Monday 18th of June 2018

— this universe of one and only living reason?...

two peasants fighting...

“Is Russia an enemy of the United States?” NBC’s Kasie Hunt demanded of Ted Cruz. Replied the runner-up for the GOP nomination, “Russia is a significant adversary. Putin is a KGB thug.”

To Hillary Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., entertained an offer from the Russians for dirt on Clinton could be considered “treason.”
Treason is giving aid and comfort to an enemy in a time of war.

Are we really at war with Russia? Is Russia really our enemy?

“Why Russia is a Hostile Power” is the title of today’s editorial in The Washington Post that seeks to explain why Middle America should embrace the Russophobia of our capital city:

“Vladimir Putin adheres to a set of values that are antithetical to bedrock American values. He favors spheres of influence over self-determination; corruption over transparency; and repression over democracy.”

Yet, accommodating a sphere of influence for a great power is exactly what FDR and Churchill did with Stalin, and every president from Truman to George H. W. Bush did with the Soviet Union.

When East Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles rose up against Communist regimes, no U.S. president intervened. For those nations were on the other side of the Yalta line agreed to in 1945.

Bush I and James Baker even accused Ukrainians of “suicidal nationalism” for contemplating independence from Russia.

When did support for spheres of influence become un-American?

As for supporting “corruption over transparency,” ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili resigned in disgust as governor of Odessa in November, accusing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, our man in Kiev, of supporting corruption.

As for favoring “repression over democracy,” would that not apply to our NATO ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, and our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte? Were U.S. Cold War allies like the Shah of Iran and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile all Jeffersonian Democrats? Have we forgotten our recent history?

The Post brought up the death in prison of lawyer-activist Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. Under the Magnitsky Act of 2012, Congress voted sanctions on Russia’s elites.

Yet China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison for championing democracy, died Thursday of liver cancer, with police in his hospital room. Communist dictator Xi Jinping, who makes Putin look like Justin Trudeau, would not let the dying man go.

Will Magnitsky Act sanctions be slammed on China? Don’t bet on it. Too much trade. Congress will do what comes naturally — kowtow. Yet our heroic Senate voted 98-2 to slam new sanctions on Russia.

What are the roots of this hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin, whom a Fox analyst called “as bad as Hitler”?

During the Cold War, every president sought detente with a USSR that was arguably the most blood-soaked regime of the century.

When the Cold War ended in December 1991, the Soviet Union had dissolved into 15 nations. Moscow had given up her empire, a third of her territory, and half the population of the USSR. Marxist-Leninist ideology was dead. An epochal change had taken place.
Yet hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin seem to exceed anything some of us remember from the worst days of the Cold War.

Putin’s Russia is called imperialist, though Estonia, next door, which Russia could swallow in one gulp, has been free for 25 years.

Russia invaded Georgia. Well, yes, after Georgia invaded the seceded province of South Ossetia and killed Russian peacekeepers.

Russia has taken back Crimea from Ukraine. True, but only after a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev replaced the elected pro-Russian regime.

Russia has intervened to back Bashar Assad in Syria. Yes, but only after our insurgent allies collaborated with al-Qaida and ISIS to bring him down. Is Russia not allowed to support an ally, recognized by the U.N., which provides its only naval base on the Med?
Russia has meddled in our election. And we have meddled in the affairs of half a dozen nations with “color-coded revolutions.” The cry of “regime change!” may daily be heard in the U.S. Capitol.

Putin is not Pope Francis. But he is not Stalin; he is not Hitler; he is not Mao; and Russia today is not the USSR. Putin is an autocrat cut from the same bolt of cloth as the Romanov czars.

His cooperation is crucial to the peace of the world, the freedom of the Baltic States, an end to the Syrian civil war, tranquility in the Persian Gulf, and solving the North Korean crisis.

While our tectonic plates may rub against one another, we are natural allies. The Russia of Tolstoy, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn and the Orthodox Church belongs with the West.

If America stumbles into a war with Russia that all our Cold War presidents avoided, the Russia baiters and Putin haters will be put in same circle of hell by history as the idiot war hawks of 1914 and the three blind men of Versailles in 1919.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book
, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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Picture at top, Two Peasants Fighting by Goya. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. The two peasants are so concerned about their quarrel that they do not realise that they are sinking into quicksand. Goya was a merciless critic of "man's cruelty and folly".

The title at top: (— this universe of one and only living reason?...) comes from Ukrainian Poet Mikola (or Mykola) Bazhan in a Poem written in Russian: 

The Flare of Constellations, (pm) Soviet Literature v489 #12 1988; translated by S. Roy.


sleepwalking towards World War III


The time-bomb is ticking and it will explode in our lifetimes.

All certainty will be lost, our economy will be devastated, our land seized, our system of government upended.

This isn't mere idle speculation or the rantings of a doomsday cult, this is the warning from a man who has made it his life's work to prepare for just this scenario.

Admiral Chris Barrie was chief of Australia's Defence Force between 1998 and 2002.

He has seen war and sent troops into battle.

Now, he says we are sleepwalking towards a conflict that will alter the world as we know it.

Australia, he says, will be invaded. He fears for the country his grandchildren will inherit.

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It's time to prevent conflicts and promote peace. Humans also have to protect other living organism on this isolated little planet. So much joy that we want to turn into grief "for our senseless pride and stubborn temper..."


newsweek took down a pair of falsified articles...

Former print magazine and current online publication Newsweek took down a pair of falsified articles by infamous writer Kurt Eichenwald following a legal settlement reached with a former Sputnik journalist Eichenwald smeared.

Newsweek deleted the stories smearing William Moran and claiming that Sputnik News colluded with the Trump campaign. 

Eichenwald, a senior writer for Newsweek, has been repeatedly caught lying, falsifying sources and making up stories, but because he remained dedicated to the mainstream media narrative, his transgressions never hurt his career, but rather have propelled it. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Eichenwald found a new bandwagon and decided to become the smearer-in-chief of then-candidate Donald Trump. He falsely claimed that The Donald had been admitted to a psychiatric clinic, but when asked to prove his allegations was unable to produce any evidence. He was one of the first to quote the quickly discredited "Golden Showers" dossier as proof that Trump was a Russian spy and, of course, accused Sputnik of being in cahoots with WikiLeaks and its staff of being not journalists but spies. 

It was the final claim that finally got Eichenwald in trouble, taken down by a young journalist and lawyer who refused to be bought off or intimidated. 

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the US media distorted the meeting...

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya told RT that the US media manipulated the story about her meeting with Donald Trump Jr, and accused investor Bill Browder – convicted in Russia for tax fraud – of running a disinformation campaign in the US.

The current president’s son and several other members of the Trump presidential campaign met with Veselnitskaya in June 2016, after a music promoter told them she could provide damaging information on the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, according to emails published by Trump Jr. last month.

Last week, Special Counsel Robert Mueller reportedly impanelled a grand jury, which could allow his team to issue subpoenas, compel witnesses to testify and seek indictments. The June 2016 meeting was one of the things brought up in the reports.

“I don’t know what exactly Mr. Mueller is going to investigate regarding my meeting with his president’s son, I can only say what I know – that my meeting was determined by my duties as a lawyer,” Veselnitskaya told RT. “I was defending a Russian citizen in the United States of America. If it turns out that defending a Russian citizen in the US is a crime – in that case, there IS a subject for Mr. Mueller’s investigation.”

Veselnitskaya said she believed that the media was colluding with certain interests to help push the narrative of “Russian collusion” with the Trump campaign.

“You see, it’s interesting how the US media machine works. The New York Times sent me a request with the list of questions on July 8. I was very surprised by these questions – they were focused on my meeting with Mr. Trump,”she said. “At first, I couldn’t even remember when exactly that meeting happened – it was so fleeting and inconsequential.

But here’s what’s interesting – after receiving a quite detailed response from me, The New York Times published only a short part they needed. Today, this article has changed significantly – if you open the first story they had on this matter, and compare it to the original version they published on the 8th – you will see how dramatic the difference is.”

I understand that the whole story surrounding my meeting with Trump Jr. has been manipulated. By whom? I see only one answer to this question. If you find the motive, you’ll find the explanation,”Veselnitskaya said. “We got so close to the truth behind the Magnitsky Act, who was pushing it –and why – for years. We found out so much about what was happening in Russia between 1996 and 2006, we found out so much about the real cases of embezzlement of Russia’s budget. And considering that, I publicly challenged Mr. Browder, the man behind this story. I think that it’s all orchestrated by him and his team.”

American financier William Browder has emerged as a central figure in the story of Veselnitskaya’s meeting with Trump Jr. The CEO of Hermitage Capital had taken the witness stand before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the “Russian collusion”and was the key advocate of the Magnitsky Act, which allows the US government to seize assets from a number of Russians accused of human rights abuse, as well as to bar them from entering the United States.

Veselnitskaya has lobbied against the Magnitsky Act in the US, and defended several prominent Russian clients.

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from the huff and puff post...


KGB Colonel Vladimir Putin had often said that the fall of the Soviet Union was the worst geopolitical disaster of the 20th Century.

Considering the other geopolitical disasters that took place in the 20th Century, this was saying a lot.

Putin would have liked to have restored the greatness of the Soviet Union, but he also understood that the Russia that he ruled could never compete with the Americans. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the US stood alone as the world’s superpower, and there was no way that Russia, or anyone else was going to be able to compete with the extraordinary military might of the United States. Putin knew, if he didn’t act, the US would rule the world unchallenged for another century.

But Putin was both a KGB master and a Judo Master, and Judo is the art of using your opponent’s strength and weight as weapons against him. Putin was small for a Russian, only 5’7”, so he had found an outlet in judo early in his life. It was a way to compete against people much bigger than he.

Putin knew that he could never compete in the world of conventional weapons, so he put all his money on an entirely new weapons system - cyberspace. A million people armed with with laptops and smart phones could do a lot more damage than a million men with rifles. In the Third World War there would be no divisions streaming across the Fulda Gap. That was a war that NATO was ready for and one Putin would lose. America was unprepared for a cyberwar, and it was one Russia could win.

Military history is replete with stories of entirely new weapons changing history. In the First World War, the British and French were totally unprepared for machine guns and barbed wire, and so just kept marching into them. In the Second World War, the Poles faced the German mechanized Wehrmacht with horses. In the Third World War, the Russians sent silent cyberweapons to defeat an America armed for a conventional battle. The Americans never stood a chance.

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This article in which much fiction abounds has attracted commentary in the Russian press.