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30 April 2020

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JamesT

Speaking of Russian paratroopers, there is a Russian "reality TV show" about an all female battalion "of cadets determined to become officers in Russia’s elite airborne troops" on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucqgTWIg9DI

As someone interested in cultural differences I have found it interesting.

JJackson

Re the funding of research into diseases coming from bat CoVs.
Why would anyone not welcome this? The reservoir of bat CoVs had already caused SARS and a disease in pigs and probably MERS. Corona viruses are generally regarded as second most likely cause of a pandemic after influenza. It would be a dereliction of duty had it not been a funded research target. As SADS-CoV had occurred in China and they have the most knowledgeable CoV researchers it would be stupid not to include them in any research project which would have to take place in China anyway. This is crazy China bashing from a partisan uninformed perspective. It makes the MSM Russia bashing look positively sane by comparison.

Peter VE

I made the mistake of following that link to the Washington Post. Amongst its many fooleries, the author referred to Russia's "low life expectancy". What is more important: where we are today, or where we're going? Under Putin, Russia's life expectancy has been steadily climbing. Under Obama and Trump, life expectancy in the US has been dropping. I know which train I'd rather be on.

Patrick Armstrong

Research is good. But if you're going to get all huffy about leaks from the biolab, it's going to be pretty embarrassing if they turn out to be your leaks.

Fred

Patrick,

"...leaks from the biolab..." True, but if you send your 'student's' to be research assistants at their lab and the leak years later is from your lab you have some great credible deniability; as well as a potential ability to stage a leak in somebody elses lab and possibly not get caught at it.

JamesT

Peter VE,

I've been taught that when somebody says something positive about Russia it must necessarily be Kremlin propaganda. So, sorry to have to break this to you, but falling life expectancies are a good thing!

English Outsider

I really liked this one, Mr Armstrong -

DEATH OF IRONY. "Well, what we have seen is that Russia maintains military presence close to NATO borders and NATO countries, including in the Black Sea."

Bastards, those Russians. They will do it.

Around the time when I believed voting for Brexit meant we'd get it - back then quite a few of us believed in fairies at the bottom of the garden - I put in a little time on the comment sections of English web sites.

As expected I found that as a "leaver" I was a low IQ xenonophobe who sang the children to sleep with the Horst Wessel Lied. Standard fare. But what took me aback was the level of Russophobia. I ran an informal competition among the "remainers" and found "Putin did Brexit" was far and away their preferred explanation.

Some of the entries I selected for an honourable mention in my competition got quite technical - ".. "Another option would be a 2nd ref; but that would require an A50 extension and I am pretty sure the new Italian PM would block this. Why? Because he appears to be Putin's man and Putin wants Brexit."

But at other times it was straightforward enough. Here's the winning entry in that "Who done Brexit?" competition. It came from a man reputed to be one of the Guardian's staff Russophobes in his day job. I don't believe that. The style's a cut above that of the Guardian.

"For the record ... my hierarchy of blame for Brexit goes:

1. Putin

2. The hedge fund money launderers and disaster capitalists financed by Putin

3. The DM/DT/DE/Sun and think tanks and psy-ops firms funded by 2.

4. The small group of ERG MPs (and 'kippers) who are in it for the money

5. The larger group of MPs who are empire fantasists and idiots.

6. The befuddled pensioners who voted for Brexit after as much thought as a Britain's Got Talent phone-in."

That comment from an English website explaining Brexit mirrors quite a few I've seen on American websites explaining Trump. Doesn't really matter what they find out about General Flynn or Sir Richard Dearlove, it's now settled history among European and American Progressives that Putin is behind anything they're nervous about.

For as well as having the impertinence to put his troops where we put ours, and giving us Brexit and Trump, Putin is also responsible for the AfD in Germany and the Gilet Jaunes in France.

Haven't seen him blamed for the Coronavirus. There's time yet.

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