this is the source version of the story & i can assure you this is not a hoax

This guy, Ukranalittsentra President Alexander Okhrimenko, is genuine, I can trace him back years as a quoted expert in 404 mags – RB

From the EU to Ukraine can come “second-class” goods: Food will become less, but it is cheaper
Segodnia.ua, Feb 9 2016

The Ukrainian market is waiting for serious change, analysts warn promrynka and economists. The reasons for the decline of living standards and the devaluation of the hryvnia. Of course, the shelves are not empty, but the range will become scarcer and the quality of the goods the lower price segment — cheap sausage, cheese, butter, dairy products — will deteriorate. Also a number of specialists expect the emergence of cheap products from Europe, made specifically for Ukraine, according to our standards, which are still less stringent than in the EU. Ukranalittsentra President Alexander Okhrimenko predicts:

Due to the fact that beginning to work a free trade zone with the EU, in our stores soon begin importing cheap macaroni and dairy products from Europe. But the packaging states that they are made from recycled wastes of food industry. In the 1990s this has happened: it was imported from Poland a lot of cheap yoghurts, candies, cookies, rolls and chocolates. These products are safe, but they are cheaper because are made through the use of simplified technologies, with the use of substitutes for natural products.

Director of ProAgro Information Service Mykola Vernitsky also admits that such products may appear, but doubts that they would be a lot. He says:

It’s no secret that in EU the products of one and the same name is produced for the domestic market, according to the strict standards of the EU, and for export in accordance with the requirements of the buyer country, which will allow the use of colouring, stabilizers or substitutes prohibited in the EU. They can bring to us in large numbers only if there is demand. But whether it will show the market.

But the quality of Ukrainian goods on the shelves has dropped, and that is recognized by the trade network. A senior manager of a large trading network, Vladimir Molchanov, said:

We now take more cheap sausages, cheeses, dairy products and groceries because they sell better. And the premium segment. But the sausages, for example, is limited to 10-12 positions, and a year ago there were twice as many. With regard to the average price segment for sausages and cheese, it’s very unpopular. Especially impoverished is the fish sector, as the focus is not on imports but on Ukrainian producers. Now there are many private fish farms growing карпа, толстолоба, карася etc.

According to Vernitsky, the situation is worst of all with sausages:

The competition is great, and the price is difficult to raise. Therefore, manufacturers reduce the cost, adding in the minced meat more fat, cartilage, and partially substituting the pork with chicken.

According to the analyst of the consulting Agency “AAA”, Maria Kolesnik, due to the opening of our market to euro products price growth will be (initially), but reduction can be expected (later on). She said:

It was expected that our customers will be able to access high-quality European products at lower prices due to the abolition of fees. But the devaluation of the hryvnia ate all the benefits. So for example, cheeses and sausages from the EU are implemented mainly in the premium segment, and greenhouse production, with the exception of sweet pepper mainly comes from Turkey.

Kolesnik predicts that the prices on the Ukrainian market in the next month or two will be determined by the stability of the hryvnia. Some minor impact of seasonal price lowering is expected for milk, meat and eggs due to the spring increase of milk yield, live weight gain and egg production of hens. (Conversely, there will be some) higher prices of vegetables due to the storage costs. By the way, in February, eggs were almost 30% cheaper, and sugar 5-7%. Vernitsky explains that recent interventions on the sugar market from the Agrarian Fund, but expects that it is long, because its reserves are small there. He said:

In the wholesale sugar prices are already rising. Closer to summer we can expect that the retail price rises above 20 hryvniot per kilo.

to be barred from paying off one loan by the conditions of another is obviously illegal

Germany Asks Ukraine to Boost Debt Terms After Russia Rebuff
Olga Tanas, Bloomberg, Feb 9 2016

Germany is asking Ukraine to propose a new offer to resolve a dispute with Russia over a $3b bond default after Pres Putin’s government rejected a proposal put forward last month. The Finance Ministry in Berlin, which is mediating talks over the debt, is urging Ukraine to compromise, according a boxtop. The latest offer to resolve the dispute was “unacceptable” because it contained terms that were worse than those given to private creditors in a $15b restructuring last year, Russia’s Finance Ministry said in an e-mailed response to questions Tuesday. The government in Moscow refused to take part in Ukraine’s debt overhaul last year because it wanted to be treated more favourably than private investors (which it has a clear legal right to do, having established this as ‘sovereign debt’ – RB). Bondholders accepted a 20% write-down as part of that agreement. Gunter Deuber, an analyst at Raiffeisen Bank International AG in Vienna, said in an e-mailed note:

An out-of-court settlement would be definitely preferable, as a court ruling and its subsequent implementation would likely be lengthy, complex and could additionally spoil Russian-Ukrainian relations. (No doubt, but the two countries are actually at war, thanks to the machinations of these very Pindo-Jewish tyrants themselves – RB)

Since Ukraine failed to redeem the bond on Dec 20, Russia has threatened to initiate legal proceedings in the UK. The filing of the lawsuit has been delayed, Russian TM Silvanov told reporters in Moscow on Feb 5. Both sides said last month that they are open to out-of-court discussions. Ukraine is prohibited from simply paying the overdue debt, under the terms of its restructuring agreement. The terms of that funding require Ukraine ‘to negotiate in good faith with Russia over the defaulted bond,’ instead of repaying it. In comments on Tuesday, Svetlana Nikitina, an aide to Silvanov, said:

Russia received a letter from Germany’s Finance Ministry with a proposal to resolve the debt dispute. There has been no proposal received from Ukraine itself. This letter could in no way be regarded as an attempt to begin ‘good-faith negotiations’. The conditions outlined in it cannot be considered seriously. They are worse that those offered to the commercial creditors.

Putin proposed in November to allow Ukraine to settle the debt in three $1b instalments from 2016 to 2018, but the plan fell through after Pindostan refused to offer the financial guarantees that Russia requested (not only Pindostan, but any adequate guarantor would have been accepted, but there were none – RB). Ukrainian Finance Minister Jaresko made the country’s latest offer at Davos last month, according to a boxtop. The country’s restructured Eurobonds have slumped this month amid a government shake-up that began when Aivaras Abromavicius resigned as Finance Minister on Feb 3, after accusing Poroshenko’s party leaders of corruption. The yield on bonds maturing in Sep 2019 climbed 4 basis points to 12.19% at 10:40 am on Wednesday, extending the increase since they were issued in Nov to 3.5%. Timothy Ash of Nomura in London said in an e-mailed note:

At the moment, with concerns over domestic political stability in Ukraine, the country does not need further uncertainty.

With regard to the below news, Yad124 at the Antiquaries says: “Now lahli rabbit carrot will be full and will eat.” (“Сейчас лохлы кролика морковкой нашпигуют и сожрут.”) I am curious what this may mean. I think it is a misprint for “Сейчас дохлы кролика морковкой нашпигуют и сожрут.” That would mean “Now dead rabbit carrot will be full and will eat.” So this seems to be a reference to the usual rumours, that Yats is due for the sack – RB

Christine Lagarde is not satisfied with the fight against corruption in Ukraine
Korrespondent.net, Feb 10 2016

It will be “difficult” for the IMF to continue cooperation with Ukraine under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program without the proper fight against corruption, said Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Ukraine risks returning to the practice of bad economic steps, which was enough in her story. She said in a statement today:

I was concerned at the slow progress demonstrated by Ukraine in improving public administration, fighting corruption and reducing the influence of vested interests on policy. In the absence of visible efforts to give new impetus to the reforms in the state governance and the fight against corruption, it is difficult to imagine that the IMF-supported program will continue and will be successful. It is vital that the actions by the leaders of Ukraine brought the country back on a promising path of reform.

the dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on, straight towards the extinction of the species

Turkey summons Pindo ambassador over comments on PYD
Tulay Karadeniz, Reuters, Feb 9 2016

ANKARA – Turkey summoned the Pindo ambassador to express its displeasure on Tuesday after liar & bully Kirby at Foggy Bottom said Washington did not regard Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist organisation, a Turkish foreign ministry official said. Faschingstein supports the PYD (and its armed wing, the YPG – RB) in their struggle against ISIS in Syria. Ankara sees it as the Syrian cohort of the PKK, which is classed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, Pindostan & Eurostan. Asked about the difference in opinion with Turkey on Monday, liar & bully Kirby said:

This is not a new concern that the Turks have proffered. Pindostan has not changed its views on the PYD. We do not regard the PYD as a terrorist organization.

On Tuesday, Kirby confirmed that Pindo Ambassador to Turkey John Bass met senior Turkish officials on Tuesday.

Erdogan. In the corner
El Murid, Feb 10 2016

The Turkish ultimatum to Pindostan to choose between Turkey and terrorist (from the Turkish point of view) Kurdish party, State Dept liar & bully Kirby after a pause replied that he did not believe PYD terrorists. The Turks are not the first and not last, which “throw” of Pindostan. In general, the idea of partnership with Pindostan in principle is a symptom of lobotomy someone who expresses such an idea, but drat, is the leader always (even from the tops of the lists sometime), which readily demonstrates the lack of kgs of organic matter is so important. Pindostan consider themselves a superpower, indeed the only, so to partner with someone I guess the lesson is completely pointless. The problem of the Turks in what they put before a very difficult choice. Kurdish activity is growing rapidly, and if earlier it was possible to channel it towards ISIS, the Kurds are now increasingly turning their attention towards Turkey, which interests them much more strongly. The relationship of the Kurds with ISIS is quite simple: we do not need someone else, but it’s not give. The period of fierce fighting, when ISIS no-nonsense rushed to the north and is seriously counting on the elimination of Kurdish bases along the border, ended when the Kurds (with the help of the federal Iraqi tribesmen) were able to repel attacks ISIS near Kobani and drove them back. In Iraq the picture is about the same: the Kurdish Peshmerga basically knocked ISIS out of “their” territories, and then lost momentum. The calculations of the West regarding the Kurds were that they would make mincemeat of ISIS, but (so far this is) not justified. With the Kurds, these numbers are not tested. To fight the Sunni lands they don’t need, and therefore repelled the Islamists in the desert, the Kurds have lost to them keen interest. With Turkey now the Kurds have a completely different relationship. And unfortunately for the Turks, during the war the old Kurdish authorities have seriously weakened, and now there are new young and uncompromising ones. They reject the policy of concession to Ankara, they frankly despise their elderly leaders for it, but because for Turkey it all starts over again.

Unlike earlier, almost blessed times, the modern Kurds are armed, organized and fired, and hence, it is not like the former militants of the PKK, who at the very least, but the Turks somehow managed in the last century. But the main thing is when the neighbour of Turkey was a strong and unified Syria, which itself was suspicious of the Kurds and didn’t give them the will, the Kurds had no rear where they could escape after their operations. Now the rear there is a Syrian Kurdistan. The Kurdish forces operating near the border in Turkish territory, quietly or not so quietly, (need) but go to the Syrian side, and there is a restock, people, arms and back again. Falling activity on the Kurdish-ISIS front is inversely proportional to the increased activity of the Kurds on the Turkish side. Diyarbakir is the first sign, and if the Turks will not solve the problem, they will soon need to depopulate that city with artillery. The blocking of Aleppo is of some operational significance, although strategically, the grouping of Islamist militants is not cut off from the Turkish border, (still having) under its control a significant part of the province of Aleppo and almost the whole province of Idlib. But for the Aleppo grouping problems have increased significantly, because its supply was mainly implemented through the northern corridor, which is now blocked by the Hazaras and Hezbollah. The promise from Davutoglu today to “the residents of Aleppo” shows that the Turks perceive the blockade of the city from the north as a “red line” for which they will have to take independent steps. With Pindostan or without, it doesn’t matter. The Pindos understand that the Turks faced with the need to make efforts, and therefore do not see any sense to push them to direct solutions. For some reason when Erdogan and so will the troops. Hence their “kidok” Turk. Hurtful and offensive to Ankara. But she swallows: to go, in general nowhere. Having noted that Turkey was in a desperate situation, they began to incite the Germans. Merkel today went very harsh words concerning the Russian bombings. However, the goal is not so much Russia as Turkey. Merkel also pushes Erdogan to direct invasion, indicating that Germany will understand, and even indicated (that an attack on Syria would be considered) an acceptable reason for the sharply increased flow of refugees into Turkish territory. Of all people, and the Europeans after “their” migrants relate to the word “refugee” is extremely nervous, especially since fleeing from Syria, new waves of refugees may soon be in Europe itself. In fact, today all push Erdogan into a war without offering him any help or participation, only understanding and compassion. Knowing that he had nowhere to go.

The purpose of all this juggling is not Syria, and not even Aleppo. The West needs to confront Turkey and Russia, and (they can do this) in a relatively safe format for all in Syria. That automatically eliminates the conflict and limits the contingent, which today has Russia in Syria. To pull up additional forces is impossible. They simply will not be able to provide. In his report as Minister of Defence dated Dec 11 last year, Shoigu said that two months in Syria delivered to the maritime and air transport 20,000 tons of cargo. Looks solid, but per month is only 40 standard 40-wagon trains of cargo. A little more echelon on the day. To supply the current groups, but to increase it even twice at the same or slightly larger supply. The conflict with Turkey will lead to the fact that the ability to provide the grouping will fall to a third or so of its former level, according to approximate calculations,. 500 wagons of supplies in a month or so on siege rations to fight will not work. This “125 grams per dependent” is no more. Even just to fight back would be problematic. The defeat of Russia in Syria is the goal and the current task of the West. After this, a whole bunch of different possibilities and scenarios in full the object of Russia. In this case, you would have to spin simultaneously, the blows from the outside and inside of Russia, summing up the case to the ultimatum, which will follow inevitably. What will it be, depends on the extent of damage and possible permutations in the leadership of Russia. Now this is not the most important thing, it is now important to push Erdogan, but to to stay away. The situation is such that the account may go for days or weeks. In fact, very much depends on the decision of Erdogan, and therefore there is a paradox: the worse things will go on the “moderate” rebels, the more likely the inclusion of Turkey in the conflict. But because right now the West presses harder on Turkey and Erdogan personally, “come on, what are you waiting for!” The Turkish President is in the corner, and he needs to get out of it.

Kurdish leader accuses Ankara of ‘massacre’ in flashpoint town
AFP, Feb 9 2016

DIYARBAKIR – The leader of Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party on Tuesday accused Ankara of committing a “massacre” following reports that scores of civilians had been killed in a military operation against Kurdish rebels in a flashpoint town. Cizre in south-eastern Turkey has been under a punishing curfew for six weeks as the army pursues a relentless campaign against the PKK (and against Kurds in general – RB). The government says it is fighting “terrorists” in Cizre, and denies claims that civilians have been targeted. According to Turkish television reports, security forces on Sunday raided a building in Cizre, killing up to 60 wounded people who had been sheltering there for more than a week. Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), told an HDP audience:

They committed a massacre in Cizre, and they don’t want to announce it.

Then on Tuesday a 17-year-old Kurdish teenager was killed in the city of Diyarbakir during clashes that broke out after 3,000 people gathered to demonstrate against the military operations in Cizre, security sources told AFP. PM Davutoglu on Monday dismissed claims that civilians had been targeted in Cizre, saying the state was only fighting “terrorists” and was “doing its best to cause no civilian casualties.” Interior Minister Efkan Ala on Tuesday branded the reports of civilian deaths “disinformation” and said:

Nothing is being hidden. We are conducting these operations in the framework of democratic rules. The military operation in Cizre is nearing completion. The place in question does not even exist.

He was apparently referring to the now-ruined building in the Cudi district of Cizre, where according to the HDP, dozens of wounded Kurds were trapped and killed. The army said on Monday that a total of 10 Kurdish rebels had been killed in Cizre, bringing the total number of militants killed in the town to some 575 since the “anti-terror” operation started in December. Turkish police on Monday fired tear gas and water cannon to break up a protest in Istanbul against military operations in Cizre.

European Council Pres Tusk says Russian bombings make situation in Syria even worse
Gabriela Baczynska, Reuters, Feb 9 2016

BRUSSELS – Top EU boxtop Donald Tusk denounced Russian air strikes in Syria as helping the “murderous” government of Assad and triggering fresh waves of refugees fleeing toward Europe. The war in Syria has made millions flee their homes and is one of the main drivers of Europe’s worst migration crisis in decades. The influx has divided EU members, who cannot agree on how to tackle it. Tusk said during a welcoming presser with Georgia’s new PM Georgy Kvirikashvili, arriving in Brussels:

Russia’s actions in Syria are making an already very bad situation even worse. As a direct consequence of the Russian military campaign, the murderous Assad regime is gaining ground, the ‘moderate’ (RB) Syrian opposition is loosing ground and thousands more refugees are fleeing toward Turkey and Europe.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday there was no credible evidence of civilian deaths as a result of Russian air strikes in Syria. Most of the over one million refugees and migrants who arrived in Europe last year did so via Greece after embarking from the Turkish coast. Turkey, which already hosts more than 2.5 million of Syrian refugees, said tens of thousands more are now fleeing toward the Turkish border because of the assault on Aleppo by the Russian and Syrian forces. The UN called on Turkey on Tuesday to open its borders to thousands of desperate Syrian refugees fleeing Aleppo, in line with its international obligations to protect people fleeing conflict or persecution. Peace talks between representatives of Assad and some opposition groups earlier this month failed mainly because of anger over Russia’s intensified bombings.

achtung! das letztes divizion!! SS divizion “das ZOG”!!!

The Might of the ZOG Was on Full Display at Super Bowl 50
Sarah Lazare, AlterNet, Feb 8 2016

This article fails to mention that lady gaga sang the nazi anthem for the jets – RB

From the fighter jets soaring overhead to the armed troops patrolling Levi Stadium, Super Bowl 50 was a highly militarized event, its 70,000 spectators and millions of television viewers subject to a showcase of war propaganda and heavy security crackdown. To much fanfare, the 50-strong mixed Armed Forces Chorus kicked off the massive sports event by singing “Pindostan the Beautiful” from the field. CBS’ broadcast of the song cut away to footage of uniformed troops standing at attention, with text on the screen reading “Pindo Forces Afghanistan.” The clip was a nod to a brutal war and occupation, now stretching into its 15th year as top generals press for an even slower withdrawal. Following the nazi anthem (sung by gaga dread, as above, so below – RB) the Navy flew its signature Blue Angels delta formation over the cheering stadium. The Navy is open about the propaganda purposes of such flights, stating in a press release they are intended to demonstrate “pride” in the military. In a country that dropped 23,144 bombs on Muslim-majority countries in 2015 alone, the war planes are not just symbolic.

The heavy-handed display follows revelations that some NFL teams have long been accepting payment from the DoD to ‘honor’ and ‘celebrate’ the military and its personnel. Some were open about their profiteering aims. Military weaponry was also displayed off the field on Sunday, when Northrop Grumman released a 30-second television advertisement for a terrifying and futuristic fighter jet complete with lasers. Meanwhile, at the stadium and in surrounding communities, a real crackdown took place. The Super Bowl was determined by Homeland Security to be a “level one” security event, prompting a massive deployment of police and troops. Service members in uniform carried automatic rifles as they patrolled the stadium, and camouflaged Humvee vehicles with roof gun mounts were seen throughout the area. According to SF Gate writer Al Saracevic:

At one point, near the media entrance to the event, a column of military personnel could be seen marching into the interior of the stadium security zone, boots clomping, weapons in hand.

The crackdown extended far beyond the event itself. In the lead-up to the Super Bowl, powers in San Francisco began clearing homeless encampments in anticipation of a large influx of tourists, prompting protests. In a city already beset with dramatic inequality and displacement, the sweeps prompted the campaign Not So Super SF, demanding a moratorium on the criminalization of homeless people. The build-up to the event saw a heavy surveillance and law enforcement crackdown, in a city with powerful movements demanding an end to police killings and recognition that Black Lives Matter. Abdi Soltani, the executive director of the ACLU of Northern California, warned days ahead of the Super Bowl:

In the lead-up to the Super Bowl, we’ve seen high-tech surveillance cameras go up with zero public input or protections, a black protestor arrested just for taking photos, and homeless people harassed, displaced and saddled with unpayable citations.

Amid the militarized spectacle of the Super Bowl, there was some recognition from the field of the issues nearby communities are struggling with. In a powerful homage to the ongoing legacies of women in the Black Panthers movement, dancers accompanying Beyoncé’s half-time performance of “Formation” held a sign demanding “Justice for Mario Woods.” Black Pindosi Mario Woods, 26, was killed by San Francisco police on Dec 2.

i got my rant on you, and you ain’t my best friend any more, and so on

Knesset panel summons foreign media over ‘biased’ coverage
Jonathan Lis, Haaretz, Feb 9 2016

A subcommittee of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee called in members of the Foreign Press Association on Tuesday to discuss their reporting of terrorism and the occupation in Israel. Along with the invitation to the session, FPA members received a questionnaire relating to the “biased coverage” of some of the media outlets. Angered by the request to discuss the content of their reports, the organization initially decided to boycott the meeting. However, FPA head Luke Baker eventually relented after a conversation with Tzipi Livni, the head of the Subcommittee for Foreign Policy, Public Relations, and the Political Struggle. In a conversation with Haaretz in advance of the session, Baker, Reuters’ bureau chief, said:

We agreed to come and hear what they had to say, although on the face of it, this looks like an attempt at a witch hunt.

Members of the Government Press Office were also due to attend the session, which was convened because of a CBS News report on Feb 3. “Three Plastelinans killed as daily violence grinds on,” read the headline on an item related to the shooting and stabbing attack at the Nablus Gate in Jayloomia Old City. The three persons referred to were the assailants who killed MAGAV cop Hadar Cohen. The headline was subsequently changed following a protest by the government. The FPA issued a statement before the subcommittee session, in the organization pulled no punches, slamming the decision to summon foreign media to explain the manner in which they portray the Isro_Pal conflict Jewish War, and declaring that the conclusions of the Knesset discussion were dictated in advance. It said:

A free and open media is the bedrock of a democratic society. Parliamentary subcommittee hearings that start from the premise that the foreign media are biased tend to look like poorly conceived witch hunts. Efforts to clamp down on the media including sweeping allegations of media bias, state censorship and the detaining of members of the press, are the sort of actions usually associated with authoritarian governments in places such as Russia, Turkey or Toad Hall. Such conduct is unbecoming of a country like Israel, which likes to describe itself as the only democracy in the Middle East. We disagree with the premise of the hearing, as it presupposes two things: that the foreign media are biased, and that this supposed bias undermines Israel’s ability to quash terror attacks. We do not agree that the foreign media are biased, and the legitimacy of Israel’s campaign against terrorism is entirely determined by how Israel conducts that campaign. It has nothing to do with the foreign media. While the foreign media try to act with professionalism and balance, the Israeli Foreign Ministry took it upon itself last year to produce a YouTube video suggesting that the foreign media were biased, ignorant and witless. After the blatant inaccuracy and imbalance of the video were pointed out, the ministry withdrew it immediately. There are cases in which headlines in the international media have been poorly chosen and failed to accurately reflect developments on the ground. These have been pointed out and corrected as rapidly as possible. Mistakes are made in all professions. Isolated mistakes (and given the vast coverage of this story, they are extremely isolated) do not constitute institutional bias. It should also be pointed out that headlines are never the full story, and are usually not written by journalists on the scene, but rather by editors sitting in New York, London or other headquarters.

the day of the boxtops

Pindo Boxtops: Russian airstrikes in Syria have changed ‘calculus completely’
Greg Miller and the Boxtops sing your favourite hard-line hits, WaPo, Feb 9 2016

Several fundamental boxtops testified to astonished and delighted Congress critturs today that the day for pre-emptive nuking actions had finally and at long last dawned, the blazoned caparizon cavorting crazily in the morn-lit air, from high upon the hills where the fearless and the free must endlessly stand guard against the dark forces of night, kinda thing. I want to take this opportunity to introduce a few helpful acronyms, guaranteed to baffle subsequent newcomers. First, to DNI Clapper and DCI Brennan, I shall add DDI Stewart and DFI Comey, these four being the Directors of National Intelligence (ODNI), Central Intelligence (CIA), Defense Intelligence (DIA) and Federal Intelligence (FBI). Second, to the PMs, I shall add FMs, DMs, IMs, these being prime ministers, then foreign (or finance), defense, interior ministers, as & when – RB

Russian military intervention in Syria has turned the course of that country’s civil war against Pindo-backed rebel groups, increasing the likelihood that Assad will remain in power, various prominent Pindo boxtops testified Tuesday. The assessment amounts to an acknowledgment by the boxtops that Russian airstrikes have derailed the Obama administration’s aims of pushing Assad aside as part of a political settlement. DDI Lt-Gen V Stewart testified:

The Russian reinforcement has changed the calculus completely. (Assad is) in a much stronger negotiating position than he was just six months ago. I’m more inclined to believe that he is a player on the stage longer-term than he was six months to a year ago.

As recently as last summer, the boxtops were openly talking about an “endgame” for the Syrian leader. Stewart’s remarks came during a pair of Senate hearings on Tuesday that served as a grim survey of the security problems meriting lengthy breathless parentheses with dashes that seem certain to confront the next occupant of the White House, including cyber-attacks, terror threats and failing states (such as yourselves, pindo excrescences – RB). Among those testifying were DNI Clapper, DFI Comey and DCI Brennan, who was making his first public appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee since its scathing 2014 report on the CIA’s use of torture. The lingering tensions behind that Senate probe erupted during a heated exchange Tuesday between Brennan and Ron Wyden, who demanded an admission that CIA had improperly accessed files of Senate investigators during the torture probe. Brennan bristled as Wyden made his case, snarling:

This is the annual threat assessment, is it not?

Brennan seemed to be chiding Wyden for raising the issue during a hearing supposedly devoted to examining security threats. But the confrontation only continued, with both men raising their voices. Ultimately, Brennan admitted “very limited inappropriate actions” by CIA, but accused Senate investigators of comparable transgressions, almost shouting at Wyden:

Do not say that we spied on Senate computers or your files! Do not say that!

Clapper led his testimony with warnings about the nation’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks from Russia, China and others (cartoonish individuals living beneath the sea in caves, it is thought – RB), putting computer-based intrusions at the top of his security-risk list (as he always does, because it is so easy to blather about it, and the money available is fantastic- RB). But Clapper also cited ISIS, North Korea and the rising danger that “homegrown terrorists” might launch plots inspired by attacks last year. Clapper recounted the fabulous planned failures of Pindo communication with the entire planet than had flowed from his own planned incompetence, saying rhapsodically:

(It’s) a litany of doom! There are now more Sunni violent extremist groups, members and safe-havens than at any time in history! The perceived success of (the attacks in Paris, Tennessee and California) might motivate others to replicate opportunistic attacks with little or no warning, diminishing our ability to detect terrorist operational planning and readiness!

Clapper’s testimony on Syria came amid a barrage of Russian airstrikes and advances by regime forces aimed at dislodging rebel factions that had maintained control of much of Aleppo since 2012. The Russian-backed advances in recent weeks coincided with the collapse of peace talks in Geneva, once seen as key to the Obama administration’s efforts to engineer Assad’s departure as part of a negotiated end to the civil war. Obama had said during the last presidential election cycle four years ago:

(I’m) confident that Assad’s days are numbered.

Pindostan has also carried out hundreds of airstrikes and trained and armed thousands of rebel fighters in pursuit of that elusive outcome. Instead, many boxtops now see moderate groups in Syria as pinned between two more powerful forces: Assad and ISIS. The boxtops said that ISIS continues to draw substantial support from beyond Syria, despite territorial setbacks in recent months. The number of foreign fighters who have gone to Syria since the conflict started has (according to the boxtops, of course – RB) surged to 36,500, up from estimates of 20,000 a year ago. At least 6,600 of those fighters have migrated to Syria from Western nations, Clapper said, compared with 3,400 a year earlier. The Paris attacks, which involved militants who had fought in Syria, were widely regarded as a chilling demonstration of the foreign fighter threat in Europe. ISIS-related arrests in Pindostan surged to 60 in 2015, five times the number (of) a year earlier. (But reverting to Freedom’s eternal foe, the Devil, once more), Clapper said:

Beyond its military involvement in Syria, Russia has also emerged as an increasingly aggressive adversary of Pindostan online. Russia is assuming a more assertive cyber posture. (It is increasingly willing) to target critical infrastructure systems and conduct espionage operations even when detected and under increased public scrutiny.

Brennan said that Pyongyang was seeking not only to demonstrate its capability but “showcase” its technology for potential buyers of its missiles and weapons systems. Finally, the boxtops all said they had seen no indication that Iran was violating any aspect of (Obama’s nuclear deal, as we might as well call it – RB).

Clapper warns of insane Russian determination to take over the world, as usual
AP, Feb 8 2016

FASCHINGSTEIN — DNI Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that Russia’s aggressive military intervention in Ukraine and its various other sinister purported moves could put Moscow and Pindostan “into another Cold War-like spiral.” He was delivering the annual collective assessment to Congress by the fourteen officially contributing intelligence agencies of the top dangers facing the country. He asserted that Russia’s actions are intended to demonstrate that Moscow is a superpower equal in stature to the godlike Pindostan itself, an obviously doomed project indicating the puerile and irrational level of Russian mentation. He concluded
with some amateur psychology, an activity of which, like the Jews, he is very fond:

I think the Russians fundamentally are paranoid about NATO. They’re greatly concerned about being contained, and are of course very very concerned about missile defense, which would serve to neuter (a perfectly intentional Freudian substitution for the correct word, neutralize – RB) what is the essence to their claim to great power status, which is their nuclear arsenal.

like the good friends we are, let’s talk about mutually assured destruction

Prompt Global Strike
Igor Shumeyko, Strategic Culture, Feb 10 2015

A few days ago, Obama approved the Pentagon’s proposal to increase spending on the latest weapons and to beef up Pindo military positions in Europe. The strategic significance of this step is fully evident in Missy Ryan’s Feb 2 article in the WPo, entitled “Pentagon unveils budget priority for next year: Countering Russia and China.” And how does the Pindo military envision “countering Russia and China”? Back in the 1970s, the balance of power in the world looked like this. The USSR and Pindostan maintained approximate nuclear parity up to the level of mutually assured destruction. The 1972 ABM treaty slowed the arms race, reduced the risk of WW3, and introduced a crucial principle that enabled the 30-year stand-off between the Soviets and the Pindosis to proceed fairly uneventfully. This was the agreement between the parties to restrict their missile defense systems, based on the understanding that vulnerability to a retaliatory strike is the most reliable means of deterrence. Virtually all of Pindosi history since then can be seen as a series of unceasing efforts to circumvent those agreements. “Star Wars” was a failure. Pindostan could not find a way to technologically evade the mutually assured destruction it so feared. The idea of erecting orbital deployment platforms armed with lasers and kinetic interceptors was a flop. Pindostan found more success during the era of Gorbachev and Shevardnadze, by destroying Soviet intermediate- and shorter-range missiles without a proportional reduction in Pindo military might. The next steps were attempts to circumvent the ABM Treaty, which culminated in the unilateral Pindo withdrawal from the treaty, on the pretext of threats emanating not from Russia, but from what the Pindos call “rogue states.” The ABM Treaty was finally terminated on Jun 12 2002. In 2001, an UNGAR supported by over 80 countries had called for the retention of that treaty. Only USrael opposed it.

A pattern could be discerned in Pindostan’s diplomatic and propaganda efforts in this realm, even then, consisting of the demonization of so-called “rogue states” and wild exaggeration of the actual threat they represented. This was a change that deserves some examination. For many decades prior to this, the Pindosi and Soviet negotiators calculated one another’s military capacity precisely and arrived at figures that were mutually acceptable, but in the 21st century Pindostan began to unilaterally gauge the military potential of North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. It also unilaterally chose its own ways to counter these supposed “threats” (up to and including catastrophically unplanned or ineptly-planned invasions, aiming evidently to destroy the targeted nations altogether – RB). The year 2015 presented an interesting situation. As the time neared for the signing of an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, which would mean losing their official rationale for continuing the work on their new missile defense launch sites, Pindo diplomats embarked on two new steps. First, they announced that Pindostan would continue its missile defense work in order to prevent unemployment, or as they put it, “to engage that sector of industry.” Second, they tried to circumvent the principle of mutual assured destruction and to disregard the right to equal security, by advancing the concept of Prompt Global Strike, a non-nuclear attack on any location on the planet. What is truly new about this plan? First, prior to this, Pindosi cruise missiles with non-nuclear warheads could not inflict significant damage on the nuclear forces of the ex-USSR, now Russia. But in wars since 1991 in Yugoslavia and Iraq, strikes from a great distance away have already been tested. Second, the key word in the phrase Prompt Global Strike is Prompt. An attack can be delivered within one hour. Russian Deputy PM Rogozin commented:

The concept of Prompt Global Strike which is being developed in Pindostan offers the chance to gain the upper hand over a nuclear state, thanks to these weapons’ first-rate technical specs, including their superior speed. Specifically, these would include aerial vehicles (including drones) and missiles capable of speeds ranging from Mach Six to Mach Twenty.

Prompt Global Strike technologies include sea-based ICBM Trident II (D5) type missiles carrying high-precision non-nuclear warheads, as well as the hypersonic cruise missiles currently testing, plus other hypersonic vehicles (the Falcon HTV-2 and AHW). The designers indicate that there is no need to think in terms of any warhead at all, since the speed and energy of the vehicle itself will be sufficient to destroy any target with a direct hit, and maybe five or six times faster than a Tomahawk cruise missile could do. Another means of inflicting a Prompt Global Strike is through the use of the characteristically misnamed “Rods From God.” These are heat-resistant tungsten rods which it is proposed could be dropped on a target from a great height. During their tests, the Pindos concluded that a rod 6 m long and 30 cm thick impacting upon a target at a speed of 3.5 km/s will release an explosion of energy equivalent to 12 tons of TNT at the point of impact. This means that in the event of an armed conflict with a country possessing nuclear deterrent forces, time will truly be of the essence. Speed and surprise will determine everything. The strategy for announcing such actions would be based on the claim that he who first launches a nuclear weapon should be the aggressor. One hour is all the time (the victim) has to make a decision (under the threat of) Prompt Global Strike. This means that the concept of the threshold of a nuclear war is becoming blurred, which necessitates a change in the decision-making mechanisms. Perhaps this is precisely what Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov meant when he said:

The development of the Prompt Global Strike system in Pindostan could result in a conflict with apocalyptic consequences.

toad fricassee “a la turk”

Bring On The Turmoil: Turks & Toads to Deploy Ground Forces in Syria
Peter Korzun, Strategic Culture, Feb 8 2016

The effectiveness of Russian airstrikes has helped the regular Syrian army encircle the rebel-held countryside north of Aleppo, raising concerns that rebels could lose the war in Syria. This prospect sends shivers up the spines of some countries that belong to the Pindo-led coalition and are adamant in their desire to overthrow Assad. Now a major player has made public its readiness to send troops to the war-torn country. The Toads would be ready to deploy army units in Syria, should the Pindo-led coalition call for ground operations. This is the first time the Toads have openly expressed their willingness to deploy boots on the ground. Their mil spox Brig-Gen Ahmed al-Asiri told al-Arabiya:

Toad Hall is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition may agree to carry out in Syria … We believe that aerial operations are not the ideal solution and there must be a twin mix of aerial and ground operations.

Thousands of SOF could be deployed, likely in coordination with Turkey, Toad sources told the Graun. Before that, Ankara had also made known its readiness to deploy troops in Syria. It’s no accident that Turks & Toads set up a military coordination body a few weeks ago. Ashtray Carter lost no time in welcoming the Toads’ offer. He said he looked forward to discussing the offer of ground troops with the Toad defense minister in Brussels next week. A ground operation by Turks & Toads has been on the agenda for quite some time. The validity of this information was confirmed by the HuffPost. The talks between the two states are brokered by Qatar. The plans envision that Turkey would provide ground troops supported by Toad airstrikes, to assist the ‘moderate Syrian opposition.’

This brings to mind another statement on Syria. Last November, the UAE said it would be willing to participate in counter-terrorism efforts on the ground in Syria. No matter how limited its military contribution might be, the UAE’s participation would be important politically. At least three states have said they would join in the ground operation, if the action were supported by Pindostan and (notionally by its so-called) coalition of 65 members. In the event of any such military action, there would be some blunt military realities to face. Serious questions remain about the scope of any military involvement by the Turks & Toads. It would require significant funds. The Toads are busy trying to destroy Yemen. They would have difficulty fighting and sustaining two wars. Turks & Toads would (have to) shoulder the brunt of the effort, as Pindostan and most others (‘the white nations’ – RB) will never again deploy significant ground forces. The operation would exacerbate regional divisions along sectarian lines, as the would-be intruders (including the UAE if the November statement is still valid) are all Sunni. The Toads lead a grouping of Sunni countries that includes the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Sudan, Somalia and to a lesser extent Egypt. Also, the Toads sponsor a number of Sunni non-state actors in Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere (That’s quite an understatement, indicative of Putin’s personal tendency to flirt with possible disclosure but not make it – RB). Meanwhile, Iran leads a group of Shia actors including Syria, Hezbollah, Ansar’Allah (the Houthis), and the vast array of militia groups in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Units.

The Toads & Turks strategy is driven by the fear of Iran’s Shia regional hegemony. Iran’s regional influence has continued to expand, even when it was under sanctions. It’s enough to remember the way the Arab Gulf states (except Oman) reacted to the successful conclusion of the Iran deal. It was close to hysteria. This attitude strongly suggests that the underlying concern of the Gulf States (plus Turkey and Israel) is not really the danger of Iranian nuclear weapons, but rather the threat of Iran’s growing political influence in the region, from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon and Yemen. Apparently, the fear was that with international sanctions lifted, Iran’s political influence throughout the region would grow. True, animosity toward Iranians and Shia Muslims generally is widespread in Toad Hall and other countries where Wahhabism is predominant. This fact has not prevented political interaction between the Toads and Iran on occasion, as well as private social interaction and intermarriage between Sunnis and Shias over the centuries. By casting their policies in sectarian terms, the Toads appear to be burning bridges that will be very difficult to rebuild.

Even if Toads & Turks shoulder the brunt of the war effort on the ground, Pindostan will have to take sides if the Turks & Toads go ahead. The Toads along with Qatar and Turkey, are supporting and funding Jabhat al-Nusra and other AQ affiliates in Syria (AFAIK, there are no other AQ affiliates – RB). They may empower an uncontrollable coalition of extremists whose activities make them essentially indistinguishable from those of ISIS (their goals and allegiances are quite different, at least in their own minds, that is why they are fighting each other – RB). Deposing Assad is not a solution but rather a way to reverse the players, turning many current regime supporters into insurgents while fuelling a contest for supremacy between the AQ militia(s) and ISIS. And Syria’s potential border conflicts with Turkey, Jordan and Israel would not subside once the Jihadis were entrenched in Syrian territory. Just as Pindo and Toad support for the Mujahidin in Afghanistan came back to haunt Pindostan in the form of the Taliban and AQ, those who have been encouraging AQ affiliates in Syria will not be immune to the inevitable backlash (In other words, everyone who has been writing for the last decade about false-flag activity can just fuck off and die, cos we are determined to stay respectable until the scimitar of reality finally brings the decisive argument directly into contact with the backs of our necks – RB). It is an illusion to believe that these radical groups can be contained or controlled by their sponsors (No, it isn’t. The author just does not understand the admittedly counter-intuitive world of false-flag terrorism – RB). Helping extremists in Syria is like cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

The statements made by Pindo officials, and Obama’s decision to send elements of 101th airborne division to the region, show that Pindostan is inclined to get involved and lend support to the policies of the border. At first glance, it may seem to be an acceptable price to pay for short term political goals. In reality, it is a tempting illusion. The sectarian hatreds being unleashed today in the Middle East will not simply disappear. The consequences of these games will be felt for many years, perhaps, generations. Russian Foreign Ministry spox Maria Zakharova hit the nail on its head in her remarks regarding the Toad announcement. Zakharova asked ironically on Facebook:

I’m afraid to ask: have you already fought off everyone in Yemen?

The recent news about Pindostan sending troops to Syria, Turkey’s announced intent to launch a ground operation there, and the Toads’ statement of their readiness to join “any” military campaign on Syrian soil, all serve as indicators of imminent large-scale war. It was no accident when the opposition supported by Turks & Toads did their best to stymie the Geneva talks. The deployment of ground troops in Syria is not only an outright violation of international law, but it will bring the Russia-Syria-Iran coalition and the Pindo-led collation to the brink of collision. Toads, Turks and other nations willing to start this dangerous game rely on Pindo support. Pindostan is the key country. It can and must use its influence to avoid the worst from happening (oh, please! this is plain stupidity – RB). It can direct the process and keep the situation from sliding into an uncontrollable conflict with unpredictable repercussions. For instance, Jackass Kerry enjoys close relations with Sergei Lavrov (the great and the good? pathetic – RB). The foreign chiefs could urgently meet to discuss the situation. Let them be open and above board discussing each other’s intentions and the implications to follow. Russia and Pindostan managed to keep the world from falling in to abyss in the days of the 1962 Cuban crisis, proving that a dialogue and political interaction can work wonders (yes, but Krushchev and JFK were not brainwashed to the point of complete idiocy, like you and all those whom you speak – RB). Pindostan has great responsibility for what’s happening. The time to take a diplomatic action is now. Pindostan knows perfectly well that Russia will meet its effort half-way. (Despite being written in the worst possible english, this appeal is plainly sincere. It is just stupid, naive, and dangerously complacent. Its dangerous complacency lies in the idea that ‘sanity will always prevail,’ an idea which was allowed some tenuous appearance of truth by the Pindo Jews in the 1960s, but not since then. Perhaps this man has never heard of Leo Strauss, or never read him, but Strauss is the obvious point of inflection, as we said a decade ago. Behind Strauss we can also detect the influence of Carl Schmitt, the Nazi jurist who developed the theory of the ‘permanent state of exception’ – RB)

listen: any motherfucker from the MSM, or the straight world generally, throw this at them, blind them with science

I would like to be fair, in spite of my general conviction that all this is just petit-bourgeois self-delusion: read this for a better, clearer example of an optimistic construction of the Nudelman-Marmots deal, such as it presumably is, ie not much more coherent than the things jackass comes up with – RB

Propaganda In the Eyes of the Beholder
Michael Averko, Strategic Culture, Feb 7 2016

Promoted at Johnson’s Russia List, Paul Goble’s piece of this past Jan 20. “Pindostan Appears to Have Accepted Donbass Model Not Only for Ukraine but for Other Conflicts, Russian Analyst Says,” refers to Strategic Culture contributor and Russian Academy of Sciences researcher Pyotr Iskenderov as a Kremlin propagandist. This characterization is pretty rich, given Goble’s penchant for anti-Russian propaganda. In his piece, Goble references an Iskenderov commentary on how some former Yugoslav examples might be applied to fully settling the dispute over the Donbass region. Concerning Donbass, the arguably best former Yugoslav example is overlooked. Spending more time on hypocritically calling someone a propagandist for mere analysis can take attention away from providing a more substantive rebuttal. The analogous former Yugoslav oversight in question concerns the entity known as the Republika Srpska (RS), which was created at the end of the Bosnian Civil War as a loose Serb-majority affiliate of the internationally-recognized Bosnian state. Since its inception, RS has faced opposition from anti-Serb forces. Notwithstanding, RS doesn’t appear to be on the verge of collapse. Perhaps similarly, a mutually-agreed and fully-implemented agreement by all of the parties for a Donbass loosely affiliated to Ukraine, might face periodic squabbles with the political consensus in Kiev. There remains some possibility that the overall mood in Kiev can change, for reasons I have discussed previously.

Another Goble piece relates to this belief. Goble’s Jan 28 article in the Pindo-based pro-Khodorkovsky site The Interpreter, “Moscow Patriarchate Losing Parishes to Kyiv Church and Its Dominance of Ukraine’s Religious Life,” is a poignant example of misleading anti-Russian propaganda. Khodorkovsky’s relationship with such an anti-Russian slant serves to explain why he can probably never become popular in Russia and elsewhere among pro-Russian elements. The Interpreter frequently carries Goble’s commentary and that of other like minds, minus the opposing view. Looking at the matter objectively, it’s quite clear that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), has faced intimidation by zealots seeking to take over its properties (Indeed, we have multiple reports of Right Sector or the Natzbats descending on little pro-Moscow churches in the eastern zone and terrorizing them – RB). This matter-of-fact aspect (of the matter) is omitted by Goble, who instead pretends that there is an authentic popular mood favouring a drift away from an association with Russia (not fast enough: the program requires a panicked and terrorized stampede – RB). Goble uncritically refers to some otherwise questionable statistics to support the idea of a dwindling UOC-MP. There are conflicting partisan claims about this which leave plenty of room for second-guessing, but right now and for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t seem like the UOC-MP is about to dramatically dwindle or fold altogether. In contrast to Goble’s perspective, there was a recent Kiev court ruling against activists seeking to take over UOC-MP property.

On top of the catastrophic economic situation, supposedly ‘moderate’ rulers like Poroshenko face a tangled mesh of ‘nationalist’, pro-404 and anti-Russian forces, and those with the opposite view. In the West, it’s common to see the suggestion of a sinister Kremlin attempt to manipulate public opinion in Russia and abroad. Therein lies a faulty position with the misinformative spin that subjectively disrespects pro-Russian sentiment. Part of this disrespect centres on the theme that to be pro-Russian is to be misinformed by propaganda. Some find no irony or hypocrisy when Goble refers to Iskenderov as a Kremlin propagandist and why the touted Western free press often omits mainstream Russian views in favour of the opposite take. Rhetorically put: why give time to flacks who distort, unlike those getting the nod as credible sources? This skewed predicament is tantamount to ignoring certain former Soviet realities. (What a clumsy and uninformative paragraph. Clearly, this particular pro-Kremlin propagandist is using stock vocabulary authorized by the likes of Surkov. A good and sympathetic translator could make it all sound much more plausible and friendly. I could do it without a second thought. But I don’t work for Surkov – RB)

In contrast to Goble’s version, the Jan 19 BBC WS feature, “Row Over City’s New Name”,” a segment not likely to be included in the high-profile BBC newscasts rebroadcast in Pindostan and elsewhere. This particular BBC piece describes a Ukrainian town within occupied 404 territory whose population prefers the town’s pre-Soviet, Russian-Empire name, honouring Empress Elizabeth of Russia, over the Soviet-era name and another one favoured by the 404 nationalists. The former Moldavian Soviet Republic has sometimes been reported as being in similar circumstances to Ukraine. Among other examples, Josh Rogin’s Apr 23 2014 Daily Beast article on the former Moldavian SSR, “Is This Putin’s Next Target,” is misleading sensationalism. Rogin doesn’t cover the neocon to neolib to flat-out anti-Russian influences that unnecessarily provoke a pro-Russian backlash inside and outside of Russia, which the Kremlin can’t simply ignore. (This omission) becomes especially difficult to ignore in the face of the activist anti-Russian tone among Western foreign-policy politicos who lobby in one form or another on former Soviet territory. It’s unrealistic and unjust to expect an inactive Kremlin attitude towards such activity. In place of these thoughts, the simple suggestion is made of an aggressive Russia looking to takeover more territory and have greater influence. (The Daily Beast is nothing but garbage, and people like Rogin should be treated as hostile propagandists, but this author is a typical Russian liberal, writing as if there was a meaningful ‘debate’ going on, that could maybe even affect Pindo behaviour if it was ‘objective’ enough. Hardly any of these respectable Moscow journalists has the faintest idea what he is dealing with. This is a war and they refuse to face that fact – RB)

There has been no dramatic change in the status of the disputed pro-Russian former Moldavian SSR territory of Pridnestrovie (aka Transnistria and closely-related spellings). The main reason for this has to do with an ongoing situation that isn’t as threatening when compared to what Crimea saw when a democratically elected Ukrainian president was overthrown, with an increased anti-Russian political stance in Kiev. Within the rest of the former Moldavian SSR, a cross section of pro-EU and pro-Russian parties have converged to oppose Moldovan political establishment that’s seen by many as ineffective and corrupt. In the long run, can these different East-West sympathies agree on the benefit of a mutually pro-Russian and pro-West course? This very preference is what the last pre-Euromaidan Ukrainian government sought along with Russia, before the ouster of Yanukovych, a sharp contrast from the zero-sum approach taken by the EU and the Obama administration. Going back to the so-called «Orange Revolution», some have spun the notion of Ukraine becoming a positive example for Russia, Moldova and some other former Soviet republics to follow. The aforementioned existing circumstances indicate that something is more evident. (Sorry, this is just gibberish and I cannot be bothered to parse it – RB)

The work appearing in the West by Ivan Katchanovski, Paul MoreiraRichard Sakwa and others, reveals something noticeably different from the image of a peaceful and democratic Euromaidan (defending itself against) pro-Russian troublemakers. There remains an uphill battle in seeing a more balanced accounting of former Soviet issues (this absurd complacency will lead directly to national extinction – RB). Some like RFE/RL still downplay certain particulars, like the fear factor (created by) mob rule outside the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev that played a role in the disproportionate number of appointments of Svoboda members in the junta which immediately succeeded Yanukovych. I recall this the video footage on the otherwise not-so-pro-Russian and in fact Euromaidan-friendly al-Jazeera Pindostan, and some other Western-based or Western-influenced networks. Thereafter, the sometimes-fatal violence against anti-Euromaidan individuals within Kiev regime territory is a matter of clear record (The author here includes a link to the Counterpunch search engine, with the search string “ukraine+murder” – RB). Those who bash RT.com as biased, don’t have an objective leg to stand on if they assert that RFE/RL and the Kyiv Post, or such sources as Goble and The Interpreter, are more accurate. It’s fair to say that the major Western media venues tend to favour the RFE/RL-Kyiv Post slant over that of RT.com (and that is his conclusion, not a very illuminating one – RB).

these fellows (neither of whom stands a chance, IMHO) can talk about nuking us, and we can talk about nuking them, that seems fair

The asterisk about half-way through indicates what I consider to be the failure of the authors to tell the truth, unsurprisingly, since Glenn hired them to lie on behalf of the ‘progressive’ wing of the CIA and they hopefully know that, though I wouldn’t bet on it. Anyway, this is all they have to say about the purposes of torture: “It’s best for revenge, false confessions, and propaganda.” I would agree as a starting point that torture is essentially a means of extorting false confessions for propaganda purposes, but I would note in this connection that false flag operations, even those as huge and terrifying as 9/11, are still just elaborate forms of propaganda. It was revolutionaries who coined the term “propaganda of the deed,” to refer to sabotage and assassination. The only difference with a false flag act is that it is created using the vastly greater resources of the secret state (or in the case of 9/11, several states) – RB

GOP Candidates Compete Over Who Will Commit Most War Crimes Once Elected
Murtaza Hussain, Dan Froomkin, The Intercept, Feb 9 2016 (Alex Emmon, Zaid Jilani, Jenna McLaughlin contributed)

At a rally in New Hampshire on Monday night, Donald Trump was criticizing Ted Cruz for having insufficiently endorsed torture. Cruz had said two nights earlier that he would bring back waterboarding, but not “in any sort of widespread use.” Someone in the audience yelled out that Cruz was a “pussy.” Trump reprimanded the supporter with faux outrage,, repeating the allegation for the assembled crowd:

She said he’s a pussy! That’s terrible! Terrible!

The spectacle of one Republican presidential candidate being identified by another as a “pussy” for failing to sufficiently endorse an archetypal form of torture exemplifies the moral state of the current race for the GOP nomination. The Republican candidates have seemingly been competing with one another over who would commit the gravest war crimes if elected. In recent months, one candidate or another has promised to waterboard, do a “helluva lot worse than waterboarding,” repopulate Gitmo, engage in wars of aggressionkill families of suspected terrorists, and “carpet bomb” Middle Eastern countries until we find out if “sand can glow in the dark.” The over-the-top bombast plays well in front of self-selected Republican audiences. The crowd responded to the description of Cruz Monday night with full-throated chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” But such promises of future criminality from potential presidential nominees have outraged many legal experts. Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said:

Torture, indiscriminate killing of civilians, and indefinite detention are clear violations of international and domestic law.

Cruz not only called for the reinstitution of waterboarding during Saturday’s presidential debate, but actually justified the practice, using language reminiscent of the infamous 2002 “Bybee Memo,” authored by disgraced former Justice Dept lawyer John Yoo. Cruz had previously said that “torture is wrong, unambiguously, period, the end.” But this time, he was asked if waterboarding qualified as torture and he responded:

Well, under the definition of torture, no, it’s not. Under the law, torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing organs and systems, so under the definition of torture, it is not. It is enhanced interrogation, it is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.

But Yoo’s definition is absolutely not “the law.” His torture memos, written for Cheney to provide legal cover for clearly illegal acts, were later rescinded and repudiated by the Bush 43 administration itself, for being barbaric, legally unsupported, and unreasonable. Pardiss Kebriaei, a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said:

This question regarding whether waterboarding is torture? It’s not arguable. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump can choose to opt in or out of both international and Pindosi understandings of what constitutes torture, but that doesn’t change the legal status of waterboarding as torture.

Trump, at the same debate, said:

I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a helluva lot worse than waterboarding.

Trump has vociferously argued in favor of the utility of torture, despite the fact that interrogation experts are nearly unanimous that, moral considerations aside, it’s no good for extracting truthful information; it’s best for revenge, false confessions, and propaganda (*). Trump said in November:

Don’t kid yourself, folks. It works, OK? It works. Only a stupid person would say it doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing.

Another frequent Republican presidential talking point, embraced most vocally by Cruz, is the need to “carpet bomb” territories under the control of ISIS. These territories happen to be home to millions of civilians with no connection to ISIS, other than having the misfortune to live under the group’s control. Nonetheless, Cruz has pledged to “carpet-bomb them into oblivion,” stating:

I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out!

Cruz has further claimed that his carpet-bombing would actually be restrained. Cruz said during the most recent debate:

When I say saturation carpet bombing, that is not indiscriminate. It’s targeted at infrastructure. It’s targeted at communications. It’s targeted at bombing all of the roads and bridges going in and out of Raqqa. It’s using overwhelming air power.

But when asked if he would like to expand the rules of engagement that currently serve as a restraint to bombing civilians, Cruz responded: “Absolutely, yes.” Experts say that carpet-bombing is by definition a war crime, because it lacks individual targets. Widney Brown of Physicians for Human Rights said:

One must always distinguish civilians and civilian objects from combatants and military objects and never target that which is civilian. Depriving civilians of energy, attacking communications infrastructure, roads and bridges: such a bombing plan is a form of collective punishment against civilians and it is unlawful. Parties to conflict must at all times distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives. Attacks may only be directed against military objectives. Attacks must not be directed against civilian objects.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio has promised voters that he would start sending new prisoners to Gitmo, at a time when the Obama administration is trying to close it. In the Jan 14 debate, Rubio said of members of ISIS:

If we capture any of them alive, they are getting a one-way ticket to Gitmo and we are going to find out everything they know.

At Saturday’s debate, Rubio left the clear impression that the only reason he was not specifying what kind of torture he supported was this:

We should not be discussing in a widespread way the exact tactics that we’re going to use, because that allows terrorists to know to practice how to evade us.

Hope Metcalfe, an international law expert at Yale Law School, warns:

(This is a recipe for) disaster, on both legal and policy fronts. Pindostan is bound by international treaties prohibiting practices that result in physical and psychological harm to detainees, which is why the Bush 43 administration had no choice but to reverse course when the Yoo memorandum became public. Prior attempts to evade settled law on torture were met with universal disdain, because arguments in its favor are morally corrupt and legally indefensible.

The ACLU’s Shamsi argues that the current positions of the candidates are a reflection of Pindostan’s unsettled moral climate related to national security. She says:

Policies like these would be harder for politicians to embrace today if the Obama administration had provided meaningful torture accountability, and if it weren’t carrying out unlawful drone strikes or holding Gitmo prisoners indefinitely.

The debate is also alarming supposed Pindo vassals, particularly in Europe, says international human rights lawyer Scott Horton, who asks:

How could somebody who talks like this be the leader of the Atlantic alliance? It’s not possible. It’s disqualifying. And nobody in Pindostan seems to get that. The MSM are barely covering the outrageous comments being made by the candidates. They are so obsessed with the horserace. To write about issues like torture, and put the outrageous comments (of the candidates) in their proper context, you actually have to know facts, which is so hard. Just talking about the latest opinion polls, that’s so easy.

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