Message added by william.scherk

One person whose opinions I wish we could consult right now is the founder of Objectivism. Having a cold eye on the Soviet Union, a cold eye for any unfree state, a cold eye for dictatorships, Ayn Rand would likely be able to add moral clarity to the 'debates' about Russia Russia Russia.

A  couple of folks here have contended that Rand would be enamoured of Donald Trump, a notion I find preposterous. But I could be very wrong.

What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]


william.scherk

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One of the items I fish out of the general Russia Russia Russia hoopla is geopolitical strategy. In other words, setting aside the unproven allegations of the Trump-Russia 'collusion' grab-bag, and putting to one side the actual details of the "Russia hack" of the 2016 US presidential election -- leaving the residual "what is this administration's larger strategy with regard to Russia, its hopes and fears, its ambitions."

This is no easy task. The election campaign revealed just a few rules of thumb that a Trump administration would use in a new relationship. 

Each of us will have an impression of just what President Trump hopes to achieve in relation to Russia between now and 2020. For me, having studied utterances of Michael Flynn and the many Russia/Putin statements from the president, it is to "get along," to cooperate where it serves American interests, and perhaps to let Russia back in from the cold by removing sanctions where appropriate. In an sense, it is a desire to move the 'deep state' off its suspicious foundations in order to make a better partnership with the Eurasian nuclear power. 

(the 'deep state' I envision as the intersection of established policy [of the executive branch, including national security agencies] and law [from the legislature]; it is the entrenched state of affairs, the 'ship of state' -- a vehicle of praxis built up over time. The 'deep state' of course takes its orders not from a shadowy cartel, but from department policy as written, intelligence findings as transmitted, and law. Law as in the welter of official acts and regulations, eg, Magnitsky-related sanctions. The 'deep state' vehicle can be refitted and given new missions, but this takes time, time to install new commanders with clear mission statements, time to legislate and decree a change in direction, speed, goal and targets)

Having established their own briefs on facts and values, strategy and intelligence, law and practice, OLers might like me might have asked themselves the same set of questions -- not of the American 'vehicle' commanded by President Trump, but of the Russian ship of state.

What Russia wants.

-- that boring introduction done, here is a well-written analysis of Russian imperatives:

Russia’s Evolving Grand Eurasia Strategy: Will It Work?

NB: at 4200 words the article is not light reading.  But I suspect readers will be better able to answer the question "What is a proper Russia policy for the USA?" 

One person whose opinions I wish we could consult right now is the founder of Objectivism. Having a cold eye on the Soviet Union, a cold eye for any unfree state, a cold eye for dictatorships, Ayn Rand would likely be able to add moral clarity to the 'debates' about Russia Russia Russia.

A  couple of folks here have contended that Rand would be enamored of Donald Trump, a notion I find preposterous. But I could be very wrong.

[Spelling and grammar plotzes fixed Jan 10, 2018]

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On 5/2/2018 at 3:42 PM, william.scherk said:

Putin has a message for the West: Don't corner Russia! 

 

Big deal! Chasing rats with sticks is nothing to North American youths, especially Florida hockey players, as attested here by our own 9th Doctor, and well-documented elsewhere.

Putin (whose forechecking skills are nearly nonexistent) will have to do better than that, to frighten Real Hockey Men.

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35 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

My expectations for a Putin-Trump summit in a neutral third-country are fewer theatrics than with Kim's summit, and a clear instance of Trump doing what he intimated he would do during the campaign: initiate a real 're-set' with Russia, where her sins against the concept The West are set aside in the interest of  Apple Pie, Order, Values, and unfettered Motherland. 

I'd expect a de-escalation or de-confliction on issues where the Ship of Deep is slightly offset from the Will of the Emperor. For example, what the fuck, NATO? Stop being so aggressive. Maybe even a Crimea-Schmimea moment.  At the very least a kind of turning away from Adversary Talk to Xi-style Buddy Talk.

Russia could use a respite from being the whipping-boy of every Deep person, yes?

Now the Deep Russian goals may or may be different from Putin's goals, as his relationship to the Deep Fake is rather opaque, shall we say. Is he a crony-capital mafia state reformer, a chauvinist, a loather of Western moral slippage? Is he an exemplar of more-or-less-okay Illiberal Democracy, reflecting mixed-economy foundational values from an Objectivish point of view, and thus no worse than any other regime in the so-called West, the industrialized democracies? 

The worst I might say about Putin is that power has corrupted him and so his state reflects that corruption of power, to further corruption of authority. And to speak in his defense, a strong executive as emerged in Russia post-Yeltsin was constitutional. 

I figure I can guess what Putin will ask for and perhaps receive during extended face-to-face no other fucking losers at the table.  I don't know which options to consider if I were to guess what Trump wants from Russia.

What does Trump want from Putin at the summit, for a Win-Win like in Seoul?

Does anyone willing to speak got speculation or opinion on what Trump wants for and from Russia?

  Reveal hidden contents

 

All so sad and so true and so deeply unimportant  to those who now make decisions on the 24-hr news cycle and the whims of a semiclad emperor.

But I will take a guess at what Trump wants from Putin; what Henry VIII wanted from Francis of France, what Emperor Wilhelm wanted from the King of England and other minor countries' leaders - obeisance and endless admiration.

Good luck on that one, Donald.

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11 hours ago, caroljane said:

But I will take a guess at what Trump wants from Putin; what Henry VIII wanted from Francis of France, what Emperor Wilhelm wanted from the King of England and other minor countries' leaders - obeisance and endless admiration.

Good luck on that one, Donald.

The President has his story and he is sticking with it.  Forget what Pompeo said ... it seems to be inoperative.

[Added:  The date and place of the Summit was announced by the White House today. It will happen on July 16 in Helsinki, four days after the NATO summit.]

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On 6/27/2018 at 7:48 PM, william.scherk said:

What does Trump want from Putin at the summit, for a Win-Win like in Seoul?

Does anyone willing to speak got speculation or opinion on what Trump wants for and from Russia?

Thank you Caroljane. 

Here I think the Russians will be better at presenting whatever points and theatrics they hope benefit their points of view.  Having a loyalist media can certainly help with that.

See Politico's Ahead of summit, U.S. and Russia tussle to control the narrative.

Quote

 

[...] The challenge for Bolton is to develop a substantive agenda for the meeting that could be read out to say the U.S. made progress on concrete American national security and economic objectives, experts said.

That has not always happened, optically or otherwise.

Despite Trump’s warm words about Putin, to the consternation of U.S. allies, his administration has been made to feel the chill, including a bizarre episode in April 2017 where the Russian president kept former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson waiting for hours before finally agreeing to see him.

In one instance under former President Barack Obama when U.S. officials felt they didn’t have much substance ahead of time — and sensing that a meeting was moving in a negative direction — American officials canceled a two-day Moscow summit in September 2013.

[...]

Even with the best circumstances, and under America’s best-laid plans, it’s impossible to predict how Trump will behave.

The meeting comes at a tenuous time, as he continues to insult some of America’s strongest allies while flattering its adversaries — relationships characterized by his nicknames: “Justin from Canada,” a dismissive name for Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, and “Chairman Kim,” Trump’s honorific for North Korea’s autocratic leader.

The president on Thursday also appeared to support Russia’s claims it had not interfered in the 2016 presidential election, even though U.S. intelligence agencies concluded it had.

“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn’t Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption!”

Trump’s remarks also appear to run counter to testimony of his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said during a Senate subcommittee hearing on Wednesday that the president would warn Putin at the summit that it’s “completely unacceptable” to interfere in U.S. elections.

Putin, meantime, is unlikely to take a back seat and play to a script. Having spent years fighting against America’s portrayal of Russia as an adversary, he is now trying to demonstrate that the warmth projected by Trump, and by extension Russia’s influence in the world, is real.

 

-- I'd include material from Breitbart, but Breitbart is simply reprinting stories from the wire services of AFP and AP, which I think may be on MSK's extended Faye Knuze list.

Here is an opinion piece from loyalist media, FoxNews; it is thoughtful though partisan, and well-reasoned --even if it does not appeal the Q-anon whoopee adherents on the forum:

Trump-Putin summit would strengthen US national security

Quote

While dire, the freeze in the U.S.-Russia relationship is not an irreversible phenomenon. Key issues dividing the nations remain Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election; Moscow’s military and economic support for the separatists in Eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea; Russian support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad; and more than a dozen assassinations of Russian dissidents in Britain.

Nevertheless, the Trump administration has no option other than to deal with Putin’s Russia to the best possible extent. Russia is a major force in today’s global environment, and no amount of economic sanctions or travel restrictions will make it disappear.

Those in Washington who argue for a more aggressive U.S. policy toward the Kremlin believe that diplomatic pressure and economic strangulation alone will be enough of an incentive to persuade Putin to change his behavior. That hypothesis, however, has proven to be wrong.

After four years of U.S.-led multilateral economic sanctions, the expulsion of Russia from the G-8 group of advanced economies, and enhanced military readiness on NATO’s eastern frontier, Russia’s foreign policy has remained static.

While Presidents Trump and Putin would not resolve all the mistrust and problems plaguing the bilateral relationship overnight, a meeting would at least provide both leaders with an opening to shift the narrative and determine whether there is any room whatsoever for constructive collaboration.

Meanwhile, some obviously-directed-by-anti-anti-Qanon forces and the Hidden Armies of Jan ... from the Moscow Times.

Navalny Aide Jailed for Social Media Post

Quote

[...]

Convictions for social media activity under Russia’s anti-extremist legislation have tripled over the past five years, despite criticism of the law’s use by rights groups.

Vladimir Dubovsky was detained by authorities on Wednesday, only days before nationwide rallies called by Navalny to protest an unpopular retirement reform.

A district court in Vladivostok sentenced Dubovsky to 8 days behind bars for posting an “extremist” song on his page on Vkontakte, Russia's social media site, according to the court’s ruling.

“Yesterday, immediately after leaving a special detention facility, [anti-extremism officers] nabbed Vova [Vladimir] once again,” Navalny’s regional team posted on Vkontakte on Thursday.

The song in question describes sexual acts in graphic detail.

But Dubovsky denied posting the song and argued he was framed, reported the Newsru.com website.

Dubovsky was one of several people recently arrested in a police raid on the opening of a new office by the Open Russia pro-democracy group in Russia’s Far East

[...]

Trivia ... "who was the last person hanged in the United States?"  You answers should not include lynchings or Anthony Bourdain-style Luciferian false-flagging or obvious psy-ops, unless you just cain't help it.

Anybody notice how much a Q resembles a noose?

xsJuokb.jpg

Edited by william.scherk
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18 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Here is an opinion piece from loyalist media, FoxNews [...]

Trump-Putin summit would strengthen US national security

Quote

While dire, the freeze in the U.S.-Russia relationship is not an irreversible phenomenon. Key issues dividing the nations remain Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election; Moscow’s military and economic support for the separatists in Eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea; Russian support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad; and more than a dozen assassinations of Russian dissidents in Britain.

So, what if Trump "gives"  more than he "asks"?  What is Trump after ...?

 

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What do you want in exchange for cutting back on information warfare against Western democracies and American interests?

Quote

IDEAS
The Great Russian Disinformation Campaign
In a new book, Timothy Snyder explains how Russia revolutionized information warfare—and presages its consequences for democracies in Europe and the United States.

DAVID FRUM
JUL 1, 2018

[...]

 

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On 7/2/2018 at 11:58 AM, william.scherk said:

What do you want in exchange for cutting back on information warfare against Western democracies and American interests?

To possess Republican Senators?

 

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I came across an interesting Russia-focused Youtube channel, Russian Insight. It is bracing if not refreshing to see a nationalist media organ fluffing its leaders. "You should be so lucky," said a certain Deep someone.

Anyway, this is worth a view -- if you'd like to delve a bit into the Other Guy's' thinking.  

 

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Watch: Embattled FBI Agent Strzok tells Hill GOP its attacks help Putin sow chaos

Quote

"Russian interference in our elections constitutes a grave attack on our democracy," Peter Strzok told lawmakers in his prepared opening statement.

"Most disturbingly, it has been wildly successful — sowing discord in our nation and shaking faith in our institutions. I have the utmost respect for Congress's oversight role, but I truly believe that today's hearing is just another victory notch in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart."

Strzok's statement also denied that political considerations have ever affected his official acts as an investigator.

The tone he set did not endear him with the leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, which have made him and a former FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, the targets of months of attacks about political bias within the agencies.

The hearing was often raucous and seemed at times more like a TV comedy about Congress than a real committee hearing.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., criticized what they called the clear bias against Trump that Strzok and Page had demonstrated and they lectured Strzok about his refusal to answer questions based on instructions from the FBI's attorneys.

Democrats, led by Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., attempted to throw a number of procedural roadblocks into the way of the majority's questions, including with a number of motions and "points of order" to slow the questioning.

Ultimately Strzok responded to a question from Gowdy about the early portion of the Russia investigation by defending his own work and the work of the FBI. They are safely walled off from any individual's personal political views, he said.

Strzok wound up where he begun, with a condemnation of the partisan attacks on the Justice Department and FBI he said had been corrosive of Americans' trust in federal law enforcement.

The insiders

Strzok played important roles in both the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was secretary of state and the investigation of Russian election interference in the 2016 presidential race now run by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.

What does he know?  

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On 7/21/2017 at 10:06 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

The was no "Russia Hack" of the election.

Yes. Or so it seemed as we discussed back on page one.

 But do examine the detail of the indictments filed today (especially the intrusion into one state's system). It's only 29 pages:

 

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Russia, Russia, Russia. What the hell does Russia want from the United States?

Clues may be obtained from a letter given Rand Paul, who took his stoogery to Moscow and had a few lap-dances with Russian legislators and other mucky-mucks. There is no Deep State in Russia, I expect ...

In any case, a letter from the President made it to the President. As Arte Johnson's Laugh-In character might say, "Very Interesting."

randpaulletterTrumpDGGsearchAug8.png

Spoiler

 

 

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"Now you tell us, Marge? Now you tell us?"

Russian state TV warns Trump to ‘do what we say’ if you want ‘support in the elections’

Quote

 

Vitaly Tretyakov, the dean of the Moscow State University’s School of Television, argued that the Russian government should use whatever leverage it had over Trump to bend the president to its will.

“Let’s turn this into a headache for Trump,” he said, according to Davis’ translation. “If you want us to support you in the elections, do what we say.”

Trump has been infamously reluctant to admit that Russia acted to help him get elected as president in 2016, and during his Helsinki press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, he once again expressed doubt about the conclusions of American intelligence agencies even as he credited Putin for being “strong and powerful” in his denials of interference.

Watch the video below — Tretyakov’s remarks start sat the 53:47 mark.

[WSS added:  video cued up] 

 

 

 

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The picture of the ironic(?) 'Rather be a Russian' t-shirted Trump supporters appears in Russian media, wouldn't you know ...

Oh well. 

An interesting "Muh Russia" trifle from the Atlantic. The author is John Sipher ... emphasis added.

Quote

Two Donald Trump supporters were recently photographed at a rally wearing shirts emblazoned with the phrase i’d rather be russian than a democrat. To some supporters of President Trump, praising Russia and denigrating Democrats is simply a means of expressing tribal loyalties, or of goading liberals. However, as heated political rhetoric becomes part of the media landscape, such fringe views are becoming more mainstream, displaying an increasing convergence of interests between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the views of Trump supporters.

While many Americans are concerned that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, Trump’s outright convergence of interests with Putin’s Russia may well prove far more damaging for U.S. interests in the long run. Convergence can be defined as distinct groups doing the same things for different reasons, or as a unity of interests evolving from separate starting points. Both Putin and Trump seek to inject chaos into the U.S. political system. They support an assault on U.S. foreign-policy elites, encourage fringe and radical groups, and envision a United States untethered from traditional allies. They also share a willingness to utilize informal and semi-legal means to achieve their goals. The common interest shown by Russia and the alt-right in exploiting fears surrounding the routine Jade Helm military exercise in Texas in 2015? That’s convergence.

[...]

96EE4EC3-B8DA-4362-8ED7-CA8F219C6DC3_w10

Putin Rides with the Night Wolves!  Story link: click image.

 

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23 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

The picture of the ironic(?) 'Rather be a Russian' t-shirted Trump supporters appears in Russian media, wouldn't you know ...

I wonder if it has occurred to anyone on the left to try to discover what those who were wearing the shirts had in mind. I mean actually asking people who wear the shirts what they mean in wearing them. I don't mean making distorted inferences based on one's own Narrative™ and assigning Them Others positions and meanings.

I haven't seen any such curiosity from anyone on the left.

 

1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

Oh well. 

An interesting "Muh Russia" trifle from the Atlantic. The author is John Sipher ... emphasis added.

Excellent example of what I was just talking about above!

J

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Russian leadership suggests they can blunt the effect of the latest/looming US sanctions -- which we might assume could ultimately threaten the strength of the ruble.  Not exactly sure how Russia's fantasy-league win would work, but there it is.

(the dramatic economic situation in Turkey right now provides some interesting context to the Russian plaints ... "don't use money as a political tool ... ")

rubleDollarAug15.png

 

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Just when you think "Muh Russia" has been knackered and sent to the glue factory, another headline, another deep dive into "active measures."  This time in the Baltics. This Is How Russian Propaganda Actually Works In The 21st Century

 

Quote

 

Skype logs and other documents obtained by BuzzFeed News offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Kremlin’s propaganda machine.

Posted on August 29, 2018, at 8:01 a.m. ET

TALLINN, Estonia — The Russian government discreetly funded a group of seemingly independent news websites in Eastern Europe to pump out stories dictated to them by the Kremlin, BuzzFeed News and its reporting partners can reveal.

Russian state media created secret companies in order to bankroll websites in the Baltic states — a key battleground between Russia and the West — and elsewhere in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The scheme has only come to light through Skype chats and documents obtained by BuzzFeed News, Estonian newspaper Postimees, and investigative journalism outlet Re:Baltica via freedom of information laws, as part of a criminal probe into the individual who was Moscow’s man on the ground in Estonia.

The Skype logs and other files, obtained from computers seized by investigators, reveal the secrets and obfuscating tactics used by Russia as it tries to influence public opinion and push Kremlin talking points.

[...]

 

 

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1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

Just when you think "Muh Russia" has been knackered and sent to the glue factory, another headline, another deep dive into "active measures."  This time in the Baltics. This Is How Russian Propaganda Actually Works In The 21st Century

 

 

Zzzzzz.

Oh, sorry. I skimmed the article to see if it has occurred to anyone to try to investigate and measure the effects that Muh Russians' efforts may or may not have had on anyone. Apparently not. Is there any evidence at all that they influenced anyone to a greater degree than my cousin's thousands of attempts on social media to convince others of the powers of essential oils and healing crystals? (Zero likes, zero replies, several ignores and unfollows, and a few unfriends.)

No? It's just too fucking scary, so we have to take measures immediately to control everything? Maybe it's even "settled science" already, and anyone who asks about proof is a "science denier"?

J

  • Like 1
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21 minutes ago, Jon Letendre said:

I love how the morons haven’t yet figured out that their Russia! Russia! Russia! mantra long ago became counter-productive. Most thinking people take it as a sign of psychosis now.

Louder, Billyboy, louderrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!

If you cannot post other than insult, your "input" is not welcome here. "Muh Pedophile Sheriff Badge" notwithstanding. 

Edited by william.scherk
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