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Posts Tagged ‘Putin’

Some More Thoughts on Principal Conclusions of the Mueller Report

March 27, 2019 2 comments

In the previous post of this hopefully short series, I wrote about how the release of an executive summary of Mueller’s report has sunk the hopes of many partisan democrat voters. Apparently, many of these retards were fully expecting the report to be some sort of deus-ex-machina which would magically end the Trump presidency and then “everything would just go back to normal”. As I have written in many previous posts, the election of Trump in 2016 is just another symptom of an ongoing slow-motion implosion of neoliberal status quo and imperial pretensions of USA. In other words, removing Trump from office via some sort of legal coup will have zero effect on the constellation of factors which enabled his rise in the first place. But try telling that to the hordes of partisan democrat voters clamoring for Trump’s impeachment for “collusion” with Russia.

Which brings us to an issue that I hinted in the previous post on this topic. Why were so many partisan democrat voters animated by the possibility of Trump being impeached through proof of him “colluding” with Russia? Let me rephrase that question to better explain what I am getting at. Why were they fixated on the “collusion with Russia and Putin” bullshit story when there are tons of far more legitimate reasons for legal prosecution? I mean.. we all know that the orange buffoon is a walking disaster, in addition to having a highly shady past and serious conflict on interest issues between his business empire and office since he was elected in 2016. So why did partisan democrat voters and affluent Reagan democrats (such as MikeCA?) focus on the most ridiculous accusations against this real life version of George Bluth Sr.?

On Sunday, Matt Stoller made an insightful tweet: What Democrats really wanted from Mueller is evidence Clinton was a good candidate. Let me now unpack what he was talking about. See.. the peculiar obsession of partisan democrat types with the bullshit “collusion with Russia” narrative, to the exclusion of far better ways to nail the orange buffoon, make sense only if you consider the possibility that it is about validating their belief that HRC was the better candidate and destined to defeat Trump in 2016. Yep.. they desperately want validation for their comic belief that Hillary was meant to win in 2016 and the victory of Trump was due to some mysterious and nefarious actions by “Russia” and “Putin”. But why would they want to believe such tripe, especially given how democrats lost in mid-western states which were considered democrat strongholds during presidential elections for over two decades. Well.. it is both easy and complicated.

As I have written in more than one previous post (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5 and two short series- link 6 and link 7) the democratic party is increasingly led and organised by “credentialed” white liberal professionals who believe in the religion of neoliberalism. But what does this have to do with their obsession about HRC being the “better candidate” who was “destined to win” in 2016. As it turn out.. everything. HRC, you see, is an embodiment of the ultimate neoliberal political candidate. She checked all the right “diversity” boxes, employed advisers and interns from “elite” universities, constantly talked in empty platitudes and gave false hope through carefully chosen words, indulged in constant triangulation on contentious issues, pretended to care about “social justice” issues and generally embodied everything which people in 2019 find repulsive and loathsome about CEOs and other corporate critters.

But it was not always like that and between 1980 and 2009, many in USA (especially middle-class baby boomers and older Gen-Xers) actually believed in neoliberalism. That is why people born before 1970 (like MikeCA?) were far more supportive, if not downright enthusiastic, about HRC’s candidacy in 2016. To be more precise, people above a certain age, income level and living in coastal states saw HRC as their perfect candidate. That is why support for the “Trump colluding with Russia and Putin” bullshit narrative was so high in coastal democrat strongholds but almost absent in parts of the country which have been devastated by decades of neoliberalism. But how does this translate into a singular focus on the bullshit “collusion” narrative while ignoring all the other shitty things Trump has done in the past and is doing right now.

Well.. it comes down to what particular narrative promises and covers up, at the same time. In comparison, blaming the rise of Trump on the effects of neoliberal policies pursued by republicans and democrats since 1980 (or earlier) implicates politicians and presidents from both parties. The “collusion” bullshit narrative allows establishment types to present the victory of Trump in 2016 as an anomaly, one which they can recover from and restore the old status quo. The alternative explanation, namely that Trump’s victory in 2016 as a sign of the old order collapsing, seems to be too frightening and depressing for them to contemplate in public. Blaming Trump’s victory in 2016 on “Russia” and “Putin” allowed establishment democrats to pretend that there is no need for fundamental change while covering up the complete lack of sustained public enthusiasm for their corporate-approved candidates. And they believe they can get away with it.

So why were many coastal partisan democrat voters eager to drink the koolaid of “collusion”? To better answer that question, let talk about the other political figure who is also disliked (if not outright hated) by the biggest lay supporters of the bullshit “collusion” narrative. Does the name, Bernie Sanders, ring a bell? Yes.. there is a very strong overlap between partisan democrats who believe in the bullshit “Trump-Russia-Putin collusion” narrative and those who proudly voted for HRC in the 2016 primaries. And guess which states Bernie had many upset victories during the 2016 primaries? Yep.. many mid-western states which voted for Trump in the general election. Also remember that Bernie won far more votes from people below 40, than those past 50. The thing is, lay supporters of the “collusion” narrative are (in many ways) similar to the last generation who worship a dying religion- which in this case is neoliberalism.

Might write another post in this short series.. but not sure.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Initial Thoughts on Principal Conclusions of the Mueller Report

March 26, 2019 3 comments

I would have preferred to post on topics more consequential than an initial public summary of the now infamous Mueller Report, but it seems (based on the comments section) there is a demand for this sort of writing. And this is fine by me, because posts like the current one are much easier to write than carefully thought ones about issues which actually matter. So, let us first talk with a bit about how it all started. While the exact incident which started this sadly comic endeavor is a matter of some dispute, the timing is much clearer. What we today know as “RussiaGate” started in the summer of 2016, but its origins go back a few months before that to the time when the DNC or somebody associated with that organization paid a certain Christopher Steele to write a damming dossier about Trump. FYI- this part of the origin story is no longer controversial.

The DNC, as some of you might remember, is the same stupid organization who conspired with the corporate media to highlight buffoons such as Trump and Carson (pied-piper candidates) to make it easier for HRC to win in the general election. I wonder how that “strategy” worked out. Anyway, the dumbfuck known as Christopher Steele was hired because he pretended to be a “Russia expert”. As it turns out, Steele was talking out of his behind, because other than a few years of being posted in Russia many years ago- his grasp on his alleged area of “expertise” was non-existent. And you do not have to just believe me on this.. read the dossier. To make a long story short, the entire dossier is full of speculation, hearsay, made-up bullshit and just plain lies. Some readers might wonder.. how can I be so sure that dossier is full of bullshit.

Well.. because if even a fraction of its most salacious accusations were true, at least half the Trump family would have been jailed over a year ago and Trump would have resigned or been impeached by now. But they are not and Trump has neither resigned or been impeached. In case you don’t have time to read that “dossier”, some of the accusations included such gems such as: Trump aide Carter Page had been offered fees on a big new slice of the oil giant Rosneft if he could help get sanctions against Russia lifted, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen went to Prague for “secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers.” and Kremlin had kompromat of Trump defiling a bed once used by Barack and Michelle Obama by “employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show.” It turns out that these accusations were either totally made up or were wild exaggerations.

Michael Cohen was found guilty of perjury, lying to banks, tax evasion and violating campaign finance laws but not of going to Prague or conspiring with any “Russians” to influence the 2016 election. Did I mention that the Mueller investigation did not file any indictment against Carter Page? And there is no proof of the “Kremlin” or “Putin” having sexual Kompromat on Trump. So.. the whole dossier was largely full of bullshit. At this stage, I expect MikeCA to tell me how a few of the accusations in that dossier could be interpreted as correct. Well.. it does not take a genius with expertise in “Russia” to do a few internet searches that point to Trump’s interest in building or licensing his brand name to a few luxury condo complexes in Moscow. Trump being interested in making a fast buck and sticking his name onto architectural abominations is as predictable as dogs sniffing the behinds of other dogs. In any case, he did not expect to win in 2016.

I am not going to bore you with all the details of how things went down after that initial dossier was shopped around various news outlets and senators (including John McCain) once it became obvious that Trump was going to win the republican party nomination. Matt Taibbi has written a far more detailed account of how this bullshit drama unfolded. Aaron Maté has a pretty good analysis of the how the whole “collusion” theory has fallen apart. Branko Marcetic has a good piece about how “RussiaGate” helped rehabilitate previously discredited necons and the national “security apparatus. It is also telling that some corporate media outlets, like Vanity Fair,who were cheerleading the Mueller investigation as late as last week are now starting to publish posts which are far more somber about the Mueller Report and the future of similar investigations.

Heck.. even NYT is now starting to publish pieces which talk about the long-term deleterious effects of the media’s role in hyping RussiaGate on the national psyche. And before I forget, here is a piece by Michael Tracey about how democratic politicians and sympathetic media spent all their energies fanning this fake scandal when they could have put that same effort in uncovering the numerous real scandals of the Trump administration. I am sure that readers will see many more pieces such as these in coming weeks, as corporate media outlets try to back-paddle from their previous positions on Russiagate. FYI- Michael Tracey, Aaron Maté, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi and a handful of others were among the very few who consistently maintained that RussiaGate was a fake scandal which would not result in Trump being impeached or resigning.

They also correctly predicted that RussiaGate would end up vindicating Trump’s rants about how the “Deep State” was trying to screw him over- in addition to making it far harder for subsequent real charges of malfeasance to stick to him. And that is where things seem to be headed. It is very likely that all those investigations of Trump and his family by SDNY and a few other DAs sympathetic to democratic establishment will be seen as continuation of the ‘witchunt’ against Trump. WSo.. what has this investigation achieved thus far, apart from making Trump seem sympathetic and justified in his paranoia against establishment types?

Well.. for starters, it has done wonders for the bottom line of cynical cable news networks such as MSNBC and CNN. Con artists such as Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon (and many others) owe a good art of their recent viewership numbers to peddling this scam. Many NeoCons such as David Frum, Bill Kristol, Max Boot and many others who were relegated to dustbin of history after the Iraq war turned out to be a disaster have now been rehabilitated. Incompetent sociopaths such Comey, Hayden, Clapper and Brennan have also been rehabilitated as senior public intellectuals. And it gets worse. Gullible partisan democratic voters have been swindled out of billions by montebanks who sold them fiction masquerading as investigative journalism. Late-night “comics” cannot make “jokes” which do not involve fantasies of Trump getting arrested or impeached.

In summary, the Mueller investigation and the artificial hype surrounding it have done a lot of long-term damage to the credibility of american journalism.. well.. whatever was left of it after 2003. In the next post on this topic, I will show you how establishment democrats peddled and promoted RussiaGate to avoid any self-analysis after their anointed candidate was defeated by that orange buffoon in 2016. As somebody on Twitter quipped- What Democrats really wanted from Mueller is evidence Clinton was a good candidate.

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting YouTube Clips about how Democrats will Screw Up in 2018

May 5, 2018 1 comment

Here are two interesting and recent clips from the Jimmy Dore Show channel on YT. While each is about a seemingly different topic, both address the issue of how Democrats are likely to screw up and lose the 2018 election- inspite of the golden opportunity provided to them by Trump’s record unpopularity. Of course, this has been the case for at least a couple of decades. Also, check out some of the other recent video clips on his channel.

The first clip is about how disenchantment with Obama, in the black community, is now too strong for democrats to confidently expect the kind of voter turnout they enjoyed among that electoral group in 2008 and 2012. As some of you might remember, I wrote a three-part series on that very topic a few months ago. While democrats could certainly motivate potential voters by promising and implementing populist policies to help their most loyal voters, you can bet that they won’t do anything like that.

The second clip is part of a long interview with Glenn Greenwald, in which he talks about how establishment democrat obsession with “Russia” and “Putin” has attained the level of a sacrament within that party. He also talks about how this establishment obsession is blocking their ability to talk about issues which most voters actually care about, thus alienating them even further. As many of you might also recall, I have written more than a few posts on this topic (link 1, link 2, link 3 and link 4).

What do you think? Comments?

Factors Determining Russian Response to Current Provocations by USA

April 13, 2018 4 comments

As most of you must have heard by now, clever idiots belonging to the deep state in USA, UK and maybe France want to “punish” the current Syrian government for allegedly using “chemical weapons” against civilians in some part of Ghouta. In addition to the timing of this alleged “attack” being highly suspicious, it is worthwhile to note that all “evidence” presented so far has come from an extremist Islamist group funded, armed and trained by the USA and UK. In fact there is good reason to believe that this particular “attack” was either stage-manged by UK, including the fact that this extremist group was on the payroll of certain Sunni gulf states with the tacit approval of UK and USA.

Then there is the multi-billion dollar question as to why the Syrian army would use a chemical weapon as ineffective as chlorine gas (and just once) in the conflict for Eastern Ghouta which it effectively won yesterday. Also, why is the allegedly “humanitarian” anglo-american west are so desperately willing to believe a group which openly believes in killing non-Sunni Muslims? And what about the continued support for Saudi Arabia by the “west” in its ongoing genocidal (and unsuccessful) war in Yemen. And let us not forget all the civilian deaths that occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan due to actions of the “humanitarian west”, though they ended up losing both wars.

Clearly, this reeks of extremely high levels of bullshit and solipsism on part of the west. But a more detailed discussion on that topic is best left for a future post. Instead we will focus on how Russia, which is helping the Syrian government and has a legitimate military presence within that country, would respond to any large-scale military attack by the anglo-american countries against Syria and its own troops stationed in that country. More importantly, is it possible to predict how bad things will get if the anglo-american west is stupid enough to do something along those lines.

To understand the factors which will determine Russia’s response to any half-assed military adventurism in Syria by the anglo-american west, it is worthwhile to start with a quick lesson in history.

1] Most of you must be aware of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. OK, it wasn’t so much a crisis over Soviet missiles in Cuba as it was the USA throwing a fit that USSR was doing to it what it had done to the USSR. More specifically, installing Soviet nuclear-tipped IRBMs in Cuba by Khrushchev was a response to USA installing similar IRBMs in Tukey. After much posturing, a back-channel agreement between USA and USSR was reached that resulted in USSR withdrawing its missiles from Cuba in exchange for USA doing the same for its missiles in Turkey in the next few months- and global nuclear war was averted. At least that is where most historians in the west seem to stop.

So why is this incident relevant to the current events in Syria? Well.. it comes down to public perception of who “won” in the Cuban Missile Crisis and the effect of that perception on internal party politics within USSR. To make a long story short, secrecy surrounding the back-channel deal made between Khrushchev and JFK made the former look like the loser even though he achieved almost everything he wanted. The public loss of face was a major factor behind Khrushchev’s ouster in 1964. All of his successors, up to Yeltsin, took great effort to make sure that they would never be publicly perceived as weak in face of USA. You can be certain that Putin knows his Russian history very well.

2] Part of the reason that the Cuban Missile Crisis ended the way it did was that USSR in the early-1960s possessed significantly fewer long-range nuclear weapons than USA. Remember that this was the era when ICBMS and nuclear submarines carrying SLBMs was brand new technology and most long-range nuclear strokes were supposed to carried out by large bombers like the B-52 and Tu-95. Also spy satellite technology was in its infancy. All those issues were fixed by the late 1960s and since then there has always been a rough parity of nuclear warheads and delivery systems between USA and USSR and now Russia.

But what does that mean for any Russian response to nay large-scale anglo-american military action in Syria? Well.. a lot. For one, Putin in 2018 is not constrained by the limitations experienced by Khrushchev in 1962 while dealing with USA. Also, unlike his predecessors he has real leverage over many NATO members since Russia is a major supplier of gas and oil to those countries. It helps that he has been quite successful at nudging Turkey out of the NATO alliance. The fact is that “sanctions” or no sanctions, many NATO countries need to purchase Russian oil and gas (in addition to some other commodities) to keep functioning.

3] And this brings us to the issue of the almost continuous low-grade economic and PR warfare that the decrepit anglo-american west has been trying to wage against Russia since at least 2012. As I have stated in previous posts, I have a theory that many elites (of all countries but especially the west) lack a theory of mind. In other words, they believe that people all over the world think and act the same way for the same reasons. That is why these sad idiots believe that economic sanctions against Russia or “oligarchs close to Putin” would make him more amenable to USA. The events of the last few years have not supported this belief- to put it mildly.

As I wrote in a previous post, the military capacity of Russia is far stronger than its GDP (as measured in USD) would suggest. In fact, I wrote a short series on why comparing incomes and GDP across countries in USD has no relation to reality. My point is that all the “oligarchs” in Russia derive that current status from closeness to political power. Unlike USA, its is political leaders who control rich people in countries such as Russia and China. Consequently, their policies are far more insulated from corporate profit margins than in USA and other western countries.

It helps that the very obvious and overt campaign to demonize, humiliate and hurt average Russians since 2008 by the anglo-american west has increased support for Putin. Many of them also remember how oligarchs supported by the west looted and raped Russia in the 1991-2000 era, under the guise of “economic reform and liberalization”. Then there is the even bigger issue of world trade and commerce being increasingly centered around Asia rather than the stagnant and decaying societies of North America and western Europe.

To summarize, Russia and Putin are in a much better position to respond in kind to any large-scale anglo-american military adventures in Syria than most people realize. They also figured out, some years ago, that the anglo-american west is not (and was never) interested in an equal relationship with Russia. My guess is that they will make sure that their inevitable response to such stupid adventurism is seen as a response rather than as adventurism. Also, they might respond to the anglo-american west in more than one part of the world.

What do you think? Comments?

Initial Thoughts on Novichok Agents, Sergei Skripal, Russia and UK: 2

April 6, 2018 2 comments

About two weeks ago, I wrote a post about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter by an organophosphate compound– allegedly by “russian agents” in UK. At that time, corporate MSM outlets in the west were busy concocting increasingly outrageous stories about that incident. As it turns out, pretty much every single story promoted by the MSM about that incident turned out to be unsubstantiated by evidence. For example: initial reports of twenty other people being accidentally exposed to that compound proved to be incorrect. The only other person allegedly exposed to that compound has since recovered and we still are not sure about how he got exposed to it in the first place.

More tellingly, none of the first responders and medical personnel got ill from handling Skripal and his daughter. Initially, British authorities had claimed that the poison was found in the car ventilation system, then they claimed it was on the door handle and now they are considering the possibility that it was in a gift brought over by his daughter from Russia. They also initially said that Skripal and his daughters had little to no chance of recovery and we now learn that his daughter is recovering and will leave the hospital soon. Today, we are told that Skripal will also make a ‘miraculous’ recovery.

In other words, the “official” narrative put forth by the British government about that incident has been unusually vague, ever-changing and too dependent on having uncritical belief in their honesty. Some of you might recall how similar and totally made up claims by British “intelligence” services at the core of’Iraq Dossier‘ were used by Tony Blair’s government to justify support for the failed american invasion of Iraq in 2003. There is also a strong parallel between this incident and the attempt by German intelligence agencies in 1994 (with approval by USA) to implicate the then Russian government in a fake plot to smuggle plutonium into the west.

To make matters even more peculiar, the British government still has not been able to provide evidence that it knows the identity or structure of the compound involved in that incident. As I wrote in my previous post, indirect identification of organophosphate compounds by their ability to inhibit cholinesterases and other related esterases is pretty straightforward. Definitive identification of the compound, though easy nowadays compared to 30 years ago, is substantially more complicated. Having said that, the apparent inability of multiple government labs in nearby British biological and chemical warfare laboratories at Porton Down to provide objective data to support their claims of identifying the compound is odd.

Based on the many peculiarities and oddities of this case in addition to the past history of those making the accusations, it is worthwhile considering another possibility. Maybe the British government, or some faction within its “deep state”, is behind the poison attack on Skripal and his daughter. False flag attacks to generate public sympathy for, or unity behind, a cause are not unknown. Similarly, there is a rich history in the “west” of using false flag attacks to demonize another country. It is also hard to ignore that the “deep state” in UK and USA is the biggest beneficiary of such an attack. Let me explain that point in some detail..

Skripal was an ex-Russian spy who betrayed his fellow officers in the KGB for purely financial reasons. You probably know that he was caught and tried in 2004 and imprisoned for a few years (2004-2010) in Russia before being part of a spy swap deal with UK and USA in 2010. If the government in Russia really wanted him dead, he would not have lived long enough to be part of the spy swap deal in 2010. Then there is the question of why this incident occurred days before the presidential election in Russia. Think about it.. how does such an incident benefit Putin in his reelection campaign? The simple fact is that it does not help him.

Such an incident does however provide the “deep state” in UK and USA with more ammo in their ineffectual campaign to demonize Putin. It is no secret that the USA and its old crippled prison-bitch aka UK are not adjusting well to the emerging world order- an order in which they stand to further lose whatever real or imagined global influence they possessed. It is no secret that the many recent global military misadventures by USA (and UK) such as the failed invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan have been humiliating and expensive failures. Their attempts to extend NATO right upto Russian borders and generally behave as if the world is still stuck in 2000 have not gone as planned.

The pathetic attempts by USA, UK and France (waning western powers) to interfere in other parts of the world such as Syria and part of Africa has been unsuccessful. Furthermore, their dream of turning Russia into some vassal state ruled by west-friendly oligarchs has been a miserable failure. It does not help that the financial crash of 2008 has exposed the many failures of western neoliberalism to their own domestic populations. It is no wonder, therefore, that average people in the west have in the recent past voted for concepts such as Brexit and people such as Trump and other fake right-wing populists. To make a long story short, the traditional elite in the west (especially the USA and UK) are feeling their power slip away irreversibly.

It is therefore not surprising that these mediocrities are trying to reboot the Cold War. The general thought process behind their actions is as follows.. The cold war was good for establishment elites as it allowed them to consolidate their power in western countries and suppress dissent and challenges to their undeserved power. Perhaps, rebooting the Cold War (they think) would let them use the same playbook and turn back the metaphorical clock. Of course, any objective person can see that this hare-brained scheme is going in failure since the underlying conditions across the world have changed a lot since the late 1980s.

Then again, establishment elite have never been the sharpest tools in the shed (link 1, link 2). I mean.. look at how they are reacting to Trump’s election in USA. Not a minute goes by when these idiots are not breathlessly talking about another leak from the “Mueller team”, another “new” link between Putin and Trump or some other similar absurdity. In fact, I have written more than one post about this in the past, including how this obsession is a symptom of a much deeper intellectual bankruptcy among establishment elites in USA.

All of this in addition to the “deep state” fondness for hare-brained schemes which look amazingly impressive on paper strongly suggest that the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter in UK was a false flag operation, which did not work out as originally planned.

What do you think? Comments?

Initial Thoughts on Novichok Agents, Sergei Skripal, Russia and UK: 1

March 20, 2018 13 comments

About a couple of weeks ago, a former Russian military intelligence officer named Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter were found unconscious on a public bench in Salisbury by a passing doctor and nurse. They were taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital where their condition was determined to be the result of exposure to an organophosphate compound, most likely a nerve agent. Within a day or two of the event, the British government was openly blaming Russia for this incident. The Russian government has, so far, officially denied any involvement in whatever caused Skripal and his daughter to end up in the hospital.

While there is no shortage of alternative narratives, speculation , trolling and changing stories by all sides involved in this incident, especially UK, we are still not close to anything approaching a somewhat reliable account of how Skripal and his daughter got exposed to whatever chemical they were exposed to on that day. To complicate matters further, a lot of scientifically illiterate liars who happen to write for supposedly “respectable” news outlets such as the NYT, WP and Guardian have muddied the waters even further with their bullshit and.. face it.. propaganda.

In this post, I will try to de-convolute a lot of the bullshit, lies, exaggerations surrounding this incident and the chemicals allegedly used. I will also talk about some of the peculiar, and largely glossed over, facts of this case.

1] While definitive diagnosis of poisoning by cholinesterase inhibitors such as organophosphates is relatively quick and easy, identifying the compound responsible for that intoxication is often difficult- especially if the compound is present in minute quantities. But why? Well.. it comes down to the nature of tests necessary for reaching each endpoint. It is fairly easy to run a small sample of blood and plasma through an assay which measures RBC and serum cholinesterase activity. While not identical to neuronal acetylcholinesterase, these enzymes are similar enough to each other as a family that compounds which inhibit one will inhibit the others.

Ready-to-use kits for measuring both red blood cell and plasma cholinesterase are available in the diagnostic laboratories of almost every major hospital. In contrast to that, rapid and definitive identification of an organophosphate compound is harder- especially if the compound is present in very small quantities or is uncommon. While modern mass-spectroscopy based methods can detect minuscule amounts of any chemical compound, preparing samples for testing can often take more than a couple of days- especially if you do not know which test specimen contains the compound of interest.

2] While the government in UK still maintains that the compound they identified is a Novichok agent‘, we still have not seen any of the evidence which led to their conclusion. You might remember that in 2002, the UK government made a similarly bold claim that they were certain about Saddam Hussein possessing large stockpiles of WMDs. We all remember how that one played out. It does not help that their stories about where Skripal and his daughter might have gotten exposed have kept on changing. Also, we do not have any definitive evidence about the extent of exposure to other people in their vicinity or those involved in their subsequent medical treatment and investigation.

Similarly, their contention that this compound must have come from a “Russian chemical laboratory” is not supported by available evidence. The structure of more than a few of these compounds is readily available and while their synthesis would be highly risky, a large corporation or government program in any country with a half-decent chemical industry could synthesize them without much difficulty. Furthermore, these compounds were developed to be especially easy to synthesize- in addition to being highly toxic. Unless they can show that isolated samples contain some signature reaction side-products or they apprehend those who poisoned Skripal and his daughter- definitive attribution to Russia is basically impossible.

3] There is also the question of why Russia would target Skripal and his daughter in 2018, as opposed to anytime after the 2010 spy swap with UK. Why wait eight years to do something that is certain to get negative international attention? Sure.. Skripal was seen as a traitor by the Russians, but that has been the case since he was arrested by them in 2004. It is actually somewhat odd that he did not die in a Russian prison sometime between 2004 and 2010. Also, why go after him when there are other more target-worthy Russian expats living in UK.

And then there is the vexed question about why his daughter was still working in the US embassy in Moscow. Think about it.. why would a person whose father was imprisoned for high treason in a country continue to work in the embassy of an adversary nation in that country? Why did she not work in a similar position in another country? Why flaunt her presence in Moscow by working at the US embassy, when the government there saw her father as a traitor. Clearly, there is a lot more to this story than has, so far, been made public.

Will write another post on this topic based on future developments and comments.

What do you think? Comments?

On the Obsession of Corporate Media with “Trump-Russia” Fairy Tales

December 11, 2017 23 comments

Almost eleven months ago, I wrote a post about how the then new obsession of establishment democrats and mainstream corporate media with alleged “Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election” was a sign of intellectual bankruptcy. Sharp-eyed readers will notice that it was the first in what was supposed to be a short series on how this manufactured “scandal” was another symptom of the general disconnect between establishment types and everybody else. At that time, I had hoped that this particular establishment brainfart would be temporary and most people in it would eventually regain their tenuous connection with reality.

Of course, even then I knew that this manufactured “scandal” was going to last for a long time- largely because establishment democrats and their neoliberal media allies and donors had no interest in a genuinely populist counter-platform to Trump and the republicans. To make a long story short, I could not find enough motivation to write the next part of that series because Russia-hysteria by establishment democrats kept reaching increasingly ridiculous levels with each passing day. A couple of months after that, I tried writing another series on the reasons behind the promotion of anti-Russian hysteria by the establishment. Once again, I could not get myself to write a second part because.. the hysteria kept on getting worse, if that is even possible.

I did, however, write a standalone article later that month about why establishment democrats are desperate to believe in the myth of Russian interference in 2016 elections. To make a long story short, democrats are still unable to accept that their 30-year old neoliberalism-lite formula has no realistic future. They can’t believe that paid endorsements by various celebrities and “intellectuals”, lots of advertisements on old mass media platforms, carefully written but utterly dishonest speeches and party platforms and tons of ivy-league consultants could not defeat a mediocre reality-TV star.

So where do establishment democrats and their mainstream corporate media operatives go from here? Or are we stuck in an endless stream of ineffectual “leaks” and “scoops” about ongoing investigations (real or imagined) into the ‘Trump-Putin’ or ‘Trump-Russia’ connection until Hell freezes over for them?

While I try to be optimistic, past experience has shown that my pessimistic.. I mean realistic.. assumptions are usually correct. IMHO, we have gone past the point where establishment types could make a graceful exit from this carnival freak-show. Expressing steadfast belief in the validity of a ‘Trump-Putin’ or ‘Trump-Russia’ scandal is now a required part of the democratic party belief system, not unlike how devout Christians are expected to believe in the resurrection of Christ or devout Muslims are supposed to believe that their Prophet ascended to heaven on a winged horse.

Now, you might ask, how can I be so certain about this particular outcome? Let us start by talking about Louise Mensch. In case you wondering what I referring to, here is a little primer on her. To make another long and convoluted story short, this woman is a life-long attention whore with a talent for inserting herself into controversies. Let latest vehicle to fame (or infamy) has been a constant stream of increasingly laughable confabulations about Trump being in imminent danger of being arrested and impeachment through some fanciful ‘double secret’ investigation.

But why talk about a two-bit attention-whore with no real understanding or insight into whatever she is tweeting about? Well.. as it turns out, there is a huge market for her laughably ridiculous tweets, and not just from partisan democratic party supporters or brain-damaged rubes. This serial confabulator has been enthusiastically retweeted by supposedly respectable establishment types such as Laurence Tribe, a bunch of famous journalists, many senior democratic party operatives and many more supposedly “serious” and “intelligent” people. Her scam even got her published in the NYT and she appeared on multiple allegedly respectable talk shows.

And this brings us the inevitable question: Why were so many supposedly “intelligent” people so willing and eager to believe such utter bullshit? Why were they so enthusiastic about trying to get rid of Donald Trump through such highly questionable legal maneuvers than by simply pointing out his numerous and massive shortcomings while offering a plausible and comprehensive counter-platform? I think it comes down the simple fact that neoliberal establishment types cannot even bear the thought of offering a true populist alternative to Trump.

They still believe that Trump’s victory is a temporary aberration and they can go back to their old neoliberal ways once he steps down or is impeached. They still believe that the world hasn’t changed since 2006-2007 and that the neoliberal consensus can go on till the end of time. While this might seem highly delusional to people with some connection to reality, establishment types (democrat and republican) and their media stooges live in a world where they nobody they interact with contradicts their belief system. They literally cannot imagine a world different from the one responsible for their ill-gotten wealth and position in society.

To give you an idea about the depth of wishful thinking prevalent in democratic establishment types, let us talk about the Steele dossier. I am sure that many of you might about that secret report containing information about an older incident in a Russian hotel involving Trump, local escorts and ‘golden showers’. Have you ever wondered by the democratic establishment and their media operatives were so willing to uncritically believe the veracity of an incident so odd and contrary to Trump’s persona?

I mean.. most people would totally believe a story that Trump had a thing for escorts who looked like his oldest daughter, Ivanka. They would even believe a story about him demanding beauty pageant participants give him oral sex in exchange for promotion deals. And yet the dimwitted confabulator who wrote that dossier, paid in part by the democratic party establishment, came up with a story that was so obviously and laughably improbable. But the bigger issue here is that the democratic establishment and their media operatives were very enthusiastic and willing to propagate something that was poorly researched and hard to believe.

So.. why could establishment types and their media flunkies not come up with better material for smear jobs aimed at Trump? Why have all their attempts, to date, been so laughably ineffective and amateurish. Aren’t these people supposed to the cream of american intelligentsia, educated at ivy-league universities and apparently “succeeding” a series of important-sounding and highly paid careers. Or maybe, they are not. Maybe, they are just mediocre parasites who were born to the rich parents or got a few random lucky breaks. Maybe, they are helpless and incompetent in an environment which is different from the one that facilitated their parasitism.

And that is why the title of this post suggests that corporate media flunkies of the democratic party are obsessed with fairy tales about Trump. As all of you know, people above a certain age and commensurate mental faculties are incapable of believing in such stories even if they tell them to entertain younger children. The democratic party establishment and their media flunkies appear to be so out of touch with reality and how other people view them that they are relentlessly peddling ludicrous stories to discredit Trump while totally ignoring his many broken electoral promises and highly unpopular decisions he made since he assuming office.

What do you think? Comments?