MUST READ: Russian Spy Drama Symptom of and Distraction From Bigger Geopolitical Play

By   /   April 8, 2018  /   93 Comments

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I prefer to live in a country that makes its international relations decisions based on firm, independent evidence rather than speculation. Let’s not forget the rush to war based on allegations of Weapons of Mass Destruction. It doesn’t have to be ‘you’re either with us or you’re against us’, it can be a case of wait and see – at least until Wednesday when the UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons releases its report into the incident.

Australian journalist John Pilger says the Russian spy poisoning case is a carefully constructed drama. It certainly has all the elements, reminiscent of murder mystery, espionage, James Bond and Jason Bourne intrigues. It has the pretty young innocent victim, Yulia Skripal, daughter of an exiled Russian double agent, who has worked for Nike and PepsiCo. The agent himself, Sergei Skripal sold out his fellow spies for cash in the 1990s and 2000s, was sentenced to 13 years hard labour for his betrayal, was imprisoned in Russia but gained his freedom in the UK in a spy swap.

Yulia arrived in the UK to visit her dad, and after they enjoyed sushi in quiet Salisbury, they collapsed on a park bench, frothing at the mouth, vomiting, eyes staring blankly white. Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned traitors who sell Russian secrets and secret agents, and there’s quite some history of Russian journalists, critics and dissidents being assassinated at home and abroad. So the British government blames Russia and Russia predictably denies any role.

The British ruling party is outraged at this attack on ‘innocent civilians’ on its soil. And that outrage is shared by its allies. Russia was supposed to have given up its nerve gas stockpiles, as verified by the UN last September.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson and the Foreign Office originally claimed that technicians from the nearby chemical weapons lab, the ‘Porton Down Chemical Defence Establishment’ were unequivocal that the nerve gas used to poison the Skripals, came from Russia. This was part of the case presented by the UK to its allies, many of whom expelled diplomats and undeclared spies in a response of solidarity. But more recently those same lab technicians clarified that though the nerve agent comes from the Novichok military-grade chemical group developed by the Russians, they are unable to verify its precise source. The British government case has been weakened by this clarification and the British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accuses Boris Johnson of misleading the public.

The British government has literally stuck to its guns, rattling its military / diplomatic sabres, saying the information from Porton Down is only part of the intelligence picture which has led them to hold Russia responsible. They maintain that the source of the Novichok was a Russian military research base, Shikhany, the equivalent of Porton Down. Small stockpiles of Novichok have been retained by Russia, they allege, despite the UN Convention Against Chemical Weapons, for targeted assassination killing. The US on the other hand, retains some of its original chemical weapons, and Porton Down itself has been the base for controversial chemical weapon development for decades.

Besides, allege the British, that ‘the Russians did it’ is the most plausible explanation. “No other country has the combination of the capability, the intent, and the motive”. Boris Johnson says Putin is overwhelmingly likely to have ordered the attack on the Skripals. But anyway, the western narrative goes, ‘Russia deserves the opprobrium, the resulting sanctions and international condemnation – not only are they ‘inevitably’ behind the nerve agent attack on the Skripals, but they’ve invaded the Crimea and the Ukraine, they obstructed investigations into the downing of MH11, Putin is corrupt (he just won another election – he must be!), the Russians interfered with American electoral politics, they support Syrian leader Assad, and everyone else is with us, so we must be right’.

Russia is having no stock with these allegations. They’d like to see a sample of the agent to confirm its origins themselves. They’d like to be party to the inquiry into the source of the Novichok. They point out that there’s no patent on Novichok so theoretically it could have come from a range of different places – countries where ex-Russian scientists are now working. Putin says the resulting British and EU sanctions, NATO reaction, diplomatic expulsions, are part of an anti-Russia campaign. Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister says the poisoning is in the interests of the UK – a distraction that has been unifying Western Europe while Brexit threatens to divide it. It’s a propaganda war, ‘the theatre of the absurd’ according to Russian politicians.

British Prime Minister Theresa May rebukes the Russians for treating the situation in a light-hearted manner. She says Russia’s response has been one of sarcasm, contempt and defiance, and has failed to provide any credible explanation of how Novichok made its way to afflict the Srkipals.

In turn the Russians say the UK has provided no tangible evidence to show the alleged Novichok came from the Russian state. It could have been a false flag assassination attempt to show Russia in a bad light; “couldn’t they come up with a better story?” “Why would Russia eliminate someone using a dangerous and highly public method” when there are a million ways to murder someone in a less obvious way. Why would Russia even wait this long to attempt to kill Sergei Skripal – they could have killed him before he went to jail, in jail, or at any time since.

But as the New Statesman media source says, maybe it was a brazen attack to humiliate Britain on its own soil, an ostentatious message to both the West, and to Russian dissidents that Russia is unrestrained by usual conventions, and above domestic and international law.

Britain says firm action was required in response. ‘No sovereign state can tolerate the attempted murder of innocent civilians on its soil’. (No one deserves an assassination attempt but doesn’t Sergei Skripal’s role as a double agent blur the ‘innocent’ line a bit there?) The British UN ambassador said Russia was seeking to undermine the international institutions that have kept us safe since the Second World War. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull repeated his country’s eagerness to jump on the bandwagon, saying the alleged Russian attack on the Skripals undermines international law and is an assault on the sovereignty of all nations that respect the rule of law. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the attack is a threat to the democratic world. There are fears that this stand off could lead to tensions worse than any since the Cold War.

So far, diplomatic expulsions and counter expulsions, sanctions and other actions have been more symbolic than really threatening to Russian security. Past sanctions arising from Russia’s military involvement in the Crimea and the Ukraine don’t seem to have a deterrent effect. Spies and diplomats have been kicked back home, the British Royal family won’t be going to the World Football Cup held in Russia, there are threats that assets used in weapons manufacture may be frozen, security checks on Russians will be increased, and a state invitation to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, has been retracted.

Meanwhile, New Zealand is the only member of the Five Eyes Security / Spy network that hasn’t expelled spies. “We don’t have any” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, though security expert Dr Paul Buchanan says, that’s either ‘diplomatic, disingenuous or naïve’ – or, they’re very good at being covert spies. New Zealand has been criticised for being less than eager in joining the rest of the western world lining up to condemn the Russians for their alleged attack on the Skripals.

I prefer to live in a country that makes its international relations decisions based on firm, independent evidence rather than speculation. Let’s not forget the rush to war based on allegations of Weapons of Mass Destruction. It doesn’t have to be ‘you’re either with us or you’re against us’, it can be a case of wait and see – at least until Wednesday when the UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons releases its report into the incident.

I find it hard to feel sympathy for Sergei Skripal. Though I have no sympathy for Russian imperialism, I have no sympathy for British or American imperialism either. Considering proportionality, the death of innocents, matters of sovereignty and global security, I’m more concerned that so called civilised countries of the world would express similar outrage at atrocities committed in Palestine, Yemen and Syria, to hundreds of thousands of truly innocents, to ancient cultures, to the places they live and to their very survival. The case of the poisoned Russian spy seems a distraction from, and a symptom of, bigger geopolitical fights, a microcosm of more serious dramas on the global stage.

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93 Comments

  1. Mjolnir says:

    I keep thinking of tge Rainbow Warrior attack in 1984. If we hadnt been fottunate enough to catch two of the French murderers/agents, would we have have a leg to stand on to accuse the French of terrorism on our soil/waters?

    Its easy to pontificate when we’re not the target of an attack, ss in the Skripal case.

    Did the Russians do it? I dont know. But motive/means/opprtunity would seem to point in their direction.

    Just as attempted assassunation plots on Fidel Castro’s life in the 1960s pointed to CIA complicity.

    • Brewer says:

      “But motive/means/opprtunity would seem to point in their direction.”

      Motive.
      Y’mean like Russia had a irresistible urge to eliminate a spy they had tried, imprisoned for 6 or 8 years then released in a swap thereby scotching any future swaps? A spy who had recently applied to return to Russia?
      Means.
      The lab that produced nerve agents was never in Russia, it was in Uzbekistan and was closed and swept clean by the OPCW after the breakup of the Soviet Union. There is zero evidence that Russia has ever dabbled in CW since. Due to the expansion of NATO its weapons development has concentrated on systems appropriate to deterring that possible conflict and CW doesn’t figure.
      Opportunity.
      Moscow is 2500 kilometres from London.
      From Britain’s chemical weapons facility at Porton Down to the site of the food/nerve poisoning incident is 8 kilometres.

      • Moscow is 2500 kilometres from London.
        From Britain’s chemical weapons facility at Porton Down to the site of the food/nerve poisoning incident is 8 kilometres.

        Not sure what the point of that is, Brewer. “2500 kilometres from London” is only about a four hour flight (https://www.prokerala.com/travel/flight-time/from-moscow/to-london/).

        The French terrorists who blew up the Rainbow Warrior would’ve made a twentytwo hour flight (https://www.prokerala.com/travel/flight-time/from-auckland/to-paris/) from Paris to Auckland.

        Distance is no barrier to terrorism, whether state-sponsored or franchised to private operatives.

        • Brewer says:

          It is a hell of a lot easier to go 8 ks through no borders than smuggle a volatile substance though customs. That is all I am saying in response to the poster’s allegations about motive/means/opportunity.
          In any case, the story has collapsed. The more likely suspect is the seafood risotto. People do not recover from nerve poisons ten times more potent than VX – no matter their origin.

        • Brewer says:

          I should add that the Frogs brought their matériel in on a Noumea Yacht Charters boat which, if I recall, did not clear in – not through airport customs.
          In any event, the whole argument will be superseded shortly. What’s the bet it will quietly disappear from the MSM. At the present time my money is on seafood poisoning, a possibility I first proposed as a joke.

        • Brewer says:

          I should add that the Frogs brought their matériel in on a Noumea Yacht Charters boat, not through airport customs.
          In any event, the whole argument will be superseded shortly. What’s the bet it will quietly disappear from the MSM. At the present time my money is on seafood poisoning, a possibility I first proposed as a joke.

          • Francesca says:

            Well I’ve entertained that one too.
            combined with this scenario
            Regime change and reversal of Brexit

            So the Skripals get taken to hospital with the mother of all food poisoning
            Its not until the hospital realises who the Skripals are that the Home office gets called in
            Home Secretary Amber Rudd(you will notice she’s been very quiet over all this)sees opportunity here
            A few phone calls are made
            Theresa is advised to make a huge fuss and blame the Russians for poisoning with Novichok
            She is assured all the evidence is there, and they’ll rustle it up for her in no time
            Boris is let loose to do what he does best
            Shit, the Skripals have survived, I need more evidence shrieks May!
            Boris produces a much thumbed assassins handbook specialising in doornob swabbing he got out of a Mad magazine..you know the sort of thing Spy vs Spy
            The OPCW is furious! Seafood poisoning!They’ve been called out for nothing
            The Europeans are furious. They’re laughing stocks at home
            Theresa and Boris resign
            New elections are called…quick, while Corbyn is still being hammered with charges of anti-semitism
            Amber Rudd is triumphant, promising a new Brexit referendum
            Double bonus, the sanctions against Russia remain and diplomatic relations have been poisoned for ever

          • David Stone says:

            Seems like they’r going to disappear entirely Brewer, not just from the MSM. Given new identities so no one will know where to look for them . How would you then go about seeing they didn’t ever change their minds and want to see their families again?
            Their prospects are grim . Julia’s confident ” No one will give you a visa” shows they know the shit they’r in.
            D J S

            • Brewer says:

              Yes. They are truly in an invidious position. Skripal had applied to return to Russia. I doubt the Brits would allow that which is why I also doubt they would survive a “disappearing”. If they are now re-located to an unknown location, I would hazard a guess at Davy Jones’ locker.
              If I ever find myself in Salisbury, I’m going to give the seafood risotto a swerve.

              • Mjolnir says:

                Food poisoning???

                For real???

                If skripal had been shot, would you have described it as “lead poisoning”???honestly, some of what apologists for Putin are suggesting flies in the face of reality.

                I understand healthy scepticism, but the alternative scenarios being suggested are risable. It suggests thst the only plausible scdnario is precisely what the British govefnment has come up with.

                What next, Iluminatii black ops agents?

        • Brewer says:

          A post of mine is missing due to being identified as “spam”. This probably explains my rare appearances on this blog. Suggest mods adjust their criteria. I have a point of view and some inside information. Up to you if you want it.

          [My apologies, Brewer. I have limited time in between family committments to moderate this site, and try to check the ‘Spam’ folder as often as possible. My understanding is that our admin tech person has looked into why some posts end up in ‘Spam’ while some spam ends up queued, but have been unable to sort out the glitch. – Scarletmod]

    • Nitrium Nitrium says:

      Exactly. And where was the “solidarity” from England/UK? The US? Europe? Countries many New Zealanders died to defend. How many international sanctions did France get by committing a blatant act of terrorism on NZ soil? Who needs enemies with friends like these?

    • Kat says:

      The Rainbow Warrior attack was in July 1985. The NZ police force rose to the occasion and the French were exposed. The allies of NZ did nothing to assist in holding the French govt to account. David Lange had his heart in the right place but sadly he was just rolled over by our so called allies. NZ was told to go away and be seen but not heard. This time we have a very savvy PM in Jacinda Ardern who won’t be rolled and who enjoys the wise and experienced support from deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters. They have not let NZ down in this “drama”.

      • In Vino says:

        Agreed, Kat. But it should be pointed out that what the NZ Police did was not enough. I get sick of anti-French talk, and think we should give credit to those who really nailed the French Govt’s arse. That was the excellent French newspaper ‘Le Monde’, which did wonderful investigative journalism, and then nailed its own country’s government.
        Fat chance of any of our newspapers or news media here doing any such thing. The French still do some things better than we can.

      • Brewer says:

        It has long been suspected that the Brits knew about the attack in advance – which makes sense in that the Rainbow Warrior was a British registered ship and the French may well have felt the need to clear it with them. Margaret Thatcher refused to sanction official criticism of the French – even after the French government tried to blame MI6. I can only think of one reason for that.
        Last report I can find is 2005 in the Guardian:
        “The Guardian applied in April under the Freedom of Information Act to try and find out what the British government knew about the attack and when, to perhaps give a clue as to why in 1985 state terrorism against British ships was acceptable. So far Downing Street has refused to answer although the Foreign Office has said it will do so soon.”

    • Sam Sam says:

      You never let preconceived conventions lead an investigation. You always let the evidence do the talking. Helps to clear up those confusions and conspiracy theories.

  2. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Western governments thrive on false narratives which are promulgated via propaganda. Indeed, Western governments cannot exist in their present form without lying continuously to the masses.

    The continuous lying to the masses that characterizes western governments (and most developing nations’ governments) extends through financial policy, economic policy, environmental policy, social policy and military policy, and is summed up by the biggest lie of all: ‘sustainable’.

    Nothing in current living arrangements is sustainable, as is clearly evident by the ever-increasing pollution level

    April 6, 2018 409.03 ppm
    April 6, 2017 406.92 ppm

    Additionally, we are globally experiencing ever-declining energy availability.

    Most citizens of western nations are experiencing falling living standards, and all are experiencing a falling quality of life.

    The NZ Government’s response to the ever-increasing population, the ever-increasing pollution levels, the ever-declining energy availability and the ever-declining quality of life is to promote ‘sustainable development’ (presumably invented by an out-of-touch economist or an advertising agency), which is a cover term for increasing the population, increasing pollution levels and increasing fossil fuel energy dependence and lowering the quality of life. Most other governments (including China) are caught up in the race of degradation that eventually leads to annihilation.

    And most of what we are witnessing is because we are ‘owned’ by international bankers, who have been operating a Ponzi scheme for centuries and don’t know how to unwind it. Indeed, they have no intention of unwinding their Ponzi scheme and will don whatever is required to keep it going just a bit longer, including promoting major international military conflict to acquire the resources (especially oil) needed to keep the Ponzi scheme going.

    Russia and the Middle East nations have most of the world’s oil.

  3. Francesca says:

    I’d like to point out that the Russians declared the Shikhany facility to the OPCW, who went over it with a fine tooth comb, and verified the destruction of chemical weapons from all facilities in 2017
    They have the ability to monitor this facility and search it at any time under Russia’s agreement and compliance with the CWC

    In fact the “intelligence”the UK have has been provided by Russia itself via the OPCW

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikhany

    Under the CWC there is a provision for members accusing other members of non compliance to make their intelligence known to the OPCW immediately

    https://www.opcw.org/special-sections/challenge-inspection-exercise/key-aspects/

    The UK has still not issued a challenge
    Put up or shut up Boris

    OK this is RT, and I know a lot of people refuse to believe anything coming from there
    I’m not one of them, particularly if its an interview, out of the horse’s mouth so to speak

    A previous OPCW director General, strong armed out of the job by guess who? and his views on the Skripal poisoning

    https://www.rt.com/usa/423477-bolton-threat-opcw-iraq/
    https://www.rt.com/news/423481-opcw-head-novickok-doubt/

    So Turnbull and the rest of the hypocrites can bullshit all they like about threats to democracy, international law (Iraq anyone?last time I looked Australia was involved )
    http://www.mepc.org/commentary/confirmed-iraq-was-war-aggression
    and “European values” but they’re, as I said, full of shit

  4. Francesca says:

    Ok I’m a big blabbermouth on this one
    Can’t help it
    But with all the ballyhoo about European values that May goes on about. What kind of values leave animals locked up in a house to die horrible deaths, after the Skripal’s vet offered to care for them
    He was never answered, and the word went out they’d been taken to Porton Down to be assessed. Instead the guinea pigs died at the house in a cage of dehydration, and the cat had to be put down (probably kidneys given out as well ) to put it out of its distress
    What kind of values deny Viktoria Skripal from travelling to Salisbury to see her relatives Yulia and Sergey?Or from allowing the Russian consul access to a Russian national who may be in need of help.Has Yulia’s visa run out?
    Nothing to prevent a third part attending to make sure the consul doesn’t bring a ricin tipped umbrella with him
    And is Yulia prevented from accessing her facebook page?Now thats she’s capable?
    Where is Yulia’s own phone?
    Has it been confiscated?
    How well and what is the state appointed counsel doing in Yulia’s interests?

  5. Brewer says:

    ‘You can’t decide in 24 hours what type of poison was used’ – 1st OPCW head (whom Bolton tried to fire) on UK’s Skripal probe:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=34&v=iRONBTkNogY

  6. Francesca says:

    I’m awfully sorry and just ignore if you feel I’m a bloody awful pest
    But this pompous “Guardian View” on the Skripal case simply must be read for the comment BTL of a senior scientist Chris Busby who gives good scientific info and calls the whole Skripal affair “a tissue of lies and misdirection ”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/05/the-guardian-view-on-the-skripal-case-a-long-battle-for-values#comment-114406086

    I will try my best to shut up now

    • “Bloody awful pest”?!

      Nope. Not at all, Francesca. We may not agree on this issue, but your points are as valid as any raised by others. (And I, for one, appreciate that you offer us citations with your posts.)

      • Francesca says:

        “Nope, not at all Francesca””
        Well you’re a true gent Frank and I appreciate you

    • Brewer says:

      You are on the right track Francesca.

    • Brigid says:

      No Francesca. Please never shut up. Post as far and wide as you have the energy to. Your input is immensely valuable.

      We have to disseminate what information we have for the sake of our world, which is beset with lies lies and more lies.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Francesca: “I’m awfully sorry and just ignore if you feel I’m a bloody awful pest”

      I most certainly do not! You keep at it, keep posting. You know I’m on your side.

      • Francesca says:

        Why thank you kindly all you good people
        I see the oh so predictable chemical weapon outrage has come to pass in East Ghouta .
        Most recent news from there however, from Al Masdar news 4 hours ago is that Jaysh al- Islam of “Christians to Beirut..Alawites to the grave!” fame , and sponsored by Saudi Arabia..natch…have agreed to surrender
        Fly in the ointment is that Turkey won’t agree to Russia’s offer to evacuate them to Northern Aleppo
        Hang tight, things are getting rocky

        • Lucy says:

          I saw the piece on the news yesterday and the children they were treating appeared to be the same children that were treated in Aleppo. Especially the child getting the inhaler! As has been said before most of the news about Syria is coming from people who are not there and are relying on footage given by the “white helmets”

          • Marc says:

            They must have been dragged out of suit cases then, those that the few ‘rebels’ that managed to escape the fought over side of Aleppo took with them to Idlib and to East Ghouta, to present the same suit case kids, or ‘blow up dolls’ for media savvy web cam film manipulators, pretending they get gassed. Is that what you suggest?

            While I am careful with judgment on the scenes and the claims made, I think you are suggesting that manipulation is reaching a massive new scale.

            I do not trust either side there, so I would not rule anything out, the first victim of war is the truth.

            Using little kids to ‘stage’ something would though require a ruthlessness, that I would not even think the ordinary jihadi fighter would resort to. That is except some real perverted ones, such as that ‘Jihadi John’ that ‘worked’ for ISIS.

            • Francesca says:

              It seems the OPCW has taken up the Russian invitation to inspect the Douma site.
              So, I guess we’ll see.
              Coming hot off the heels of Trump announcing a withdrawal of troops from Syria, the gas attack does smack of a last ditch attempt to draw in the heavies

  7. remo says:

    The bookie odds are now 986.87 to 1 Salisbury was and is, false flag. Another one. The next one.
    A set piece ‘casus belli’ either fully and foully orchestrated before hand, or ad hoc on the back of Skripal eating bad fish an hour before at ZIZZI. His BRITPROP handlers, ever alert for chances to stick one at Russia after MI6’s successful Le Mesurier WhiteHelmets®.con psyop and deeply pissed off with Russian Federation successes in Syria against the anglozionist mercenary terrorist pretend ‘Arab Spring.org’ WAR – with Teresa and BOJO willing partners to offset bad BRIXET Tory poll numbers – leapt at the chance.
    There is ‘most plausible’ reporting out of Syria that ‘the Syrian government holds over 11 British officers who were liaised with the terrorists in the Ghouta. They were captured 2 weeks ago by Syrian Army commandos and are being held in separate jails around the Damascus area inside heavily guarded military bases. The Brits want them badly before they are used to implicate England in the mess it helped to create in Syria. Damascus won’t budge on this issue and, evidently, the English are assuming Moscow is not putting pressure on Dr. Assad to release them to Old Blighty.” https://syrianperspective.com/2018/04/alloosh-orders-execution-of-officers-5-hostages-freed-saudi-arabia-trying-to-hold-on-to-ghouta-how-zahraan-alloosh-was-killed-by-saf.html

    Boris Johnson’s “Porton Down scientists categorically told me” LIE on TV fully exposes the perfidious ‘only plausible’ and ‘most likely’ standards set by Britprop (as opposed to agreed International LAW procedure, Presentation of forensics- Habeas Corpus ) Bill BROWDER being immediately on RadNZ, the event being so close to Porton Down and Skripal’s name in the Trump/Steele dossier swamp should have set alarm bells going off in the newsroom immediately, only, they are disconnected. Plugging into auntie BEEB and CNN, much easier.

    Until we are TAUGHT in school the existence and Historic example of false flag attack shaping our very consciousness; the methodology, the deployment, the context…until we are taught to explore and argue what it means to be LIED to to this extent…until it is common knowledge that LIES are weaponized by Military and Intelligence and Political agenda and fully orchestrated through an entire Media ‘ Wurlitzer’ to control popular ‘sentiment; Skripal GLADIO, P2OG, IIO and 911 the big kahuna – until then, we are at the mercy of the psyops.

    Trained, professional liars.

    Good reading Christine. Thanks.

    • Marc says:

      “..and deeply pissed off with Russian Federation successes in Syria against the anglozionist mercenary terrorist pretend ‘Arab Spring.org’ WAR ..”

      Yeah, right, Remo, here we go again. Perhaps this is closer to the truth:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring

      Your obsession with ‘false flag’ operations is tiring.

      In some ways you are as bad as Theresa May, with your obsession for quick judgment.

      • remo says:

        Its living with the consequences of these FalseFlag operations is tiring Marc.
        The crippled epistemology of those creating these ‘strategy of tension’ deceptions…of states and entities determined to fight and have others fight everlasting wars, is tiring. My judgment…who the fuck cares about that. This is precedent. Historic. Truth ! You just don’t like it when I point at the neoconazionist deepstate and say ‘911 was an inside job.’

      • Brigid says:

        Oh get away with yourself and your wiki arab spring.

        Dude the war has been going since 2012. Quick judgment? I think not.

        • Marc says:

          So Wikipedia is an extension of the CIA, I presume?

          Your kind of comment is what is tending to make TDB look like the home of blinkered fools, those cheering Putin and Russia, and viewing all that goes on as being nothing short of conspiracies thought out in Washington or London.

          Things are far more complex than that, and Assad was by no means widely supported by Syrians as some her make out, hence the protests and unrest that started the war.

          It is without doubt that extremists exploited the situation, but also did Assad and his security services, police and soldiers get instructions to deal to any dissenters will ruthlessness.

          The rest we know by now.

          • remo says:

            “It is without doubt that extremists exploited the situation” suggests these extremists are only a small and casual part of the overall catastrophe, Marc.
            As if, by chance, a situation developed all by itself these extremists decided to exploit.

            But Who are the tens of thousands of extremists and what is the situation? how did it develop in Syria, a neocon 911 PNAC target for regime change alongside the other 6 countries identified by General Wesley Clark and and how did the extremists manage their exploitation of it. in Syria? How did these cruel mercenary killers from the slums of Arabia get to Syria to plunder it so horribly? fighting an horrendous war against the people of Syria pretending an ‘Arab Spring?’..backed by Anglo/Zionist power and arms and sold by their Hollywood press as a civil war….Who pays for them, arms them? Supplies them with the tonnes of Captagon ?
            Who’s purpose do they serve in attempting to control the Fertile Crescent.

            You accuse me of an obsession with false flags Marc, as if one has nothing to do with the other. Whereas false flag provocations and deception preclude each and every instance of this ‘situation’ being exploited. That each ‘situation’ and ‘exploitation of it’ is engineered by events ushering them in ; in Syria’s case, training and using the extremists as provocateur and proxy in the neocon regime change operation- including US.UK.IS.special ops. personnel embedded with terrorist entities and supply of chemical weapons for the MI6 controlled

            “It is without doubt that extremists exploited the situation” suggests these extremists are only a small and casual part of the overall catastrophe, Marc.
            As if, by chance, a situation developed all by itself, that these extremists decided to exploit.

            But Who are the tens of thousands of extremists and what is the situation? how did it develop in Syria, a neocon 911 PNAC target for regime change alongside the other 6 countries identified by General Wesley Clark and and how did the extremists manage their exploitation of it. in Syria? How did these cruel mercenary killers from the slums of Arabia get to Syria to plunder it so horribly? fighting an horrendous war against the people of Syria pretending an ‘Arab Spring?’..backed by Anglo/Zionist power and arms and sold in Hollywood press as a civil war….Who pays for them, arms them? Supplies them with the tonnes of Captagon ? Who facilitates their ride to the Academy and is able to hide from general view their true, recorded, atrocities?
            And who’s purpose do they serve in attempting to control the Fertile Crescent?

            You accuse me of an obsession with false flags Marc, as if one has nothing to do with the other. Whereas false flag provocations and deception preclude each and every instance of this ‘situation’ being exploited. That each ‘situation’ and ‘exploitation of it’ is engineered by events ushering them in ; in Syria’s case, training and using the extremists as provocateur and proxy in the neocon regime change operation- including US.UK.IS.special ops. personnel embedded with terrorist entities and supply of chemical weapons for the MI6 controlled whiteHelmets to stage horrific gas attacks ‘the west’ can ‘exploit’ in it’s awful perfidy: the classic operational method. Just as they are trying to do now. Unleash unlawful war on the real people of Syria ..who have fought the mercenaries to a standstill. By deception, by a ridiculous ‘gas attack’ TRUMP can claim as casus belli for the rapacious NATO to “exploit.”
            Another horrendous war crime our narrators will obscure and write out of history.
            to stage horrific gas attacks ‘the west’ can ‘exploit’ in it’s awful perfidy: the classic operational method. Just as they are trying to do now. Unleash unlawful war on the real people of Syria ..who have fought the mercenaries to a standstill. By deception, by a ridiculous ‘gas attack’ TRUMP can claim as casus belli for the rapacious NATO to “exploit.”
            Another horrendous war crime our narrators will obscure and write out of history.

            • Marc says:

              This is your OPINION, nothing else, where is your evidence.

              You keep going on about 911, about jihadists from Saudi and so forth, conspiracy stuff.

              If these people had been planted into Syria, they alone would not have achieved much at all. Only if there had been massive dissent and dissatisfaction had they had the fertile ground to achieve anything.

              That is where persons like you fall down, you think it is all just manipulation by ‘the west’, but there was anger, dissatisfaction and dissent, and still is, hence millions of Syrians left their country, not just moved to government held territories, they are afraid of their lives. Not just because of war activities, which are now very limited.

              Why are the millions not signing up to go back?

              It is because the regime has been and is brutal towards dissenters and opponents, and so it goes.

              Even if a gas attack was not quite what it seemed, there is limited scope of pretending such happened, and few who would support the lies, so what is the fear of Assad, his regime and Russia to have independent international investigators go there and do their work, independently, not according to their terms?

              Your endless attempts at spreading conspiracy stuff here, delivering NO proof, that is sickening.

    • Mjolnir says:

      Really? Youre basing your beliefs on what bookies are saying???

      Whatever happened to reading chicken entrails???

    • David Stone says:

      Thanks for the link Remo.
      The same thing happened in Aleppo when it was cleared; Jafari was enthusiastic with his comment “we’re going to show them to you” but it all went quiet. I guessed the Russians thought it wise to keep it quiet and hope to maintain some rapport with UK and US, and escort them out . I wonder how they will deal with it this time.
      D J S

      • remo says:

        Even the breadth of humanity and diplomacy already shown by the Syrian and Russian representatives in the face of western perfidy must realise this latest false flag is intent to actually engage..very dangerous moment….the idiot TURNIP at the microphone…stakes are huge. just got to hope the back doors are open and the talk is full and frank…..

  8. Christine says:

    Pilger could be right -Russia has been very threatened by NATO activities too and is a convenient bete noire for just about everybody. If it was Russia, then there are much worse people than Putin, although it is hard to see why either he or their mafia would target the Skripals – and botch it so badly.

    There are democratic countries which “respect the rule of law” but nevertheless involve themselves in both open and clandestine way in other countries’ business including carrying out murder.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Christine: “There are democratic countries which “respect the rule of law” but nevertheless involve themselves in both open and clandestine way in other countries’ business including carrying out murder.”

      Exactly. Like the US, for instance. And UK. And France, as we all know only too well

  9. Sam Sam says:

    This failure of the left narrative just needs to be addressed. The overwhelming commercial media consensus was Jacinda was weak and New Zealand was a laughing stock. Well up yours normies. I fucking called it. Even a cursory look at Chemical Weapons litterateur would leave you thinking Boris Johnson is a dangerous fool. And the wonderful debating community comprising many social media websites pushing many conspiracy theories that didn’t fit the data, at all. And here’s me thinking they’ve all lost it. It’s all just simple desperation.

    When I was a kid growing up in the 80’s Russia was not a problem. But as the climate has grown harsher, so to has the attitudes and intolerance towards others grown harsher. But then you see corporate New Zealand had only just broken into global free markets and trade with the USA and now TPPA-11 countries are the latest. And for so long we have a very westernised elite took over, Christian nominally but very accommodating of other foreign interests. And that was the mood through out the world and New Zealand in the 80’s was apart of that. But the climate has turned harsher. But now factions with in society has a political tinge to it. It’s a riot about power and the way the different communities (LGBT, ect) want their rights. I did not expect this to effect New Zealand but it has. A resurgent gay community is a fact. So no longer are they apart of mainstream, they have splintered into there own group. And a resurgent Don Brash community just to show the range of communities feeding off of power.

    This is totally unexpected. My class mates and I all through my education always took a free and open attitude. We assumed that people will be sensible much to the approval of our teachers and mentors so we lived and let live. But now we have Destiny Church saying go out and convert gay people back to the path of God, ect. And they are entitled to under freedom of religion. Well that’s not very helpful is it.

    It’s reached a point where people are saying can we need to come together and organise against behavioural issues. And I’m over here thinking what’s happened? I thought we were going to live and let live. So what do I do I except all this and live and let live because nominally I am a kiwi. That is the secrete of tolerance. That you have a generation in charge like me are by and large secular. Definitely in how to govern a country. And only to ready to concede that Don Brash is a fossil and will not tolerate racist dog whittles amongst corporate elites because fundamentally the Māori economy like the Green economy have the widest growth margins and the beliefs of what ever group can convince you provided the two are kept separate provided that economic surplus contests your rights to believe in certain values. But not to the extent that you push the government to implement your values at the expense of other groups.

    Christian groups tell me that’s not possible, we must teach the word of God and the gay community say that’s not possible either. If this goes on we will have unpleasantness. Friction and clashes are already coming. My simple position is let’s stop it before it’s to late. It’s all silly.

    The Christian community can not convert the LGBT community and neither can academia. A firm government can smooth the path towards a more equal society. A soft government who tries to accommodate every one will lead to huge mischief.

  10. Historian Pete says:

    I found Christine Rose’s post quite strange. I found it had an underlying pro U.S. Empire bias.
    “There’s quite some history of Russian Journalists, critics and dissidents being assassinated at home and abroad.”
    “Russia has invaded the Crimea and Ukraine”
    “Maybe it was a brazen attack to humiliate Britain on its own soil”
    “Though I I have no sympathy for Russian Imperialism, I have no sympathy for British or American Imperialism either.”
    And then we had the quote from American Dr.Paul Buchanan:”N.Z. hasn’t expelled spies- that’s either diplomatic ,disengenuous, or naive. Buchanan some years ago was one of the few critics of U.S. foreign policy in N.Z. and then he did a turncoat/backflip to become a slobering sychophant of all things U.S Empire.
    Christine’s statements of the Russian position were lukewarm, and omitted many of the most obvious defences , like why would Russia have done this just before the Soccer World Cup and Russian election. And why would they use a method that would inevitably draw attention straight to Russia.
    Overall a strange post that makes me wonder where Christine Rose’s sympathies really lie!!!

    • I found Christine Rose’s post quite strange. I found it had an underlying pro U.S. Empire bias.

      You’ve levelled that accusation at Christine and myself, Pete.

      But, like your weird NASA satellite conspiracy theory, it’s a claim that is unsupported by any facts. You’re making quite a rep for yourself for making up stuff to suit your beliefs. Try sticking to the issues instead of personalising the debate. You might be taken more seriously.

      • remo says:

        Anyone thinks Russia invaded Ukraine and Crimea, is most definitely in la la.

        • Christine Rose says:

          You missed the irony. It’s not my belief that Russia invaded the Crimea and Ukraine, if you read the statement in context you’ll see that it’s part of the characterisation by the west and their justifications for sabre rattling against Russia

          • remo says:

            I thought I might have and beg your pardon.
            Anyway. That becomes another diminishing meme as we are rushed headlong into the next ‘most likely’ memory hole developed by the very same narrative machine as totes Skripal….this mornings Syrian ‘gas attack’ by the WhiteHelmets®.con.
            Where the script has Pres. ASSAD SAA and the Russian Federation winning the war against mercenary jihad and about to liberate the last couple of acres of the city by dint of conventional arms, decide to ‘loudly’ deploy gas in a basement occupied by the civilian prisoners of said jihad mercenary terrorists for no material gain that can be possibly imagined.
            Where the USAID.MI6 funded Whitehelmets®.con, affiliated to alNusra/alQaeda ‘rebels,’ are the only witnesses and cameramen to the patterned atrocity. Sure we can trust James MI6 LeMesurier and the ghouls of Ghouta.

            This will sweep the deteriorating Skripal OCT into the memory hole as always happens when things ‘get close to contested resolution’ and be used by the alliance shrilling to initiate R2P.
            However. False flags are weekly occurrences and we were warned enough times that Syrian and Russian forces had discovered this upcoming hoax weeks ago. Now we write whatever comments we can wherever we can to alert the internet of the exponential likelihood the Douma attack is classic MI6/Britprop and hope the balances teeter toward sanity. Difficult to achieve when mercenary corporate interests are fighting a loosing war. Cornered and all that..

          • Marc says:

            You are giving the fire maker more oxygen, I fear.

          • Sam Sam says:

            If you see something in Christine’s writing that she didn’t put there. Then you put it in their.

      • Historian Pete says:

        Frank: “Try sticking to the issues”. And then you bring up climate change. Again !

        • Sam Sam says:

          Nuclear war and climate are the two single global issues. You can’t really talk about any type of solution with mentioning one of them. Both in terms of cost and effort. Greater minds than ours have applied themselves to similar problems and come up short many times through history. So if we act like humans we will repeat the same mistakes. Some say it’s a mistake of mine for being so heartless, I just know no other way.

          • Francesca says:

            Sam
            Its the quandary we’re all in
            We’re all on a runaway train heading towards a clifftop
            Some of us are yelling help! trying to find the emergency brake, others are thumbing through the latest Briscoes catalogue or fiddling with their smartphones, annoyed at our ruckus

      • Historian Pete says:

        Its not MY Nasa satellite theory Frank. Its Dr.Axel- Worners Nasa Satellite theory. I just repeated his accusation against the IPCC and Nasa. Comprehension is not your strong suit! And it is a claim that is supported by facts.Facts not found in the mainstream media!

        • Theodore says:

          Citation for that claim please, Pete? Let’s see the evidence.

          • Historian Pete says:

            If you want to discuss climate change Theodore go and find a site discussing it. I am merely answering an irrational criticism from Frank, who persists when he cannot think of anything pertinent to say, of trying to change the subject. I am here to discuss the deteriorating situation between Russia and the West. If you have anything to add to the debate, well make your point!

        • Its not MY Nasa satellite theory Frank. Its Dr.Axel- Worners Nasa Satellite theory. I just repeated his accusation against the IPCC and Nasa.

          No way do you get away with that shit, Pete. You’ve said categorically that the ” hoax has been aided and abetted by the IPCC falsifying data and NASA” so you are in full agreement with Morner’s crackpot BS theory.

          After which you belatedly admitted that “Unfortunately actual physical evidence [supporting Morner’s claims] is some what thin on the ground”.

          Which may be irrelevant to this discussion, but it indicates you’re quite willing to make up stuff including your bizarre assertion that I somehow favour US imperialism over the Russian brand. Or that Christine’s post “had an underlying pro U.S. Empire bias” (which couldn’t be further from the truth).

          I’m calling you on this: your assertions lack factual integrity.

          • Historian Pete says:

            For the third time Frank you raise an unrelated issue when we are discussing the deteriorating situation between Russia and the West.I once took a 4th Form girls English debating class. The debating was mostly not on subject , ad hominen, and non sequiter. Just like debating with you is.I blame the N.Z. educational system. There is a tragic gap in your intellectual development.You can call me what you like Frank,I also call your lack of factual integrity.Get over it and get back on topic!!!

            • Mjolnir says:

              Youre ducking again, Historian Pete. Youve accused Frank and Christine of being pro American. Put up the evidence or shut up.

    • Christine Rose says:

      Historian Pete, I’m surprised at your reading of a pro US bias to that article. You’ve pretty much completely misread my intended critique of the way the western narrative towards Russia has been framed. It’s not my opinion that Russia has invaded the Crimea and the Ukraine at all, that’s an excuse given by the west to justify sanctions and diplomatic expulsions

    • Christine Rose says:

      Historian Pete, that’s the first time I’ve ever been remotely suspected of being a secret American (foreign policy) sympathiser. Questioning the extra-judicial activities of both sides doesn’t mean I’m biased in favour of the US, and the reference ‘invading Crimea and the Ukraine’ is meant ironically to typify the west’s simplistic and biased characterisation of the Russian bogeyman.

    • Theodore says:

      “I found Christine Rose’s post quite strange. I found it had an underlying pro U.S. Empire bias.”

      Ok, Pete , now I definitely know you’re trolling. You seem to be character assassinating anyone and everyone with a voice even remotely critical of Russia. I question your motives and agenda on this Forum.

      • Historian Pete says:

        Theodore:” I question your motives and agenda on this forum”
        You sound like a very important person. Perhaps I should grovel and touch my forelock! You are obviously not a person who puts any value in free speech. Certain people should be above criticism , and should be shown obsequious deference !

        • Mjolnir says:

          Youve accused christine of pro-americanism, pete. You cant make outrageous character slurs like thatand expect not to be challenged. Frank and christine dont hide behind anonymity like you and I do.

      • Francesca says:

        Pete’s definitely not a troll.
        As far as I understand it trolls exist to sabotage discussions, provoke arguments, and get everybody all tired and emotional
        And its an insult really, to call a commenter that.
        I don’t think anyone’s trolling here.We might get the wrong end of the stick sometimes but I don’t think anyone is deliberately winding anyone else up

  11. Always Anti-Racist says:

    I think what nuance is being missed is that it’s perfectly fine to personally ‘reckon’ that the poisoning was carried out by the Russian State – I believe it, sure. But there’s a big difference between having enough to make a ‘reckon’, and having enough to actually make diplomatic decisions. The way you’ve phrased this is good – much better than Chris Trotter’s rather odd downright defense of Russia a few days ago.

    Not everyone agrees though. It definitely seems that, although nobody seems to be saying it directly, that many believe Governments should not require the same evidence as say a court. And there’s a debate about that – how much waiting for ‘evidence’ can we count on when countries can cover up their crimes expertly?

    On the other hand, I do think that, barring extreme circumstances, Governments should align themselves towards the standard of evidence you’d expect to see in a court…

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      We are totally sick of the west engaging in the ‘red under the bed’ crap here as the West has many dark past wrongdoings doesn’t it now?

      Try just the nazi carnage left behind only to be rewarded by re-building Germany after they destroyed so many other global cities.

      So we didn’t see the west all solidly condemn and expel all Germans that worked for the nazi government did we, or condemn Germany to isolation as they did they now to Russia?

      This all makes me feel that – WE ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY NOW.

    • David Stone says:

      What many of us are suspecting is that recent rhetoric against Russia and allies, and allocation of unproven culpability, is not just a matter of inconclusive evidence, but complete fabrication aimed at manipulating public perception. To enable much more aggressive action against that block of countries than public opinion would countenance without that modification.
      Who gains from these deeds seems to be the question we should always ask ourselves.
      D J S

  12. Francesca says:

    So Why would Russia do this?
    The most popular motive people go for seems to be
    “To send a message… to all wannabe traitors that wherever and whenever the long reach of the RF is going to find them and snuff them out. Engenders loyalty , doncha know.sends a warning”
    Well I have a problem with that for many reasons, and I know I said I’d shut up , but Frank’s given me the green light ..heh..heh
    I imagine the Russian state would weigh up very carefully the costs/benefits of any action that would be bound to invite international oppobrium
    They would also take in to account timing
    There are several things happening right now of vital importance to Russia’s future.
    Nordstream 2 which is in the process of having pipeline laying permits to deliver natural gas, from Russia to the EU.
    Its been hotly disputed and threatened by the US who wants to nobble Russia’s market and replace it with their own expensive liquid fracked gas
    Ukraine also hates it because they will miss out on very lucrative transit fees when NStream comes in to effect, bypassing them and preventing them from tapping in to the pipeline for free.
    Heaps of pressure has been applied to Germany to abandon NStream
    https://warsawinstitute.org/nord-stream-2-opponents/
    Russia would not want this project at risk
    The 2018 world cup..one of those prestige projects that Russia bids for as a means of soft power as it attempts to make its way in the world
    England has been bitching ever since they lost the bid and have quite predictably tried to kick up all manner of ruckus to spoil it for the Russians
    Its important for Russia .They wouldn’t risk it and they’ve sunk a lot of money in to it
    Boycotts they can do without
    Syria..As Assad wins back most of his country , with the help of Russia, we’ve got down to crunch time
    The Generals in the White house are lunatics itching for a fight. Will there be a last minute showdown, perhaps triggered by yet another of those strangely well documented chemical weapon attacks just as the Syrian army is poised for victory?
    Russia needs like a hole in its head the international outrage provoked by CW use…. anywhere
    Sanctions piled upon sanctions, who needs em, things are getting tight

    Last year with the supervision and monitoring of the OPCW, Russia destroyed, ahead of time, the last of its chemical weapons.
    Again, it was heaped with praise, and showed Russia as a responsible member of the world community
    I mean after all, they could have chosen to be like Israel, refuse to sign up to the CWC, and not declare ant CW programs
    Believe it or not, Russia is a rational, pragmatic and endlessly patient country.that will defend itself but doesn’t want a fight

    So here’s Putin talking to his FSB guy
    “Well, we’ve finally perfected our highly secret, undeclared, dastardly novichok program, kept it from the eyes of the OPCW when they were swarming all over the place , and now we’re ready to blow all that and go public”
    “So boss, who we going to knock off, that prick Bill Browder,Navalny,one of the Pussy Riot chicks,Poroshenko?”
    “Nah, theres this old guy in Salisbury, Sergey Skripal ”
    “Who?”
    “Just do it !”
    Maybe if it happened after the world cup was over, Nordstream 2 up and running,Syria done and dusted, I might think that Russia dunnit, but not now, the time is not right
    Dear reader, if you have got this far, thank you
    I have only covered the motive, means is next, but I think even the gentlemanly Frank will be crying ENOUGH!

    • Historian Pete says:

      Well done Francesca, take a bow! You exceed yourself!

    • Brigid says:

      Yeah
      Hilarious 🙂

    • Marc says:

      ” Believe it or not, Russia is a rational, pragmatic and endlessly patient country.that will defend itself but doesn’t want a fight”

      Yawn, are you fro real?

      ‘rational’ is though an alien word to many commenting here.

      Of course the Russian government will follow its own interests, they are NO better than the US or China.

      ‘Democracy’ there is not much better than in some kind of banana republic.

      • Francesca says:

        No better than the US or China?
        Well from where I’m standing US influence on the world has been and continues to be far more malign than any country I could name
        US military bases abroad far outnumber the rest of the world combined
        Their expenditure on the military exceeds that of the next 8 or is it 9 country’s combined
        Their initiation of and involvement in wars leaves Russia in the dust
        Their subversion of all the international institutions created after the 2nd World War the UN, World Bank etc are an open secret.

        https://theintercept.com/2018/03/29/john-bolton-trump-bush-bustani-kids-opcw/
        The US has less than 5% of the world’s population and consumes close to 30% of the world’s resources
        https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/american-consumption-habits/

        The US “interests ” are grossly disproportionate to its population and what they are willing to do to secure them is reflected in the strength of the MIC now presiding in the halls of power.
        Daily , unarmed citizens are gunned down by the militarised police with impunity
        There is very little equivalence in my mind.
        Of course Russia is riddled with problems and corruption etc, but I see their main crime for the west, is refusing to bend the knee.

        And please Marc, I respect your views , and I really don’t want to descend in to the “yawn…are you fro real kind of discourse”
        A solid argument based on facts will do fine

        • Marc says:

          The US is like little NZ Inc, it is a country basically run by corporations and their vested interests, and the lackey politicians they see fit to look after their interests, or at least that can pass as not going to do any serious harm to their interests.

          Add the bureaucracy, the arms industry and the military establishment, and there you have what humanity is capable of in any state.

          They just managed to ‘deal’ and ‘trade’ their way up the ladder, using also their ‘defense force’ to ensure their interests are protected, all by bribing the bulk of the population with a wasteful living standard that is responsible what you touch on in your long comment.

          NZers are little different, as they are also bribed, by living a life style as high per capita CO2 and other emissions polluters, also wasting resources, while others on the planet are starving. Then comes the arrogance by some, claiming NZ Inc helps ‘feed’ the world (for nice profits and trickle down also).

          The only difference to the mighty US is that this country is so remote and small, it does seriously think, it does not need any defence of significance, as nobody would bother coming here to perhaps dare lay claim to this land, once stolen by fraudulent ‘treaty’ talk from Maori, soon to be stolen by others from the existing largely ignorant population.

          As for Russia, and Putin, it is still in love with its inflated love for past largesse as an Empire, under the Tsars, and any President that rules there now, likes to present himself a bit like a Tsar, with a dim view of most commoners, giving them perhaps a bit more than what Russians used to get under the actual Tsars.

          • Francesca says:

            Well, Marc, I agree with every thing you said, bar the last paragraph
            Even then , I kind of agree with you about the Tsar thing. If thats what Russia wants, a strong man , well good for them .It may very well be part of a national psychology if such things exist .
            Then again, a Tsar doesn’t get out amongst the people with little regard for his own security

            http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/n0211-vladimir-putin-walks-with-half-a-million-russians-to-salute-the-immortal-heroes-of-the-second-world-war/

            And the Duma seems to me to be a very ponderous apparatus, encompassing far more parties than any western style democracy. Not to mention the regional governance .I can’t even remember how many federal bodies there are , all with their own authorities.
            Anyway, even western polls have no doubt about the genuine popularity of Putin, with a reasonably strong following for the Communists.
            Who the hell am I to criticise
            When the Russian state has as much influence over our government as the US and Israel do, don’t worry, I’ll be hammering away at the keyboard and marching in the street

          • mikesh says:

            “The US is like little NZ Inc,”

            The USA is not at all like NZ (or any other country). USA
            is an ‘exception’. It is not bound by international law the the way the rest of us are. The USA can do whatever it likes, constrained only by public opinion.

            • Marc says:

              BS, they are also bound by international law, but their size and power means they can at times ignore it, in blatant disregard of all rules.

              As for NZers, they are no better, most of them, desiring the same BS lifestyle and conveniences, the number of Kiwis heading to the UK and US, and especially to US friendly Australia, that proves we have a nation of many mercenaries, who do anything for money and good opportunities. If they had any principles they would stand up for their country and advance it with good thought. The latter is something most struggle with, because egotism and lazy opportunism rules, hence the over dependence on petrol and gas fueled economic activity. I just looked out of the window on the filled motorway, yet again, the malls will also be full tonight, same as parts of the commercial CBD, just like the USA.

        • Marc says:

          Prepare to be dragged into a future conflict near home, between US, China, and their ‘allies’ down under:
          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/10/concerns-china-in-talks-with-vanuatu-about-south-pacific-military-base

          Yes, the US have a lot to answer for, as super power, they are corrupt, but despite of all privacy concerns, people there can still protest, even anarchists, communists and so forth, while in places like Russia and especially China, you risk being locked up and worse even trying to do that.

          • Francesca says:

            As long as we have a flailing superpower about to go under kicking and screaming , not willing to go quietly, I agree, we’re in for a rocky time.
            Never mind Russia’s domestic travails, lets look to our own
            Surveillance, infiltration of groups, arrests, legislation to deny the right to protest at sea.All this undermines our own rights to dissidence
            Do you really think we have a free press?
            We have a gutless press that never even raises its head above the ramparts
            When a true journalist like Nicky Hager speaks out?
            What happens?
            Over in the UK Assange is gagged and under the most cruel circumstances of unlawful detainment
            Blair is currently braying for another war
            We in the west have nothing to brag about
            We’re sedated with our toys , in apparent freedom , while our corporations rampage like Mafia hitmen throughout the world

            • Marc says:

              At least here Hager is NOT locked up, he can still publish books, and it is up to people generally (most not so smart) to buy and read books or not.

              That is NOT allowed in China, Russia and some other countries in the same way, despite of all the shit we have to put up with here, in the US and in much of Europe.

    • D'Esterre says:

      A cracker piece, Francesca! Well done: congratulations.

  13. Strypey says:

    >> British Prime Minister Theresa May rebukes the Russians for treating the situation in a light-hearted manner. She says Russia’s response has been one of sarcasm, contempt and defiance, and has failed to provide any credible explanation of how Novichok made its way to afflict the Srkipals. <<

    So Russia, when did you stop beating your wife?

    • D'Esterre says:

      Strypey: “So Russia, when did you stop beating your wife?”

      Exactly. The Maybot’s a piece of work, isn’t she!

  14. Liminal says:

    Try this piece from the excellent George Galloway:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUJHZxgHm64

  15. Francesca says:

    Almost exactly one year ago , the Khan Sheykhoun gas attack
    Seymour Hersh , investigative journalist of My Lai fame and more recently, “The Red line and The Ratline”wrote this piece in June of last year
    Its a long read but a good one

    https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

  16. Hopeful one says:

    I’m encouraged by the comments on the article, it is evident that more and more New Zealanders are not prepared to accept the crap they see on One News and Newshub. The only grown ups in the whole Skripal incident have been Russia and its allies who are asking for transparency in the investigation.