The New York Times Pushes Propaganda War Against Russia by Publius Tacitus


There is no longer any doubt that the New York Times is nothing more than a willing cog in the establishment war machine and is happy to serve as a propaganda platform. While there are times that newspapers and electronic media outlets are unwitting dupes for propaganda, the article penned by 

Russia’s Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression

This screed starts with this piece of artful dishonesty:

Russia is preparing to send as many as 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory at the end of the summer, one of the biggest steps yet in the military buildup undertaken by President Vladimir V. Putin and an exercise in intimidation that recalls the most ominous days of the Cold War.

Since when is it an act of "aggression" for a country–Russia in this case–to conduct military exercises in its own territory? Gordon and Schmitt also conveniently omit the facts that the United States has been engaged in a variety of military exercises on the border of Russia for the last year. Yet, rather than acknowledge that truth, Gordon and Schmitt push the lie that this is an unprovoked action by a militaristic Russia hell bent on conquering the world. 

How else is one to interpret the following quotes:

The military exercise . . . .is part of a larger effort by Mr. Putin to shore up Russia’s military prowess, and comes against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive Russia. Beyond Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election in support of the Trump campaign, which has seized attention in the United States, its military has in recent years deployed forces to Syria, seized Crimea and intervened in eastern Ukraine, rattled the Baltic States with snap exercises and buzzed NATO planes and ships. . . .

“There is only one reason you would create a Guards Tank Army, and that is as an offensive striking force,” General Hodges said. “This is not something for homeland security. That does not mean that they are automatically going to do it, but in terms of intimidation it is a means of putting pressure on allies.”

If you read only this article you would be excused for assuming that Russia is on the prowl for no good reason. Fortunately, our media is not totally subservient to the war machine. NPR reported last week that the United States is actually carrying out the largest military operations on Russia's border in 27 years:

The U.S. and NATO are staging their largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War, and they're doing it in countries of 3 former members of the Warsaw Pact: Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Yes, I did. This is all part of what's been called the European Deterrence Initiative, and it's a reinforcement of U.S. forces that had been depleted in Eastern Europe before Russia annexed Crimea three years ago. And as part of this sort of hardening of the U.S. presence here, there was an armored combat brigade team of about 4,000 Army troops from Fort Carson, Colo., that arrived here in Eastern Europe early this year. And they're here in Romania, and they're taking part in military exercises along with about 20,000 other troops.

On Saturday, I was in the Carpathian Mountains, and I watched a pretty impressive live fire, land and air assault there on an imagined enemy. And then yesterday, along the banks of the Danube River here, there was another assault staged to retake the other side of the river from another imagined enemy.

GREENE: You keep saying imagined enemy. Who is the imagined enemy?

WELNA: Well, no doubt it's Russia. And, you know, while this wasn't really a D-Day invasion along the Danube – there was no fire return from the other side – there was a lot of sound and fury. And here's a bit of what it sounded like.

The US military exercise is dubbed Saber Guardian:

Exercise Saber Guardian 17 is a U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Europe-led annual exercise taking place in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria in the summer of 2017. This exercise involves more than 25,000 service members from over 20 ally and partner nations. The largest of the Black Sea Region exercises, Saber Guardian 17 is a premier training event for U.S. Army Europe and participating nations that will build readiness and improve interoperability under a unified command, executing a full range of military missions to support the security and stability of the Black Sea Region. It is deterrence in action.

Some of the more notable aspects of SG17 include: the massing of 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division (3/4ID) from several locations across the Operation Atlantic Resolve area of operation to the exercise joint operations area (JOA) in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria; and the movement of 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CR) from Vilseck, Germany, to numerous locations throughout the JOA.

But that's not all. The United States also has been busy in the Baltics in early June 2017:

The U.S.'s European Command, which is based in Germany, said Thursday it had deployed an unspecified number of F-16 Fighting Falcons from Aviano Air Base in Italy to the Krzesiny Air Base in Poland in support of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) and Saber Strike, two massive annual drills intended to boost the U.S.'s military presence in Europe and to support regional allies. European Command's statement came a day after it said a number of B-1B Lancers had been sent from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota to join three B-52H Stratofortresses at the Royal Air Force base in Fairford, U.K. Meanwhile, 800 U.S. airmen in Europe were poised to train with NATO allies this month as the Western military alliance escalates its rivalry with Russia.

And there was US activity in Poland in January:

U.S. troops arrived in the small town of Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, as part of the largest armed military brigade deployed in Europe since the end of the Cold War.

The U.S. troops, along with 53 track vehicles, including the M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, reached Poland after a three-day journey through Germany. The show of force falls under Operation Atlantic Resolve, designed to show the United States' commitment to its European allies in the face of what NATO sees as Russian aggression.

This is not a comprehensive list. If you take time to do further research you will discover that the United States military in tandem with other countries has carried out several military exercises from the Black Sea in the south, all along the western border of Russia and in the Baltic Sea in the north. 

If you are Russia and you are witnessing repeated deployments of U.S. infantry, armor, air and naval units on the frontier that produced that last military invasion of Russia (which left at least 20 million dead) would you sit back and do nothing?

What would the United States do if Russia managed to convince Mexico to sign a mutual defense treaty and then proceeded to conduct tank and military air exercises along our southern border? Would we do nothing?

Gordon and Schmitt are an embarrassment to the profession of journalism. Rather than actually report facts and place them in their proper context, they chose instead to push lies as truth and try to help shape public opinion into believing that Russia poses an imminent threat to the west.

One other point worth remembering–Russia spends $60 billion annually on defense spending while the United States is slated for $650 billion. How much is the US spending on just EUCOM exercises targeted at Russia? Sadly, there is bipartisan stupidity and ignorance when it comes to the issue of properly assessing Russia and the threat it does (or does not) pose to the United States. My cynical conclusion is that as long as Russia is portrayed as the great Red menace bent on world domination we can justify spending $650 billion dollars to thwart an invasion that is not coming.

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54 Responses to The New York Times Pushes Propaganda War Against Russia by Publius Tacitus

  1. Gene O says:

    Thanks PT. This is one of your saner pieces. Keep it up.

  2. Anna says:

    The two presstitutes, and the NYT at large, do their job for the propagators of Wolfowitz the Trotskyist’ doctrine, according to which “Washington must conserve its advance over the rest of the world by hindering the development of all potential competitors.”
    Meyssan writes, “We therefore find ourselves faced with the equation with which we started – one one side, the outsider President of « the People’s America », and on the other, all of the Washington ruling class supported by the deep state (meaning that part of the administration charged with the continuity of the state over and above political alternances). It is apparent that this coalition is supported by the United Kingdom and Israël.”

  3. Kooshy says:

    PT- incase you missed it, Michael Gordon and Judith Miller are the two NYT propaganda sonography couple to go to, in case you need to start and sell a war choice that the American public will have to pay with blood and savings.

  4. Peter AU says:

    All western media singing in tune. All US senate minus two singing in tune. All US house of representatives minus three singing in tune.
    With the latest Russia/Iran/NK sanctions, the US president has just been rendered obsolete.
    Whoever owns US ‘democracy’ now must be congratulating themselves.

  5. Dr. K. says:

    Please include VP Pence stirring the pot in the Baltic States.

  6. Lemur says:

    it all makes sense once you understand from the perspective of the Washington borg, the world is comprised of semi-autonomous zones subject to broad oversight from the ‘benign’ hegemon.
    From time to time, some of these zones assert their sovereignty, which is a clear aggression against the Global Administrative Political Economy. The small ones are District Thirteen-ed, the large ones are treated as malevolent beasts who have seceded from humanity.

  7. Grazhdanochka says:

    If I may. Having looked at this a while, I noticed a synchronicity that manifests itself often in the intellectually barren Corridors of NYT, WaPo and CNN. All 3 seem to operate almost like a mutually supporting Machine with each sharing similar Naratives, getting convenient ‘Leaks’ that help these Naratives and each often quoting the others reporting.
    There is Quote some here will be familiar with – «Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action» , whenever they each start to sing the same Tune I take more particular note.
    For this Reason, I while ago suggested they represent a Media Form of the 3 Horsemen

  8. Lemur says:

    What are examples of his ‘insane’ pieces, prey?

  9. iffen says:

    Beginning of NPR story:
    After Russia annexed Crimea three years ago, the U.S. started reversing a military pullout from Eastern Europe.
    From the body of the story:
    PRESIDENT KLAUS IOHANNIS: This is living proof of the fact that our soldiers not only talk together. They are able, when it is necessary, to fight together.
    WELNA: Could they deter Russia?
    IOHANNIS: Of course they could. And I think they do it.
    WELNA: But Romania’s top military official, General Nicolae Ciuca, is less sanguine.
    You are on the shore of the Black Sea. So is Russia. How worried are you about Russia?
    NICOLAE CIUCA: I am as worried as the alliance is. We are not apart from the alliance.
    WELNA: But is there reason to worry?
    CIUCA: Always there’s a reason to worry. We are not living in a full peace environment.

    If our allies, who are quite familiar with an invasion from Russia, are worried, isn’t the least we can do is act like we are prepared to act?

  10. VietnamVet says:

    Russiagate shows that American citizens don’t matter. Not a shred of evidence has been made public to document a Russian involvement. A war that could annihilate mankind could break out any second with no justification. Even, Germany staged the Gleiwitz Incident with Nazi S.S. troops wearing Polish uniforms to feed their propaganda machine to start WWII. With the rise of Major General (ret.) John F. Kelly to Chief of Staff, the military now controls the White House. To end the global media/intelligence community coup attempt; perhaps, a diversionary war with Iran is in the cards. North Korea has nuclear weapons. It is not clear if the relative sanity of General Martin Dempsey and Admiral Mike Mullen has returned to DC. Still, absolutely no one advocates for Peace and Prosperity.

  11. blowback says:

    Aaah, Michael R Gordon, the s**t who didn’t resign over the aluminium tubes story used as fake evidence to support the invasion of Iraq. And he and the NY Times have been spouting fake news ever since.

  12. A valuable over-view of where we are now in what has become a dangerous and unnecessary confrontation. Many thanks.
    I’d like to ask about the Russian populations in the Baltic states.
    Their position could be similar to that of the Russians in the Donbass in 2014. The Russian or pro-Russian population of the Donbass was at risk from the post-coup Ukrainian Government. That put the Russian Government in a cleft stick. It couldn’t abandon the Donbass Russians even had it wanted to because Russian public opinion wouldn’t let it. Nor could it simply order the Russian armed forces to move in to the Donbass and protect them. The compromise solution of assisting the rebels to the extent of not allowing them to be over-run was eventually adopted.
    That task was simplified in that some of the Donbass Russians were trained soldiers and had been able to form effective fighting units on their own. It’s also said that they were initially more or less self-sufficient in weapons and ammunition.
    Although the Donbass resistance was initially piecemeal and uncoordinated it had the advantage of being unexpected and the further advantage that the forces sent against it were also poorly coordinated. The regular Ukrainian army was ill-prepared and the only Ukrainian forces eager to fight were untrained street fighters. NATO participation was initially restricted to advisers and covert assistance.
    The position would be entirely different now in all respects. What happens if the Russians living in the Baltic states were similarly at risk from their governments? It would be difficult now for the Russian Government to assist them. Are the Baltic Russians in a position to protect themselves as the Donbass Russians did? Do they have access to arms? Or would we see what was avoided in the Donbass, forced expulsion of Russians living in the near-abroad?

  13. This is it. It’s another Cold War or probably worse.
    The US Congress has spiked our future.

  14. mike says:

    Trump’s sidekick, Mike Pence, visited blisis where he stated: “US strongly condemns the occupation” that “sees Russian tanks parked on Georgian soil”. Then visited Podgorica as a show of support after Montenegro’s entrance into the NATO sparked bitter opposition from Moscow.

  15. Lyttenburgh says:

    “One other point worth remembering–Russia spends $60 billion annually on defense spending while the United States is slated for $650 billion. “
    Actually, I’m against such blanked exercises in the monetary phallometry. The amount of money spent doesn’t mean anything without the context. It was here, on SSC, when I read about a multi million $ waste on overpriced DoD office equipment and such. How much $ does the US spend on TP compared to Russia? Whatever the answer, I can safely predict that US will be winner here as well. But… but… [you see what I’m doing here? ;)] does the overpriced US military TP is somehow better than the one we used in Russian military? Does it have some hitherto unknown properties, which might explain its higher cost? Some, pardon me, “magickal power”?
    Once again, unadjusted flat budget numbers mean nothing. They might make someone feel good, that’s for sure. But let me remind you of a something. Throughout the 2016 a certain wing of the political spectrum in the US flaunted their budget. They had more time on the TV. More so – the Intelligence community sympathetic to them had more money than the “potential enemy”… Now they are claiming that FSB (or whatever the crazy scheme of the week says) hacked them. Now they say that RT and Sputnik managed to (SOMEHOW!) dupe the populace of the Republic using a tiny fraction of CNN’s budget alone.
    Makes you feel… useless, doesn’t it?
    Relax! Remember that Saudi Arabia military still spends humongous amount of money, more than the supposedly “traditional” powers of yore. It doesn’t translate into the battlefield prowess. Money =/= assured victory.

  16. Lyttenburgh says:

    “If our allies, who are quite familiar with an invasion from Russia, are worried, isn’t the least we can do is act like we are prepared to act?”
    Are you aware when and under which circumstances did Romania experienced “an invasion from Russia”, whose ally it have been at the moment etc.?
    Btw, what do you understand by “our ally” pertaining to Romania? A sattelite state?

  17. Grazhdanochka says:

    Situations for Russians in Donbass and Baltics differs of course…
    Without going so deeply to this Matter, simply in Ukraine Russians and well all People sympathetic to Russian Identity were not only significant in Demographic and Political Weight but also have considerably involvement in Security Establishment….
    When Events of Maidan through Crimea Events and into early Days of Donbas happened you saw the defections of Berkut, Interior Ministry (Regionally) and in case of Khodakovskiy and his Men – Regional SBU Unit…
    This Groups made the Nucleus of Indigenous Resistance that expanded as Times went by (Ukrainian Military also defected with some Armor), this also helped to gain access to Arms and provided direct Inspiration regardless Moscow.
    Russian Government support simply ensured that they would never lose…
    Baltics by comparison has a Military which is far more Homogenous, Manned and Structured and Culturally distinct from most Post Soviet Militaries, it also carries NATO Membership making even just basic Perception of Support from Moscow a more risky consideration…
    I think in general Russians in Baltics simply will do as always…. Sit and Deal with it demoralised, Emigrate, in some cases Assimilate or simply be flattened by local Power Structures should they express to much Anger.
    For Russia, the Priority I think should be to how best bring them Home

  18. georgeg says:

    Attempted to post link to Facebook. I guess SST is no longer welcome…..

  19. Cortes says:

    Delightful to see the use of maskirovka in the names of the two authors of the NYT article. Anyone might think that they’re not Zionist.

  20. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Speaking of “the establishment war machine”,
    this seems relevant:
    “Shall We Fight Them All?”
    by Patrick Buchanan, 2017-07-31
    The title gives away Buchanan’s message, and concern.
    An excerpt:

    While wary of a war with North Korea,
    Washington seems to be salivating for a war with Iran.

  21. Anna says:

    and in Ukraine: “Adding fuel to the fire’: Russia blasts US plans to supply lethal arms to Ukraine”

  22. rkka says:

    “What happens if the Russians living in the Baltic states were similarly at risk from their governments?”
    It is surpassingly unlikely that ethnic Russians in the Baltics are similarly at risk from their governments. While they discriminate heavily against their ethnic Russians, they have never shown any propensity to actively harm them, unlike the Banderastanis.

  23. Anna says:

    ” Michael R Gordon, the s**t who didn’t resign over the aluminium tubes story ”
    The families of the wounded and fallen soldiers — the victims of the war-profiteers including Michael R Gordon — should start a nice lawsuit against the scoundrel. There, for sure, is a line in the Nuremberg protocols that addresses the agitators of a war of aggression.

  24. rkka says:

    “CIUCA: Always there’s a reason to worry. We are not living in a full peace environment.”
    One wonders whether poor trembling Nicolae was similarly and fearful when the US was bombing Bosnia and Serbia back in the 1990s. The question answers itself.
    What really has the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite & Punditocracy’s (AFPE&P) knickers in a twist is that Russia and China now have the military capacity to deter them conventionally.
    The AFPE&P are consumed, indeed, fixated, on having ‘leverage’ and ‘freedom of action’ and it drives them utterly out of their minds to be deprived of both.

  25. rkka says:

    It was so funny when then Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk announced to the world that the USSR invaded Europe through Ukraine in 1944 and that Ukraine would prevent such an awful event in the future.
    So now it appears that the Banderastani mental disease has spread the Romanian general staff…

  26. Anna says:

    The Baltic states had started a Russophobic complain under a slogan of the “native language” immediately after their “liberation.” Even those Russian families that have been living in the Baltic states for generations must hold an exam in the “native” language in order to maintain their citizenship there. The statistics for the citizens of Baltic States tells that a large percent of the educated, intelligent, and ambitious have already left the new NATO launching pads against Russia.

  27. Lemur – Could be you haven’t given the NYT much attention recently. Or, if you were in my country, the quality press or the BBC. Don’t blame you, of course, but this is the world we live in. The deal is this. No longer do we look at fact or argument. We simply assume our position and assume that anyone who contests it is worthy only of contemptuous dismissal.
    The alarming thing is that this isn’t only a “left wing” approach. I’ve been looking at some “right wing” stuff recently. Magazines here that call themselves “paleo-conservative” and some people who call themselves the “alt-right” in your country. From what I’ve seen – I didn’t spend that much time there – they’re pretty well as bad.
    Let’s face it. The artfully calibrated sneer is generally what passes for political argument in your country or mine. You and I don’t like it. The Colonel’s site offers us a refuge from it. But it’s to be expected it’ll pop up now and again.

  28. Anna says:

    Meanwhile, the MSM silence re Awan affair (the greatest national cyber-security breach) is deafening. It seems that the “deciders” made some orders for the presstitutes to not mention the well-documented (unlike “Russian hacking”) breach.

  29. Fred says:

    “conventionally.” I don’t think that is true of the Russian Federation. Probably not China either. Russia could certainly destroy most of the West with it’s strategic rocket forces, which our elites seem to have forgotten. China could probably do so also.

  30. smoke says:

    Egregious but good example of what passes for news reporting these days, PT.
    I had been reflecting already on what news reporting is not and ought to be, after receiving a link, from a friend, to a Huffpost report on Bill Browder’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Yes, Huffpost is an awkward bird, no “paper of record.” Its shortcomings seem similar in kind, albeit to a greater degree, to those of more established media.
    The particular article consisted of a brief summary and then a long transcript of Browder’s testimony, detailing, in gruesome detail, the depredations, torments, and eventual killing of Browder’s tax attorney Magnitsky, in the custody of Russian police. This event transformed Browder from an American-Russian investor (oligarch), chased out of Russia, into a vengeful, stinging fury targeted at Putin’s Russia. Or that’s the simple story.
    Since one no longer relies on a single source for any news, and above all not an American Brit, who spent the 90s in Russia and left with a fortune, I began searching the net for information to fill out the picture. What more is known about Browder? How is the Magnitsky Act, which Browder sponsored and lobbied though Congress, being used in practice? What was the point of his appearance at Judiciary? Etc.
    The story began to gather context and, actually, became more interesting. I passed a few tidbits back to the friend, who had recommended the Huffpost story. Such as the fact, reported by Breitbart and not by Huffpost, that during his testimony, Browder had cleared the Trump team of collusion in the meeting with the Russian lawyer Veselnetskaya. Browder reported that in 2016 she was lobbying everyone that she could find in an effort of repeal Magnitsky, and that she had lobbied throughout the halls of Congress, too.
    Later I noticed that another of my friends, with a warm heart, had linked to the Huffpost story on her Facebook page, expressing horror. I realized that she and many like her are the intended audience for such reports.
    The whole exercise moved me to reflect on what news has become and should be. Three hours on the internet put the Browder testimony in some perspective – I’d have liked to know more, but time… I would have crosschecked a NYT story too. Readers should not have to spend hours on the internet, as PT has done for this report of Russian troop movements, seeking out alternate sources, just to get a full story. Nor do we have time for this every day. Many won’t even think to look further. This is what good news reporting ought to be doing.
    This is why websites like this one have become invaluable.

  31. Anna says:

    Facebook is in service to the empire of FedReserve.

  32. Lemur says:

    Doesn’t answer my question, commits the sin of the scare quote, and borders on argumentum ad temperantiam and special pleading. Why are your positions a product of rationality while those whom you oppose are not? Is it because they reached different conclusions?

  33. Jack says:

    This is par for the course for Pravda on the Hudson. I’m surprised that NPR actually had a report on US/NATO activities around the border with Russia. I also notice that Tucker Carlson is giving some air time to viewpoints in opposition to the DC/NYC groupthink.
    I don’t know what’s gonna pierce the bubble that the Borg inhabit. If it does get pierced it will imply that we are in the middle of a major calamity.

  34. b says:

    Notice that the NYT bullshit and graphic is based on Phillip Karber of the Potomac Foundation.
    The dude is a certified lunatic known to lie over and over again:
    “Say It Ain’t So, Phil –
    From touting thousands of hidden Chinese nukes to inflating Russian threats, a certain open-source “expert” is doing a disservice to those of us who actually try to fact-check our intelligence work.”

  35. Thank you. The split loyalties within the Ukrainian military and security services were reported often at the time but the consequences of that were never so clear. The “enemy in our midst” theme in Ukrainian politics that continues to the present day gains more credibility. Mozgovoy’s belief that the Ukrainians, set to fighting among themselves instead of uniting to fight corruption and oligarchy, had been fighting the wrong war, is further validated.
    I do also wonder whether the initial Russian hesitancy was caused in part by a fear that the fight against corruption and oligarchy was a theme that would have been disruptive within Russia itself. Incorporating a bunch of sans culotte true believers, with all the prestige of victory behind them, would surely have disturbed the delicate balance of Putin’s rapprochement with his own oligarchs.
    Your account also reduces to some extent the significance of the spontaneous local uprisings in the Donbass in 2014 and casts further into doubt the importance of the role played by Strelkov. For some he epitomised the resistance. For others he was not a central figure.
    Your assessment of the future for the Baltic Russians is grim. Large numbers of people don’t “go Home” easily. There is inevitably disruption and suffering in the process. I sincerely hope your assessment is pessimistic.

  36. Sorry, Lemur. The opening two posts above typified for me the style of much modern political debate – lofty dismissal in the first and the sensible but unanswered question in the second. Where are the examples of insane pieces? you ask. But as in much modern political debate sensible questions don’t get answered.
    I’m reading up Critical Race Theory at present and trying to work out whether it’s some sort of mass delusion, like the flagellants in the Middle Ages, or whether there’s anything solid behind it. Critical Race Theory is heavy going but it’s already clear to me that it’s standard doctrine for very large numbers in academic and media circles. It’s also already clear to me that you question any part of it at your peril, as some unfortunate academics have found out. That “It is because we say it is” dogmatic approach marks out our present age.
    It’s observable in the neocons too, so it’s not a Left-Right thing. I think that much modern political dogma is powerful only because it relies on a sort of intellectual terrorism – don’t you dare to ask questions and if you do we won’t listen to them. That little exchange above seemed to typify the impasse.
    Hope that straightens out the confusion caused by my comment above.

  37. Lyttenburgh says:

    “Incorporating a bunch of sans culotte true believers, with all the prestige of victory behind them, would surely have disturbed the delicate balance of Putin’s rapprochement with his own oligarchs.”
    Chief difference – Russian oligarchs lack political power. In the Ukraine they are political power.
    Russia is fighting corruption on its own pace. Those who scream loudest about it, actually do not to win over it – they want their place at the trough. See examples of Navalny’s former pal and former Kirov’s governor Nikita Belykh. Another example – former minister Ulyukayev.

  38. Grazhdanochka says:

    While I agree to Basis of what you say, this is certainly not new Dynamic in Baltics.
    I think as rkka says unless they do something new and especially unusually controversial things will carry on as usual. Until then it is mostly what you can say is business as usual.
    I have Friends in Baltics… Of them some have emigrated to East and West, some remain somewhat demoralised and uncomfortable at Home, and even one who migrated from Moscow to be with her Husband..
    I suspect nothing will change unless something explosive happens to make a rethink of Positions and I simply not seeing that right now
    Likewise as my original Point was – Baltics I think have more motivated and reliable Security Apparatus should any such Situation occur (and NATO Umbrella to make Moscow think twice)

  39. Grazhdanochka says:

    No Problem! Mozgovoy was correct in that he understood this War as like most all Post Soviet Wars is not simply Grand Politics, but a heavily intertwined Conflict of Geopolitik – National Politics – Oligarch Warfare etc…
    Chechnya itself (94-96 had some understandable Reasons but also if you know it personally very well…. Questionable ones)
    To your Question about Russian Hesitancy, I think – No..
    For better or worse I think we have made unspoken Deal with Government, things can be somewhat overlooked if you bring actual Results. No Lynch Mobs for Oligarchs, No Violent Revolutions, just bring generally positive Results and so far? So far they have delivered in most EVERY Demographic or Measurable Quantity.
    I think Hesitancy more likely Stems from usual Reasons – Limited Preparedness, International Relations Concerns, Internal Debate and well that the Opposition in Ukraine did not really need the direct help for quite some Time until the Ukrainian Military started to advance on Russian Border in narrow Corridors around end of 2014 when things got more ‘Interesting’ ))
    As to Importance of Local Uprisings? I think it was vitally Important, the Resistance of Legacy Security Forces is one thing, the Importance of watching unarmed Women, Men resisting Armored Vehicles with only their Bodies is another (This also helped induced Defections from Ukrainian Airlanding Troops!)
    But certainly it shows that Strelkov was not the only Piece in Play on the Field, and even while he was important his Unit was mostly Ukrainian.
    Others were certainly not making their Decisions in 1 Day, these Doubts, Questions, Considerations most definitely had existed for some Time prior, increased by others Actions they saw.
    To my Assesment Baltics – It is Pessimistic, but it is also based on that talking to many from Baltics, I do not think most will ever understand us or indeed forgive the USSR or Imperial Russia even if Russia Today is very different.
    I do not want War, and I do not expect many Russians in Baltics to get Rights without the kind of Discrimination Europe supposedly rejects.
    Thus to me we should offer them (with Incentives and ideally a structured Plan) to return to Russia, it may be costly but Human Capital is Important, and it is not without Precedent – It was proposed for Russians in Kazakhstan long ago)
    I do not want to rant to long so I will leave my Response there

  40. Dr.Puck says:

    PT: “Yet, rather than acknowledge that truth, Gordon and Schmitt push the lie that this is an unprovoked action by a militaristic Russia hell bent on conquering the world. ”
    This is termed a strawman.
    There are numerous ways to interpret the quote and article.

  41. Anna says:

    “Seymour Hersh confirms that Seth Rich is Wikileaks contact.”
    Looks like an American patriot on one side and a Mossad/CIA-empowered crowd on the other side.

  42. BadBisco says:

    There seems to be some doubt of Browder’s motives. Anti-Putin director wanted to do a film about him and ended up believing he was complicit after doing search.
    Also interesting, not always a fan of the young Taibbi but with his extensive experience living in Moscow he gives some great details on how companies can be stolen/taken over in Russia.

  43. LondonBob says:

    I prefer Israel Shamir’s analysis, his Russian Jewish background gives him the requisite background knowledge, and he often goes where others fear to tread.
    The Browders, once Communist aristocracy. Earl’s grandson became a protege of Robert Maxwell who met a watery end (“The most evil person I ever met was a toss-up between Pablo Picasso and the publisher-crook Robert Maxwell.” – Paul Johnson) and then a protege of Edmund Safra, who met a fiery end. Browder thought the law didn’t apply to him, the Russians decided otherwise, perhaps some day we can also do likewise.

  44. Thanks for the correction. The impression I get is that the Russian oligarchs, though de-fanged at present, also play an important role in furthering Russian trading interests abroad, particularly in the Stans. The English use of trading companies up to the nineteenth century, and beyond at times, is perhaps a rough comparison. Someone has to do the deals, after all. The overlapping interests of the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs, still to some extent in place and certainly remaining solidly in place well after the war started, could not but have been a consideration. As Grazhdanochka says below, the Russians have arrived at some accommodation with their oligarchs. The Ukrainians never did – even in Novorossia Akhmetov’s companies were only recently taken over and that only from necessity – and the difficulty of disentangling the cross-holdings and preserving the investments is something I assume was also a factor in the Russian approach to the rebellion in the Donbas.
    A most difficult subject and if PT doesn’t find it too far removed from the present crisis one on which a more authoritative view on would be valuable – after all, the still existing trading links between Russia and the Ukraine can only be cut with further loss to both sides, as the Ukrainian unemployment and emigration rates already demonstrate.
    So too in the Baltics. Russophobia comes at a price and it’s not only tanks and the like that have to be paid for:-

  45. Philippe T. says:

    I made a QDS (Quick and Dirty Survey) of the first 25 comments out of the 266 ones in the category “Reader’s Picks” (the most popular ones), and I was amazed by the result. Approximatively 75 to 80% of the comments were criticizing the Gordon/Schmitt piece of disinformation. The main argument is the one developed by PT : the Russian army drill is a response to various NATO/US drills on Russian borders, not a bellicose Russian initiative”. The 20 to 25% of comments supporting the article or neutral were on the following lines : “Russia is expanding its borders (Crimea, Georgia), therefore a danger for neighbours”, or “Russian army is a paper tiger, this is only gesticulation”, or “Central european countries have a bad memory of Soviet occupation, we must reinsure them”.
    I wish I could have the time to continue these stats with the 529 comments of the “All” category… Within the “NYT Picked” comments, the proportion is nearly 90 / 100% pro-article !
    My question, from France, is the following : Are the 80% of NYT readers opposing the NYT policy representative of the US public opinion / of the NYT lectorate? Which consequences for the NeoCons/Dem propaganda policies?

  46. robt willmann says:

    National Security Council advisor H.R. McMaster yesterday fired Ezra-Cohen Watnick, the NSC senior director for intelligence programs, who apparently was only 31 years old–
    Back in April 2017, an article from the British Guardian newspaper talked about a Marine officer who was the CIA’s liaison to the White House who was ousted from that position and sent back to the CIA; that liaison officer had allegedly had a dispute with Cohen-Watnick–

  47. SmoothieX12 says:

    The amount of money spent doesn’t mean anything without the context
    I write about this for years now. Agree–a very dangerous approach of a direct comparison of military budgets. Paradoxically, competently adjusted figures play, in this particular case, heavily in Russia’s favor (as getting a much more bang for a proverbial buck), but Russia’s Military Doctrine is explicitly defensive and even latest Fundamentals of Russia’s State Naval Policy Through 2030, while using some language for remote ocean operations are heavily concentrated on Sea Denial not Sea Control. So, yes, Russian “threat” is blown so much out of proportion that now it finally reached a complete grotesque level not seen even during the worst times of the Cold War 1.0.

  48. Lyttenburg – A “more authoritative” view than mine, was of course meant!

  49. Lyttenburgh says:

    ” The impression I get is that the Russian oligarchs… play an important role in furthering Russian trading interests abroad, particularly in the Stans. “
    Honestly, no idea about that.
    In the Central Asia there are not proper “oligarchs” per se – only “families” and clans, with various relevance to the ruling one. The thing is – if you want anything accomplished – you go through the Head of the Family (aka the current head of the Republic). You don’t do this as a business person first – you do it through proper governmental channels. On their own, Russian oligarchs can hardly influence the local elites much.
    “The overlapping interests of the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs, still to some extent in place and certainly remaining solidly in place well after the war started, could not but have been a consideration.”
    Interests… like what? The Ukrainian oligarchs are caught between the hammer and hard place. On the one hand – they do not wish to bow to Russia, as this might mean damaging their political power. But they do not wish to embrace all this new nonsense about “Westernizing reforms” either, because this mean less corruption and influence for them as well. I remember how anyone and their dog back in 2015 waxed poetically about the Western “varanigans” in then Yatsenyuk’s cabinet – as if Yaresko, Abromavicus and assorted Georgians can miraculously unscrew the country.
    Year later nearly all of them were gone and “Mikho” Saakashvili lost his cushy job as well. Why? The “varangians” pushed both for “transparency”, as they understood it, and for further liquidation of the state enterprises. There was one catch though – they thought that the liquidation will take form of the more or less “honest” auctions, which would allow the “varangian” Western patrons to acquire the bulk of Ukraine’s industrial might, easily outbidding local oligarchs. Seeing this, the “native” oligarchs (and, first of all, Poroshenko) decided to revert back to the now traditional mode of the Ukrainian governmental. Sure, Groysman announced a huge liquidation of the state assets this year. But it will involve 1200 enterprises, not 2000 as was planned, and with NABU effectively sent chasing its own tail, nothing prevents the remaining native oligarchs to become the sole beneficiaries of the whole affair.
    The question is… so what? Without(quick!) conversion of the newly acquired assets into off-shore accounts and (extra-quick!) emigration to Cyprus, Israel or Switzerland, the oligarchs wont savour their “peremoga” over the Ukraine for long. Even then – not for too long. They are the dying breed, hailing back to the times of the post USSR plunder. They are unique curio… or the mules, a hybrid result of one particularly nasty transition. Only mules are sterile.
    That’s the Ukrainian national elite. Russian oligarchs, both the Yeltsenite remnants, or new ones coming from either “siloviks” or “civiloviks” of the early Putin’s era, have their fortunes bound to the country. It is in their interest to succeed. The Ukrainian oligarchs thus, are inter-species rivals for them – clueless and unpredictable one’s, doomed for extinction.

  50. Kooshy says:

    I always thought, like all businessmen what DT wants is to avoid/ subvert investigation of his past financials and or business deals. Looks like that is not avoidable with Mr. Muller as federal Special Investigator. Always with financial stuff is easier to pull dirt out and indite. BTW notice that this story is coming out of the horse’s mouth CNN.
    “One year into the FBI’s Russia investigation, Mueller is on the Trump money trail”

  51. Thank you for your illuminating comment. One can only hope that your view, and “Anna’s” above, are pessimistic and that things remain as “rkka” below describes them. The Baltic Russians do look like low hanging fruit, should those running our affairs for us at present feel inclined to give the screw another turn.
    Sounds as if you might have been a fan of Mozgovoy. Me too. A hard-bitten idealist who epitomised the spirit of that conflict.

  52. Dr.Puck says:

    Kooshy, do you think there might be illegal activities that have a financial component hidden away in documents that Mueller will now subpoena and take a look-see at?
    Indictments come about because prosecutors make a criminal case that crimes have been committed.
    The New York real estate world can be rough and tumble and shady. I would guess the Russian real estate and banking worlds are possibly worse. This might present various low hanging fruit.
    If the mortgage crisis fraudsters needed to be indicted, I would suppose so do ‘highly placed’ American citizens who are involved in the dark arts of the deal.

  53. Kooshy says:

    Yes, I think in his large international transaction they may find some “money laundering” issues/cases,.If president’s business were involved in any kind of money laundering he will be finished, His sons may get jailed who knows. I never thought he is scared of Russian hacking, or any serious russian influencing of elections. IMO, I don’t think they have found anything there in the Russian probe, but since Mr. Muller IMO is tasked to impeach ,he is going after the juicy stuff meaning international transactions, as you may know he (Muller) has every right to go after anything he dimmes related to Trump campaign which means anything he wishes, even 1st lady’s underwear if he thinks was paid by Russians. it is crazy, but I don’t know if he survives, he has no support from his party and his own staff in WH are leaking like hell is coming.

  54. Jack says:

    With our convoluted financial and tax laws that stretch into many many volumes of legalese and the tension between minimizing the payment of tax and the interpretation that one is crossing the line it is difficult in the best of times.
    As the story goes Al Capone was nailed for tax evasion not murder and racketeering. So, will Mueller’s grand jury find grounds to indict Trump or his cohorts on colluding with the Russians to steal the election as the MSM, Brennan, Clapper and the Democrats allege or will they dredge up some old financial transaction in Trump’s past well before he became a candidate that crossed the line? If it is the latter will Sessions find the courage to establish a special counsel to investigate how Harry Reid and several members of Congress who spent their lives in that august body on that grand salary became centi-millionaires? And maybe all the financial transactions of the Clinton Foundation and the hundreds of millions that flowed through them.
    In any case DJT has been under audit by the IRS many times so I am sure they have poured over his financial accounting in some detail. I’ll be curious what Mueller finds that the IRS did not. The question really becomes which jurisdiction will be the proper venue if it is some past financial transgression and who the jury will be in such a trial.

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