All posts tagged: russia

Bellingcat outed by the Independent

Philip Roddis The West’s war on Syria, and rapidly heating cold war on Russia, have involved extensive use of smear. Of unsubstantiated or even disproved allegations repeated in our not-so free mediauntil even those who rightly or wrongly – usually wrongly – deem themselves critical thinkers assume, no-smoke-without-fire  fashion, there must be truth to them. This conclusion is seldom drawn by the conscious mind. That’s not how propaganda works: witness on the one hand that near universal belief that ‘adverts don’t sway me in the slightest’;  on the other those misguided capitalists who, oblivious to our immunity to it, continue to throw vast sums at that propaganda form we call commercial advertising. Putin – my, how we feted his predecessor, the drunken Yeltsin, as he oversaw Russia’s descent to basket case status while Wall Street drooled over the spoils! – and Assad feature hardly less frequently on our screens and front pages than do ads for new cars and sofas. The stakes are higher, though[1], which explains two aspects of their demonisation not shared by commercials. One is …

Further down the rabbit hole with Eliot, Boshirov, Petrov, his grandma & all

Bellingcat today released the second part of their “investigation” into the alleged real identities of Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, the two Russians accused of attempting to murder Sergey Skripal. We offer some preliminary thoughts and open the subject up for discussion.

US Switching to Ukraine as Location to Start World War III

Eric Zuesse The United States Government is now treating Ukraine as if it were a NATO member, and on September 27th donated to Ukraine two warships for use against Russia. This is the latest indication that the U.S. is switching to Ukraine as the locale to start World War III, and from which the nuclear war is to be sparked against Russia, which borders Ukraine. Here is why Syria is no longer the U.S. alliance’s preferred choice as a place to start WW III: On September 4th, U.S. President Donald Trump publicly threatened Syria, Iran and Russia that if they exterminated the jihadists in Syria’s only remaining jihadist-controlled province, Idlib, then the U.S. might launch a full-scale invasion against Syria, Iran and Russia in Syria. Either the U.S. or Russia would then quickly escalate to nuclear war so as not to lose in Syria — that would be the conventional-war start to World War III. The leaders of Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Syria (Putin, Rouhani, Erdogan, and Assad), agreed in two meetings, one on September …

In the land of fake news is the spin master king?

One MI6 shill selling the work of another just sums up the level of factual journalism at the Guardian. Tutisicecream Not only was Pippa Crerar one of the Guardian’s deputy editors called out for her pious tweet from the Labour conference writing: “Corbyn criticises some parts of British media, claiming they “smear the powerless, not take on the powerful”. As a journalist, makes me very uncomfortable to hear him leading attack on our free press. Dangerous, Trumpian territory.” Corbyn criticises some parts of British media, claiming they “smear the powerless, not take on the powerful”. As a journalist, makes me very uncomfortable to hear him leading attack on our free press. Dangerous, Trumpian territory. — Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) 26 September 2018 The comment got her loads of flack from the general twittering public for her attempted smear, but then today we get another implausible piece of spin from Luke Harding. The hubris at the Guardian is palpable. The reason I am writing connecting these two points is to demonstrate just how bad the standards of …

MI6 Will Be So Proud: Urban & Harding Continue The Ludicrous Skripal Narrative

Bay Kurley, DailyShocker.news Mark Urban is releasing a book on Skripal. He didn’t tell anyone he had met him during 2017 for that purpose mind you, not even his BBC bosses, until forced to, the day after Skripal was allegedly poisoned. Which would explain the intimate knowledge he demonstrated on Newsnight that evening, 5th March. It’s even stranger that Mark didn’t tell his bosses earlier, when he MUST have been aware that Skripal still met his “old” MI6 handler in Salisbury. Urban must have been aware that this handler, who was an old tanker mate of Urban, was linked to Orbis, the company Christopher Steele ran. Seems a HUGE link, to a HUGE global story, to not tell your bosses at one of the world’s largest news agencies? He didn’t admit to the public he had met Skripal until July 2018. FOUR months after Skirpal was “novichoked”. Yes, I met Sergei Skripal a few times in 2017 while working on a book project. He's a remarkable man with a dry sense of humour and a …

“Chepiga” and “Boshirov” – what does Bellingcat actually tell us?

The alleged “citizen journalist” website, Bellingcat has, of course, recently published the results of its latest piece of alleged research on the “real identity” of one of the men accused (so far without any evidence) of attempting to poison Sergey Skripal and his daughter back in March 2018.

We’ve talked about Bellingcat, and its supposed founder, Eliot Higgins, before on OffG. Bellingcat’s work has been revealed on countless occasions to be both incredibly amateurish and incredibly biased toward a certain extreme neocon/neoliberal agenda. Whether Higgins himself knows it or not, his outfit is almost certainly a front run by various intel agencies for the purpose of disseminating low grade, and often fake or corrupted, data that the agencies and associated governments do not want to be associated with directly.

Operation Nina – the Novichok Hoax

There’s no shortage of commentators in the Western mainstream telling us how Russia planned its attack on the Skripals, or how Syria planned its chemical weapons massacres. Anyone who expresses a different opinion from this accepted narrative stands condemned and belittled as a “conspiracy theorist”. But the criticism works both ways – for us it is they who are the conspiracy theorists, as well as the conspirators.

Craig Murray: the Guardian tells “deliberate lies” about Assange and alleged Russia ties

On Friday September 21 the Guardian published a piece titled “Revealed: Russia’s secret plan to help Assange escape from UK”. It was authored by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Dan Collyns and our very own pulp plagiarist Luke Harding. Even without Murray’s subsequent revelations, there was a lot to be concerned about both in the headline and the article itself.

NYT Admits “no evidence” of Russian Collusion.

The headline says it all really – it’s not exaggeration or spin on our part. For months, years even, we’ve been told that Trump is “the Siberian candidate”, or “Putin’s puppet” and “Russia’s Weapon”. The evidence was never supplied, but those who questioned the claim were mocked, derided and ignored. None of that matters now…because today, in the New York Times, these words were published: …no public evidence has emerged showing that his campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money.” For proof, and just in case they take it down, here’s the screen cap they took over at Moon of Alabama: Right there in black-and-white. There are other words, of course, thousands of them, a quarter of a novel. All designed to blow smoke over this para and give the opposite impression without actually lying. But none of the others matter: these 20 words prove Russiagate is fake, and that the NYT knows it and just hopes its readers don’t catch on. That para is basically a full on admission …

Open Thread – Russian Plane Brought Down in Syria

Last night, a Russian IL-20 military surveillance plane went missing over Syria, presumably shot down. Fifteen Russian personnel are presumed dead. This took place during an (illegal) attack by Israeli F-16 jets. At the same time, RT reported that Russia had detected missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean.

This morning, Russia has formerly complained to Israel – claiming the Israeli military gave less than 1 minute of warning, and then used the Russian plane as cover, causing the Syrian air defenses to bring down the friendly plane.

Open Thread: Skripal Suspects Interviewed on RT

For those of you who missed it – the Skripal suspects came forward, approaching RT to tell their story. The whole interview is available here and a transcript here.

Intelligence Veterans Warn of US-Russia Conflict in Syria

A group of veteran intelligence officers calling themselves the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, have composed an open memo to President Donald Trump, warning of the very real possibility of a US-Russia conflict in Syria.

Donald Trump Comes Out in Support of Islamic Terrorists

Eric Zuesse On September 4th, U.S. President Donald Trump came out publicly in support of Islamic terrorists. He clearly stated that he is against eliminating the people who live in, and who have sought refuge in, the region of Syria that has the highest concentration — almost 100% of the people there — either supporting or being Islamic terrorists. This region has what is virtually certain to be the highest percentage of jihadists and of their supporters, anywhere in the world. No other locale on the planet has been shown to be even close to 100% supporting Islamic terrorism, jihadists, but this one has. Idlib Governate, in Syria, is by far the most-pro-jihadist region in Syria, and has increasingly been collecting jihadists from abroad, for jihadists globally to overthrow and replace Syria’s secular Government. Syria is the nation that, for seven years, has experienced an influx of jihadists from not only the Arab world, and not only from Muslim-majority countries, but from everywhere, including Europe and the United States, who have come into Syria to …

The Russian minority in the Baltics live under ‘apartheid’ states

Max Parry It has been nearly three decades since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Despite Russia’s reemergence on the world stage as a respected power after market-oriented ‘reforms’ destroyed its economy for the duration of the nineties, the breakup of the USSR is an event regarded by an increasing amount of Russians as a catastrophic tragedy rather than a triumph of ‘freedom and democracy.’ In recent years, there have been numerous polls showing that more than half of Russians not only regret the collapse of the Soviet Union but would even prefer for its return. However, the nostalgia only comes as a surprise to those who have forgotten that not long before the failed August Coup that led to its demise, the first and only referendum in its history was held in March of 1991 which polled citizens if they wished to preserve the Soviet system. The results were more than three quarters of the population in the entire socialist federation (including Russia) voting a resounding yes with a turnout of 80% in the …

UPDATED: Skripal Case: Gaping Holes in New Narrative

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) named their suspects in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal et al. today. The two men – named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – entered the country on legal VISAs but are alleged to be travelling under aliases. The CPS has charged the men with a laundry list of offenses, but not applied to Russia for extradition as it is forbidden, by the Russian Constitution, for the Russian federation to extradite a citizen.

These are the new facts, but like all the previous announcements in this bizarre odyssey, they present more questions than answers.

Trump Deathwatch

The latest “Trump Deathwatch” began on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. It began in a courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, when Paul Manafort, sleazebag beltway operator and former chairman of Trump’s campaign, was pronounced guilty by a jury of his peers on ten counts of various types of fraud — tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to disclose thirty-one foreign bank accounts which he was using for the purposes of fraud. Or maybe it began in another courtroom, this one miles away in New York City, when, almost at the exact same moment, Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight unrelated charges of fraud and campaign finance violations, the latter charges stemming from “hush money” paid to two of Trump’s former bimbos.

Russia Squelches Trump’s New Plan to Invade Syria

Eric Zuesse On Friday, August 31st, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Russia has handed to the OPCW (Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), and to the U.N., “proof” that the U.S. Government has been working with Al Qaeda to set up a chemical incident in Syria. The U.S. and its allies will then use that incident as a supposed justification for invading Syria as a ‘humanitarian’ response to a chemical attack allegedly by Syria’s Government, but actually done by U.S.-backed forces. The goal is to re-ignite the 7-year-old ‘civil war’ between Syria’s Government and U.S.-backed ‘rebels’, who consist almost exclusively of fundamentalist-Sunni jihadists that are trained and led by Al Qaeda in Syria, with U.S. help and Saudi financing. On August 29th Global Research headlined “Video: US Creates Strike Force to Attack Syria”, and posted an August 28th report from South Front saying: Reports are appearing that the Syrian Air Defense Forces (SADF) have already started preparing to repel an expected US-led missile strike by deploying additional specialists and air defense systems near the …

So DID the Guardian back war on Iraq?

Philip Roddis If I and a hundred likeminded others devoted ourselves 24/7 to rebutting the drivel above and below the line in the Guardian, we couldn’t make a dent. It would be like despatching midges, in August on a Highland bog, by crushing them one by one between thumb and forefinger. So I seldom bother. But a few instances this year have seen me obliged to make some sort of response to twaddle too egregious to let pass. One was Matthew d’Ancona’s smug desire to see market forces rein in the purveyors of ‘fake news’ via the kitemarking of such online crusaders for truth as Full Fact, led by tory party donor Michael Samuels. The other two were below the line. In an exchange with one btl commentator, back in April and over – what else? – Syria, I was told the idea of oil being a factor in the invasion of Iraq had been ‘thoroughly debunked’. I felt it incumbent, though it’s generally easier on such matters to spout nonsense than refute it, to put him straight on this …

Bombing Bridges – questioning Australia’s role in the war on Syria.

David Macilwain As I wrote recently, in an article intended for publication on the Australian blog “Pearls and Irritations, but finally published by 21st Century Wire, the apparent retreat from Syria by Western powers has seen a resurgence in abusive criticism of the “victorious” Assad government – as well as of its allies Russia and Iran. Far from admitting to any fault, or guilt for their seven year-long conspiracy to replace the Syrian government with a Western-friendly puppet regardless of the democratic will of Syrians, these governments, their NGOs and media partners are now entrenching their false narrative of a noble and just effort that failed to remove a brutal tyrant. Even better informed commentators who generally oppose the US’ hegemonic attitude and duplicity, and may recognise its shared responsibility for other disastrous conflicts – in Libya or Yemen or Iraq – are still evidently in a state of delusion over the war on Syria, and the US coalition’s malevolent role in it. The immediate reason for my article was the publication on “P&I” by …

Caspian Sea Agreement Symptomatic of Wider Geopolitical Changes

James O’Neill On 12 August 2018 the five littoral states to the Caspian Sea (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan) signed an historic agreement governing the use of the Caspian Sea. The negotiations had been ongoing for more than 20 years. One of the issues was with the Caspian should be regarded as a sea (it is salty but completely enclosed) or a lake. If the former, then it would be governed by the international law of the sea. If defined as a lake, then the resources would be divided equally between the five States. In the event, the five nations agreed to accord it ‘a special status,’ neither lake nor sea. Whether this unique formulation will be recognised by non-littoral States is an open question. There are several significant elements to the Caspian Sea Convention (CSC) that are worthy of note. The first aspect is the size of the resources at stake. The Caspian Sea basin is known to hold 50 billion barrels of oil in proven reserves, and nearly 9 trillion cubic metres …