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18 March 2017

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David Habakkuk

Edward Amame, Nancy K,

There is nothing necessarily racist about references to ‘greedy self-interested Jews’ or ‘backward Muslims’.

As it happens, some of those who have argued most strongly and persuasively against the Russophobia which has come to characterise Western élites are Jewish. A classic example is obviously Stephen F. Cohen.

But over the past few years, people who want to understand what is happening in Russia have commonly turned to, among others, the Moscow fund manager Eric Kraus, and the Russian émigré literary scholar Vladimir Golstein.

Unfortunately the late great Moshe Lewin, the sometime Red Army soldier who became one of the great social historians of modern Russia, is no longer with us.

The political tradition with which Putin has identified himself, which is Russian ‘conservative liberalism’, has as a core text the 1909 symposium ‘Vekhi’, in which a group of Russian intellectuals denounced the ‘Jacobin’ tendencies of the Russian ‘intelligentsia.’ In Russian conditions, they warned, a ‘liberal’ revolution would simply simply lead to a catastrophic collapse into anarchy.

The volume was the brainchild of Mikhail Gershenzon, who was Jewish, as was another of the contributors, Semen Frank. (On his ‘Facebook’ page, Golstein has written about Gershenzon.)

In his own contribution to ‘Vekhi’, Gershenzon argued that the mass of Russians had rather good reasons for distrusting the intelligentsia, and went on to write – in a deliberately provocative sentence, that proved prescient – that ‘we must bless this government which alone, with its bayonets and prisons, still protects us from the people’s wrath.’

As a result of another prescient anticipation, Gershenzon turned against Zionism, arguing that it would necessarily become a kind of Prussian-German nationalism, and a Jewish state in the Middle East would be in a state of permanent war with its neighbours.

My own view of the Middle East shambles is that it is precisely the kind of tragedy which Gershenzon – and other anti-Zionist Jews, like Edwin Montagu, who as the sole Jewish member of the British Cabinet at the time fought tooth and nail to prevent the Balfour Declaration – anticipated would happen.

Precisely what Montagu feared was that Jews would come to be regarded as a ‘people’ whose ‘home’ was Israel.

On the ways in which the declaration divided British Jews, see a post by an intelligent British Jew, Robert Cohen, from November last year, entitled ‘Reclaiming the lost Jewish voices of the Balfour Declaration.’

(See http://www.patheos.com/blogs/writingfromtheedge/2016/11/reclaiming-the-lost-jewish-voices-of-the-balfour-declaration/ .)

However – a state of affairs which is driving people like Cohen to something close to despair – we are now told that Jews are in fact a ‘people’ entitled to ‘self-determination’.

Accordingly, Binyamin Netanyahu is in some sense a representative Jew.

And if he isn’t ‘greedy and self-interested’, who is?

Likewise, the Jews who actually have power and influence in the United States are precisely those who appear in the ‘rogues gallery’ of portraits featured in the piece just posted by Philip Giraldi, under the title ‘Neocons as a Figment of Imagination: Criticizing their thuggery is anti-Semitism?’

(See http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/ .)

If they aren’t ‘greedy and self-interested’, who is?

As it happens, a crucial element in Putin’s ‘conservative liberalism’ is the belief that people cannot simply jettison the heritage of belief and ritual which they take over from the past, without courting catastrophe.

As part of this, he has repeatedly praised the importance of what he terms the ‘traditional religions’ of Russia – by which he means the Russian Orthodox Church, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism.

(See, for example, his 2012 pre-election article on ‘The Ethnicity Issue’ at http://archive.premier.gov.ru/eng/events/news/17831/ .)

Do American Jews not realise that this is the first time in Russian history that any leader has talked about Judaism in these terms? For the first time ever, they have a genuine philosemite in power in Russia, and they want ‘régime change’? Are they psychologically more comfortable with the ‘Black Hundreds’ in power?

Apparently, Victoria Nuland and her like prefer the ‘Azov Battalion’, whose symbol features light transformations of two central SS emblems.

One of these is the ‘Black Sun’ symbol, which was placed in the centre of the ‘Obergruppenführersaal’ in the castle of Wewelsburg, which Himmler intended as the centre of the new SS world, the other the ‘Wolfsangel’, symbol of the SS ‘Das Reich’ division. The SS mission was to eliminate the Jewish 'Weltfeind', and as it were 'thin out' the Slavs, by killing 30-45 million of them.

Cannot influential American Jews realise that they are themselves in the process of recreating anti-Semitism? Or at least, persuading people that they are hopeless trauma-written nutcases, for whom a special ‘Medicare’ programme should perhaps be created, but who should on no account be allowed near any position of political influence?

Eric Newhill

Edward,
I think there is a difference between what the GOP did to Obama and what the IC and their tools such as media and Michael Moore types are trying to do Trump.

All of your protestations and smoke screens aside, it's clearly one thing to have elected representatives say "We will not vote on your budget and will allow a shut down of govt because that's what my constituents want" - or even do some grandstanding talk about impeachment using fully legal processes....

...and it's entirely another to have unelected operators within secretive aspects of the govt infrastructure create an information operation, complete with false evidence, designed to overthrow a lawfully elected representative; especially the POTUS.

Thwarting government activity via legal means is not the same as doing so using means that are normally reserved for banana republics and MENA dictatorships. This Trump/Russia thing is all too reminiscent of mobile bio-weapon labs, aluminum tubes, yellow-cake, etc.

Edward Amame

Eric Newhill

I think your conspiracy theory about

"the IC and their tools such as media and Michael Moore types are trying to do Trump"

and

...and it's entirely another to have unelected operators within secretive aspects of the govt infrastructure create an information operation, complete with false evidence, designed to overthrow a lawfully elected representative; especially the POTUS.

is nuts. But we'll see.

As for this

"Thwarting government activity via legal means is not the same as doing so using means that are normally reserved for banana republics and MENA dictatorships. This Trump/Russia thing is all too reminiscent of mobile bio-weapon labs, aluminum tubes, yellow-cake, etc."

You forgot to add the part about an FBI Director attempting to throw a presidential election to a particular candidate.

Jack

Sir

I also left out the selling of Israeli arms to Iran to fund the Contras in violation of Congressional prohibitions. Now, the Israelis want us to take on the Ayatollahs after empowering them in Iraq. What a tangled web!

There is so much money both domestic and foreign flowing to our political and governmental elites of both parties. And the laws don't matter as there is no longer any rule of law when it comes to the elites.

What is the FBI gonna conclude, that Manafort, Stone and Flynn received money from the Russians. And that Russians invested in Trump projects. Whoopity doo! What are they gonna say about the Chinese investment in a Kushner real estate project? And who are Podesta's clients? Are they gonna investigate that too? The whole thing about the Manchurian Candidate is so ridiculous when our entire political system is up for sale. What I find is different is the role being played by elements in the IC to take down a legitimate POTUS. If no action is taken where will the go next? There are no longer any checks on their actions.

Lee A. Arnold

I am on the middle ground, between you and your version of me. I think the U.S. and its allies should help to get rid of ISIS, for example. I think that demonizing Islam or having poorly-justified travel bans is counterproductive.

I agree that we should not "impose" democracy, that's kind of silly. But I disagree that it isn't up to us "to show them the true meaning of democracy", if that means not lodging publicized diplomatic protests against cruel governments, or not accepting destitute refugees.

Assad is a case in point. We can take the Machiavellian view that he is the best stabilizer for Syria, but then we owe something more than lip service to his victims. His opponents are not all necessarily bad.

We are not off-the-hook due to our own lucky births into democratic, free societies. We don't get to wash our hands of it. Particularly since, as you point out, the West helped make this mess. If you break it, you should try to help fix it.

I think that the idea that we can never be "up to a job" is an unjustified belief. It is partly justified by examples from history, sure, but that doesn't make it necessarily true, and it disregards learning. There are no simple solutions, it goes without saying.

Jack

All

Pat Buchanan has a very good analysis of the Russian whodunit.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-21/will-russiagate-backfire-left

"If the investigation of Russiagate turns up no link between Trump and the pilfered emails, Democrats will have egg all over their faces. And the Democratic base will have to face a painful truth.

Vladimir Putin did not steal this election. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lost it. Donald Trump won it fair and square. He is not an “illegitimate” president. There will be no impeachment. They were deceived and misled by their own leaders and media. They bought into a Big Lie."

Thomas

Colonel Lang,

I agree with Babak that this is an effort from outsiders using CP's info (or maybe borg insiders). Considering what he thought of a certain country and they have an active internet campaign against one and all who don't bow to their perceived superiority, the suspicion would lie there.

The man was a humane soul, if he was truly hurt and recovering the he would have informed you via private e-mail. Something the troll masters would not think of. It is also interesting who it will and won't respond to.

The below link is were he showed up then disappeared and until reviving again.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/03/northern-syrian-war-report-march-8-2017-ttg.html#comments

Respectfully,

Thomas

Booby

I was born & raised in the South & came of age during the racial turbulence of the '60s. I grew up in a rural area with black friends, neighbors & co-workers. During my career in the Marine Corps I lived that "Marines come in one color - green".

Much to my surprise, in the past couple of years I've been told that I'm a racist because I was born in the South & white. Even worse, I'm an irredeemable racist because both sides of my family were slave owners.

A few years ago I bought property in Edgefield, SC & plan to soon retire there. Edgefield is a mecca for southern geneology & history because Sherman's forces were defeated by Gen Joe Wheeler at the Battle of Aiken & failed to burn down the Edgefield Courthouse. Edgefield was a bastion of the Confederacy. Six Confederate generals, including Longstreet, came from Edgefield. The small rural area fielded 10 Companies for various Confederate armies.

Prior to the war, the county was agricultural, primarily cotton, but also had a thriving commercial pottery industry. The economy was slavery based. Reading of old wills indicates that about 1/2 of the wealth of most families was in the value of their slaves. Most of the rest of the wealth was in the value of the land. Slaves were so valuable that it would not make sense to physically abuse them. A healthy male slave had a value on the tax roll of $1000 -$1500 at a time when a horse had a value of $10-$20. I have read that slaves had more value than indentured servants, who had a decreasing value as their period of indenture declined. Thus slaves were better cared for than indentured servants.

Relationships were not black & white in the pre-war South. Free blacks also often owned slaves. White men sometimes had children & families by slave women. These cases are often apparent in the treatment of the black family members in wills. Slaves were not all on plantations. Small yeoman farmers would have a few slaves. Town folks would have house slaves. Many of the slaves were artisans & mechanics - tradesmen. The most famous in Edgefield was "Dave the Slave", now a famous & collectable potter - Google him.

My favorite example of the complexity of race in the pre-war South is in the record of a 1858 Edgefield court case. A free black lady had married a slave. She worked hard & was buying his freedom in installments. Occasionally he would be sold; but, the new owner always recognized the deal. When she had paid of 75% of his price of freedom, he was sold to a new owner who failed to recognize the deal & the prior payment. The black lady sued a white man in southern court & won her case in 1858.

Eric Newhill

TTG,
No. That's not it. I have no doubt the Russian could and would do something to try to bend circumstances to meet their interests. Any power center would do that.

First, the IC - or people claiming to represent the IC - have lied to us very badly in the past (e.g. build up to Iraq war). So I have no trust for whatever it is they are supposedly saying today.

Second, no one can tell me just what it is that the Russians allegedly did. I don't like vague accusations. They are designed to be a Roschach test to further excite already inflamed opinions while maintaining plausible deniability, etc etc [fill in the blank weasel technique].

Comey says no evidence of penetration of voting machines nor changed votes. When I went down to vote no one put a Makarov to my head and told me to pull the lever for Trump.

Isn't it odd that Clinton lost in 2008, before her failed tour as Sec State? Were the Russians assisting Obama too?

So, Out with it please.

1.What exactly is it that the Russians were supposed to have done?
a) what supports that?
2.How did the answer to #1 actually impact the election?
3.To what extent did it impact the election?
4. What is your methodology for assessing the amount of impact?

If the answer to the above centers on hacking the DNC, then I am unconvinced that the Russians were behind it or that there was any impact to the election. I am not even sure it was all that illegal. Is there anything else? I could be convinces if solid evidence - or at least logic - were to be produced.

I too am disappointed that Trump will be spending more on the military as I also think that we could and should cut ground forces in half and rely on a strong Navy and Air Force to defend our shores and strong cyber defense development. OTOH, he did run on that platform. I too would like to see infrastructure projects. That may take time.

Eric Newhill

Jack,
Agreed. Comey apparently said, in testimony today, that there is no evidence that Russia hacked the DNC.

I am still waiting for someone - anyone - to tell me exactly what it is the Russians are supposed to have done.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

great stuff- thanks for the run down.

Cee

David,

Thank you, thank you for going into much more depth on this topic than I did the other day.

Cannot influential American Jews realise that they are themselves in the process of recreating anti-Semitism?

Many do, but they don't dare speak up for fear of being called self hating. The rest of us are accused of being bigots. It gets old.
All we can do later is to remind folks that they had been warned - if we live though more of their madness.

The Twisted Genius

Eric Newhill and Jack,

Comey and Rogers stated in their sworn testimony that the Russians hacked the DNC as well as the RNC. In fact, they reiterated the key judgements in the January IC report on Russian efforts to influence the election. Comey also noted the lack of evidence presented in that report. Whatever that evidence is (probably HUMINT and SIGINT), it will remain classified. I doubt we'll see it. However, it was shown to Trump and he has said he now believes Russia did the hacking.

Comey also gave sworn testimony that there was no evidence of Russian hacking of vote tallies (which was also in the January IC report) and that they have not even tried to make a determination of whether the Russian information operation was effective in influencing the outcome of the election. I doubt anyone can made such a determination. It would rely on too many what ifs. What the investigations can do is determine the full extent and scale of the information operation and whether members of the Trump campaign were actively involved in that operation. The more we can learn, the better off we'll all be as Americans... except for any guilty parties.

However, the bottom line is that no American had his vote physically changed by Putin and no American was forced to vote for Trump or against Clinton by Putin's actions. The campaigns may have been tainted by outside dirty tricks, but they were still essentially a war of ideas. The election was free and fair and the results are legitimate.

Edward Amame

Fred

Why bring them up then? Nothing you wrote had any bearing on my comment, just an attempt at playing "gotcha." Really truly, you are tiresome. Please go stalk somebody else.

English Outsider


"The Guardian, like the BBC and the Financial Times, are not what they were back in the ‘Seventies. Today, all three are part of what has become a system of ‘Ingsoc’."

The latest Ingsoc offering from the BBC, and plenty more where that came from:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39350007

I used not to take much notice of the BBC. Like a respectable maiden aunt it was always there in the background but didn't make a lot of fuss. If you wanted real facts and analysis you got hold of the weekend papers (yes, those days). But recently by chance I bought an old car that actually had a working radio so I'm more au courant with the day to day offerings. The maiden aunt's got herself kitted out with what I imagine to be a Soviet style line of suggestive news management.

Most of us date the transformation of the old BBC to the time around the death of Dr Kelly. I have heard of several old BBC hands saying that it was after that that the BBC was rough-housed into what it is today.

I suspect that it might always have been more or less a progressive hothouse, just that we didn't notice so much; in earlier times the progressives weren't so firmly tied to the neo-con neo-liberal agenda and therefore weren't so conflicted or extreme. Do you also see that transformation as dating from the time of Dr Kelly's death? When did the maiden aunt get hold of the knuckledusters?

turcopolier

EO, LB, DH et al Englishers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W1A_%28TV_series%29 One of the funniest things I have seen in years. pl

Eric Newhill

TTG,
I see what you're doing there.

Perhaps the Russians hacked the DNC. The evidence is classified so we'll never really know about it.

However, that IS NOT the same as the Russians influenced the election.

Comey also testified that there is no reason to - no evidence - to falsify Assange's claim that the Russians were the source of the wikileaks from the DNC.

You appear to be conflating with Russians hacked the DNC w/ Russians provided the wikileaks material that could, reasonably, be seen to have influenced the election.

I am saying that the Russians may have hacked the DNC, but stopped there. They kept the captured material for their own internal consumption and analysis.

At the same time SOMEONE ELSE hacked the DNC as provided the resulting data capture to Wikileaks for public release.

Comey appears to support my assertion.

In which case the Russian were doing there due diligence as a power center. Same as we do. Big deal. It's expected.

But Russia did not - and did not attempt - to influence the election via leaked material from hacks.

Case closed.

Edward Amame

TTG

The FBI is also looking at the possible intersection of a Russian cyber operation and alt-right news sites. I believe that's referred to as a covert op?

Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources said.

The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the bot attacks are part of an FBI-led investigation into a multifaceted Russian operation to influence last year’s elections.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article139695453.html#storylink=cpy

Jack

TTG, Sir

Considering that the DNI and NSA chief have lied under oath we should take IC assertions not backed by evidence with a grain of salt. Classification could be genuine or a cop out.

But, assuming that it is true that the Russians hacked and downloaded Podesta's emails, is the IC also claiming that the Russians provided Wikileaks those emails? Have they ruled out that it was not an inside operation? I am puzzled there are no news reports on the findings of the death of the DNC staffer who was sympathetic to Sanders.

When you describe the information operation and the potential role of members of the Trump campaign, do you mean the hacking of the DNC servers or something else?

Jack

Booby

Thanks for this post.

The complexity, nuance and the different shades of reality in the pre-war south are much obfuscated in contemporary discussion on the subject. There's a lot of revisionism by the victors of the WBS.

rjj

I think it was a Docu-Drama labeled and sold as parody. They are soooo good!!!!

Fred

Edward,

"Please go stalk somebody else."

You'll have to explain where all the other locations I may have reached out to "stalk" you might be since this is the only place I've ever communicated with you. If you think that disagreeing with your viewpoint is stalking feel free to ask the host to ban me. That's certainly one tactic to silence someone who does not agree entirely with your viewpoint.

Sam Peralta

"...said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity..."

Yeah, right! Not one shred of evidence disclosed in this story.

Just like the Iraq WMD claims and the Syria chemical warfare claims. And the many, many false claims by "sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity".

This is the information operation being run by elements in our IC, nicely hidden under the cloak of either classified information or matters under investigation, but presented as fact. Perfect for the gullible!

David Habakkuk

English Outsider,

It is a long and complicated story.

Hutton was a disaster – but his report was only part of a whole series of a process of degeneration that started much earlier, and has gone on ever since.

The events of the ‘Seventies seriously panicked the Tory Right – and they had a lot of good reasons for their panic, as well as bad ones.

The influence of the ‘New Left’, which came out of ‘Sixties and ‘Seventies student radicalism, and of which much of what became ‘New Labour’ had been part, was almost wholly nefarious. Among their many other follies and crimes, they encouraged union ‘Luddism’ at a time when anyone who actually wanted to look at the facts could see this was ruining the country.

The destructiveness of ‘Luddism’, in the industries in which I worked – newspapers and television – and also those about which I made programmes, in particular the motor industry, had to be seen to be believed.

For a mixture of reasons – some perfectly reasonable, some wildly unreasonable – the Thatcherites hated the the old kind of élitist liberalism in some ways more than they hated the Left.

So, once successive electoral victories had made them confident they could get away with it, they set about destroying its ‘power positions’ in the media.

In the old ITV system, this was done by replacing the old system where to win a franchise you had to meet commitments about ‘quality’ by a simple system of auctions. As soon as it was mooted, people who had worked in the system and knew how it operated, as I had, knew it was curtains for serious current affairs.

As regards the BBC, it was quite clear that Thatcher hated it and was all too happy completely to destroy it.

In an attempt to contain this, ‘Duke’ Hussey – who was a decent but not very bright old-style Tory – brought in John – now Lord – Birt from ITV. He had created the current affairs and features department at London Weekend Television, for whom I once worked.

(He was the product of an Oxford education superimposed on that of a direct grant school north of Liverpool run by the Irish Catholic Brothers, famous alike for success in getting working class pupils into university, and sexual molestation.)

To cut a long story short, Birt’s department had been a place where ‘Sixties and ‘Seventies student radicals – including people critically involved in the Hutton Inquiry, like Peter – now Lord – Mandelson, and Greg Dyke – were reprocessed into ‘neoconservatives’ and ‘neoliberals’.

This seemed to me a good joke at the time.

The story here gets much too complex. But, to abbreviate, a critical part of it is that during the Thatcher period a ‘nexus’ involving MI6, who were always corrupt and incompetent, had been allowed to pursue which was in essence a covert foreign policy.

When Blair became Prime Minister, his lack of any sensible ideas or serious principles meant that he could easily be co-opted. The one element of their old beliefs ‘New Labour’ thought they could retain, to give themselves a shred of dignity and self-respect, was the ‘rainbow coalition’ nonsense.

And then, when Thatcherism itself ran out of ideological impetus, and ‘New Labour’ had their ‘time in the sun’, the ‘modernists’ in the Tory Party swallowed this whole.

So Cameron and Osborne apparently refer to Blair – that eunuch without any shred of principles or self-respect – as ‘the Master’.

While I have very mixed feelings about Evelyn Waugh, to describe this shambles one needs something of his bizarre nihilistic genius.

The Twisted Genius

Jack and Eric Newhill,

The IC key judgements affirmed by this weeks testimony includes the DNC and Podesta hacks and the dissemination of that information through DCLeaks and WikiLeaks.

"We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks."

I think this investigation will go on for many months and we will never see all of the evidence. That fact, along with the slow trickle of real information and the deluge of rumors will damage the Trump administration no matter what the investigation finally reveals. Come to think of it, we've never seen any evidence of the Chinese hack of the OPM databases. Does that mean it didn't happen?

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