Dmitry Babich
This week on Behind the Headlines we spoke with Russian journalist Dmitry Babic about current events from Russia's perspective. Babich, a graduate of Moscow State University, has been covering Russian politics for over 25 years. He has previously been a senior correspondent at RIA Novosti, foreign editor at The Moscow News, and editor-in-chief at Russia Profile magazine.

Focusing on Russia's modern political history and international relations, Babic was a political analyst at The Voice of Russia, a role he now continues with Sputnik International. He is a frequent commentator on international TV news, including RT, CNN, CCTV and Al Jazeera.

Behind the Headlines hosts Niall Bradley and Joe Quinn discussed so-called 'color revolutions' with Babic, what's happened in Ukraine since the US-backed coup in Kiev, and the flood of refugees streaming out of the Middle East towards Europe.

Running Time: 01:56:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Niall: Hello and welcome to Behind the Headlines on the SOTT Radio Network. I'm Niall Bradley. My co-host as always is Joe Quinn.

Joe: Hi there.

Niall: And we're joined again this week by Harrison.

Harrison: Hi there.

Niall: This week we're speaking with Dmitry Babic who has been a journalist covering Russian politics for some 25 years. He is a graduate of Moscow State University and has previously been a correspondent at Komsomolskaya Pravda daily and RIA Novosti. He was the foreign editor at the Moscow News and editor-in-chief at Russia Profile Magazine.

Dmitry: Yeah, that's all true.

Niall: That's all true.

Dmitry: Correct a little bit-RIA Novosti. This was the official name of the news agency which stays part of the main news agencies in Russia. RIA Novosti, yes.

Niall: RIA Novosti. And this of course has become joined with the Voice of Russia, which you were also a broadcaster with.

Dmitry: Yes.

Niall: Which today is known as Sputnik International.

Dmitry: The radio is called Sputnik International and the whole thing is called Russia Slobodna which means Russia Today, Russia Now.

Niall: Okay. You probably recognize Dmitry. He is a frequent commentator on international TV news shows, not least on RT's Cross Talk hosted by Peter Lavelle. So Dmitry is joining us now, on the line from Moscow. Hello Dmitry.

Dmitry: Hello. Nice to hear from you.

Niall: Likewise. I'm just going to begin with something you wrote recently. It's an article, Western-finance 'Revolution Ltd.' is Today's Comintern. You cited a Czech intelligence report accusing Russia of trying to create an entity in Europe "drawing on the concept of the common turn"; the accusation being that Russia Today is engaged in the subversive overthrow of other countries' governments. You sir, as a Russian citizen, stand accused [Laughing]. How do you answer these charges? Confess.

Dmitry: Well, I think it's unbelievable how you can accuse Russia of trying to topple other governments in Europe when we have just seen how the European Union and the United States openly supported an armed coup in Kiev, basically toppling the President who might not be ideal, but who was elected by the majority of the population and elections recognized by both the United States and the European Union. He was certainly better than the President, the government which Ukraine has now. This leadership has presided over the first civil war in the history of Ukraine, where there are thousands of people killed.

And now we hear from the European Union, accusations of Russia trying to destabilize other governments and of use Comintern tactics. Well, look at the publications! Even in the official western press, look at the publications in Der Spiegel magazine in Germany, for example. There was a big, big investigation 10 years ago, right after the so-called Orange Revolution in Kiev, which basically described the recipe, the tactics of organizing revolutions in the countries, in the regimes which the United States don't like. And this is exactly the Comintern tactics. I would call this new Comintern, the Neo-Comintern because they are basically spreading the ideology of neo-conservatives or neocons in today's world, by the methods of the Soviet Comintern from the early '20s.

And if you look at the logic of the actions of the US government and of the European Union right now, you might be surprised. Look! Both the United States and Britain acknowledge that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a mistake. They show the terrible statistics. At least 4,000 US military killed. Was anyone - not even put in prison - but was anyone fired? Was anyone demoted? No!! How can you explain this? If you think this is all for the national interests of the United States then someone should have been fired because obviously it's not in the interests of the United States to lose 4,000 people!

The only logical way you can explain what happened is that the United States and the European Union, the leadership of the United States as it is right now, follow the same logic as the early Soviet Comintern. That logic is, "You should start revolutions wherever you can. You should invade the countries which resist our revolutions. If you fail, it's not a big problem. You will succeed the next time." Let me remind you that in 1920 when the early Soviet army tried to go to Germany to help the revolution there, that Soviet army was defeated in Poland and basically it was a huge blow to the national interests of the Soviet Russia. The Soviet Union did not yet exist, but the Soviet Russia already existed.

And ironically Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, who are the two master minds of that attack against Poland, neither of them was brought to justice. Why? Because according to the logic of Comintern, they would have been criminals if they didn't try to spread the revolution to Germany and Poland. Okay, they tried. They failed. Fine. We're not going to punish them. That was the logic of Comintern; the same logic I see now applied to the people who master minded the American and the British invasion of Iraq in 2003. "Okay Mr. Bush the junior. You tried. You failed. Too bad, but you're not a criminal. And certainly the people who helped you, Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Perle, they're not criminals either because they would have been criminals if they didn't try to topple the government in Iraq."

So, this is the unfortunate situation that we have now. I understand that my voice is a minority voice but I see these disturbing parallels and I think more people should see them.

Niall: Indeed. It's astonishing at so many levels how what could be said about early Soviet Russia can now be said about the US, but also in general western practices today. It's almost as if the psychology, or indeed an ideology and the logic behind the driving forces of the early Soviet Union, have been transferred westwards.

Dmitry: You are right with just one correction. The rhetoric on the surface is different. The Soviet Union talked about high ideals, about socialism, about helping the poor, giving opportunities to the young people. So, on the surface the new masters of the world claim that they're wanting to spread democracy, equal rights to vote, civil society, a fight with corruption. But the methods are the same and unfortunately, the philosophy is the same. As Lenin once said, "Everything that serves the cause of the revolution is moral! Everything that is against the revolution, even if this is done by some very good people, this is immoral."

So, it's just amazing that the US government and the EU raise issues with Russia. "Why did you put Mr. Khodorkovsky in jail, someone who became the richest person in Russia over the '90s?" Everyone in Russia understands that you had to be a criminal to become the richest Russian in the '90s. So, the issue with him is raised but the issue of Mr. Poroshenko being the President of a country in raptures of civil war, a country where at least 8,000 people have been killed, and this issue is not even raised, you know. Mr. Poroshenko is given standing ovations when he visits Canada or the United States or the European Union countries. He was given standing ovations right at the moment when thousands of people were dying under the BUK's in Donetsk and hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers were dying encircled in these so-called rebel republics.

Just let me give you an example of how this logic works. In the Comintern, a life of one communist was more valuable than the life of several hundred so-called class enemies. That was terrible, but now look! If you look at the western newspapers before November 2015 when President Yanukovych declined to sign the cessation agreement with the EU, if you look at the western newspapers, they all said that this agreement actually can be cancelled at any moment because Mrs. Timoshenko stayed in jail. When I asked the western politicians and western dramatists, "Why is it so important? This is a country of 46 million people signing an agreement with the European Union. Why is one woman so important?" And they said, "Oh, that woman, she's in jail. We know she is not ideal. She may be corrupt, but she's so valuable to us. Her life and her freedom are so valuable."

Okay, there was this coup. The new President was installed in Ukraine. Thousands of people got killed, first in Kiev then in Donetsk and Lugansk and no one is talking about sanctions or about cancelling this cessation agreement with the EU. So, for the western rulers, the freedom of one person who supported them, the freedom of Yulia Timoshenko, is more important, than the lives of six-to-eight thousand people. That's the calculus of neo-Comintern.

Niall: Indeed, because as you said, anything that advances the cause is justified.

Dmitry: Absolutely.

Niall: Is morally justified.

Dmitry: Absolutely. Just as it was morally justified for the early Soviet Bolsheviks to kill, and to rob, and to confiscate property from the enemies of the revolution, in the same way anything is justified for the United States government and for the European so-called structures, European Commission, European Council, everything is justified if it promotes the cause of the so-called colour revolutions. You can look at sanctions which the European Union imposes. It imposed sanctions on the former President Yanukovych and his family. How can his grandson be accused of anything? A boy who went to kindergarten?

So, his family is under sanctions and the new President, Mr. Poroshenko, under whom thousands of people were killed and there was a food blockade imposed on three million people in south eastern Ukraine, and that blockade still continues, he does not face any sanctions. He gets billions from the International Monetary Fund, including somewhat from the US taxpayers, as you understand.

And the only logic as to how it can be explained is Mr. Lenin's logic. Everything that promotes the revolution is moral!

Harrison: That would apply equally to this Czech intelligence report. They can justify saying anything about Russia, for instance, even if it is not true. So, I'm wondering about this Czech intelligence report and if there's even any justification that they give that has any plausible scenario to it, about what Russia is doing. So, do they name any of the countries that they allege that Russia is trying to take over or subvert in some way? Or is it just all hot air?

Dmitry: Well, that report was just quoted by Czech newspapers.

Harrison: Okay.

Dmitry: And of course it doesn't provide any facts or documents. The Czech newspapers just quote what the Czech security services say and just like the Soviet papers in the early Soviet times, they don't question the authenticity of their own special services reports. If STB, the Czech special service says that it is true, then it must be true. This is a very dangerous logic. This is something that I think basically destroyed a lot of international press in the last few years.

You can make huge mistakes in your reports about Russia. You can claim that Khodorkovsky was honest, or that he was basically an ideal person, helping the poor, blah, blah, blah. You can say that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons and you will never be brought to justice afterwards when it transpires that you lied. You can cite lots of unconfirmed reports which prove to be false, hundreds of such facts and you won't be fired. But if you say that Mr. Putin can't be understood on this or that issue or basically Russia has a point here and there, you can be fired even for saying that! Even if the facts that you cite supporting your view are true, you will get an indignant letter from someone like Edward Lucas, who will call you a useful idiot, useful Putin's idiot, or something. You will be called names. And this is the best that can happen to you. If you are just a simple reporter and you make a report with this kind of comment, including that comment into your report, you may lose your job.

So, this is the way it works with the western coverage of Russia. Any mistake defaming Putin and Russia, the Russian people and the Russian state, any mistake is pardonable. Anything, even the truth supporting Russia, or sowing doubts about western policy towards Russia, this is a punishable offence.

Niall: Indeed! Facts seem to be very fluid in the west when it comes to anything reported on or about Russia. Dmitry, I want to ask you something about a kind of a timeline of events regarding what happened in Ukraine, because it is important for explaining a lot of what's going on now. Do you think from the Russian perspective they saw what was coming and were prepared?

Dmitry: I don't think anyone saw what was coming and I think that what happened came as a surprise to a lot of people.

Niall: Okay.

Dmitry: I think that the United States and the European Union first didn't expect their own agents to be so strong and successful, Mr. Yatsenyuk and Mr. Klitschko. Back in January 2014, back in the early days of February 2014, it looked like they lost because the economy was improving. Ukraine got this loan from Russia, $3 billion which the new Ukrainian government doesn't want to give us back. It looked like everything was fine. And then suddenly most likely Mr. Yanukovych was just betrayed by some very important oligarchs who were pressured by the west and the west probably was itself surprised that Yanukovych entrusted Ukrainian television and Ukrainian newspapers and even police, to people who were basically disloyal to him. I can tell you that I imagined that that would happen, but again, I would not foresee the civil war that happened later.

So, the west did not expect its own agents to win. And when they won the west hoped for some kind of a compromise. The west would be satisfied with a compromise, I think at the early stages. But then the guys who won, most of them were really extremist nationalists who went all the way. Instead of observing the agreements signed with Yanukovych on the 21st of February, they just viewed this agreement as a sign of weakness on his side and pressed on with the violent action. So, Yanukovych was ousted. I think is ouster came as a surprise both to Russia and the west.
Then the west and a lot of people in Russia and probably even Mr. Yanukovych himself, they didn't expect that people in the east of Ukraine and in Crimea would organize themselves so quickly and would proceed in such a decisive way. I understand why that happened because, okay we who have been living here in Moscow and in the western capitals, didn't know what was going on in Ukraine. I read the Ukrainian press and the amount of hatred in the nationalist newspapers published in Kiev or in Lviv, the amount of hatred towards the people in Donbass and in Crimea, was unbelievable.

They were called alcoholics, sub-humans, Soviet rudiments, and the remnants of a communist regime, people who should be sidelined or marginalized or even better, sent to Russia. So, you and I didn't live in the middle of it and people in Donbass lived in the middle of it. They saw these reports in the newspapers, on television broadcasts from Kiev. So, when they saw these people, their enemies, people like Mr. Tyahnybok and his Sloboda party forming the government in Kiev, they reacted immediately. Imagine that Poles would be living in the east of Nazi Germany and they suddenly saw that Hitler and Goering came to power. They would act immediately. And they acted immediately. And unfortunately very quickly a protest action in the east since Kiev started using armed forces, very quickly degraded into a civil war.

I don't think that the west was planning a civil war in Ukraine. Of course Russia wasn't planning it and you should remember that all of that was happening when Russia was just ending the Olympic Games in Sochi. So, I think it was just a risky move from the Ukrainian nationalists which brought about unexpected results, unexpected for everyone.

Joe: So Dmitry, on the Maidan protests in particular, who do you think was responsible for the snipers who shot both policemen and protesters?

Dmitry: Well, it is hard to say sitting here because what I know is just the reports that came from the Ukrainian commission which investigated the affair and they published some of their findings in the Ukrainian newspapers. I read them. Then there were several statements from our foreign minister who actually described the situation. He described the photos where André Parubiy, the commander of Maidan, was carrying weapons to a building near the square. I think right now the evidence, if there was any evidence, that evidence has been destroyed because the new Kiev regime owes its legitimacy to Maidan, so it will try to destroy every trace of the crime if indeed it was committed.

If there was hard evidence that Yanukovych ordered the killing, of course the authorities in Ukraine would quickly produce it, but we didn't see that evidence. So, most likely it was someone from that position because you probably remember that phone conversation between the Estonian foreign minister and Catherine Ashton and the Estonian foreign minister quotes one of the activists of Maidan, a woman, who said that the people who fired these weapons were probably not from the Ynukovych camp.

I can tell you on my side, that for example, André Parubiy is a real Nazi. He co-founded this so-called National Social Party of Ukraine in 1991, together with Oleh Tyahnybok. The name of the party was renamed Sloboda in 2004 because you know what National Social means in Ukraine in 1991. It was just a euphemism for national socialist party of Ukraine. I read the articles of Mr. Parubiy. I heard his speeches. He is a real provincial Nazi. And for him, he constantly speaks about the need for sacrifice. He constantly speaks about the fate of the nation and for him to kill several people, even his own activists, would not be a problem because he always requires blood and sacrifices from his own supporters. He basically has been saying since the beginning of the Maidan that, "We're going to win because Yanukovych and the guys on the other side of the berry patch are not prepare do die. And we can die and we can kill. So, we're stronger not because we have more weapons, but because we don't have these limitations on our activities. The breaks which Mr. Yanukovych has, we don't have these breaks."

Joe: The reason I asked is because those two days or so when a lot of people were killed by snipers that was a decisive moment that really forced Yanukovych to flee because it was just previous to that where he had signed the agreement that you had mentioned that would keep him in power for a little while. He would have elections later in the year. It was going to be a process of transition, but the deaths by snipers seems to have precipitated him leaving.

Dmitry: Well if you remember the exact timeline, let me remind you what happened. First, there was this shoot out. There were actually two days of shoot-to-kill actions. Then there was a sudden attack by the Maidan activists. They set on fire the headquarters of the Party of Regents with several people dead in that attack, one of them killed by the attackers, the guards to tried to prevent them from entering the building. Now the people just got burned alive inside the building. And then this agreement was signed in order to stop the violence and have in investigation.
Instead of fulfilling this agreement, guaranteed by the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Poland, and by a Russian liberal sent by Mr. Putin, Vladimir Lukin (you can look at his credentials). If Putin wanted to send someone who hates him to Kiev, that was Mr. Lukin. So, of course that agreement was not worth the paper that it was signed on because the European foreign ministers quickly sided with Maidan. Actually they had been siding with Maidan 100% since the very beginning, so it was very naïve on the side of Mr. Yanukovych to see them as guarantees of the agreement. By the way, none of these ministers later was fired, neither Frank Walter Steinmeier, nor the Polish foreign minister, Radosław Sikorski, cracked up to be a terrible liar later on, the one who made several scandalous statements later on, a pathological liar.

And of course Mr. Fabius, the French foreign minister, we have seen him very active in Syria during all these years. I can tell you that a great, great deal of responsibility for what happened in Syria is on Mr. Fabius. So, Ukraine will just add a little to that burden on his conscience.

Niall: Well, with everything that's happened since, of course there's the MH17 incident. Winter's coming again soon. Ukraine remains as a state still on the brink of default. It really is but they're keeping it alive. Ukraine said Wednesday it'll be halting paying its external debt. Between this and the semi-peace standoff in the Ukraine southeast, do you see any potential developments there in the near future?

Dmitry: Well the situation is very volatile and there is something that people in the west don't hear very often, even though Ukrainian television keeps telling it to Ukrainians every day. Actually the so-called rebels control just three percent of the Ukrainian territory.

Niall: Very small.

Dmitry: Very small. So, when they say, "Oh Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia wants to invade Ukraine up to Kiev or even to reach Lviv"; this is just laughable because what the rebels want is just to be left in peace on three percent of the Ukrainian territory. There were more than 50% of Ukrainian voters in the second round of the voters in 2010 who voted for Mr. Yanukovych. So, 50% - actually there were 52% that voted with him otherwise he would not have won - so 52% of the Ukrainian population, which was basically de-legitimized by the coup that happened in February 2014, they want for themselves three percent of the Ukrainian territory. I think it's a pretty modest deal; three percent of the territory for 52% of the vote.

The problem is the reason why this three percent is so important, because these are densely populated areas. This is the old industrial region. How was it created? In the end of the 19th century coal was found there and German industrialist investors built several big factories there, a lot of mines and several big steel mills to produce steel using the coal extracted from the land there.

And the people who were sent to work there - it was still under the Czar - they were Russians; Russians from Moscow and poor areas in central Russia. In 1920 when Mr. Lenin determined that the federal structure for the Soviet Union, this area was declare Ukrainian territory, first because it was not very important under the Soviet Union, and second because the aim was to keep Ukrainian nationalists happy. Let them have a lot of territory so that don't object too often to initiatives coming from Moscow. These people they lived peacefully and more or less happily, in the Soviet Ukraine. They put up with pressure from Kiev and from Lviv during the period of Ukrainian independence.

But when the people like Parubiy and Tyahnybok and Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko, when these people came to power in Kiev, they understood that they simply won't be allowed to leave peacefully anymore because one of the slogans of Maidan was that those Russians who want to live according to our rules, these Russians can stay in Ukraine. Those Russians who don't want to live according to our rules, they can pick up their belongings and leave for Russia. That was one of the slogans. And you can even read a lot of interviews from Maidan activists in the western newspapers saying exactly that.

Of course people there rebelled and this three percent of the Ukrainian territory that they control, this is actually the big cities, Donetsk and Lugansk and the agglomeration around them where you have vast populated areas because you have coal there, you have steel, you have people living in miner and steelworkers communities. What will happen to them? I'm very concerned because of course the war can restart at any moment. In Kiev they're talking about what they call creation experience. If you remember after the initial civil war in the former Yugoslavia, there was a region populated by Serbs inside Croatia called Srpska Krajina.

Croatians initially left these people in peace after the first war, then they waited for three years and in 1995 they attacked again and the west agreed with Milošević that Serbia would not intervene. So in a matter of two days, Srpska Krajina was destroyed and even the Russian liberals who visited that area now say on Russian radio that actually they didn't see a single Serb there afterwards. They just saw a lot of churches destroyed and the area quickly became Croatian again.

So, the Ukrainian leaders right now say, "We need to repeat the Croatian experience. We just have to wait until Russia has a different leader or Russia looks the other way and then we attack and we will win in the same way Croatians won in 1995."

Niall: That's a scary thought. So, they're talking about ethnic cleansing with the blessing of the west.

Dmitry: Well as I told you, their formula is, "Those Russians who want to live according to our rules, which means basically no study in Russian as a language of higher education. You can use it in day-to-day communication at home. You can even have maybe some newspapers in Russian or television in Russian, but you will pass your exams to the university in Ukrainian and you will have to accept our ideology, that Ukraine was occupied by Russia in the 17th century, so you are a descendent of the occupiers. Ukraine was a victim of the two regimes in the Second World War, with a sign of equality put between the Nazi regime in Germany and the Communist regime in the Soviet Union. You will have to accept it all. And if you don't accept it, the best that happens to you is you go to Russia. The worst is - well you can see how many people have been killed already."

And if you look at Poroshenko's statements - if you take the trouble and translate them from Russian, they are available in Russian in a lot of resources in the Ukrainian media - his message to the rebels when he sent the troops against Donbass was the following: "We open for you two corridors to Russia. So, the so-called fighters of Czech (?)[35:57] leave through these corridors. Go to Russia. We won't stop you from leaving. The other ones please stay at home. We will be with you shortly. We will organize elections for you. Stay at home."

So, basically the message was, "If you don't like our rules the only choice for you is to leave. We won't prevent you from leaving." But the problem is that these people in Donetsk and Lugansk, they don't have homes in Russia. They lived all their lives in Donetsk and Lugansk. They worked as miners. The worked as steelworkers. They don't have money to buy another apartment in Russia. So, that's why they fight. That's why they survive under the bombs and continue resisting the authorities in Kiev despite the food blockade, despite the bombings, despite the threat from the Ukrainian army which has amassed a huge amount of forces, at least 50,000 armed men.

But people since they don't have homes in Russia, most of them stayed. They allowed the children and the women to go to Russia. We have about 900,000 refugees at least. You don't see these refugees as easily as the Syrian refugees in Europe because these are ethnic Russians who look exactly like us, who speak exactly like us. We can't tell them from our own population, but they are refugees because they live with relatives or they live in hotels or in special refugee centres created in Russia. They don't have homes in Russia.

Joe: So, what's your prediction for the future then? You outlined a scenario where if they are allowed to or if they're able to, the Kiev government will ethnically cleanse or will try and take back Donetsk and Lugansk. Do you think that will happen? Or what do you think the final solution might be - not to use that term.

Dmitry: I understand. I understand. I had to answer this question last year. I remember how a CNN correspondent called me in August 2014 and she said, "Well look, these people are stranded on just three percent of the Ukrainian territory. The Ukrainian troops are tightening the noose. What do you think will happen?" And I said that they won't give up. They will continue resisting because this is the only way they can survive. If they are defeated on the ground, they will go underground. They will hide in the cities where the population is supporting them or in the bushes. But unfortunately the Ukrainian government did not leave these people much choice for a compromise.

If you look at the Ukrainian newspapers, despite the fact that the Minsk Agreements presuppose an amnesty for all those identified as participants in the event that took place since November 2013, despite this proclaimed amnesty, every day the Ukrainian media report about mayors or former mayors or just local officials of the territory of Donbass - which is now controlled by the Ukrainian troops - being arrested, but which held the referendum on federalization. It was not called the referendum on independence. It was called the referendum on federalization of Ukraine in the spring 2014. You probably remember about that referendum.

The western media tried to present it as a farce, but in fact it was not a farce. It was a very important decision for these people. For many it was the decision of their lives. People, who stay on the territories controlled by the rebels, also read these newspapers in Kiev. They know how the former activists get arrested. And they know what awaits them if they surrender. So, even if the Ukrainian forces attack again, my prediction is, variant one, they will be defeated just like the last time. Variant two, there will be a lot of underground guerrilla activity and simply the Ukrainian authorities will not be allowed to roam peacefully in that area.

Joe: There are other examples from around the world and over the course of the 20th century that show that a low-intensity, low-level conflict can continue on for many decades and life, to some extent can be normal. I'm thinking of Northern Ireland for example, where there was a guerrilla war against the state for 30 years.

Dmitry: Well, I can give you an example. Usually people talk about open resistance, and there are cases of open resistance, usually in the most unpopulated areas. But there are more and more such areas in Europe. Just recently on a liberal radio station that we have here called Echo of Moscow, there was a very liberal, pro-western guy, Artoly Kreutz (?) [41:57], telling about his recent visit to Estonia and he was telling his liberal listeners in Moscow how Estonia is very well managed, how everything is done by internet there. And then when they asked him, "So what was not so good in Estonia?" he said, "Well actually the communities, Russians and Estonians are completely segregated. In fact it's South Africa. If you look at who works in McDonalds you will always see Russians and if you look at the government offices, they're all employing Estonians." And then he continued talking about how nicely Estonia is run, what a cozy place it is, how beautiful Tallinn looks in the winter, blah, blah, blah. [Laughs] To me it was like you describe an excellent space ship. The only problem is that the astronauts are dead inside it. [Laughter] They're a nice country, very peaceful and cozy and everything, but it is the South Africa of Europe.

Niall: Yeah, it reminds me of the Nazi concept, herrenvolk democracy, where the ethnic ruling class is defined ethnically in the Nazi terms by an ethnic German and everyone else is below.

Dmitry: Well in Estonia it is ethnic because Estonians area a small nation and there is a large Russian community there and the Estonian language is very difficult despite the fact that the local Russians usually speak it. It's very difficult to get inside a small nation because you can't do it just by learning the language and reading the books. Big nations are usually more generous. They take people in. Small nations are a different matter.

But in Ukraine I think that the war is not ethnic, it is ideological. As I told you, the problem is not learning Ukrainian, even though you should agree that your children, if they want to have a proper education, will have to pass their exams in Ukrainian. But the main problem is not the language. The main problem is your ideological allegiance. There are several people in the Ukrainian government, including the minister of the interior, who don't speak Ukrainian. Whenever they speak publicly they speak in Russian. Mr. Avakov, the Minister of Interior is an ethnic Armenian from Kharkov; the east of Ukraine, but most of the local population speaks Russian.

And he is a very cruel, nasty minister of interior. He doesn't stop at using repression at any moment, but he doesn't speak Ukrainain. He only speaks Russian. And this is okay for the Ukrainian nationalists because, "This guy is one of ours. He killed people for us. He also thinks that Hitler is better than Stalin. He also supported the Maidan and he threw Molotov cocktails at police or helped the people who threw these bottles. He is sure that the life of a person who is against the new Ukraine is not worth anything. So, he's one of ours. He will learn Ukrainian later or maybe his children will learn Ukrainian. We don't care."

So, the difference with Estonia is that in Ukraine the war is ideological. In Estonia, discrimination is ethnic.

Joe: Dmitry I just wanted to go back to something that you said at the beginning when we talked about an article you recently wrote about how Russia is being accused of using the tactics of the Comintern or the communist international, to spread revolution around the world and the reality of the situation which is that that's exactly what the west is doing. That's been their policy for a long time. But it's kind of interesting that that's actually been a policy of the west it seems, going a long time back, to the early 20th century because there's an interesting quote from a guy back in 1924. His name was Otto Kahn. He was a Wall Street banker. He was close friends with the Warburgs, big banking families of Wall Street and he was a banker himself.

In 1924 he spoke to the America League for Industrial Democracy, which was a socialist group but actually a few years later it merged with a communist group, so effectively a communist group within the US in the 1920s in America. This Wall Street banker Kahn spoke to them and he said, "What you radicals and we who hold opposing views differ about is not so much the end as the means, not so much what should be brought about as how it should and can be brought about."

There's a whole thesis out there on the internet on different peoples' books about the neo-cons as well and their ideology. But a lot of the original neo-cons were Trotskyist types as well. It's interesting to see that this idea of spreading revolution around the world that was originally ascribed to the communists seems to have been a policy or an ideology of western capitalists essentially. They had it in the back of their mind a long time ago.

Dmitry: Well that's true and if you look at the things from a broader context, I think this is all a part of de-Christianization of ideologies and of peoples' minds in general in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. If you look at the ideologies that sprung up then you would see liberalism, you would see nationalism and you would see socialist or communist, whatever you call it. So, we have already seen terrible, terrible heritage of nationalism in Nazi Germany. We have seen only slightly better heritage of socialism in the Soviet Union and its so-called allies. And now liberalism is showing us that its face can not be much more beautiful if it is allowed to use the methods of nationalism and communists in order to come to power.

Indeed, you are absolutely right and Mr. Kahn had a point when he said that the methods were so important. The problem with the modern western leaders, - and I think that makes them very different from a much milder generation of people even under Reagan or before him, under Nixon. Nixon saw the nuances. He was ready to compromise, even with Mao Zedong and he saw people who were like fellow travellers, all of these real social democrats in Czechoslovakia, all of these Indian and independence fighters. He didn't see them as enemies.

The current regime in the United States and the Eurocrats in the European Union, for them, people in Russia or in Ukraine, or in Moldova even, they are strictly divided; the enemies who happen to be just about everyone who supports the sovereignty of Russia or real sovereignty of Ukraine or Moldova, and the allies. And the allies are defined as a pretty narrow circle of total allies, people who share the western views completely. In Russia there are many groups who are actually opposed to Putin but which are not ready to accept that the west is doing the right thing in Syria, in Ukraine, in all these places. And these groups are seen as enemies by the United States and the European Union and their leaders were also included in the sanction lists.

This is exactly the communist attitude. For Joseph Stalin, there was no such thing as allies. He viewed all the social democrats in Germany he viewed them all as enemies, all social fascists as you said. And now we have the same practice, but now not only independent groups but even basically non-political individuals are important in the category of enemies. If you look at the sanctions lists of the United States in Russia, there was this woman, Svetlana Zhurova, a skating champion. She was included in that list, only because she was a member of the United Russia party.
But this is just laughable. She had absolutely no influence on, for example, the decision to take Crimea back to Russia. She did not hurt anyone. She's a very nice woman, actually doing sports and she is more interested in public activity than in politics. And she is in the sanctions list.

If you look at the Ukrainian government, things that they do, it's just absurd. That's why I don't believe that this government will last long. They have prohibited more than 500 Russian movies; basically 80 movies were the military or police shown in a positive light, including the movies made back in the Soviet times. But you know what it is? It's like prohibiting Hollywood in Canada because the language is the same. [Laughing] A lot of actors were actually from Ukraine. Whole generations were raised on these movies. Well any government that would prohibit, for example, Saving Private Ryan in Canada, that government is doomed because of its ideology.

Niall: Yeah.

Dmitry: Especially in the times of internet.

Joe: Well the inclusion of that Olympic skater on the sanctions list by the west speaks to the propagandistic nature of the sanctions and the west's desire to use, as much as so-called economic sanctions, use propaganda to tarnish Russia's image.

Niall: Cultural sanctions.

Joe: Yeah, effectively. In theory I suppose they might have thought this Olympic skater may have spoken at some international forum or something and expressed her opinion or something, so you've got to shut her up and anybody else who has any public profile, from saying anything that the west doesn't want them to say.

Dmitry: Well, I understand this logic and of course this is exactly what Victoria Nuland or John Kerry, who compiled the list, is exactly what they had in mind. But this is simply stupid.

Joe: It's stupid, yeah.

Dmitry: I'm not a great fan of skating but probably there are people in the world who are really fond of skating and who know that woman by her face and who probably remember her scores. And even being unpolitical, if they hear; "Oh this woman is on the sanctions list. She can't go to Poland. She can't go to Latvia. She can't go to Paris. She can't go to London. She can't go to Ottawa. She can't go to Australia", they may have questions, even those of them who normally don't have questions and who eat all the stuff prepared for them by Victoria Nuland and John Kerry. At a certain moment, they may ask, "Okay, what has this woman got to do with that?"

Niall: Right.

Joe: It's a risky business for the west. It's a double-edged sword, their approach to Russia which, like you said, is stupid and irrational, but they're forced to do it. They can't help themselves. They have to do it and as part of that they risk exposing themselves to rational-minded people as being irrational.

Dmitry: Well as you rightly said, in many ways the west now reminds me of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union did exactly the same stupid things. When people made the Russian artists, when they made so-called anti-Soviet statement in the west, they were not allowed back into the country and sometimes they were even stripped of their Soviet citizenship. And that didn't make Mr. Brezhnev look very pretty because obviously he himself could not dance very well and he could not perform on piano or cello. So, when he stripped Mstislav Rostropovich, the famous cello player, of his Soviet citizenship, that was a defeat for him, not for Rostropovich.

In the same way, right now Mr. Poroshenko unveiled this so-called sanctions list against 388 persons, not only from Russia, but also from Ukraine, his own citizens. And he just said, "These people can't visit Ukraine. They can't have any business in Ukraine. They can't hold their efforts in Ukraine." He behaved worse than Brezhnev because Brezhnev before not allowing these people to return, he stripped them of their Soviet citizenship. And what Mr. Poroshenk is doing, it's like, "You are still a Ukrainian citizen. We want your taxes. We want your money but we don't allow you to visit your own country." [Laughs] And that looks stupid.

The height of his stupidity was to include in that list of 388 forbidden persons, a correspondent of the BBC, Emma Wells and a famous, famous German editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper, Rheinische Merkur, Michael Ruetz. That was the height of his stupidity. He cancelled that decision later. First he said, "Okay, let the BBC woman come to Ukraine." But first he already did the damage by announcing it in the first place. The western press of course, tried to ignore it but the Russian press did not ignore it. Mr. Poroshenko constantly talks about the freedom of the press and we need to criticize oligarchs and look how he behaves. Even Mr. Brezhnev did not dare to prohibit BBC reporters from entering the Soviet Union.

Joe: Dmitry, I just wanted to get your take on this Syrian business, ISIS or whatever they're called, and what Russia's strategy is. What's going on in Tartus and Latikia?

Dmitry: Well I think that we have a very, very complicated game there, but one thing I can exclude from the beginning, Russia will not occupy Syria as the Fox News reported; [Laughter] first, because Russia does not have the capacity to do it.

Joe: But will it annex Syria? [Laughter]

Dmitry: You know, if something cannot happen on the planet earth and if there is something that Mr. Putin would have as his worst nightmare; this is actually Russia having to fight ISIS in one of its autonomous republics named Syria. I think this is not too much for just one station in the world that is for Fox News and tough individuals like Anton Lucas but also... (Garbled audio) [59:32]. But in general, I think what happened was that - and this is how I explain the influx of refugees to Europe - if you look at the recent statements by the western leaders, they kept talking about the need to impose a no-fly zone in the north of Syria for the Syrian government. And this was said by Wolfgang Ischinger, the head of the Munich Security Conference. Then Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister of France added some oil to the fire by saying that France would get involved with its planes there.

So, people got scared in Syria because if the government coalition can't operate against ISIL, then ISIL wins because on the ground they have superiority. The Syrian army can fend them off primarily because it has support from the air, not from the United States aviation but from their own Syrian aviation. So, my guess is that Putin's strategy was to deliver to Syria certain weapons and probably some planes which would make an establishment of such a no-fly zone a costly affair for the western powers.

If you look at the statistics, people fled before it became apparent that the no-fly zone is not going to happen. They fled while there was a real danger that Assad would lose control and ISIL would occupy a big part of Syria, including probably Damascus. So, this is as far as Russia can go I think; delivering to the Syrian government the weapons which can protect it from western interference in the form of a no-fly zone. There's already western interference with the American, the British and even Australian planes bombing the Syrian territory. But okay, the Syrian government can put up with that, but a no-fly zone would be a disaster for everyone, just like the American bombing of the Syrian government positions in autumn 2015 would be a disaster because the so-called Islamic State was already in the making. The Islamists were already there.

And if the Syrian government troops had been bombed, what would happen? ISIS would declare itself not in Raqqa but in Damascus. They can hold all their chemical weapons and other deadly stuff, now in defence of Mr. Assad and then the world would have a 10 times bigger problem than the one it's having now with ISIS.

Harrison: Dmitry, what about the proposal that Putin has put forward for a new anti-ISIS coalition? If that goes forward, what role do you see Russia playing in the future?

Dmitry: Oh I think it's a very sensible proposal, the one that reminds me of the anti-Hitler coalition in 1941 and interestingly, it is actually feasible because, strange as it may sound, relations between Saudi Arabia and Russia improved. The Saudi crown prince came here and promised an investment of $10 billion. Why did that happen? Because the Saudis are also at a loss on what they should do with their ISL. ISL is also a threat to them. They were instrumental in making ISL so important because they helped to weaken the Syrian army.

But now we have a different situation and now the old scores like who did what two or three years ago, these old scores should be forgotten just like in 1941 Churchill and Stalin forgot what they had been saying about each other in the surges right?

Joe: Right.

Dmitry: Or de Gaulle and Churchill who hated each other, also for the time being did not make their difference public. So, it's a feasible plan but it comes from someone whom the west does not accept as the plan maker. So, probably it was not even very wise on Putin's side to make that plan public himself because right now, whatever Putin says, the west never takes his word at the base value. His words are always twisted and the worst of intentions are ascribed to Putin.

Joe: Yeah, but it seems to me that Putin was the one who created the conditions where this plan was necessary because from what you're saying, ISIS was created and funded by the Saudis with the help of the Americans in the west.

Dmitry: And the Turks.

Joe: And the Turks especially, as a proxy, mercenary army to go and unseat Assad after which they would be made to go away. But Russia's help to the Syrian government has prevented them from being able to do that so the west, Turkey and the Saudis are now in a bit of a bind. It's a bit of a stalemate. They don't see any victory any time soon or even ever and they have to decide what to do to with ISIS now, this group that they've created. They have to be made to go away before they achieved their object, which is getting rid of Assad.

Dmitry: You are right, but I would not over-estimate Russia's role in preventing the Syrian government from being toppled. No amount of weapons would have saved Assad if he didn't face such a terrible opponent as the Syrian Islamists. And you can give them different names. In the beginning they were probably called the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood was actually the main group opposing Bashar Assad's father, Hafez Assad and they started that insurgency in the 1980's when the army used bombs and this was all ascribed to Mr. Assad's cruelty.

So, initially it was the Muslim Brotherhood. Then we had Jabhat al Nusra. Later we see a lot of people from Jabhat al Nusra speaking on behalf of ISIS. So, these are Sunni radicals, Sunni extremists if you want, from Syria and Iraq, operating on the territory of Syria and operating in a very cruel way. Precisely because they were so cruel and so nasty, the people in Syria, even those who did not like Mr. Assad particularly, resisted and they would resist even without Russian weapons because the alternative is to die or to be treated in Europe the way the Syrian refugees are treated.

So, I think that the reason why Mr. Assad and his regime didn't crumble is not the Russian or Iranians' support, but the alternative which the people living especially in the Alawite and Christian-dominated areas of Syria, the alternative that they faced.

Niall: Indeed. Well all eyes are on New York next week, where Putin is scheduled to appear.

Joe: What's he going to say?

Niall: What's his message to the world?

Joe: Declare war on America.

Dmitry: Well I don't know. He discussed it today with his Security Council members and I think the message will be a moderate one. He will try to be constructive. I think that on Syria he would stick to his idea of a real international coalition, not the one led by the United States. On Ukraine he would call for everyone observing the Minsk agreement, not just the rebels. The problem with the Minsk agreements is that the Ukrainian side and the west just see only one part of these agreements; the one that says that the Ukrainian state should sooner or later re-establish control over the border between Donetsk and Lugansk regions and Russia.

But if you read the text very attentively, you would see that before this reestablishment of Ukrainian control, the economic and the food blockade of these regions should be lifted. This is very logical because right now the border with Russia is the lifeline for the three million people living on this three percent of the Ukrainian territory. The Kiev regime has imposed a total food blockade. On Kiev television you can see how trucks with food, even with dog food headed for Donetsk are being stopped, how the police are trying to find out who owns these trucks. These people are brought to justice as smugglers. So, the food and the water and the electricity, all of it comes from Russia via the border so if Mr. Poroshenko is given control over the border right now, that would mean that Donetsk and Lugansk would share the fate of Leningrad in 1942 and 1943; total blockade until total surrender.

And of course this is not acceptable, primarily for the people in Donetsk and Lugansk. So, Putin will be speaking about the need to fulfil the Minsk Agreements in full. We haven't got too much time. The Minsk Agreements expire on the first of January 2016. That's what he is going to say on Ukraine. On Syria, as I said, he will be urging people to join this broad coalition against ISL. He probably will respond to the accusations that Russia sent soldiers to Syria. Obviously Russia is not going to fight on the ground against the ISL, even though these people actually wouldn't mind if an international coalition fought against them. And he will have a meeting with Obama and Obama's office already made it clear that they would push for Russia joining the American in the coalition. This is what Obama will be talking about.

Harrison: I also that there was an article on RT, about the agreement that Obama and Putin would meet and that one of the talking points on Obama's part would be to stress that Putin and Russia have to abide by the Minsk Agreements. [Laughs]

Dmitry: Yes. And for them the Minsk Agreements is giving the control over the border to Poroshenko.

Niall: Yeah, back to Kiev.

Harrison: But no mention of the fact that Kiev hasn't held up any of its side of the bargain.

Dmitry: Oh, there is no constitutional reform.

Harrison: No.

Dmitry: There is no lifting of the food blockade. Instead there's a food blockade of Crimea. And there is no amnesty. As I told you, the Ukrainian press reports new arrests every day of the people who organized these referendums in spring 2014. Hundreds of criminal cases started. So, this is the kind of amnesty. This is what Kiev is doing on its side.

Niall: Okay Dmitry. I think we'll leave it there. Thank you very, very much for coming on the show to speak with us.
Dmity: I hope I was not too boring.

Niall: Not at all!

Joe: Not at all! Very interesting.

Niall: It's great to get a Russian perspective. We don't get enough in the west at all so it's fantastic that we could speak with you today. Dmitry Babic, of Sputnik International a very big thank you.

Dmitry: And very big thank you from me to all three of you, to Niall, to Joe and to Harrison.

Harrison: Thank you.

Joe: Alright Dmitry. Thanks a million. Have a great day.

Dmitry: Thank you. Bye-bye.

Joe: So, that was very interesting. Dmitry seems like the guy with his head screwed on, but then that's true of most Russian...

Niall: Commentators.

Joe: ...political commentators and analysts. They can see what's happening and see what's going on. It's just diametrically opposed to what you get from the west.

Harrison: Well it's like he was saying, the two positions have changed. The Soviet propaganda and the whole Soviet machine has just been transferred over to the west and it seems like the roles have reversed. So, nowadays it seems like the Russian journalists are the ones that are actually telling the truth and can see things as they are and basically say things as they are whereas the west has taken the line that pretty much everything they say is strictly designed to achieve some kind of propaganda goal. They're saying the end justifies the means and anything that doesn't advance the American cause is immoral and anything that does is fair game.

Joe: Right. I don't think that the Americans even during the Cold War ever told the truth about anything. I think Russia is kind of unique in that respect these days. And it's amazing that it's actually unique in the world really, in terms of just having a government and a President like Putin who actually tells the truth. I don't think a lot of people realize that, that there hasn't really been anybody of that stature in terms of being the leader of a major world nation, since JFK. And even JFK's vision was a bit coloured by...

Niall: It was extraordinarily brief.

Joe: ... three years, very brief. And he was also restricted by the fact that he couldn't criticize his own country too harshly, which is what would have been required. So, in terms of the US being the primary progenitor of chaos and suffering around the world for most of the 20th century, there's no other major country outside of the US in the world that was ever in a position to really broadcast a signal to the whole world effectively, about that kind of death and suffering that was being perpetrated on peoples of the world. So, it's almost like a unique situation right now, at least in modern history.

Niall: You can see what informs their perspective and why it's so helpful for the world in general at this point in time. It jumps out at them in fact when western leaders make statements or when they commit themselves to actions. The Russians immediately recognize the flavour of it and the underlying motivations behind the ideological explanations for why x said y or why they're doing what they're doing, because they remember very well and very recently a very well-learned lesson from living under this kind of regime. So, the perspective and help they provide for the planet in holding up a mirror to this kind of ideology mask over something very different.

Joe: It's absolutely vital and I think it's coming at a time when things are particularly bad on the planet so I don't think there's anything coincidental about it either in that sense. It's just the arrogance of the US. The American government, the American politicians, the powers that be, whatever you want to call them, including their mouthpieces in the media, very often in fact are more virulent or hysterical in their comments than the politicians because I suppose they think they can get away with it. That's what they're pandering to, an audience that likes a lot of hysteria and emotion.

But it's amazing, just the level of self-deception and delusion. It's something that comes with a really entrenched belief in your own rightness and power. It's almost like the American "manifest destiny" type of idea. It's bizarre and actually quite mentally unhinged, the way that they talk about things. There are so many different examples. Recently the defence secretary or a deputy defence secretary of the US was talking in the Washington Times about this upcoming meeting between Putin and Obama. The interviewer asked him if there would be any kind of come-down on western pressure on Russia over Ukraine, etc., blah, blah, blah and he said, "No I don't think so." He made reference to the international community. He said the international community has condemned Russia.

And they use this term all the time, the "international community". But they're really talking about Europe and America, Canada and Australia. That's about it. That's the international community apparently. It's probably 30% of the world's population and about the same amount of its landmass, but that is the international community and these people have no problem actually saying "international community" as if this is the whole world.

Harrison: More than one nation?

Joe: Yeah. These people leave out two-thirds of the world, landmass and population when they talk about the international community it gives you a really interesting insight into their mind - "We rule the world. We are where it's at in this world. The rest of the world doesn't really matter. When we do things, that's what matters and when we do things everybody must sit up and listen." You're heading for a really painful fall eventually...

Niall: The hubris of empire.

Joe: ...when you continue with that kind of attitude. These people can't see it. In their own delusion they cannot see what they're doing because they have so much trumped up belief in themselves, which is unfounded.

Niall: Yeah.

Harrison: What got me along those lines was the recent discussion in the news about the UN and the Russian veto is a horrible thing because it might force nations like the United States to start ignoring the UN because...

Niall: Start?!

Harrison: Exactly. They might have to shop around for alternative...

Joe: That was the woman that I love to hate. She's not really a woman. She's some kind of creature and she's officially of Irish descent and her surname is an Irish surname, Power, but I really, really don't like that woman because...

Niall: We shunned her from the tribe.

Joe: Actually I put her on my list of sanctioned people who can't come to Ireland. [Laughter] She's not allowed in. And if she tries to I'm going to make a citizen's arrest the next time I'm there. But she comes out with such slimy, sneaky...

Niall: Sanctimonious.

Joe: ...sanctimonious pathological and paramoralistic nonsense and she says it with such conviction and also with such pathos almost, as if she's so sincere, but it's pure and utter horse shit. It's proved to be false, stuff that she says. And not only that, I think what galls me the most is that she's the one who is perhaps the best at accusing Russia and anyone else of doing exactly what the US does. Other US politician types when they do that, they're a bit more vague about it. They're not too explicit. But she really explicitly accuses someone else of exactly what she and her ilk in Washington can be shown to be doing and have done all the time and that's what really annoys me about her.

Yeah, so this thing about the UN, if Russia continues using its veto to stop America rampaging around the world, then some countries, i.e. - America and anybody they can drag along with it - will ignore or reject the UN as a mediating body in the world. She says we may get to the point where we'll do that. But the whole world knows...

Harrison: Iraq.

Joe: Iraq in 2003 that not only did the US government ignore the UN, they went to the UN, asked the UN to agree with them to allow them to invade Iraq. The UN said, "No that would be wrong" and they said, "Well screw you. We're going to do it anyway." So, it's not only that they decided not to go to the UN. They went to the UN and then completely rejected the UN's judgment and went ahead and did it anyway. And she has the gall to stand up and accuse Russia for using its veto to stop the US from doing that kind of thing they did in Iraq?! That if Russia continues to do that, that they would then stop using the UN; even though they stopped using the UN, or caring about the UN, or considering the UN as anything worth anything a long time ago. I just want to hit her with a fish or something!

Harrison: Well she also ignores the fact that in the past 20 years or so, it's the US that has used their veto more times than Russia, specifically in regards to Israel.

Joe: Right.

Harrison: It's only been in the last several years that Russia has started using the veto. They went along with the Libya resolution, but the Libya resolution was totally creatively put into practice, so really what happened in Libya had nothing to do with the actual resolution that was passed, that Russia didn't use its veto on. But the vetoes they've been using have been specifically in regards to Ukraine and Syria and these are two areas where if the UN is a body that can do any good, then the veto should have been used in these cases. That's what it should be there for.
So, in these examples, the veto is a good thing at least in theory and in practice in these cases. But for the US, for people like Samantha Power, they just want a rubber stamp to do whatever they want to do and for them, an organization like the UN should be there just too...

Joe: Yeah, "How dare they not agree with what we want to do?! How dare they question our manifest destiny?!"

Harrison: Yeah. "This is what we want to do and you're saying no, so obviously we're just going to have to ignore you and that's not cool, so why are you doing that? Why can't you just say yes?"

Joe: Well she also said something recently in an interview, from just last week. She was talking to some talking head in the US media and she was talking about Syria and she actually accused - if I remember correctly - she was accusing Russia again of effectively creating ISIS or being responsible for ISIS. She more or less came out and said that ultimately the blame lay with Russia for ISIS because it had been supporting the Assad government and the Assad government, because it was so evil, created the conditions to allow ISIS to come in. That again, was so completely twisted and turned on its head. The entire world knows - apparently Samantha Power doesn't know - but even people in her own government and the American intelligence agencies know, and the media she was speaking to as well, know that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the US all supported the groups that became Al-Qaeda or gave them weapons and money to - sorry ISIS.

Harrison: No, you're not seeing it Joe.

Joe: Not seeing what?

Harrison: You see, Assad was bad, so because Assad was bad that means that "we" being the west, had to train all these terrorist to go in there and take him out, so anyone that supports Assad is creating and maintaining the conditions that made the funding of these terrorists necessary. So, therefore they are responsible because Assad was responsible. You see?

Joe: No. [Laughter] Tell me again. No, don't bother actually because I think my brains will start leaking out my ear.

Niall: Back to when 9/11 happened and Dick Cheney got up on Meet the Press or something and the gloves came off and he used that phrase, "It's time for the gloves to come off. We may have to do some dirty things, but you've got to get dirty when you're dealing with..." and this is where the pathos gets confusing. Do they really believe their own bullshit or are they simply consciously - there's nothing simple about it - are they aware that what they're doing...

Joe: Is hypocritical and a lie.

Niall: Yeah. The tone has been set.

Joe: That's why they're insane. That's why ultimately you consider that these people are insane because they don't realize that. They think they're telling the truth. They think they're fighting for freedom and democracy but the problem is freedom and democracy for them has long ago become conflated with their own personal self-interest. Freedom and democracy are two words that sound good to people, make people feel good because they have good, positive connotations. That becomes conflated in their old, reptilian brain, with what makes them feel good and what makes them feel good is them being in positions of power then getting to lord it over other people and command armies and enrich themselves.

So, that's why when you have a fundamentally predatory in nature like most of these people have, they're fundamentally predators behind the mask, what makes a predator feel good is eating other people. They join that up with feel good words because at that level in their minds it's all the same. It's all freedom, democracy, joy, hearts and minds, love, flowers, eat people, mmmm, tastes good. Yeah, kill everybody. Oh that feels great. Freedom and democracy. That's what they say and that's what their old, unconscious part of their brain is telling them. And it gets translated into a load of spittle-flecked hysterical hubris horseshit at the UN or something that confuses people.

Niall: Indeed. And this is why we say the best that people can hope for is that this will become more and more apparent. They'll make more and more extreme discrepancies between the obvious reality staring at one in the face and the ideological project put over it by these US political types.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: Here's another little classic. Xi Jinping, the leader of China is also in the US right now and he's apparently touring the west coast and then he's going to Washington for a state dinner with Obama. The talking heads are all telling us what Obama's going to be saying to Xi, to put him in his place. I mean, really? The most they're coming up with is China's human rights record. But the real concern they have is how to rein back China and its crashing stock markets, from hurting the way that "we" set things up and it works for us.

So, they're setting people up for China taking the blame for what's to come; an economic crash coming from Wall Street. Their solutions being proffered are, "Mm. Maybe we can impose financial sanctions on China. China: "Sanctions! Sanctions! Oh my god! They're going to bring up sanctions now when Xi is in Washington?!"

Now contrast that with what Hillary Clinton said years ago. It came out in one of those Wikileaks cables. She had a meeting in China coming up and she was speaking to some US diplomat and she was asking him, apparently sincerely, wondering what to bring to the table, blah, blah, blah and she says, "How do one discipline one's banker?"; the understanding being that China is effectively the banker, bankrolling the United States and everything it does. A substantial portion of its debt is owned or held by China.

"Now Xi is in Washington and we're going to toss out the idea of imposing financial sanctions on him China to bring it in line."

Joe: "What did our great President, our great freedom-loving, benevolent President who is the bringer of all good things to all people forever and ever, amen, what will he say to this other President of this Chinese nation who is obviously not as good as us? He'll have to smack him a little bit. He'll have to lord it over him. He'll have to make him feel a good bit less than America and pump America up. But all that kind of stuff in the media that you hear, like on the sanctions, yes, we should spank him. Maybe he'll put him over a chair and spank him on the bottom and say 'this is very bad because you're not following democratic principles as established by America and you don't like freedom as much as we do. Nobody can like freedom as much as we do. But anyway, you're not trying hard enough'."

But all of that drivel that's talked about in the media to perpetuate this idea that has infected American minds and they're trying to promote it as well, continue the spread of the infection to consolidate it in American minds that America is this wonderful nation that is beyond reproach. That's what the media does. It serves the purpose of keeping the American people convinced of the greatness of America. And the more America descends into the cesspit, the more the propaganda is aimed at the American people and all the people in the world who will listen, in the opposite direction, that it's the epitome of greatness and wonderfulness.

It's hysterical, but it's disturbing at the same time because you realize you're looking at pathology. You're looking at a disturbed mental state, a mental disorder of some description. And that's who's running the world supposedly.

Niall: There's something remarkable, or prescient, I don't know what the word is, symbolic? In the fact that this is the 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly and the world is at this crossroads. I was surprised that Putin is going to bother going to the US. He hasn't been there in 10 years. I don't blame him. I'm surprised because here you have both the leaders of both Eurasian countries in a sense validating the world order that's existed for 70 years, the US led one, by turning up to speak at this big event.

Joe: Yeah. But that's the way Putin plays the game. He doesn't - as they call it in Australia - shirt front. He doesn't shirtfront people like the former Australian Prime Minister who was booted out recently. Thank god! What an idiot! But I think the next one's just as bad. But anyway, he doesn't shirtfront anybody. He doesn't get in anybody's face. He's a diplomat and he works very well. He knows how to play the game and not jerk anybody's chain if he doesn't have to, especially on a forum like the UN. He'll go along and say his piece, but behind it is hard fact type of thing. He doesn't bring bullshit and crap to the table like the US does. When he says something you know that there's something behind it, that he's not just talking through his hat.

But it's interesting, the Chinese Premier, Xi Jinping is getting a state dinner with all the goodies, lamb and little things made by the slaves down in the White House kitchen. And Putin is, "Yeah, maybe we'll talk to you. Maybe we'll not. We don't know. We'll get back to you. We'll meet you in a dark alley somewhere or something and maybe have a few words." But Xi Jinping gets the full treatment. It's this pathetic, desperate attempt by the Americans to think they can court the Chinese when there's a probably 10 year history or more of China and Russia making it very clear that they are, as regards the US, on the same side, against the US.

Niall: See eye-to-eye there.

Joe: But the Americans think a nice dinner and bottle of wine and some soft music or something and Xi Jinping will come around or something. It's totally delusional. But maybe it's done for effect. Maybe they're trying to convince people that China's still on our side. But they're not obviously on your side. The whole thing is bizarre and pathetic.

Niall: Yeah. It's over, that world order where the international financial institutions set up by the Bretton Woods system, the UN formed in San Francisco, the IMF, Washington, DC, that system is finished. China has already set up a parallel system. There is a kind of intermediary as well at another more political level in the form of BRICS. It's already done. You just want to shake some of these people in Washington and say, "Look! Just acknowledge it! You can come out of this doing okay. But as its going you're doomed and you want to bring all of us down with you."

Joe: Yeah. So, what else is going on in the world? I suppose there's something mentionable on the Israeli front. The Israelis have given a display in the past week of their continuing pathology that has been there forever. As people probably know, Israeli soldiers shot an 18 year old girl at a checkpoint and they made up some story afterwards that she had a knife and tried to stab one of the soldiers but she apparently didn't. She wouldn't remove her veil so I think one of them just shot here 10 times and then left her to die and wouldn't let paramedics help.

Harrison: Yeah, she was lying there for half an hour.

Joe: Yeah. That's the nature of the state of Israel and always has been and the people who run it. And the Israeli government has officially passed a law that permits the use of live ammo to civilian threat stone throwers. So, those Palestinian kids who throw stones at the Israeli occupying forces come and imprison their fathers and their brothers and sister, previously they've just been responded to with plastic coated bullets or rubber bullets of some description or teargas, but now they can shoot them. That's basically carte blanche to murder Palestinian children for throwing stones at Israeli soldier who are occupying their land.

Harrison: And this is just in Jerusalem. The IDF has had those powers in the west bank already, so they're just expanding the legitimate targets so they can do this. It was just about a week or so ago that Netanyahu proposed it and it's just gone through. But there's also sentencing changes as well; so for example, a four-year minimum sentence up to 20 years for throwing stones or Molotov cocktails. The families of the stone throwers can be fined up to $26,000. Right after this law was first proposed and then initially approved conveniently there was an incident where an Israeli policeman was shot and three others were injured after being hit with stones. This was in Jerusalem.

Niall: The policeman was shot with stones?

Harrison: No, three others were injured with stones and I guess one policeman was shot. Who knows what really went on?

Joe: Yeah.

Harrison: So, three guys were injured and apparently one was shot.

Joe: Moving over to the US, US police are continuing in the same vein of being a bunch of trigger-happy thugs who just shoot first and ask questions later. There were two stories this week; one guy in a wheelchair who apparently didn't have a gun but for some reason that's still unclear, he was in a wheelchair and they shot him seven or eight times.

Niall: They shot him initially and they said, "Raise your hands! Raise your hands!"

Joe: They shot him and then said, "Raise your hands!"

Niall: Blood pouring from his chest and then they riddled him and he fell out of his chair.

Joe: And there's another guy, same situation sort of. He wasn't in a wheelchair but he had been called by a chemist where he had tried to get drugs from the chemist without a prescription so she called the police. Bad idea. When the police arrived the guy pointed his fingers at the police, in the shape of a gun so they shot him dead. They shot him once in the same way they did the guy in the wheelchair and then they were shouting at him to, "Show me your hands! Show me your hands!" after he'd been shot. So, he didn't show his hands so they shot him some more. All he did was point his finger in gun fashion. Apparently some US cops don't know the difference between fingers and a gun.

Niall: It strikes me that they're trained that way. The same thing happened with the guy in the wheelchair. You can see one cop shouting at him to raise his hands, raise his hands. "Show me your gun", I think he says. And then the cop goes to hide behind a car as if to say, "This is the five seconds we've been trained to allow the target - sorry suspect - to do what he's told. If the five seconds are up, oh," he steps back out in front of the car and riddles him with bullets. It suggests a training procedure. There are other stories - not incidents - but stories going around about the training these guys receive. A lot of them form military lines. Shoot to kill.

Joe: Following on from what we just said previously, a lot of them have had training in Israel or by Israeli police and military personnel. So, if you're wondering where that kind of thing is coming from, it's probably, to some extent, due to their training by Israelis.

Harrison: It's almost as if it's just a sick joke at the way they're trained. So you shoot someone and then you tell them to put their hands up. It's like it's deliberate. "Okay, now put your hands up. Oh you can't do it? Really? Okay, I'm going to shoot you again." Like schoolyard bully taken to the extreme.

Joe: Yeah, exactly. Well the other person in New York we haven't mentioned is El Papa.

Harrison: The pope of the hopa.

Joe: Fransciso el Magnifico.

Niall: Si.

Joe: Who brought Congress to their feet in a standing ovation as soon as he said, "Land of the free and home of the brave". He doesn't speak a lot of English but he was able to get that out. He said, "Thank you for welcoming me or inviting me to come here to the land of the free and home of the brave". And as soon as he said that the whole place got up and started clapping and cheering wildly. Some of them tore their clothes off and rolled around on the ground together in pure ecstasy. That's what Americans do when they say things like that to them, particularly American politicians.

He brought - what's the guys' name Bomer?

Harrison: Bonner.

Joe: Bonner, whatever his name is.

Niall: Beaner, no?

Joe: Baner. He brought him to tears. You've probably seen the video. This guy's a catholic, so the site of the pope [brought him to tears]. When you have people like that, who are just have some fundamentalist bent, what are you doing in politics? He's a nut job. I could understand my granny or a devote catholic would shed a tear if they got to stand beside the pope because she's devout catholic.

Niall: Can you imagine the media force that Putin has caused crying his eyes out next to the head of the Orthodox Church in Russia. [Gasps!!] Russia's going back to theocracy!

Joe: So, this is what happens. It's pretty sad. Most people probably know about the Mecca business. It's not strange. It's happened on a few occasions in the past, but about 750 pilgrims all just decided to...

Niall: Check out?

Joe: It follows from our comment about this senator in the US.

Niall: They believe they were stoning the devil.

Joe: They're heading towards that situation where there are these walls set up where you can throw stones at the wall and apparently that's like stoning the devil. It doesn't make any sense, but there you go. Symbolic, whatever. You should just stay at home and throw a stone at a wall, no? But apparently doing things like that in groups...

Niall: Or go to the Israeli border and throw stones.

Joe: No, better not. You'll get shot. So, they all tried to rush up towards a bridge and there was a crush. It's hard to imagine. Obviously you're talking about an awful lot of people there all crammed into a small space, but it's hard to imagine how in a stampede like that, 717 or 720 people could be killed?

Niall: They get something like 100,000 a day and over 2 million over 10 days.

Joe: Yeah. And the Saudis love it.

Niall: And it's baking hot.

Joe: The Saudis love that kind of thing. It puts them at the centre of the Arab world, even though the Saudis are just a bunch of pseudo Muslims, just pretending to keep everybody happy. I was trying to look at it to see if there was some kind of gerrymandering of the Saudi nation when it was created or these bunch of desert would-be royals who formed the Saudi...

Niall: Well all of these nations were created.

Joe: They were created but I'm wondering if the borders were created specifically at the time to include Mecca so that it would be the centre of the Muslim world where all Muslims would supposedly have to come once in their lifetime to pay their dues.

Niall: I think you don't have to wonder. I have statistics from 10 years ago by British researcher Mark Curtis. The Saudis spent $50 billion building mosques and madrasses, on an education of Muslims, their brand of Islamic education all over the Arab world.

Joe: Well that's basically what ISL are all about, so it's not strange that ISL is largely funded and promoted by the Saudis.

Niall: Indeed. The Islamic State is Saudi Arabia.

Joe: Yeah, exactly.

Niall: Maybe this is an omen. There was the Haj incident. There was the crane incident on 9/11.

Harrison: Fire a few days after that.

Niall: A fire broke out. And there was another little thing. A Saudi was dallying along some posh street in Mecca I think - when I say posh, they have really, really western modern city infrastructure. But from the top of a skyscraper an entire sheet of glass broke off in the wind and it just misses him. I'm not point that out to mock the guy because he was nearly killed, but it was just another little thing in the sequence of hints, I think, of the billboard coming down in Saudi Arabia. It can't happen soon enough.

Joe: And what else is going on?

Niall: On the weather front anything?

Joe: There were a lot of floods, tornado in the UK, tornado in France, floods in Greece and Turkey. The same old, same old, it's going to be an interesting winter. But the Catalonians are going for independence, going to the polls today, in a regional election.

Niall: But that's part of elections across Spain though, eh?

Joe: No. I don't think so.

Niall: They went to have an independence vote and it was mixed last year.

Joe: I know, but that was the one from a couple of years ago. But today, Sunday, they're going to the polls. The polls are open for basically a vote for a regional election. It's billed as a quasi-referendum on independence but what they're saying is...

Niall: Spain will never recognize it as such.

Joe: But the Catalonian authorities are saying that as a result of this poll today, if there's a majority who want and vote for the independence party, they may even declare independence. They're getting another commitment from the Catalonian people that they want to be separate from Spain and if they get it today, as far as they're concerned it's a done deal.

Niall: But Madrid will just say, "Yeah, whatever."

Joe: Madrid's saying all sorts of stuff. But it's not so simple. They can't just declare independence if they want. What are they going to do? Invade? You can say, "You're not allowed to do that, but if you're not going to do anything about it, we'll just go ahead and do it anyway." But they're using all sorts of silly things, saying that the Barcelona football team won't be allowed to play in the European cup and all this stuff, trying to hit Barcelona where it hurts, in their sports addiction.

Niall: So, there might be a new country next to us.

Joe: Yeah, exactly.

Niall: Tomorrow.

Joe: Well maybe eventually, one day. Or not. But the ice age might come this winter. It's coming. The ice age is scheduled for this winter.

Niall: I thought it was interesting - going back to something China related - that while Xi was in Washington with Obama, George Osborne went from London to meet the Chinese Prime Minister in Xinjiang, in western China, to talk investment and money and infrastructural projects in western China. What does a British finance minister doing in western China when all this is going on? Is this Britain going it alone from the US or the fact that this happened together, suggest something working through both of them?

Joe: I don't know. Who knows?

Niall: Not that anyone in Britain's really paying attention because the story of the week there is all about a certain experience of Prime Minister Cameron, "Please call me Dave". Somebody dished the dirt on him in a big way.

Joe: [Pig snorting sound]

Niall: That's the sound of a pig.

Joe: Yeah, that's one of his former friends who has been dishing the dirt, in a serialized set of articles in the Daily Mail. I don't know why but there's some in-fighting going on there. But then, when that kind of thing happens you know that there's more behind it. I don't know what's going on in British politics in that respect, for Corbyn becoming the leader of the opposition. It seems now someone in Cameron's own party effectively has the knives out for him. Like we often say, some things just have to be put down to the wheels coming off the whole thing and people just losing the plot and doing things for really silly reasons.

Increasingly I see stupid things done that really don't have any other explanation other than pure stupidity, maybe driven by some kind of desperation to get what they want. But it seems increasingly rational actions and thoughts and stuff are going out the window in terms of state policy, foreign policy and international geopolitics. It's all just knee-jerk reactions these days.

Niall: Well with regards to Britain, it's basically done. According to the basis, allegedly, of western democracy, it's already finished. The Scots voted independence. The UK, while still there on paper it no longer exists. These people have actually moved into a un-reality where they continue to talk about British interests, British values, and conduct wars on behalf of a British population that has been severed.

Joe: They're very much like the Americans in that respect.

Niall: They've moved into a castle they built in the sky.

Joe: They're the same genetics even as the Americans; white Anglo-Saxon Protestants in power. WASPSIP. Anyway, I think we'll leave it there for this week folks. We will be back next week with another show. So until then, thanks to our chatters and our listeners and have a good evening.

Niall: And thanks to Dmitry Babic once again.

Joe: Yes.

Niall: Thank you Harrison.

Harrison: Thank you.