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27 June 2020

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The Twisted Genius

Serge,

Taliban. This is from another NYT article out today.

"The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on the bounties included the recovery of a large amount of American cash from a raid on a Taliban outpost that prompted suspicions. Interrogations of captured militants and criminals played a central role in making the intelligence community confident in its assessment that the Russians had offered and paid bounties in 2019, another official has said."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/28/us/politics/russian-bounties-warnings-trump.html?smid=tw-share

The Twisted Genius

Leith,

I seriously doubt it's a case of revenge for our support of the mujahideen against the Soviet Army or our shooting up of a Wagner-led group of Syrian militia in the oil fields of eastern Syria. That would be an emotional response and not at all characteristic of Russian or even Soviet military decisions.

Why would the Russians attempt something like this? Certainly they know Trump's desire to pull out of Afghanistan under the appearance of a negotiated settlement. Either they want to scuttle/complicate those negotiations to either make our pull out appear to be a surrender and retreat or force us to keep troops in Afghanistan. In that case it would remain an ineffective, festering sore on our government and society. In short, the Russians want to tinker around the edges and make things difficult for us.

In either case it would contribute to the Russian objective of undermining US political and social unity and weakening our ability and will to constantly throw our weight around the world. There's nothing sinister about that objective. In fact, I fully agree our foreign policy needs its wings clipped. I just wish we'd do it on our own. There's also nothing sinister about encouraging some proxy force to act against a competitor nation in a war zone to assist in order to meet that objective. Damned near every country that is capable of doing it does it in one form or another, especially the US.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

Those many stories and investigations about USI involvement in drug trafficking are cases of our willful ignorance or active policy of laissez faire towards allies engaged in drug trafficking. Drugs were trafficked and we were there.

Larry Johnson

TTG,
Your claims about US drug trafficking via the Contras is a leftwing myth. Fascinated that you'd fall for the crap. I actually have a lot of first hand knowledge about that, having worked the Central American Task Force at CIA, having been the senior Regional Analyst for Central America, and my business relationship with the former head of DEA's International Ops and the Agent in charge of the undercover money laundering ops in NYC. Eden Pastora's involvement in drug trafficking was taking place outside the control of the CIA. Gary Webb's delusional claims were without foundation. You, for some reason, seem to accept them at face value. Why?

optimax

The Taliban doesn't need a Russian bounty to kill American soldiers. It would be a waste of money to pay for something the Taliban do anyway. Does the NYT believe the Taliban are motivated only by money?

JP Billen

Revenge is not the only possible motive. Disruption of the US/Taliban/AfghanGov peace negotiations allows the Russian peace negotiations for Afghanistan to go forward. Those negotiations have been going on and off for three years. As Leith mentioned above Russian support to the Taliban started about three years ago. Coincidence? By the way Rex Tillerson when he was SecState also claimed the Russians were arming the Taliban. Anyway if the US peace negotiations fail and the Russians succeed it is a win-win for Moscow's world rep. Of course they want to mess up any US deal with the Taliban to give their own deal a chance of success.

Any deal they make will necessitate that the the Taliban not spread their message north of the Afghan border into the former Soviet -stans that Moscow considers as within its sphere of influence. That may work for the current crop of Taliban but it may turn out shortsighted as there are some small Uzbeki-Afghan and Tajik-Afghan Taliban factions that may never want to stop spreading Sharia.

Or the bounties could be a false flag as someone else here mentioned. Pakistani ISI? Al-Qaeda? The Pakistani branch of the Taliban? China allegedly has unofficial relations with the Taliban but with their problem in Xinjiang you would think they would never actively support Islamic fundamentalists. Qatar? They were accused of supporting Taliban terrorism in Afghanistan, but their accuser was Saudi Arabia so is probably BS IMHO.

The Twisted Genius

Larry,

So you don't think there wasn't any drug trafficking around the Contras? Now you're guilty of willful ignorance. But if Gary Webb is that guy claiming the CIA is responsible for flooding Los Angeles with crack cocaine, I agree with you. That's total bullshit.

Christian J. Chuba
"The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN and Sky News back up the NYT reporting through their sources."
Does this mean that each one contacted different source in the govt to verify the story or that they verified that the NYT contact was actually a govt employee and not the Easter Bunny?


Given the timing of the story, its more plausible that someone in the Intel community took a weak source, perhaps a single POW making an unverifiable claim and leaked it to make it harder for Trump to do any of the following ... 1. withdraw troops from Germany, 2. Make the G7 into the G8 by letting Russia back in, 3. reinforce the Russians are despicable narrative (always a win).
Everyone in the MSM accepts this as an indisputable fact. It must be intoxicating to be able to leak a story and have everyone accept it without challenge.
And I'll add ... the NATO countries in Europe would be more willing to pay a premium for U.S. and Qatar LNG vs Russian NG if they find out that Russia is using their money to kill their soldiers.

The ONLY rational reason I heard why Russia would do this came from what I consider a marginal website, Veterans today. Gordon Duff said that the Russians did this to deter madman Trump from killing more Russians in Syria. I don't buy the theory but at least it proposes a rational motive while the MSM didn't even need a rational motive.

Jack
Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP. Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad!!!

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1277431695248183298?s=21


Who was the “source” of the leak?

It seems that as Ric Grenell noted. There was some raw intel that on investigation didn’t meet the smell test. Someone who had access to that and is a buddy to a favorite Times reporter gave them something to spin to further the narrative that Trump is beholden to Putin.

likbez

@ancientarcher | 28 June 2020 at 08:16 AM


Now you want to portray NYT as the paragon of truth-telling!! .
...But then isn't your ancestry from Lithuania. Your hatred is strong. I get that - I see that all time with people from the ex-Soviet republics formerly ruled by Russia. Hope others see that too.

You hit the nail. TTG sometimes sounds really like a Ukrainian nationalist on those issues.

That means that TTG simply can't think strategically in this case due to his bias.

If Russia wanted to hurt the USA in Afghanistan then Strela launchers would be in hands of Taliban long ago with plausible deniability that they obtained them from Libya.

The problem with thinking of people like TTG is that for Russia, the USA presence in Afghanistan is actually useful.

As in "never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake".

Afghanistan occupation is a part of "Full Spectrum Dominance" play and, as such is a blunder. The USA simply does not has the resources for world control, despite the dominance of neocons who are ready to fight for it to the last dollar.

The especially prominent attitude in the State Department and NSC (Bolton is a nice example of those MIC bottom-feeders)

It drains the USA resources, and it turns the people of Asian xUSSR republics (so called Stans) against the USA and as such, makes neocolonialist policies in xUSSR republics more difficult.

Fourth and Long

I read this story as nothing more than a garden variety election year dirty trick using democratic party contacts in the print media and intel services. They were rehearsing their checklist litany of egregious faults of Donald Trump as president - corona, resulting recession/depression, etcetera - insert your picks, and decided they needed another one —- did nothing about Rooskies bribing Taliban to kill American soldiers. It can retroactively appear to wipe egg off their faces for their embarrassingly inept if not outright illegal Russiagate hoax which hobbled the entire country and world for three whole years, because it will be unassailable other than through denial and bolster the farago of Russia collusion suspicions simply by repetition. All sorts of nonsensical “corroborating” tall tales can and almost certainly will be spun. Without such an evil Russia story at hand they, the dems, would leave themselves open to being lambasted by Trump for subjecting him to three years of humiliation based on an inane, middle school level “dossier” (don’t you love that? how sneaky cute to enoble it with such a word for the poor rubes) written by a reputed to be former member of “British Intelligence” (think Kim Philby if you need a clue) turned character assassin for hire.

J

President Trump tweeted on Sunday night that U.S. intelligence “just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or [Vice President Mike Pence]”. The Taliban have also ridiculed the report.

Yeah, Right

Personanongrata, I tend to agree. If it is dead GIs the Russians want then all they need to do is to run guns to the Taliban.

It's not as if the Taliban will then take those guns, say "gee, thanks", and then go out duck-hunting. They'd be after bigger game.

But this? A bounty, which would require a payment on proof of a kill?

As Larry Johnson so sarcastically said: "Yeah, that makes total sense. Russians are stupid, don't cha know."

I don't believe it.

It makes about as much sense as Russia's equally-sarcastic insinuation that an uptick in dead GIs may be the result of a CIA protecting its illegal drug business like a Mafia Don.

At least the Russians have some reason to take offense.
The USA, eh, perhaps less so.

Fred

TTG,

"undermining US political and social unity"

I can't wait to see a story on what the Chinese have been up to in doing precisely that with billions in investment funds to children of prominent politicians, bribes to academics, NGO cultural centers,operatives sent to the using 'student' as cover, or work via H1B visa holders.

turcopolier

TTG

What investigations and by whom?

Christian J. Chuba

CNN is a parody of a bad news outlet

CNN outdid itself by interviewing Clapper this morning. Host re-capped story and said 'if true' about a dozen times.

Trump followed his 'I was not briefed tweet' with a stronger, 'the intel guys told him this was not credible'. Trump can be a buffoon but in his version of events ...
1. Intel comm is flooded with stuff to verify, 'Russian hit contracts', 'Putin kidnapped Lindbergh baby', 'Loch Ness monster a GRU agent', .... that doesn't immediately get to his desk.
2. Anon source leaks one of these early claims for their own purpose (seeing Clapper reminds us that this does happen),
3. It takes him a day to sort it out.
True or not, this looks plausible but sets off alarm bells to the CNN Clown Car.

Clapper says brilliant things like Trump could be finessing the truth by getting a written but not a verbal brief. Host shakes head at wise observation and follows up with more 'if true' questions for the proven liar ...

CNN defends the most reactionary elements of our security state and snarls at anyone who challenges them. With watchdogs like these what can go wrong?

David Habakkuk

All,

I think what is going on in Britain may hold the key to understanding why this contemptible nonsense is being published in the U.S. at this time.

The ‘Sky’ link did not work for me, but I think this is the same report:

(See https://news.sky.com/story/russia-paid-taliban-fighters-to-attack-british-troops-in-afghanistan-12016425 )

It needs, I think, to be read in conjunction with a report in the ‘Guardian’ on 27 June, which it amplifies.

(See https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/27/russia-offered-bounty-to-kill-uk-soldiers .)

The earlier report opened:

‘The Russian intelligence unit behind the attempted murder in Salisbury of the former double agent Sergei Skripal secretly offered to pay Taliban-linked fighters to kill British and American soldiers in Afghanistan, according to US reports.

‘The revelation piles pressure on the UK to take robust action against the Kremlin amid continuing anger over the government’s delay in publishing a key report on Russian attempts to destabilise the UK.’

The ‘Sky’ piece actually makes clear that these are claims originating in the United States, one of whose key purposes is to put pressure on the British government:

‘It is understood the intelligence was only shared with British officials recently but Boris Johnson has now been briefed. Downing Street will be under pressure to respond to the news and take action against Moscow.’

Another relevant development, although how this fits into the picture is at the moment very far from clear to me, is that the announcement yesterday that the former MI6 person Sir Mark Sedwill,who has been ‘National Security Adviser’ since 2017 and Cabinet Secretary since 2018, is to stand down in September.

The ‘intelligence unit’ supposedly to have been responsible alike for attempting to assassinate Sergei and Yulia Skripal and placing a ‘bounty’ on the head of American, and British, servicemen belongs to the GRU – their supposed target’s former employer – which comes under General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

If you believe that unit of this organisation sent two hitmen, equipped with a hypertoxic nerve agent, to kill one of his organisation’s former employees, and bungled it so badly that he, together with his daughter, survived, I have a very attractive bridge on the Thames, not far from where I live, which I am very happy to sell you.

If you believe that any employees of this organisation would be involved in ‘freelance’ assassinations, either of its former employees or of British and American servicemen, without Gerasimov’s authorisation, I will include the MI6 HQ at Millbank, to make a ‘package deal.’

Interested, TTG?

Rather clearly, the link between the new BS, and the patent BS about Salisbury – in the cover-up over which Sedwill has played a crucial role – very strongly suggests that we are dealing with yet another of the collusive ‘information operations’ practised by incompetent and corrupt elements in the ‘deep state’ in the U.S., U.K. and Western Europe.

This clearly linked to a ‘bulldogs under the carpet’ struggle which goes to the top of the Conservative Party, and also beyond it. The ‘Sky’ version starts with Tobias Ellwood, the Tory MP who chairs the Commons Defence Select Committee, using the new claims to agitate for publication of what the ‘Guardian’ termed ‘a key report on Russian attempts to destabilise the UK.’

This report, by the Intelligence and Security Committee, is clearly being deployed to put pressure on Johnson, as repeated references to it in both the ‘Guardian’ and ‘Sky’ versions indicate.

So, having started with it, the latter concludes:

‘News of this Russian plan, and the direct targeting of British troops, will again raise the question of when the long overdue report into Russian interference by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) will be published.

‘The report, which examined claims of Russian interference in Britain, was sent to Downing Street on 17 October last year for sign-off.

‘That process usually takes no more than 10 days, but the report is still yet to be published and the ISC hasn't been reconvened after December’s general election.’

As the ‘Guardian’ report indicates, however, a crucial element in all this is clearly Christopher Steele:

‘In his confidential submission to the committee, the former spy Christopher Steele has reportedly suggested that the Kremlin has a “likely hold” over Trump, a claim that has been fiercely disputed but which would sour the government’s relations with the White House once published. “These worrying reports should be the catalyst for the prime minister to finally release the ISC report No. 10 have been stalling for more than six months,” said shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy. “Under this government, Britain is retreating from the world stage and the fear among our allies is that Boris Johnson is afraid to stand up to Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

‘Lib Dem spokesman Alistair Carmichael echoed the call for the ISC report to be published:

‘“These reports throw up serious questions about Trump’s soft-touch when it comes to Russia. The Foreign Secretary must also make clear whether the UK had any knowledge of these reports and what conversations he has had with his US counterpart about sanctions towards Russia given these shocking revelations.”’

The crux of the matter, however, may well have to do with the cases brought against Steele and his company Orbis by the ‘Alfa Group’ oligarchs – Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, and German Khan – and the Cyprus-based internet entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev.

The very broad construction of ‘fair report privilege’ which means that in your country, so long the rubbish you print has been given some kind of endorsement by corrupt government officials, there is no redress for those lied about, is not available in the U.K.

On the other hand, maintaining a kind of ‘omerta’ is much easier over here than on your side.

On 29 April, a ‘chink’ opened in this, when Chuck Ross, of the ‘Daily Caller’, posted on ‘Scribd’ the transcript of the cross-examination of Steele by Hugh Tomlinson, QC, on behalf of the Alfa oligarchs, on 17-18 March.

(See https://www.scribd.com/document/458992503/Steele-deposition .)

Unfortunately, Ross seems to have fallen, hook, line and sinker, for a classic ‘limited hangout’ ploy. He was happy to use Tomlinson’s exploitation of the IG Report to discredit Steele, which was in parts extremely telling, without noticing that that some of Steele’s responses were not simply to be dismissed.

If you read the transcript carefully, it seems clear that the successive changes in Steele’s account, in the four witness statements he submitted between 17 February and 16 March, were designed both to suggest that Horowitz and the FBI were colluding to make him the ‘patsy’, to reveal some of what they were trying to conceal, and to threaten to let out more.

As it happens, we are still waiting for the judgement by Mr Justice Warby in that case. However, it was reported on 25 June that the Gubarev case is to open on 20 July, and this will be public.

(See https://www.law360.com/cybersecurity-privacy/articles/1286611/exec-s-libel-trial-over-trump-dossier-author-set-for-july .)

At the moment, for what it is worth, my SWAG is that we are seeing a collusive ‘stitch-up’, one of whose functions is to find ways of avoiding finding in favour of Steele – very difficult, given the preposterous nature of the dossier – while letting him off sufficiently lightly to ensure that he colludes in keeping crucial skeletons within cupboards. It may also be important that the verdicts do not appear to vindicate Trump too comprehensively.

The ‘NYT’ report is, I think, likely to be involved with this process.

Also involved here is the hope clearly visible among so many that Biden will be elected, and any danger either of the ‘skeletons’ accumulated during three decades of fatuous and corrupt policymaking, or of more sensible policies, will be over.

My suspicion is that if Trump’s people had more ‘killer instinct’, they would be looking to get hold of all the material which has been produced in the London cases asap, and see what use can be made of it to ‘unmask’ a subversive conspiracy which there is every reason to believe goes right to the top of the Democratic establishment.

At the moment, however, both they, and their co-conspirators and ‘useful idiots’ of whom we appear to have some here on SST, appear to be really quite likely to get away it: partly because of their own utter lack of any sense of integrity or honour, but also because of the lack of ‘killer instinct’ on the part of their opponents.

Deap

RE: the spectre of drug trading in US foreign engagements. The inability to even mention the role of drugs in failed US black communities, as well in all the recent high profile "police shooting" deaths of blacks is curious.

Why the silent treatment on this critically pivotal issue? How much "black rage" comes from the ravages of drugs in these very same communities -- but no one dares talk about it .Let alone do anything about it.

Stopping covid pales to the challenge of stopping the real killer; abusive drugs destroying US lives and communities -black and white. Brown, yellow, olive.

Eliot

Larry,

Absolutely agreed, top to bottom.

The only scenario where this makes sense, is if the Russians were engaging in some sort of emotional revenge scheme - which is ludicrous.

To buy this story ignoring Russian character, it’s not how they think, and it’s not how they see us.

And you have to overlook the sober competence that marks their foreign policy.

Look at how they made up with Turkey, after Erdogan ordered the shoot down of the SU. Russia did make the Turks pay, but they weren’t fools, they didn’t sacrifice the relationship. They understood there were things to be be gained by leveraging Turkey away from NATO.

And in what world do the Afghans need an incentive to attack US forces.

Warfare is the national sport.

- Eliot

Jack
U.S. diplomat Chas Freeman: "China is fully integrated into the global economy…Trying to contain China, we’re more likely to end up containing ourselves. We need to…realize that the monopolies on wealth and power that we once had are no longer there."

https://twitter.com/jchengwsj/status/1277482493004754945?s=21

This comment is not about Russia but about the mindset in our political, economic and foreign policy establishment that has enabled the strengthening of our adversaries.

One thing we can be certain - the neocon and neoliberal policy mavens have weakened the US and it’s national interest over the past 50 years. The question is how have enemies of US national interest captured all levers of power and sustained it for decades? The exploration of this question would be about real reflection and introspection about our body politic.

Leith

TTG -

It is true that revenge can be an emotional response. But in Russia it can also be construed as a message either to your own people or to the world. Although I do like better the theory of competing peace negotiations put forward by JPB.

In any case you need to watch your back as it seems the character assassins have been let loose and they are libeling you here.

Fourth and Long

Deap

The political establishment in the US dare not explicitly mention drug use as a pathology of black communities specifically - as a group it is taboo to criticize them — they are persecuted victims, full stop. Saying otherwise is to kiss their votes away not to mention bring down their wrath.

David Habakkuk

Some of the intricacies you mention go a bit over my head, but the delay in release of your ISC report corresponds with the notion of this latest story of GRU bribery of Afghan militants being essentially if nothing other than an election year campaign tactic. Seems if released it will come on the heels of this provocative fantasy of the NYT and WAPO. Fancy that.

turcopolier

Leith

"and they are libeling you here." Examples?

David Habakkuk

etrog,

Actually, the alliance of a certain traditional ‘Anglo’ kind of ‘Russophobe’, like Tobias Ellwood, whom I mentioned in my previous comment, and the ‘insulted and injured’ from the former Russian and Soviet empires, does now involve a very substantial number of influential Jews, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Given the obvious continuities between what is happening now and the way that Neville Chamberlain and Colonel Beck between them successfully pushed pushed Hitler and Stalin together – see on this in particular the work of the Israeli historian Gabriel Gorodetsky – there are ironies.

It is, of course, given the long history of Russian anti-Semitism, understandable in its way.

However, as our host, channelling Captain Jack Aubrey, notes on another thread, politics is very often a matter of choosing ‘the lesser of two weevils.’

It is also commonly a matter of avoiding situations where one’s choice has unexpected, and unwanted, effects on the preferences of others: as when Stalin in August 1939 decided that making terms with Hitler was the ‘lesser weevil.’

(For a recent concise restatement and defence by Gorodetsky of his view of the period, see an ‘H-Diplo’ discussion of Stephen Kotkin’s ‘Stalin. Waiting for Hitler, 1929-41’ at

https://issforum.org/roundtables/h-diplo-roundtable-xx-30-on-stalin-waiting-for-hitler-1929-1941
)

As to the views of figures like Victoria Nuland, David Kramer, and Jonathan Winer on the ‘choice of weevils’ at the moment, there are aspects which, I must admit, I find puzzling.

An entry, headlined ‘Putin and Religion’, from a site called ‘ReligionFacts’, provides some accurate information about the Putin ‘sistema’:

‘Buddhism, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are defined by law as Russia's traditional religions and a part of Russia’s historical heritage. These religions have enjoyed limited state support in the Putin era.’

(See http://www.religionfacts.com/putin .)

Also in that entry, you will find a quotation from Putin, in 2014 – that is, in the wake of the crisis created by events on the ‘Maidan’ the previous year – writing of how: ‘It was in Crimea, in the ancient city of Chersonesus or Korsun, as ancient Russian chroniclers called it, that Grand Prince Vladimir was baptised before bringing Christianity to Rus.’

That was in 988, at any absolutely central point in the formation of Russian ‘national identity.’

At no point in the subsequent thousand years had any ruler of ‘Rus’ described Judaism as one of Russia’s ‘traditional religions’ and ‘a part of Russia’s historical heritage.’

As I actually think a good few Jews who came to Israel from the Soviet Union realise, it would have been inconceivable when they were young.

However, the likes of Nuland, Kramer and Winer have preferred to intrigue with ‘Banderistas’ – the heirs of the architects of the Lvov pogrom, if you’ve heard of that – in an attempt to wrest the whole of Ukraine, including Crimea, and Sevastopol, away from Russia.

And they have preferred to attempt to topple Putin in cahoots with Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky, who, as well as being Jewish and part-Jewish, were among the more disreputable representatives of the ‘semibankirshchina’ which looted Russia under Yeltsin, and who in general Russian ‘deplorables’, who were thrown into poverty at the time, do not much like.

(Indeed, I rather suspect a good few of their fellow-countrymen came to think figures like Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky would have looked to advantage dangling from lamp-posts.)

Ironically perhaps, some of the best Western commentators on this history – among other things, on neo-Nazis in Ukraine – are Jewish: obvious names include Stephen F. Cohen, Vladimir Golstein, Eric Kraus, and Yasha Levine.

But I do sometimes wonder whether there is a kind of ‘Cassandra’s curse’ – that, in a way that was certainly not true in the past, Jewish refugees from the former Russian Empire in the U.S. U.K., and Western Europe, and their descendants, cease to be heard when they are challenging silly conventional wisdoms, but have a ‘fast track’ to the top, if they habitually talk rubbish.

One of the most incisive, and amusing, ‘Cassandras’, ironically, is Eric Kraus, who was for many years a fund manager based in Moscow, but now seems to be sailing the seas, (a combination of ‘Wandering Jew’ and ‘Flying Dutchman’, perhaps?) as the result of what appears to have been a spectacularly acrimonious divorce from his Russian wife.

His principal unheeded prophecy is that the kind of policies which Western élites have followed since 1989 would inevitably have the effect of making Putin and other Russians see China as, by far, ‘the lesser weevil’: which, given the dramatic increase in that country’s economic strength, was hardly going to be in the best interests of either Europeans or Americans.

One of Eric’s ‘party pieces’ is an email exchange he once had with Michael McFaul. As he recalled in a market commentary in 2012, after the beginning of that figure’s – disastrous – stint as Ambassador in Moscow:

‘Very amusingly, T&B still has an e-mail sent ten years ago by Mr. McFaul, then a Stanford professor, that “Russia was so afraid of China that they would be compelled to seek a military alliance with America under whatever terms the US chose to impose”. Failure has obviously gone to his head, and he has moved on to great things – as a singularly incompetent and provocative ambassador, he is now contributing to the growing rift between Moscow and Washington. Beijing should be grateful….’

As a few quick Google searches will inform you, in addition to being in charge of the GRU, General Gerasimov is an absolutely pivotal figure in the steadily increasing military co-operation – not alliance, as yet at least – between Russia and China.

The reports we have been discussing restate two old charges, which are related to another piece of BS – the notion of a ‘Gerasimov Doctrine.’

So, in addition to supposedly have intervened in favour of Trump by hacking the emails of the DNC, it is suggested that his people have pioneered chemical terrorism with their supposed attack on the Skripals. In addition to this, it is now suggested that he places a ‘bounty’ on the head of American, and British, servicemen.

Frankly, if when he sits down with General Li Zuocheng, the chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China, Gerasimov feels a sense of relief, and perhaps indeed being among friends, it would hardly be surprising.

And if Western military planners begin to think that, actually, there may be problems if the kind of discussions now under way greatly increase the ability of both Russian and more particularly Chinese naval forces to inflict devastating damage on American, or British, forces, they may, in the dim and distant future, begin to realise that disseminating this kind of BS has costs.

An irony of course is that the problem for Chamberlain really was that the choice of ‘weevils’ was unappetising, to put it rather mildly. There were many, and hardly surprising or discreditable, reasons why willingness to allow the Red Army to implement its war plans by advancing into Europe became a ‘sticking point.’

What they were too obtuse to realise was that the effect of this was to offer Stalin a ‘weevil’ which he concluded, quite rightly, involved an unacceptably large risk that the Soviet Union would have to face the full might of the most powerful military machine in human history, effectively, on its own.

And this was happening at what – thanks of course in substantial measure to his own actions – was a point of ‘maximum vulnerability.’

Moreover, hardly surprisingly, Chamberlain and his colleagues greatly exacerbated Soviet fears that this was what ‘Perfidious Albion’ had been trying to achieve all along. As is evident if you read Putin’s recent article, republished in ‘The National Interest’, these perceptions are still very much alive today.

(See https://nationalinterest.org/feature/vladimir-putin-real-lessons-75th-anniversary-world-war-ii-162982 .)

As an old-style ‘Perfidious Albionian’, while I think that Chamberlain and his associates very emphatically failed to choose the ‘lesser weevil’, I actually do not find it so difficult to have some sympathy for the reasons they made the choices they did.

And I also think that the use of denunciations of ‘appeasement’, by people who show no sign whatsoever of attempting to grasp what the arguments of the ‘Thirties were about, have become both stupid and unhelpful: a sure way of avoiding thought.

The greatest irony, however, is that we see American, and British, foreign policy being run by people who habitually denounce ‘appeasement’, but whose mentality and assumptions actually directly parallel those of Chamberlain and his associates.

It is, moreover, in substantial measure as a result of this that such figures have become involved in a conspiracy to subvert the Constitution of the American Republic – with ‘Anglos’ like Ellwood, Steele, Dearlove, and indeed Fiona Hill collaborating with the figures like Nuland, Kramer and Winer.

And, quite clearly, they do not have the excuses Chamberlain had.

The notion that Putin is some kind of reincarnation of Stalin is the product of lies, originally told by Berezovsky and his like, and accepted without question by their ‘useful idiots’ in London and Washington.

Who are also, of course, ‘useful idiots’ of Beijing.

Leith

@YeahRight: "If it is dead GIs the Russians want then all they need to do is to run guns to the Taliban."

That is exactly what they have been doing for at least three years.

https://sofrep.com/specialoperations/us-claims-russia-is-arming-the-afghan-taliban/

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August 2020

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