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01 March 2015

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David Habakkuk

All,

Over the years, a commentator on Russian affairs I have found both particularly useful and extremely entertaining is Eric Kraus. A 'wandering Jew' by background, brought up in France, Kraus became involved in fund management in Moscow in the chaotic world of the Nineties, and has ended up settling there and marrying a – spectacularly beautiful – Russian girl.

Time and again over the past years Kraus has argued that Western policy would end up pushing Russia into the arms of China. In an article last August, he recalled how Michael McFaul, later U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, treated his warnings with contempt, on the basis that Russian fears of China would always be too great.

The article is entitled: 'A Faul's Errand: Washington's Amateur Diplomacy – An Obituary.'

(See http://tinyurl.com/lfjld5o .)

Concluding a series of posts on the Nemtsov murder on his 'Facebook' page a couple of hours ago, Kraus wrote as follows:

'One final posting for tonight: Does it matter, anymore?

'The Western media have learned to bark on cue - and they have learned it well. We are encountering yet another media barrage - in this case based on an obvious provocation - no more than any sane person believes that Russia is about to invade Finland or Estonia - no one not a total fool could believe that Mr Putin had anything to do with the murder of Nemtsov - but the hacks twist their phraseology to say it without ever actually saying it. But again, does it matter?

'The West has lost Russia. The die is cast. I don't think that any self-respecting Russian person should give a tinker's damn for the lies in The Economist or the FT. The Western mainstream media are deeply corrupt, eating out of the hands of the financial holdings which own and control them. Those who remember the Pravda of old will be familiar with the concept.

'Russia has many friends. Most particularly the rising powers of Asia. Therein lies her future. After having spent nearly two decades trying to educate the Western powers on Russia - I really don't give a damn what they think anymore. It is their problem, no longer mine.

'I close with one prediction:
Sometime down the road - 5 years? 10 years? Confronted with an assertive China which by then outweighs them in every respect - industrial, economic, diplomatic and military - and which has benefitted greatly from her alliance with Moscow securing her North-Eastern borders and providing all the commodities she needs - the Western powers shall collectively ask themselves "what on earth have we done? - What were we thinking when we created an alliance between the one power which could truly threaten our hegemony - and Russia - who in fact was a conservative, status-quo power threatening no one at all?"
The fools - the fools!'

ex-PFC Chuck

I just found the following in a comment thread at The Saker, but it was not the post linked in my earlier comment. It is the Google translation of the post immediately above it, which included a link to it's presumed origin on a Croatian website.
-------Start Quote
Former Czech Minister of Health, John David, a member of the Social Democratic Party, CSSD, commented on the current situation in Europe and tensions over the Ukrainian crisis, pointing out that this situation could lead to major escalation of the conflict in the Old Continent.

In an interview for an online newspaper Prvnizpravy.cz noted: “Europe, which want to receive the order by, the US, force, lead the entire continent to the slaughterhouse.”

He said that the US can do nothing good to offer Europe, and that Washington is pressuring European countries.

“We have to buy their weapons, to obey their dictates as TTIP, send your soldiers in the wars they start around the world. European elites are promised that they will be allowed to survive if they diligently followed the US interests at the expense of their own people. If Europe wants to survive, can not afford to have this kind of elite in power, “said former Czech minister Ivan David.
-----End Quote
How soon will we begin hearing views like this from serving government ministers in the EU and NATO as opposed to retired ones? Below is the link for anyone here who reads Croatian:
http://www.advance.hr/vijesti/bivsi-ceski-ministar-upozorava-europske-elite-koje-primaju-zapovjedi-od-sad-a-pretvoriti-ce-kontinent-u-klaonicu/

David Habakkuk

Toto,

I can only repeat to you what I wrote in response to 'Piotr, Poland', when he made a similar argument yesterday. I have not time here to readjust the comment, but the same critical points as apply to what he said apply to what you have written.

It ran:

In dealing with atrocities in the former Soviet Union, people who rush to say that they have 'no doubts' as to who is responsible, before anything in the way of serious evidence has been produced, are commonly either fools or knaves.

I see that you treat it as self-evident that the death of Alexander Litvinenko was the work of the Russian authorities.

If you are seriously interested in getting at the truth about this bizarre affair, you will obviously want to consider carefully comments I posted on a report in the 'Financial Times' entitled 'Ukraine calls for fresh sanctions against Russia' in July last year.

These provide links to three diaries which I and my Italian collaborator Mr David Loepp posted on the 'European Tribune' site in December 2012. In turn, these contain links to further diaries posted by Mr Loepp in the immediate aftermath of the breaking of the story of Litvinenko's poisoning, and by myself in 2008-9.

(See http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/268c2b1c-f481-11e3-bf6e-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=uk#axzz3RLj4lz00 )

I would add that much more extended accounts of the evidence summarised in these 'European Tribune' pieces were submitted by me to the team responsible for what was then supposed to be the inquest into the death of Litvinenko between September 2012 and July 2013.

So far, the evidence produced in what is now the inquiry has signally failed to persuade me, or Mr Loepp, that our reservations about the conventional wisdom about Litvinenko's death were ill-founded.

I look forward to your devastating rebuttal of our evidence and arguments.

b

Sources - links to Russian language sources here
http://cassad-eng.livejournal.com/128620.html

Also Kiev Post quoted here
http://yalibnan.com/2015/02/28/ukraine-yanukovychs-ally-chechetov-commits-suicide/

The number 2 lawmaker of the Party of Regions "jumped" from the 17th floor. He was on bail accused of having voted for a "dictatorship law" when Yanoukovish was president.

A lawmaker accused of making laws ....

b

The point is that there may have been other men involved.

Her boyfriend? Her pimp? Her family? The guy who's child she aborted?

I don't know. But if were police going through motives I surely would check out her background and look for some possible personal reasons the killer might have had.

Tigershark

Col.

Yes. Quote comes from footnote 12 in the Wiki entry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Becket

I like this version more than the usual "meddlesome priest", although the Wiki entry uses "turbulent priest"

There are a lot of theories presented here but I don't think we should ever discount plain stupidity. Sometime leaders order and/or do stupid things.

FB Ali

Adam,

"...the real target was him and Russia as a provocation. For what is not clear".

As the Saker points out, the Russian original for "provocation" also means "false flag".

It is quite clear for whom and what that could be.

David Habakkuk

Colonel Lang,

By coincidence, I have just been looking at T.S. Eliot's play again. My sister got hold of a copy of the film made of it in 1951, in which a great uncle by marriage of ours, who really was a 'turbulent priest', played Beckett.

Any comparison of Nemtsov to the 'low born cleric' Beckett, I am afraid, reveals the utter inability of people in the West to grasp how the Western 'liberals' have become simply irrelevant in Russia, and the extent to which we have squandered the immense moral authority we had in that country at the end of the Cold War.

The enormous moral authority which Beckett has is at the core of Eliot's play. If the first tempter tries to woo him with memories of pleasures past, the second and third are trying to enlist this authority in critical political struggles between king and barons.

It is left for the fourth to present the right course of action – acceptance of martyrdom – but with the temptation being that this is to be done out of pride and lust for glory, rather than as an assertion of the ultimate superiority of the sacred order over temporal power.

It is a deep self-delusion to see the Westernising 'liberals' as a challenge to the authority of Putin.

At the heart of his polemic against the liberals is the contention that, alike at the beginning of the twentieth century and its end, they attempted to create a 'Western' society where the conditions for it did not exist, and so delivered Russia over to anarchic collapse.

It is doubt in some measure propaganda, but may well not be entirely that by any means, for the 'establishment' intelligentsia in Russia to suggest that the ideas and actions of figures like Nemtsov threaten the country with a return to the anarchy of the Nineties.

Furthermore, irrespective of whether they are saying what they think or indulging in propaganda, the willingness of Nemtsov and people like him to collaborate with Western powers and nationalists in Ukraine actually help the Russian authorities.

In terms of maintaining his claim to be the essential defence of Russia against both internal chaos and external subversion, quite frankly, a live Nemtsov was quite useful to Putin, a dead one no use at all.

bth

Will the Nemtsov report on pre-meditated Russian action against Ukraine in fact be released or not in coming days? I suspect it is DOA.

DW reports in the last paragraph of an article on Nemtsov, "The portraits of Nemtsov and other anti-Putin personalities have also been used as physical targets at youth camps organized by the Russian government." http://www.dw.de/opinion-echoes-of-donbass-in-moscows-streets/a-18286515

The perps could hardly pick a more picturesque location in the background recognized world over yet avoids close security cameras which are on all buildings and most cars in Moscow.

If someone had just wanted him to die they could have picked nearly any Moscow street corner for a car accident. This location was chosen for its visuals, sans the close-ups.

Cee

Col. Lang,

Correct. Putin isn't this dumb. Nor would a car have been located, blah, blah, blah. Sigh.

Putin didn't do this, nor did Argentine president Fernandez assassinate Nisman.

Seriously, I don't even have to wade through these reports after I realize that the Neo-Con agenda is a motivating factor in these deaths.

Cee

All,

I forgot to add that two weeks ago the death of Sergey Magnitsky was brought up on the Fareed Kharia show and I had the feeling that another shoe was going to drop. Here we go.

Herb

Captain Renault: "Realizing the importance of the case, my men are rounding up twice the usual number of suspects."

Allen Thomson


Excellent set of photos of the demonstrations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, etc. at

http://www.vox.com/2015/3/1/8129217/russia-nemtsov-protest

Jack

A very important point you make David. The media in the west is all about making money and doing the bidding of the political and financial elite. Part of the propaganda is the rhetoric that we have an independent press that speaks truth to power. Unfortunately that is not the case. The role the US media played in hyping the case to invade Iraq on the basis of false pretenses is very instructive.

turcopolier

David Habakkuk

I was taught the play as part of a Freshman Year study of Eliot (Prufrock, the Wasteland, etc.) April is still the cruelest month for me, breeding lilacs out of the dead land. "Murder in the Cathedral" was taught as much for the moral effect as for literature. That kind of study is all dead now at my alma mater, killed by the engineers and materialism. pl

steve

The Western public already has been taught to believe that Putin is the devil incarnate, so I'm not sure what would be gained by your scenario, unless it was believed that his death would somehow create opposition domestic political problems for Putin.

FB Ali

David,

Thank you for that excellent quote from Kraus (and the link).

As for his prediction, yes, some in the commentariat may well ask this question, but the manipulators behind the curtain will, instead, be pleased to find further cause to militarise the West and suck more wealth out of it.

Perhaps, when the ship is finally sinking (with us all in it?) they may then ask that question.

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

walrus

This is obviously a false flag operation. My assumption is that the killer is now either dead himself or has left Russia. Three recent events, perhaps Four, are relevant. The Argentine killing, the Maidan square shootings, and perhaps the downing of MH17.

The intelligence services, perhaps under the influence of Israeli technique, seem to me to be now constructing what I call "scripts" - highly linear narratives that can easily be constructed and fed by a complaisant media to an incurious and gullible public.

The "colour revolutions" are a case in point: You know the score; articulate, young, good looking, Western leaning liberal revolutionaries - imbued with the fervour of the American Constitution, challenge a corrupt, despotic, vicious dictator and topple him from office. In this they are aided by some eminence gris expatriates who interpret the events for Western commentators, etc., etc.

It is not hard to spice up this narrative by creating a few martyrs like Nemtsov.

Putin is way too smart to create a martyr and knew perfectly well that the American media would be all over this story.

My next question then is exactly who is selecting saints for martyrdom? Where will the next ones be? My guess is they will be minor anti russian spokesmen from the Baltic states: Poland, Lithuania or Estonia.

Charles I

We are back to the wilderness of mirrors. I can't even remember who turned out to be legit, Angleton or Golitsyn?

I do recall who has nuclear weapons.

Fred

David,

I'm sure Putin will respond to the Western media in true form:

"The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart—see, they bark at me."

Herb

Does this further Putin's (and the state's) interests or not? Ambiguity of the "did he or didn't he? Is he really that brazen?" variety could just as easily be a net positive as a net negative in regards to the state's target audience, which is not the Western media. Being a "trouble-maker" in Russia has long been contra-indicated for one's long term health. The domestic audience there knows this well. "Important" thorns in the side of the government have disappeared or experienced random violence at a fairly regular clip. Putin remains undamaged by this activity. I'm pretty sure that Putin could give a rodent's stern quarters what the Western media says about whatever may "have happened", to use the passive voice. This will be another in a long list of similar events which have all been forgotten.

harry

Very useful thank you

harry

West leaning "reformers" have no influence now but I would wager the US embassy in moscow considers them agents of influence

harry

I remember eric kraus well from the late 90s in moscow.

I never had much time for him but we have mutual friends. I admit that our views have moved much closer over the years. But he is hostile to the US.

harry

The location was chosen cos he lived near there. He was not short of money

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