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28 July 2016

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Jonathan House MD

Thanks for the straight-forward, clear, brief, convincing summary. I have posted it to my Facebook page and will forward it around as I can.

I would add that, with the exception of Trump (at least at the moment), the Republican party including congressmen and senators etc. is singing the same song.

kooshy

Colonel, Bravo, couldn't be said better someone should say this to idiot Morning Joe

Valissa

"In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us."
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

Not to mention the financial advantages to the Military-Industrial-Thinktank complex (I'm including NATO in this) and all the politicians that benefit from the lobbying monies from that complex.

Plus there's the psychological advantage of having some country/countries to blame for the lack of US success, or to distract attention away from US problems that need it.

Dave Schuler

Russia's primary offense is that it has dared to have its own national interests.

Bill H

You left out that Putin has a burning desire to rebuild the Soviet Empire under the Russian Federation banner, doing so by invading and occupying all of the nations that have recently been added to NATO. We know this because he invaded and occupied Crimea and is attemting the same in Ukraine with thousands of heavily armed troops, including armor and heavy artillery.

The Ukraine invasion is completely invisible to our satellites which, far from suggesting that it might not be happening, proves that Russian stealth technology is far ahead of ours, which is cause for even more fear and terror on the Russian front.

I know you are isolated from modern American news, sir, but try to keep up.

NotTimothyGeithner

Moscow is large enough to be a mommy figure for a small country with an interest in dealing with China which doesn't want to be swamped by Beijing's sheer size. Moscow is a threat to U.S. financial and military domination without firing a shot, engaging in a trade war, or leading a diplomatic revolt.

The average American doesn't care about a loss of hegemony. We naturally want cooperation and hippie peace, love, dope. The Western industries with effective monopolies abroad would see immense profits under threat because the Chinese and Russian competitors would drive prices down in finance, defense, pharmaceuticals, tech, and so forth. So they are turning to the Goering play book to keep the Russians out of the world stage. The professional Risk players in the neoconservatives would see their plans fall apart if the Erdogan-Putin meeting is a positive one.

Also, Putin embarrassed Obama over Syria in 2013 and then was magnanimous. Obama hasn't forgotten that perceived slight.

Valissa

We've always been at war with Eastasia http://blog.erratasec.com/2016/02/weve-always-been-at-war-with-eastasia.html
Consider the example in the book 1984 regarding the ongoing war between the three superstates of Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia (representing English, Russian, and Chinese empires respectively).

At the start of the book, Oceania is at war with Eurasia. They have always been at war with Eurasia. That's the political consensus, and all historic documents agree. However, Winston Smith (the protagonist) remembers a time five years ago when Oceania was instead at war with Eastasia. Winston Smith struggles with philosophical idea of "truth". Which is more true, what everyone knows and what's in the newspapers, or the memories within his head?

Then Ocean's allegiance switched back again. On the sixth day of Hate Week, as crowds gathered to denounce Eurasia, the Party switched enemies to Eastasia. In a particularly rousing speech against their enemy, the speaker was handed a slip of paper, and in mid-sentence, without pause, without change in content or tone, he changed the name of the enemy he was speaking against to Eastasia. Eurasia was now their dearest friends. Those holding banners denouncing their enemy were suddenly embarrassed to discover they had unaccountably written the wrong name, and quickly trampled and destroyed them.
------------

turcopolier

Bill H
"I know you are isolated from modern American news, sir, but try to keep up." It seems to me that you are overly affected by "modern American news." Does it bother you that not everyone has been conditioned by neocon memetics?
Tell me how you KNOW that it is Putin's intention to "rebuild the Soviet Empire? How do you KNOW that? How do you KNOW that it is his intention to invade and occupy all the nations added to NATO? How do you KNOW that? There is no evidence that Russian forces are committed in eastern Ukraine. None. You admit that to be true and cite it as evidence of Russian aggression. I remind you that I do not tolerate ad hominem attacks. pl

Tyler

Bill H,

I can't tell if this is sarcasm or you really believe this, but I'll err on the side of caution and believe it is the former.

If so, its very well done.

SmoothieX12

"You left out that Putin has a burning desire to rebuild the Soviet Empire under the Russian Federation banner, doing so by invading and occupying all of the nations that have recently been added to NATO"

The worst Russian nightmare is to have those freeloaders back into Russian fold. USSR? Thanks, but no thanks. I know damn well the mood on Russian streets--it is to be left alone, especially by non-Russian entities. Preferably having a very tall fence literally and figuratively. As per "recently added to NATO". You mean de-populating and economically third world Baltics, or, God forbids, seeing Poland in Russian fold. Sir, you are, obviously, smoking some potent sh.t. Learn the facts on the ground.

Farmer Don

Replace "Russia" in the above sentence with "Trump".

They are both not in the Davos set.

Trey N

Umm, you've been played, Pat.

Bill H is practicing a sardonic irony popular on a lot of sites' comments sections nowadays. "Million Dollar Bonus" over at zerohedge.com is a master of the art.

The giveaway is Bill's second paragraph, mocking the lying media presstitutes who claim Russia is "invading Ukraine with hordes of tanks" etc and have never been able to verify their ridiculous claims with even one shred of proof.

With the best of these types of commenters, it's often hard to tell whether they are really serious or just spoofing. Either way, they generally elicit a lot of heated responses....

David Habakkuk

Tyler,

I think that on reflection you are right to err on the side of caution. It was indeed well-done -- just perhaps need a small 'tweak' at the end to eliminate the ambiguity.

turcopolier

Trey N

Sarcasm? Trolling? I don't have time for that. I suppose I will have to ban it. Sigh... pl

sillybill

Bill H,
Now look what you've done!
I suggest you use a snark tag - /s - at the end next time.

Cee

Col. Lang,

I read before that Obama was pushing back against this lunacy. Now the HRC-NEOCON camp are in full attack mode. I honestly think I'll be voting for Trump because I feel he can't do all of the things that I would hate for him to do. I KNOW that Hillary would get away with murder. I'm quite serious.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/07/27/hillary-the-hawk-a-history-clinton-2016-military-intervention-libya-iraq-syria/

Babak Makkinejad

I think there is a late - certainly a reservoir - of Kool Aide somewhere in America which US leaders and commentators are imbibing en mass.

Cee

Valises,

Well put. I was also reading about NATO members gearing up to attack Russia.

SmoothieX12

Moscow is large enough to be

A medium-size European country herself. It is also a very peculiar economic entity. I do, however, have a question on what do you mean by a "mommy for a small country"? No matter how small the country is, in my understanding, it still will have a fair degree of freedom when building trade relations with any entity, even of such mammoth size as China.

FB Ali

I don't think it was "sarcasm" (or trolling) directed against your post. He was actually agreeing, but chose to express it in this guise.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree; if Russia had jettisoned the Central Asian Republics, Armenia, Moldova, and Georgia, she could have avoided the trauma of 1991.

All those places were a net drain on the European parts of USSR.

Of course, now that the USSR is gone and the subsidies are gone with it, many of those places are slowly sinking into the 19-th century era poverty from which the Russian Empire had rescued them earlier.

Erik

The American talking point about the Crimea is a laughable piece of High School Debating Team rhetoric.The people in charge know full well the truth about Ukraine's claim to the Crimea. The thing that hurts is that the whole point of the
"Nuland Putsch" ,and the rise of a western aligned govt., was to provide the crown jewel in Nato's (read America) crown: Eliminating Russia's naval base at Sevastopol completing the encirclement of Russia in the west (except for the always vulnerable Kaliningrad).
All the rest about Russia's alleged expansionism is similar debating team poppycock.

Looking at the history of empire building and aggressive wars, one is well served to think in terms of the 3 legged stool of criminology (for aggressive wars are simply, as Jackson said at Nurnberg, the supreme international crime) and consider means, opportunity, and motive.
We have motive, the Russians do not. The motive in this case is theft, plain and simple. Russia with its small population and vast real estate holdings is already provided with more resources than she knows what to do with. We, on the other hand are not, and have not been since at least the seventies. Russia has its work cut out for it to develop what it owns already and why would they want to conquer populous resource poor neighbor states?

Not only has Putin snatched away the score of the century by re-asserting Russian control over Crimea, but he had since 2000 or so been forestalling the western feeding frenzy on the carcass of the Soviet Union that had Americans creaming their jeans. Re assertion of Russian true sovereignty was his real offense.

What's so poignant is the long standing western ambition to be able to steal what Russia has. 2 centuries of western aggression against Russia, and all dedicated to theft. Same now, and the drumbeat of warmongering rhetoric now directed at Russia is hilarious in a dangerous way. We really are using the Goering argument to drag our unwilling population towards war.

JamesT

If I might be permitted to express some thoughts about why Russians feel the way they do about Putin ...

Median income in Russia increased 260% (in inflation adjusted terms) during the first 10 years that Putin was in power. That is a staggering increase in people's financial well being. The Economist and its brethren like to dismiss this achievement as being "solely due to the increased price of oil" - but if you look at Canada, its oil production per capita was and is equal to that of Russia yet Canada's median income only increased 9% during the same time period.

I think a good way to get a better sense of how the Russian's feel about Putin is to watch the Russian film "Bimmer" (if you can get access to a copy with English subtitles):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bimmer_(film)

I took a trip in Africa where our white South African guides favorite catch phrase was "In Africa, anything is possible." Dystopias are terribly messed up and most people living in them suffer greatly - but there is something really sexy about them, about the feeling that anything is possible.

Russia was dystopic like this before Putin came to power - utter anarchy, crime, poverty, worse corruption than now despite what you hear from the Borg ... but at the same time, anything was possible. Bimmer depicts the transition from the anarchy of the Yeltsin years to the greater prosperity and rule of law that Russia now enjoys - while at the same time communicating the fact that many Russians can't help but feel some nostalgia for the time when anything was possible.

(I visited Russia before, during, and after this transition. I have friends who live there.)

turcopolier

FB Ali

Thanks. pl

ked

We live in times where "if it weren't for over-reaction, there'd be no reaction at all."
Should be any less concerned about Russian intel / cyber ops / influence (open & otherwise) in our politics than we are of any other nation?

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