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The Future of U.S. - Russian Relations

United States Russia Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton International diplomacy

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#621
caltrek

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Russia may have violated the INF Treaty. Here’s how the United States appears to have done the same.

 

https://thebulletin....-done-the-same/

 

Introduction:

(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) On September 17, 2009 President Obama and his Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, announced a new approach to US missile defense in Europe, the Aegis-based European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). This approach was to replace the Bush administration’s plan for a Ground-Based Missile Defense (GMD) site in Poland with what Obama described as a “smarter and swifter” defense system. The Polish installation (along with a similar site in Romania) would replace the proposed installation of GMD interceptors with a larger number of much smaller and slower interceptors, guided by Aegis radars normally used on US Navy warships.

 

This political decision to finesse one bad missile defense idea with another has helped create a crisis with Russia over the future of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The Trump administration announced its suspension of the treaty last week, alleging (as did the Obama administration) that the Russians have violated it by developing a cruise missile that appears to breach the clear limitations on weapons ranges established by the INF. The Russian government responded by also suspending its adherence to the treaty; it has long claimed that United States missile defense installations in Eastern Europe violate the treaty.

 

If no agreement on the INF is reached, both countries could formally withdraw from the pact in six months.

 

The Western press has often treated the Russian claim that US missile defense installations have an offensive capability as rhetorical obfuscation. But publicly available information makes it clear that the US Aegis-based systems in Eastern Europe, if equipped with cruise missiles, would indeed violate the INF. The Obama administration’s internal deliberations on the decision to place Aegis-based missile defenses in Poland and Romania have not been reported in the press. Neither has the precise advice Defense Department advisers gave the president and his policy staff on the capabilities of the Aegis system. I therefore cannot say with certainty whether the Obama administration knew that, with the Aegis-ashore program, it was installing a weapons system in Eastern Europe with offensive capabilities that violated US treaty obligations..

postol-lead-photo.jpg

A cruise missile emerging from a Vertical Launch System box.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#622
caltrek

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Pentagon report: Russian leaders believe they are already at war with the United States—in the gray zone

 

https://thebulletin....-the-gray-zone/

 

Introduction:

 

(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) A group of governmental, military, and outside experts published a white paper urging the US government to jump fully into the so-called gray zone—the conceptual space in which countries take action that lies somewhere on the continuum between warfare and peaceable relations.  Russia, they say, is exploiting it effectively. It’s in the gray zone that Russia meddles with elections, launches online disinformation campaigns, and uses a host of other means to gain greater leverage in places ranging from the former Soviet states to Latin America.

 

Russian leaders understand warfare differently from people in the United States, Nicole Peterson writes in the report’s executive summary. They already believe they’re at war with the United States and the West, the analyst, who works at consulting-firm NSI Inc., continues. For the Russians, winning this war requires the “integration of all instruments of state power.” To counter this, Peterson writes, the authors of the report believe the United States must use “all instruments of national power.” The gray zone is so important, she suggests, that “once defined, a federal agency dedicated to gray zone activities may be required in order to implement a true whole of government approach to combating Russian influence activities abroad.”

 

The 151-page report, titled Russian Strategic Intentions, was published as part of a Pentagon program called the Strategic Multilayer Assessment. A recent Politico article on the report suggested it hadn’t been widely shared. Some of the approaches the report’s 23 authors recommend the US government undertake share similarities to well-known Russian tactics like using social media to inflame societal divisions.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#623
ralfy

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The U.S. will probably weaken with the petrodollar while BRICS and emerging markets use SDRs.



#624
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A path toward renewing arms control

 

https://thebulletin....g-arms-control/

 

Introduction:

 

(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) At the late June G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, US President Trump and Russian President Putin met to discuss a number of issues, including Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine, and arms control. While all of these are important, none is more urgent at the current time than arms control because we are on the brink of a new arms race that could be an existential threat not only to these two nuclear super powers but to humanity.

 

To deal with the troubled arms control situation before it becomes a catastrophe, Global Priorities—an international network of experts, religious leaders, and non-governmental organization collaborators, all dedicated to reducing nuclear weapons, dangers, and expenditures, in favor of human needs—met in Rome last month to discuss the situation and propose some solutions to avert a disastrous outcome.

 

If the two major nuclear super powers, which between them account for more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, do not act quickly, the era of arms control—which has lasted for more than 50 years and reduced the combined destructive potential of the two nuclear arsenals from 1.3 million Hiroshima bombs to about 80,000—will end. At that point, a new nuclear arms race, already under way, will accelerate. Unfortunately, the two presidents did not make any progress on this issue at their Osaka meeting. In fact, Putin complained publicly that President Trump did not even want to discuss extending New START (which limits each side to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons), the only strategic arms reduction treaty currently in place. It went into effect in 2010 and expires in 2021, unless the two nations jointly agree to extend it for another five years, which they can do without approval from the US Senate or the Russian Duma.

arms-control.jpg

Rocket models are stuck in a bucket during a February protest action in Berlin against the imminent withdrawal of the INF disarmament agreement between Russia and the USA.

Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#625
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The Senate Intel Committee Just Released a Report Detailing Russia’s “Extensive” Meddling in the 2016 Elections

 

https://www.motherjo...2016-elections/

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) A new Senate Intelligence Committee report released on Thursday details the “extensive” Russian operation, dating back to at least 2014, to interfere with the 2016 US presidential elections. The bipartisan report says progress has been made in coordinating federal and local efforts to bolster election security. But it also points to ongoing vulnerabilities in elections infrastructure, like voter registration databases, and the need for a stronger message from the government that the country views “an attack on its election infrastructure as a hostile act,” and that it will fight back to “send a clear message and create significant costs for the perpetrator.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#626
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Very good article from Paul Craig Roberts:

 

The Irresponsibility of Small Nations

 

Key moments:

 

After falsely accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Washington unilaterally repudiated the treaty...

 

The INF Treaty was perhaps the most important of all of the arms control agreements... The importance of the treaty is due to its reduction of the chance of accidental nuclear war. Warning systems have a history of false alarms. The problem of US missiles on Russia’s border is that they leave no time for reflection or contact with Washington when Moscow receives a false alarm. Considering the extreme irresponsibility of US governments since the Clinton regime in elevating tensions with Russia, missiles on Russia’s border leaves Russia’s leadership with little choice but to push the button when an alarm sounds.

 

That Washington intends to put missiles on Russia’s border and pulled out of the INF Treaty for this sole purpose is now obvious. Only two weeks after Washington pulled out of the treaty, Washington tested a missile whose research and development, not merely deployment, were banned under the treaty. If you think Washington designed and produced a new missile in two weeks you are not intelligent enough to be reading this column.

 

Military analysts can talk all they want about “rational players,” but if a demonized and threatened country with hostile missiles on its border receives a warning with near zero response time, counting on it to be a false alarm is no longer rational.

 

Little doubt the Romanian and Polish governments have been given bagfulls of money by the US military/security complex, which wants the multi-billion dollar contracts to produce the new missiles. Here we see the extreme irresponsibility of small countries... Even the American puppet state of occupied Germany has refused to host the missiles. But two insignificant states of no importance in the world are subjecting the entire world to the risk of nuclear war so that a few Romanian and Polish politicians can pocket a few million dollars.

 

Why aren’t the Romanian and Polish provocations sufficient justification for Russia to pre-emptively occupy both countries? Is it more provocative for Russia to occupy the two countries than it is for the two countries to host US missiles against Russia? Why only consider the former provocative and not the latter?

 

But he's wrong when attributing this "irresponsibility" to the narrow circle of Polish/Romanian politicians. The truth is that these "two insignificant states of no importance in the world" are sincerely and passionately hating us, despite all the good Russia have done to them.

 

Reminded me the brilliant prophecy of Dostoevsky made in XIX century, when these small states didn't yet existed: "Russia never has had anyone who can hate, envy, slander, and even display open enmity toward her as much as all these Slavic tribes will the moment Russia liberates them".



#627
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And another example of Western narcissist madness:

 

The head of the Pentagon called on Russia to behave "like a normal country"

 

Russia should behave “as a more normal country that shares Western values” if it intends to work together with the United States, said Pentagon chief Mark Esper during a speech in Paris.

 

Russia needs to change its behavior and behave in accordance with the rules and norms that we have established. This is the best way to move forward,” said the head of the Pentagon.

 

That's it...

 

“This is hard to comment. The only thing I want to say is that we will rather stay abnormal for now" - Sergei Shoigu, Russian minister of defence.



#628
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I guess on odd numbered days the policy is to be critical of Trump, and on even numbered days to support his presidency.  

 

At any rate, the main reason I came here was to post this:

 

 

House Democrats Are Examining Whether the Middleman in Trump’s Secret Moscow Deal Withheld Information

 

https://www.motherjo...ld-information/

 

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) When the Democrats took over the House of Representatives, there seemed to be the promise of vigorous investigations and high-profile hearings related to a long array of Donald Trump controversies, including the Trump-Russia scandal and one particular component of that affair: Trump’s secret effort to score a large project in Moscow while he was running for president. Yet the House Dems, as they debated what to do on the impeachment front, have rarely succeeded in mounting probes and holding hearings on Trump that shape the ongoing (and, yes, often crazy) political agenda of the day, week, or month. And the story of Trump’s covert venture in Moscow—like many other tales of Trump corruption—has drifted from public view. The House Intelligence Committee, though, is still on that case, and it is examining whether a key witness in that investigation, a former business associate of Trump, has tried to obstruct its probe—an allegation this onetime Trump ally fiercely denies.

 

First, some background. During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly asserted he had nothing to do with Russia. And when he was asked in December 2015 about his relationship with a man named Felix Sater—a former asset for US intelligence and law enforcement in key terrorism and mafia cases who also has a criminal record—Trump lied and essentially denied knowing the guy: “Felix Sater, boy, I have to even think about it. I’m not that familiar with him.”

 

Yet Trump had worked closely with Sater, a fellow developer, on the Trump Soho, a hotel condominium that opened in 2010 in New York City, and after that Sater had served as a scout for Trump, looking for projects in Russia and elsewhere. Sater even carried a business card identifying him as a Trump Organization consultant. Starting in September 2015, Sater became the middleman in Trump’s latest attempt to develop a tower in Moscow, which had long been a goal for Trump. Collaborating with Michael Cohen, then Trump’s lawyer and fixer, Sater hooked up the Trump Organization with a Russian company for this Moscow deal that could, if successful, reap Trump hundreds of millions of dollars. Trump himself signed a letter of intent for the project in October 2015.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#629
caltrek

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Future of China's nuclear stockpile clouds prospects for new U.S.-Russia missile deal

 

https://www.japantim...a-missile-deal/

 

Introduction:

 

(The Japan Times)  NEW YORK – A key hurdle to extending a landmark nuclear treaty between the U.S. and Russia isn’t Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin. It’s China.

The New START treaty, the last major arms control accord between the world’s two nuclear superpowers, is set to expire in early 2021. Like another key treaty covering intermediate-range nuclear missiles, which collapsed this year after the U.S. quit that accord, Trump administration officials say the agreement may not be worth extending if China isn’t brought into the fold.

 

A failure to renew or extend the accord would mark the effective end of decades of agreements aimed at limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Experts say it would also send a worrisome signal to other nations — from Saudi Arabia to North Korea — already pursuing or seeking to pursue nuclear programs.

 

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in August that the U.S. should consider “multilateralizing” the agreement. “If we really want to go after avoiding an arms race, and capture these systems, we should multilateralize it.”

 

Yet while the U.S. believes China will double its nuclear stockpile over the next decade, most arms control experts say it would be better for Washington and Moscow to settle on an extension of New START and worry about Beijing later.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#630
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New START Treaty Data Shows Treaty Keeping Lid On Strategic Nukes

 

https://fas.org/blog...w-start-2019-2/

 

Introduction:

 

(Federation of American Scientists) The latest data on US and Russian strategic nuclear forces limited by the New START treaty shows the treaty is serving its intended purpose of keeping a lid on the two countries’ arsenals.

 

The data was published by the State Department yesterday.

 

Despite deteriorating relations and revival of “Great Power Competition” strategies, the data shows neither side has increased deployed strategic force levels in the past year.

 

The data set released is the last before the New START treaty enters its final year before it expires in February 2021. The treaty can be extended for another five years by the stroke of a pen, but arms control opponents in Washington and Moscow are working hard to prevent this from happening. If they succeed, the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals will be completely unregulated for the first time since the 1970s.

 

Conclusion:

 

It is essential that Russia and the United States decide now to extend the New START treaty. Without it, the two sides will switch into a worst-case-scenario mindset for long-term planning of strategic forces that could well trigger a new nuclear arms race.

NewSTART2019-2.png


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#631
caltrek

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Here’s what Fiona Hill previously said about Putin in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

 

https://thebulletin....n-the-bulletin/

 

Extract:

 

(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) Fiona Hill, a former White House expert on Russia and widely regarded as a non-partisan foreign policy expert on the former Soviet Republics in general—including Ukraine...(testified).. before Congress ...(this week) as part of impeachment proceedings aimed at President Trump. The former intelligence analyst is co-author of a 500-page book analyzing the psyche of Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin. Among other things, on Thursday, she warned House Intelligence Committee members that a narrative adopted by some supporters of Trump—that it was Ukraine, rather than Russia, that interfered in the 2016 US presidential election—is a fiction put forward by Russian security services. “In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests,” Hill said. “These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes.”

 

The former Brookings Institution fellow has sometimes been described as a “Russia hawk” in the press. Or as CNN Politics put it: “Hill’s views sometimes seemed at odds with Trump’s own desire to improve relations with the strongman leader whom Trump, as a candidate, often spoke of admiringly.”

 

…Which makes this a good time to take another look at what Fiona Hill wrote for the Bulletin about Putin in 2016—well over a year before she joined Trump’s National Security Council.

 

 

Introduction:

 

(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists – Fiona Hill) The West is at an inflection point in its relations with Russia; the stakes for having an accurate understanding of its president, Vladimir Putin, have never been higher. A misreading of this man – now one of the most consequential international political figures and challengers to the US-led world order since the end of the Cold War – could have catastrophic consequences. Russia’s 8,000 nuclear weapons (and the vehicles to deliver them to any point on the globe) underscore the huge risks of not understanding who Putin is, what he wants, how he thinks, and why. Where do his ideas and conceptions come from? How does Putin look at the outside world? Why did he annex Crimea in 2014 and intervene in Syria in 2015? What does he know about the West? What does he think about the United States? These are all critical questions.

 

Putin’s Russia is a one-man show. Yes, Putin has around him a group of associates (“cronies” as they are often called) whose relationships extend back decades – in St. Petersburg, where Putin grew up, studied, first joined the KGB, and became deputy mayor; in Moscow, where Putin moved in 1996 and began his ascent toward the presidency; and in Dresden, in the former East Germany, where Putin was posted by the KGB in the 1980s. But this group of men (they are all men) does not represent the kind of “old-boy” network most are accustomed to. 

 

Putin’s is a “one-boy” network.” He may listen to the counsel of his friends or not. We do not actually know. The circle is extremely narrow and difficult to penetrate, even for supposed Russian political insiders. What we do know is that there is no oligarchy or separate set of economic, business, or political interests that compete with Putin. In the end, he makes the decisions.

 

This one-man show has deep roots in Russian political culture...


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#632
caltrek

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Inspector General’s Report Shows Trump’s “Spygate” Conspiracy Theory Was the Real Hoax

 

https://www.motherjo...-the-real-hoax/

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) Sorry, Donald Trump. Sorry, Rudy Giuliani. Sorry, Devin Nunes. Sorry, Jim Jordan, Sorry, Sean Hannity. Sorry, Fox News watchers. There was no Deep State conspiracy to cook up a Russia investigation to sabotage Trump’s campaign and, then, his presidency. There was no witch hunt. There was no hoax. The Obama administration did not, as Trump claimed, have his “wires tapped” in Trump Tower and did not “tapp” [sic] Trump’s phones during “the very sacred election process.”

 

There was no Spygate. 

 

It turns out that this Spygate—the name Trump-Russia truthers gave to their allegations that Trump was the victim of a clandestine and elaborate plot waged by US government officials in the FBI, CIA, and elsewhere—was the hoax. The scandal was—and remains—Russia’s attack on the United States that was mounted in part to help Trump win the White House and Trump’s complicity in that assault by (at different times) inviting, denying, welcoming, requesting encouraging, and accepting Moscow’s operation.

 

That’s the bottom-line message of the long-awaited report from Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Justice Department. For nearly two years, he has been investigating the FBI’s opening and implementation of its Russia investigation. And during that time, Trump and his defenders on Capitol Hill and within right-wing media have insisted that this report would disclose the FBI’s dark secret: that this investigation was a political hit job aimed at Trump. (QAnon supporters, the fringe of the right-wing conspiratorial fringe, had been maintaining that the release of this report would lead to mass arrests of Trump’s enemies… Uh, no.) The intent of Trump and his gang has been to discredit the FBI’s Russia probe to deflect from the basic and troubling truth that Vladimir Putin helped Trump gain the presidency and that Trump aided and abetted Russia’s subversion of American democracy.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#633
caltrek

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One wonders if Putin is starting to regret his antics on Trump's behalf in the 2016 election. More likely, and not dwelt upon in the following article, is that Putin wants to stay on good terms with Iran.  Let Trump do the dirty work while Russia quietly expands its alliance system.

 

Russian Government Reaction to Trump’s Attack on Iran

 

https://www.alternet...attack-on-iran/

 

Introduction:

 

(Salon via Alternet) Bill Browder — the British businessman and anti-Vladimir Putin activist who has successfully pushed for sanctions on Russia for its human rights violations — spoke with Salon to analyze why Russian officials and media outlets are condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to have a drone strike assassinate Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

 

“I think that more than anything, Putin is absolutely terrified by the assassination of Soleimani,” Browder told Salon by email on Saturday. “If the US can go after a high level military enemy from the air with drones and kill him, it means that the US can go after any of their political and military enemies in the same way. At some point it could be Putin’s turn.”

 

He added, “Putin was traumatised after Gaddafi’s killing and this opens up a whole new range of terrible possibilities for him. Putin only respects extreme violence and power and this speaks to him like nothing else.”

 

In the aftermath of Soleimani’s assassination, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred to Soleimani’s killing as an “adventurist” step by the Trump administration and said “Soleimani was devoted to protecting Iran’s national interests. We express our sincere condolences to the Iranian people.” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Soleimani’s assassination “grossly violates international law” and claimed that “the targeted actions of a UN member state to eliminate officials of another UN member state, moreover, on the territory of a third sovereign state without its knowledge, flagrantly violate the principles of international law and deserve condemnation.”

 

Meanwhile a Russian state television reporter, Stanislav Khamdokhov of RIA Novost, described the assassination as “a terrorist act” by the American government and RIA Novosti columnist Irina Alksnis argued that “Americans are steadily losing political positions in the Middle East. Russia, Turkey and Iran are stepping on their heels. Washington simply does not have the strength to challenge Moscow in Syria or Tehran in Iraq.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#634
Yuli Ban

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And another example of Western narcissist madness:

 

The head of the Pentagon called on Russia to behave "like a normal country"

 

Russia should behave “as a more normal country that shares Western values” if it intends to work together with the United States, said Pentagon chief Mark Esper during a speech in Paris.

 

Russia needs to change its behavior and behave in accordance with the rules and norms that we have established. This is the best way to move forward,” said the head of the Pentagon.

 

That's it...

 

“This is hard to comment. The only thing I want to say is that we will rather stay abnormal for now" - Sergei Shoigu, Russian minister of defence.

This is only funnier and more sad in hindsight. Russia has loads of problems, yes, but I don't think they've been assassinating foreign heads of states & generals recently. Or threatening genocide on Twitter.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#635
caltrek

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This is only funnier and more sad in hindsight. Russia has loads of problems, yes, but I don't think they've been assassinating foreign heads of states & generals recently

 

Maybe not "foreign heads of states & generals recently" but still...

 

In New Book, Journalist Alleges Russian Links To Mysterious Deaths Abroad

 

https://www.npr.org/...s-deaths-abroad

 

Introduction:

 

(NPR) In 2006, as Russia was preparing to host the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, its parliament passed a law legalizing extrajudicial killings of accused "extremists" abroad.

 

"It was an extraordinary moment," BuzzFeed News journalist Heidi Blake says. "Even as Western leaders were sitting around the table with Putin in St. Petersburg, at that very moment, laws were being passed ... that enabled enemies of the Russian state to be murdered by Russian state agents on foreign soil with absolute impunity."

 

Blake maintains that Russia subsequently engaged in an assassination program that targeted exiled Russian oligarchs, security officials and others critical of the Kremlin.

 

"We could see there was a pattern of suspicious deaths linked to Russia," Blake says. "And in every single case there was evidence that would appear to connect those deaths to Russia."

 

Blake and her BuzzFeed News team were finalists in 2017 for their investigation of Russian assassinations on British soil. Her new book based on that reporting, From Russia with Blood, chronicles 14 suspected assassinations in the U.K., including the death by poisoning of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, a defector who had been critical of the law allowing extrajudicial killings.

 

Shrugged off by Putin partisans, no doubt, as "fake Western media news."  


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#636
caltrek

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Russia Is Exploiting American White Supremacy Over and Over Again

 

https://www.thedaily...-and-over-again

 

Introduction:

(Daily Beast) Not many Russians are likely to understand a shotgun formation or the strategy behind not punting on fourth down. But between September and December 2017, social-media accounts now associated with the Kremlin-backed troll farm known as the Internet Research Association (IRA) showed a sudden interest in the National Football League. And like the Americans its accounts emulated, the IRA didn’t need any familiarity with football for its purposes.

 

“NFL Supports BLM After 5 Dallas Cops Were Murdered During a Protest,” tweeted one now-suspended account, @ANIIANTRS, on September 24. BLM is a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, and the slayings the tweet referenced were over a year old at that point. @ANIIANTRS wouldn’t let any interest in week-three games derail its messaging. That same day it tweeted: “NFL Star Ray Lewis Linked to MURDER But Takes A Knee Against ‘Police Brutality.’”

 

The next week, a different IRA account, @PAMELA_SHARKY13, expressed displeasure with the Rams’ then-cornerback Marcus Peters. “Marcus Peters sits during the anthem after a national tragedy. Congrats on being a piece of shit!” wrote the account's Russian operator.

 

…What they (University of Washingotn researchers Ahmier Arif, Leo G. Stewart, and Kate Starbird)  found matched a series of 2017 exclusives from The Daily Beast that showed white supremacy was never far from the surface of surreptitious Russian propaganda. The fake group SecuredBorders urged a real-life rally in Idaho in August 2016 under the cry, “We must stop taking in Muslim refugees!” The IRA Twitter account Being Patriotic called on followers to actually kill Black Lives Matter activists: “Arrest and shoot every sh*thead taking part in burning our flag! #BLM vs #USA.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#637
caltrek

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The Trump administration thinks it can win an arms race. Time for a history lesson.

 

https://thebulletin....history-lesson/

 

Introduction:

(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) It is impossible to respond to every distortion of reality emanating from the Trump administration, but sometimes a statement is so outrageous that it demands comment and correction. Such was the remark of Marshall Billingslea, the Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control, during a recent online interview with the Hudson Institute. He was promoting the administration’s dubious plan for three-way nuclear arms negotiations with China and Russia, which critics have called a disingenuous ploy to avoid extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, which will expire next year, furthering the administration’s assault on arms control.

 

When asked about Trump’s previous comment that, if there is a to be an arms race, the United States will win it, Billingslea spoke of a “three-way arms racing context.” The president has made it clear, he said, “that we have a tried and true practice here. We know how to win these races. And we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.”

 

The reference to winning an arms race by spending the adversary into oblivion recalls one of the misconceptions of Cold War history. Many believe that it was the US military buildup, especially President Reagan’s cherished Strategic Defense Initiative, that broke the back of Soviet power and forced the Kremlin to yield to American military might. “Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot,” Margaret Thatcher famously declared.

 

It’s a plausible argument, but the real story is more complicated..

 

Conclusion:

….The real “tried and true practice” of the past is not that one can win an arms race—no one can. It’s that negotiated steps toward mutual denuclearization can reduce tensions and enhance security. Let’s send the whole idea of arms racing into oblivion.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


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caltrek

caltrek

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Some of you may recall that it was John Bolton who most Senate Republicans absolutely refused to call as a witness during the Trump impeachment process.  Perhaps now we will know why.

 

The Room Where It Happened A White House Memoir

 

https://www.politico...f6-a91eacd90000

 

Introduction:

 

(Simon & Schuster) There hasn’t been a detailed, inside account on how this president makes decisions on a day-to-day basis, until now. John Bolton served as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump for 519 days. A seasoned public servant who had previously worked for Presidents Reagan, Bush #41, and Bush #43, Bolton brought to the administration forty years of experience in international issues and a reputation for tough, blunt talk. In The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir (available June 23, 2020), Bolton offers a substantive and factual account of the period from April 9, 2018 to September 10, 2019, when he had nearly daily communications with the President.

 

Drawn from his personal participation in key events, and filled with perspective and humor, Bolton covers an array of topics—chaos in the White House, sure, but also assessments of major players, the President’s inconsistent, scattershot decision-making process, and his dealings with allies and enemies alike, from China, Russia, Ukraine, North Korea, Iran, the UK, France, and Germany. What Bolton saw astonished him: a president for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation. “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” he writes. In fact, he argues that the House committed impeachment malpractice by keeping their prosecution focused narrowly on Ukraine when Trump’s Ukraine-like transgressions existed across the full range of his foreign policy— and Bolton documents exactly what those were, and attempts by him and others in the Administration to raise alarms about them.

 

Bolton also reveals what it was like to fight against an incumbent President determined to prevent publication of this book. Trump directed the seizure of and withheld his personal and other unclassified documents, despite numerous requests for their return. He also obstructed Bolton’s Twitter account and made outright threats of censorship. Bolton’s response? Game on.

 

In the months leading up to the publication of The Room Where It Happened, Bolton worked in cooperation with the National Security Council to incorporate changes to the text that addressed NSC concerns. The final, published version of this book reflects those changes, and Simon & Schuster is fully supportive of Ambassador Bolton’s First Amendment right to tell the story of his time in the Trump White House.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: United States, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton, International diplomacy

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