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Mon, 20 Aug 2018
The World for People who Think

Георгиевская ленточка

WWII Immortal Regiment Commemorative marches held in several major US cities

immortal regiment marches usa
© Amanda Jane Getty
The Immortal Regiment Commemorative marches, marking the 73th anniversary of the end of the World War II, began in the United States.

The first marches of people holding the portraits of their relatives who had fought in the war were held on Saturday on the East Coast.

The marches will be held in more than 20 US cities this year. The largest event is in New York, where it has now been held for four years in a row.

Over 1,000 people came to the Hudson River with portraits of their relatives.

"More people are coming every year. Last year, we had up to 1,500 people. We are counting people by the amount of signs with photos that we help to print, and white balloons. Last year, we prepared 1,500 white balloons and gave them all away. This year, we took 2,000 [balloons] and prepared 400 more new signs," Igor Kochan, a representative of the organization "Russian Youth in America" told Sputnik.


Compass

Trump Did NOT Convince Kim to Ditch His Nukes. China Did

Kim Jong-un & Xi Jinping
© Ju Peng / Global Look Press
Beijing, 7 May 2018: Kim Jong-un & Xi Jinping meet for the second time in two months (...and no, they are not sitting on their interpreters!)
Donald Trump thinks his "maximum pressure" campaign persuaded North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. But it's a bunch of baloney. The reason Kim Jong-un is planning to denuclearize is because China adamantly opposes nuclear weapons on the peninsula. That's the whole deal in a nutshell. China, who is North Korea's biggest trading partner, gave Kim an ultimatum: Ditch the nukes or face long-term economic strangulation. Kim very wisely chose the former option, which is to say, he backed down.

The situation in North Korea is really quite bleak. Consider, for example, this recent piece in a United Nations periodical titled "The 5 most under-reported humanitarian crises that are happening right now". Heading the list is this blurb on North Korea:
"....what has been drastically underreported in the last year is that unprecedented number of people who are going hungry. The UN estimates that 70 percent of the population, or 18 million people, are food-insecure and reliant on government aid. To make things worse, last year North Korea experienced its worst drought in 16 years, exacerbating an already dire food shortage. With tight control of its borders keeping out aid organizations and journalists, it's almost impossible to capture how many are actually receiving the urgent food aid they need." (U.N. Dispatch)

Star of David

Keep your friends close: Netanyahu guest of honour at Russia's Victory Day Celebration

putin netanyahu
© AFP Photo/Sputnik/Alexey Nikolsky
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) greets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of their meeting in Sochi on August 23, 2017.
The Russian government has confirmed that Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel has been invited to attend Russia's forthcoming 9th May Victory Day Celebration as the guest of honour. He will also hold high level talks with the Russian government and with President Putin.

The Kremlin's website has published a statement to that effect:
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu will make a working visit to Moscow on May 9. He has been invited to attend a military parade marking the 73rd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

Mr Netanyahu will also hold talks with President Vladimir Putin.

Comment: The author doesn't grasp the depth of Lieberman's disingenuousness: Israel doesn't need to 'join the sanctions' because its agents set that trap for others to fall into!


Books

Meet Timothy Snyder, Western intellectual and anti-Russian fanatic

putin trump montage
© Tim Robinson / The Nation
Timothy Snyder is a Yale historian whose scholarly reputation rests on his wide-ranging histories of Central and Eastern Europe. Trained at Oxford, Snyder demonstrated a capacity for research in some 10 languages and a willingness to engage with many different areas of specialization; his colorful prose increased his work's potential appeal for nonacademic readers, as did his ability to cover large swaths of territory and time. His most important early work, The Reconstruction of Nations, mapped the development of Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Belarusian nationhood from 1569 to 1999, and was met with wide acclaim from academic reviewers.

Capitalizing on his credentials as a historian, over the past decade Snyder has positioned himself as a public intellectual, shifting from academic histories to more popular works, writing for magazines like The New Republic and The New York Review of Books, and appearing often on the national and international speaking circuits. His first popular success was 2010's Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which set out to tell the story of the millions of people - especially Jews, Ukrainians, and Poles - who were killed between 1933 and 1945 in the area between central Poland and western Russia. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Bloodlands offered a conceptual revision, grouping the victims of Hitler and Stalin together and arguing that the Nazi and Soviet governments spurred each other on to increased violence.

Comment: What a deranged mind this critter has.

Masters of rhetoric with no (or a skewed) moral compass have been around since forever. Their flowery prose still holds sway over truth.

The scary part is that large portions of Western populations eat this stuff up.

The good news is that they're not the majority.

(We hope!)


Eye 1

On Silencing RT Forever

russia today censor
Loyalists of the western empire have been growing increasingly honest about their desire to use censorship and propaganda in order to win an "information war" against Russia.

The other day we saw a Guardian article arguing for the necessity of a coordinated campaign by western governments to "combat Russian disinformation" due to Russia's disinterest in "cooperating to reach a common understanding of the truth", i.e. agree with unproven western accusations and capitulate to the longstanding western agendas those accusations are meant to advance.

Before that, we saw a Defense One article authored by an Atlantic Council official arguing in favor of the creation of a "NATO for Infowar" to propagandize westerners against Russian interests for their own good. The author of this article went so far as to suggest that the Kremlin-backed television channel RT ought to be forbidden to air in western nations.

Caesar

Putin Sworn in as President For Fourth Time: "My Duty is to Guarantee Russia's Peaceful And Prosperous Future"

Putin inauguration
© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin
A ceremony to swear Russian President Vladimir Putin in for a new presidential term has been held in the Kremlin. Sputnik looks into the main highlights of Putin's speech during the event.

When taking oath, Vladimir Putin has revealed the key tasks for the government in the next six years.

Comment: Putin Shows Off His New Russian-Made Limousine For The Presidential Inauguration Ceremony


Russian Commander-in-Chief Reviews His Regiment On Cathedral Square To Mark His Inauguration





TV

Shill 'Morning Joe' guest praises AG Rosenstein: "You need a deep state"

Richard Haass
Well, the truth finally came out on "Morning Joe."

On Wednesday, frequent "Morning Joe" guest Richard Haass suggested that not only did America have a "deep state," but upstanding career bureaucrats like Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was proof that the country needed one.

The surprising admission came after a lengthy montage the show ran of Republicans praising Rosenstein's service.

"It was great listening to that. That was a civics lesson and it's why you need a deep state," said Haass, who also serves as the longtime president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

"You need people whose commitment is not to the person, but is to the process and the law," he added. "You would want every high school kid in America to watch that. You know good for him. That's just what this country needs. And that's kind of who we are. That's our DNA. That was actually a really good moment."


Comment: Countries obviously do need deep states. Governments could not function without some continuity between administrations. But if anything, Rosenstein is an example of why deep states can be hindrances to actual democracy. Funny that Haass sees the deep state's worst features (and worst exemplars) as a positive reason for its existence. Or, actually, not so funny - just very revealing.


MIB

Trump circles reportedly hired Israeli spy company 'Black Cube' to dig up dirt on Iran deal negotiators

Israeli Black Cube
Someone tipped off the Observer, the Guardian's Sunday edition, about an attempt of Donald Trump flunkies to find dirt about the people who negotiated the nuclear deal (JCPOA) with Iran. An Israeli spy company was hired to set up traps. One of the victims describes how that happened. The modus operandi seems similar to one described in another dirty story which surfaced about a year ago. The company, not named by the Observer, in question is Black Cube.

The Observer: Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for 'dirty ops' on Iran arms deal
Aides to Donald Trump, the US president, hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a "dirty ops" campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, the Observer can reveal.

People in the Trump camp contacted private investigators in May last year to "get dirt" on Ben Rhodes, who had been one of Barack Obama's top national security advisers, and Colin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama, as part of an elaborate attempt to discredit the deal.
...
Sources said that officials linked to Trump's team contacted investigators days after Trump visited Tel Aviv a year ago, his first foreign tour as US president.
...
According to incendiary documents seen by the Observer, investigators contracted by the private intelligence agency were told to dig into the personal lives and political careers of Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, and Kahl, a national security adviser to the former vice-president Joe Biden. Among other things they were looking at personal relationships, any involvement with Iran-friendly lobbyists, and if they had benefited personally or politically from the peace deal.
...
Both Rhodes and Kahl said they had no idea of the campaign against them.

Quenelle

Judge mulls dismissal of Manafort charges as he slams Mueller for overreach

manafort
© Alex Wong/Getty Images
Like most motions to dismiss, Paul Manafort's was initially viewed as a long-shot bid to win the political operative his freedom and get out from under the thumb of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

But after today's hearing on a motion to dismiss filed by Manafort's lawyers, it's looking increasingly likely that Manafort could escape his charges - and be free of his ankle bracelets - because in a surprising rebuke of Mueller's "overreach", Eastern District of Virginia Judge T.S. Ellis, a Reagan appointee, said Mueller shouldn't have "unfettered power" to prosecute over charges that have nothing to do with collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Ellis said he's concerned Mueller is only pursuing charges against Manafort (and presumably other individuals) to pressure them into turning on Trump. The Judge added that the charges brought against Manafort didn't appear to stem from Mueller's collusion probe. Instead, they appeared to be the work of an older investigation into Manafort that was eventually dropped.

Comment: Further reading: Giuliani says Mueller's Russian collusion case is 'dead' - 'Sessions should step in and close it'


Camcorder

New bodycam footage of Vegas shooting shows officer stating 'windows not broken' in Paddock's room

mandalay bay
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is finally starting to release portions of the footage from the body cameras worn by the officers who responded to reports of a mass shooting on 1 October, and the footage that has been made public is showing that officers' accounts differ from the official narrative.

Suspect Stephen Paddock is alleged to have transported dozens of firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition to his adjoining hotel rooms on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel where he broke the windows and used his perch to open fire on a nearby music festival.

In the body camera footage, LVMPD officers can be seen clearing the rooms on the floor, and waking up other hotel patrons who were in bed near where the massacre was said to have been launched and were apparently unaware that any gunfire had taken place. Following entry into their room, an officer informed the patrons in their beds that there was someone shooting inside the casino.

In fact, one of the patrons who sounded like a female seemed shocked a shooting was taking place. She said, "Oh, ok." The tone of her voice seemed to indicate that she had no idea a shooting was reportedly taking place just feet from their room. Also interesting was the officer's order for them to "lock the door." Who were these patrons and why were they not interviews by the press?


Comment: See also: