Voices from Russia

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Hit the Road Barack

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It seems like Barack Obama decided to follow the principle “last one who leaves turns off the light”. He ordered imposing new sanctions against Russia. However, the Russian side took it with good humour. For example, the Russian embassy in the UK expressed its reaction on new sanctions via Twitter. Western media immediately reacted on this tweet. The Washington Times decided that Russia was making fun of the recent diplomatic row between the two countries. Mashable didn’t want to believe that Russian diplomats responded to the conflict with a meme. The Independent wrote that the Russian response “was fast, and in some cases, rather amusing”. Business Insider called it “a snide response”.

30 December

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/cartoons/201612301049136280-lame-duck-last-move/

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The Russians Are Coming

00 Vitaly Podvitsky. Bear in Mind. 2015

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As 2016 draws to a close, we find ourselves a deeply unsettled nation. We’re unable to draw the lines of our national interest. Is it jobs and economy? Is it national security? Is it now in our interest to ensure global security… in other words, act as the world’s policemen? As the “failing” (to quote Trump) New York Times degenerates into a Washington Post organisation with its stagnant Cold War vision of a 1950s world where the Russians are to blame for most everything… Hillary’s loss, most of the aggression and disorder in the world, the desire to destabilise Europe, etc … the Times has added the issue of “fake news” to reassert its problematic role as the dominant voice for the Washington establishment. Certainly, this is true in the case of Russia’s “hacking” the 2016 election and putting into office its Manchurian Candidate in Donald Trump. Apparently, the CIA (via various unnamed intelligence officials), FBI, NSA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (who notoriously lied to Congress in the Snowden affair), President Obama, the DNC, Hillary Clinton, and Congress agree that Russia, and Mr Putin predominantly, is responsible.

Certainly, the psychotic war-loving Senator John McCain is right up there alongside these patriots, calling President Putin a “thug, bully and a murderer and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying”. He actually said this… a man whose sound judgment chose Sarah Palin as his VP nominee in ’08. Moreover, the Times followed by printing the story in its full glory on page one, clearly agreeing with McCain’s point of view. I don’t remember Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, or Reagan, in the darkest days of the 1950s/80s, ever singling out a Russian President like this. They aimed invective at the Soviets, but never were Khrushchev or Brezhnev the target of this bile. I guess this is a new form of American diplomacy. If cops killed black youth in our inner cities or our drones murdered a Pakistani wedding party, would we single out President Obama as a murderer, bully, thug? Such personalisation is a sign of sickness in our thinking and way beneath what should be our standards.

Note the enclosed link (“US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims”) from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (which includes the ex-NSA reformer Bill Binney, a mathematical genius who inspired the Nic Cage character in “Snowden”). He talks here about what hacking really means, as opposed to a “leak”. The Times and other mainstream media have surprisingly evaded any contrary evidence, such as that presented by Craig Murray, ex-ambassador and Wikileaks spokesman who said that a Democratic “insider” disgusted by the behaviour of the DNC gave him the information in a Washington park; Murray then gave it to Wikileaks. This was a “leak”, not a “hack”, and always seemed to me the likely source for this scandal (as I think we falsely blamed the Sony leak on North Korea, as well, but that’s another matter). Besides, if we were to investigate this properly, it might very well lead to the discovery that this was Hillary Clinton’s “Nixon moment”. Clearly, the DNC offices were up to no good. Ironically, Clinton first made her name as one of the investigators into Watergate. See Mark Ames’s article, “Site Behind McCarthyite Blacklist”, tracking this foul play to Washington Post journalist Craig Timberg.

I remember well in the 1950s when they told us that Russian moles were in our schools, Congress, State Department… and according to many Eisenhower/Nixon supporters… about to take over our country without serious opposition (and they call me paranoid!). That same media insisted on our need to go to Vietnam to defend our freedoms against the communists 6,000 miles away. Furthermore, after the Red Scare finally went away for good in 1991, let us remind ourselves that It never ended. It became Hussein of Iraq with his Weapons of Mass Destruction, and talk of the “mushroom cloud”. It became the Demon, as real as any Salem Witch Trial. It was Gaddafi of Libya, and then it was Assad of Syria. In other words, as in a Orwellian prophecy, it never ended, and I can guarantee you it never will… unless we the people who still think for ourselves in this existential matter, can say “Enough” to this demon act. “Enough… go away”… laugh in their faces. Of course, the NYT/WaPo nexus rarely publishes any of our serious dissents and therefore we take refuge in alternate media, such as The Nation, Consortiumnews, The Intercept, Naked Capitalism, Counterpunch, Zero Hedge, Antiwar.com, Truthdig, Common Dreams, etc. I think then we were all quite shocked (but not surprised) when recently we saw 200 WEBSITES listed as tools of the Kremlin (WaPo’s 24 November “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election”).

My God, the ghost of Izzy Stone is back from the 1950s! For that matter, so is Tom Clancy from the ’80s. They’ll now write false thrillers about the Russians hacking the American elections. They’ll make money and TV serials. I’ve never read such hysterical junk in the New York Times (call it what it is… “fake news”), in which the editorials have become outrageous diatribes of alleged crimes by Russia, many of them presumably written by Serge Schmemann, one of those ideologues who still looks for Russians under his bed at night; we called them “White Russians” in the old days and, like right-wing Cubans in Miami, are unable to live down past grievances. Schmemann is obviously riding high at the NYT edit board. This type of thinking has clearly influenced the Pentagon and many of our Generals’ statements, and has pervaded MSM reporting. When one group-think controls our national conversation, it becomes truly dangerous. In this spirit, I’m linking several crucial essays of new vintage, pointing out the disgrace the MSM has become.

As much as I may disagree with Donald Trump (and I do) he’s now target number one of the MSM propaganda… until, that is, he jumps to the anti-Kremlin track because of false intelligence or a misunderstanding cooked up by CIA. Then, I fear, in his hot-headed way, he starts fighting with the Russians, and it wouldn’t be long then until we declared a state of war against Russia. I have no doubt then that our over-financed military ($10 to every 1 Russian dollar) will mean NOTHING against a country that now believes the USA, with the largest buildup of NATO on its borders since Hitler’s World War II, is crazed enough to prepare for a preëmptive strike. In his analysis, “The Need to Hold Saudi Arabia Accountable”, Robert Parry points out that this conflict ironically started in the 1980s with the Neoconservatives defining Iran as the number one terrorist sponsor in the world. How this leads to our present mess is a brilliant analysis that is unknown to the American public.

I urge you to read the following articles and stay calm in your thinking. However, bring it to bear in some way. As a believer in what the Dalai Lama says, each one of us, even through our prayers, can add to this world’s betterment. I never thought I’d find myself praying for the levelheadedness of a Donald Trump. Remember the Iliad? As Homer would have it, the gods would hover over each day’s battles and decide on the outcome. Who would die and who would live. Are the gods still listening?

29 December 2016

Oliver Stone

Facebook

Editor:

Orthodox people… we face much the same situation in our Church here in the American/Canadian diaspora (worse here in the USA, better in Canada, and even better in the rest of the Anglosphere). Serge Schmemann, one of those mentioned in the above article, is the son of the late Fr Aleksandr Dmitryevich Schmemann… he’s one of the Golden 400. Many priests and influential believers have spoken to me of this lot, often with derision, often with a bit of fear (as the Golden 400 have insinuated themselves in with the Anglo Establishment). These people have controlled the OCA and ROCOR for many decades. They had access to money and influence from various governmental and Establishment sources (they weren’t rich or powerful themselves, to be sure… but they had access to more bucks from their pals and pull with their sugar-daddies than most of us have). Vassa Larina is one of the Golden 400 (she got a post at a papist university for being such a goodthinker). Lyonyo Kishkovsky (and his daughter Sofiya) is one of the Golden 400 (he’s on the CFR; she’s part of the NYT apparat, thanks to Uncle Serge). Victor Potapov is one of the Golden 400 (his claim to fame was being part of the CIA apparat at Radio Liberty). Vladimir Berzonsky (and his son Vlad Berzansky Jr) is one of the Golden 400 (Berzansky Jr is an international shyster… I’d advise all concerned to keep well clear of him). Interestingly, Hopko was NOT one of the Golden 400… he was a wannabe all his life, but they never really accepted him as one of their own (that’s why I was charitable at the time of his death). Tikhon Mollard is NOT one of the Golden 400… but he’s acceptable to both the Centre and the Golden 400 (after Paffhausen’s removal for very real (but confidential) health issues).

What’ll happen if the relations truly sour between Russia and the Anglo Establishment? Where will the Golden 400 fall? What’ll be the Centre’s reaction if they revolt at the behest of their Anglo puppeteers (after all, the ROCOR did interfere on the Centre’s canonical territory at the behest of its CIA paymasters in the Nasty Nineties)? We don’t know. We really don’t, so it’s hard to get a handle on the future here in the American diaspora. However, Metropolitan Illarion Kapral is in Australia, not in the USA, so, I’d guess that the official ROCOR would stay loyal. I’d also hazard the guess that Canada and Alaska would stay loyal to the Centre too. As for the USA… the Golden 400 stabbed the Rodina in the back during the Cold War… what they did once, they could do again. We’re in for “interesting times”… may the Good Lord preserve and keep us…

BMD

This Just In…

The WaPo had to eat crow on its story blaming Russia for a hack on the Vermont power grid… read this

BMD

USA Aims to Break Russia With Arms Race

00 Vitaly Podvitsky. Nope, New targets! 2014

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Alarm bells about a new arms race between the USA and Russia went off this week around the world. President-elect Donald Trump reportedly told the American media “let’s bring it on” after Russian leader V V Putin earlier called for a “strengthening” of his country’s nuclear capability. Later, Moscow clarified that it didn’t intend to incite an arms race. Nevertheless, Trump’s side remained ambiguous about what the new president meant by “greatly expanding” the American nuclear arsenal. There is a seductive strategic incentive for Washington to incite a nuclear arms race with Russia. The main objective isn’t to launch an eventual catastrophic war in which neither side would survive. Rather, the objective is to break Russia financially. It’s still a kind of warfare, albeit in a different form.

In turn, the outcome of breaking Moscow financially would lead eventually to Russia’s subjugation by the USA. Russia and its rich natural resources would henceforth be just another domain ruled over by American capital. Moreover, geopolitically, Washington would have a free hand to kick the rest of the world around in the absence of any counterweight from a strong Russia, as recent events in Syria all too well illustrate. We can best see the precedent for this war-by-finance scenario during Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s. Arguably, all through the Cold War decades, since World War II, the USA and its NATO military alliance always acted aggressively towards the then-USSR. The latter was continually obliged to divert inordinate economic resources to maintain some kind of defensive parity. During the Reagan presidency, the USA embarked on a surge in military spending which inevitably induced the USSR to respond likewise. Both countries incurred massive financial problems owing to the accelerated arms race. In the case of the USSR, the unsustainable arms expenditures led to the collapse of its economy, and consequently its political system dissolved in 1991.

However, in the case of the USA, it could postpone financial and political disaster because the US Dollar as the top international reserve currency simply allowed Washington to keep printing dollars and pile up a mountain of debt. A quarter of a century after the official end of the Cold War, the USA stands out as the biggest debtor nation on the planet with a total of 20 trillion USD (1.232 quadrillion Roubles. 138.896 trillion Renminbi. 1.36 quadrillion INR. 26.887 trillion CAD. 27.763 trillion AUD. 19 trillion Euros. 16.195 trillion UK Pounds) in arrears. A day of reckoning is long overdue. In other words, the USA appeared to win the Cold War, not because of the superiority of its political, economic, or military systems over the USSR. On the contrary, it was only because the USA could print money and pile up debt with seeming abandon that gave it a decisive edge; whereas the Soviet system had no such privilege to offload its financial problems on to the rest of the world. Therefore, President Putin is prudent when he said this week that he wouldn’t allow his country to become embroiled once again in any arms race with the USA. One suspects that Putin and his advisors have studied history well and understand that such an arms race… if precipitated… would lead to much more grievous economic and political problems for Moscow than it would for Washington; simply because of the peculiarity of the US Dollar being unfairly privileged by the global financial system. Nevertheless, one also suspects that an arms race with Russia is exactly what powerful elements within the American Establishment want.

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, American capitalism wouldn’t function without the lifeline of government subsidies in the form of its elephantine military-industrial complex. Every year, Washington spends some 600 billion USD (36.96 trillion Roubles. 4.167 trillion Renminbi. 40.773 trillion INR. 807 billion CAD. 833 billion AUD. 570 billion Euros. 486 billion UK Pounds) on its military… about half of the total discretionary government expenditure. Taken together, the USA and its NATO allies spend about ten-fold on military sectors what Russia does. American capitalism as a supposedly “Free Market private enterprise” system is a myth. It is, in reality, by contrast, a centrally planned subsidised support system for élite profit-making. Massive US military spending year-on-year is crucial to the support system for this kind of economic parasitism. Logically, then, an arms race induced against Russia would be a welcome boon for the military-industrial complex of corporate manufacturers, Wall Street bankers, and mega-rich shareholders. Trump seems to be aware of this, given his recent admonitions to Lockheed Martin over its exorbitant publicly subsidised program to build the F-35 fighter jet. Whether Trump is willing to overcome the parasitical nature of the US military-industrial system is another question. It’s doubtful. What’s required is systematic change brought about by a mass political movement. Trump, a capitalist billionaire magnate, certainly doesn’t represent that. Another compelling reason for why the USA desires an arms race with Russia is that statecraft planners and ideologues in Washington know well that such an escalation would lead to a repetition of the old Cold War strategy of breaking Moscow through a futile financial hole-digging competition. Russia, as virtually every other nation is, is limited by how much of its economy can sustain military spending, but that’s not so for the Americans. Washington can pile up debt with impunity for as long as the global financial system relies on the US Dollar as the primary reserve currency.

This scenario of aiming to break Russia through financial warfare as triggered by an arms race would also explain why the US-led NATO alliance intensified its goading of Moscow in recent years. The pretext of “defending Europe” from “Russian aggression” is transparently ludicrous. They orchestrate contrived grievances of Russia “annexing Crimea” in order to give Washington and its NATO lackeys an excuse to ramp up militarism on Russia’s borders. Any sane person can see that the objective situation is one of NATO aggression and intimidation towards Russia, in complete reversal of what the Western governments and their servile mass media allege. This would also explain why the US unilaterally walked away from the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty in 2002. Washington needs to foster instability and insecurity because only such instability and war proneness prop up its otherwise bankrupt economy. The real purpose isn’t to instigate World War III with Russia, but instead to coerce Moscow into another disastrous arms race. It’s essential for Russia to keep on strengthening its defence capability. That means upgrading existing systems. The key word here is “strengthening”. Putin wasn’t referring to “expansion”. He was specifically talking about optimising military capability by being economically and technically efficient.

The reckless warmongering by Washington is a decades-old tendency since World War II. Unfortunately, its European allies are too subservient or ideologically malleable to stand up to this American belligerence. In that case, Russia must always be vigilant to have the best defence systems to deter any American ultimate aggression. Putin proudly referred to Russia being capable of defending itself against “any aggressor”. However, at all costs, Russia must avoid an arms race that would shatter its economy and eventually its national sovereignty. That’s exactly what their American adversaries want.

25 December 2016

Finian Cunningham

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201612251048979856-us-russia-arms-race/

1 January 2017. Vova on the New Year for America and Americans… It Sure Ain’t the Tantrum from Obama and Chilly Hilly, is It?

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Compare the above to the lies and threats emanating from Washington, the mainstream media, the stink-tank industry, the sore losers in the Democratic Party, and the rightwing warhawks (most of whom are cowards who never served in the forces… McCain is the exception that proves the rule). I’d only say, “One of these things is not like the other!” It’s up to you what to believe… choose wisely…

By the way, Orthodox people… Sofiya Kishkovskaya is a media whore (she’s in the NY Times apparat)… Victor Potapov was/is a CIA operative (Radio Liberty is one of its front organisations)… Lyonyo Kishkovsky is a stink-tanker (he’s part of the Committee on Foreign Relations)… sadly, there are more (Dreher and Whiteford don’t count… they’re just loud n’ clueless cheerleaders for the Godless Right, not part of the Evil Empire Apparat as those named are). All too many in our Church are in bed with the Anglo Establishment and its lickspittle minion organisations. Have a care… there’s more than one Vlad Berzansky Jr in the woodwork.

As for me… Ura! to V V Putin… I’m not a mindless fan (he’s just another politician… more honest and competent than most are, but still a pol), but he did the right thing here. If VVP did the right thing and Obama and Chilly Hilly did the wrong thing, what does that tell you about them all? Don’t be quick in answering that one…

BMD 

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