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.

Message added by william.scherk

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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In your near perfect ignorance, operating at the middle–school level as you do, you imagine this is a far–fetched story. You can’t exploit any epistemology on this topic because you have no grasp of the history of CIA activities, (or the honesty to acknowledge them, it’s hard to be certain.) They attacked enemy nuclear facilities, with Stuxnet for example, years after Chernobyl so there is precedent, for starters.

Not surprising you are laughing before hearing any details of the allegation. That’s your dumb shit understanding of adhering to valid epistemology.

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Ivan Golunov is free

-- a deep-dive report from Golunov's peer at Meduza:  Russian officials tried to frame Ivan Golunov. Instead they made him a hero

Quote

[...]

I had no illusions about who might be behind his arrest. Only a few hours earlier, he had filed the most recent draft of his latest investigation to me. He was digging into the Moscow funeral industry – an impossibly corrupt and criminal business, even by Russian standards. It’s a service one can’t refuse: you can’t not die (just as a megapolis like Moscow can’t help but generate millions of tons of garbage every year, which someone gets to process, for a handsome profit). Golunov found that high-ranking officials were involved in violent turf wars for control of Moscow’s most prized cemeteries – exactly the kind of people who can get bent cops to plant drugs on you. Golunov said as much at his preliminary court hearing on Saturday which ruled on the conditions of his custody before the trial. Ivan Kolpakov, Meduza’s editor in chief, vowed to finish the investigation and name those connected to his arrest.

Something almost unthinkable happened at the court hearing. The judge released him from custody but ruled he remain under house arrest until the trial – an unprecedented act of clemency for Russia, where thousands languish in remand prisons for months, sometimes years, before their trial even begins. It doesn’t matter that the evidence against Golunov was demonstrably false; it’s a political case where the judge is not the one who makes the decision. Any independent judge would have thrown the case out, but in Russia, your chances of getting out – even when fully, obviously innocent – are extremely slim: for the country’s top investigator the 0.51% acquittal rate is a matter of pride.

But then another remarkable thing happened: there was a national outpouring of solidarity with Golunov that quickly became impossible to ignore. Since Saturday, people have been standing in line for hours for a chance to mount a “single picket” – the only type of protest still allowed in Russia without permission. Celebrities recorded videos in his support and petitions were signed – over 7,500 signatures from fellow journalists, including those on state-owned outlets, and a Change.org petition is nearing 200,000 signatures.

It’s probably a combination of factors: Golunov’s spotless personal and professional credentials; his undeniable service to the community; and the fact his arrest was an unmitigated PR disaster for Russia as it was unfolding at the time of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, where Putin appeared, hoping to attract global investors. [...]

 

Edited by william.scherk

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From Julia Davis in the Daily Beast ...

Quote

The Russians, Rooting for Trump, Are Loving the Democrats’ Debates
The Kremlin’s Democratic darlings are Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders. Moscow doesn’t think they’ll win, but does think they’ll help Trump to a second term

[...]

Russia’s state media openly enjoy the division and chaos brought to the United States and its allies through the presidency of Donald J. Trump, leaving no doubt that the Kremlin would like to see the incumbent re-elected. 

Mutual affinity between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin is undeniable, as gushing adoration dispensed by the U.S. president is received by the Kremlin’s perennial occupant with a wily snicker. 

[...]

In covering Democratic debates, Russian state media elucidated the Kremlin’s preferences. The title of one segment echoed Trump’s words: “They won’t make America great.” And the hardest hit were the Russians’ least favorite candidates: Former Vice President Joe Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris. The Kremlin’s talking heads mocked Biden as an “elderly candidate,” with a petty, painstaking accounting of his minor slip-ups. Russian state media snickered about Kamala Harris “having her dirty deeds exposed in front of the audience of millions.”

[...]

Clashing with these unflattering descriptions was the upbeat coverage of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. In spite of the fact he’s older than Joe Biden, Sanders faced no criticism for his age. The Russian media portrayed Sanders as the frontrunner of the earlier Democratic debate night, allegedly deemed to be “more impressive” by The Washington Post. (The article in question did not contain such a description.) Russian state TV gushed about its second Democrat darling: “Tulsi Gabbard became the most popular candidate in Google searches.”   

Russia’s ongoing support for Gabbard is not surprising, since her talking points are in perfect alignment with the Kremlin and its allies, including even and especially the Assad regime in Syria. During Wednesday’s debate, Gabbard dramatically proclaimed: “We were all lied to” [by the U.S. government] in perfect synchrony with Russia’s constant assertions that the United States cannot be trusted. RT (formerly Russia Today) previously stated that, “Tulsi Gabbard’s emergence fills a glaring lacuna in a political culture in Washington chronically afflicted with the moral and rabid sickness of an empire that has entered its mad dog days.” 

[...]

shazzam.gif

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Imagine what we do and have done to them and to everyone, worldwide, for the last 100 years. No wonder so many hate us. I have asked at this site before but have had no takers: how many coups did the CIA engineer in the Americas in the 20th century?

Killery/Obama subverted Ukraine and put a hostile in power, and armed it, next door to the Russians. Imagine the Russians effecting the same in Mexico. They should want to nuke us.

Luckily Putin hacker that he is understands that that was the Bush/Clinton crime families/Deep State/Gang that Trump is at war with.

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1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

I decided to look for the sources and knew I would see something predictable.

But it was even worse than I thought.

The sources are given in the subheadline:

Quote

...according to former U.S. officials.

:)

While looking at the article, I typed the word "official" in my brower's page search function and saw the term "official" was used 102 times. That's an amazing amount of times in an article of about 4,400 words or so, seeing that the vast majority of times were used as fact sources or quote sources. 

Seeing a number and seeing an item by item list give very different impressions.

So here's a list of how this word was used. It's not a full list since I skipped some items. But all items below were copy/pasted directly from the article without repeating any item. (This means the beginning two, which are the same, were two different items in the article.)

Quote

according to former U.S. officials
according to former U.S. officials
raised concerns among some U.S. officials
said a former senior CIA official
American officials
Officials also feared
Senior FBI and CIA officials
became clear to U.S. officials
according to former officials
the former officials said
said a former senior intelligence official
more than 50 current and former intelligence and national security officials
the officials
according to former U.S. officials
said a former senior national security official
what a former senior intelligence official called
according to more than half a dozen former senior intelligence and national security officials
said a former senior counterintelligence official
according to four former senior officials
said a former senior intelligence official
according to former officials
according to three former officials
said one former senior national security official
said a former senior intelligence official
according to former officials
a former official said
said the former official
A former senior counterintelligence official blamed
said the former official
said the former senior officials
noted another former official
U.S. intelligence officials
said a former intelligence official
U.S. officials were also unsure
said a former senior intelligence official
U.S. counterintelligence officials could not agree
said a former senior intelligence official
Officials also cautioned
said the former senior official
senior counterintelligence officials also feared
said another former senior intelligence official
officials were unable
said another former senior counterintelligence official
U.S. officials scrambled
according to former senior officials
said the former senior counterintelligence official
U.S. officials also conducted
according to two former officials
said one former counterintelligence official
according to a former senior intelligence official
the former senior official said
said two former senior intelligence officials
according to one of those officials
said a former senior intelligence official
U.S. intelligence officials concluded
according to a former senior CIA official
said another former senior intelligence official
U.S. officials have observed
U.S. officials believe
said a former senior CIA official
U.S. national security officials working on Russia at the time
according to two former senior officials
One former U.S. official recalled
NSC officials, partially tongue in cheek,
According to a former CIA official and a former national security official
said the former CIA official
the official continued
according to a former senior national security official
Those officials clung to the hope
according to current and former U.S. officials
said two former senior officials
but other former officials indicated
according to former senior intelligence officials
former officials said
said a former senior official
said a former senior CIA official
the former senior official said
said former officials
according to four former officials
according to former officials
said a former senior CIA official
said four former officials
recalled a former senior intelligence official
according to a former senior U.S. national security official directly involved in the discussions
said another former national security official
according to national security experts and senior foreign intelligence officials
said a senior foreign intelligence official

Very few names were given.

In fact, the only officials named were Farkas, Rogers, Ruppersberger and Jaffer:

Quote

... said Evelyn Farkas, the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia during the Obama administration.

. . .

Mike Rogers, a former Republican lawmaker from Michigan who chaired the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2011 to 2015...

. . .

... said Rogers, adding that he and his Democratic counterpart from Maryland, Dutch Ruppersberger,...

. . .

... said Jamil Jaffer, senior counsel at the House intelligence committee from 2011 to 2013.

These four were used very little as sources, though. 

Why so many anonymous officials as sources? I guess the idea was to make this article sound... well... official.

:) 

Oh... incidentally, there were images, too:

5d7f73f2230000e90355183f.png?ops=scalefi

Wow, a Former Senior Intelligence Officer instead of an official...

I guess that makes it official, then...

LOL... What a piece of garbage... :) 

Michael

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1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

William,

And who, pray tell, is the source of what was said between May and Trump?

I looked in the article to find out.

And I quote:

Quote

... a figure briefed on the call...

Well there you have it, then.

If a figure briefed on the call said it, it had to have happened.

:)

Michael

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It looks like today is Syria Day in the White House ...

syriaAnnouncementOct6.jpg

 

Grand Supreme Hoopla!

Spoiler

memeorandum

 TOP ITEMS: 
i87.jpgshare.png James LaPorta / Newsweek:
Exclusive: Official Who Heard Call Says Trump Got ‘Rolled’ By Turkey and ‘Has No Spine’  —  Donald Trump got “rolled” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a National Security Council source with direct knowledge of the discussions told Newsweek.  —  In a scheduled phone call …
RELATED:
i4.jpgshare.png New York Times:
President Endorses Turkish Military Operation in Syria, Shifting U.S. Policy  —  WASHINGTON — In a major shift in United States military policy in Syria, the White House said on Sunday that President Trump had given his endorsement for a Turkish military operation that would sweep away …
Discussion:
i81.jpgshare.png Senator Mitt Romney:
Romney, Murphy Statement on President's Syria Announcement  —  WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism …
i89.jpgshare.png Toluse Olorunnipa / Washington Post:
McConnell joins other Republicans in rebuking Trump's Syria withdrawal  —  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly rebuked President Trump's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria, saying that a supermajority in the Senate disagreed with the president's abrupt announcement.
i85.jpgshare.png U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE:
Statement Attributable to Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Mr. Jonathan Hoffman  —  The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey - as did the President - that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria.  The U.S. Armed Forces will not support, or be involved in any such operation.
i96.jpgshare.png Wesley Morgan / Politico:
‘POTUS went rogue’: Trump's Syria move blindsides national security leaders  —  The White House's announcement that U.S. forces are pulling back from northeastern Syria to allow a Turkish offensive there took the Pentagon and the government's Syria point man by surprise ⁠ …
share.png The White House: 
Statement from the Press Secretary
  • Haha 1

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6 hours ago, Jonathan said:

By JAY RICHARDS 

There are no coincidences ... 

It will be interesting to see the roll-out of OLer comment on Syria's travails, in light of the Turkish desire to push the SDF out of areas under its present control.  The hoopla is besides the point, I think. The confusion is the key.  Cui bono and all that ...

The President said it all:  "[Turkey's] long-planned operation into Northern Syria" ...

I encourage commenters-in-waiting to orient themselves to the 'long-planned operation.' Folks with long-standing interest in the area will have the advantage in putting names to acronyms:  SDF, PYD, KRG, PKK, KDP ...

Edited by william.scherk
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320th time's a charm, huh, Moron? 🤣

This is precisely the same trap, Dingbat, that you fell for just days ago.

Are you having fun with us at this point? You have to be because no one can be this stupid yet also able to find the "submit comment" button.

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12 hours ago, william.scherk said:

It will be interesting to see the roll-out of OLer comment on Syria's travails...

Not much to see in terms of comments, at least from me.

People, especially here in the US, who make money off war (Neocons, Neoliberals, Deep State, etc.) are pissed off like never before. Man, are they cussing President Trump. And that warms my heart. They lost their human sacrifices to appease the gods of their bank accounts. 

Also, if Turkey goes in, the ISIS prisoners there will probably not be walking the earth much longer. When I think Turkey and think ISIS prisoners, I'm just not feelin' the luv...

And even that will piss off the right people. Dead men don't eat, so feeding the ISIS prisoners will be one less source of income for the war profiteers.

And the Kurds? 

We'll have to wait and see. But I'm betting things will work out.

Michael

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20 hours ago, william.scherk said:

I encourage commenters-in-waiting to orient themselves to the 'long-planned operation.' Folks with long-standing interest in the area will have the advantage in putting names to acronyms:  SDF, PYD, KRG, PKK, KDP ...

Front-porch topic ...

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Billy, it is so cute how you dwell at the fourth grade level on real world stuff. Imagining that the nations of the world all agree to respect one another’s business and refrain from meddling.

And it’s especially cute because if you had any notion at all you would not point to comically trivial things we all do each other as though you’ve identified some world-shattering scandal.

Anyway, thanks. When you jump up excited about this trivial nothing shit I picture you in pigtails, raising your hand in fourth grade and choking up about  the terrible propagandizing that will destroy relations and serenity on earth, kind of fighting back tears through it all, like when you open up about impending climate doom. 

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On 10/7/2019 at 3:44 PM, william.scherk said:

There are no coincidences ... 

It will be interesting to see the roll-out of OLer comment on Syria's travails, in light of the Turkish desire to push the SDF out of areas under its present control.  The hoopla is besides the point, I think. The confusion is the key.  Cui bono and all that ...

The President said it all:  "[Turkey's] long-planned operation into Northern Syria" ...

I encourage commenters-in-waiting to orient themselves to the 'long-planned operation.' Folks with long-standing interest in the area will have the advantage in putting names to acronyms:  SDF, PYD, KRG, PKK, KDP ...

That was really slick what you did there, Billy! Heh. I didn't even notice!

And thanks for the Phil-like schoolmarm guidance and encouragement.

J

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