Russian flag

WESTERN VALUES™. I am weary of supposedly independent international survey in which Russia is always near the bottom. At last Denis Churilov has taken the trouble and effort to consider the methodology and "independence" of one of them. Specifically the Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders. RWB turns out – amazingly enough – to get money from the usual American GONGOs: USAID, NED and, of course, Soros. In short, what they used to call a "front" in the Cold War. Churilov looks at the methodology of the rating – selected people, subjective impressions – practically guaranteed to produce the "correct answer". Then he looks at the answer in which – of course! – Ukraine scores much better than Russia. Churilov then itemises how preposterous this ranking is. These things are part of the propaganda war and should be seen as such.

MAKS. The military airshow is over. Video. The PAK FA showed off. First deliveries next year.

SPENDING THE MONEY. Some spiffy urban projects in Moscow.

HISTORY. This year's pilgrimage to the site of the Romanovs' murder in Yekaterinburg.

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. Newsweek has had to retract two false articles after a lawsuit. A Clinton advisor doesn't blame Russia. Neither does the US Senate Minority Leader. The intensity of the insantity is shown by a poll that finds only 6% of US population is concerned about Russia while 75% of media coverage is about it. Only Democrats believe it, and not that many of them. Maybe the end is coming.

NEW NWO. As a quondam historian I know that empires take a long time to build up and a long time to decline. That having been said I remain stunned by the speed of the US decline. It has only been a couple of decades since the neocons triumphantly proclaimed a New American Century and Brzezinski drew the map of how to get there. "Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran… Averting this contingency… will require a display of U.S. geostrategic skill" said he. Well, that skill wasn't displayed, was it? But why would he think it was skill? The very program of American domination everywhere could only result in the formation of a resistance alliance. It is precisely the actions – arrogant, ignorant, one-sided, short-sighted, over-reaching and… failed – of the neocons and their humanitarian bomber allies that brought this about. The tectonic plates shift; here's this fortnight's collection.

CHINA The standout was Chinese warships in the Baltic. After passing through the Med (Chinese and Russian ships "prowling" the Med is old hat now.) And, "For China’s Global Ambitions, 'Iran Is at the Center of Everything'" And, China will be involved in rebuilding Syria. And will be creating a base in Djibouti. A Chinese military thinker brightly explains this as the "fanbian" strategy of approaching your enemy from a different direction. Or, bluntly, do things in the South China Sea and we'll do things close to you. (When will we see a Russian-Chinese "freedom of navigation" cruise in the Gulf of Mexico?)

TURKEY. Germany is leaving İncirlik. Reports say Ankara wants to buy S-400s and that negotiations proceed. (I cannot believe Russia would sell even an export version of a crown jewel weapons system to a NATO member so I don't know what to make of the story. Of course they will take some time to arrive…) A Turkish news agency leaked details and locations of secret US bases inside Syria. The coup attempt was a year ago; many in Ankara blame Washington; the aftershocks continue.

MENA. Iraq and Iran signed a defence cooperation agreement. Iraq will be buying Russian tanks. The Iraqi VP in Moscow said a Russian presence in Iraq would bring balance to the whole region, He thanked Russia: "if it were not for the Russian stance, the region would be fully destroyed… and in the end it would lead to the fall of Baghdad." Looks as if another American ally is tiptoeing out of the room.

SYRIA. Russia entered the war nearly two years ago. There is no doubt that that changed everything. Washington has ended the CIA funding for rebels in Syria (it says, has it really?). And pretty extensive it was too, if this report be true. Most of these weapons eventually got to – if they weren't not directly delivered to – Daesh. Which is one of the reasons the Iraqi VP is saying what he is saying. The Putin-Trump ceasefire seems to be holding and I suppose Netanyahu's dislike of it is evidence that it is. The Russian navy will be conducting exercises all month off the Syrian coast; in short, lots of air defence and strike missiles available.

SAAKASHVILI. Has been stripped of Ukrainian citizenship; he's lost Georgian already so he's a refugee I suppose. Ah, how thankless to be yesterday's regime change hero!

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer


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84 Responses to RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 20170727

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    “HISTORY. This year’s pilgrimage to the site of the Romanovs’ murder in Yekaterinburg. “
    I object most strongly to the term “murder” applied to the former Russian Czar Nicholas II and his family. They were executed in accordance to the decision of the local Yekaterinburg Soviet. After the October Revolution the authority in the former Russian empire fell to the local Councils (“Soviets”), which were often totally independent from Moscow. Nevertheless, the decision to execute the family of the former Czar adopted by them was totally in line with the notion of the State having the sole right to execute violence, and, thus, could not be possibly called a murder.
    “The Iraqi VP in Moscow said a Russian presence in Iraq would bring balance to the whole region”
    Hey, how about not mince words and say out loud this particular vice-PM name? Cuz it’s none other than a bloody murtad Nuri al-Maliki! He was Iraqi PM for 8 years from 2006 to 2014, and he spent this time to raise the corruption and nepotism there up to the stratosphere (totally supported by the US!), enriching himself, his immediate family and chosen Shia potentates at the expense of the Sunnis. The end result was that otherwise ordinary Iraqis who differ from the rest of the populace only in theological matters did welcome the coming of ISIS and supported it wholeheartedly. His punishment? Why, he was only demoted to the title of the vice-PM. Now, after laying all the groundwork for the ISIS to happen in the first place, he flies from one country to another, shakes hands and calls for greater support of Iraq in its fight against the terrorists.
    And his career before he became a PM, well, that’s another tale entirely – but no less entertaining!
    “SAAKASHVILI. Has been stripped of Ukrainian citizenship; he’s lost Georgian already so he’s a refugee I suppose.”
    Which happened to him while he was away touring USA. Something tells me, he will find employment and residence permit pretty soon-ish

  2. Legal or not at the time, they’re now seen as martyrs.
    All you say about Maliki shows that he knows which way the cat is about to jump.
    I’m sure Sack will be looked after.

  3. aleksandar says:

    Russia selling S-400 to Turkey surprising ? Not so much,S-500 seems to be totally new, not an upgraded version of S-400. So selling old S-400 could be a good sheme to fund S-500 program.And I pretty sure that Russian have more than on way to neutralize them if neccesary.

  4. aleksandar says:

    And to complete
    GDP growth rate forecast 2017 : 2%.
    ” Breaking ” russian economy was a dream.

  5. Lyttenburgh says:

    “Legal or not at the time, they’re now seen as martyrs.”
    First of all – not y everyone. Second – even so called “martyrs” (understood broadly) could be legitimally executed. Therefore the incorrectness in the use of the term “murder”. Not everyone “murdered” enters the ranks of “martyrs”.
    “All you say about Maliki shows that he knows which way the cat is about to jump.”
    Doesn’t change that his still a bloody taghut, murtad and mushrik! 😉

  6. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Turkey has more pressing issues than those solvable by S-400 systems. This whole discussion might have been part of a mating dance by tayyip.
    Ishmael Zechariah
    P.s: The possibility of remotely activated kill switches, or ICs w/ backdoors are not mysteries, even to the Turks.

  7. Russia flipping Turkey and Iran flipping Qatar were major diplomatic coups. What’s more, they probably just made more war in the region a lot less likely. The Russians and the Iranians have done our countries as well as their countries a great a service — yet see how the MSM in the West treat them!

  8. Kooshy says:

    To me it looks like the Borg finally (sooner that I thought and faster than WG) got the better of this White House, the just coming out news of open and now a very public infighting by president’s closest aids/advisors, accusing each other of leaking is not a good news or a good management by this president. His chief of staff openly fighting with Communication advisor calling each other names, AG in limbo, SOS limbering and the NSC guy not happy, and the president on twit with his only loyal media support Hannity don’t seem to be too promising.

  9. turcopolier says:

    IMO Derek Harvey is a worthless egotist self promoter. pl

  10. GodfreeTrh says:

    Great summary! Many thanks for assembling and publishing it..

  11. Kooshy says:

    Colonel Thank you for your reply, I don’t know much about any of these guys, I am just looking at overall general situation and comparing it with i have seen in past. IMO this White House has much less integrity than what I had seen ever since WG, as a businessman I expected Trump to manage his staff much more tightly and better. I trust your opinion on this matters better than any that comes out of the MSM or other sites, that is the reason I am here. thank you for your insight.

  12. Oilman2 says:

    Kooshy –
    Seems like instantaneous comms of our modern age aren’t always a good thing. At least old interoffice memos had to be typed and then sent, and allowed one time to think – not so much these days. People had to find a phone and privacy to speak about quiet matters – today the phone is a recording and broadcasting device and part of most peoples silhouette.
    I got no idea about what is going on in the big white house, but to outsiders, it seems like the USA has a military faction, a spook faction, a state department that lies about everything and a president who spends a lot of his time alone with his phone. At least this was suggested to me by several friends from several countries recently (agglomerated here). That would explain a lot of the current rash of strange decisions and actions.
    And now congress has (almost unanimously) decided to poke both the Bear and the Prez with a pointy and not-likely-to-be-legal bill heading for his desk. They can’t fix Obamacare, can’t balance a budget, but they sure as hell can do things that will aggravate the rest of the world. And we actually pay them for this service…

  13. Kooshy says:

    Colonel, BTW this Mucci guy the new WH communication director, reminds me of this young smart Jewish American businessmen (then mostly came west from NY) who once crowded the famous Drexel Burnham Lambert junk bond financial firm, headed by Michel Milken whom my firm use to print for, back in 80’s. They all thought since they made a lot of money, fast overnight they are entitled to say, demand, do and treat anybody anyway they want, arrogant costal wasps they were.

  14. hemeantwell says:

    Agreed. The Tsar was a blood-soaked parasite. The revolution in 1905 didn’t just happen, it was triggered by a massacre of workers petitioning little Nicky. It’s pathetic to see people embrace such wretched idols, they’re like drunks who have find some form of intoxication and are willing to drink floor cleaner to get it. It’s a shame that Putin, apparently out of desperation to legitimize his regime, supports their high.

  15. DH says:

    The spice must flow.

  16. Fredw says:

    Weakness in the presidency only matters if an alternative emerges. As long as all the mdia is focused on him, Trump is still in control. That is how he got to be president. It doesn’t matter ho negative the coverage is as long lo as no one else can get coverage.

  17. Peter AU says:

    Erdogan seems to be heading for the multi power world. He may need a decent SAM system to keep the empire at bay.
    Putin made a statement several weeks ago that the deal was signed off. Financials still have to be worked out apparently, so I guess this will be a carrot on a stick that Erdo will follow.

  18. Lyttenburgh says:

    ” It’s a shame that Putin, apparently out of desperation to legitimize his regime, supports their high.”
    Why do you think that Putin:
    a) is desperate?
    b) needs any kind of “legitimization” for his “regime”?
    Personal qualities of (former) czar Nicholas II notwithstanding, the point I’m making here is that he was NOT murdered. He was executed.

  19. Lyttenburgh says:

    Meanwhile, Mikheil “Mikho” Saakashvili entertained the, ha-ha, good people from the CNN and their viewership by tales of the Ukrainian meddling in the elections ( When you’ve become stateless overnight – miracles happen to your memory and conscience.
    CNN does not disappoint – they lie even in small things (e.g. – the caption says that Saakashvili “went to war with Putin”, because, hey, who remembers Medvedev anyway?).

  20. LondonBob says:

    Did AIPAC write the Iran, Russia and lets add on North Korea to disguise it sanctions bill or are they just shepherding it? Certainly AIPAC like margins of support from the compliant politicians.
    If the Russians are smart, and if Trump isn’t smart enough to veto it, then they should retaliate with sanctions etc. against Israel. At some point they are going to have to step up and acknowledge who they are fighting, nice dividing measure too. Probably too early to advocate Trump get AIPAC to register as foreign agents, he has his hands full at the moment.

  21. b says:

    On Maliki …
    He was Iraqi PM for 8 years from 2006 to 2014, and he spent this time to raise the corruption and nepotism there up to the stratosphere (totally supported by the US!), enriching himself, his immediate family and chosen Shia potentates at the expense of the Sunnis. The end result was that otherwise ordinary Iraqis who differ from the rest of the populace only in theological matters did welcome the coming of ISIS and supported it wholeheartedly. His punishment?
    Maliki was corrupt? Tell me, how do U.S. politicians finance their campaigns.
    Maliki did not choose “Shia potentates at the expense of Sunnis.” There were lots of Sunnis in his cabinet and administration. More than their share of the population would normally demand. Look up UN statistics about the GDP per person in Sunni governates versus several of the southern Shia governments. The Sunnis were better off. What you completely neglect is the financing of the Sunni “resistance” by Turkey and the Saudis. Al-Nujaifi, the former governor of Ninevah province, was one of the guys that was instigating Sunnis on behalf of his sponsors. Guys like him pushed ISIS, not Maliki.
    Maliki had just been reelected by a good margin when the U.S., which intentionally let ISIS grow (said Obama), kicked him out.

  22. The Beaver says:

    The Mooch reminds me of Lewie Ranieri from Salomon Brothers (reference : Liar’s Pocker by Michael Lewis)

  23. BillWade says:

    good news, he’s gone per Politico as of yesterday

  24. Oilman2 says:

    @ LondonBob –
    When, in recent decades, has AIPAC NOT been involved in crafting bills aimed at US international matters? This is either AIPAC tugging hard or else some massive internal IC blackmail for both arms of the US legislature to move in lock-step voting. There has been no escalation of Russian activities overt enough to merit this type of cross-party collusion in both houses of the US Congress. The American people DO NOT want this – we have other matters we are concerned with, and they have failed at that completely, courtesy of John McCain.
    So what united nearly every congresscritter on this particular vote?? Gods be, but I wish I knew…

  25. But note that just as Sack starts on Ukrainian interference in the US election the CNN hairstyle changes the subject.

  26. Chris Chuba says:

    Iran signed a defence cooperation agreement.
    This will help Iran’s reputation internationally against the drumbeat of ‘#1 sponsor of terrorism’. It’s hard to peddle the narrative that they are destroying Iraq when the Iraqi govt formerly acknowledges them as an ally.
    Regarding the Axis of resistance, Russia, China, and Iran, I’m amazed that our foreign policy establishment didn’t see that simultaneously needling all three of them wouldn’t drive them together. I read articles on how we can drive a wedge between Russia and Iran, or China and Russia linked from or I know, let’s impose sanctions on China if they trade with Iran or Russia and flaunt our naval superiority in the SCS, that’ll drive a wedge. Better yet, let’s threaten Russia on numerous fronts and condescendingly suggest that if they give up Syria maybe we’ll do something in Ukraine or not. These people lack empathy and cannot see past the idea that all nations must bow before the Almighty U.S. It does not serve us well to have sociopaths controlling our foreign policy.
    Here is an article by Jon Hellevig on the success of Russia’s import substitution.
    Hmm … I get nervous because it reminds me of the glowing reports from the bad old USSR days but one thing does ring true and is undeniable. Russian oil production is at an all time high and has been consistently sustained. There is no smoke and mirrors on that front.

  27. Lyttenburgh says:

    Let’s not whitewash al-Maliki and his cronies radical anti-Sunni activity just because they are Shia. Before him Iraq was ruled by the outright puppet PM, namely İbrahim el Aşakir el Caferi, who after wards landed safely his rump into the chair of the foreign minister. El Cageri comes from the old and influential Shia family from Kerbela. Haydar el-İbadi shares with him the membership in the anti-Baathist underground – and cushy emigration. The only difference between the two: el-Ibadi ran to the UK, while el-Caferi chose Tehran, and relocated to the Misty Albion only in 1990s, which explains why one had shorter career than another.
    No matter how much handouts Sunnis (and Kurds, for that matter) received from al-Maliki and the gang, they’ve lost the control of the key governmental positions and the military seemingly overnight. And what did al-Maliki and El Cageri up to after the occupation? Since 2005 they began creating Shia militia “Haşdi Şabi”, who distinguished themselves rather poorly during the Mosul’s siege.
    Have you read the following relevant article in the New Republic? ( Examples of the state corruption – perpetrated by Nuri al-Maliki and people close him – are so fantastic, that puts to shame even what transpires in the Ukraine now. How about $130 mln that ought to be spent on the weapons purchase for the Ministry of Defense which simply went “poof!” under his watch? Or how about that:
    “Late last year, well-placed sources tell me, the Pentagon delivered a shipment of new weapons to the Iraqi government, including .50-caliber sniper rifles, which were supposed to be sent to Sunni fighters in Anbar Province. Instead, corrupt officials in the Iraqi ministries of interior and defense sold the arms to ISIS, which is using them to kill Kurdish peshmerga fighters.”

  28. Lyttenburgh says:

    D’uh! Mishiko is obviously out of his (already shallow) depths. He thinks that it is “hanshakable” to flatter the one wearing the Purple in Washington. Little does he know, how often it’s more harmful than not…

  29. Anna says:

    On the matter of patriotism, is not it curios that the US Congress at large trusts the national security matters (the alleged “Russian hacking”) to a private company led by a Jewish emigre from Russia, while, at the same time, the Congress does not trust the FBI and does not want to hear a word from the U.S. Intelligence Veterans?
    What makes Mr. Alperovitch (of the fishy CrowdStrike) a more reliable person in the matters of national security than the honorable professionals with the proven record of loyalty to the US?
    PS: Mr. Alperovitch is among the “experts” of the rabidly Russophobic Atlantic Council; the AC enjoys a solid support from Saudis and it includes among its other “experts” the Russophobic ignoramus Eliot Higgins.

  30. John_Frank says:

    fyi On Thursday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed H.R.3364, whose short title is Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. The bill includes sanction measures against Russia, Iran and North Korea.
    H.R.3364 – Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act
    The House voted on the bill on July 25. The vote was 419 – 3 in favor.
    The Senate vote was 98 – 2.
    Prior to news breaking of the Senate vote, the Russian and Finnish Presidents held a joint news conference in Helsinki. A number of questions were asked by the press of both men concerning the Russian sanctions.
    Joint news conference with President of Finland Sauli Niinisto
    Vladimir Putin and Sauli Niinisto gave a joint news conference following bilateral talks.
    In response to the bill being passed by both houses of Congress, today at noon, Moscow time, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued the following statement:
    28 July 201712:00 – Foreign Ministry’s statement

    On July 27, the US Congress passed a new bill on tougher anti-Russia sanctions. This measure is further proof of the Unites States’ extremely hostile foreign policy. Hiding behind its own “exclusiveness”, the United States arrogantly ignores the stances and interests of other countries.
    It is common knowledge that the Russian Federation has been doing everything in its power to improve bilateral relations, to encourage ties and cooperation with the US on the most pressing issues on the international agenda including fighting terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration, cybercrime, etc. Our understanding has been that we can only solve these global problems if we work together. We believe the majority of people in the world share this approach.
    Meanwhile, the United States is using Russia’s alleged interference in its domestic affairs as an absolutely contrived excuse for its persevering and crude campaigns against Russia. This activity contradicts the principles of international law, the UN Charter, WTO regulations and, simply, the common standards of civilised international communication.
    The United States continues to pass more unlawful sanctions against Russia, to seize Russia’s diplomatic property, which is formalised in binding bilateral documents, and to deport Russian diplomats. This is clearly a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and generally recognised diplomatic practices.
    The adoption of the new sanctions bill is an obvious indication that relations with Russia are in thrall to the political infighting in the United States. Moreover, the new bill sets to a goal to create a dishonest competitive advantage for the US in the global economy through the use of political means. This blackmail aimed at restricting Russia’s cooperation with its foreign partners threatens many countries and international businesses.
    Despite Washington’s constant outbursts, we have adhered to responsible and reserved behaviour and have not responded to express provocations until now. However, the latest events confirm that certain circles in the US are fixated on Russophobia and open confrontation with our country.
    – Therefore, we suggest our American counterparts bringing the number of diplomatic and technical staff at the US Embassy in Moscow, the consulates general in St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, into strict correspondence with the number of Russian diplomats and technical staff currently working in the United States, until September 1, 2017. This means that the total number of American diplomatic and consular office employees in the Russian Federation must be reduced to 455 people. In the event of further unilateral action on behalf of US officials to reduce the Russian diplomatic staff in the US, we will respond accordingly.
    – Starting August 1, the use of all the storage facilities on Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow and the country house in Serebryany Bor will be suspended from use by the US Embassy.
    Russia reserves the right to resort to other measures affecting US’ interests on a basis of reciprocity.

    The Russian media is also reporting that:
    – Putin approves Foreign Ministry’s statement in response to US sanctions
    – US ambassador expresses strong disappointment with Russian Foreign Ministry’s decision
    As posted previously, I am of the opinion that passage of what is being called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act is a mistake and will harm America’s national security interests.

  31. Jony Kanuck says:

    Thank you for this fine roundup.
    On the subject of ‘why the new sanctions’: Naked Capitalism (aka Wendy Weber)penned an article last Friday saying the push for sanctions may be in service of Liquified Natural Gas. I haven’t done the research to confirm but out here on the left coast of Canada the provincial govt made a big noise about the bright future of LNG exports. When it didn’t pan out they put up the price of beer! It was obvious then that LNG (expensive infrastructure)won’t pay out unless you can ship to Europe & to create that market you have to lock the Russians out.

  32. DH says:

    re Empress Alexandra and mitochondrial DNA:
    “[Prince] Philip is the oldest living great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria. Through his descent from the British royal family, he is in the line of succession to the thrones of the 16 Commonwealth realms.
    In July 1993, through mitochondrial DNA analysis of a sample of Prince Philip’s blood, British scientists were able to confirm the identity of the remains of several members of Empress Alexandra of Russia’s family, more than seventy years after their 1918 massacre by the Bolsheviks. Prince Philip was then one of two living great-grandchildren in the female line of Alexandra’s mother, Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, the other being his sister Sophie, who died in 2001.” -wiki

  33. SmoothieX12 says:

    ” Breaking ” russian economy was a dream.
    Breaking Russia’s finances will be the next step.

  34. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Tell them about the palatial houses of Afghans in Washington DC area.

  35. SmoothieX12 says:

    The very program of American domination everywhere could only result in the formation of a resistance alliance. It is precisely the actions – arrogant, ignorant, one-sided, short-sighted, over-reaching and… failed – of the neocons and their humanitarian bomber allies that brought this about. The tectonic plates shift; here’s this fortnight’s collection.
    Without being facetious or sarcastic, and being well acquainted with US public education–but Physics, and with it intro to Newtonian Mechanics, does not exists in US public (and some private)school system as a separate subject, being represented by a generic “Science”–a hodge-podge collection of random scientific facts. Often, the Third Law is not a part of world-view of many. Considering generally a catastrophically bad educational (not to be mistaken with “degrees” obtained) and cultural level of neocons across the whole spectrum of geopolitical and military issues, in which they, naturally, consider themselves to be a world-class “scholars”, it is of no surprise that they missed on basic physics (and metaphysical essence) of the issue. They continue to think that when you push–it yields.

  36. I heard Alperovitch is actually from Ukraine. However, your overall point still makes sense.

  37. kooshy says:

    “Regarding the Axis of resistance, Russia, China, and Iran, I’m amazed that our foreign policy establishment didn’t see that simultaneously needling all three of them wouldn’t drive them together.”
    Chris, IMO the US policy planers believe that any alliance between these three states can only be tactical, in my view they are correct thinking that way. IMO, the reason is non of these three states historically would want to be in a strategic alliance of a kind, they view strategic alliances limits one to maneuver policy. IMO they are correct in thinking that way, they clearly can see Europe and Arab’ torturous alliance with US, and they see US’ compliance with Israel’ muslim region policies, which europeans have to accept and live with in lieu of their own growing muslim population. As far as i can understand Iran’s only strategic allies are the Shia communities in MENA.

  38. different clue says:

    Was the long-since duly-abdicated ex-Czar Nicholas II charged and tried and convicted in a Court of Law for an established and recognized Capital Crime by an established and recognized Court and Legal System? If so, what is the crime he was convicted of? Are there Court Records which tell us what it was?

  39. Do you need anything more for an alliance than a common enemy? And, if the alliance dissolves after that common enemy has been seen off, so what?
    FYI here’s an argument that. actually, the Moscow-Beijing axis is very strong indeed.

  40. different clue says:

    Chris Chuba,
    I once tried coining a catchy acronym for this “axis of resistance” I tried calling it the COLA . . . for Coalition Of Lawful Authority. As against the GAJ . . . the Global Axis of Jihad.
    In Syria for example, the Global Axis of Jihad supports ISIS and the Alphabet Rebels. Whereas the Coalition Of Lawful Authority supports Assad.
    Coalition Of Lawful Authority. Things go better with COLA.

  41. different clue says:

    Jony Kanuck,
    Inability to sell mass quantities of LNG from North America has kept the price of North American NatGas a little lower than otherwise. This has allowed a partial revival of NatGas-dependent industries and jobs in North America. It has also allowed the partial displacement of coal from the thermal-steam power-plant supply portfolio.
    If we build up a robust LNG-export capacity, we can sell off all our NatGas and raise the domestic price, thereby choking off the modest NatGas-dependent industrial recovery. And the faster we get it all pumped, compressed and sold to the foreigner, the sooner we can run out.
    Then we can all truly become cold and poor.

  42. confusedponderer says:

    Oh come one, Sakashvili is such a special and bright man … iirc he was once a border police guy in the USSR and did the joyful job of harassing travelers and to search their baggage for whatever.
    Amusingly, when Sakashvili, with probably US encourage, tried to ‘liberate’ (read: conquer) South Ossetia, he failed quite miserably in face of well trained, well armed, well led and well prepared Russian troops (Spetznatz, airborne units, guards units etc.) there. To be short, Georgia’s army was defeated hardly and very clearly by Russia.
    Shakashvili was as Georgian president, a hyper super georgian nationalist, against about anything russian, well, anything but perhaps vodka. What did he have to say about the war?
    Well, Shakashvili entertained the rest of the world saying that the war was … a briliant success for Georgia … and that the georgian troops would now VICTORIOUSLY, well, ahem, withdraw, ahem, back home and that, despite silly details and rumours, 85% of the troops sent were still alive!
    Yes, indeed – what a success! He didn’t get them all killed? And had they all been dead, would it only then have been a defeat?
    Shaakashvili is pathetic and ridiculous. The lost war in South Ossetia combination with his jokes cost him his re-election and so he prefered to suddenly become a hyper super nationalist ukrainian.
    Indeed: Some folks inherit identity, others just choose identity.
    The funny thing is that should Shaakashvili come to the US for asylum, he is likely to become a hyper super US nationalist. Who knows, perhaps a hyper super Texan, hyper super Floridan or hyper super Californian?

  43. Kooshy says:

    Yes I do see that, but that’s IMO still tactical and will remain that way, limited, focused and based on current positions, there is no obligation to article 5 if it gets triggered.

  44. Kooshy says:

    Don’t take me wrong, for the sake of the world, I hope you and Saker are right but IMO, Saker is a bit biased upbeat analyst. Historically (anciently) there are natural alliances between Iran and China which IMO they remain, with no need to be written in a treaty, this alliance is natural due to trade and geography and will remain in place as it has for nearly 3 millenniums. As evidence in China’s heavy investments in Iran infra structure specially the roads and rails.Historically Iran is China’ only land connection to Mediterranean Sea and N. Africa. Which US dislikes since it believes Med is a US club.

  45. SmoothieX12 says:

    i think that has been the focus all along..
    This may precipitate even larger changes for Russia both domestically (Russian “liberal” Parnassus exists today only due to Putin’s benevolence), such as removing its “economic elite” from power and, of course, internationally–it may seriously put in doubt a reliability of US-controlled global financial institutions. This is not what US economy currently needs, to put it mildly.

  46. wunduk says:

    Saakashvili IS ALREADY in the United States. He addressed his followers in the Ukraine via video link from the US on Thursday following the loss of his Ukrainian citizenship. This citizenship was removed as an administrative matter by th Ukrainian migration authority. He had stated when receiving it that there were “no proceedings” against him in Georgia. Back in February 2015 when he was in Poroshenko’s good books, it likely would not have mattered, I guess he could even have stated he was under investigation.

  47. Kooshy says:

    I should also mention, IMO Iranians correctly will never forget the S300 delays as well as Bushehr Nuclear plant delays for a few more generations to come, they also will not forget the 1953 events with north atlantic guys Russia and Iran for now are tactically llied and cooperate in Syria and to an extend in Iraq , that is good and they should. Other than that for Iranian strategist, Russia is a Christian European country which at the end of the day if strategically viable will spend Iran to join European ,IMO that is not the caee with china. The only time i can recall Iran was nominally, tacitly and tactically allied with Europe was when both were against and wanted to contain a Sunni Muslim caliphate, meaning the ottoman empire. I can’t be sure if they were or could have been allied in fight against this recent caliphate.

  48. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think so, clearly much of the NATO Alliane consisted of the states West of the Diocletean Line; this has been a civilizational alliance. Furthermore, the (temporary) co-operation among P5 to destroy NPT in case of Iran did not constitute an alliance.

  49. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, I would agree.
    I also think that Iranians have very many more Shia cards to play – in Azerbaijan Republic, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, in Turkey.

  50. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think Iranian leaders should try to understand contemporary Russia as a new country since she is neither USSR nor the Russian Empire which gobbled up big chunks of Iranian territory (whose inhabitants, since the disintegration of USSR are not exhibiting any desire to re-join Iran.)

  51. Oilman2 says:

    IMO, the simple fact that congress and the president are moving in lock-step with this bill indicates an extreme amount of hubris and some serious short-term thinking. With the entire Russia thing occupying the country for the last 6 months, there has yet to surface anything resembling proof – said proof would have been plastered all over every media outlet.
    I have no idea what they are thinking, but as leaky as DC is, anything that would support these actions would have been hauled out to bolster said actions. Yet we have nothing but innuendo and speculation.
    My guess is that control of oil and gas resources features in everything with respect to Syria (Leviathan), Venezuela
    (Guyana Field dispute-Exxonmobil), Iran (Pars Field) and trying to kneecap Russian control of natgas (2 birds – 1 stone).
    My reasoning is simple – shale oil and shale gas are not economically sustainable without much higher prices, and those higher prices were a key reason for the economic problems of 2008. So if shale oil/gas aren’t sustainable reserves, then the US needs others. KSA is in more severe production decline than admitted, or there would never have been discussion of public offering for ARAMCO.
    When you only have a hammer, screwdriver and 10mm wrench – then everything looks like a nail (regime change), screw (sanctions) or a 10mm nut (invasion by proxy or otherwise).
    Dislike of others internal policies is not the issue – we have propped up and supported many dictators and evil regimes – the why is nearly always about resource control or monetary control.
    From where I sit in the oil patch, anyway…
    What’s your take, Col. Lang?

  52. Mikey says:

    IMO, coal, oil and natural gas are strategic natural resources whose exportation should be tightly controlled.

  53. Anna says:

    According to the linked article, Alperovitch “was born in 1980 in Moscow:”
    His father, despite being a Jew (see the multitude of noisy articles about the alleged antisemitism in Russia) has received a Soviet education in nuclear physics.
    At some point in his life, Alperovitch has become an FBI asset: “To better understand his adversaries, Alperovitch posed as a Russian gangster on spam discussion forums, an experience he wrote up in a series of reports. One day he returned from lunch to a voice mail telling him to call the FBI immediately. .. As it happened, the bureau was interested in his work.” This explains Alperovitch employment with the Atlantic Council and his positioning in the “Russians hacking” case. Some Russian Jews are notoriously russophobic; perhaps the “Russian hacking” story, and specifically the involvement of Alperovitch in the “slow coup d’etat” experienced by the U.S. right now, would become one day a case study for the future intelligence specialists

  54. Anna says:

    “Often, the Third Law is not a part of world-view of many.”
    Newton’s Third Law: “action and reaction are equal and opposite.”
    Time for the neocons to learn the fundamentals.

  55. aleksandar says:

    You can hardly break Russia’s finance as Russia has 0 debt.
    Anyways,Russia has already managed to get rid of $, China too.
    China is buying everything possible in europe, not far from buying Real Madrid or Turin Juventus ! 🙂
    Due to the last sanction law, Europe will follow, nolens volens.
    Dollar hegemony will collapse, it’s just a matter of time.

  56. LeaNder says:

    As far as i can understand Iran’s only strategic allies are the Shia communities in MENA.
    Kooshy, could you elaborate?
    Would you and/or Babak, if he is around, explain to me, why an alignment (wrong term?, no political scientist) based on religion makes strategic sense Iran. More sense then whatever temporary, tactical alliances?
    Besides, somewhat assuming that you also know the feelings of people on the ground via relatives, would that be also the position in both basic political camps in Iran? Those things are vaguely on my mind here:
    a) june 2017 Tehran ISIS attacks
    b) Rohani’s statement post re-election that were challenged by Naser Makarem Shirazi. In nutshell: both relying on Ali. But took different positions about who decides, God or the people who voted?
    c) which communities would that be, and what could be the strategic aim?

  57. aleksandar says:

    When I was working in Iran cell, long time ago, we were surprised about a comment made in 1981 or 1982 ( sorry not remenber precisely) by a high Iranian official during an interview.
    He said : ” We Iranians will someday control Medina and Mecqua “.
    Journalist was completely upset.
    And he add : ” It will take time, maybe 200 or 400 years, but, we Iranians will someday control Medina and Mecqua
    Conclusion : our way of thinking, and note that I include myself, is somewhat irrelevant about Iran, and probably the entire ME

  58. aleksandar says:

    Question: Do Trump have constitutionals rights to say : Ok, it’s a new law, a new start that change everything, no veto but before I lift all previous sanctions ?

  59. Lyttenburgh says:

    1) The arrest of the entire Royal family and “duly abdicated ex-Czar” had been carried out by the orders of the Provisional Government. Their relocation (with the ultimate destination being Yekaterinburg) also happened by the orders of the Provisional Government. It was the head of the Provisional Government Kerensky, who absolutely arbitrary proclaimed Russia a republic, not even waiting for the calling of the Constitutional Assembly, which would have the power to determine the form of rule for the country.
    2) After the October Revolution the power had been taken by the ruling coalition of the Bolsheviks, Left eSeRs, anarcho-communists and anarcho-syndicalists. The power (all of it) on the local level belonged to the Councils (Soviets). In Moscow and Petrograd Bolsheviks dominated the Soviets, in the provinces situation was different. To show what the “All Power to the Soviets!” slogan entails – the initial decision to create the Worker-Peasant Red Army belonged to the local Soviet of the Vyborg’s side in Petrograd, and other Soviets only approved it later. The Soviet had the power to appoint and dismiss local bureaucrats, was responsible for the administrative and political situation in their locality, etc. The dictatorship of the proletariat as they saw it.
    3) The fate of the former Royal family was in the hands of the Ural Soviet. There dominated Left eSeRs, plus in their Presidium there were several so-called “Left Bolsheviks”, an informal radical splinter group from the main party. Left Bolsheviks were against the Brest treaty, they were the most active proponents of the world Revolution here and now, for the immediate abolition of money, etc. The most famous of them was comrade Bukharin. Of the “Leninets” Boksheviks in Uralsoviet was, probably, only Voykov.
    4) The execution of the former Royal family happened on the backdrop of several events. In July 1918 there was a failed Left eSeRs revolt, who were initially supported by some of the Left Bolsheviks. In the course of that, they assassinated the German ambassador, took Dziershinsky hostage and captured several areas in Moscow – they were eventually suppressed. Meanwhile, happens the Yaroslavl revolt, supported by the Right eSeRs (and greatly inspired by the Terrorist #2 of the Russian Empire Boris Savinkov). There, after toppling local Soviets in Volga region, all their members were immediately extra judicially executed by the Whites.
    5) Thus, largely autonomous and possessing of the all power on the local level Ural’s Soviet (consisting mainly of the ideological enemies of the Bolsheviks in the mainland Russia), feeling itself encircled on all fronts, decided to execute the former Royal family. Maybe it would be better if the Czar would be judged by the panel of judges. It would certainly would be better to leave out his immediate family and to totally leave out peasants. We are not dealing with maybes. Did
    6) You are asking:
    “Was the long-since duly-abdicated ex-Czar Nicholas II charged and tried and convicted in a Court of Law for an established and recognized Capital Crime by an established and recognized Court and Legal System?”
    No, he wasn’t. Your very formula of what makes up the “fair” court is nice sounding – for bourgeoisie-democratic country. Not for the Soviet Union. And who says that the bourgeoisie-democratic is a priori the best and the fairest in world and others should be compared to it as if it was some sort of paragon?
    The basis of the post October Revolutionary justice was that it becomes the prerogative of the Soviets. Therefore this makes them some sort of the “established Court of Law”, only in the Revolutionary meaning (when the source of the Justice becomes the Revolutionary People, who exercises its will via people’s Soviets), not the old-Regime one (where the sole source of the Justice is the Monarch).
    For you this might not be enough due to your ideological worldview. In that case – can’t help you.

  60. jld says:

    So… If I understand correctly, if you take care to declare yourself as the sole legitimate authority you can thereafter decide about “legality” as you please and proceed with executions or whatever other use of force in perfect compliance with the rule of law?

  61. Lurker says:

    Iranians are pragmatic. Their tactical alliance is with North Korea (missile and nuclear R&D) and (Sunni) Turkey against the Kurds backed by the USA led coalition. Iran’s future is in: the Caspian basin, Silk Roads, India vis a vis Sunni Pakistan and to jointly develop the NG business with Sunni sheikdom of Qatar. Strategic goals shared with Russia and China are: multipolarity, opposition to balkanization, color revolutions, US dollar hegemony, LGBQT agenda, Rothschild control of Central Banks.

  62. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The West & her temporary allies made that so – by making an adjudication among Muslim sects as whom they preferred. This adjudication predated Islamic Revolution in Iran – the utter reluctance of US Government to touch Nabih Berri even with a ten-foot pole.
    Once the Iranian Revolution occurred and the reaction against US in Iran began, different states reacted largely negatively to it – which meant the antagonism could no longer be confined to politics alone.
    Lacking the strategic preponderance of NATO, or USSR/Russia or China, Iranians fell back on whatever tools were left to them to use. Their antagonists, on the other hand, seemed to have a tendency to pick on the Party of Ali across the Muslim World, breathing new life into it – as it where.
    So I ask you why Denmark is the enemy of the Party of Ali? Or Germany? Or Spain?
    Why Deobandis are friends of the United Kingdom?
    And if you do not know the answers, then you have not been paying attention.
    Lastly, per the article below, Cannaites are related by blood to the ancient people of the Iranian plateau.
    So, here we go again, Cannanites against Israelis…

  63. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You are missing an important element – the War with Iraq. Iraq’s war effort against Iran were supported to the hilt by Arabs of Persian Gulf, by USSR, by US, by France, by Holland (chemical weapons), by Germany, by the Vatican.
    You cannot understand why the Iranians behave the way they do without reference to the Iran-Iraq War.

  64. Kooshy says:

    IMO, real lasting geostrategic alliances, beside the security and economic elements will also need to have a good understanding / closeness of ideological and cultural behavior between the allies. IMO, Iran and Russia don’t’ share the ideological and cultural elements of a lasting alliance that makes their alliance tactical, but Iran and all Shia communities surrounded by the Sunnis do. An example is the Five Eyes an unwritten alliance? Security is based on blood culture etc. Or NATO, US and European states not only share security and economy for security but they also are culturally and religiously close to each other, except for Turkey, which was tactically fine and working as long as USSR was around, but now that USSR is no longer a threat Turkey and allies don’t think the fit is all that solid, they have their differences (lack of trust?) mostly based on religion and culture.

  65. Kooshy says:

    On -b it is usual for westerners not to understand Iran and Islamic Republic. IMO to understand Iranian mentality ( deeply cultural formulated) , the revolution and the consequence of it the Islamic republic. one easy 1st step is to understand in Iranian life, culture, religion and politics are of the same and intertwined. In that context Mr Shirazi a grand ayatollah will say this was a god will and that’s why is done (like my grandma use to say) and Mr Ruhani although a clergy he is a statesman just got elected by popular vote will say it was you the people who got me here (after you understood what god wanted). They both are saying the same thing in the context of their positions and jobs. Like “objects on the rear mirror are closer to what they appear.

  66. Kooshy says:

    Babak S300 and Busher didn’t happen during the Soviets or imperial Russia.

  67. J says:

    Our U.S. Congress has become nothing more than petulant spoiled brats who deserve prison cells for fraud, fraud committed against our U.S. Constitution, fraud against our Bill of Rights, fraud against the well-being of the Republic, fraud of taxpayer dollars on wasted time and energy that are not being utilized for the public good, fraud against every citizen as the Congress membership cares more about their petty power games of their respective ‘party’ than the well being of the citizenry and their protections and betterment.
    Don’t they get it? That today’s Russian Federation is NOT the former Soviet Union? Don’t they get it? That Putin although he is former KGB, is a Nationalist, NOT a Communist! That Putin has shown pro-West in his views (if you listen to him), and for that has been lambasted by the Russian Communist Party that calls him every derogatory name in the book. The Russian Communist caricature Putin in a Nazi costume because he wants normalized relations with D.C.. Now where have we seen this type of caricaurization? Hmm it appears to mirror the D.C. nitwits (Republican, RINO, Democrats) who shudder at the thought that Trump sees normalized relations with Russia is in BOTH nation’s interests (spelled U.S.). The only reason that Congress is acting this way against Russia is the big money (weapons makers, private military and Intelligence corporations (spelled Mercenaries)) that would stand to loose if there were ever normalization and even future alliance between U.S. and Russia. Congress thinks big money is more important that the good of the nation and its fundamental national security (Russian security runs through U.S., and U.S. security runs through Russia.)
    I for one am tired of the Congress nitwit behavior, if they won’t do the people business, then lock them up , the whole of them. I’ll pay for their bread and water, just to get their witlessness out of the way of the nation’s betterment.
    US Sanctions Push Russia Closer to Abandoning the Dollar — Deputy FM Sergei Ryabkov

  68. Lyttenburgh says:

    “So… If I understand correctly, if you take care to declare yourself as the sole legitimate authority you can thereafter decide about “legality” as you please and proceed with executions or whatever other use of force in perfect compliance with the rule of law?”
    The trope goes that “authority equals the ar$e-kicking”. It’s the other way round – ar$e-kicking (i.e. the maintenance of the monopoly on the violence and willingness to resort to it) combined with the acquiescence of the populace to accept such arrangement (which is the sole source of the so-called “legitimacy”). In exchange the state/authority is expected to benefit those who entrust it with such support. In past times it’s as simple as remaining the sole source of the legitimate violence around. Nowadays – much, much more.
    Every time and place has their own definitions of “Justice/Justness” and “legitimacy”. It’s silly to try to lay everything into the procrustean bed of the so-called “universal values”. So, yes – a judicial decision taken by a Frankish chieftain in accordance to the Salic Law, or the similar decisions by the Rus Prince in accordance to the Russian Pravda, or Icelandic Althing’s decision to sentence, say, Eric the Red to the outlawry – they are all “legal”, as it pertains to these times, places and cultures. In Revolutionary Russia in 1918 on the territory under control of the Soviets of Worker, Peasant and Soldier deputies, such source of legality were aforementioned Soviets.
    Btw, what do you understand by the term “Rule of Law”?

  69. Lyttenburgh says:

    “That Putin has shown pro-West in his views (if you listen to him)”
    Doesn’t matter. The Cold War was ultimately not about the ideology, that’s been demonstrated again and again.
    “and for that has been lambasted by the Russian Communist Party that calls him every derogatory name in the book.”
    Please, quote them. I, personally, can’t remember anything.
    “The Russian Communist caricature Putin in a Nazi costume because he wants normalized relations with D.C”
    Once again – actual quotes, links, proof? To caricature Putin in a Nazi costume is solely Western shtick. Oh, and so-called Russia so-called liberals do this as well.
    “Congress thinks big money is more important that the good of the nation and its fundamental national security “
    Wait a sec. I thought you were against the communists and their ideas?
    “Russian security runs through U.S., and U.S. security runs through Russia.”
    How so?

  70. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You are quibbling.

  71. Kooshy says:

    Even if ayatollah Khomeini would have said something like that, that would never happen unless Iran wants to find herself not only in war with arabs but with the entire Muslim world. Iranian/ Shia clergy and statesmen are smarter then saying anything like that. Israelies, Saudis and US would love to hear anything like that coming out of Iran. IMO, Alexander heard wrong or misunderstood.

  72. Kooshy says:

    IMO, Iranian revolution as much as it was an anti western hegemony revolution more importantly iwas a Shia awakening revolution (Lebanon) in that context the revolution achieved both goals

  73. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    The ability to anticipate the reactions of real or imagined adversaries in response to one’s own provocations is not a strong point of the neoconservative mind.

  74. SmoothieX12 says:

    Time for the neocons to learn the fundamentals.
    Here is the catch 22 for neocons–once they will begin to learn with the purpose of actually obtaining the knowledge, this threatens the very nature of their neoconservatism, since being a neocon is largely an ideological (not academic) choice. This implies believing in some historical, economic, military, international relation “constants” which have very little relation to reality. So, the choice thus is very simple–one either stays neocon or begins accept reality and thus inevitably stops being one.

  75. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The wars made it a Shia Revival, in my opinion.

  76. Babak Makkinejad says:

    We need to wait out this period until the Seljuk pattern reasserts itself between Turkey and Iran; in my opinion.

  77. FB Ali says:

    “….India vis a vis Sunni Pakistan….”
    I presume you mean “India instead of Sunni Pakistan”. I would suggest that this might be an overly simple view of the situation. The reason is China, and its planned Belt and Road Initiative.
    Once this Initiative matures (it has already started) it will be China that will determine tactical alliances for these countries, including Iran. Pakistan is an important part of this Initiative (the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the first major project of BRI), whereas India believes it is China’s rival for Asian dominance.
    China will ensure that Iran works with Pakistan rather than India.

  78. Lurker says:

    The Silk Road Initiative is paramount for Iran’s future and this was stated in my post. I may not have been clear with respect to India vis a vis Pakistan. China’s silk road goes through Pakistan but it is politically unstable ( see latest political consequence of Panama papers). Iran has vital Energy supply arrangements for India in exchange for gold plus the Persian culture has influenced India and vice versa.
    Another geostrategic or gropolitical goal shared by Iran, Russia and China is the total and utter defeat of ISIS and AQ and this means not only in Syria and Iraq but includes their defeat in Yemen and throughout Africa.

  79. LeaNder says:

    An example is the Five Eyes an unwritten alliance?
    Kooshy, unwritten sounds very, very unlikely concerning the Five Eyes.
    But I have not much time. Store the link though.

  80. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I agree. And Indian governments have demonstrated that they do not have the mojo to work with Iran; projects are announced but are never started. 2006 was the year that India lost Iran – US diplomats went to Dehli, flashed their eyes and accomplished that without incurring any cost to US. Now, that is diplomacy.

  81. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iran-India bonhommie is over, it is dead, kaput. It was India’s decision.

  82. different clue says:

    So, when they killed the ex-Czar’s wife and five children; those were not murders either? Those were executions too?

  83. Lyttenburgh says:

    I see that you in no rush to answer my question: “what do you understand by the term “Rule of Law”?”. I’ll add to it: “what is murder?” and expect to get comprehensive answers this time.
    Do you think throughout the history women and children were not executed? Till early 19 c. in the good ol’ Britain children as old as 12 could be sentenced to the loss of arm for stealing more than 5 shillings. In 1800 a boy of 10 was hanged, in 1801 – a boy of 13 (and that’s just for breaking into a house and stealing a spoon!). In 1808 in Lynn two sisters were hanged for theft (one aged 11, another one – 8). In 1831 a 9 y.o. was hanged in Chelmsford for setting house on fire. Go and google more.
    Trying to apply modern era set of morals (subjective as they are) to the past is meaningless. As for why it is still an execution – re-read what I’ve wrote about Uralsoviet possessing at the time the complete power on the local level.

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