NOTE: THis will be the last until April — I'm off soon on a cruise all around South America.


Russian flag

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. I believe that we are approaching the exposure of the plot. Some reading to bring you up to speed. The conspiracy explained (part of it actually – there were other players. MSM too). Happenings: 1) documents 2) interviews of principals 3) reborn investigations of e-mails and Clinton Foundation. First charges laid in Uranium One (an American charged with bribing a Russian too!). Today's step. The Dossier is central to the conspiracy. I reiterate: there was no Russian government involvement in the US election; there was no Russian government collusion with Trump. It was a story invented to support a conspiracy against Trump and then an attempt to cover up the conspiracy when, in the destruction of the plotters' expectations, he was elected. This is very big.

HEALTH. The Minister has provided some statistics that show the steady improvement in Russians' health. For the first 11 months of 2017, the death rate decreased by about 3% with a considerable drop in deaths by alcohol poisoning (16%). Infant mortality continued its steady decline and so the population increases from each end. In the last five years, alcohol consumption dropped a lot as has smoking; meanwhile exercise rates are up. The overall effect is an increase in life expectancy: now put at 72.6 years for men and 77 years for women. It seems that Russians are more optimistic about the future and less depressed by the present. This further strengthens my belief that Russia is poised to take off in a way that it never has before.

GOLD. Russia has bought quite a lot of gold (and maybe more than it's telling us). Photos from the gold vaults. I wonder if China will show its hoard.

RUSSIA INC. Growth of 1.7% and inflation down to 2.5% last year. In comparison the EU's growth forecast was 1.7% but they're now saying 2.2%; the USA's was 3.2%. But here are different figures with USA 2.2%. But, anyway, considering sanctions and so on, that's not bad.

RUSSIAN BASES IN SYRIA ATTACKED. On the night of 5/6 January the Russian bases at Khmeimim and Tartus (Syria) were attacked by 13 UAVs, 10 at the former. The aircraft were armed with mortar bombs. Seven were shot down, six were hacked of which three of which were safely landed. The aircraft themselves were fairly crude but the navigation systems and other electronics were quite sophisticated. The attack was launched from the de-escalation zone in Idlib. On the 12th in a complicated operation involving special forces, artillery with smart munitions and air reconnaissance, the MoD says the people responsible were killed and the depot destroyed (videos). Plenty of rumours of course: a US reconnaissance aircraft was said to be in the area; the Pentagon denies involvement; Putin said it wasn't Ankara. Certainly the air defences showed their ability – especially by taking over six of the UAVs and bringing three to a soft landing. So, if the US was involved (and who knows what's going on in Washington's idiotic and incoherent activities there?) then it discovered that Russian air defences are formidable. (They will only be strengthened – this was an all round learning experience.)

BEEDO! BEEDO! BEEDO! A rather ridiculous publicity video showing the USAF bravely intercepting two Russian fighters flying from Russia to Russia along the very restricted international air corridor in the Baltic. The US side claims the Russians did not "did not broadcast the appropriate codes required by air traffic control and had no flight plan on file". The Russians say they did. I remind readers that it was NATO that rejected a Russo-Finnish proposal that all aircraft fly with their transponders on.

SANCTIONS FOR THEE BUT NOT FOR ME. A Russian company has signed to launch 12 Dove-series satellites for an American company.

KOREA. As Churchill observed, jaw-jaw is better than war-war and we're getting talking in Korea. One assumes Beijing is somewhere in the background. Moscow and Beijing are coordinating their efforts. Much, if not most, is hidden and consumers of the MSM would be astounded to hear that President Moon gives Trump some of the credit.

THE TRUMP EFFECT. Whether I, Korybko or the Saker has got it right, things are changing and "America First" is making other countries wonder where they fit in. Doctorow observes, others bemoan, but it's happening.

FANTASIA UKRAINIA. There are no nazis in Ukraine. And, if there are, there aren't many of them. And if many, they have little influence. If influential there, then nowhere else. Never mind: 25 December is now a holiday and Hallowe'en is making progress so all is well. (This fatuous piece savaged here).

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer

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  1. Jack says:

    Enjoy your South American cruise. SWMBO and I spent a month in Chile and Argentina couple decades ago and it was just lovely. Very friendly and hospitable people.
    I intend to spend time following your links and reading through Publius Tacitus threads to get a better understanding of the current play in the “PLOT”. At the end of the day I don’t believe any of the plotters will be prosecuted. We’ll get a lot high minded rhetoric of course. The fact that the FISA Reauthorization bill passed very quickly with no real debate shows how even the Republicans all march in tune with the desires of the national security apparatus. We can be certain that now that the Democrats have weaponized the powers and machinery of the “organs of state security” as you called it, for partisan political purposes, it is only a matter of time before the tables are turned and the Republicans do the same. As this goes on the organs of state security will become a law unto themselves. Much more than what happened with the plot. Any American who believes we still have a republic is deluding themselves in my opinion.

  2. ISL says:

    Thanks Patrick
    If one is interested in exploring life expectancies:
    (with Russia, Britain and the US), the US life expectancy got stuck in 2010 and has been reversing recently (!), whereas Russia was 65 yrs in 2005, and except for a slow down in 2010, continues upwards. It is still better to be poor in the US than average in Russia – although the 1% live 15 yrs longer than the very poor – this link will get to the original study
    the trend is not MAGA.
    Do you think the country behind the technology for the drone attack was Israel?

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    Had to do a double take on the photo in the article in your penultimate link (25 December..). Well at least we now know where Putin does his Christmas shopping. Thankfully I only got 3 lines into the article before I had to stop. “Of course, Ukrainians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (not yet, at least)” was enough for me.

  4. Yes, the Dossier is central to the conspiracy, but without the DNC “hack” con job it would have had much less play.
    That whole issue still needs to be investigated, but we hear absolutely nothing about it. An independent investigation should be conducted, but probably won’t be despite the possibility of nailing quite a few high level people in obstruction of justice charges.
    In particular, this would further nail the coffin on the FBI because 1) they never did a proper investigation, and 2) they’re covering up a report that fingers murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich as the leaker. The latter, if proven, is absolutely damning.

  5. Then there’s this nonsense…
    Mueller ‘Russian Collusion’ Witch Hunt Turns To NRA
    Some Russian banker supposedly donated to the NRA and of course the NRA was supporting Trump, so, well…”collusion”!
    This will never end…

  6. Ed says:

    Newsweek HQ raided by two dozen NYPD officers and Manhattan DA investigators – who resfuse to say why | 18 Jan 2018 | About two dozen NYPD officers and investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office stormed the Newsweek magazine offices in New York City on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. Sources told the New York Post and The Outline that the agents were taking pictures of the company’s servers, and their corresponding serial numbers.

    Newsweek HQ raided by two dozen NYPD officers and Manhattan DA investigators – who resfuse to say why | 18 Jan 2018 | About two dozen NYPD officers and investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office stormed the Newsweek magazine offices in New York City on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. Sources told the New York Post and The Outline that the agents were taking pictures of the company’s servers, and their corresponding serial numbers.
    “All hell is breaking loose in Washington D.C. tonight after a four-page memo detailing extensive FISA court abuse was made available to the entire House of Representatives Thursday. The contents of the memo are so explosive, says Journalist Sara Carter, that it could lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and the Department of Justice and the end of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation…..

  7. Cortes says:

    Thanks for another great piece.
    If you’re in Buenos Aires, I recommend timing your visit to the Metropolitan Cathedral to coincide with the changing of the guard at General San Martín’s tomb – pure theatre. Circa 1700, I think. And the Pass of the Liberators on the road from Mendoza (Argentina) to Santiago de Chile is awe inspiring.

  8. Joe100 says:

    Here is an interesting overview of Glenn Simpson’s Senate testimony (as released by Feinstein) by John Helmer – not a pretty picture..

  9. aleksandar says:

    Sorry Patrick but it’s not the first indicment about uranium deal.
    Interesting piece that name those who sunk this investigation since 2008.
    Best regards

  10. HawkOfMay says:

    This wasn’t ‘just’ some random Russian Banker. Alexander Torshin is
    Alexander Torshin is a figure in the dominate party in Russia: the United Russian Party. He served as the First Vice Speaker of the Russian upper house and Chairman during his term(s) from 2001 to 2015. He received his appointment of deputy governor to the Russian Central Bank from Putin.
    He tried to diminish the point of Maginsky Act strongly supporting the Russian line that Bill Browder’s Hermitage Capital was responsible for tax fraud and that Magnitsky died as result of his conspiracy involving Alexey Navalny. No surprise there but it is clear where his loyalties lie.
    The Spanish tried to arrest Torshin back in 2013 ( El recorrido de Torshin: desde la mafia rusa a la órbita de Trump: [Edición 1st Ed. Barna] ) for money laundering. Twelve Spanish agents were lying in wait to arrest Torshin but he didn’t show up.
    This is the man who was giving money to the NRA. The White House did cancel a meeting with him at the last minute. Alexander Torshin did boast of meeting with Donald Trump Jr in 2016. Moscow Cozies Up to the Right.
    Saying this guy was just banker is not accurate. He is a politically savvy operator who understood what he was going in giving money to the NRA.

  11. According to the Washington Post, these events occurred first:
    In 2011, then-NRA president David Keene began a friendship with a Russian Senator named Alexander Torshin, a close Putin ally who is now the Deputy Director of the Russian Central Bank.
    In 2011, no one had a clue about Donald Trump running for office, let alone winning.
    In 2013, Torshin began building a pro-gun movement in Russia, with the help of Maria Butina, the founder of the Russian gun rights organization “The Right To Bear Arms.” Torshin and Butina invited Keene and other NRA leaders to the organization’s annual 2013 meeting.
    This seems entirely innocent to me, especially since, again, no one had a clue that Trump would run, let alone win. This is three years before the election.
    Butina and Torshin attended the NRA’s annual conventions in 2014 and 2015, obtaining close access to NRA officials, and, later, a face-to-face with Donald Trump.
    As they would be expected to do since Trump was pro-NRA.
    I see no evidence here whatsoever that the Russians had some long term plan to support whatever Republican candidate the NRA might choose to support. This banker may have, but there is still zero evidence that it had anything to do with Putin or official Russian government policy.
    And does anyone really believe that the NRA – composed almost entirely of patriotic Americans who I doubt have any sympathy for the Russian government – actually colluded in undermining the 2016 US elections or any election for that matter and that they’ve been planning this for the last six years at least?
    Makes zero sense. This is more of the same witch-hunt that Russiagate has been from the beginning – and the involvement of the NRA is part of the witch-hunt against firearms ownership in the US that has been going on forever.

  12. Here is an interview with the woman involved in the alleged NRA Russian “collusion”…
    Part 1: Meet the Woman Working With the NRA and Fighting For Gun Rights in Russia
    Part 2: Fighting For Gun Rights in Russia and The Ability For Women to Survive
    Does this sound like someone working to undermine the US election for the benefit of Russia?
    No, this is more of the same Russiagate nonsense that anyone in touch with any Russian is somehow a Russian spy working for Trump. And it throws in the anti-gun paranoia as well.

  13. Richardstevenhack,
    You’re deliberately clouding the issue. No one cares if the NRA is helping the formation of a Russian group advocating for firearms ownership in Russia. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. The issue is foreign money being funneled to the NRA and the NRA then using that foreign money to influence elections. FEC regulations and federal law prohibit that. It’s the NRA on the hot seat for this alleged activity, not Trump or the Trump campaign.

  14. blue peacock says:

    As several others have posted on this thread the House of Representatives will be voting soon to release Rep. Devin Nunes’ summary memo of the initial findings of the House Intelligence Committee. The memo has been released for all House members to review. So far only the Republicans want to read it. The Democrats have chosen not to read it. Once the House votes to release the memo, which will likely happen on a party line basis, a request will go to the White House and they have 5 days to say, Yea/Nay. If the White House does not object, and that is very likely, this memo will be released to the public.
    The MSM with the exception of Fox is largely silent on this impending release of the memo. Some of the GOP House members have characterized the memo in explosive terms, with some claiming that “heads will roll” and “jail time”.
    It will be interesting to see how CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NY Times, WaPo spin the contents of the memo once it is released and how much coverage they will give to the story. The Democrat strategy seems to be to spin that this is all to derail the Mueller investigation. In fact that may very well happen as it seems there may be a push to appoint another special counsel to investigate the FBI, DOJ & IC, including some of the top attorneys on Mueller’s team who were sent from the DOJ. So Mueller better get his indictments in quickly. Flynn and Papadopoulos’s plea deal of lying to the FBI does not prove any Russia collusion.
    The lead up to the State of the Union address will be interesting. The allegations that will most likely be contained in the memo will be about a systematic attempt by the Obama administration to influence an election to benefit their partisan candidate and then to delegitimize a duly elected POTUS, using the mass surveillance infrastructure and the powers of law enforcement. Those are HUGE charges by the head of the House Intelligence Committee. The Democrats have no option but to scream “prove it” by saying that the allegations are a partisan interpretation of the committee’s investigations. This provides the perfect set-up then for the appointment of a special counsel to either prove or dismiss the charges made in the memo.
    It will be a fascinating next few weeks as information gets leaked and released. The DOJ IG has also handed over to the Conngressional committees thousands of pages of documents last week.

  15. There’s one big problem with that.
    No one has specified just how much money this Russian Senator is alleged to have donated to the NRA.
    The NRA spent $52 million dollars supporting Trump. Unless this Russian Senator donated some significant percentage of that – more than what a personal donation to the NRA would be – then the whole story collapses.
    The story is bullcrap until that donation amount is confirmed to be enough to influence the NRA’s ability to influence the election.

  16. outthere says:

    usa media is so russophobic, including socalled liberal publications
    today’s example
    > In 2008, a Russian MIG shot a Georgian drone out of the sky. Minutes later, Michael Carpenter was at the crash site in Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia, the former Soviet republic, standing over the smoldering wreckage. When Carpenter, a State Department official, got back to Washington, he warned policy advisers and intelligence analysts that Russia was goading Georgia into war. “Some literally laughed at me,” he recently recalled. Russia invaded Georgia a few months later.
    This is utter bs
    Here is good review from wiki
    > The same fact finding mission judged that the spy plane overflights constituted a violation of the 1994 Agreement on a Cease-fire and Separation of Forces (Moscow agreement).
    so in fact it was georgia under usa supported Saakashvili that was goading russia into war
    which georgia lost

  17. DH says:

    The general Russophobia surprises me. I ducked and covered in first grade, and later in NE Ohio realized that we’d be a possible target. But it never bothered me, really. It was more of a cerebral puzzle. Then in the late Seventies, when we started working with them in space, I felt we were more or less friends who respected each other.

  18. William Dunkerley has shown that the actual rest state of US opinion about Russia is reasonably benign but that it becomes hostile during anti-Russia campaigns (eg Litvinenko, Georgia, MH17 at al). In short, when it’s incited. Russia stands in the way of the neocons’ ambitions and Russian interference serves as an explanation for those who cannot believe that DT beat HC. So we’re in a very hyped period at the moment. One can only hope that when the conspiracy is exposed, things will return to something more neutral. (I also remember hiding under the desk and echoes of McCarthyism even in far away Canada.)

  19. DH says:

    Thanks, PA, here’s to the good times 🙂

  20. J says:

    Oliver Stone’s documentary on the Crimea/Ukraine issue is now available on the web. I high recommend its viewing.
    UKRAINE ON FIRE: The Real Story. Full Documentary by Oliver Stone (Original English version)

  21. blue peacock says:

    This interview of Joe diGenova, (former US Attorney for the District of Columbia, former counsel to the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees and special counsel that probed the Teamsters), on Russiagate is very informative. Joe diGenova reinforces what is known so far about the conspiracy at the Obama administration to interfere in the presidential election on a partisan basis on the side of their party’s candidate and then after they lost the election to attempt to destroy a president-elect with the Russia collusion narrative to cover up their unlawful activities. He focuses on a key piece of evidence, which is the declassified ruling by FISC, noting systematic violations of FISA 702 at the FBI & DOJ in the period prior to March 2016. It is very interesting that this hugely important court ruling have not been covered at all in the corporate media.
    IMO, the Democrat spin, that this focus on law enforcement and the IC by the GOP leadership of the Congressional committees investigating these matters is to derail the Mueller probe and is to connive once again with the Russians, will likely force the declassification and release of all these source documents that are incendiary and shows the scale of brazen use of law enforcement & the IC for highly partisan purposes. The intense battle between the Deep State and their allies in the media and the political establishment and investigators on the Congressional committees is going to be fascinating to watch. The problem that the Deep State has in this matter is that Congress already has key incriminating evidence of the conspiracy and if push comes to shove, with the backing of POTUS, these documents could be declassified.

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