Russian Nerve Agent? Not Exactly

Russian Nerve Agent? Not Exactly
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   We are bombarded with news of the latest inhuman outrage attributed to those election and power grid hacking Russians. Official statements, from various allies, use carefully worded language that is identical. "Nerve agent of a type developed by Russia." We think,' Aha! The diabolical Russians are at it again.' 

 

     Let's look at that statement. "Developed by" does not state that it was made in Russia or actually made by Russian personnel. This is not an accidental wording. This is a carefully crafted statement that appears to leave wiggle room if needed. 

 

     'Novichok' nerve agents are supposedly derived from the readily available organophosphate family of pesticides, a family that I delivered by the ton, many years ago. Although no novichoks have ever been identified and the only hearsay evidence of them is from a defector, they are believed to have been developed, by the Russians, to be manufactured by a technician at a bench. They do not require an elaborate factory. They were not actually developed in Russia, but in the Uzbekistan Soviet Socialist Republic. If a sample was analyzed, it is a possibility that trace elements and impurities could suggest an origin, but it is far from a certainty.

     

     An unnamed official, involved in the investigation at the only chemical weapon facility in the UK, Porton Down, claimed that even under immense government pressure, the facility would not budge from the wording "of a type developed by Russia." That already somewhat vague statement would be a bit more precise if the country named was USSR. The caution, exhibited by the chemical lab, was not duplicated by a reckless UK leadership, and a nearly universal western movement to be confrontational with the Russians. Bernays and Goebbels taught us that perceived external threat is best for motivating the populace and stimulating patriotism.

 

     The British Ambassador to Uzbekistan was recalled and dismissed during the mid 2000s after revealing savage human rights abuses by the Uzbek government with United States complicity. That courageous and principled ambassador was Craig Murray. He lost a cushy, prestigious, and lucrative job because he was unable to remain silent in the face of horrific abuses. 

 

     The United States took custody of that old Cold War relic facility in Uzbekistan to decontaminate and destroy it. Likely, any nerve agents and precursors were severely degraded but posed an environmental hazard.

 

     Returning to the present, we have a nerve agent that was never made in Russia. The only evidence that it even exists is the account of a defector. Any competent chemist, with the formula, could produce it on a kitchen table with readily available precursors. Any original stocks would be severely degraded and have passed through the custody of the Uzbeks and Americans. 

 

     On his blog, Craig Murray likens this to WMD scam 2.0. If there is anyone who would recognize skullduggery and dirty tricks, it would be the principled human rights activist, Craig Murray.

 

     We are being prepared for something big. Let us hope that it doesn't take a decade of hindsight to realize that we have been hoodwinked, again. A sycophantic media, along with the usual toadies and provocateurs, have turned up the volume. This has a similar stink to the yellow cake, baby incubators, and mobile WMD labs that helped lure us into a past disaster that most people came to regret.

 

     Consider the facts. Do you trust the same crowd, with their same playbook, or do you trust your own logic and reason? Many people are all worked up into a frenzy and hysteria from this new 'red scare'. Is it justified by the alleged misdeeds? Can you rule out false flag type events? If the Russians are such a fiendish and formidible enemy, how could they be so stupid as to use a nerve agent that the United States was able to study at length, and attribute any use to the Russians? Why not use bullets? Is a failed assassination attempt, of some low-level disgruntled expat, a good enough reason to risk provoking international outcry? A common violent criminal is smarter than that, in most cases.

 

     It appears that most, if not all, chemical and nerve agent attacks are false flag events these days. Only the steady flow, of unverifiable reports of hospital and school attacks, cause a greater reaction than chemical weapons and nerve agents. We have been deceived and lied to before and a wise person would be skeptical.

 

     The age, we live in, provides powerful tools that can be used to shift opinions and mold attitudes. Alternately, we have never had so many opportunities to ferret out the truth. Edward Snowden and Julian Assange gave up much to tell you the truth. The truth, sadly, is unlikely to be on your television, but it is out there. 

 

Comments

Flying Junior Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:06am
Thanks for being yet another portal to the real fake news.
 
What's your take on the Litvenenko case?
 
You get that Putin was behind that as well, right?
 
Depending upon how many stories ring true, Putin has assassinated at least ten people.  That's a really low number.
 
Here's some of the Trump-style fake news from the Washington Post.
 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/03/23/here-are-ten-critics-of-vladimir-putin-who-died-violently-or-in-suspicious-ways/?utm_term=.ac9f4c2f81ed
 
What about the guy who was pushed out of the fourth story window in his Moscow apartment by some guys that were helping him move?
 
You really put yourself out there this time.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:24am
Flying Junior,
I would never put assassination past the Kremlin. A lot of the victims were low-level and beneath contempt. Certainly not worth the trouble. How do they say it around here? Not worth a bullet.
Some were more high profile. 
I think we should understand the Russian system, which appears midpoint between ours and the Mafia.
With the extensive known corruption in Russia, it is not a stretch that there is much in fighting and rivalries.
That Putin, former KGB, possibly with the world's greatest assassins outside the Mossad would tolerate such sloppy murders strains credibility.
If Putin wanted someone dead, they would never be seen or heard from again.
All these sloppy murders appear as gangster and oligarch type infighting. 
My biggest disappointment is that the left is more supportive of the escalation and movement towards war than the right.
I am a pacifist no matter which party is in power.
I hope very much that you and others can shake this contrived Red Scare. 
With the left all aboard for escalation and war, having joined their ideological allies the neo-cons, it leaves only us paleoconservatives and pacifists to speak against this march to war that is as cynical as the last one.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:42am
If we went by mysterious and unusual deaths, the Clintons would be at the top of the list, which may not be complete, judging by the peculiar Seth Rich murder.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 3:05am
I will be incommunicado for a sleep period but will return. Don't forget the 'like' button ; )
Thomas Napers Added Mar 18, 2018 - 3:16am
I don’t blame you for being scared.  With nuclear weapons, a weak economy and a dictator at the helm, there is no telling what Russia is capable of.  Better to look the other way, play games with semantics (developed by) and think of conspiracy theories than to face the elephant in the room.  Look, there is a mountain of evidence pointing to Russia and zero evidence for all the crap you just wrote.  However, I understand why you wrote it, Putin is one scary dude, I would to piss him off…which is exactly what the British Government just did.  I’m actually surprised at how little we heard from Russia following its humiliation at the Olympics.  So I also don't blame you one iota for writing this article.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 3:26am
Thomas Napiers,
Your comment triggered a sound on my phone. I am back.
The British could not defeat my state of Wyoming. It is easy to sound fierce when you can taunt, point fingers, and catcall from behind the safety of Trump's skirt, no matter how undignified.
Although Putin commands a vast arsenal, he is not "scary". As the adult in the room, he has proven again and again that he is considered and deliberate, unlike the shrieking and yapping toadies that cry "how about you and him fight".
 
Thomas Napers Added Mar 18, 2018 - 3:37am
It doesn’t matter where you live, I don’t advise pissing Putin off, which is exactly what the British Government just did.  It’s exactly what we all did at the Olympics.  All of this has nothing to do with Trump.  As for Putin not being scary, answer me this, with the Russian Constitution clearly stating that president be limited to two terms and Putin becoming president in 1999, why is he still president?  You aren’t concerned he was once a KGB agent?  The list goes on and on.  Because of the list, I don’t fault you for writing this article, as it’s not wise to upset a man like Putin.    
Bill Kamps Added Mar 18, 2018 - 8:06am
When a Russian spy reveals names of other Russian spies, what did he think was going to happen?  Sure the Russian's may have hired a Pakistani to do the deed, or maybe the UK and USA killed him to make the Russians look bad, probably we will never know, and who cares?
wsucram15 Added Mar 18, 2018 - 8:19am
Pardero..what about all the poisoning and murder just in Russia. Like Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Kara-Murza (2x), Anna Politkovskaya (2x poisoning and shot to death), Alexander Litvinenko (plutonium 210), Mikhail Y. Lesin (trama to head), Aleksandr Poteyez who was a Russian intelligence officer that betrayed the Russians died mysteriously living in the US.   Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor, went to jail in Russia on tax evasion charges and died after not receiving proper medical care.
William f Bowder tried to get a law passed against Putin and his cronies  to block Russians proven to have abused the law access to American financial system (it passed in 2012).  From there Putin retaliated by stopping Russian adoptions by Americans (funny we heard about that right?) and then every single witness (there were 5) to the Magnitsky case in Russia was killed, one being thrown off a balcony of an apartment where Kate Winslet and Elton John stayed frequently.  
Now they in the UK are going to begin looking into these things, but most likely wont find anything now, its been too long.
But stop thinking Putin is so innocent.  Our leaders arent either..but Putin is a dangerous man.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 18, 2018 - 8:37am
wsu, indeed.  Crossing any powerful person is dangerous.  Crossing Putin more dangerous than most others. 
 
The UK, or anyone else wont find proof.  Putin had  means and motive, but that is not proof, so the story ends there.
wsucram15 Added Mar 18, 2018 - 8:57am
Bill kamps..you're right and thats why Putin can say.."so what"? However, this is international law..not US law.  Means and motive along with circumstance may just be enough.
Lets see..
Flying Junior Added Mar 18, 2018 - 9:10am
Pard,
 
Just how long has this notion of the U.S. left pushing for a war with Russia been circulating?  I first heard of it here on the WB from someone who is currently on hiatus.  Her thing was that if HRC had been elected, war with Russia would have been inevitable.  Another interesting personality just posted something about WWIII yet he seems to have self-deleted his post.
 
It's quite a chess game we play with Moscow.  I'm sure every politician in Washington agrees that slow and steady is the best approach.  If we manage to keep the moral higher ground, then Russia's efforts to re-establish empire will mostly be dismissed by the rest of the world.
 
What do you think of the big nuclear powered ice breaker, the Sibir, Russia is building in St. Petersburg?  That could spell big trouble!  The Kremlin will annex the North Pole unopposed.
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2018 - 9:49am
Why is Putin our business? When did God name the US to police the rule. I don’t give a damn who Putin had pushed out the window. Of course the US has never done anything immoral right? How about a dead Kennedy or two?
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 18, 2018 - 9:56am
This is an entirely Russian way of doing business, Pard. Its a calling card. We are accustomed to being sweet talked before getting screwed. The Russian is brutally honest: he tells you what he will do and then he does it. No surprises
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 18, 2018 - 9:59am
And George!.....Dead Kennedys are an EXCELLENT idea for a peaceful Sunday morning. Might I recommend Kinky Sex Makes the World Go Around ( feat. a guest appearance from Margaret Thatcher). Probably find it on youtube....from their vaunted "Give me convenience or give me death" collection
Michael B. Added Mar 18, 2018 - 10:19am
The Russians have a long tradition of carrying out hits on their wayward expatriates, with Trotsky being the most infamous. Maybe it was a legit hit ordered by P-Dog himself, but maybe someone lower in the food chain did it as a favor to him, or maybe it was carried out for the express purpose of framing him. It's not like false-flag operations are anything new.
 
When I was in the Army, insect repellent would give a positive indication for a nerve agent on certain chemical detection equipment. The 1995 Tokyo Sarin attack was carried out by highly-educated people who had access to all kinds of lovely substances, so it is possible, however, it all gives me the impression of being a production by people who have read too many comic books and watched too many James Bond movies.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 11:45am
Thomas Napers,
I thought you had a different angle. Any subtlety is lost on in print sometimes. Putin was a bureaucrat, not a Haspel type, if you will. I agree that it is unwise to provoke any world leader needlessly.
 
Bill Kamps,
I agee that it is a minor incident that is being used for all some believe that it is worth.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 11:54am
wsucram15,
Of course he is a dangerous man. A lot of dangerous men are in the shadows, he is not. I am pressed for time. I addressed a difference in cultures in my reply to flying Junior.
 
Bill Kamps,
Well stated. I believe that the investigation should have been carried out first. To sieze on it prematurely for political gains reeks of Michael B.'s "Appearance of impropriety." 
 
wsucram15,
Re: international law. Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 12:04pm
Flying Bill, 
I couldn't agree more on a steady approach. On the international law thing, the US is violating it in Syria. International law is how any Russian designs on the arctic should be addressed. It will be hard for us to enforce treaties and the law when we violate the same with impunity.
 
George,
I agree to a degree. I see that Michael B. has addressed this quite well just below here.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 12:10pm
The Burghal Hidage,
I don't disagree with that characterization, but I am far from convinced that this is other than amateur attempted murder or false flag. Jello Biafra is a sharp guy though I have differences.
 
Michael B.
You may have the least affection for Putin and yet provide the likeliest theory for this incident.
Noted. With admiration.
Michael B. Added Mar 18, 2018 - 1:18pm
Flip the script - What would you think if the sitting U.S. President was a career CIA officer and one of his bitter enemies wound up dead in such conspicuously suspicious circumstances? I think they all do it one way or another, as relayed by Michael Corleone:
 
Michael: My father's no different than any other powerful man – any man who's responsible for other people, like a senator or a president.
 
Kay: [laughs] You know how naïve you sound?
 
Michael: Why?
 
Kay: Senators and presidents don't have men killed.
 
Michael: Oh, who's being naïve, Kay?
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 1:22pm
Michael B.
Good one! though that should be construed as me making any admissions on anyone else's behalf. 
Michael B. Added Mar 18, 2018 - 1:28pm
I have no reason to assume P-Dog's innocence; he clearly doesn't give a shit what the West thinks. He doesn't really have anything to lose, so why would he? Sanctions are a joke. Whenever I think of economic sanctions, I think of Pearl Harbor. It was the U.S. sanctions that drove Japan to attack as it did on December 7, 1941. Although I doubt that's what the U.S. wanted, its policies obviously made it inevitable. Cornered animals invariably fight back ferociously.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 1:40pm
Michael B.
Many are unaware of the policies that led up to war with Japan. It could be that a showdown of the 2 empires in the Pacific was inevitable. Just a matter of time.
The rivalries and events leading up to the Great War is what annoys me the most.
 
Michael B. Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:25pm
My studies of war indicate that they are nothing more than armed robberies on a colossal scale, so the next big one is only a question of time.
Dino Manalis Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:37pm
Those nasty Russian leaders know how to get rid of their former spies!
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 18, 2018 - 3:16pm
Pard...check your inbox
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 3:33pm
Michael B.
Not all, but many former soldiers seem to have the clearest thinking on the subject of war.
 
Dino Manalis,
There can be no doubt that the Russians do not manage public perceptions as well as others.
 
The Burghal Hidage,
Done, and acknowledged. Gratias ago and merci.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 18, 2018 - 3:41pm
Michael B will get with you for an e-mail address, if you could facilitate. 
opher goodwin Added Mar 18, 2018 - 3:54pm
When Putin himself declares publically that they are going to be killing traitors and then a few are attacked in Britain; when there is past history of Russians killing in Britain; when novichok is a Russian nerve gas, I think it is quite feasible to blame the Russians (particularly when they are busy interfering with Brexit, Trump's election and hacking all manner of internet utilities. On the other hand I would have held fire until we had definitive proof.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 4:06pm
Opher,
I admit that the circumstances appear to point to the Russians. 
I have a bit of suspicion now that some chemical attacks in Syria are proven to be false flags.
The world is aware of the capability of Russian hackers but seem willfully blind to PROVEN abilities of US agencies being able to hack and leave Russian calling cards. 
I believe that it would be unwise to take anything at face value.
The traditional left used be reliably leaning pacifist but we have had a role reversal. The worst jingoism is coming from the left. Craig Murray is far from me on the right-left continuum and is probably not so far from you, but I am grateful that he is wary and suspicious and also opposes the escalation towards war.
Bill H. Added Mar 18, 2018 - 4:12pm
I have trouble understanding how many on the "Right" are now comfortable with cuddling with Russia these days after a decade or two ago being the outspoken critics of the "Red Menace", and also believing that the "Left" was set on implementing Russian ideals here in the US.
I'm guessing this is yet another 180 degree turn based on Trump's rhetoric and obvious affinity toward Putin and other Russian Oligarchs. This is similar to the "Religious Right's" sudden condoning of adultery, along with other practices that made them shiver a couple years ago.
WTF?? 
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 5:02pm
Bill H.
While I don't believe that "cuddling" Russia is warranted, I do believe that if all parties made an effort to follow international law and honor treaties, we would not see the escalation that could lead to war.
Most are well aware that Russia is a geo-political rival. We are not nearly encircled and have Russian troops on the Canadian and Mexican borders. We do not have color revolutions staged on our borders. If we were, it would be a good reason for anxiety and martial thinking. 
I once saw a map from a Russian point of view with all the weapons, bases, and troops bristling just outside their borders.
If you could locate that map, it may give you some insight to their point of view.
Although we are allied with terrorists opposing a lawfully elected government in Syria, totally illegally I might add, the Russians have shown considerable restraint.
Trump makes noises about being Russia friendly but his actions are anything but. My attitudes were formed long before Trump came along. I was pleased that he sounded sensible.
I am sometimes taken for a bleeding heart liberal, sometimes for a fascist. I am actually somewhere between Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, both of whom abhor the US militarism.
I had hoped for a good faith reapproachment. Trump's actions speak louder than his empty words.
Bill H. Added Mar 18, 2018 - 5:18pm
Pardero - Good answer.
I too am lost in the middle, and believe that both parties are out of touch.
At this point, I don't believe I could ever trust what Trump says, or believe that he is doing anything in office with the betterment of the citizens as a whole in mind. I see him as only making moves to benefit himself and his ego.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 5:37pm
Bill H.
Thanks. Although some of my beliefs are on the edges, I have to admit that my average is somewhat moderate.
I am far from a fanboy of Trump and will lower my opinion if he can't find a way to be more presidential and stick to his campaign promises better. 
In some cases, I feel compelled to defend him because I sense it is an attack on conservatism in general. I have already alienated some more pure conservatives, not to mention the religious right. Some thoughtful people on the left tolerate me, if not support me with 'likes.'
I may run out of a natural constituency but luckily, approval is not my only motivation.
Thanks again, Bill. I actually put some real effort into this one, not that it shows.
opher goodwin Added Mar 18, 2018 - 6:59pm
Well over here Padero it is the left that is keeping an open mind and the right that has gone gung ho for Russia.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 7:09pm
Opher,
I am happy to hear that there are some who refuse to be stampeded. I have some pretty firm convictions but like to think I keep a bit of an open mind.
I don't always agree with the left but am able to find common cause with them sometimes. 
Jeff Michka Added Mar 18, 2018 - 8:02pm
wsucram15 asks: Pardero..what about all the poisoning and murder just in Russia. Like Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Kara-Murza (2x), Anna Politkovskaya (2x poisoning and shot to death), Alexander Litvinenko (plutonium 210), Mikhail Y. Lesin (trama to head),-"Ho'boy...Russian nerve agents are only to be used on Syrian children...wimmin, nit on spion in UK." and fjR sez: notion of the U.S. left pushing for a war with Russia been circulating?  I first heard of it here on the WB from someone who is currently on hiatus.  Her thing was that if HRC had been elected, war with Russia would have been inevitable.-That was her schtick, in part to help support her Deep State conspiracy theory to "frighten" anyone who'd dare defend Hillary, and risk the scorn of her and WB rightists.  That stuff was always odd.  She'd always quote a single source on the Medium like it was the Op Ed page of WAPO.  She also was  a huge Putin Fan.  I'm sure she'll be back with election messages to American from Moscow Center.  She claimed, more than once, about how Russian immigrants ALL love Putin.  That triggered full BS alarm. I know 50+ Russian immigrants, and they all think Vlad is just a KGB thug.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 8:31pm
Jeff Michka,
I have met a couple of Russians. One pro Putin, one somewhat anti. Their society is more violent than ours. I can't defend those murders or try to place blame anywhere. Some Americans seem to leave corpses in their wake, too. 
Whether Putin, zealots that do it for ideology or country, or gangsters and rival oligarchs, the murders are appalling. Human rights were part of the justification for Afghan and Libyan intervention. We made those places worse and there is no end in sight. Sometimes, it seems more prudent to look the other way instead of causing wholesale and widespread destruction in order to get a bad guy.
I value the life of all human beings. To save a few dissidents, we would have 100s of thousands dead as in Iraq? To stop a 'bad guy' in Syria we have 10s of thousands dead and millions displaced into Europe. Will we go to the brink of war for a handfull of dissidents, spies, and oligarchs? If we could choose an alternate history, the one where we did not go into Afghan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria has much less death and misery. 
If I had a superhero cape, I would try to save every one. What did Spock say? "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
Oftentimes, meddling only makes things worse.
James Travil Added Mar 18, 2018 - 9:59pm
Good article Pedro, I've read a good deal of similar information about this from Paul Craig Roberts and I agree that this does not seem to jive with reality. More fake news from the pro war with Russia left is my opinion. Thanks for proving a sane alternative view.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 10:10pm
James Travil,
It appears that I need to catch up on Paul Craig Roberts' writings. I have not seen him at the usual news aggregators and would like to hear his perspective.
James Travil Added Mar 18, 2018 - 10:14pm
Some more information on this topic:
UK Scientists Refused Government Pressure To Say Nerve Agent Was Made By Russia - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49003.htm
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 10:30pm
James Travil,
Thank you for that valuable link. I will have a look. It does not surprise me that scientists have far more integrity than politicians.
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 10:36pm
James Travil,
That is nearly up to the minute and has more information than I had access to. I hope the fact
that the Iranians were the first to synthesize the novichoks, doesn't put them in the neo-cons' sights. They are hell bent to start another war somewhere.
Bill H. Added Mar 18, 2018 - 11:33pm
 
"Fake News" as it is refereed to is rampant from sources of either camp.
It is up to those who choose to take the time to look for reality to find out what is real.
For the rest, they will just choose to let it all in and believe it all.
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 12:17am
Bill H.
That is wise council. 
Years ago, my mother who could sway left or right, bought me a subscription to Mother Jones, while she was swinging left. I enjoyed it overall, though I bitterly disagreed with some points of view. Even those, I had to admire the excellent writing ability. 
I have no one else to tell at the moment. I shook Bobby Kennedy's hand at the Baker (city) Oregon airport. He was a really nice man. I didn't want to let go of his hand. Mama worked for the campaign. Much later, she became a fanatical Pat Buchanan supporter. I did, too. Pat is antiwar but the media portrayed him as a loose cannon that would get us in wars. Well, the winner sure did. One of my little brothers was injured in the Gulf War, not so much different than my uncle had been in Viet Nam, but the physical was not all of it. None of these wars have made us safer.
James Travil Added Mar 19, 2018 - 1:47am
The scary thing is that the left is so intent on getting us into the most insane war possible because they are now owned by neoliberals and beholden to neocon think tanks and the insanity of winnable nuclear war. This is the motivation for fake news against Russia like this, the new Iraqi WMDs to promote another useless war.
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 1:56am
James Travil,
That is why I consider any far left liberal a more likely potential ally against the neo-con warmongers, who I can never be allied with.
James Travil Added Mar 19, 2018 - 4:56am
Neocons and neoliberals are the same, psychopaths who have nothing to offer. 
Stone-Eater Added Mar 19, 2018 - 8:51am
You get that Putin was behind that as well, right?
 
My PC fucked up yesterday and I couldn't figure out why until it came up clearly to me: PUTIN DID IT !
Stone-Eater Added Mar 19, 2018 - 8:54am
James
 
Kudos to your last comment.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 19, 2018 - 9:52am
We need to stop exaggerating the threat that Russia presents.  Yes they are an adversary and rival.  However, they have a economy and military budget smaller than that of Italy.  The have great limitations in what they can do, and we should stop pretending that they are about run tanks over the  continent of Europe, just because they can.  They cannot.   Europe, without the US, spends at least 4x on defense that the Russians spend, with much less territory to defend than the Russians.
 
Because they are more limited in their means, they have to employ different means than the US.  They dont have air craft carriers to intimidate people, but they can carry out actions against spies and others that have betrayed them.
 
Assuming they killed these people, there is little that can be done about it.  These are hardly innocent people, and the idea that the West can protect defectors in only true to a point.  Just like the mafia in the US, if the Russian want you dead  you will likely end up dead.  They didnt blow up a mall in the UK to kill this guy, they killed him in a way that would limit unnecessary casualties. 
 
The US kills more by accident every month with our drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 
Stone-Eater Added Mar 19, 2018 - 9:54am
Bill
 
The US knows that Russia is not a rival. Russia has the most resources on that planet - that's the reason. Not ideology or any other thing which is just a delusion for the public.
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 9:55am
Stone-Eater Friedli,
Thanks for stopping by.
The current Russophobia reminds me of the historical propaganda which always led to war.
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 9:58am
Bill Kamps,
That is some good analysis. I hope a lot of people read that. The present hysteria would settle down if people put things in perspective.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 19, 2018 - 9:59am
Stone, well they are a rival, they certainly are not an ally.  So call it what you want.   However, they are pretty limited in what they can do.  That doesnt mean they dont do things to block us or annoy us, but their importance is exaggerated for political purposes.   I would agree the ideology  has nothing to do with it, despite the propaganda. 
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 10:11am
Bill Kamps,
Another good observation from you. We are in bed with far more oppressive regimes. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 19, 2018 - 11:05am
yes Bill, very good and rational understanding of the Russian bear.
 
 
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 11:25am
The Burghal Hidage,
I am off to a safety meeting. No work lately, just safety meetings.
I will read your words at the usual places, soon.
opher goodwin Added Mar 19, 2018 - 11:59am
Keeping an open mind is difficult these days. We are propelled into taking sides.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 19, 2018 - 12:31pm
Hmm...I can see the chalk outline. Did he fall or was he pushed :)
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 1:27pm
Opher,
That is true. I can be pretty strident, myself sometimes. I have already alienated some here because my ideology is not perfect to them, and too moderate. It is considered a weakness to have any consideration for another point of view. I am inflexible on some things, willing to listen on others.
I am grateful for likes that I still receive that keep my articles from being quickly relegated to the back pages.
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 1:36pm
The Burghal Hidage,
I am aware that some believe that high profile killings deter double agents. That may be the case or it could be other forces at work. It seems odd that the scores of corpses that the Clintons leave behind are freak accidents, suicides, and random murders, but we are able to point directly at Putin for Russian murders?
Bill Kamps Added Mar 19, 2018 - 1:56pm
It seems odd that the scores of corpses that the Clintons leave behind are freak accidents, suicides, and random murders, but we are able to point directly at Putin for Russian murders?
 
I think the difference here is that the Russians that die are known enemies of Russia, while with the Clintons it is their "friends" and "business associates" that are dying(some sarcasm added for effect).
 
One could say that the Russians are less subtle, since no one kills them-self with a radioactive isotope, that is just a bit over the top for a suicide. 
 
Nevertheless, you are correct, we cant prove Putin gave the ok, all speculation.  Then again Russia is a country where getting a traffic ticket fixed probably requires Putin's knowledge.  Power not being distributed very widely there. 
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 2:23pm
Bill Kamps,
I am with you on the radioactive isotopes, I know I don't have the belly to go that way, if I considered leaving this cruel world.
Good analysis and logical thinking. I think level-headed people can agree that assassinations are not necessarily out of character for the Kremlin and Putin. Some might go a bit further and add that such a reputation would make for easy blame if suspicious murders occurred.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 19, 2018 - 2:36pm
Tsarist, Soviet, Oligarch.....makes no difference. Russians will continue behaving like Russians. 
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 2:42pm
The Burghal Hidage,
Young man, that may be a micro-aggression and ethnic stereotyping. As you can imagine, I am appalled. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 19, 2018 - 2:59pm
LOL....  You know why Russia is referred to as the Bear? Consider the Bear in it's natural habitat.
 
He is the largest critter in his patch, top of the food chain and he knows it. His behaviors are rooted in this. He is not a pack animal, rather a solitary hunter. He needs his space and puts out marks, signals throughout his boundaries to let it be known in no uncertain terms that you have encroached. Most times he does not need to act, his mere presence enough to back down most challengers.
 
In western PA I discovered something while surveying a right of way for pole damage.  In areas where these transmission lines traverse the country birds will like to perch upon the towers, poles, even on the lines. Birds crap. Birds crap berry seeds. Berry thickets grow in the right of way. When the berries are in season the bears love to plunder the fruit. They will claw a mark on any poles or trees that are adjacent to the berry patch. Like the sign at the amusement park warning: You must be this tall to ride this ride.
 
It says to the other bears "these berries are mine. if you can't reach this claw mark I will kick your ass if I find you in my patch"
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 19, 2018 - 3:51pm
Pardero, I too would never put assassination past The Kremlin, but I would not put it past the CIA and MI5 or 6. Nation states have always eliminated inconvenient people.
While I don't take much notice of "false flag" conspiracy theories, mainly because we are never likely to find out the real story, I do think the attempted murder of Skripal looks very much like an attempt to stir up public feeling against Russia.
There is no evidence the Russian government was involved, but that doesn't mean they were not, however the guy was a double agent and since being released from jail in 2010 he has been involved in commercial espionage. In fact he has been linked to GPS Fusion, the security company that complied the Clinton campaigns dodgy dossier on Trump. (So it could have been Trump who ordered the hit LOL). The vague wording on statements with phrases like "highly likely," and "is believed to be" is a giveaway.
And the Skripal story has served to keep news embarrassing to western governments off the top of the news for several weeks. 
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 4:04pm
The Burghal Hidage,
That is fascinating about the bears. Years ago, I collected many tree seedlings from under a powerline. I had identified the desirable trees. Now I know who kept planting them.
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 4:07pm
Ian Thorpe,
You are an exceptional fellow to resist the hype that is at a greater level than in the US.
Those Clintons, again. Putin is a piker compared to the Clinton Crime Syndicate. ; )
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 4:11pm
The Burghal Hidage,
Those seedlings were Mountain Ash, similar to European Rowan tree, I believe. Unpleasant tasting and supposedly can make birds drunk.
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 4:15pm
Ian Thorpe,
Although I would likely be in May's party, if a Brit (because other choices are not viable ; ), I don't care for the way it is being handled. When the left and right are both ready to charge towards war, I worry.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 19, 2018 - 9:42pm
Better to look the other way, play games with semantics (developed by) and think of conspiracy theories than to face the elephant in the room.-Yeah, but don't let bad ol Jeff distract you from someone's pro gun narrative that would rather have you want guns to "save yourself from the bad ol gummint," rather than entertain thoughts that might lead your thinking elsewhere. Yeah, like I said elsewhere, we need more guns to solve getting hacked, instead the Orange Il Duce fears his Russian finances will be revealled.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 19, 2018 - 9:46pm
Bill Kamps sez: It seems odd that the scores of corpses that the Clintons leave behind are freak accidents, suicides, and random murders, but we are able to point directly at Putin for Russian murders?-Wow, Bill it took rightist as long as it did to bring up Clinton being murderers, etc.  You rightist all drink the same polluted water.
Pardero Added Mar 19, 2018 - 10:06pm
Jeff Michka,
Thank you for commenting.
The British government is playing with semantics in their Russophobia attack. I merely noted their skillful use of semantics.
Actually, those words you attribute to Bill Kamps seem to be quoted from me. Bill Kamps is more well spoken than I am and I want to clarify that.
Whether or not I "drink the same polluted water", I believe that you are being highly partisan. When the Democrat collusion with the Russians gets uncovered, you will rationalize and argue on their behalf.
I have consistently opposed wars and interventions since the Balkans. I still use e-mail addresses derived from monikers I used to debate against the Gulf War. 
It is not a blue team vs. Red team thing. It is neo-cons and MIC vs. ordinary people that give a damn, Jeff.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Mar 20, 2018 - 6:18am
I've read a good deal of similar information about this from Paul Craig Roberts and I agree that this does not seem to jive with reality. 
 
Indeed. PCR has a good read on the Russia mess.
 
I recommend everyone become informed and adjust their thinking accordingly.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 20, 2018 - 6:44am
Bill Kamps sez: It seems odd that the scores of corpses that the Clintons leave behind are freak accidents, suicides, and random murders, but we are able to point directly at Putin for Russian murders........
 
 
Hey Jeff.....PAY ATTENTION.  I did not say these things, I was quoting someone else, with a little sarcastic humor.  Lighten up.
Pardero Added Mar 20, 2018 - 10:01am
Jeffry Gilbert,
Than you very much for the comment. I agree with some who believe that the Russians make entirely too easy of a target.
Pardero Added Mar 20, 2018 - 10:05am
Bill Kamps,
Some people are unable to get past the partisan politics. We would all like to be good team players but independents seem to put more time into their positions.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 20, 2018 - 1:05pm
Bill
 
That anti-Russia propaganda which is going on by the press in Europe as well reminds me of a war preparation by the US once again. I mean how many years was the US OUT of war in its history ?
 
The US LIVES on war and the production of arms directed against self-created enemies which are actually created largely BY ITS BEHAVIOR - on purpose. When there's no "axis of evil", let's create one. And then appeal to patriotism of the people, cash in the young for a useless war abroad and if by any chance they get back traumatized as vets, disillusioned, forget about them and get new ones for the next "mission accomplished".
 
Great stuff, really.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 20, 2018 - 1:12pm
BTW:
 
When people rant about "Russian meddling into US elections" and can't get the fact straight that the US itself uses much more drastic measures to get their puppets elected in foreign countries I could puke.
 
Latest example being the Ukrainian Western oligarch Porochenko who replaced the Russia-oriented oligarch Yanukovich. Or take town drunk Jelzin. Donald Tusk in Poland and the EU. Goldman-Harvard-whatever ideologized clones.
 
Putin is not stupid, people.
Pardero Added Mar 20, 2018 - 1:31pm
Stone-Eater Friedli,
You have made a much better case I ever could. 
I remember back when a brother in law called me a traitor for opposing the Iraq war. 
It is the easy path to become jingoistic and join the crowd in the rush to war.
You clearly see the geo-political maneuvering that has nothing to do with protecting the US homeland. 
How soon people forget that a complicit media repeated the falsehoods and lies that got us into past quagmires.
You and I, Stone-Eater, saw a similar run up to war, last time. Perhaps our memories are longer than some other people's memories.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 20, 2018 - 1:45pm
Pardero
 
 
Perhaps our memories are longer than some other people's memories.
 
I guess it has rather to do with the fact that I don't work more than needed for a basic happy existence in the last 30 years and had much time on my hands trying to see a global picture. I'm not saying I'm always right but I see a red line of logic in it which I can accept as  "truth" for me. And more often that not I feel proven right when I stumble across people like Chomsky or Wesley Clark.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 20, 2018 - 1:50pm
Jeffry
 
Gotta read PCR sometime, then. Seems to me he's like some KenFM type in the US from what I heard. Does he also lead polit talks with guests who know what they talk about and aren't a part of the big 6 ?
Pardero Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:10pm
Stone-Eater Friedli,
PCR was actually in the Reagan adminstration. His main theme seems to be opposition to the neo-cons. His writing style could be considered abrasive to some. It is hard hitting and out of the mainstream.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:22pm
Pardero
 
A rebel, ah. I love rebels. I was one 40 years ago LOL
Stone-Eater Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:36pm
BTW: 
 
I have found a bit of KenFM in English. PCR seems to have a similar opinion, but the quality of the videos is...well....not too good ;-)
 
KenFM on YT about history and why we should follow it closely...
Pardero Added Mar 20, 2018 - 3:06pm
Stone-Eater Friedli,
I will try that link to KenFM. I always welcome new perspectives from voices of reason.
Pardero Added Mar 20, 2018 - 3:22pm
Stone-Eater Friedli,
I would have to say that Ken and PCR have a similar thought process. PCR is written and Ken is a great speaker, though I had to rely on sub-titles. Ken provided some details that I was unaware of.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 20, 2018 - 5:31pm
Pardero
 
Thanks, I thought you might like it. Unfortunately the real heavy  broadcasts are in German and are called "Positionen". 2-3 hour discussions with real experts and historians, many of them kicked out of mass media channels because they dared to question official POV's and lost their jobs. I'll check out if Ken had some of them synchronized.
Pardero Added Mar 20, 2018 - 5:33pm
Ken kicks ass!
This guy is sharp and doesn't hold back.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 21, 2018 - 4:12pm
I was just browsing over the comments. Wsucram15 did a great job putting some of the obvious cases together.
 
The whole point of using rare poisons is to send the message that the higher echolons of the Russian states gonna get you when you are against them. It's the point.
Bill Caciene Added Mar 21, 2018 - 4:20pm
“Edward Snowden and Julian Assange gave up much to tell you the truth.”
 
That’s only about 20% accurate.  Snowden released information that put people’s lives in jeopardy and made our world far less safe than it was before.  I should also add that it’s illegal to publicize secret information. If Snowden wanted to out the NSA’s metadata program, he could have done so without causing all that much harm to our whole intelligence operation.  If you're an enemy of America, I can how you'd think Snowden is a swell guy.  
Dave Volek Added Mar 21, 2018 - 4:32pm
Padaro
Good article and good discussion. While the whole thing looks Russian, these things should be proved in a court of law--not by some politicians spending a couple hours in their busy schedule to get the facts.
 
 
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 4:56pm
Benjamin Goldstein,
Thanks for the comment.
While circumstantial evidence appears to be overwhelming,
It would also be similar to many historic cases of building a case for war or aggression against another state. 
Having some small idea of your world view, I am not surprised that you fall into the camp of recriminations and the methodical escalation towards potential war. Rivals and enemies must be crushed, cooperation and compromise are tools of the weak, eh?
If you wish to surprise me, take a stance that does not include escalation.
 
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 5:06pm
Bill Caciene,
By that reasoning, many who fought for independence would be traitors. 
We might have differing opinions on some of those whose lives were put in danger by Snowden's whistleblowing.
I love my country and the principles that it was founded upon. That is my motivation. I hope to prevent an Orwellian dystopia, that I believe those like you would give us, in your zeal to 'keep us safe.' I hope that the chains rest lightly on your progeny.
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 5:09pm
Dave Volek,
Thank you very much for that.
A regret tgat my irregular and difficult schedule sonetimes prevents timely replies.
Yes! In a court of law. That could take away much of the political advantage, though.
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 21, 2018 - 5:12pm
Padero: Who do you  think goes to war because of these poison attacks? We are talking some diplomats being sent out of the country. I'm also very much against most sanctions. At the moment the undefined Russia-meddling-conspiracy theory led to sanctions while the regimes actual crimes are not punished. Of course, that's pointless.
 
You won't hear from me that I deescalate for the sake of it. That's correct.
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 5:33pm
Benjamin Goldstein,
A few diplomats being sent home may seem minimal, but we have current situations where any lapse in restraint leads to retaliation and potential major conflict. 
If the goal is to get into conflict, these relatively minor provocations make perfect sense.
Some strategies seem to be to club an adversary into submission, others to seek fair and just solutions, still others, to club an adversary until they will settle for less. 
These simply stated strategies can be seen is many territorial conflicts at present.
I do not believe in the Machiavellian 'might makes right.'
I do believe in 'be armed at all times.'
I have a problem when 'defense' morphs into aggression and containment. My defense only begins with my walls and person. Any reasonable man would conclude that me standing at my neighbor's door with my M1a, no matter what his previous threats or provocations, would be an unreasonable act. Any concerns that I had,  should be addressed through the legal system.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 21, 2018 - 5:40pm
Padero: Recently a Russian military officer was killed, probably by the Israeli secret service, because he tried to use chemical weapons in Syria. Would you support minor sanctions like sending Israeli diplomats out of Syria? I would.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 21, 2018 - 5:42pm
...or out of Russia for that matter. I think he was killed in Syria, but I'm not sure. I think its not relevant. But does the poisoning deserve reprisal? In this case the poisoning was done to protect civilians from toxic gas.
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 6:22pm
Benjamin Goldstein,
Thanks for the comments and question. I will reply as well as I am able, because of my job.
I do not have that information. The informatuon that I have, shows a growing realization that the terrorists have been found to be staging poison gas attacks. Recently, several large caches of chlorine have been siezed from 'rebel' terrorists.
I am aware that Israel has geo-political ambitions in the region and is stoking the conflict. 
As always, one must ask, who benefits? There is absolutely zero strategic gain for Syria or Russia using chemical weapons. Such a weapon is only used effectively in asymmetrical warfare. I repeat, there is no advantage, only disadvantage. This is much advantage for other players to use them, if their identity is concealed. Ordinary people are becoming more sophisticated and savvy to false flag attacks. I hope that the era of false flag attacks comes to an end.
Even my cat is trained not to scratch the door jambs. If people want to believe that the Syrians and Russians, in a climate of massive public outrage and military retaliation, are dumber than my cat, who fears the water gun, you might have a case.
I believe that most people are smarter than my cat.
The chemical attacks are false flags. No reasonable person could come to any other conclusion. Only someone with an agenda, would use a disingenuous argument otherwise. I tire of those arguments. My world view is that of an American nationalist. Theology has little influence on my world view. I differ with many of my own countrymen. I am not surprised that I would differ with someone whose world view was informed by another region's or ideology's concerns.
I must seek to earn a living and can become impatient with ideas that seem to come either from ignorance or agenda.
I am certainly willing to wait for evidence and proof before any action is taken.
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 21, 2018 - 6:30pm
I don't find the Israel case anymore. Let's just say it is a hypothetical question.
 
BTW chemical weapons work a charm and I personally don't condemn them. But let's assume Israel had successfully killled a military officer who was about to deploy toxic gas in Syria. Would you retaliate?
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 7:11pm
Benjamin Goldstein,
Retalaliate if I was Russia you mean? All theoretical, of course, no I would not. Such activity is criminal. Those who engage in it should receive no mercy. State sponsors should have no recourse if they use criminal methods that violate human decency and international law.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 21, 2018 - 7:13pm
Yes, retaliate against Israel if you were either Russian or Syrian.
 
You contradict yourself. You refrain from retaliation but ...eh....without mercy.
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 7:21pm
My "no mercy" necessarily presumes honest agents that are defending innocent life from imminent danger. My "contradiction" stems from my belief in self defense. I am aware that self defense has been abused. Any others must be considered in a court of law. These are complex issues that are used for nefarious ends.
I am leery of 'pre-emptive' anything due to well documented abuses. A court of law is where things should be decided.
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 7:24pm
If one engages in nefarious and criminal activities on orders from a government, he must heed the warning from the Nuremburg trials. 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 21, 2018 - 7:24pm
Pardero: Can you just make a clear statement. Would you send away the Israeli diplomats to retaliate an extrajudicial killing (even though it might be morally justified) or not?
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 21, 2018 - 7:27pm
Pardero: So you would rather punish the secret agent who carries out the killing than the government that orders him to do it?
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 8:41pm
Benjamin,
Remember, I am barely a competent truck driver.
An agent that is attacking, could be stopped with self defense.
If a legitimate court of law proves a state actor, a punishment is justified.
ONLY actual self defense can be an excuse for what otherwise is illegal vigilante activity. 
The rule of law must prevail. Not your opinion or mine.
Ace Added Mar 21, 2018 - 9:33pm
Mr. Napers, there isn't a "mountain of evidence pointing to Russia."  This article poses 30 questions about the apparent poisoning:
 
https://russia-insider.com/en/30-questions-journalists-should-be-asking-about-skripal-case/ri22851
 
The mere issue of motive disposes of Russian guilt -- Skripal had already done what damage he could do.  The Russians/Soviets had already figured out how badly they wanted to hurt him.  He lived openly in Britain for years.  Zero motivation for Russia to try to kill the guy when its leadership are well aware of the desire of Western governments to demonize them.  The whole chemical weapons issue is tainted, esp. in Syria, and it's clear that the U.S., and now the U.K., are eager to exploit supposed chemical weapon use by unknown parties AND maybe possible future potential speculative forthcoming not-yet-happened-but-really-soon use to advance the rotten, dishonest "Coalition" agenda of unseating Assad (fail) and partitioning Syria (top priority). So in this atmosphere a rational Russian leader will say, "Self.  What better time to use poisons against our ex-officials when the West is sure to try to hang it on us?  Is there another way we can extend or increase the sanctions they've already imposed on us for @#$%^%$## reasons?"?
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 9:42pm
Ace, 
Although not directed to me, that is a better reply than I ever could have crafted. You are a welcome and valuable asset to this writers forum. I am hoping for many more thoughtful comments and articles from you.
Ace Added Mar 21, 2018 - 10:02pm
Thanks, Pardero.  I appreciate that.  If you're ever in Evanston, let me know.
Pardero Added Mar 21, 2018 - 10:06pm
Ace,
What a small world it is. 
Stone-Eater Added Mar 22, 2018 - 4:54am
Ace
 
Good comment, thanks. Another one who doesn't blow the mass media horn ;-)
MEFOBILLS Added Mar 22, 2018 - 10:39am
Let's just use Occam's razor.
 
Why would the Russian's poison somebody just before elections?
 
Also, the Russian's have destroyed their stockpile of chemical weapons, while the west has not.
Let's overlay all the false flag "chemical" claims by the white helmets and others in Syria.  The latest feint was using Chlorine in Syria, which was soon dispelled as more propaganda myth making.  
Is it so hard to believe that perhaps the "West" is corrupted more so than Russia?
London is the seat of Bankster Gangland.  Russian Oligarchs moved there to protect their ill gotten wealth.  Putin pretty much ignores the Oligarchs as he dealt with them by taxing them, and not allowing them into politics.  Putin is frying bigger fish than some backwater former Russian Oligarch living quietly in London, who is not a threat.
 
 
 
 
 
Stone-Eater Added Mar 22, 2018 - 11:13am
MEFO
 
Thanks. Logic seems to come back to WB LOL
Stone-Eater Added Mar 22, 2018 - 11:15am
Propaganda is the tool. The media and our Twitter attention span. What's easier to manipulate people than if you educated them to think no further than the last headline ?
Pardero Added Mar 22, 2018 - 11:35am
Stone-Eater Friedli,
That is a good point. People don't learn critical thinking. They are vulnerable to master manipulators.
Pardero Added Mar 22, 2018 - 11:37am
MEFOBILLS,
You highlighted some things I failed to. I wish I had placed it in the article, but it is here. Thanks.
Ace Added Mar 22, 2018 - 12:37pm
Thanks, Stone-Eater Friedli.  The agenda of the legacy media (and Western governments) is just obvious.  May and Johnson would have us believe we and the Russians are fools.  In Syria, they push the "Assad the Butcher" theme like mad but won't touch the issues of constitutionality and aggressive war.  And never ever will they examine or fess up to Western support for ISIS and al-Nusraqaida.
The principle they want to establish is the untrammeled right of Western governments to intervene and turn any nation upside down.
 
Reading the anti-Russian garbage takes a strong stomach.  It's a hundred years since the monstrous killing of WWI concluded.  That experience of reckless and stupid statecraft doesn't seem to bother any of these jokers.  Hillary Clinton, Theresa May and Nikki Haley are jokes. 
Ace Added Mar 22, 2018 - 12:40pm
Well said, MEFOBILLS. If one approaches international affairs these days from the standpoint that Western governments are not corrupt and are not fundamentally dishonest and aggressive, one has no hope of understanding events.
Pardero Added Mar 22, 2018 - 1:25pm
Ace, 
Thanks so much for your comments. I see on another article that Bill Kamps and you have some nuanced differences. He is a hell of a sharp guy and any differences are slight, in my opinion. 
No doubt, you are both great intellects and in my, necessarily, simplified blue collar world, are both on my team i.e. the good guys. ; )
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 22, 2018 - 1:28pm
Pardero: So you would wait for the intelligence to gather evidence over months and then let a court look into it until you react to a foreign power poisoning people in your country? Are you aware that governments have far better methods at their disposal to obfuscate traces that an ordinary criminal does not have? A court must proof guilt beyond doubt. A court system is to protect the weak from the powerful.
 
I understand that you run on principles. And I might upset Doug here as well, but the court system is to protect the ordinary people from injustice by the mighty state (and sometimes other powerful people or entities). It is not apt to deal with powerful players like other states.
 
My idea of appropriate retaliation is comparable with your principle not to hit somebody. If a child or a woman hits you, you are in a position dominant enough to restrain yourself with a principle from violent response. A real man does not hit women or children. You can control the situatin otherwise. However, if I walked up to you (let's assume we are of comparable physics) and I punched you in the face, I would expect that you punch me back. I would rather lose my respect for you if you would choose not to fight. Yet, of course, a response must be measured. Sending away diplomats when it is clear enough who the perpetrator is is a measured response.
 
Rare poisons are used to send a message. Face it!
Pardero Added Mar 22, 2018 - 1:43pm
Benjamin Goldstein,
Thank you for that well-reasoned comment. I can fault most of your argument. We do have international laws. Sometimes the wheels of justice move slowly. I can't find any way to justify vigilante activity on an international level. 
Using your analogy, a small kid punches another small kid because he thinks the kid smashed his bag of goodies. He gets away with it because his big brother is standing by. Maybe his lunch was smashed, maybe it was done by someone else who has a grudge or agenda. Justice is not served. Such activity creates mayhem, chaos, and leads to retaliation and vendettas. Each individual or nation, with their own values or agendas can not be judge, jury, and executioner.
Considerations must be taken in families, societies, and among nations.
Any child that is allowed to make their own rules becomes a tyrant.
 
Instant gratification and instant justice is not realistic in a civilized world. Any that that expect it could be considered rogue.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 22, 2018 - 1:50pm
I will upset Doug further.
 
How do you think international law is enforced? It is states that enforce them. The reality is that they are justification of whoever assumes the role of the world police to further their interest. There is nothing civilised about international law. In practice, countries do retaliate instantly and for good reason.
 
There is nothing civilized about watching other countries killing people on your territory.
Pardero Added Mar 22, 2018 - 1:59pm
Sorry for the typos.
I may not hit you back for other considerations. Any conviction for any misdemeanor crime of violence gets your guns confiscated. I know many who lost theirs from 'pride.' My fine firearms mean a lot to me. I do not frequent places where fights usually occur, though I did pummel a guy that atracked me about 6 years ago. I also restrained the guy until the police arrived by knocking another knot on his face whenever he struggled to escape. I was not charged; the aggressor went to jail. Two years ago, I was struck by a guy on the job. I restrained myself and retained my job. He went down the road. It us the only 'fight' I have ever 'lost' and I would conduct myself the same way next time.
I knew a guy who decided he was not to take lip off another guy. He got 4 teeth knocked out by a Golden Gloves champ. Tgere is always somebody tougher. Well, unless you can hide behind Uncle Sam.
Although I defended myself vigorously when young, I am careful now, and unless I feel I am going to take a severe beating, I use much restraint. It is the civilized thing to do.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 22, 2018 - 2:06pm
Padero: You are losing track. States cannot wait until the police arrives. There is no authority above them. The UN is a fake authority. In a civilized society the state provides the court system AND a police force so you don't have to physically fight. States don't have that luxury when it comes to other states. They are adviced to retaliate in a measured manner.
Pardero Added Mar 22, 2018 - 2:25pm
Benjamin Goldstein,
I am not a big fan of the UN. There are other international bodies. One cannot make their own rules. There are obligations ong the family of nations. We wilk have to disagree. Nations cannot just act against other states. 
The drunk uninsured Mexican that totalled my truck should have me take it out of her hide?
You try to draw a distinction between states and other civilized society. Some states are widely detested and considered rogue states because they take the law into their own hands. Civilized society, even at the international level, requires restraint and the rule of law. We must all make concessions in any society. Remedies are not always satisfactory, from a single point of view. If any nation wishes to be part of the family of nations, they must submit to international norms and law.
I can't ever agree with you. I believe that you are ideologically driven and will rationalize. You are a smart guy. Maybe I would attempt the same with somewhat less ability. I like to think that I am a dispassionate observer who only takes a side when I see injustice or wrong-doing. If I err, it is more likely to be in favor of the underdog, not someone who pretends to be an underdog while clubbing the true underdog.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 22, 2018 - 2:39pm
There is nothing to establish law and order and the rule of law across nations. It's the reality. "Rogue", "uncivilized", "detested" etc are political fighting words that are utterly meaningless on the inter-state level. You choose not so see what is and what isn't. There is too much window-dressing going on.
 
A citizen has the luxury to get an authority to sort out his conflicts. Nations don't have that luxury. Think about it.
 
I will give way to others who may wish to have a low brow quibble on whether Russia or America is more evil.
Pardero Added Mar 22, 2018 - 2:59pm
Benjamin Goldstein,
No doubt, nations must deal with a flawed and incomplete mechanism. 
Whether or not, my words are considered emotive or judgemental, some nations take responsibility to get along in the family of nations. Others, are a law unto themselves, and must be considered outcasts. My vocabulary is unable to provide a neutral term at the moment. Sorry.
I won't debate, what is better left in a religious context, "evil." 
I will say that I believe that we could hash out a compromise if you identified as a German.
You are likely to get the last word. I have obligations that I must attend to.
You are a capable thinker and writer. I disagree with you, but you are an honorable and articulate representative of your beliefs. 
I stand by my comments, typos, missed words, and all.
Be well, Benjamin. I look forward to our next exchange.
 
MEFOBILLS Added Mar 22, 2018 - 3:16pm
Benjamin you replied to Pardero using false logic to make a point.
 
Pardero: So you would wait for the intelligence to gather evidence over months and then let a court look into it until you react to a foreign power poisoning people in your country?
 
Benjamin, You do know that Britain as a signatory to non-proliferation of chemical weapons, must present DATA and samples to Russia by law?  I'm not sure how many days it is, but I think it is 10 days.  
 
Russia is a co-signer of this law, and has eliminated their stockpiles.
 
Further, the British are using weasel words, like Russian invented.  Apparently, just making claims are enough to go to war.  It is insane. 
 
False Flags are running rampant these days.  Cui Bono - who benefits.
 
Zionism has centered on London since BOE and then later Rothschild.  This group is losing their centuries long plan to control humanity via the money system.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 22, 2018 - 3:17pm
Oh well, thank you for the flowers. I understand that I should take the floor a last time. Thank you for granting it, Sir.
 
-My point with the fighting words was that they replace arguments and mean nothing. I couldn't care less if they are "emotive" or if you have better fighting words.
- Making yourself an outcast is not an argument. Jesus was an outcast. The majority is not right per se.
-There is not a single nation that abides to international law. The United States is the only country that respects freedom of speech to its full extend (universal declaration of human rights). She does not declare wars properly. NO nation follows international law.
- We are apparently having the leftwing identitities, don't we? In any event my user name is a pseudonym because the political climate in Germany is deteriorating. There are three things that I admit about my person and I admit them because I couldn't hide them anyway. I'm German, Jewish and male. Being a man does not take away from my other identities, neither do the others compromise each other.
 
I just noticed that I didn't have to take the floor. Too late. Anyway. Be well.
MEFOBILLS Added Mar 22, 2018 - 5:09pm
Benjamin,
If Putin is anything, he is a stickler for international law.  Have you not been paying attention?
 
So you would wait for the intelligence to gather evidence over months and then let a court look into it until you react to a foreign power poisoning people in your country?
 
Hell YES you wait, and do the LEGAL analysis, and not jump to conclusions.
 
You are crazy if you think otherwise.;  False flags work on emotion and are evidence free, or there is planted evidence.  There is legal procedure required.
Pardero Added Mar 22, 2018 - 5:55pm
Benjamin,
I don't have the time to do your comment justice. You are correct about international law, but some come really close, others flout it daily. It harms a body trying to promote international law to have some disregard it with no repercussions because they have powerful friends. 
Things are looking up because of AfD. Furthermore, you have sensible neighbors moving in the right direction. In other less successful cases, the powers that be must run stalking horse candidates to strip voters from movements they see as a threat. In Austria, they had to run with the FPO platform to win. The Visegrad group is a positive development and seems to be a middle ground between typical western madness and common sense. 
You can become a more progressive cesspool and be a 51st state or take heed from your wiser neighbors. I would love to see a new German Empire, since I am somewhat of an afficionado, but the Euro zone just ain't it. I will have to be content with my Fraulein Feldgrau postcard collection and my Herman Rudisuhli art prints.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 23, 2018 - 1:39pm
Ace
 
The principle they want to establish is the untrammeled right of Western governments to intervene and turn any nation upside down.
 
Exactly. We're on that path since about five centuries and no end is in sight. Our arrogance is unmatched, and our system of "democracy and freedom" is, although a hoax, been presented and forced onto others relentlessly, in the name of profit for US.
 
As people in the US are convinced that their country is "god's own country" and capitalism is the best system (actually it is the closest to human character), we Europeans are also made convinced that what's best for the US is best for us. People don't realize that what happens now has nothing to do with the original meaning of capitalism.
 
Our media is clever. They keep people with -ism and gender discussions occupied while they laugh about us at the same time.
 
Patriotism ok, but please not for Apple, Microsoft or Bayer. Make "America" great again, Mr. Trump. OK, do it. Stop ALL outsourcing jobs of your globals and bring them back to the US.
 
Nice wishful thinking. Not even Trump believes the bullshit he tweets, I'm sure LOL
Stone-Eater Added Mar 23, 2018 - 1:49pm
Things are looking up because of AfD.
 
Jesus Fucking Christ (sorry, dear believers)! AFD. Alternative für Deutschland. The spokeswoman is an old Goldman-Sachs employee and people who vote for them are not Nazis but people who simply have enough of a system that gives immigrants and refugees (of Western wars which their governments are part of) a free pass on everything from food to housing and public transport while native Germans have to beg for the same treatment.
 
Would those immigrants get the same services in THEIR country ? No.
 
Unfortunately people don't realize that AFD is the same fake as all parties - from CDU/CSU to SPD to FDP.
 
The ones who still have some sense of reality are "Die Linke", but they haven't chosen a good name for their party to bring the message across....
Pardero Added Mar 23, 2018 - 2:12pm
Stone-Eater Friedli,
I am not surprised that AfD is considered a fake party run by Goldman-Sachs people. 
I wish there was a party that addressed the immigration problem squarely.
I will read up on Die Linke.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 23, 2018 - 2:54pm
Pardero
 
Thanks. I mean, they're still politicians, but at least they try to fight for the guy on the street. Which does NOT mean that they might change when in power. Take the German greens. They've mutated from a love-and-peace-and-nature party to a staunch NATO supporter and are on the forefront when it comes to damn Russia.
 
Money can do anything.
Pardero Added Mar 27, 2018 - 7:20am
Stone-Eater Friedli,
I am so sorry to hear that about the Greens. We are in the minority, hoping for de-escalation and peace.
Shane Laing Added Mar 27, 2018 - 12:21pm
Hmmm. Say I wanted to eliminate someone, would I use a nerve agent that only I made or would I use a nerve agent that someone else made?
There are plenty of different nerve agents around, why use one that would lead directly to me?
Pardero Added Mar 27, 2018 - 12:35pm
Shane Laing,
Good observation. This whole deal reeks of a dirty trick. I grow more convinced every day.
Ace Added Mar 27, 2018 - 1:51pm
Stone-Eater Friedli, I try to understand the big picture and long-term trends.  That makes me sound more pretentious than I am, I just like to break out of the chaff that the elites dump over every issue.  We're all blind though I can't dismiss pure evil out of hand either.  On the immigration issue a whole lot of people are just short-sighted, oblivious to what actually happens when ethnic balances shift.
 
Well, that said, I see colonialism and the Cold War as periods where Western powers enjoyed some kind of moral authority.  Emphasis on "some" in that sentence.  In the 19th century and earlier, I personally believe what the West built or imposed in Africa and Asia was better than what existed.  Suttee and foot binding come to mind. 
 
In the Cold War, the horror of leftist totalitarianism (communism, national socialism) required a vigorous response and, in many cases, I think the West was insufficiently interventionist.
 
However, my point is that the West has no civilizing mission regarding the rest of the world (though I think crushing Islam would be a great contribution to life on earth).  And the Soviet Union imploded, although communist China has not entirely cast off its totalitarian aspects.
 
Now, it seems that common sense points in the direction of cooperation and building on the gifts bestowed by technology.  However, that is not what I see in the U.S. government.  What it pushes so vigorously is this stupid interventionism, regime change, and nation building as though it were still 1650. 
 
I am astonished by the arrogance involved and there seems to be a huge head of steam still in the boiler of the Western/U.S. locomotive that served well in the past.  Now there is this enormous Klingon force field, if I may mix the metaphor, and it seems to drag the world to war and turmoil.  It's a force that assumes that Putin is a criminal and Russia some kind of rogue state.  But he and it aren't.  It's the U.S. that is a threat to world peace.  It's objectives are to create arnarchy and its motivations are a complete mystery.  I am not religious but what I see in the modern world is something that aligns perfectly with the rule of Satan.  Strong language, to be sure, but what is a better explanation to make sense of the utter lunacy of the Western world.  Import millions of Muslim and African primitives into the heart of the West?  Really?  That's what passes for sanity?
 
Well, I'm not sure this is much of a response to your comment but you have to admit the price is right!
Pardero Added Mar 27, 2018 - 2:20pm
Ace,
You are a great writer. You should publish more. We anti-war people have great disparities in the rest of our belief systems. One of our peaceniks is a Muslm. Peace and curtailing this intervention madness,  is one of my most keenly felt issues. I take any allies I can get, and try to be tolerant where I differ. 
I am grateful that we are on the same side.
MEFOBILLS Added Mar 27, 2018 - 2:49pm
Pardero,
We can take Islam to task, especially because of abrogation.  I have had debates with two Islamic Scholars on this, and both were stubborn and eventually relented when confronted with Mohammeds instructions.  They tried their best to divert  by leading me into offshoots of Islam by certain "teachers."  It doesn't matter the interpretation of the teachers, I can read and don't need them to interpret for me.  This "your stupid" and not enlightened method must be hell for some nominal Muslims. 
 
Abrogation allows more peaceful passages of Mecca to be abrogated, and I've heard all the arguments from these Islamic Scholars, and they could not wriggle off the hook.
 
In the same way Christianity has its problems with old testament, especially Deuteronomy.  But, and this is a big but, true Christianity new testament supersedes old testament.  That means that the more psychopathic passages in the old can be legally put down. 
Even so, there are people who will twist things to serve their ends. 
I do differentiate with those Muslims who choose the peaceful path.   As mankind moves forward we have to deal with these thought constructs, especially those that make humans malfunction.
 
We also have to deal with psychopaths.
 
It took tremendous courage to create Bahai, a Muslim offshoot that removes much psychopathy.  Suffis suffer discrimination at the hands of Salafists.  Salfaists in turn are doctrinally correct.   
 
People that are nominal Muslims and just want to be peaceful and civil can-and-are beset by their radical elements, even called names and put upon.  What can a peaceful Muslim say in retort, when the radical person is actually in alignment with teachings?  It is a bad situation.
 
Now we have satanists in the west, funding and using Islam for false flags and as as agents of destruction. Why?  It is easy to wind them up and point, especially because it is within Islamic doctrine.  
 
(The good terrorists, bad terrorist shtick is part of this, when in fact both sides were being funded by the deep state.)
 
While patholgies are present in Christianity, at least one can say, Hey we don't do that anymore, new testament superseded and you are following old law that has been put away or terminated. 
 
With abrogation it is impossible to do in Islam. 
Katharine Otto Added Apr 2, 2018 - 1:35pm
Pardero,
The whole situation is fishy, including using the supposed poisoning's being used to kick Russian diplomats out of US and other countries.  What does that solve?  The guy was a double agent spy, for pete's sake, and assassination comes with the territory.  Had he been a postal service worker, nobody would have bothered.
 
But the US and other countries have a long history of using questionable excuses to engage in horrendous and often irrelevant or misguided retaliation.  Look at 9/11, an excuse to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and against terrorism or anything that can be attributed to it.  Who believes that facile explanation, yet we still pretend to believe our tactics will eventually win against this phantom enemy we are fighting.
 
I've also been following the FDA's long history of food scares, based on incomplete and speculative assumptions and resulting in ruinous economic hits on (usually) independent producers, but that's another story.
Pardero Added Apr 2, 2018 - 1:46pm
Katharine Otto,
I am pleased that you find favor with my little article.
These tactics have served those that seek war for a very long time.
A gullible public never tires of the strategy.
The perpetual so-called 'war on terrorism' is one of the biggest outrages ever perpetrated on an ignorant public.
 
Government agencies should never have the power to pick winners and losers according to their political biases.
Ace Added Apr 2, 2018 - 9:56pm
Thanks for your kind words, Pardero.  Plagiarism has made me the man I am today.
 
I'm with you in making common cause.  I'm very, very hostile to Islam and yet here I am an ardent defender of Assad in Syria and all the brave men in the coalition to defeat al-Qaida and ISIS.  I cheer Hezbollah and Iran because they are doing the right thing and defending against the lies of the U.S. and all the rest.  I've been very hostile to Hezbollah in the past, but that was before I became more jaundiced about the Israeli agenda and aware of its own arrogant belief it can hold onto the Golan Heights and bomb Syria and support the head choppers there.
 
One should be resilient and flexible in life and, therefore, one should instantly change one's opinions when circumstances require it.  The most useful question to me is "Has this person made a decision to be a lady or a gentleman, to live and let live, to try to moderate his or her more base nature, and to try to be as intellectually honest as possible?"  It is possible to find exceptional humans who have endeavored to rise above selfish and lazy living.  If Rudyard Kipling could see the true man, as I think his poem Gunga Din illustrates, then I should try too.
 
I wonder if multiculturalism was celebrated before its time.  There are astonishing people in all cultures and races but it lunacy to think that now is time when millions of people from the third world can be invited into the West.  This is just obvious but there is no short supply of morons who think otherwise.
 
Well, I'm not sure I stayed much on point but there you are.
Pardero Added Apr 2, 2018 - 10:39pm
Ace,
You have been way to scarce, lately! My goodness, I missed a lengthy and enlightening comment by MEFOBILLS on this older article.
 
I try to be tolerant of moderate Muslims, such as Mustafa Kemal, because we are aligned, much as you and I are, on a host of other issues. He is a reliable anti-war ally, and resents Israeli and American war-mongering as much as we do.
 
What is the world coming to when the US supports terrorists in overthrowing a legitimate government? Hezbollah was formed as a defense against Israeli depredations. I have little love for the Iranian regime but they are aligned against terrorists. 
Iran suffered greatly against our former pet tyrant, Saddam Hussein! Then he went too far and we turned on him. This stuff is torn out of 1984 by George Orwell. 
I try to evaluate people on their character, no matter their origin. If I seem harsh, it is because I oppose mass immigration, individuals would likely take me for a tolerant liberal in person, as I treat all polite and thoughtful people with respect.
Always pleased to hear your thoughts. It wouldn't hurt me to take another look at Gunga Din, to refresh myself on the great value that you found there. 
 
 
Pardero Added Apr 2, 2018 - 10:56pm
MEFOBILLS,
Sorry I missed this comment earlier. I get so many emails from WB, it is all I can do to delete them when working.
You are far more knowledgable on most things. I would like to believe that there are true moderate Muslims like Mustafa Kemal.
I am aware that the the Old Testament, thankfully, has been much superceded by the New. Recently, Goldstein proved war is totally acceptable, with O T quotes, and even quoted Jesus saying "I add to the old." Goldstein actually quoted Jesus in his justification for the perpetual war on 'terrorism.'
It is far too easy to stir up Muslims and supply them with arms to destabilize governments. I have to believe the chaos is helping more than Israel, though I don't fully understand the evil.
I used to know some Bahais. Nice folks. In some ways, that religion has parallels to the New Testament. If only it could become more popular. It seems that all the adherents emigrate out of Muslim countries. 
I hope to ask what Mustafa thinks of them. His gentler version of Islam may tolerate them.
Ace Added Apr 3, 2018 - 1:42pm
Pardero, it's easy to get caught up in all the great discussions here so I have to be careful lest I spend hours and hours here.
 
I get weary of the limited and, frankly, insulting "justifications" for what we do in the Middle East.  The new ruler of Saudi Arabia seems clearly intent on hitting a giant "reset" button and more power to him.  We need to do the same thing.  Sort of an exercise in zero-based budgeting if I understand that concept.  Not that the word "budget" isn't one fisking JOKE in the U.S. 
 
Anyway, why Iran is not the devil incarnate now I do not know.  They have been swine before and good luck to you if you end up in one of their jails but "chief sponsors of terrorism" they just ain't.  See this illuminating analysis for the low down on that bit of PR flapdoodle.
 
And James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation said on Fox News's Tucker Carlson show last night that "Assad is a bad, genocidal dictator."  Really?  Is that the very best he could do to make a case for intervening in (i.e., waging unconstitutional and aggressive war on) Syria?  Pee-wee Herman could do better than that and, believe me, I love Pee-wee.  He's pull the troops out of Syria and say, "I meant to do that."  God bless him.
Pardero Added Apr 3, 2018 - 5:26pm
Ace,
I agree with you 100%. I don't trust the sleazy Saudis for a second. They are huge sponsors of terrorism and are conducting a genocide in Yemen as we write. The Saudis are also in bed with the Israelis. I don't trust the new prince. I think it is all show. They oppose Iran and want our help. Making pretend nice to get it.
Matthew Sotak Added Apr 9, 2018 - 1:42pm
Boy?? Talk about drinking the koolaide?? It seems that everyone on this thread HAS believed a MEDIA that has done nothing but lie to them 24 hours a day for the last 40 OR 50 years?? PUTIN has done nothing but try to work with the West at every turn! Only to be rebuked and BASICALLY spit on by those who couldn' hold a candle to him in intelligence or wisdom! While the West was busy playing cowboys around the BLIND, PUTIN was busy playing off Russia' national debt, AND rebuilding his military power! Today PUTIN is stockpiling gold BY THE ton, and the US JUST past 21 trillion in debt! Putin's war ships can hit a target in Syria from the black sea! RUSSIA has stopped an aegis CLASS destroyer DEAD in its tracks, having to be towed to port. Putin is so much smarter than ALL THESE NARCISSTIC egomaniacs in THE West , and they know it! They are terrified of him and that' why they cant stop trying to destroy his reputation and demean his country! But PUTIN has an 80 OR 90 % approval rating, while most of the IDIOTS IN THE West are lucky to break into double digits! This Skriptal poisoning farce is the height of STUPIDITY! You'd have to be a complete MORON TO believe that story! NO proof, no investigation, no specimen, no nothing?? He was Russian, it must be putin?? Then it turns out that it was only a case of food poisoning?? BUT do any of the western leaders ask PUTIN for forgiveness? DO any of these huge ASSHOLES say thier sorry for jumping the gun?? Not a single one! Putin has class! HE has a sense of honor, AND THAT'S why he stands head and shoulders above the LYING sacks OF SHIT in western leadersip! He detests these mindless FOOLS, yet he's forced t work with complete imbeciles TO GET THINGS done! O can't believe westernerd can' see how totally incompetent and lazy THIER LEADERS are. Problem?? Must be the Russians?? Easy fix???
Pardero Added Apr 9, 2018 - 2:29pm
Matthew Sotak,
That is one heck of an impressive rant! You should write more. You see through all the propaganda, and that is too rare these days.
Cheers, Matthew!