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Mark Galeotti’s response to Putin’s plea for reason: lies & penis jokes

The Guardian produced two responses to Putin’s speech of March 1, in which he both unveiled far-reaching new Russia weapons systems and used this as a platform to (once again) plead for an end to Western warmongering. Both of them display both the intellectual/educational/ethical impoverishment of the authors (an impoverishment that is now systematic in corporate media), but also the completely delusional world they inhabit. Today we take a look at Mark Galeotti’s Putin’s new arms race is all about his need to be taken seriously.

The Guardian’s caption for this image reads: “Putin was not so much seeking to start a new arms race abroad, as trying to keep alive an old myth at home.” Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Mark Galeotti, who is apparently (believe it or not) “senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague and head of its Centre for European Security” went full idiot in the Guardian yesterday with a short piece entitled Putin’s new arms race is all about his need to be taken seriously.

The mere fact the title carries with it the implication that we don’t need to take the elected president of the largest country in the world with enough nuclear weapons to eradicate all life in earth “seriously” is enough to tell us all about the level of Mark’s contact with veridical reality. He clearly lives in that well-populated Washington/Langley logic-free dream zone where Russia is both a dangerous rogue state with enough reach to “hack” the US election and “attack” America, and a silly little rusty nowhere country to be mocked and patronised into oblivion.

In this piece Mark’s taking the ‘Nowheresville’ tack with added and cringeworthy willy jokes.

He tells us the weapons Putin talked about might sound “terrifying” but that’s ok because they probably won’t work (you know, much like the F-35), and anyhow, the animations in the presentation were “clunky”, and gee gosh, it’s all so frickin funny. Except (abrupt change of take in para 4) it is actually quite a “serious” shopping list that (no discernible irony) “go[es] against the letter or spirit of arms control treaties”. But then, just as abruptly, (para 5) it’s funny again, because…

It is easy to wonder, with a snigger, quite for what Putin is (over)compensating.

In case his sledgehammer wit is too subtle for you, Mark means Putin has a small penis. Yes, apparently he really thinks this comment says more about Putin’s manhood than about Mark Galeotti and his imbecilic reductionism.

But Mark doesn’t just use denial and penis jokes to make his case – he also lies. He describes the president whose government managed to reduce poverty by 75% in 14 years, raise the birth rate, rebuild industries and increase national incomes as a “failure” as a “nation-builder.” He calls the man with a 60-80% approval rating a “failure” as a statesman, and the man who has averted world war at least once during is years in office, a “failure” as a “peacemaker.” Because, of course, in Mark’s dream zone reality consists of whatever you choose to say is true.

But the lie that really tells us what we are up against is this one:

Perhaps the most telling line, after all was when [Putin] directly connected this armament programme with his efforts to make the world, which really means Washington, acknowledge Russia’s status as a great power: “Nobody wanted to listen to us. Well, listen to us now.”

Hmmm. Let’s just put that cherrypicked quote back into its real context, shall we? Re-insert a few words Mark left out. This is what Putin actually said:

No, nobody really wanted to talk to us about the core of the problem, and nobody wanted to listen to us. So listen now.

“The core of the problem” he’s referring to is the US withdrawal from the ABM treaty and its deployment of the Aegis system. It’s clear to anyone who reads Putin’s speech and has listened to anything he has said on the topic for the last sixteen years, that he is very very worried the effective cancellation of the MAD doctrine might result in a nuclear war. It’s clear he sees the restitution of balance to be as much about reducing that risk as about defending his homeland.

The fact Mark either doesn’t understand these basic facts or thinks it’s safe to ignore them is in truth a personification of that massive “problem”. And until Washington and its babbling idiot mouthpieces can wake up to this, realise they don’t actually “make a new reality” simply by talking about it, the future of the human race continues to hang by a thread.


  1. delicieuxz says

    The Guardian is retarded propaganda taped together by sold-out hacks. Does anybody take it seriously anymore? The Guardian even said for itself that it was adopting a more sensationalist format because it was bleeding money and had to do something to improve its financial situation. So, The Guardian has made it clear that it is not in the business of journalism, but of sensationalism.

  2. Robbobbobin says

    Mark Surname-Forgotten-Already was merely perceptively writing for the New Guardian’s audience.

    The Manchester Guardian was always happy in it’s rightward superiority over its leftward-leaning readership, as C.P. Scott explicitly noted, but now the New Guardian – having established itself over the course of the current millennium as the MSM’s progressive left’s largest organ, thanks to the decay of widespread progressive thought in Britain, its near-total atrophy in the USA, and its neverinexistence in Australasia – it has seized its chance at survival in a post-Gutenberg, domesticated-Internet world. If you could hang electrons on newsstand racks at supermarket checkouts, the New Guardian would be in like Flynn. Just as the original Guardians were proudly to the right of their readerships, so their latter-day facsimile is proudly on the other side of the Beltway from its (especially around McLean).

    So Mark Thingamy is just keeping to the neohouse neostyle. Prossibly even one of its neostyle guide’s covert advisory panel.

    I’d suggest a counter-covert link campaign. See a still-open New Guardian comment opportunity that can be referenced on-topic to an OffGuardian clarification, piece or comment? Comment, link and post. Lazy moderators wising up? & Co could be your friends.

  3. “The tame audience dutifully applauded” – Mark Galeotti

    That small phrase told me a lot. He’s complaining about an audience! They sat and listened politely like any other audience and applauded repeatedly. When Putin got into the section of his address dealing with advanced military weapons, You could see the change in audience members’ demeanor. They couldn’t contain themselves, relatively speaking. They were ecstatic. I personally found that alarming, but understandable.

    People all over the the world saw it that address. So for Galeotti to try to make something out of nothing here, makes him look pathetic to a lot of rational, informed people. Additionally, It appears that Mark was personally greatly annoyed by the particularly warm reception Putin’s remarks about the weaponry got from his audience. One wouldn’t call the audience, during that part of the address, one that “dutifully” applauded.

    The world, especially outside the US, knows why the Russian audience appreciated the fact that Russia under Putin did not do ‘nothing’ about Mr Galeotti’s hero, uncle Sam, the bully. They were relieved to learn that after the provocations they had all endured, some of which they just heard Putin list, his public answer wasn’t just “ouch.” Russia – whose soldiers won WWII for everyone, despite the fact that the Nazi bug that was squashed and splattered ended up coming to life wherever its goo landed – has been so disrespected and threatened by almost the entire developed world, that it was only natural that that audience for a brief moment felt some pride in Putin’s bold talk. But racist, irrational haters of Russia don’t want to see any of that. As well, that audience no doubt rationally felt that here was some hope, in the reality that Putin here publically revealed, that the racist warmongers in centers of power throughout the West might just back off. Would Galeotti have the light to see that?

    But Galeotti has a job to do, which, it appears, he is perfectly suited to doing, and that job is channel state propaganda in accordance with the old American NSC 68 and the doctrinal system that that document represents. The entire American-led Corporatocracy is held captive to the outlook and doctrinal system stemming from that irrational anti-communist, Cold War document. As Chomsky said, the mafia don decides what the policies will be.

  4. bevin says

    The real significance of Putin’s speech has been missed. As John Helmer suggests there are signs that Putin has now moved decisively in favour of the forces which have produced the weaponry of which he spoke and against those who side with the oligarchs and favour accommodation, on almost any terms, with the USA.
    Something that has mystified unthinking westerners is the possibility that, while spending relatively small amounts an industrial sector which is notoriously run down has managed to come up with an arsenal which matches and may very well exceed that of the US with its massive defense budgets. In a society obsessed with the silly notion that privatisation and free enterprise produce innovation and cut costs the performance of Russia’s, largely state owned, arms industry seems counter intuitive. When added to the conventional wisdom that the Soviet Union failed because it was bureaucratised and inefficient Russia’s advantage is inexplicable .
    In reality none of this should be surprising. The US Defense procurement system is designed basically to funnel money from the taxpayers to the MIC. And the Military Industrial Complex, as its name suggests, has many often conflicting aims in developing and producing weapons. Of the various interest groups in the MIC only the tiny, though loud, ideological wing of neo-conservatives has any interest in war with Russia. As to the rest, the politicians, the corporations, the military war is the least of their desires: the politicians want jobs for constituents and deep wells of graft in which those trillions can be re-cycled into campaign funds, think tanks, pensions, bribes and favours. The corporations want orders with guaranteed and fat profits. They also want monopolies and help in garnering the super profits that come from foreign orders. Places like Israel and Saudi are the icing on an already rich and fruity cake. The military want other things, of which wars against their peers in Russia and China are not a part.
    Add together the realities of the Defense procurement system and the inefficiencies of monopoly capitalism and the wonder is not that the Russian state produces better results but that the US forces have any ‘materiel’ at all. And often enough they do not: the F35 is but one example of the many projects into which untold riches have been sunk without any perceptible advantage. The US fleets are full of ships that serve no real purpose except to consume fuel and bang into one another. The army is so bad that most of the work is actually carried out by Special Forces (now 70,000 strong) while the logistical load is borne by contractors and mercenary bands.
    But the reality of Russia’s position, as anyone who has followed modern history will know, is that bureaucratic and sclerotic as the Soviet system was it was still vastly more efficient than the chaotic and suicidal capitalist system. From Sputnik down, even despite the co-ordinated wrecking of the Soviet economy, until today the Russian system of developing, producing and employing arms has proved to be superior to the US system.
    For this there are many reasons but the single most important is that, in the USA Defense procurement is a scam whereas in Russia, as Putin made plain, it is a matter of national survival. And so it has been since 1918- a century of making sure that a world full of enemies could be fought off.
    Those western commentators who sneered that Putin was boasting and exaggerating when he warned potential aggressors to think twice, have gone through the lessons of that century without learning a thing.
    What has happened in Russia, since the 1990s, is that the sirens of westernisation, which Russians have been listening to since Tsar Paul’s time, have been discredited again. The future in Russia lies not with the Fifth Column of westerners, with their Wall St/City of London banking practices and their longing for acceptance by high finance but with those looking east where the sun rises, east and south where three out of every four members of humanity live.

  5. Theo says

    Putin is an experienced strategist.He plans long ahead and is not at all a warmonger.On his campaign trail Trump recognized this and wanted to ease tensions with Russia.But he failed.I never understood the Russia bashing.The Russians love Putin for what he did for his country.And that’s what counts.

  6. George says

    “The fact Mark either doesn’t understand these basic facts or thinks it’s safe to ignore them….”

    I wish everyone would stop cutting these venal hacks some slack. Galeotti either knows exactly what he’s doing or he’s simply writing what he’s told to write.

  7. Galeotti is a serial offender. That the Grauniad publishes his garbage is proof positive that the Grauniad has lost any sense of journalistic standards it may once have had.
    The Graun’s stable of Russophobes, Zionists and outright neoliberal loons is beyond redemption.

  8. Thank you Catte for reading this article so I didn’t have to. Perfect example of the psychopathic idiocy which guides the west.

    • For those pondering whether to read the offending article, it’s not unbearably long. It’s just awful.

  9. Jim Scott says

    The current Guardian scribblings reminds me of the lines from a Pink Floyd song on Dark Side of the Moon.

    The lunatic is in the hall.
    The lunatics are in my hall.
    The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
    And every day the paper boy brings more.

    And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
    And if there is no room upon the hill
    And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
    I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.

    • Myself when thinking of Al-Guardian and its so-called journalism, I would go for Queensryche “I usted to trust the media to tell me the truth, tell us the truth” from Operation Mindcrime and “The rich control the government, the law, the media” from the same album.

  10. Mikalina says

    I have written to the Director and Chairman of the Board of the Institute For International Relations bringing their attention to this puerile piece of garbage. I have pointed out the reflection that this gutter press article will have upon their reputation as a serious and relevant actor on the international stage.

    Looking at their site, I see several articles by this ‘researcher’. all written in the same vein, so I’m not hopeful.

    • Mikalina says

      And to the Head of Research, Petr Kratochvíl and the Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Czech Republic Foreign Ministry, Martin Stropnicky, who appoints the Head of Research (actually he seems quite nice – ex theatre).

  11. Seamus Padraig says

    He clearly lives in that well-populated Washington/Langley logic-free dream zone where Russia is both a dangerous rogue state with enough reach to “hack” the US election and “attack” America, and a silly little rusty nowhere country to be mocked and patronised into oblivion.

    A perfect example of Orwell’s doublethink: “The act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct.”

  12. Thomas Prentice says

    Wow. So much for pretentious titles. I would rather hear what a cab driver had to say: RE: “senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague and head of its Centre for European Security”.

    • I know. Isn’t it astounding how people with far less education have a much better idea of what’s really going on than people with pretentious titles and however many letters after their name?

  13. vera says

    As Catte if Vovka has anything to compensate for. She’d know.

    • Manda says

      Your unfounded personal attacks on Catte are becoming tiresome. I shall skip past your comments on all topics in future..

      • milosevic says

        professional shill, do not engage.

  14. summitflyer says

    Personally I would suggest that there are people within the US establishment that know very well that Putin was/is not bluffing.The theatrics from the likes of Mark Galeotti and coterie are just that ,buffoons and clowns that speak to a crowd cheering on anyone that would re-enforce the false narrative of the bad Russians in order to feel good about themselves and keep thumping their chests . This will not last forever .Sanity will visit this planet again .

  15. I noticed Ozzy comedian Adam Hills basically quoted this article verbatim in his hilarious (not) segment on C4’s ‘The Last Leg’ from last Friday which invited their audience to ‘Name The Nukes’:

    Hahaha, a new arms race with the real possibility of nuclear armageddon!

    The last episode I watched saw him including Putin in a list of dictators with Hitler and Stalin, credulously relaying claims of ‘interference’ in the US elections and mocking N.Korean cheerleaders. Reliable conduit of liberal state propaganda with zero self-awareness – who’s the real cheerleader?


    • Adam Hills is a buffoon propagandist and a puerile hater of Russia – in line with Channel 4’s Russophobia. Stopped watching the prog a long time ago. Notice when he was eviscerating Trump(which was fine by me)he left Saint Hillary, the most murderous woman alive today, alone?

    • tarqu1no says

      Ditto Russel Howard and much of the Mock The Week commentary.

  16. Yonatan says

    The North American Terrorist Organisation is currently trying hard to pry Khazakstan from the Russian sphere. The Khazakstan government has passed legislation requiring the use of Latin script instead of the traditional Cyrillic script. For the ordinary people that must be as galling as the UK government requiring the the use of French as written text. Khazakstan is also where Russia does a lot of its long range missile tests and is the landing zone for the capsules that return from the International Space Station. Loss of Khazakstasn would be a major coup for the Terrorists. However, most of its northern land border lies with Russia, so there would be immediate economic payback should this happen. However, most leaders (e.g. Erdogan and the Su-22 incident) seem to be unable to see further than short term massive boosts to their offshore bank accounts.

  17. writerroddis says

    Glad you posted this Catte. I saw the piece, clocked the schoolboy innuendo and wondered if the Graun has bottomed out yet – or has further to fall …

  18. The weird and wonderful world of the Graun, where down is up, the real winners are [apparently] the losers and their favourite – it never happened at all where inconvenient history is simply airbrushed away… [Or is it hair brushed away at the Guardian, I’m never quite sure?]

    To compliment Catte’s observations on miss-information, there is also this:

    Where the Oddserver takes on the big question of WAR. Simply put – opinion mixed with misinformation. Where apparently Jason Burke, their long established Africa correspondent, believes [or wants us to believe] that Syria is a civil war [which it is not] and Ukraine is a Russian invasion not a civil war [which it is]. With so much factual inaccuracy no wonder WAR rages and people are unable to see the real causes.

    • Mikalina says

      He also slipped in that AQ was very active in Yemen before the Houthis asked Hadi to honour their agreement. They were not. In fact, the few there were seen as a nuisance. No mention of the US killing one of its own citizens by drone? No mention of killing his son a few weeks later? No mentioned of Trump finishing off the job by killing the daughter within a week of taking office? No, it’s a Sunni/Shi’a issue. And don’t get me started on the Congo……

      He has re-written history to show tribal discord as the cause of war. Mr Burke, perhaps I can help you. The Americans did it.

    • Jay Q says

      There are so many lies and so much misinformation in that article that it really shows what kind of ‘newspaper’ the Guardian has become. The surprising thing is that many commentators over there highlight this but the Guardian just keeps on bashing away with the same tired rubbish about Syria and now Yemen. It takes people with a really low moral gauge to relentlessly work on such obvious propaganda and put it in the public domain. Utterly shameful.

  19. Fair dinkum says

    Mark likes his job Catte.
    After all, where could he get another job just makin stuff up, keeping his bosses happy and getting PAID to do it?
    $nug as bug in a rug.

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