might be for Washington. Maybe “agree to negotiations, Mr Putin, otherwise we’ll continue to spread lies about your collusion with Trump and your hacking of the DNC and Podesta, and then turning over the hacked material to the loathsome Wikileaks.”

    Washington will have to become a lot more humble before Putin and Co. will feel comfortable enough trusting it–no matter how much he’s been hoping for a good relationship with the US. Washington will have to talk convincingly of its recognition of Russia as a fully sovereign state with interests as important to Russians as American interest are to Americans–and with a right not to have nuclear-tipped missiles directly on Russian borders pointing directly at Moscow. Anyone think Washington is capable of that?

  16. backwardsevolution
    March 11, 2018 at 17:07

    I think these senators are just trying to cover their asses. Could be they are now seeing that Schiff is a complete clown, that Russiagate is unraveling and they’re going to unravel with it, that most American people do not believe that Trump colluded with Russia.

    Maybe, just maybe, they are seeing the writing on the wall. Nunes is getting ever-closer to exposing the collusion that did exist between the FBI, DNC, CIA, Department of Justice and Hillary Clinton to bring down a duly-elected President. And the collusion that existed on Uranium One is now being investigated.

    Covering their asses!

    • mike k
      March 11, 2018 at 18:51

      I doubt that those who pushed the Russia did it meme, will suffer any political consequences when the whole charade just fades away. They will continue in their deep state master’s employ without pause, and suffer no more consequences than those who supported the war against Iraq, for example. We who could see the falsity of it all, would of course like to see them suffer some severe consequences, but that is not how the wonderful world of Washington works. And the people of America will easily be distracted by the next shadow play, and forget all about the temporary resurrection of Joe McCarthy……….

  17. mike k
    March 11, 2018 at 15:39

    Of course I understand that we (US) have the drop on Russia too. In a true Mexican standoff like this, it pays to be aware that one mistake means you are dead. It’s NOT a time to play around, or try a bluff. It’s this kind of sober assessment that we want those in control of these ultimate weapons to exercise.

  18. mike k
    March 11, 2018 at 14:21

    We should keep in mind that these senators are taking a significant political risk in proposing talks with Russia at the height of near universal Russia bashing by all branches of our government and media. They are putting themselves in danger of being attacked for “being soft on the Kremlin”. Even dyed in the wool politicians can sober up a bit in the face of nuclear annihilation. When someone announces they have the drop on you, it may be time to talk!

  19. Zachary Smith
    March 11, 2018 at 13:52

    However, buried in this mumbo jumbo….

    I’ve developed a theory about this strange event, and “mumbo jumbo” is the key to it. While racking my brain as to what it might mean, a memory of what George “codpiece commander” Bush did in the 2000 campaign floated into my head. In order to counter Gore’s position on Global Warming, he made a speech about it himself where he promised to Do Something!


    It was designed to “muddy the water”. People who hated Gore weren’t deterred, and those sitting on the fence could use the statement to justify their going over to Bush. The Declaration wasn’t widely circulated, and locating it was relatively difficult when making my search. Basically, only Google Books has anything these days.

    I propose this “statement” by the four senators is precisely the same thing. It’s a ‘straddle’ which readers can take in any way they choose. Feinstein is in trouble in California, and rightfully so. She can now tell people complaining about her warmongering record about this “initiative” for peace. Sanders has been getting a lot of heat lately because of his plunge into RussiaGate as a mindless nut. He can point to either part of the letter to prove he is still on board with that, or that he is reformed and now sees the need for ditching the crazy stuff. I know nothing about the other two Senators, but I’m going to assume it’s the same situation.

    Like with the Bush statement on Global Warming, they’re going to want to restrict the circulation of the letter, and Google seems to be helping with that. It is designed for very special audiences, and nobody else.

    Ok, this is a weak explanation, but does anybody have a better one?


    • irina
      March 11, 2018 at 17:27

      Not ‘weak’ ! Perceptive !
      Makes sense to me.
      Lots of CYA going on.

    • Lois Gagnon
      March 11, 2018 at 17:45

      I’m going to confirm your suspicion since Markey has been my senator for longer than I can remember. Any political courage he may have possessed has long since disappeared. He is a fence sitter extraordinaire, though he likes to maintain a progressive veneer.

      I shared this on FB a number of hours ago so it’s up to FB whether it’s circulation is restricted or not.

  20. Michael Kenny
    March 11, 2018 at 12:04

    The attempt to sell this as a “change of heart” doesn’t work. There’s no necessary link between Russiagate and arms control. Mr McGovern’s argument is childishly simplistic. He’s trying to smear those who are not sweeping Russiagate under the carpet as warmongers. That sounds like desperation to me.

  21. Zachary Smith
    March 11, 2018 at 02:01

    I’ll confess that I still don’t have a clue about what is happening with these Senators, but in my rambling around trying to get some sort if insight I ran into the Megyn Kelly interview with Putin. The title tells a story in itself.

    Kremlin Publishes Full Megan Kelly Putin Interview – NBC Cut the Best Parts

    Megyn Kelly: You disclosed that Russia was developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that was powered by nukes that could render defence systems useless?

    Vladimir Putin: Of course not. I did not know at the time how we could respond, to be honest. So it seems that our partners believed we would have nothing to respond with. Our economy was is dire straits, as well as the defence sector and the army. Therefore, I do not think anobody could have thought that in such a short period of time we would be able to make such a gigantic leap in the development of strategic weapons. I think the CIA must have told the US President that we would not do anything in response. While the Pentagon said something like, “And we will develop a powerful cutting-edge global anti-missile system.” So they did.

    But I will answer your question directly. I can tell you what we told our American partners, what I said personally at the time.

    Megyn Kelly: Just to clarify, do you mean George W. Bush?

    Vladimir Putin: Who was President in 2002, 2003 and 2004?

    The exchange suggested to me that Putin was trying very hard to play nice with somebody he had good reason to view as an airhead.

    • March 11, 2018 at 13:38

      Many thanks Zachary … and to all Consortiumnews commentators on this and other articles. MANY very helpful comments plus info to fill in blanks.

      Yesterday, having been asked to comment on radio abou Afghanistan, I dug out several important Consortiumnews articles from around eight years ago. Typically, they had only four or five comments — and not very substantive ones. Let’s keep this fertile exchange going!



      • Joe Tedesky
        March 11, 2018 at 15:48

        ‘The Consortium’s archives are a treasure.

      • March 11, 2018 at 17:28

        How’s the shoulder doing nowadays, Ray….?



      • Lois Gagnon
        March 11, 2018 at 17:36

        Thanks to Bob Parry for leaving us this forum.

  22. war is coming
    March 10, 2018 at 20:03

    UK considers boycott of 2018 World Cup in Russia – daily
    March 10, 23:23 UTC+3
    The Times says that the boycott “could involve stopping senior politicians and officials from attending or even withdrawing the England squad from the tournament


    “We hates Putin…we hates him forever…”: the Guardian’s fresh ravings on Russia reflects West’s tipping point into new levels of dangerous insanity

    Reality Check: The Guardian Restarts Push for Regime Change in Russia

    Army document: US strategy to ‘dethrone’ Putin for oil pipelines might provoke WW3
    Senior DIA, Air Force and Army officials admit that NATO expansionism and US covert interference in Russian internal politics may trigger “next global conflict”

  23. natoistan
    March 10, 2018 at 19:59

    UK considers boycott of 2018 World Cup in Russia – daily
    March 10, 23:23 UTC+3
    The Times says that the boycott “could involve stopping senior politicians and officials from attending or even withdrawing the England squad from the tournament


  24. natoistan
    March 10, 2018 at 19:57

    And now we have Russiagate UK version,let’s go to WWIII.

    Theresa May threatens military and economic retaliation against Russia if Vladimir Putin is proven to be behind poisoned spy attack
    Such measures proposed include the immediate expulsion of Russian diplomats and pushing for a Nato-wide reinforcement in Eastern Europe

    Senior Whitehall sources said Mrs May accepts she must then initiate a response to match the public uproar that will meet the revelation that another state was behind a chemical weapons attack on British soil.
    It will include:
    – The immediate expulsion of senior Russian diplomats and spies, as well as potentially cancelling Kremlin-linked oligarch’s visas to London, plus asset freezes and travel bans.
    – A statement of joint international condemnation from Britain’s closest allies – France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German leader Angela Merkel.
    – In the longer term, boosting Britain’s military deployments in Eastern Europe with more jets and troops, as well as a pushing for a NATO-wide reinforcement at the alliance’s summit in July.

    • March 10, 2018 at 21:22

      Putin has definitely angered the Rothschilds, and their global bankster buddies, along with their oligarch pals…when he tossed them ass over entrails out of the country….LOL

      All their puppets are growling now…



      • norecovery
        March 10, 2018 at 23:07

        Thanks for putting it in a nutshell.

      • backwardsevolution
        March 11, 2018 at 16:50

        derek – yes, thank you. Yesterday I watched a two-part video series on the Russian oligarchs. What a bunch of arrogant bastards!

        • March 11, 2018 at 20:26

          There are old hard liner oligarchs in Russia, along with a few fossilized old Soviet hard liners, that are chomping to get into a full blown hot war with the US…just as badly as our hawks want to try them…

          Be very glad that Putin is in charge and loves his country…otherwise both sides want WW3…God help us…

          They would destroy the entire world for their “honor”

          Monstrous military arrogance…both sides



          • backwardsevolution
            March 12, 2018 at 04:12

            derek – yes, I was mainly speaking of economic arrogance, buying up Russian resources, factories, banks and media for next to nothing and then using them for political gain. Gee, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

            But you’re right, they would have their military monsters too.

    • Dave P.
      March 11, 2018 at 22:11

      Yes. At home here, there was half page article in Los Angeles Times yesterday with heading “Troops Arrive in Murder Case” – in Salisbury.

      It is hard to believe what these Western Leaders are up to. In this murder case they should look no further than M15. This drum beating in U.K. to move the World Soccer Cup has also been going on for a few months now. To disrupt the next weeks election in Russia is also on their agenda. The British Rulers still pretend they are The Imperial Power of a century ago.

      It is pretty obvious that with the prospect of economically emerging China, The West is getting very desperate. I am afraid this may end up in nuclear annihilation of all humanity, deliberately or by accident.

  25. Leslie F.
    March 10, 2018 at 19:52

    This is very important. It’s journalistic malpractice that the MSM has ignored it so far. But it’s going to take more than 4 Senators. I hope there are many more who haven’t gotten up the nerve to sign their names to it yet. It should become a campaign issue.

  26. Steve
    March 10, 2018 at 19:50

    The US is so consumed with rage it can’t think or act straight. Demonizing President Putin to heights beyond rationality has been the byword of congress and the executive branch all of which has come to naught with Russia’s announcement of terrible new destructive weapons that can be delivered over the south pole whereas all us forces and radars are in the north arctic. This gap cannot be filled in and remains a vulnerability not thought of by our overpaid “intelligence” operatives and poor CIA leadership who clearly don’t have their eyes on the ball. Still the arrogance of the US shows in the statement by 4 democrats ranting about what Russia must do not realizing they are working from a position of weakness not strength. Nevertheless there seems to be an opening for further dialogue but not if the US follows such a letter with embassy invasions, increased spy patrols in the black sea and other hostile acts all of which may ignite a war and massive destruction of the west including the US.Bad behavior will not frighten Russia or allow the US to get anything it wants as hegemony of the US has been crushed seemingly overnight.

  27. Realist
    March 10, 2018 at 17:46

    I wouldn’t trust Feinstein or Markey any farther than I could throw them. These are committed Russophobes and hardline cold warriors who would only talk “peace” to gain a bit of temporary leverage before once again going on their mindless attacks. They have no honor. Sanders may be trying to patch up his reputation for the hits he’s taken lately on his knee-jerk warmongering which might not sell in the 2020 presidential campaign. If he didn’t realise he had jumped on the Schiff-Schumer Crazy Train maybe he’s not as perceptive as he needs to be to lead the country. If he did, but found out it was a miscalculation, he’s just not trustworthy enough to hold the office. He would simply morph into some kind of Clinton-Bush-Obama-Trump chimera on day one of his administration and continue the policies of the Deep State. Merkley, neither I nor most people know much about, other than his representing Oregon, a destination where the largest number of white Californians seek to avoid the expected deluge in the Golden State.

    As that great sage Dubya once said: “Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.” Not falling for it, senators.

    • March 10, 2018 at 19:47

      Yah…Bernie is almost a split personality…his domestic policy is excellent…his foreign policy couldnt be much worse if he tried…hard to make these two sets of policies gel ….I also dont like his old connections to Aipac and Israel and suppose that this is where his foreign policy comes from…Im fine with Bernie working on domestic matters…only…I cant vote for him as president.



    • Tom Ratliff
      March 10, 2018 at 20:24

      As you can see from the following map, Merkley has some constituents that likely aren’t impressed with DNC strategery.

    • Dave P.
      March 11, 2018 at 16:34

      Realist – I completely agree. Bernie Sanders is a a committed Russophobe as you said, have voted for all Defense and War appropriations. And he was running on this so called socialist agenda. How was he going to pay for his socialist agenda? He avoided talking about War or foreign policy during his campaign. Wars and Socialism do not go together; peace and socialism are twins.

  28. FreeOregon
    March 10, 2018 at 17:23

    We already see Turkey attacking Kurds and US Military embedded with them. We see South Korea talk to North Korea without our permission, then bring the US in and go out of their way to allow us to save face. Have we lost our fearsome demeanor? There’s over $21 Trillion missing just from the Pentagon and HUD since 1998, and more missing since 2015. Is no one afraid because corruption in the US Military Industrial Complex and 17 years of failure in the Middle East have sucked the lifeblood from our military? How many failed US generals lost their teeth in Afghanistan and Iraq? Look at how effective the Russians are in Syria. They attend to business, get the job done, withdraw.

    Now Putin has tells us the Russians used the last 17 years to build defensive systems that make our offensive systems, including the US Navy, obsolete.

    Have we bankrupted ourselves? Squandered in the Middle East the resources we’d have used for bullet trains, maglev trains, and infrastructure?

    If so, let’s hope our transition is as peaceful as was the transition following the demise of the USSR.

    • Sam F
      March 10, 2018 at 19:49

      Yes, but the restoration of democracy requires ending oligarchy, without a clear peaceful path..

    • March 12, 2018 at 14:34

      Lets not hope for a transition similar to what happened in Russia between 1991 and 2000. Life expectancy in Russia plummeted along with birth rates and crime and poverty soared. Putin was absolutely correct when he said the demise of the USSR was one of the greatest disasters for Russia of the 20th century. Not because of the demise of the Soviet Empire but because of the hardship it inflicted on the population. Should our government collapse what is to stop the elite class from imposing the same austerity and misery on the American people?

  29. Vierotchka
    March 10, 2018 at 17:21

    By now, it does seem irrelevant and simply posturing.


    Better Nukes for a Safer Planet

    • Zachary Smith
      March 10, 2018 at 20:34

      That was a good and informative essay, and I thank you for the link. I must add that however informed Mr. Orlov is about Russian issues, his history education is sadly lacking.

      When the Americans dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they only did this because they could do so with complete impunity. Had Japan, or an ally of Japan, possessed nuclear weapons at the time, these attacks would not have taken place. There is a considerable body of opinion that the Americans didn’t nuke Japan in order to secure a victory (the Japanese would have surrendered regardless) but to send a message to Joseph Stalin. Stalin got the message, and Soviet scientists and engineers got cracking.

      This is flat wrong on many levels, and though the part I’ve bolded is correct, the body count would have been much higher if the US had continued the conventional bombing along with the naval blockade from mainland food and raw material stocks. And I’m not talking about just Japanese and American deaths, but also the suffering in the areas occupied by the Japanese. I’ve read claims that over 200,000 innocent bystanders were dying every month in those areas.

      First of all, Americans can scrap their ABM systems because they are now useless.

      “Useless” is a relative thing. Though they don’t work in the “real world”, they still provide enormous profits to the companies who make them. Ditto for the aircraft carriers. Besides the makers of the things, the US Navy is deeply in love with the carriers. Quite like how the Battleship boys kept building them years after they became mostly useless.

      Now that the US has been safely checkmated using the new Russian weapons systems, I feel that the world is in a much better place.

      Maybe, maybe not. Going back to the Japan example, that nation was clearly going to be defeated after the Guadalcanal campaign had ended. Japan simply went into denial. We must face the prospect of the US doing the exact same thing.

      • March 14, 2018 at 02:09

        @ Zachary: “This is flat wrong on many levels …”

        How so? I think the history is pretty clear that the USSR’s entry into the war against Japan is what made the Japanese decide to surrender. Truman received Japanese offers of surrender promptly thereafter. Gen. MacArthur was openly against dropping the bomb, but Truman wanted to send that message to Josef Stalin.

        Saving American lives was Truman’s public justification for using the bombs and it’s been repeated since then ad nauseum. But the war was already over, with only the terms of surrender to be worked out. The U.S. got the unconditional surrender it wanted but with MacArthur’s private assurances that the Emperor would not be prosecuted as a war criminal.

        Or have I got it wrong?

  30. Abe
    March 10, 2018 at 16:47

    The Gang of Four represents the loyal opposition “liberal” wing of the pro-Israel Lobby in the Senate.

    Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) need no introduction.

    Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-OR) is probably best known for being the only colleague of Sanders to endorse the Vermont senator;s presidential bid against Hillary Clinton 2016. Merkley shares Bernie’s enthusiasm for fact-free Russia-gate allegations

    Feinstein, Sanders and Merkley signed a 29 December 2017 letter to “His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu” asking if he would pretty please not demolish the Palestinian village of Susiya on the west Bank and the Bedouin community of Khanal-Ahmar east of Jerusalem.

    The “liberal” gang likes to sign very polite letters because they are a lot less trouble than actually ending U.S. funding for Israel’s illegal occupations and annexations.

    Lest the group appear insufficiently zealous in their concern for Israel’s “security”, Feinstein, Sanders, and Merkley are joined by Edward J. Markey (D-MA). Markey signed on to the Kirk-Gillibrand letter, an appeal from Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Mark Kirk (R-IL), urging additional funding for Israeli missile defense.

    The pro-Israel Lobby sold the additional funding as providing access to Israeli research and technology for the U.S. to utilize in its own national security programs.

    In December 2016, the Kirk-Gillibrand effort secured $601 million in funding for Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 3, and Iron Dome research and development in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as part of the Fiscal Year 2017.

    The pro-Israel Lobby is apolectic about Russian military technology that basically nullifies Israeli air superiority and missile defense.

    The Gang of Four are “progressive” water carriers for a sudden “negotiation” initiative to prevent the nullification of Israel’s military advantage in planned Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis assaults on Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

    Bernie and Company are only too happy to oblige.

    • nonsense factory
      March 10, 2018 at 18:23

      It’s impossible to have an honest international negotiation on nuclear arms without Israel coming out of the closet and agreeing to IAEA inspections and verifications of the size of their nuclear weapons stockpile. The US could force this in an instant, it would just be a simple statement: no more aid for Israel until Israel lets the IAEA into the Dimona nuclear weapons complex. Period.

      • Dave P.
        March 11, 2018 at 04:21

        Excellent information Abe. There must be some political ploy, some hidden motives behind this letter – in this sudden turn of direction. After all Diane Feinstein and Bernie Sanders have been using very strong and inflammatory language in this Russia Gate Crusade. I do not believe for a moment that they are sincere.

    • March 10, 2018 at 18:27

      yep…sheepdogs, one and all…doing “controversial legislation”!! but remaining in the dictated boundaries….all smoke

    • Sam F
      March 10, 2018 at 19:46

      Thanks, Abe, for this background.

    • March 14, 2018 at 01:56

      @ Abe: “The Gang of Four represents the loyal opposition “liberal” wing of the pro-Israel Lobby in the Senate.”

      I don’t think that’s a fair characterization of Merkley. As one of my senators (I’m from Oregon), I keep a very close watch on him. Unlike the others, he seldom signs on to AIPAC-pushed legislation. He has voted for funding of mid-East wars, but I’m fairly convinced that is because of ignorance (too many years in the Washington, D.C. echo chamber). I’ve been planning some statewide political action to nudge him into an anti-war public position and to create the political cover needed for him to stand more upright against the Israel Lobby.

      Merkley is probably the driving force behind the letter. He spent many years in Washington, D.C. working within government on nuclear disarmament issues before going into elective politics.

      • Abe
        March 19, 2018 at 14:37

        J Street, the pro-Israel lobby PAC, is second only to the League of Conservation Voters in campaign contributions to Merkley, according to figures from the Center for Responsive Politics.

        According to its executive director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street is neither pro- nor anti- any individual organization or other pro-Israel umbrella groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He says J Street is proud of AIPAC’s many accomplishments and clarified that the two groups have different priorities rather than different views.

        A 2010 public declaration stated: “J Street unconditionally supports and lobbies for robust U.S. assistance to Israel, and will continue to support such aid no matter what the legislative vehicle.”

        J Street opposes boycotts of Israeli goods, even if targeted exclusively at the settlements and aimed specifically at ending the occupation. In addition, J Street pro-actively lobbies student, church and other organizations to refrain from adopting even “limited divestment.” J Street and its student branch express “dismay” at efforts by Palestinian solidarity activists to highlight Israel`s apartheid-like policies in the occupied territories, and opposed activists sailing a flotilla through Israel`s illegal siege of Gaza on the grounds that it risked distracting from “important diplomatic work.” When the Palestinian leadership sought admission to the UN in 2011, J Street backed a US veto, calling instead for “US-led… negotiations.”

        The pro-Israel Lobby includes J Street and AIPAC, as well as numerous other organizations.

        It is both fair and accurate to characterize Merkeley and the rest of the Gang of Four as part of the pro-Israel Lobby. Evidence includes Merkeley’s voting record and pro-Israel Lobby propaganda boilerplate statements on Russia and Iran

  31. mike k
    March 10, 2018 at 16:35

    Unfortunately America’s exceptionally large ego has forgotten how to play fair in an honest negotiation. Dishonesty always come back to bite it’s perpetrators. The changes required of our “leaders” needed to promote peace are beyond their possibilities. They won’t change: we need to get rid of them.

    • KiwiAntz
      March 10, 2018 at 16:48

      But how do you get rid of them?? This Deepstate is bedded in deep like a cattle tick or tapeworm,sucking the life out of its host & any person, whether that’s a Poltician (JFK comes to mind) who dare’s challenge them, ends up with a bullet to the head? Does anyone have a answer here? Any suggestions?

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 10, 2018 at 18:13

        I say privatize the defense industry. Yes, take the profit out of making weapons of war, and while we’re at it let’s privatize the whole of the security industry as well. So take the profit out of war, as would be wise to do also to the security apparatus, and while we are at it regulate all news agencies to become small and privately owned or better yet maybe make news publicly owned. In any case these couple of changes could be a start, if America were to replace profit with necessity of need.

        • Silly Me
          March 12, 2018 at 07:41

          You mean nationalized, right? As is the case in Russia.

          • Silly Me
            March 12, 2018 at 07:41

            Of course, nobody has the power to do that.

          • Silly Me
            March 12, 2018 at 07:42

            Instead, the US government seems to have been privatized.

        • KiwiAntz
          March 13, 2018 at 23:51

          Sorry Joe, but everything you mentioned in your comments has already been privatised under the Neoliberal & outsourcing model that your Country has been using since Reagan & Maggie Thatcher championed this travesty of a economic model? They privatised the profits from the Military buildup to Security apparatus since 9/11? All the money goes to the Rich elites & Corporations, then in the ultimate kick in the guts, they socialise & offload any losses to the Taxpayer, to pick up the tab? That is why your Health system is 100 x Times more expensive than any other Countries single payer models & with the worst outcomes & results? There is huge profits to be made out of inefficiencies & cost overruns! Your Military uses the same inefficient model with the same lousy results? Someone is making a massive profit at your expense? The American MIC spent $600 billion on yesterday’s technology while Russia spent $30 billion on tomorrow’s hi tech weapons by creating state of the art hypersonic weapons for a fraction of the price of America’s total yearly budget? America wastes its Military budget on high tech turkeys such as the F35 & how many hypersonic weapons did they build out of that $600 billion dollar money grab? ZERO!

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 10, 2018 at 18:16

        Looks like this New Zealand economist is being consider for a job with the Trump Administration…..

      • March 10, 2018 at 18:22

        Citizens United has got to go…and the Patriot Act along with it…The Independents in this country have to move with a Peace and Prosperity platform…I think the world would be surprised how many Americans would vote this way if it had momentum…We are living with the Dem/Repub disaster already….from there you can get decent people elected, and begin to repair this old trainwreck of a country…



      • JWalters
        March 11, 2018 at 02:11

        One key is for the general public to become informed (gradually, unfortunately) that their favorite MSM news outlet is controlled by war profiteers. The linkage in the JFK case is described at

      • RnM
        March 11, 2018 at 03:38

        Someone with stature in the Senate needs to get onboard and out front. The “Gang of Four” are backbenchers.

        • Gregory Herr
          March 11, 2018 at 10:03

          Rand Paul wouldn’t be able to get the words “diplomacy” and “negotiation” out of his mouth without a McCain hissy fit.

      • March 14, 2018 at 01:47

        @ Kiwiantz: “But how do you get rid of them?”

        It *has* to begin by getting the money out of politics. The We the People Amendment is the *only* proposed constitutional amendment out there that can do this.

        It’s already endorsed by a dozen states and over 600 local governments. It is the only campaign finance reform measure that *requires* money to be taken out of elections and ballot measures. It creates a civil right [1] to that state of affairs that can be remedied by a citizen lawsuit. All alternative measures merely grant Congress and the States discretion to regulate campaign finances. (And we all know how well that approach worked before the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.)

        It also abolishes all constitutional rights of corporations and other fictitious legal entities.

        What’s not to like?

        [1] “Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.”

  32. Liam
    March 10, 2018 at 16:10

    Latest on White Helmets and US Psyops related to Syria –

    New images added: Massive White Helmets Photo Cache Proves Hollywood Gave Oscar to Terrorist Group

    In Latest US State Department Psy Op “Last Men In Aleppo” Terrorists Meet With Heather Nauert Who Expresses US Direct Support (Extensive Evidence including Screen Captured Images and First Person Videos)

    The #ISIS man also doubles as the #WhiteHelmet man. Part-time White Helmet, full-time Terrorist.
    Obeida Muhammed al Hussein was one of the #ISIS fighting in the NE #Hama pocket in #Syria.

  33. KiwiAntz
    March 10, 2018 at 16:02

    Despite the best interests of these senators, who are trying to pull America back from the nuclear abyss, the simple fact is this? America is ruled by its Deepstate & supported by its propagandist mouthpiece the MSM! This unelected, unmanageable & accountable to no-one class, do not want peace? They want endless war, as war is a money making racket & they have the mentality that there’s no profit in peace? They have no morals or conscience & are ready to sacrifice the deaths of millions of innocents so they can make a buck? America doesn’t want diplomacy as they see this as a weakness, not a sign of strength? That is why attempts to bring peace to Nth Korea & improve relationships with Russia will untimately fail as America has proven time & time again that it is a unreliable & dishonest broker who can’t abide by international law or agreements? Cancelling the ABM treaty with Russia & US attempts to withdraw from the Iran deal etc are just two examples of its duplicitous, schizophrenic manner in which it deals with other nations who enter into written, legal agreements with them! They play a “zero sum game” in which they are the winners & the other side is the loser, rather than adopting a non-zero sum game, where both sides are winners & both parties get something out of it? Until the US drops this arrogant attitude & mindset of American exceptionism & a zero sum game strategy, there is no chance of a peaceful resolution to conflicts & ultimately, peaceful relationships? It also needs to vanquish this Deepstate bunch of cronies with its endless war, death cult agenda or else we are all doomed to die in a Nuclear fireball that these lunatics are leading us too? Russia is now in a position to force America back to the negotiating table with its new weapons & Kim Jong Un in Nth Korea is also willing to come to the same table of diplomacy? America must choose whether it wants to go down,one of two paths? One path leads to War & the other path leads to Peace??

    • Dave P.
      March 10, 2018 at 20:14

      KiwiAntz – Well said. Very astute conclusions.

  34. Zachary Smith
    March 10, 2018 at 15:35

    In a sad commentary on the parlous state of the U.S. media, a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from four United States Senators dated March 8 calling for opening arms control talks with the Kremlin ASAP is nowhere to be found in mainstream newspapers a day after its release on the Senate home page of one of the authors, Jeff Merkey (D-Ore.). Nothing in the New York Times. Nothing in the Washington Post. And so, it is left to alternative media to bring to the attention of its readership a major development in domestic politics, a significant change in what its own senior politicians are saying should be done about Russia that was brought to our attention by …..the Russian mainstream media including the agency RIA Novosti, RBK, Tass within hours of initial posting.

    As of this posting, there were zero “hits” on Google News, and only five on Google search when I used some of the actual text of the letter. BTW, one of the five was this Consortium News essay.

    I can’t speak to the motives of the likes of Feinstein, but the rest of The Establishment wants this to go away. The xymphora blogger includes this remark in his link to the TPM site:

    Simply a terrible tragedy for Clintonistas, Democrats, and K h a z a r s.


  35. Zachary Smith
    March 10, 2018 at 15:34

    In a sad commentary on the parlous state of the U.S. media, a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from four United States Senators dated March 8 calling for opening arms control talks with the Kremlin ASAP is nowhere to be found in mainstream newspapers a day after its release on the Senate home page of one of the authors, Jeff Merkey (D-Ore.). Nothing in the New York Times. Nothing in the Washington Post. And so, it is left to alternative media to bring to the attention of its readership a major development in domestic politics, a significant change in what its own senior politicians are saying should be done about Russia that was brought to our attention by …..the Russian mainstream media including the agency RIA Novosti, RBK, Tass within hours of initial posting.

    As of this posting, there were zero “hits” on Google News, and only five on Google search when I used some of the actual text of the letter. BTW, one of the five was this Consortium News essay.

    I can’t speak to the motives of the likes of Feinstein, but the rest of The Establishment wants this to go away. The xymphora blogger includes this remark in his link to the TPM site:

    Simply a terrible tragedy for Clintonistas, Democrats, and Khazars.


  36. SteveK9
    March 10, 2018 at 15:21

    This is the only part of their letter that is worth spit:

    ‘There is no guarantee that we can make progress with Russia on these issues. However, even at the height of Cold War tensions, the United States and the Soviet Union were able to engage on matters of strategic stability. Leaders from both countries believed, as we should today, that the incredible destructive force of nuclear weapons is reason enough to make any and all efforts to lessen the chance that they can never be used again.’

    It’s good that there is even a semblance of sense in this letter, but I don’t know if our politicians can possibly be as ignorant as they sound. Putin laid it out in black and white: the US abrogated the ABM treaty, and is ringing Russia with ABM systems, so they have countered with (relatively cheap) offensive counter-measures. The fact that they have done this while opening 1/10 the money we do on defense should be shocking. If we didn’t have a bloated wasteful incompetent MIC we should spend $70B and use the other $650B on some decent roads.

    • RnM
      March 11, 2018 at 03:32

      How about a new rail system, instead?

  37. john wilson
    March 10, 2018 at 14:46

    Putin doesn’t need to negotiate as he is in a position of strength and parity with the US. What would he want to negotiate anyway? There are noises from North Korea about negotiations, but North Korea has few nukes and I suspect that they know the US could neutralize them with a surprise attack. North Korea’s ‘ace in the hole’ is the terrible damage they could and would do to the South with ordinary ordnance and I believe this is all that has kept the US at bay so far. You don’t negotiate with a criminal regime like the US. You either stand your ground or capitulate. When Russia went into Syria they soon put paid the America’s ISIS friends and partners and the US now looks to be irrelevant there.

  38. David G
    March 10, 2018 at 13:41

    “The key question is whether President Putin can be de-demonized. That will depend on the mainstream media, which, alas, is not accustomed to reassessing and silencing the bellicose drums …”

    On this one score, I’m pleased to say that Gilbert Doctorow and Ray McGovern can set their hearts at ease.

    For better or worse, our MSM is more than up to the job of doing an about-face and abandoning the current Putin and Russia vilification. After all, did anybody hear gears grinding as al-Qaeda was transformed from the sum of all evils in the world to tacit ally in Syria within a decade? Seems to me that went pretty smoothly.

    The key word there is “tacit”: officialdom’s and the MSM’s preferred method of dumping newly inconvenient narratives is just to go silent, which is less work than actively rehabilitating the erstwhile baddies yet still serves the purpose of permitting total reversals in policy.

    So if they decide to go full Orwell on us, don’t look to start hearing tons of good things about Putin, just expect to hear a lot less about him.

  39. Jeff
    March 10, 2018 at 13:41

    This is truly rich. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t have a snow ball’s chance in hell. The Russians aren’t fools. We walked away from the ABM treaty, what would prevent us from walking away from any other treaty we signed? We haven’t honored the Iran nuclear deal, we haven’t played nicely with UN resolutions that we have simply interpreted the way that we wanted them to be written, not how they were written, and we promised not to move NATO all the way to Russia and now where are we? NATO countries are all along the Russian border. If I were a Russian, I would have concluded that the US is just one slimy bastard who can’t be trusted.

    Besides, what do we have to offer besides the kind of bullshit that’s in this letter?

    • David G
      March 10, 2018 at 13:45

      Bullseye, unfortunately.

    • Joe
      March 10, 2018 at 22:22

      Add to it our treaties with the native Americans. You simply cannot trust uncle sam

  40. David G
    March 10, 2018 at 13:15

    I heard about it on RT. Now, having read it … well, it’s something. Not a whole lot, but something.

  41. Rob
    March 10, 2018 at 13:12

    If the opinion-leading news outlets are ignoring the letter, then I think we know where this initiative is headed. Yet it’s not surprising, since the MSM are an auxiliary of the military-industrial complex.

    • JWalters
      March 11, 2018 at 02:00

      MSM and MIC have the same owner.

  42. David G
    March 10, 2018 at 13:08

    It’s Sen. Jeff Merkley, with an L.

      March 10, 2018 at 13:38

      Thanks, fixed.

      • David G
        March 10, 2018 at 13:48

        You missed one: in the link at the top of the letter. ;-)

      • E. Leete
        March 11, 2018 at 22:06

        has anyone pointed out that the letter says they want to lessen the chance that nukes can NEVER be used again? Excuse me, but unless that’s a truly creepy Freudian slip – and make no mistake I put NOTHING past these bought and paid foe congress critters – didn’t they mean to say we should be trying lessen the chance that nukes can EVER be used again???

        • Brad Owen
          March 12, 2018 at 05:36

          I noticed that too. The main point to remember is that it’s irrelevant what comes out of the mouths of the puppets of an unelected Deep State apparatus set up in 1947 (CIA) to study the possible national security threat to us that arose from The Roswell Incident. This DS apparatus had already gone rogue and beyond the control of any elected authority before Eisenhower even left office (as he had warned the Country in his farewell address); and with their plethora of unacknowledged special access projects funded by taxpayers (the REAL reason for the bloated defense budget ostensibly paid for purchasing shoddy equipment and “800 dollar hammers” and such), they are the unacknowledged global superpower of the world. It should be comforting to you to remember most of the Roswell-type incidents occur near nuclear stockpiles, and they directly intervene with any possible launches of nuclear weapons. This information is available in the public domain, but MSM is yet another tentacle of this DS apparatus, so you won’t hear such news from them.

          • Brad Owen
            March 12, 2018 at 05:40

            And when I say “they intervene” I do indeed mean the ETs themselves, an especially galling fact of life for this rogue DS apparatus. I, for one, am grateful for their intervention.

  43. mark
    March 10, 2018 at 12:50

    It is not easy to back pedal after years, not months, of lies, smears, false flags, virulent hate propaganda and demonization.
    Russia needs to judge these people by their deeds, not their words.
    Long and bitter experience amply demonstrates that their word is completely worthless.
    Any agreement will be broken the instant it becomes convenient to do so.
    Recent agreements over Syria were broken by the US in less than 24 hours.
    America simply cannot be trusted.
    Even if some agreement is reached after lengthy negotiations, it will be discarded in a year or two year’s time by the next president simply to spite his predecessor, as in the Iran nuclear deal.
    Clinton reached a similar deal with North Korea in 1994. This was immediately sabotaged by the incoming Bush administration, which refused to honour US commitments to deliver fuel oil and build power stations in return for the dismantling of the DPRK nuclear programme. The DPRK lived up to its commitments, Bush did not. Instead, we got all the Axis of Evil garbage.
    You only have to look at the commitment not to expand NATO given to Gorbachev by Bush Senior/ Baker/ Kohl/ Genscher. What happened to that? Or the ABM Treaty? Or the Intermediate Missiles Treaty?
    The unfortunate reality is that any agreement with the US isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
    Russia should abandon all efforts to negotiate and reach agreements with the US.
    Any effort to do so would represent the triumph of hope over experience.
    This is not just futile, pointless, it is very dangerous and harmful.
    It can create a false sense of security that some measure of cooperation is possible with the US.
    The Red Indians signed 330 treaties with the US – ask them how that worked out.

    • Rob Roy
      March 12, 2018 at 12:13

      I’ve read the other comments, but yours nails it. You are right. As Gorbachev said after NATO/USA broke its agreement not to move “one inch” farther east than the middle of Germany, “You can’t trust the Americans.” Now NATO is slammed up against Russia to not only threaten it, but to goad it as well, like the bully this country is. If the situation were reversed….oh, my god what would America do? Go crazy, instead of remaining steady and smart, as Putin exhibits.
      As this letter from the four oh-so-well-admired senators show in their second paragraph, they are as idiotic as the MSM when they say, “….Russia’s brazen interference in the 2016 U.S. elections; continued violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF); invasion of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea; and destabilizing actions in Syria.” Everything in that statement is false, and it’s a disgusting display of the sheer arrogance and acceptance of the party line which is “Russia, a known enemy…” that is endlessly written in every report on Russia, a country as innocent as Iran and Cuba, another two disparaged automatically. I feel I’m living in Goebbels-country where lies are repeated to a point they become “facts” as these four senators prove.
      Putin’s first two thirds of his address isn’t even mentioned. If we ever had a president who spoke for universal healthcare, free education, culture and arts expansion, and appreciation of teachers and love of children, Americans would faint from shock.
      If I didn’t have people I love here, I would give up my citizenship and move to a country that has a moral compass.

    • Dave P.
      March 12, 2018 at 15:19

      mark, Rob Roy –

      Your precise comments are right on the mark.

      We had company last Saturday and the guests were watching the Putin’s interview with Megyn Kelly, I think it was on MSNBC. Of the carefully selected portions of the interview, they will show it for two minutes or so, and then they would have Richard Haass, John Brennan, Clapper, and some Economist there on the channel to demonize Putin and Russia. It was meant to neutralize the effect of Putin’s interview, and add more to Putin’s and Russia’s evil image they have built up in the country.

      It is a shame that they, the Main Media will not show Putin’s full interview in U.S. and elsewhere in The West. This is The Free World they tout everyday to the rest of the World. We are outdoing Goebbels a hundred times over in this new age of mass communication. The result of Geobbels and Hitlers mesmerizing performance was World War II. This new insanity will certainly lead to World War III.

  44. March 10, 2018 at 12:48

    Nowhere in this letter does it even hint at the Wests withdrawal from the ABM treaty…

    Unless Washington wants to discuss, seriously, its prolific ABM installations…Im fairly certain this approach is going to be a non-starter with the Russians…Russia has declared openly that they have pursued these new systems to counter Western ABM expansion, and return to some level of MAD balance…

    Simple…Washington needs to listen



    • nonsense factory
      March 10, 2018 at 18:20

      Excellent point, it’s impossible to imagine Russia agreeing to reductions in the nuclear stockpile numbers without a preliminary agreement among all nuclear powers to eliminate the anti-ballistic missile program entirely.

      It’s also really necessary to bring all the nuclear-armed countries to the same table and that means no more ambiguity for Israel (this letter doesn’t even mention the Israeli nuclear weapons program). Russia, the USA, China, Britain, France, Pakistan, India, Israel, North Korea – they’d all have to agree. NK might be convinced to give up its nuclear weapons if sanctions were lifted and military exercises with South Korea and the US military were curtailed, so that would be one less at the table, but neither Israel, Pakistan or India would be likely to do so.

      • March 10, 2018 at 19:37

        hopefully, if the US and Russia ever make it to the table, it would set some precedent for the rest of the world to come together for disarmament talks…ABM systems are a general curse(offensive) and a necesity(defensive) against the proliferation of offensive missiles of all types and ranges…lots to talk about…

        As far as Trump and NK talks, this is my post from MoA:

        “Trump lies, virtually at all times…says complete bullsh#t just for attention…if and until he actually does something…its all smoke and we can speculate forever…

        personally dont think the MIC/finance crowd will ever let this happen…doubt that they will attack either…tension is profitable, peace is not…SK and NK should just cut the US out, if they want a real peace…”



        • michael
          March 11, 2018 at 09:09

          Agreed. But N Korea undoubtedly learned a lot from Libya. America’s word no longer means much.

  45. Radical Pragmatist
    March 10, 2018 at 12:40

    Re: “Gang of Four: Senators Call for Tillerson to Enter into Arms Control Talks with the Kremlin”

    The Global Cop Gorilla’s now normative foreign policy negotiating tactic is to insult the other party by demanding the outcome terms as a pre-condition for even engaging in negotiations. I.e., the old Soviet negotiating model, “What’s ours is ours, what’s yours is negotiable”.

    Putin is a rational man, so the Russians may actually agree to negotiate, but American arrogance, hubris and conceit would significantly lower the probability of success.

    The U.S. is caught between a rock and a hard place. Its foreign policy has been completely militarized by its Neocon Nomenklatura and war-monger Generals, so its international legitimacy is in the tank. And the Russians are developing superior technologies with one tenth of the budget of the Pentagon. To say nothing of the Pentagon’s acquisition performance history; hyper-busted boondoggles that over-promise and under-deliver with way late delivery schedules. And that’s if the systems are not cancelled outright. The Pentagon will hose the taxpayers even more, trying to keep up with the Ivanovich’s.

    False bravado won’t work any more with the Russians, (or the Chinese). But the Nitwit Elites in Washington have not yet recognized that reality. Given that, expect U.S. – Russia relations to be a continuing series of diplomatic car wrecks with the taxpayers stuck with the bills.

    P.S. note how the DC Security State Elites live very large in the Swamp given their stupidity and always walk away rich from their wreckage.

    • mark
      March 10, 2018 at 12:55

      Feinstein is worth $200 million from a salary of $6 million over the years.

      • Dave P.
        March 12, 2018 at 00:57

        Feinstein’s third husband Richard Blum is Investment banker. I think, he was under suspicion or investigation here in California for wrongdoing during the Savings and Loan Scandals of the late 1980’s. I read somewhere many years ago that he is often in Israel, and has very close connections with the powerful in Israel. As a couple, they probably have many times the $200 millions figure you mentioned.

    • Sam F
      March 10, 2018 at 16:20

      Good points.

    • RnM
      March 11, 2018 at 03:19

      All this is consistent with empire decline.

    • michael
      March 11, 2018 at 09:08

      The US doesn’t honor its agreements (Clinton made a lie out of Reagan and Gorbachev’s Peace — and squandered our Peace Dividend; George W Bush/ Cheney unilaterally withdrew from the ABM treaty). The Russians are not trustworthy either, but paragons of virtue compared to America’s politicians.

    • irina
      March 11, 2018 at 15:03

      Why exactly are they called the ‘Gang of Four’ ?
      This phrase immediately brings to mind thugs (along the Russian model
      with which we are continually inundated). ‘Gang’ usually implies enforced
      compliance, and/or really awful consequences for noncompliance.

      • Sam F
        March 11, 2018 at 18:13

        This is a humorous reference to the “Gang of Four” group of politicos including Mao’s last wife who controlled the Communist Party of China in the late Cultural Revolution (1966–76), who just after Mao’s death were charged with “counter-revolutionary” acts and blamed for the problems of that era. So a group of four dissidents from the party line.

  46. March 10, 2018 at 12:36

    As we were heading towards a cliff, the back peddling is welcome!

  47. mike k
    March 10, 2018 at 12:36

    Will this tiny crack in the wall of official hatred of Russia amount to anything? Wait and see. It is much like Trump’s intention to talk with Kim Jong Un. We won’t really know until something further happens. Meanwhile, there is always the fun of speculations and second guessings.

  48. Joe Tedesky
    March 10, 2018 at 12:30

    If the U.S. doesn’t get a grip on starting new nuclear arms reduction treaties, then the U.S. will lose by bankrupting itself. It’s simple no money, no more bombs, that is unless some American does something so awfully stupid, as to fire off those useless nukes.

    • mark
      March 10, 2018 at 13:10

      Let the US bankrupt itself.
      It already has in reality.
      The national debt passed the $20 trillion mark on 11/9/17, the 16th anniversary of 9/11. Since then it has added another $860 billion of red ink. The true debt figure is around 10 times higher.
      The true military budget for 2019 is $1,136 billion. Literally more than the rest of the planet combined. With another $100 billion for “Intelligence.”
      The current 7 wars (maybe more) that the US is waging, plus others planned and threatened against Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Russia and China, will hammer the final nails in the coffin.
      40% of the US economy is finance. In the 1970s, it was 2%. Another 17% is healthcare price gouging by the drug and insurance company.
      The US may collapse economically and financially without warning, even as it tears itself apart politically, socially and racially. Even if this can be avoided, which seems unlikely, it will steadily decline into complete irrelevance.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 11, 2018 at 21:41

        It would seem as though the U.S. is spending more than these wars of choice may bring on a return of our tax payer investment, but that isn’t the case either. Here’s how it works; us taxpayers foot the bill for the expense of these wars of creation which the MIC profits from. Then when the oil or whatever natural mineral a conquered nation should poccess is ready to be sold on the open market the energy giants get that profit. So us taxpayers feet into this our hard earned tax dollars, as then our mighty corporations may profit. The best a person could do, is to go work for one of these greedy profit monsters, and then think to themselves how they are apart of the club, but then you must reference George Carlin, ‘it’s a big club and you ain’t in it’.

        I hear you mark and your details to your comment are much appreciated. Joe

    • jose
      March 10, 2018 at 14:59

      Dear Joe: I think that the central thesis is why the main stream media do not cover the above story. Your points are valid but I see this article by Gilbert and McGovern directed toward the US media failure to report this critical missive by the gang of four. The very first paragraph is stated unambiguously clear ” In a sad commentary on the parlous state of the U.S. media, a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from four United States Senators dated March 8 calling for opening arms control talks with the Kremlin ASAP is nowhere to be found in mainstream newspapers a day after its release on the Senate home page of one of the authors, Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). Thus, the media have chosen not to report on the letter sent to Tillerson that caught my attention. We are indoctrinated incessantly that the US media are free. Authors Herman and Chomsky once observed that “The general population recognizes that the organized institutions do not reflect their concerns and interests and needs.” I submit to you Joe that the US media are part of those institutions both authors refer to. Author Stephen Lendham penned the following “It’s the dominant media’s “subtle yet constant and sophisticated manipulation of reality” in their role as “guardians of power.” The media are not here to report honestly unless the power elite interests are not threaten (emphasis mine)

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 10, 2018 at 17:43

        Dear Jose it goes without saying to how bad the American MSM is. To what you are referring to when mentioning the no mentioning of the letter from the Gang of Four that this media denial is just another one of those omissions of the facts, which our government cheer leading media does all the time. This method of leaving out important facts, is one of the biggest reasons Americans seem to be so clueless.

        Among the many procedures the U.S. would be wise to change, besides campaign finance laws, and observing Constitutional restrictions on budgets and war, is the making of our media into a honest journalistic institution, which America so badly needs. I would prefer that all real media be privately owned with no corporate attachments, and that they would operate much like C-Span and be commercial free. I don’t think I will ever live long enough to see this materialize, but one can imagine it…right? Joe

        • nonsense factory
          March 10, 2018 at 18:15

          The current USA nuclear weapons program has a whopping $100 billion in the pipeline for rebuilding the land-based ICBM program from the ground up, which will be a huge cash cow for Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Boeing, General Dyanmics, Bechtel etc. Arms reduction talks could threaten that program with extinction, that’s the issue:


          “The new ICBMs are expected to replace the Air Force’s present arsenal of approximately 500 LGM-30G Minuteman III missiles. Per international agreements, the present missiles contain either a single W78 or W87 thermonuclear warhead. The W78 has an estimated yield of up to 350 kilotons of TNT, while the W87 may have a boosted yield of up to 475 kilotons.”

          Let’s say the US and Russia agree to some common-sense reduction of their active nuclear arsenals from 1,800 weapons on alert and a total stockpile of 7,000 each, to 500 on alert and a total stockpile of 1000. In that case, it would make more sense to put half of the weapons on submarines and the other half on jet bombers (mobile better than stationary, as far as the military mindset goes, they’re harder to locate and destroy) – and then we could get rid of the land-based ICBMs entirely, saving $100 billion in taxpayer money.

          Given that the corporate media shareholders are the same entities who invest heavily in Boeing, Northrup, Lockheed etc., is it really surprising they don’t want to see this being discussed? It’s like the old Soviet Central Committee, they don’t want to lose their cash cow, and the Ministry of Propaganda does their bidding.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 10, 2018 at 19:00

            Thanks for that detailed info nonsense factory. No matter how we look at it what Russia’s recently did was a true game changer. Russia may have switched the rules from their going from being the hunted to now their becoming the hunter. Hopefully never will the world find out to which nation is the strongest when it comes to the nuclear arms race.

          • michael
            March 11, 2018 at 09:02

            Is this in addition to the $1 trillion Obama pledged to modernize (“make nuclear war winnable”) smaller nuclear weapons?

        • Sam F
          March 10, 2018 at 19:37

          Well put.

      • JWalters
        March 11, 2018 at 01:54

        “I think that the central thesis is why the main stream media do not cover the above story.”

        I agree. And this is a central issue of our time. Some linkages between the press and war profiteers are discussed at especially in the section on JFK.

    • KiwiAntz
      March 13, 2018 at 21:03

      Joe, you’d be surprised to know or not, that the number of Rich American’s who are buying land in my Country of New Zealand have quadrupled in the last 10 yrs? Mr Thiel, the Paypal founder is one example? So many rich A-listers are trying to do the same thing that our Govt has been forced to introduce more stringent foreign investment laws restricting land purchases to foreigners? Apparently they are viewing NZ as a doomsday preppers paradise? Maybe they can see the wring on the Wall, as usually the rich get wind of things, like insider trading knowledge, quicker than the average person? This is really a sad state of affairs on where the World is headed if America can’t abandon its sucidal pursuit of American hegemony? WW3 is inevitable & no place, including my isolated Country of NZ, will be a safe haven?

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