Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

The FBI’s Conspiracy Theory of a Trump/Putin Collusion Has No Clothes, Paul Craig Roberts

As they say in Texas, this dog of a Trump/Putin conspiracy just won’t hunt. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

Unable to provide an ounce of evidence that a Trump/Putin conspiracy stole the presidential election from Hillary Clinton, the corrupt US “intelligence” agencies are shifting their focus to social media and to Internet sites such as Alex Jones and Breitbart. Little doubt the FBI investigation will trickle down to Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept, Zero Hedge, the Ron Paul Institute, Nomi Prins, Naked Capitalism, Lew Rockwell, Global Research, antiwar.com, and to others on the PropOrNot, Harvard Library, and Le Monde lists, such as top Reagan administration officials David Stockman and myself. It is extraordinary that the FBI is so desperate to protect the budget of the military/security complex that it brings such embarrassment to itself. Who in the future will believe any FBI report or anything a FBI official says?

Those behind this “investigation” understand that it is so ridiculous that they must give it gravity and credibility. They selected two reporters, Peter Stone and Greg Gordon, in the McClatchy News Washington Bureau, who fit Udo Ulfkotte’s definition of “bought journalists.” Hiding behind anonymous sources—“two people familiar with the inquiry” and “sources who spoke on condition of anonymity”—the presstitutes fell in with the attack on independent media, reporting that one former US intelligence official said: “This may be one of the most highly impactful information operations in the history of intelligence.” http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article139695453.html

Wow! A totally ridiculous “investigation” is one of the most important in history. The implication is that the Russians are operating through scores or hundreds of independent media sites to control how Americans vote.

There was once a time in America when people were skeptical of anonymous sources. It was widely understood that anyone could tell a reporter anything and that a reporter could claim an anonymous source whether or not the source existed. Perhaps it was the Watergate “investigation” by the Washington Post that gave anonymity credibility. The Post’s reports made it sound like any sources ratting on Nixon’s perfidy was at risk of their lives, and the subtle emphasis on risk gave anonymity credibility.

To continue reading: The FBI’s Conspiracy Theory of a Trump/Putin Collusion Has No Clothes

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Western Interests Aim To Flummox Russia, by Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson

If Russia decideds to break away from China and Iran, and throw in its lot with the West, it will get very little in return. From Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson at paulcraigroberts.org:

An article by Robert Berke in oilprice.com, which describes itself as “The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News,” illustrates how interest groups control outcomes by how they shape policy choices.

Berke’s article reveals how the US intends to maintain and extend its hegemony by breaking up the alliance between Russia, Iran, and China, and by oil privatizations that result in countries losing control over their sovereignty to private oil companies that work closely with the US government. As Trump has neutered his presidency by gratuitously accepting Gen. Flynn’s resignation as National Security Advisor, this scheme is likely to be Trump’s approach to “better relations” with Russia.

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China. Should Putin fall for such a scheme, it would be a fatal strategic blunder from which Russia could not recover. Yet, Putin will be pressured to make this blunder.

One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. Moreover, the West with its hegemonic impulses uses economic relationships for control purposes. Trade with China and Asia does not pose the same threat to Russian independence.

Berke says that part of the deal being offered to Putin is “increased access to the huge European energy market, restored western financial credit, access to Western technology, and a seat at the global decision-making table, all of which Russia badly needs and wants.” Sweetening the honey trap is official recognition of “Crimea as part of Russia.”

Russia might want all of this, but it is nonsense that Russia needs any of it.

To continue reading: Western Interests Aim To Flummox Russia

Putin’s Poisons, by Micah Morrison

Here’s another take on Vladimir Putin’s “murders.” Morrison concedes that no deaths can be “directly linked” to Putin, but circumstantial evidence and the fact that the murdered were political opponents, critics, and journalists investigating alleged corruption is enough for Morrison to indict Putin. By those standards however, at least two US presidents should also be indicted: Bill Clinton and Lyndon Johnson, and it might have been a better rejoinder for President Trump to have pointed that out to Bill O’Reilly. When it comes to either Russian or US politicians (or any other country, for that matter), SLL is reflexively inclined to believe the worst. From Morrison at judicialwatch.org:

As America sets out on its long strange trip with President Trump, nothing seems stranger than his repeated defense of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. “But he’s a killer,” Bill O’Reilly reminded the president in a weekend interview. “Putin’s a killer.”

“We’ve got a lot of killers,” the president responded. “What do you think—our country’s so innocent. You think our country’s so innocent?”

Meanwhile in Russia, real killers appear to have made another move to silence a critic of the Putin regime. Last week, the Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza collapsed in Moscow and was placed in a medically induced coma. His wife said doctors had diagnosed “acute poisoning by an undetermined substance.”

It’s a diagnosis that has FSB—the Russian intelligence service—written all over it. And it’s not the first time someone tried to whack Mr. Kara-Murza. In May 2015, he suffered multiple organ failure, fell into a coma and was hospitalized for two months. Mr. Kara-Murza believed he was deliberately poisoned for his political activities. His Moscow doctors thought maybe he took the wrong anti-depressant. Oh.

Mr. Kara-Murza was a close associate of Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader gunned down on a bridge near the Kremlin in February, 2015. In an amazing coincidence, all the security cameras on the bridge had been turned off for maintenance. At the time of his murder, Mr. Nemtsov was battling Putin regime corruption and organizing resistance to the war in Ukraine.

Russian intelligence uses the full tool kit against its opponents, but it has a particularly long association with poisons.

In 2004, the Ukraine opposition leader Viktor Yuschenko was slipped a near-fatal amount of TCDD, a contaminant found in Agent Orange, at a dinner with Ukrainian officials, including the deputy director of the intelligence services. Mr. Yuschenko survived the poisoning with substantial facial disfigurement. The Ukrainian intelligence official fled to Moscow.

To continue reading: Putin’s Poisons

 

Trump’s Apology for ‘Killer Putin’ is Wrongheaded, by Finian Cunningham

Here’s the money quote: “As for the «moral equivalence» complaint, the truly objective answer is that there is no comparison between unfounded allegations against Putin as a «killer» and what US presidents actually do as a matter of routine.” From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.com:

US President Donald Trump has landed in hot water yet again when he told media that he respected Russian leader Vladimir Putin – in spite of (unfounded and sensationalist) accusations that the latter is responsible for killing journalists and political opponents.

Trump was being interviewed on Fox News by Bill O’Reilly, and while expressing respect for Putin as the president of Russia, his interlocutor interrupted with the terse assertion: «He’s [Putin] a killer, though. Putin’s a killer».

Unfazed, Trump replied: «We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?»

The program went on air Sunday ahead of the US Super Bowl football final, and so is sure to have drawn a record audience. Western media outlets also reported the interview in advance with outraged tone that Trump was offering an apology for the Russian leader, and equally as bad, that the president was making a moral equivalence with the misconduct of the US.

Britain’s Guardian headlined: «Donald Trump repeats his respect for ‘killer’ Putin».

The news outlet added: «Asked on Fox about the Kremlin chief’s bloody reputation, the US president said: ‘There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers’».

The Washington Post, among other outlets, noted that this was not the first time that Trump has appeared insouciant in front of interviewers who make claims about Putin’s alleged involvement in violent repression against opponents.

The Post recalled: «It wouldn’t be the first time Trump has brushed aside the topic of Putin’s political killings».

As with much of Western media coverage on Russia and its leader, there is an offending journalistic sloppiness that states allegations and even slander («Putin’s political killings») as if they are factual.

To continue reading: Trump’s Apology for ‘Killer Putin’ is Wrongheaded

Remembrances of ‘Bromances’ Past, by Jack Kenny

Once upon a time the New York Times editorially embraced US presidents who wanted to improve relations with their counterparts in the Soviet Union. From Jack Kenny at antiwar.com:

It is not easy to arouse the frequently dormant patriotism of the New York Times, that eminent journal more often preferring to stand by Samuel Johnson’s warning that patriotism is “the last refuge of a scoundrel.” The dignified Times has generally found better ways to be a scoundrel and encourage others to be the same. The paper has more often warned against “jingoism” and xenophobia than it has bemoaned a lack of appreciation of “American exceptionalism” by an American president. And when, really, was the last time the Times criticized a U.S. president for not being tough enough, either rhetorically or in action, against Russia or the former Soviet Union? But now the president is Trump and it appears any stick is good enough to beat “the Donald” with.

To review: In an interview that aired on Super Bowl Sunday, Fox News controversialist Bill O’Reilly probed Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “He’s a killer,” O”Reilly reminded the president.

“You got a lot of killers,” Trump replied. “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

Trump’s words, which are undeniably true, are less remarkable than O’Reilly’s response, which was, to say the least muted. He quickly moved on to other subjects. We can easily imagine the fiery indignation if the same had been said by a Democrat like, say, Barack Obama. Obama, you may recall, was roundly criticized by the patriots of the right for his inadequate appreciation of “American exceptionalism.” Obama stated his belief in such exceptionalism while at the same time expressing his appreciation of the same by peoples in other countries, who regard their respective countries as also exceptional. “Oh-ho!” cried the professional patriots. That proves Obama doesn’t really understand or appreciate American exceptionalism. Oh, well. He’s probably a closet African Muslim. And where was his birth certificate, anyway, and why did it take so long to find it?

To continue reading: Remembrances of ‘Bromances’ Past

Trump and the End of Innocence, by Justin Raimondo

Before America can stop intervening in the affairs of other nations, it has to rid itself of the baggage that it is the exceptional nation destined to run the world for the benefit of all humanity. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

President Trump is once again roiling Washington and provoking attacks from both sides of the increasingly irrelevant political spectrum with his pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly. Here’s the relevant part of the transcript:

“O’Reilly: Do you respect Putin?

“Trump: I do respect him, but –

“O’Reilly: Do you? Why?

“Trump: Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight – that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.

“O’Reilly: But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.

“Trump: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think – our country’s so innocent?”

The resulting uproar crosses ideological and partisan lines in ways that highlight the President’s role – and his value – as the Great Disruptor. From the worst and most craven apologists for all-things-Clinton, to the little Lenin of neoconservatism and all the usual suspects of right-wing NeverTrumpdom, the chorus of outrage rises like the howling of dogs baying at the moon. David Frum, former neocon enforcer at National Review and now an editor at left-neocon headquarters over at The Atlantic, is apoplectic. A washed up liberal actor who’s long past his expiration date indulges in a little uncharacteristic flag-waving. And the wave of virtue-signaling “patriotic” Trumpophobia rolls on….

What Trump said is something that every ordinary person recognizes – that the US government is not and has not been a conclave of angels. He echoes what every libertarian certainly takes as given: that government is coercion, naked force, and that it routinely kills. Only our political class resists this truism: or, at least, never says it out loud, except on those special occasions when brazen bloodlust is in fashion.

To continue reading: Trump and the End of Innocence

Deep State vs. Donald Trump, by Alastair Crooke

This is a good analysis of potential changes in the US-Russia relationship, and how efforts to improve them could be sabotaged by the Deep State. From Alastair Crooke at consortiumnews.com:

President Trump has stepped onto a high-wire in defying America’s Deep State, but can he withstand the powerful winds that will surely buffet him and what will President Putin do to help or hurt, asks ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it often: the door to co-operation (with the U.S.) “lies ajar.” He has said it repeatedly: that it was not Moscow in the first place that had withered – and then severed – the lines of communication with Washington. And Mr. Putin has been consistent in periodically easing the path to “Moscow” for President Trump.

(The Americans had hinted recently that they might appreciate “a gesture” from the Russians – and they got one: Russia invited the incoming U.S. administration to the Syria talks, at Astana. Moscow made this gesture – even at the cost of almost losing their Iranian ally’s support at the talks.)

Perhaps it is this “door ajar” stance by Mr. Putin that has given rise to the idea, in much of the press, that détente between the two leaders is somehow a “slam dunk” bet — that Trump and Putin are cut from similar cloth, and will somehow end up bashing Islamic radicals together. If that is the consensus, then it is perhaps premature, and possibly wrong.

The door is indeed “open,” and it is possible that the two leaders may indeed conjure up a détente. But it is no “slam dunk” (certainty). And Moscow certainly does not regard it to be “slam dunk” – at all. On the contrary, they are aware that whereas there are areas of common approach, there are also areas of obvious difference – and possible disagreement – between the new U.S. administration and Moscow. The hope for détente ultimately may prove to lie just beyond reach. We shall have to see.

To continue reading: Deep State vs. Donald Trump