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14 July 2017

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Matthew

Thank you, Patrick.

What I don't understand is why so many policy makers are determined to demonize Russia when a natural alliance would seem to serve the real American interest.

Of course, by "American interest," I mean the People of the United States, not just the think tanks and defense contractors.

Fred

"Putin has signed a law creating an online register of former officials dismissed because of corruption. From which I deduce that there are a lot of them. By the way there is a Presidential Council for Countering Corruption which meets periodically."

Now there are a pair of ideas to “culturally appropriate”.

Patrick Armstrong

We're into some severe weirdness here. Read the Overton Bubble thing, it seems to be some use as an explanation.
Watch this for example: Peters is practically foaming at the mouth when asked this question,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i772m4UdadE

jsn

The Overton Bubble article is a good summary of the Overton Window and it's political implications. A distinction I've pushed before I'll push again here, however, and that is between "liberals" and "the left".

The article refers to, "a closed bubble of mainstream left-wing thought unwilling and incapable of engaging with anything outside itself". It appears to be talking about the Borg in DC, its feeder institutions like Harvard, Princeton, Georgetown and Yale and its voice, the Main Stream Media. To suppose that the politicians of the Democratic Party, Ivy League administrators & faculty and our corpretulent Columnists and Senior Editors are somehow of "the left" is a category error: these people are "Liberals", they are at the center of powerful and very wealthy private institutions that are committed to the 18th Century "Utilitarians" effort to establish a free space for a commercial aristocracy independent of control by Monarchical Aristocracy that was the "establishment" then being challenged. These people are a Liberal Aristocracy that have carved out an elite space and and jealous of their privileges. They are deeply condescending to anyone who's not submitted to the same credentialing they have and those who have and disagree they call stupid.

The 18th C liberals, like liberals now, expropriated all the real wealth they could, through "enclosure" and "the Poor Laws" then, student loans, consumer credit and foreclosure mills of six years ago now, from oridnary people. Liberals today have no more in common with "the left" than Adam Smith had with Thomas Payne. Hillary is a Liberal, Sanders is as Left as the Overton window has as yet stretched in the US.

Dr.Puck

Is Putin himself corrupt?

Has he enriched himself in illegal ways?

What is his net worth?

How did he gain his wealth?

Is it possible that the anti-corruption initiatives in Russia might turn out to be a means for eradicating opponents and their influence?

Ishmael Zechariah

Dr. P;

IMO wealth would mean nothing to a person in Putin's position. He has all of Russia: the love of her people and the loyalty of her armed forces. He has created a viable Russia and earned the respect of most of the world. I am sure he relishes the enmity of those whose pillage of the Russian natural resources he has (mostly)stopped. He has power. The force is with him. What does he need to steal money for?

Let us posit, for the time being, that Putin has stolen and off-shored, say, 10 billion US$. If he loses in Russia, is there a single place on the globe he can enjoy that money safely? Do you think he would wish to live like that? Are you thinking of Idi Amin, Baby Doc Duvalier, Tony Blair or Bill Clinton?

Seems to me that neocons are judging Putin in their own measure, and thereby fooling themselves. Let us see these pull their country back from the jaws of defeat and instill pride in their demoralized countrymen. Perhaps, then, we might listen to such twaddle.

Ishmael Zechariah

Old Microbiologist

I think this is unanswerable. Putin lives in a world above money and he personally needs nothing and never will, at least as long as he remains in charge.

Fred

Dr. Puck,

Is it possible that the anti-corruption initiatives in America might turn out to be a means for eradicating opponents and their influence? Let's ask if Elizabeth Warren is corrupt and using anti-Corruption initiatives to eradicate the influence of opponents?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-new-campaign-to-hold-wall-street-accountable-emerges/2016/05/30/24fe5d92-2693-11e6-ae4a-3cdd5fe74204_story.html?utm_term=.236f5426aebb

How about Bernie Sanders:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bernie-and-jane-sanders-under-fbi-investigation-for-bank-fraud-hire-lawyers/
How aobut Debbie Wasserman-Schultz:
http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/24/wasserman-schultz-threatened-police-chief-for-gathering-evidence-on-her-it-staffers-alleged-crimes/

prawnik

Well, there's part of your problem.

Demonizing Russia serves the Deep State, the Borg, the Blob, whatever you want to call it, very well. Demonizing Russia also is very useful for the establishment in this country.

Both recognize that you've got to have an enemy if you want to do what they intend to. In the case of the Deep State, this is ever increasing control. ("We gotta do this in order to protect you from eeevil russkies!")

In the case of the establishment, this is not making reforms. ("We don't have time for that now and can't afford it! Russia is about to invade North Dakota!")

BabelFish

""We fought on this planet mostly with ground armies until navies became something one hundred years ago.""

Nelson is spinning in his grave, along with Cook, Preble, Jones, Farragut and host of others.

Peter AU

Kitezh is interesting. How does the white house gather information for its propaganda reports? Local "activists"? If so, sounds like Ru intelligence had a bit of fun.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree; none of that meant anything to Ataturk or Ayatollah Khomeini.

Babak Makkinejad

LBJ and his ranch comes to my mind as well...

JerseyJeffersonian

Babelfish,

Yeah, don't I recall some dustup between the Athenian & Persian fleets at Salamis? As I seem to remember that was a big deal.

Then, after a steep learning curve against their more proficient rivals, the Carthaginians, the Romans get a leg over and won primacy
in the Mediterranean Sea. There were repercussions.

And the fleet of the Holy League rapped the Turks on the snout at the Battle of Lepanto to some effect.

All of these conflicts at sea happened somewhat earlier than a century prior to Mahan's writings, and were consequential geopolitically.

One could multiply examples, surely.

Eliot

Mr. Armstrong,

" How much longer until Rump Ukraine breaks into its immiscible parts?"

But not by Russia's doing I assume? It would not be in their interest, no?

- Eliot

johnf

To say nothing of the Athenians, Carthaginians and Vikings. (And the Portuguese and Spaniards).

johnf

Agreed. Here in the UK the wrecking of the Overton Window is coming from the Left, under Corbyn. I would say, looking at the legions of the young he is at the head of, mostly from working class backgrounds, of all races, many of them powerful and intelligent women - who identify themselves first as British working class and only secondarily by their race, gender or sexuality - that they in time are going to sweep all before them (just as the generation of '45 did).

What is more interesting is beholding the disintegration of the Overton Bubble. The Blairite liberals within the Labour Party have just been trounced in the General Election. But it is within the Tory Party that the disintegration of the Bubble-ites is most marked.

The originators of this Overton Bubble - the Thatchers and Tebbits and Lawsons - at least had some cohesion and sense of self and group discipline and team work. They had a common enemy - the Old Left. Those who run the Bubble now are their children. Their Thatcherite parents gave them priveleged upbringings and educations. They are born with an innate sense of entitlement. The ideas they promulgate were not born out of debate and opposition and conviction but just because they're there and seem eternal.

With the result that now - faced by serious opposition and deep unpopularity - they are simply disintegrating. They have no sense of loyalty to their fellow Bubble-ites, everyone stabs everyone else in the back, they have no ability to debate or think on their feet. They are like wasps whose Queen has been killed. They cling to power while their opposition use social media instead of the MSM (which is fiersomely hostile but increasingly impotent).

I never thought I'd live to see this.

Patrick Armstrong

What is this if not corruption?
https://mic.com/articles/117890/princeton-study-discovers-what-our-politicians-really-think-about-us-and-it-s-shocking#.94je2KH8a

We Westerners have a rather selective view of the subject.
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2016/01/27/corruption-is-more-complicated-than-that/

LondonBob

Couldn't disagree more, if they come for your company there is not much you can do about it. Whilst there is corruption in the West there is still the rule of law.

Putin is the richest man in Russia, wealth means a lot to him. His St Pete network have become fantastically rich, on the other hand they have proven themselves effective and capable rulers, corruption is and always has been a fact of life in Russia.

LondonBob

That Mattis interview is worth reading. Mattis is obviously a man of some intelligence and intellectual curiosity but he seems to be not inclined to learn anything new. Quite clear he sees his role as bending Trump to the correct viewpoints.

Patrick Armstrong

He's the richest man in the entire galaxy. His net worth is eleventy squintillion buckaroos and it's all hidden in Panama.

Peter AU

I tried a number of searches some time ago to see if there was anything in the "Putin fantastically rich" meme, but other than bland statements, nothing showed up. Comes across very much like the Russia dunit narrative, where the culprit (Russia/Putin) is found guilty, then the search for evidence commences.
At one time, I run across an article by a person who had some dealings with Putin in his official capacity in the early to mid nineties. She was part of a small western company requiring a permit to set up business in Russia. Putin looked through the business proposal and rejected it as some points did not comply with Russian laws of the day. The woman who wrote the article, said she fully expected to be hit for a bribe to get the permit, as that was the norm, but the proposal was rejected due to points of law and no bribe was asked for.

Anna

There are people who became indeed obscenely rich on Russian resources, for example, William Browder, who is not even a Russian and who has contributed nothing to Russian Federation. Browder was instrumental in establishing the Magnitsky Act - as well as in demonstrating how easily a freedom of speech could be attacked in the west. By the way, Browder had disposed with the US citizenship as soon as the citizenship became inconvenient money-wise. He is your countrymen now, LondonBob. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Browder
The documentary "Magnitsky Act" by Nekrasov (a known critic of Putin) is currently prohibited for show in the west because the presented facts do not agree with "created reality" a la Karl Rove. Again, the movie is a DOCUMENTARY - you know, like "Two Hundred years Together" by Solzhenitsyn, which is another documentary that documents, with the facts, the life of Jews in Russia/Soviet Union. These facts had such a strong bias against "created reality" that not a single publishing house in the US/UK dares to publish the book. Unlike your frivolous accusations against Putin, the documentary about Magnitsky and Browder (a looter and thief) is filled with the facts . The same is true about "Two Hundred Years Together."

John_Frank

Thank you Mr. Armstrong for this post, providing your perception of how the Kremlin views events, which is helpful.

fyi, on Friday TASS reported that:

State Duma green-lights protocol on deploying Russian air group in Syria
The agreement and the protocol will be valid for 49 years with the possibility to further prolong them for 25 years
http://tass.com/politics/956319

Patrick Armstrong

No, it's how I see events.

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