illarionov’s “live journal” post, with intro

US media continues to try to link Trump to Kremlin, but in reality American Republicans have more in common with Putin’s opponents
Paul Robinson,, Jan 15 2021
The author is a professor at the University of Ottawa. He writes about Russian and Soviet history, military history, and military ethics, and is author of the Irrussianality blog

Photo: Ilya Pitalev/Sputnik

As the American House of Representatives completes impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, efforts continue apace to blame the divisions in American society on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Speaking to the press a day after a mob seized the Capitol building in Washington, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, launched into a bizarre and rather ungrammatical rant, proving in the process that conspiracy theories are far from the unique preserve of the American right. Talking of the previous day’s events she remarked:

The message it sent to the world, a complete tool of Putin, this President is. Putin’s goal was to diminish the role of, the view of democracy in the world. That’s what he has been about. And, again, his enabler in this has been Donald Trump for a long time. That’s why I said in that photo when I’m leaving his meeting, ‘With you, Mr President, all roads lead to Putin.’

As if taking their cue from Pelosi, commentators have since been working hard to link events in the American capital with Russia and Putin. Lacking firm evidence for this, their claims have become increasingly outlandish. Take for example an article by Natasha Bertrand published on Tuesday in the online magazine Politico (below – RB). This focused on a Russian by the name of Andrey Illarionov, who served as an economic adviser to Vladimir Putin in the early 2000s. According to the article, Illarionov, long a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute in the US, has left the organisation after publishing a blog post defending the Washington rioters. As Ms Bertrand writes:

Illarionov argued that the storming of the capitol was a ‘trap’ set by police following deliberate ‘provocation’ by Black Lives Matter activists and Democrats. He also amplified unfounded claims about Antifa infiltrating the protests, claimed it is ‘still unknown’ who won the 2020 presidential election, accused the leadership of the Democratic Party of ‘seeking to establish its monopoly dominance in the country,’ and wrote that rioters were ‘definitely not’ violating the US Constitution when they broke into the building.’

One might wonder why it matters what some long-retired Russian official thinks. But that would be missing the point. He’s Russian!!! He’s linked to Putin! As Bertrand continues:

Some analysts have raised concerns that Illarionov’s comments are legitimized by virtue of his affiliation with the think tank, and again raise the specter of Russian attempts to sow chaos and doubt in the legitimacy of US elections. Ilya Zaslavsky, a researcher now leading a project on post-Soviet kleptocracy called Illarionov’s posts ‘downright dangerous,’ noting that they are shared widely within Russia and among Russian-American Trump supporters.

In other words, we are supposed to believe that Illarionov is acting on Putin’s behalf to “sow chaos” in the US. His blog post is further proof, if any were required, of the Kremlin’s evil designs. Except for one thing: Illarionov is no friend of Vladimir Putin. In 2005, he quit the Russian government, complaining of what he called its authoritarian turn. Since then, he has stood quite clearly in the ranks of the “non-systemic” opposition, and on taking up his position at the Cato Institute in 2009 was described by the state-run Voice of America as “one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critics.” Nothing Illarionov says or writes could therefore be said to represent the position of the Russian government. The idea that his blog post indicates that the Russian state is trying to ‘sow chaos’ in the US is beyond laughable. Anybody with even the slightest knowledge of Russian politics would have known this. How, then, does such obvious ‘fake news’ about Russia keep appearing in the American media? There are really only two options, extraordinary ignorance about all things Russian; or a willful lack of concern for the truth. It is hard to say which is better.

Beyond that, though, the Politico article does reveal something rather interesting about Russian liberals, a category in which Illarionov would certainly belong. And in the process, it also indicates a lack of understanding of how Russian liberals differ from their American counterparts. The word ‘liberalism’ has many meanings. In its original form, classical liberalism, it was associated with a limited state, individual rights, and a system of law in which everyone was treated equally. In modern America, its meaning has undergone something of a reversal. To be ‘liberal’ now means to favor big government, identity politics, and group rights, and to support what philosopher Charles Taylor has called “the politics of difference.” This modern form of liberalism has found little traction among Russian liberals, whose foundational period was the late 1980s and early 1990s when classical liberalism, in its modern neoliberal form, held sway. Illarionov, for instance, played a role in persuading Putin to adopt a low 13% flat-rate income tax, an archetypal neoliberal economic policy. For such classical/neo-liberals, economic freedom and individual rights are key. Big government, group rights, and identity politics are something to be fought. In other words, Russian liberals and American liberals are not natural friends.

It’s hardly surprising, therefore, to see Illarionov coming out in favor of Trump and attacking Black Lives Matter. It’s very much in keeping with how Russian liberals think. As an article in Foreign Policy magazine pointed out earlier this year, while the Russian government has expressed some sympathy for the anti-racism movement in the US, Russian liberals haven’t. On the contrary, they have tended to be rather hostile toward it. Liberal journalist Yulia Latynina, for instance, denounced the riots last summer which followed the killing of George Floyd as “pogroms,” and complained that the rioters were destroying private property. Meanwhile, another liberal journalist, Oleg Kashin, tweeted an image with the caption “Martin Looter King,” and one-time presidential candidate Xenia Sobchak was fired as brand ambassador for the German carmaker Audi “after posting a racist tirade on Instagram describing Black Americans as stupid and lazy.” Illarionov, in other words, is not alone. In many ways, Russian liberals have much more in common with the American Republican Party than with the Democratic Party. As the Democrats prepare to take power, instead of lazily shouting ‘Putin, Putin, Putin!’ whenever the word ‘Russia’ pops up, that’s something that they might want to bear in mind.

Cato Institute investigating blog post by senior fellow that spread election conspiracy theories
Natasha Bertrand, Politico, Jan 12 2021

Illarionov in a televised debate Oct 9 2012 in Moscow. Photo: Sergei Ponomarev/AP

The libertarian Cato Institute is investigating a blog post published by one of its senior fellows, a former economic policy adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, that contains conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and seeks to defend pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol last week. Andrei Illarionov, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, made baseless accusations in a post on his personal Live Journal blog on Friday that the storming of the capitol was a “trap” set by police following deliberate “provocation” by Black Lives Matter activists and Democrats. He also amplified unfounded claims about antifa infiltrating the protests, claimed it is “still unknown” who won the 2020 presidential election, accused the leadership of the Democrat Party of “seeking to establish its monopoly dominance in the country,” and wrote that rioters were “definitely not” violating the US Constitution when they broke into the building.

The rhetoric stands in stark contrast to a statement released last week by Cato Institute President and CEO Peter Goettler, who called the Capitol assault “a direct attack on the Constitution of the United States, the rule of law, and our constitutional republic.”Illarionov’s comments are now “under discussion among senior management” and with Illarionov directly, said Corie Whalen, a Cato spokesperson. Whalen said in a statement to Politico:

The senior management team at the Cato Institute categorically rejects the claims made in the blog post by Mr Illarionov. The matter is under discussion among senior management and with Mr Illarionov. The violent disruption of constitutional processes is unacceptable and must be rejected unequivocally. Mob rule is no path to liberty. Attempting to forcibly keep a defeated president in power strikes at the core of the Constitution’s provisions for protecting the rights and liberties of the American people.

Cato is one of several institutions and entities that have further tried to distance themselves from President Donald Trump and his allies in the wake of the deadly Capitol attack. But some analysts have raised concerns that Illarionov’s comments are legitimized by virtue of his affiliation with the think tank, and again raise the specter of Russian attempts to sow chaos and doubt in the legitimacy of US elections. Ilya Zaslavsky, a researcher now leading a project on post-Soviet kleptocracy, called Illarionov’s posts “downright dangerous,” noting that they are shared widely within Russia and among Russian-American Trump supporters. Zaslavsky said:

Appearing academic and analytical, he fuels further hatred and insurrection.

Illarionov’s Cato Institute biography says he served as Putin’s “chief economic adviser” from 2000 to Dec 2005, and “has been a long‐time friend of the Cato Institute.” Illarionov did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Here is Illarionov’s LiveJournal post, translated in full:

“Arson of the Reichstag” – 2021
Andrei Illarionov, Live Journal, Jan 8 2021

What has been happening in the US in recent months is more and more reminiscent of what happened in Germany exactly 88 years ago, in 1932-33. And the so-called “assault of the Capitol” on Jan 6 2021 is becoming more and more characteristic of the arson of the German Reichstag on Feb 27 1933. Before analyzing the essence and possible consequences of the “Capitol assault,” several frequently asked questions should be answered recently.

1. Q: Who won the US presidential election on Nov 3 2020?
Answer: Unknown.
If the results of the Nov 3 vote were sumn up on the principle of “one person, one vote,” Joe Biden would almost certainly win them. Since the results of the US election are determined by the number of votes of delegates to the Electoral College elected by individual state, in some of which the election results have been challenged, the number of electors of each candidate is currently unknown.

2. Q: How many Americans do not recognize the last election as fair?
A: Approximately 40% of the total number of voters, including 72% of Republicans.
This number of citizens of the country who consider the vote unfair, with close official results and the current heat of political passion in society, is certainly sufficient to implement both the measures provided for and not provided for by law in order to eliminate any doubts about the quality of the electoral system. Maintaining confidence on the part of US citizens in the country’s electoral, judicial and political systems is an issue incomparably more important than determining the specific winner of the 2020 presidential election.

3. Q: Did the US judicial system play the role of an independent arbitrator in determining the quality of the presidential election?
Answer: No.
A fundamental constitutional mistake was made by the US Supreme Court, refusing to consider on the merits of changing the voting rules (voting by mail) in some states, which resulted in a slight advance in the number of Biden’s votes over Trump. If the Supreme Court considered the issue on the merits and decided on the basis of such consideration the legality of the rule change that occurred and therefore legalized Biden’s victory in the disputed states, the legal resources for verifying the quality of the election would be exhausted. However, since these resources were not in demand, the doubts of US citizens and independent observers were not only not dispelled, but also seriously strengthened. They were further exacerbated by statements by a number of Democrats that further mail voting will no longer be applied.

4. Q: Did the US political system play the role of an independent arbitrator in determining the quality of the presidential election?
Answer: No.
A fundamental political mistake was made by the US Congress in refusing to establish a commission on a parity basis with equal participation of representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties to verify the quality of voting in the disputed states. If Congress had established such a commission that considered the matter on the merits and, on the basis of such consideration, decided on the validity of the results of the voting in the disputed states, the political resources for checking the quality of elections at the Congressional level would be exhausted. However, since these resources were not in demand, the doubts of US citizens and independent observers were not only not dispelled, but also seriously strengthened. It seems that it is much more important for the Democratic Party to achieve victory at all costs.

5. Question: What resources do citizens have if the legal and political systems are unable to meet public challenges?
Answer: The right to a petition, to a demonstration, to protest.
It was this right that was exercised by US citizens during demonstrations on Jan 6 2021, when the number of participants in Washington exceeded a million people.

6. Question: What resources remain for citizens if the legal and political systems refuse to meet public challenges?
Answer: The right to replace such a political regime.
An exhaustive description of this right is contained in the canonical text of the US Declaration of Independence:

All past experience confirms that people tend to endure vices as long as they can be tolerated rather than to use their right to abolish government forms that have become familiar to them. But when a long series of abuses and violence, invariably subordinate to the same purpose, testifies to the insidious plan to force the people to accept unlimited despotism, overthrowing such a government and creating new security guarantees for the future becomes the right and duty of the people.

During the events of Jan 6, US citizens not only did not exercise this right, but also did not even try to exercise it. The allegations that a coup d’état was being prepared in the US on Jan 6 are not true.

7. Q: Did President Trump call, either in his speech near the White House on Jan 6 or at any other time, for a “capture of the Capitol,” “capture of Congress” or any other violence?
Answer: No.
Such allegations spread by Trump’s opponents are not true.

8. Q: Do citizens have the right to hold demonstrations near the national parliament building (for example, at the Capitol where the US Congress is located)?
Answer: Of course, yes.

9. Question: Do citizens have the right to enter the National Parliament building (the Capitol where the US Congress is located)?
Answer: Of course, yes.
Until Jan 6 2021, such a question did not arise in principle. Both US and foreign citizens regularly visited the Capitol and other premises of the US Congress virtually without restrictions (buildings where congressmen and senators are located, even without presenting an identity card).

10. Q: Did the demonstrators entering the Capitol building on Jan 6 violate the Capitol’s internal rules for entering the premises occupied by the US Congress?
Answer: Of course, yes.

11. Q: Did demonstrators entering the Capitol building on Jan 6 violate the US Constitution?
Answer: Of course not.

12. Question: Are there similar cases of seizure of the parliament building (penetration into the parliament building) in other countries by persons protesting against the official results of the contested elections?
Answer: Yes.
In the past two decades, there have been several seizures of parliament buildings (penetration into such buildings) by persons who challenged the official results of the presidential or parliamentary elections:
Yugoslavia, Oct 5 2000 – Bulldozer Revolution;
Georgia, Nov 22 2003 – Rose Revolution;
Kyrgyzstan, Mar 24 2005 – Tulip Revolution;
Moldova, Apr 7 2009 – Lilac Revolution;
Kyrgyzstan, Apr 6 2010 – Melon Revolution;
Moldova, Jan 20 2016 – Chrysanthemum Revolution.
In most of these cases, after such seizures, the authorities in force in these countries (election commissions, supreme/constitutional courts, parliaments, presidents) either “clarified” the initial results of the elections, or called new elections, or called a new vote for the second round of elections, as happened, for example, during the Orange Revolution in Ukraine on Dec 26 2004. In these cases, there is now consensus that the originally announced election results have been falsified in these cases. None of these cases of seizure of parliament buildings by demonstrators has been recognized or recognized as a criminal act or sign (act) of a coup d’état.

13. Question: Are there any cases of refusal by existing authorities in other countries to investigate falsification/distorting of the contested voting results despite mass protests of citizens?Answer: Yes.
Here are some of these cases:
Belarus – 2006, 2010, 2015, Aug 2020 – Jan 2021;
Iran – Jun 2009;
Azerbaijan – 2011;
Russia – 2011-2012;
Venezuela – 2018-2019;
Kazakhstan – Jun 2019.
In all these countries, power lies with authoritarian dictatorships, the main purpose of which is to retain state power by these regimes regardless of the actual results of citizens’ voting. Now the US has now been added to this list of countries whose leadership refuses to investigate the contested official election results and call new elections.

14. Q: Did demonstrators in Washington use weapons against police officers/their opponents on Jan 6?
Answer: No.
The reports of Washington police officials are unequivocal: there have been no cases of demonstrators using firearms or knives against their opponents/police.

15. Question: Did the police use weapons against the demonstrators on Jan 6?
Answer: Yes.

Ashley Babbit, a 35-year-old USAF veteran, was killed by a targeted fire at the Capitol Guard.

In total, 4 people died from among the demonstrators. One person was killed from among the police (from a fire extinguisher).

16. Question: Will the level of violence during the Jan 6 demonstration in Washington be comparable to the level of violence during the pogroms organized by BLM and Antifa members in summer and autumn 2020?
Answer: Of course not.

The number of murders, aggravated attacks and firearms attacks since the end of May 2020 (the beginning of the BLM and Antifa pogroms) has increased significantly compared to the corresponding periods of the previous year.

The homicide rate has increased by 42% in summer and autumn 2019 compared to summer 2020 and 34% in autumn 2020. In 21 US cities that provided data on murders in the summer and autumn of 2020, 610 more murders were committed than in the same period in 2019.

17. Q: Have the predictions of observers who predicted after the 2016 presidential election that President-elect Trump would destroy key US political and legal institutions been implemented?
Answer: No, they failed.
During his term, Trump acted either within his constitutional powers or in cases where he believed the judiciary or the US Congress to have ousted them, the courts and the US Congress have made decisions that blocked such decisions by Trump.

18. Question: Has there been a recent destruction of key US political and legal institutions?
Answer: Of course, yes.
In recent months, the First Amendment to the US Constitution in terms of freedom of speech has ceased to apply. In recent months sporadically, and since Jan 6 on a permanent basis, the management of the information platforms Twitter, Facebook, Instagram has introduced censorship, adding President Trump’s accounts to the blocked tens of thousands of accounts of different persons. In Nov 2020 – Jan 2021, the introduction of vote-by-mail caused irreparable damage to the integrity and integrity of the US electoral system, which had not previously been seriously doubtful. In Jan 2021, the First Amendment to the US Constitution in terms of freedom of assembly ceased to apply, by the decision of Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser (representative of the Democrat Party) a curfew was imposed in the city for 15 days, the Capitol area is fenced with concrete blocks, almost every intersection in the city center is patrolled by police. In recent months, an unprecedented campaign has been launched to repeal the Second Amendment to the US Constitution: the right to bear arms.

19. Question: Who is destroying key US political and legal institutions today?
Answer: The leadership of the US Democrat Party, seeking to establish its monopoly domination in the country.

20. Question: Why does the US Democrat Party need to establish its monopoly domination in the country?
Answer: To implement the programs of radical socialism, black racism, green totalitarianism repeatedly proclaimed by J Byden, K Harris, BLM.

And now a few words about the special operation “Trap” on Jan 6.

Trap preparation
On Jan 4, Washington Mayor Bowser said that she was recruiting the National Guard to patrol the city during the expected demonstrations on Jan 4-6. At the same time, it was announced that out of 340 employees involved, only 115 people will be on the streets, none of them at the demonstration sites in the National Mall and in the Capitol area. For comparison: literally in the first days of the BLM pogroms in early Jun 2020, 1900 National Guardsmen were sent to Washington DC, the number of which was then further increased. These statements immediately smelled of provocation. There was a suspicion that the Washington City Hall deliberately created the impression of exceptional weakness of law enforcement forces and their complete absence exactly where a large number of people were expected to accumulate.

Suspicions increased on Jan 5, when supporters of the Democrat Party began to spread rumors about the inevitable bloodshed that was bound to happen the next day. The author of these lines was informed about it by several people who are regularly in contact with Democrats. This seemed very strange against the background of previous similar events in which collisions, if they occurred, happened suddenly, no one knew in advance, especially a whole day in advance, much less warned about possible, even less about inevitable bloodshed. On Jan 6, more than a million people took part in the protests in Washington. The demonstrators occupied a significant part of the city center. Almost everywhere, processions and rallies were held without violence. They were peaceful even when demonstratively small groups of BLM members deliberately tried to provoke protesters who repeatedly exceeded them in number, such as on Pennsylvania Avenue, which was directly witnessed by the author of these lines.

Three BLMers waved their flag defiantly (for which the leader of the Proud Boys was arrested the day before from the African church) and shouted insults at tens of thousands of protesters passing by them. The same ones answered them with restraint: “Join us!” and persistently repeated to their colleagues: “No violence! Don’t touch them! All they want is a fight!”

The only place where violence was used is the back (in relation to the demonstration with a million participants), on the eastern side of the Capitol, to which several dozen well-equipped and determined persons approached. The Congressional police did not resist them and quickly withdrew to the building. Although the doors of the Capitol were locked, many of them had no protection. Which allowed these active fighters to break several of them, break the windows and penetrate the building, where no-one initially prevented their movement. The sequel is well known. The trap slammed shut.

The “Storming of the Capitol” on Jan 6 2021 reminds, according to the applied method, of the so-called “storming of the Government House” in Minsk on Dec 19 2010, a provocation of the special services used by Lukashenka to defeat the Belarusian opposition, and according to the implemented plan, “Burning of the Reichstag” on Feb 27 1933, used by Hitler to establish a Nazi dictatorship in Germany.

Evidence of ANTIFA activists infiltrating into a group of protesters and their attack on the Capitol building, step by step:

Capitol Police RELEASE for protesters. Why?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.