Ukrainian Hero-Pilot: “I look a lot like Lavrov.” – Part I

Dear Readers,

Recall from a few days ago the thrilling story of Alexander Akopov, citizen of the Ukraine.  Captain Akopov blindly landed a plane, fully loaded with around 128 passengers and crew, at Istanbul Airport in the middle of a hailstorm that had knocked out all his front windshield, and all the electrical and guidance systems!  Akopov’s expertise on the icy runway won the day and saved the lives of all.  The entire airport broke out into applause, and Akopov instantly became an international celebrity.

Akopov: “My friends tell me I look a lot like Sergei Lavrov!”

Akopov was rightfully hailed as a hero, although some nitpickers feel that this term is used too widely, and they are probably right.  For example, a football player who scores a goal is technically not a hero.  Technically, a hero is somebody who knowingly gave or at least risked his own life in order to save or help others.  By that token, Akopov is not exactly a hero, I would call him more, like, a virtuoso, since the giving of his own life on this occasion would not have furthered the cause of the others on board.  Quite the contrary!

Be that as it may, Akopov definitely deserved the medal that Ukrainian faux-President Poroshenko slapped onto the pilot within hours, possibly minutes of the event.  See, Ukrainian Nationalists, after pissing away a third of their territory, ruining the lives of the remainder, and losing every battle on the battlefield, are so desperate for heroes that they desperately needed Akopov.  See, within the subclass of Aviation Heroes, just like America has Captain Sully, so Ukraine should have Captain Akopov.

Russian Media Is More Fair and Balanced And Less Propagandistic Than Westie Media

Along with the Ukrainian blogospere, the international (Westie) media also exploded with compliments directed at Akopov.  Just google it and you’ll see.  It was like Westies were just bursting with pride over the exploit of a favorite child.  With the words “Ukrainian pilot” repeated over and over.

Atatürk Airport in Istanbul

The Russian media also reported on the event when it happened, in stories focusing on the hail storm and the feat of the pilot.  And without any kind of propaganda overlay or tendentiousness.  (And this was before the Russian media learned that Akopov is pro-Russian!)  I can prove what I just wrote.  Here is a piece from July 28, fresh off the front page, and including a Vesti News vid.  The headline reads:  “Ukrainian Pilot Landed His Plane, Damaged By Hail, in Istanbul.”  The piece reports on the basic facts known, with a focus on the hail, described to be “the size of eggs”.  There is no snarkiness or ideological overlay.  No cheering or sneering at the fact that the pilot is Ukrainian.  And this is typical of much Russian media, by the way.  Which tends to be more factual, less ideological and less biased than most Westie media.  Westies always try to glean the geo-political angle to every story, and never miss an opportunity to bash Russia.

The Twist

Sergei Lavrov: “People tell me I look a little bit like Alexander Akopov.”

Then, like every good reality show, this one had a major twist right in the middle.  Ukrainian Nationalists learned that Akopov is not one of them, after all.  He is a Ukrainian citizen, but politically he’s more like, er.. pro-Russian.  Having the wrong politics (not to mention, the wrong ethnicity) instantly disqualified him from hero-hood, in their eyes, and not just on technical grounds.  Ukrainian Nationalists discovered that Akopov’s Facebook avatar is a photo of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whom the Ukrainian Nationalists consider to be the handmaiden of the Devil himself.  Nationalists called for President Porko to revoke Akopov’s hero-medal.  They fussed on Twitter:  “People should spend a little time researching a person’s political views, before they start awarding medals.”  The Ukrainian Nationalist blogosphere is actually even more furious with Poroshenko than they are with Akopov — but that’s nothig new, either.

Akopov’s Side Of The Story

In today’s installment of this reality show, Akopov gets to tell his side of the story. Here is the piece from VZGLIAD, well, it’s actually from 2 days ago, Monday, but I only saw it today.   This piece in turn cites material from a Kiev portal called “Strana”.

Akopov commenting on the blogosphere attacks against him:  “It is unpleasant, naturally.  But this is how I see it:  на каждый роток не наденешь платок  [Russian rhyming proverb that translates, roughly, as: You can’t put a napkin over every mouth.]  In the times that we live in, this is a normal occurrence.  Once they dub a man as a hero, then they have to criticize him.”  Akopov went on to explain why he refused to cave in to pressure to delete his Lavrov avatar:  “I look a lot like Lavrov.  We have the same facial structure, similar features.  I put up that avatar a long time ago, long before the war in Donetsk.”  Grilled by the highly ideological Ukrainian reporters, the pilot added that he is not connected in any way with politics and is not a Separatist.

[to be continued]

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174 Responses to Ukrainian Hero-Pilot: “I look a lot like Lavrov.” – Part I

  1. Matt says:

    Lavrov is half-Armenian, right? Explains the facial similarities. Another prominent Russian of Armenian ethnicity is Margarita Simonyan, who, uh, I have strong opinions about…

    In other news, the government that ruined my country of birth somehow managed to stoop even lower:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-40804812

    ————————–

    Venezuela’s electoral authorities said more than eight million people, or 41.5% of the electorate, had voted for a new constituent assembly.

    But the CEO of Smartmatic, Antonio Mugica, said the actual turnout was inflated by at least one million.

    Venezuela’s electoral council dismissed the allegations as “baseless”.

    “It is with the deepest regret that we have to report that the turnout numbers on Sunday 30th July for the Constituent Assembly in Venezuela were tampered with,” Mr Mugica told a media conference in London.

    Smartmatic provided about 24,000 machines for Venezuelans to cast their votes electronically.
    According to the company, their system supplied correct voting statistics but altered results were announced in their place.

    Separately, the Reuters news agency reported it had seen an internal memo from Venezuela’s electoral authorities saying fewer than four million votes had been cast just two hours before polls closed.

    The National Assembly has approved a request to open a criminal investigation into Smartmatic’s claims.

    Amid pressure at home and strong condemnation abroad, Mr Maduro is pressing on with the swearing in of the new assembly, with its first sitting likely to take place on Thursday.
    The electoral authorities have already issued credentials for the new deputies, among them Mr Maduro’s wife.

    ————————–

    And then there’s this:

    UN Calls Arbitrary Arrests of Venezuela’s Opposition Leaders Illegal

    https://www.voanews.com/a/un-arrests-on-venezuela-opposition-leaders-illegal/3968983.html

    But if one visits the so-called “alternative/independent” media websites, there is not a hint of criticism towards the Maduro regime. On the contrary, all the economic issues and protests are being blamed on the big, bad Gringos. To top it all off, the Kremlin media is having a field day, with full throttle support for Maduro’s sham “constitutional assembly”, blaming the U.S. for all the economic issues and protests in Venezuela, even going so far as to interview Maduro and getting the criminal to utter this:

    ‘US-orchestrated violence in Venezuela uses same model as events in Ukraine’

    https://www.rt.com/shows/rt-interview/397785-nicolas-maduro-interview-rt/

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Maduro is NOT a criminal, and he is absolutely right. The U.S., which has a long history of interfering in Latin America, is attempting to use the same Ukraine-Maidan model to overthrow him with extreme violence.
      The vote was not rigged. Westies always claim vote-rigging when the result doesn’t suit them.
      The United States should be roundly condemned for its violent interference in other countries. Unfortunately, the current leadership of the UN is in the pocket of the gringos.

      So, Matt, you are saying now that you were actually BORN in Venezuela?
      On Mark’s blog you claimed to be of Venezuelan ancestry, but didn’t say you were actually born there. Also, when Cortes challenged you to write something in Spanish, you demurred, indicating that you don’t read/write Spanish.

      Just trying to figure out why you have a dog in this particular fight.
      My dog is that I support Madura/Chavistas on the grounds that they are socialists and want to improve the lives of the workers and poor farmers.
      Your comments all indicate that you back the side of American imperialism and NATO. But when challenged, you also back down from that and say you don’t support NATO expansion.

      You are a slippery eel, my friend!

      Like

      • Matt says:

        I was born in Venezuela and came to Canada a few years ago.

        The Maduro regime is connected to drug trafficking and is not taking responsibility for its economic failures.

        I have family in Venezuela. I doubt even 10% of Venezuelas wanted this new “assembly”. And my family all used to support Chavez/Maduro.

        As for Cortes, he asked me some personal questions I didn’t want to answer.

        As for Maduro being a socialist and thus your support, you should know that parts of the opposition are ALSO socialists. The state propaganda machine likes to present them all as “right-wing fascists” (gee, that sounds familiar!), but the opposition is quite diverse.

        Nobody has been able to prove anything I said wrong, about Maduro, drugs, the economic crisis, etc.

        And just because I don’t support Maduro, doesn’t mean I support “American imperialism”. That is a false dichotomy. Back home, my family and friends hate Maduro – and they used to support him before. Do they support “American imperialism” too?

        Talk to real Venezuelans. You’ll understand that these “alternative” media websites are very, very bad.

        Like

      • Ryan Ward says:

        That’s a very Manichaean way of looking at it. This isn’t a situation where there are precisely two “teams” and it’s just a matter of lining up behind one or the other. The Chavez/Maduro government is an incompetent kleptocracy that has failed in its most basic duties to its people. When oil prices were high, Chavez wasted the money on populist handouts rather than using it to build a more well-rounded economy. Now that prices have collapsed, Venezuela has nothing to fall back on, and is dealing with hunger, rampant HIV infections and collapsing public services, problems that have been made worse by the corruption, inefficiency and catatonic conservatism of the Maduro clique. The result is a country more typical of sub-Saharan Africa than South America. The Maduro clique are socialists in precisely the same sense as Mengistu was a Marxist, ie. socialist dressing is a convenient justification for centralizing resources in the state, making them easier to steal. There’s not much more to Maduro’s “socialism” than that, and you don’t have to be a Washington consensus neo-liberal to not see much to admire there.
        As to vote-rigging, this allegation was first made not by any Western government, but by the company that manufactured Venezuela’s voting machines. It’s also been reinforced by an investigation by Reuters, which is generally reasonably independent, as far as media outlets go.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Oh, c’mon, Ryan, Reuters is NOT independent. When it comes to geo-politics, Reuters always follows the line of the Washinton elites. On every major issue, like Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela.

          Like

          • Matt says:

            Regardless, when it comes to anonymous sources and classified documents, media outlets like Reuters and the AP have a pretty good track record.

            I mean, the firm behind the vote machines exposed this. It doesn’t get any more reliable than this.

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              Those anonymous documents are B.S. Now, I am all for investigative reporting and exposing corruption, even petty corruption.
              But when Westie media use the term “corruption”, it has a completely different meaning. It means, “We don’t like you because you’re a geo-political enemy, therefore we call you corrupt.”

              Here is a parable from the animal world which puts everything in perspective:
              So, the animals on this farm had an egalitarian society, and every animal owned his own condo to live in. Donkey was the elected leader of the condo society.
              Then a pig named Soros came along (with an army of thugs), killed Donkey and all the security guards and took over the condo.
              He informed the animals that he owns the condo that they used to own, now have to pay HIM rent, oh and by the way, they owe him so much back rent that they all have to leave so he can rent it out to Humans.
              The animals were angry, but then Pig Soros showed them a video from Animal-Tube where his investigative reporters had secretly filmed Donkey (in the past) sneaking into one of the condos and stealing a towel.
              “You see, Animals, Donkey was a corrupt leader and stole towels. That was why we had to get rid of him.”
              The animals were so confused and distraught to learn their beloved leader Donkey had been corrupt, that they accepted the fact that they now have no condos to live in and must give up all their property to the incoming Humans.

              ALT-Ending: The animals realize that Soros is full of shit. So Donkey stole a few towels, big deal — that wasn’t right — but, putting this in perspective against the larger picture, they realize it’s not a reason to give up their homes, just over a few measly towels. So they fight back, defeat Soros, and move back into their condos.

              Like

            • Ryan Ward says:

              The animal analogy is pretty weak. As I already mentioned, the population of Venezuela is starving, HIV is spreading at rates typical of sub-Saharan Africa, public services are virtually non-existent, and there’s no end in sight. In the end, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. There is no good reason or excuse for why Venezuela can’t at least match the economic performance of its poorer neighbours like Paraguay or Bolivia. Even if you use Venezuela’s dependence on oil as an excuse (which really is fairly weak, since Venezuela’s dependence on oil is in large part a result of incompetence under Chavez and incompetence and corruption under Maduro) no other primarily oil-exporting nation is suffering on the level of Venezuela. “The donkey stole your towel,” would be better put as, “The donkey has been stealing all your food and medicine for the past month.” Pointing out that developing nations often don’t fare well under Western influence, and that Western countries often use (or actively foment) unrest as an entry point for establishing influence over a country, is true enough, but it doesn’t excuse atrocious governments from the responsibility they should bear for their own actions and policies. Those of us who are concerned about justice and equality both within and between countries should be all the more harsh in our criticism of governments like Maduro’s, because governments like that create openings for foreign influence and manipulation. Governments that run their country well develop the strength to assert their own interests and independence (Brazil under da Silva and Malaysia under Mahathir Mohammed come to mind). Incompetent and dishonest governments like Maduro’s do the opposite. The fact is that the world is a rough place, and if a country doesn’t want to be exploited, it’s best bet is to build its strength and choose its diplomatic battles, so that it won’t be easily exploited. Trashing your own country, then complaining when America or some European country comes in to loot the wreckage, isn’t very productive. The problem with Maduro isn’t that he’s a socialist. It’s that he’s incredibly bad at running a government.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Well, bringing up Brazil just highlights the fact that the Americans, through their interference, helped to bring down the previous government.
              It must be exhausting to be a Latin American leader trying to do your best, and always have the U.S. shoving at you, in every possible way.
              You can’t excuse that by saying, “The world is a rough place.”
              Although it is true, the world IS a rough place.

              Like

            • Ryan Ward says:

              I’m not aware of any solid evidence that America materially influenced the downfall of Roussef (and, indirectly, da Silva). In any case, Brazilian policy has continued much as before under Temer, and there doesn’t seem to be any likelihood of a significant change in the independent foreign policy thrust of Brazil under any of the major parties.
              In regard to the comment, ‘You can’t excuse that by saying, “The world is a rough place,”’ I never said that you could. What I said is that the evaluation one makes of Chavez and Maduro is independent of the judgment you make of American, or more broadly Western, activities in South America. Given that these policies are what they are, the question is whether Chavez/Maduro have dealt with the situation effectively, and they clearly haven’t. They’re bad leaders who have used bombast and handouts to make up for their ineptitude in actually dealing with the country’s problems at a deep level.
              There’s a good analogy to be made with Iran. Under Ahmadinejad, Iran was diplomatically isolated, with a stagnant economy and an increasingly hostile regional situation (Ahmadinejad’s antics managed to unite the Gulf States against Iran, while severely damaging Iran’s soft power on “the Arab street”, as shown by numerous polls). Of course, the United States had a lot of responsibility in terms of unfairly targeting Iran, and perpetuating the injustices in the Middle East that increased tensions in the region all around. But, given that that was the case, the question is whether Ahmadinejad dealt effectively with the hand he was dealt, and the answer is clearly no. Like the Chavistas, he used bombast and pointless confrontation to mask ineptitude in foreign and domestic policy. Under Rohani, Iran has hardly become an American puppet state (as evidenced by the conniption fits Iran still gives both the Trump administration and the American deep state). But in terms of foreign policy, Rohani has been more clever and subtle, and has decisively split the West in terms of their attitudes to Iran. More and more, it’s coming to be America rather than Iran that is isolated in the Middle East. In domestic policy, Rohani has had the patience (which Ahmadinejad never did) to deal with the nuts and bolts of the economy, and economic growth has been much stronger than previously, both benefiting the people and strengthening the country. Under Rohani, Iran hasn’t stopped pursuing their own interests, they just haven’t been idiots about it. That’s what Venezuela needs to do, but it will never happen under Maduro.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Well, these are good points, mostly.
              Without necessarily agreeing with everything, Ryan, you do make a good point that political leaders need to be competent and know how to play with the hand that was dealt them.
              I do personally believe that Maduro is one of the good guys, but not as smart or as competent as Chavez.
              Chavez had a certain “street-cunning” that is needed when dealing with imperialists.

              Like

        • yalensis says:

          Abby Martin reports on the true face of the Venezuelan opps:

          Like

          • Matt says:

            That video is the definition of propaganda. She interviews some government officials and then films some gangs and thugs, smearing the rest of the opposition.

            The shelves in certain grocery stores are “fully stocked” but with useless things like salt or condiments. Meat markets remain open but the meat is so expensive that no one can afford it.

            It’s like a Western journalist going to Russia and casting the attackers of Navalny as Putin supporters, not showing other normal, pro-Putin supporters. Wouldn’t that be disingenuous?

            Standard dictator playbook: cast the opposition as being CIA-financed stooges hell-bent on destroying and looting the country. It’s getting old now.

            yalensis, look at this article:

            https://www.upi.com/Venezuela-75-of-population-lost-19-pounds-amid-crisis/2441487523377/

            75% of the Venezuelan population lost 19 pounds last year. My own family back there is starving; it’s not made up or the fault of the U.S.

            I have learned to never trust “independent” or “alternative” websites ever again. They are perfectly willing to be extensions of state propaganda, as long as its against the U.S.

            Like

            • Eric says:

              “Standard dictator playbook: cast the opposition as being CIA-financed stooges hell-bent on destroying and looting the country. It’s getting old now.”

              it’s obvious that you aren’t from Venezuela ….and that the whole point of your cretinous wind-up is to slander Russia

              It’s also idiotic because because if you bothered to look at history in the post 1945 era, you would know that most of the standard dictators ….were in fact CIA financed stooges

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Matt, if your family is starving, then you should help them. You must make good money as a computer programmer, can’t you send them some money?
              Maybe you could get a part-time job, you seem to have a lot of time on your hands anyhow, scouring the internet for B.S. links to support your ideology.

              Like

            • Matt says:

              Reply to yalensis:

              I do have a summer job and already send money back home.

              Like

        • Matt says:

          Well said, Ryan. I couldn’t agree with you more.

          I recall an article from a few days ago, that quoted Bolivian President Morales triumphantly declaring Bolivia has gained ‘total independence from the World Bank and IMF”.

          Intrigued, I checked out Bolivia economic indicators. It’s budget deficit is almost -6.5%!

          Source: http://countryeconomy.com/deficit/bolivia

          By comparison, war-torn Syria’s budget deficit is about 8%-9%.

          Where is Bolivia getting the money from? High-risk loans from China.

          They traded independence from the IMF/World Bank for economic slavery to China.

          Like

          • Eric says:

            economic “slavery” to China , means more investment, more education and more jobs for Bolivians…and without the real slavery on the military and political fields. that the US requires of foreign governments that aren’t like Bolivia’s or Venezuela’s.

            It’s idiotic to compare Syrians statistics and their context with this.

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              Good point, Eric. China has a good reputation as a business and investment partner. Unike the IMF, the Chinese actually build stuff, not just out to strip countries like some abandoned car in the ghetto.

              Like

            • Matt says:

              Ryan addressed your thin argument about China.

              As for the Syria comparison, I deliberately compared Bolivia to a war-torn country – that’s how high Bolivia’s budget deficit is!

              And China does have preconditions for economic aid. Taiwan, remember?

              Like

            • Patient Observer says:

              Yes, the US federal deficit is running at 3-4%. State deficits may add another point bringing annual government debt to 4% to 5%. The federal debt is forecast to continue to grow faster than the GDP so the debt ratio is likely to worsen. A little context always helps.

              http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/us_deficit

              Like

        • Fern says:

          It’s great that two Venezuela experts have cropped up here at the same time because there’s obviously something I’m missing. Did Venezuela not have an oil industry before Chavez? Was oil only discovered in the last couple of decades? I always understood it had been around for while, quite a while in fact, before Chavez came to power. Which sort of begs the question on why those who were in power pre-Chavez didn’t use the oil money to “build a more well-rounded economy”. And begs another question of why, if the pre-Chavez guys were doing a decent job running the country, was there such an extraordinary amount of poverty, you know, the poverty that Chavez had to waste money on populist handouts to relieve?

          You know, guys come and go but class interests are eternal. Aren’t the guys waiting in the wings to take over the same sort of guys who were running the country back then? Think they’ve changed? Think again.

          Like

          • Matt says:

            The nationalization of the Venezuelan oil and gas industry actually happened in 1976:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Venezuelan_oil_industry#Nationalization

            “Which sort of begs the question on why those who were in power pre-Chavez didn’t use the oil money to “build a more well-rounded economy”. And begs another question of why, if the pre-Chavez guys were doing a decent job running the country, was there such an extraordinary amount of poverty, you know, the poverty that Chavez had to waste money on populist handouts to relieve?”

            Venezuela used to be known as a wealthy- upper middle-class country. But then it experienced severe economic issues, culminating in the “lost decades” of the 1980s and 1990s, in the middle of which Chavez gained power.

            This report from the year 1999 sheds more light on the matter (keep in mind it was written in 1999, so when it says “12 years ago”, it’s discussing the ’80s):

            https://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/book/venezuela-1980s-1990s-and-beyond

            ————————-

            Venezuela used to be considered a miracle country. Until the early 1980s, it was one of the only four Latin American countries certified by the World Bank as an upper-middle-income economy. It was also a stable, center-left democracy, quite an oasis in a region plagued by authoritarianism, insurgency, or unrest.

            Today, Venezuela is in ruins. It is one of the few Latin American countries to have had, not one, but two “lost decades:” the 1980s and the 1990s. Never really able to recover from currency and debt crises in the 1980s, Venezuela plunged further into economic chaos in the 1990s (see table). Inflation remained indomitable and among the highest in the region, economic growth continued to be volatile and oil-dependent, growth per capita stagnated, unemployment rates surged, and public sector deficits endured despite continuous spending cutbacks. Real wages today are almost 70 percent below what they were 20 years ago. In eight of the last 12 years, Venezuela suffered some sort of economic emergency-a critical fiscal deficit, a banking crisis, a currency crisis, an economic recession or a combination of these. More than two-thirds of the population now live below poverty levels. A recent report estimates that, for an average Venezuelan with 12 years of schooling, the probability of ending up poor is 18.5 percent, up from 2.4 percent only a decade ago. Education-a common antidote against poverty-has simply ceased to work.

            ————————-

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              From reading those sources, it seems like the main problem for Venezuela is not nationalization of the oil industry per se, but a failure to diversify the economy subsequently. To a lesser degree Russia suffered from the same “Dutch disease” syndrome, but of course Russia is a much larger and more robust economy, and has had better leadership, so was able to mitigate this issue.

              It seems to me, that is precisely what the Maduro government needs to focus on: diversification and the rebuilding of regional manufacturing and agriculture.
              Your side, Matt, would not engage in those things if they came to power, they are only interested in putting those oil fields back under American companies, and stripping Venezuela of every other possible asset, just like they are stripping the Ukraine, even of its black earth soil.

              I have read that even in the most trivial things, like public housing, the Venezuelan ex-pats have already staked their claim on privatizing the public condos, tossing the people out, and selling the property, at much higher rents, to ex-pats.
              They have everything all figured out — who gets which slice of the cake once Maduro has been toppled in a violent coup.

              That’s what it’s really all about, not about democracy or wishing well for the Venezuelan people. And I think you understand that, Matt. You are not a naive useful idiot of an imperialist. You are an ambitious ideologue of a neo-liberal globalist.

              Like

            • Ryan Ward says:

              “It seems to me, that is precisely what the Maduro government needs to focus on: diversification and the rebuilding of regional manufacturing and agriculture.”

              I think that’s a bit like saying that Pol Pot should have gone easy on the cities. It’s certainly true, but it’s not advice the leader in question is likely to take. The whole Chavista brand is founded on chronic short-termism. The Chavez/Maduro regime really doesn’t deserve to be called “socialist” at all. It’s a much more old-fashioned brand of patronage politics. Venezuela is a petro-state much like Saudi Arabia or Qatar. There’s an implicit social contract according to which key groups support the government in exchange for goodies. Making the long-term investments necessary to diversify the economy would undermine the basis of the regime, especially its key support among the oil workers. To go in that direction would be a genuine “revolution from above”. Maybe the leopard can change its spots like that, but I’m very skeptical. In the meantime, I think people who are supportive of socialism (a group among which I count myself, at least insofar as it concerns developing countries), should avoid giving rhetorical support to Maduro. Starvation and HIV epidemics aren’t exactly the most ringing endorsements for socialism. However, as I’ve said, they’re not problems that “socialism” proper has to take responsibility for, because Chavez was, and Maduro is, a phony socialist.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Oh c’mon, Ryan, you CANNOT compare Venezuela with Saudi Arabia!
              The latter an artificial construct with a rotten fully-medieval dynasty that was created by T.E. Lawrence?
              Egads, one only needs to compare basic social indicators, like the status of women. Not to mention the fact that Saudi Arabia is the wellspring of the most horrendous terrorists the world has seen.
              Venezuela never did anything like that!
              I reject your comparison.

              Like

          • Ryan Ward says:

            “I always understood it had been around for while, quite a while in fact, before Chavez came to power. Which sort of begs the question on why those who were in power pre-Chavez didn’t use the oil money to “build a more well-rounded economy”. And begs another question of why, if the pre-Chavez guys were doing a decent job running the country, was there such an extraordinary amount of poverty, you know, the poverty that Chavez had to waste money on populist handouts to relieve?”

            You’re putting words in my mouth. I never said that the pre-Chavez Venezuelan governments were fantastic; what I said is that Chavez and Maduro haven’t made things better. And there’s very little excuse for why they didn’t. They presided over the greatest oil boom in history, and completely squandered the opportunity that provided. In fact, they made things worse. Oil slumped just as badly in the 1990s as it has recently, and the consequences to Venezuela then were not so dire as they are now. Judging by the evidence of this crisis, Venezuela has moved backwards rather than forwards.

            “Aren’t the guys waiting in the wings to take over the same sort of guys who were running the country back then? Think they’ve changed? Think again.”

            “The guys waiting in the wings” aren’t a unified group. That’s precisely one of their biggest problems. If they were unified, they likely would have overthrown Maduro by now. Any depiction of the Venezuelan opposition that says, “The Venezuelan opposition are x” is automatically wrong, because it’s too simplistic. However, it could well be that the neo-liberal types are the strongest component of the opposition, and would take power if Maduro fell. I personally don’t have a strong opinion on that either way (I think it’s hard to get the level of detailed knowledge about the opposition that would be required to make such a judgment). My point is not that things in Venezuela would necessarily be better if Maduro fell. I think the jury is out on that one. My point is just that Maduro is a terrible, incompetent and corrupt leader, and that point is unaffected by any red herrings about the opposition or the Americans or whatever else.

            Like

  2. Ryan Ward says:

    China is not a good business partner for developing nations, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, China intentionally minimizes its use of labour in the country in question. Major Chinese projects are run by hermetically sealed colonies of Chinese workers, only making use of locals for the most menial jobs, like driving or cleaning. Furthermore, these workers buy the great majority of their supplies from company-run shops that sell goods from China. The great majority of Chinese “investment” goes into the pockets of Chinese workers, who then spend it on goods from China, so that very little of the money goes into the local economy. As for China’s infrastructure spending, it often goes to support projects that a) are done without any environmental assessment whatsoever and b) are of shoddy quality. It was just in the news about a week ago that a Chinese-built bridge in Kenya collapsed only a couple years after construction. China has also completely destroyed an important wildlife preserve in Kenya by building a giant road through it with no environmental mitigation measures whatsoever. Similarly, the projects the Chinese come in to do often themselves result in extensive environmental degradation and resource depletion. For example, the Chinese have already clear cut about half of Benin. In a few more years, they’ll leave again, taking their imported workforce with them, and leaving Benin without its valuable resources, no industrial base, and only a few roads to show for it. Meanwhile, Chinese companies have caused extensive environmental damage to the Nile River in Sudan. “Stripping countries like some abandoned car in the ghetto” is actually a fairly good description of what China is doing to numerous countries in Africa.
    As for one of the main boasts of the Chinese as business partners, the “non-interference” principle, it’s actually pretty thin. It’s mostly an excuse for China to co-operate with some of the most unsavoury regimes in the world, like the governments of Zimbabwe and Sudan. When it comes to political issues the Chinese actually care about, the geo-political ones, Chinese investment always comes with strings attached. For a developing country to get investment, it can’t recognize Taiwan, and it has to support China in key votes at the UN. Really, it’s not so different from the way the Americans used to treat a lot of developing countries during the Cold War. The message is, “Do what you want to your own people, but let us have everything we want from your country economically, and support us in foreign affairs.” China isn’t some great alternative to “American hegemony”; it’s a cartoon caricature of America at it’s very worst.

    Like

  3. Matt says:

    As for foreign interference, Cuba has a heavy amount of influence in Venezuela. But nobody in the “alt media” ever talks about that. I wonder why?

    Like

  4. Matt says:

    Reply to yalensis:

    “It seems to me, that is precisely what the Maduro government needs to focus on: diversification and the rebuilding of regional manufacturing and agriculture.”

    I agree. And I also think the Maduro government needs to stop falsely blaming the Americans with anti-American rhetoric and take responsibility for its failures.

    “Your side, Matt, would not engage in those things if they came to power, they are only interested in putting those oil fields back under American companies, and stripping Venezuela of every other possible asset”

    And how do you know that? Have you read the policy platform of the Venezuelan opposition? Or are you just assuming that anyone opposed to Maduro will sell the country to America?

    “They have everything all figured out — who gets which slice of the cake once Maduro has been toppled in a violent coup.”

    Dictators can only be toppled by coups. Maduro has given his supporters firearms and already formed militias to harass everyone else. He openly says that what he can not “achieve through votes” he will achieve “with guns”. But you ignore this. Why?

    “You are an ambitious ideologue of a neo-liberal globalist.”

    What have I said that would indicate I am a “neo-liberal globalist”? I don’t even understand what the heck that is.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      “Dictators can only be toppled by coups.”
      Well, there are plenty of Americans who believe that Trump is a dictator. Should he be toppled by a coup, in your opinion? Like, appeals to the American military? Calls for foreign armies to invade and set things right, that sort of thing?

      Loosely speaking, a neo-liberal globalist is somebody, like for example Hillary Clinton (and most of the rest of the American political establishment) who believe that it is necessary to pursue their foreign policy aims (and also to promote American currency and finance capital) via wars or overthrowing other governments.
      From what I can see, that describes your political views to a tee.

      Like

      • Matt says:

        “Well, there are plenty of Americans who believe that Trump is a dictator. Should he be toppled by a coup, in your opinion? Like, appeals to the American military? Calls for foreign armies to invade and set things right, that sort of thing?”

        The U.S. military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution against threats both DOMESTIC and foreign. The 2nd Amendment is there so private militias can be formed to take down a tyrannical leader.

        And to compare Trump to Maduro or Kim is pure dishonesty.

        “a neo-liberal globalist is somebody… who believe that it is necessary to pursue their foreign policy aims (and also to promote American currency and finance capital) via wars or overthrowing other governments.”

        I see. In that case, you are wrong to call me that, since I don’t give two hoots about American currency or anything like that. I want Kim to be overthrown because he’s a dictator and to reunify Korea, not because of America. Likewise, Maduro is a dictator and one does not need to be a neocon to admit that.

        And conspiracy theorists tend to focus too much on the U.S. dollar when examining American foreign policy, despite there being not one single proven link between the two. You’re probably thinking of Libya, but that email to HRC was by a random person she paid for consultation and who had no access to secret information. Blumenthal was merely speculating the French did not like Gaddafi’s plans to create a new African currency.

        Like

  5. Ryan Ward says:

    Here’s a good summary of the situation from Al Jazeera, hardly (it should go without saying) a bastion of support for American imperialism

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/05/venezuela-worst-economic-crisis-wrong-170501063130120.html

    Two particular points are especially worthy of note, one about Chavez, and one about Maduro. Starting with Chavez, we’ve got this particularly impressive feat of economic statesmanship,

    “During the rule of Hugo Chavez, the price of key items, food and medicines were reduced. Products became more affordable but they were below the cost of production.

    Private companies were expropriated, and to stop people from changing the national currency into dollars, Chavez restricted the access to dollars and fixed the rate.

    When it became unprofitable for Venezuelan companies to continue producing their own products, the government decided to import them from abroad, using oil money.”

    So Chavez, that great champion of Venezuelan independence and opponent of international capitalism, directly destroyed his own country’s productive capacity by fixing prices below the cost of production, and then proceeded to make up the resulting shortages by importing. So, anyone who wants to defend the Chavistas should probably spare the rest of us the hypocritical appeals to “independence” and “autonomy”.

    Next, Maduro. Keeping in mind that Venezuela’s unemployment rate is currently nearing 20%, Maduro had the brilliant idea of doing the following…

    “President Nicolas Maduro announced the highest increase in the minimum wage ordered by him – 65 percent of the monthly income”

    Faced with mass unemployment, Maduro’s response is to increase the cost of labour. The stereotypical moustache-twirling villain in the CIA would absolutely love people like Chavez and Maduro. Who could possibly do a better job of discrediting alternatives to neo-liberalism?

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. — Al Jazeera is actually a part of the Globalist Consensus Media.
      They pretend to be, like, ALT-Arabic, but they’re not actually.

      Like

      • Ryan Ward says:

        Again, I would say here that there aren’t two “sides”. Al Jazeera generally reflects the opinions and priorities of the Qatari state, while also incorporating a lot of Arabic populist elements in an attempt to appeal to the “Arab street”. It’s not that they always disagree with the “standard lines” of Western commentary, but they often do. For example, Al Jazeera’s coverage of Iran and Palestine is generally much more balanced than that found in most Western media. Of course, in the Middle East region, it’s also generally hostile to Assad, and to Russia for supporting Assad, but that’s not because it’s secretly an American mouthpiece; it’s because those are the priorities of the Qatari government.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Ryan, you’re right that Al Jazeera reflects the views and opinions of the Qatar government.
          Which is allied with Saudi Arabia in the overall scheme of things.
          Qatar is/was a crucial link in the anti-Assad alliance.

          Like

      • Matt says:

        You attack the source rather than address its contents. This is an easy way to avoid addressing the argument.

        Like

  6. Matt says:

    “I do personally believe that Maduro is one of the good guys, but not as smart or as competent as Chavez.”

    yalensis, after reading Ryan’s posts, you are still unable to admit that Maduro is a bad person? That he LIED about U.S. “economic sabotage” being behind the economic crisis in Venezuela? And after Ryan pointed out that Chavez’s populist handouts that wrecked the country’s manufacturing and food industries, making Venezuela reliant on expensive foreign imports, you STILL think Chavez was “competent”?

    “Chavez had a certain “street-cunning” that is needed when dealing with imperialists.”

    What? Ryan just pointed out the irresponsible manner in which Chavez handled Venezuela, and you again frame this as “dealing with imperialists”?

    Wow. If Ryan’s posts aren’t enough to open your eyes, then at least admit you are being plain dishonest.

    You are unable to change your view and criticize Chavez/Maduro, because you are so wedded to your prior beliefs.

    You are no “anti-imperialist”.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      That’s pretty rich coming from you, Matt. In all your hail of commentary you never budged one inch from your own opinionated blather.
      I have changed my opinions from time to time, when presented with reasonable arguments. People rarely change their core beliefs, but some movement is possible on individual issues, facts, or personalities. For example, you are basically pro-imperialist and believe in American Exceptionalism, and yet you switched from Trump to Hillary. (like, big deal, *snark *snark)

      In some cases change comes from trusting the opinions of somebody that one regards as an authority figure.
      YOU, my dear Matt, are no authority figure! Not to me or anyone else.
      I don’t believe you budged even a single person with all your inundations on Mark’s blog.
      Even the commenters who might have supported some of your opinions were turned off by your over-weening mannerisms.

      Like

      • Matt says:

        No one is required to change their minds; only when they are wrong. I was not wrong about Venezuela.

        You tell me, yalensis: after all the posts I made begging for evidence that the U.S. was behind the collapse of Venezuela economy and that it was colluding with food producers to create artificial food shortages, how many pieces of evidence were people able to give me? ZERO.

        The only exception was Mark, who provided a MintPress article, which I quickly debunked. A Heinz factory had 2.76 tons of unused flour and Maduro used this as evidence of “food hoarding”. Except it was unused because it expired after the factory was unable to use it due to a lack of supplies. And even then, there is zero collusion here with the U.S.

        To repeat: why should I be required to change my mind about Venezuela? It was the so-called “anti-imperialist” commentators on Mark’s blog who were the ones making these outrageous claims, with zero evidence. Therefore, it is they who should change their minds, not me.

        Ryan absolutely demolished all of their arguments.

        I want to ask you: do you still believe the U.S. is behind the collapse of Venezuela’s economy and is colluding with food producers to create artificial food shortages? That the protests are ALL violent? That most of the opposition wants to sell the country to the U.S.? That Chavez and Maduro are economic geniuses and not authoritarian at all?

        I am asking because I want to know whether you are capable of admitting you were wrong and changing your mind.

        “you are basically pro-imperialist and believe in American Exceptionalism”

        What makes you think I believe in that? If one criticizes Maduro, they auto-magically become “imperialists”? Or is it because I criticized Kim? Explain your reasoning.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Matt, you support every regime-change operation of the U.S.
          If they say Assad is bad, you repeat, like a parrot, “Down with Assad”.
          If they say Maduro is bad, you repeat, like a parrot, “Down with Maduro”.
          If they say Kimmy is bad, you repeat, like a parrot, “Down with Kimmy”.

          Tell me your opinions of Saddam and Gaddafi. Oh wait, I think I can guess.
          Tell me your opinon of Zakharchenko in the Donbass. Oh wait, I think I can guess.

          As for Americans helping to create and then using food shortages, to bring down governments, just google the “Cooking pot revolution” in Chile.
          That was back in 1973, when American imperialists brought down the democratically-elected socialist government of Chile. It was called the “cooking pot revolution”.
          Americans assassinated the democratically elected President Allende, just as shills like you call for the assassination of Kimmy.

          In 1973 Pro-American Opps marched through Chilean streets banging cooking pots and claiming they had no food.
          America is not a nation that is known for recycling things that should be recycled, such as plastics and glass and paper. But it is very good at recycling tried and true methods of bringing down governments they don’t like.

          Like

          • Matt says:

            Maduro and Kim are bad people, regardless of what the U.S. says about them. You “anti-imperialists” are against democracy when it means people like Kim or Maduro would be ousted. If the U.S. says the sky is blue, that doesn’t make it red. Regardless, I don’t care about America’s opinion on Maduro or Kim. They are, by all objective reasoning, unethical and murderous people. No need for the ‘Muricans to tell me that.

            Saddam and Gaddafi were bad people too, but they shouldn’t have been ousted by the U.S.

            As for Zakharchenko, he is a senile anti-American and deeply racist person, something I have noticed about many Russian nationalists. Ironically, while crying about “Russophobia”, they use terms like “Anglo-Saxon”. Ex: when Putin said RT’s goal was to “break the Anglo-Saxon dominance of the media”. Imagine if Trump said Voice of America’s goal is to “break the Slavic grip on Russian media”? There would be howls of “Russophobia”! And yet, we see stuff like this:

            “”I’m not saying ‘Kyiv.’ In fact, not even Berlin must be taken. We should leave it behind and conquer Britain. The Anglo-Saxons are the evil to our Russian fate. If we succeed, Russia’s ‘golden age’ will come, according to all our predictions,” the “DPR” leader said.

            Source: https://en.censor.net.ua/v41806

            How racist.

            “As for Americans helping to create and then using food shortages, to bring down governments, just google the “Cooking pot revolution” in Chile.”

            The “cooking pot” protest is a popular form of protest in South American countries. Look: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cacerolazo

            Not only that, but there is zero evidence indicating the U.S. caused a food shortage in Chile. The only reference I can find is Nixon telling Kissinger to make Chile’s “economy scream” and that’s it. Nothing else indicating anything about food or whatever.

            As for Venezuela, you responded predictably, by giving me a history lesson. I find that when I debate people online and ask for evidence of the U.S. being responsible for Venezuela’s economic collapse, food shortages, and high food prices, my peers are unable to find any evidence, so they give a history lesson, saying “In x year, America overthrew x South American country”. But yalensis, that was then and this is now. Do you have any evidence proving your statements about the U.S. and Venezuela?

            “Americans assassinated the democratically elected President Allende, just as shills like you call for the assassination of Kimmy.”

            You are comparing a hero like Allende to a dynastic demi-god dictator? And Allende commit suicide, which I hope Kim does too.

            Like

  7. Matt says:

    “Oh c’mon, Ryan, you CANNOT compare Venezuela with Saudi Arabia!”

    He only compared them from an economic point of view:

    “Venezuela is a petro-state much like Saudi Arabia or Qatar. ”

    You constructed an artificial strawman and hysterically “debunked” it, because you couldn’t respond to Ryan’s excellent points.

    Anything that allows you to avoid criticizing Maduro/Chavez, right?

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      These stories about the Chechen gays are probably true, IMHO.
      But caveat emptor, the source Novaya Gazeta is pure pro-Western Opps and has a bone to pick with the Russian government.
      Anything printed by these sources needs a second source to confirm before believing.

      Like

      • Matt says:

        I did not believe the story when I first read it. Seems a bit… far-fetched. Has Novaya Gazeta given any updates on the “gay genocide” claims? I recall they posted some documents, but the translated article didn’t make sense.

        Like

  8. Matt says:

    Venezuela sacks fifth opposition mayor in two weeks

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/venezuela-sacks-opposition-mayor-weeks-170810054403429.html

    My country is finished.

    Like

  9. Patient Observer says:

    You DO have a serious Matt infestation. Just let it run its course.

    Matt did suggest that Trump was “better” than Maduro and Kim. I can accept the later but not Maduro. Anyway, we already established that Hilary and Madeline were way more evil than Kim. Plus, Madeline is somewhat fatter.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Kim is far worse than Hillary. And he’s fatter than Madeline.

      As for Maduro, he managed to destroy his country’s economy, then blamed it on the Gringos. Quite pathetic.

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        On the Doctor Evil Scale of 1-10, I would rate Hillary as a 10, and Madeline all the way to 11, because she not only incites war, but does it from a position of low-power. Plus, she’s fat and ugly.
        Kim is less evil than Hillary, and has better hair than Madeline and Trump combined.
        If Kimmy lost a few kilos he would actually be not bad looking, and that should take him off the Evil scale altogether. (Hint, hint, Kimmy!)

        Sure, he killed his Uncle (or so people say), but I bet the Uncle was evil too.

        I’m not going to comment on Trump’s hair, because that’s a tiresome meme.
        I will note, however, that the way Trump moves his mouth, like he can’t digest words, denotes him as Evil, although I would only rate him as a 5 or so.

        I don’t put Maduro on the Evil scale at all, in fact he’s on the Good scale, and I would even personally canonize Maduro and make him a saint. Because I only have to deal with one Matt infestation, whereas Maduro has to deal with several hundreds of thousands of Matts. And he does it all with aplomb and patience.

        Like

        • Matt says:

          Kim is far worse than either Hillary or Madeline. He is responsible for running a fascist kingdom, with starving people, zero protesting allowed, and a CREEPY personality cult!

          For that last point alone, I’d say the matter is settled.

          Kim’s hair style is sooo out of fashion, and he ‘s forcing it on everyone else.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/12017870/North-Koreans-ordered-to-copy-Kim-Jong-uns-ambitious-hair-style.html

          “Sure, he killed his Uncle (or so people say), but I bet the Uncle was evil too.”

          How horrible! Why do you believe every word coming from NK, including justifying his uncle’s execution? It was announced by North Korean state TV, by the way, something Jen didn’t know.

          “whereas Maduro has to deal with several hundreds of thousands of Matts. And he does it all with aplomb and patience.”

          Anyone who opposes Kim and Maduro is an “infestation” that need to be executed, like Kim’s uncle, according to you. And as for “aplomb”, he doesn’t seem very confident to me when ordering the arrest of various opposition mayors, or firing his critical chief prosecutor and preventing her from leaving the country, or running a fraudulent referendum to create a parallel national legislature with practically his entire family in it. Still think this is “patient”?

          Hold on a sec’: yalensis, you still have not admitted you were wrong about Venezuela’s economic crisis being the fault of da Gringos/CIA/right-wing fascists, etc.

          Too ashamed to admit Maduro is using anti-American rhetoric to distract from his administration’s economic failures?

          Like

          • yalensis says:

            Last I heard, North Koreans weren’t starving at all.
            Didn’t you even read Jen’s posts, on the Stooge?
            She showed how the NK economy has picked up.
            There were some tough times in the past, and even famines. But, as Jen pointed out, these were partly caused by joint American-South Korean military exercises right around harvest time, thus forcing the North Koreans to deploy resources from harvest to defense.

            So, yeah, the Gringos WERE partly responsible….
            But you, Matt, you won’t take ANY responsibility for the crimes committed by YOUR team!

            Like

            • Matt says:

              I am fully aware of NK’s economic growth in recent years. That, however, does not hide the fact that it is far poorer than its Southern neighbour, mainly due to the amount of money spent on the military and the backwards economic system. Funny, because the main reason NK’s economy has picked up is due to the free market liberalization that has been operating without punishment (technically illegal) under the government, with hefty bribes, of course.

              And you expose your extremely over-simplified thinking by blaming American-SK military exercises for the food issues. That has an insignificant affect on the economy, surely not nearly enough to cause famine.

              So you found a way to blame food crises in Venezuela AND in North Korea on da Gringos!

              Guess who fed North Koreans during their famine? The U.N. And guess who funded most of the UN’s food program for NK? The Yankees! Who gave North Korea $400 million in the 1990s for food and energy-related subsidies, after NK was suffering due to the collapse of the USSR? The Yankees!

              Like

            • Patient Observer says:

              Anyone who opposes Kim and Maduro is an “infestation” that need to be executed, OMG! Get a hold of yourself! Seriously, take a break and clear your head.

              Like

            • Matt says:

              “Get a hold of yourself! Seriously, take a break and clear your head.”

              That is what many people think and I merely repeated their thoughts. It is not what I think. It’s the opposite, actually.

              Like

        • Patient Observer says:

          Please inform Matt that Madeline is way way ahead in the child murder category through premeditated starvation and denial of medical care. Hard data – 600,000 murdered and she is proud of her work. Game, over and we have a winner – Madeline, the child killer. Albright! Albright!

          Like

          • Matt says:

            Please inform Impatient Observer that the sanctions against Iraq which resulted in children dying, began in 1990, 3 years before Madeline became U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and a full 3 years before Madeline became Secretary of State in 1997.

            So how could Madeline be responsible for child deaths before she became SoS?

            Usr your head, Impatient Observer!

            Like

            • Matt says:

              Type: should be “7 years” before she became SoS.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Madeline justified the child deaths, when she uttered the famous quote: “It’s a price we were willing to pay.”

              Like

            • Patient Observer says:

              As alluded to above, Madeline should have been more forthcoming in sharing the credit for the murder of the children, perhaps something like this:

              It was a team effort. I feel blessed to have worked with some of the finest child-killers in the world. My only regret was the we could not reach the goal of one million murdered to place our team in the highly coveted platinum elite plus group of mass murderers. We will tirelessly work until that goal is achieved. We have hopes that our next campaign in Venezuela will bring home the platinum.

              Like

    • Matt says:

      You live in the West, don’t you? Typical anti-Westerner.

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        Matt, please don’t insult my other guests.
        Didn’t you say you live in Canada? Typical pro-Gringo!

        Like

        • Matt says:

          “Madeline justified the child deaths, when she uttered the famous quote: “It’s a price we were willing to pay.””

          That still doesn’t mean she is responsible for those deaths, as (Im)Patient Observer first claimed, as evidence she is worse than Kim.

          I have proven that Kim is far worse than Madeline.

          Like

  10. Patient Observer says:

    The Wild WILD WEST

    Like

  11. Matt says:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-ortega-idUSKBN1AQ2DH

    “In her last few weeks in the job, Ortega filed a flurry of indictments against top officials regarding corruption scandals and abuses during protests. It is not clear what will happen with these now she no longer is in the job.

    Officials in Maduro’s government have leveled a plethora of accusations against Ortega, from “insanity” and encouraging “terrorists” – a word often used by Maduro to describe opponents – to misusing a confiscated plane.

    The pro-government Supreme Court has also said that a trial could begin against her but she has not formally been charged.”

    For 10 years, she was a loyal lapdog of Chavez/Maduro. A few months after criticizing Maduro and filing charges against the corrupt fascists, she’s purged.

    Maduro reminds me of very much of Kim.

    Avert your eyes!

    Like

  12. Matt says:

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36619546/china-kills-ai-chatbots-after-they-start-criticising-communism/#page1

    If that happened in yalensis’ North Korea, they’d burn the computer and sacrifice it to their God Kimmy!

    Like

  13. Matt says:

    Huh, did somebody say something about foreign interference in Venezuela to take control of its oil?

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-russia-oil-specialreport-idUSKBN1AR14U

    The Kremlin is buying up Venezuelan oil fields, like the neoliberal parasites that they are. Not only that, but the Russian vassal, Maduro, so badly wanted to sell out Venezuela’s oil to Russia, that he made his Supreme Court take out the powers of the democratically-elected National Assembly!

    ——————————

    Maduro’s need for Russian cash played a key role in a move by his political allies earlier this year that destabilized Venezuela’s already teetering democracy, the top Venezuelan government official told Reuters.

    In March, the nation’s Supreme Court – whose members are loyal to Maduro – took over the powers of the opposition-controlled National Assembly. A majority of elected Assembly members opposed any new oil deals with Russia and insisted on retaining power to veto them.

    Days later – after fierce national protests against the action – the court returned most powers to the national legislature at Maduro’s public urging. But the court allowed the president to keep the legal authority to cut fresh oil deals with Russia without legislative approval.

    The episode was pivotal in escalating daily street protests and clashes with authorities that have since caused more than 120 deaths.

    Maduro needed sole authority to cut new oil deals to clear the way for Rosneft’s expansion, the top Venezuelan government official told Reuters.

    “Pressure from Russia has played an important role in Nicolas Maduro’s decisions,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public comments.

    ————————————-

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      I should believe anything that comes out of Reuters?
      Oh well, looking on the bright side, at least this comment had a Russian theme.
      Unlike the usual spam you post.

      Like

      • Matt says:

        *Sigh*, you always attack the source rather than attack the content.

        The article merely lists some business deals between Russia and Venezuela, and the political ramifications due to them. It is quite an objective article.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Well, I’m happy if Venezuela and Russia engage in more trade, could be beneficial for both countries.

          You against free trade, Matt?

          Like

          • Matt says:

            I am not happy with Russia gaining access to Venezuela’s oil fields, and that Maduro tried gutting the National Assembly to force this deal through.

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              Would you like to write a post on this issue? I’ll post it here, if you write it.
              It would actually be a suitable topic for this blog.

              Like

      • Patient Observer says:

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/11/donald-trump-venezuela-crisis-military-intervention

        Donald Trump threatened a US military intervention in Venezuela on Friday, a dramatic escalation in his administration’s stance toward the Latin American country which is descending into political chaos.

        The military option is generally pursued by the US after all other options (bribery, staged demonstrations, financing of opposition groups, economic warfare, sabotage and assassination) have failed.

        Like

        • Matt says:

          T’was a dumb thing to say and he obviously wasn’t serious, as is evident by statements by other South American countries, the Pentagon, the State Department, and Congresspersons.

          Dump probably just wants to look tough and give off a veneer of “strategic ambiguity”.

          Dunno if you guys read Spanish, but holy smokes the Venezuelan government is having a field day with this. If Trump were smart, he wouldn’t have given Maduro an excuse to rally the regional countries and people around him.

          This guy is a retard.

          Like

          • yalensis says:

            I read a little Spanish and am trying to learn more.
            Matt, could you post, say, a paragraph from one of the Venezuelan papers (per “having a field day”), along with translation into English?
            Thanks!

            Like

            • Patient Observer says:

              Trump is not a very good liar – not in the way that a Washington politician needs to lie. He may have simply repeated what he heard in briefings. He most likely spoke an inconvenient and embarrassing truth.

              Why is it so hard for some to believe that the US is considering a military intervention in Venezuela? The US history in Latin America is filled with overt and covert military activities aimed at regime change for leaders who resist US demands.

              Like

            • Matt says:

              Reply to Patient Observer:

              Trump is one of the most masterful liars to become President – and that’s saying something. There are countless examples of him completely distorting reality in his many interviews, with a terrifying level of confidence.

              Regardless, it makes zero sense for the U.S. to intervene militarily. Why? Is the situation so serious that it literally calls for an American invasion? No.

              Not only that, but it’s wonderful PR for Maduro. The entire government has received a perfect opportunity to distract from the economic issues by loudly saying “We will not allow the U.S. to take over South America”. Notice the language used – it’s done so with the intent to unite other South American countries and reverse Venezuela’s isolation in the community.

              I can not imagine a more convenient event to have had happened at a more opportune moment. Regional elections are coming up.

              Trump wanted to distract and appear tough while he was discussing North Korea, so to look all cool and strong, he randomly mention the “military option” regarding Venezuela.

              Even the Pentagon realized the sheer stupidity of this statement:

              “Pentagon says White House should clarify Trump’s Venezuela comments”

              http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/08/11/trump-says-hes-considering-military-response-to-venezuela.html

              Like I said, this guy is mentally ill. Almost as mentally ill as those claiming the car-rammer yesterday was a “Soros agent”. Yep. That’s the alt-right’s narrative.

              Like

            • Patient Observer says:

              CIA confirms the US is considering plans for military action against Venezuela:

              https://www.rt.com/usa/399501-cia-pompeo-venezuela-hezbollah/

              “Venezuela could very much become a risk for the United States of America. The Cubans are there; the Russians are there, the Iranians, Hezbollah are there. This is something that has a risk of getting to a very very bad place, so America needs to take this very seriously.”

              In July, Pompeo suggested the CIA is working on regime change in Venezuela during a talk at the Aspen Security Forum.

              “America has a deep interest in making sure that it is stable, as democratic as possible. And so, we’re working hard to do that, I am always careful when we talk about South and Central America and the CIA, there’s a lot of stories,” Pompeo said to laughter from the audience.

              Venezuela will be a challenge for the regime change artists as the majority of the population, as evidenced by the recent vote, supports the government and its policies. True, the opposition did not participate but for good reason, they would have lost. Since the US and its allies seem to be crawling all over Venezuela, I can understand that the government is reaching out for outside help just as Syria reached out for Russian help in defeating the terrorist invasion. I was surprised to see Hezbollah mentioned by the CIA though.

              Like

            • Matt says:

              Reply to Patient Observer:

              There is no way to parse Pompeo’s comments as a statement of U.S. regime change in Venezuela. Funnily enough, Pompeo knew his comments would be misconstrued, when he said: “I am always careful when we talk about South and Central America and the CIA, there’s a lot of stories.”

              “Venezuela will be a challenge for the regime change artists as the majority of the population, as evidenced by the recent vote, supports the government and its policies. True, the opposition did not participate but for good reason, they would have lost.”

              You obviously do not follow Venezuelan news. In late 2015, the National Assembly elections delivered an overwhelming victory to the opposition. Maduro and his party panicked. Maduro said the opposition’s victory only happened because of an “economic war”. A week after these elections, the outgoing Assembly, in a last-ditch effort, created a “National Communal Parliament”. Maduro said: “I’m going to give all the power to the communal parliament. This parliament is going to be a legislative mechanism from the grassroots.” That was their first attempt at side-lining the National Assembly.

              The second time was earlier this year when Maduro tried using his loyalist-filled Supreme Court to gut the powers of the National Assembly, since the latter blocked an oil deal with Russia. Maduro partially reversed himself when the country’s chief prosecutor, Mrs. Mortega (a loooong-time Chavista and ally of Maduro) criticized the move.

              The third attempt occurred just a few days ago. with the election of a parallel national legislature, the Constituent Assembly. It not only is more powerful and has the ability to alter the constitution, but it even holds sessions in the same building as the National Assembly. Their first act? To fire the aforementioned Mrs. Ortega as the country’s top prosecutor (equivalent to the U.S. Attorney General) and prevent her from leaving the country.

              And of course, the voting company behind the recent Constituent Assembly vote said a million votes were faked.

              Hope that clears some stuff up.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              “CIA Director Mike Pompeo” — that seems like an Italian name.
              Probably the same as Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, who fought against Julius Caesar.

              Like

  14. Matt says:

    “Venezuela Admits Mortgaging Citgo in the USA to Russia, Goes on Attack”

    http://laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2427926&CategoryId=10717

    “In short, the assets accumulated by previous Venezuela governments over 40 years were liquidated by “chavismo” in less than 10 years and with the proceeds disposed of in a manner not at all transparent.”

    The neoliberal regime in Russia is busy buying Venezuela up in this grand fire-sale. You won’t see this being condemned by the “anti-imerperialist/neoliberal” folks.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      That link doesn’t work, it just spins around. Can you post the equivalent link from, say, the Spanish version?

      Like

      • Matt says:

        It works for me. Dunno about a Spanish version, but the above has a bunch of court documents at the end which other articles don’t.

        Try a different browser.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Never mind, the link is working for me when I tried it again just now.
          “After investigation by Redd Intelligence…”

          Who’s Redd? Is he the guy who founded Reddit?

          Anyhow, according to the article, the Venezuelan government still owns a majority share in the 3 Citgo refineries; and the 49.9% shares are just collateral for a loan. The Russian government would keep the shares only if Venezuela defaults on the loan.

          I tend to go with Polonius advice, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”, but if one DOES have to borrow $$$, then I think the Venezuelan government made a good choice in borrowing from the Russian government rather than the IMF. Russian government being less sharkey, and terms probably much less draconian, IMHO.

          Like

          • Matt says:

            I think the IMF is still better. Look at Bolivia, where Morales triumphantly declared the country was free from the “IMF/World Bank”. Bolivia’s deficit was -6.5% of GDP last year. Under such massive deficits, the IMF would never give them a loan – it stipulates a maximum limit of a -3% deficit.

            Like

  15. Matt says:

    Charles Bausman, founder of unashamedly pro-Kremlin media outlet, Russia Insider, turns out to be an anti-semite who subscribes to the ZOG conspiracy theory:

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/lyin-dick-blumenthals-very-public-drubbing-bullish-russia/ri20631

    ———————————————————–

    The leading Russiagaters are badly deluded about how vulnerable they are. It is worth mentioning that they are almost all Jewish: Schiff, Schumer, Cardin, Blumenthal, as are the loudest voices in the media egging them on.

    Commenters have objected that it is anti-semitic to point this out. How so? AIPAC’s (The Israel lobby) fingerprints were all over the Russia sanctions bill – no other group has the muscle to enforce those kinds of near-unanimous majorities in Congress. As in Britain, there is a rising tide of populist anti-semitism in the land, evident everywhere on the internet. This could easily become a potent political force in the coming years, in fact it already has, because the alt-right’s meme influence is 100 times stronger than their actual numbers. It is not anti-semitic to notice this, it is underscoring political reality.

    ——————————————————————

    The fool thinks the sanctions bill against Russia passed with such large number because of…. da Joos!

    How deluded does he have to be to not know that Israel had no hand in these sanctions and that AIPAC’s influence is not required to get the U.S. Senate to pass a sanctions bill?

    I have noticed increased anti-semitism on many, many pro-Russian websites.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      I personally don’t use the term “anti-Semite” any more, because it could be ambiguous.
      I just go with the more simpler term “Jew-hater”.
      Matt, there are both Jews and Jew-haters in every political movement.
      With the exception of socialism/communism, a class-based movement which does not distinguish nor tolerate ethnic discrimination nor subscribe to eugenics theories.

      I have also pointed out many times, on my blog, that “Russophilia” itself is not a political thing, but rather a cultural thing.
      The true political line is the class line; along with the ancillary geo-political line of globalism vs national sovereignty. The globalists include both Jews and Jew-haters, as do the nationalists and “sovereignists” — I just coined a term.

      Like

      • Matt says:

        I find that if you read the comments under most pro-Russian websites (especially RT), one will find extreme Jew-haters and anti-Westerners. It’s revolting. I am convinced they are paid trolls. I can’t even copy/paste some of the more heinous comments.

        But most pro-Russian websites have many “open-minded” people, which is all fine and dandy, except these people are also open to conspiracy theories, including anti-Jew myths.

        I think Russophillia is a cultural thing, when one looks at Conservatives who view Russia as a bastion of Christianity, anti-feminism, etc. Of course, this is purely a Western viewpoint.

        Like

      • Ryan Ward says:

        “Matt, there are both Jews and Jew-haters in every political movement.
        With the exception of socialism/communism, a class-based movement which does not distinguish nor tolerate ethnic discrimination nor subscribe to eugenics theories.”

        I think this comment is a little disingenuous. Obviously there are and have been lots of anti-semites in socialist and communist movements, as also in every other kind of political movement. Examples abound from the history of the Soviet Union, from the pogroms carried out by Red Army troops in Ukraine during the Civil War, to Stalin’s purge of Jews after the Second World War (somewhat half-hearted though it undoubtedly was in comparison to earlier purges). Of course, you can dodge the historical examples by saying that it wasn’t “real socialists/communists” who did that sort of thing, but that line suffers from two majors drawbacks. Firstly, it’s a clear example of the “No true Scotsman” fallacy, and secondly, if the first point is ignored, the line can be used for all sorts of political movements, not just socialism/communism. For example, libertarians can say that, since libertarianism is an individualistic political movement, anti-semites (who by definition judge by the group rather than the individual) are, at best defective libertarians. Mainline liberals could equally point out that anti-semitism runs counter to ideals of universal human rights. Therefore both of these can lay claim to the status of a movement that, “does not distinguish nor tolerate ethnic discrimination nor subscribe to eugenics theories.” The logic is exactly parallel.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Ryan, I don’t accept your argument that anti-Semitism is built into the socialist/communist system. It simply is not true. And no, I’m not talking about maybe some guy walking down the street in a socialist country calling out mean things or having bad thoughts, I’m talking about the system itself. You would have made a better case for your argument if you had alluded to the “university quotas systems” under Brezhnev, which limited the number of Jews accepted into the college, to an ethnic quota percentage. That would have created an actual debating point, since quotas are a “systemic” and measurable metric of ethnic politics, possibly even of racism. And, no, I am not necessarily opposed to quotas either, it all depends on how they are designed.

          As it is your “historical examples” are, respectively, LUDICROUS and WEAK. It’s insane to say that Red Army troops carried out pogroms of Jews during the Civil War. Are you not aware that many Red Army Commissars were in fact Jewish? As were many of the Bolshevik leaders. It was the Whites who pogrommed the Jews, not the Communists. I don’t even know where you get such fallacious “facts”. Are you seriously claiming that scientific Communism is an anti-Jew philosophical/political movement? That’s INSANE!

          As for the Stalin thing:
          It is true that Stalin subtlety employed populist (Russian) anti-Semitism in his political battles against the Opposition. For example, he would make a point to call Trotsky or Zinoviev by their real names (e.g., Bronstein, Apfelbaum) instead of their Slavicized names. Thus instilling the idea in the Russian working class that these blowhard Opps were some kind of alien force within Russian society. Which was very rich, given that Stalin himself was an ethnic Gruzian.

          As for the Stalin “Doctor’s Plot” I think Western propaganda over-plays that. Stalin was not really any kind of racist or anti-Semite himself, he distrusted everyone with equal opportunity. It is said that in his later years he surrounded himself only with Mingrelians. (As if anyone could trust Mingrelians – snark snark!)
          In the years preceding his death, Stalin was getting more and more paranoid that Western agents were trying to assassinate him. He was probably right about that. And what with Zionism becoming a real thing, Djugashvili was worried about some kind of ethnic Mafia trying to off him. That’s just rough politics, including ethnic politics, and has nothing to do with true racism or Eugenic theories, such as employed by Nazis and their ilk, and now popular among the ALT-Right in the U.S.

          Like

          • Ryan Ward says:

            I’ll be honest here, and admit that I’m more than a little annoyed by this last reply. To so egregiously straw-man my point is very poor form. I never said anything remotely to the effect that anti-semitism is “built into the socialist/communist system.” What I said was that your claim that, “Matt, there are both Jews and Jew-haters in every political movement. With the exception of socialism/communism, a class-based movement which does not distinguish nor tolerate ethnic discrimination nor subscribe to eugenics theories,” is demonstrably false. If now you want to say that you’re only talking about the system rather than individual people, then you’re changing the claim you made previously. (You didn’t say that socialism/communism is intrinsically opposed to anti-semitism. You said that socialism/communism is a unique exception to the rule that “there are both Jews and Jew-haters in every political movement.”) Also, you lose the ability to say that socialism/communism is some unique exception to a general rule applying to all other political ideologies. There are some ideologies that are intrinsically anti-semitic (eg. Nazism). Other ideologies can be taken in anti-semitic directions if desired, but don’t intrinsically have to be (eg. generic nationalism). Still other ideologies are intrinsically opposed to anti-semitism. However, this does not guarantee that individual members or groups espousing those ideologies won’t be anti-semitic (eg. libertarianism, human-rights liberalism and socialism/communism). It shouldn’t come as any surprise that human beings are capable of being hypocritical and inconsistent. And formally subscribing to socialist or communist ideology is not some magic vaccine that automatically makes people immune to this fact. Socialism/communism, when followed through consistently, is intrinsically opposed to anti-semitism, but this is not a unique trait, and it doesn’t (as you explicitly claimed) eliminate the possibility of being anti-semitic at the same time.

            As to my “ludicrous” claim about Red Army pogroms, again, it’s terribly poor form to use insulting language about other people’s factual statements, just because they relay information you don’t yet know. It also makes you look pretty silly when you spout off like that without bothering to check your facts. The record of Red Army pogroms in Ukraine is briefly summarized here. http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Russian_Civil_War

            The Red Army, under the direction of Leon Trotsky, was specifically charged not to attack Jewish populations, and indeed Soviet troops are blamed for only 9 percent of the pogroms. Furthermore, statistical evidence indicates that pogroms perpetrated by Red Army troops were milder in nature: whereas an average of 38 people were murdered in every Ukrainian pogrom, and 25 people per White Army pogrom, only 7 people were killed in the typical Red Army pogrom.

            Now, if you want to point out that official Red Army policy was opposed to pogroms, and the Red Army was significantly less prone to this kind of thing than other armies, I have no problem agreeing with those points. However, they’re both completely irrelevant to what I was saying, which is that socialism/communism is no magic fool-proof protection from anti-semitism, even murderous anti-semitism.

            As for the points about Stalin, I wasn’t only referring to the Doctor’s Plot. I was also referring to related events around the same time, such as the dissolution of the Yiddish theatre and the murder of its director, along with the shameless dog-whistling at the same time about “Rootless cosmopolitans”. Actually this is a great example of the fact that communism is no more immune to hypocrisy than any other political movement. This kind of appeal to the lowest forms of ethnic nationalism would have horrified Lenin if he had lived to see it, but since that goes for a lot of what Stalin did, I won’t belabour the point. In any case, whether extreme or mild, Stalin clearly did engage in anti-semitic rhetoric and policies, which again reinforces my point. To say that Stalin was only a little anti-semitic, and definitely not as bad as those dastardly Western historians sometimes portray him, isn’t really relevant to what I was saying.

            Like

            • Matt says:

              Another excellent comment. Now it’s yalensis’ turn!

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Oi veh!

              Okay, Ryan, I am sorry if I annoyed you, that was not my intention, I regard you as a friend, and i don’t want to annoy you. It just got me dander up when you claimed that the Red Army systematically committed pogroms against Jewish civilians. Day in and day out, I fight against those people (especially the Westie diaspora and “Captive Nations” types) who hypocritically claim a moral equivalence of Communism and Nazism. As in, “Oh, they both killed Jews,” or “they’re both equally totalitarian”, or whatever their bullshit septic claim is.

              Also, that link you posted does not support your notion that the Red Army committed pogroms against Jews. Quite the contrary, it actually supports my point.

              I advise you to read Isaac Babel’s novel, “Red Army” (Russian Конармия). Babel was in the unique position of bookish Jewish intellectual embedded in a Red Cossack unit, some of whose members still entertained Jew-hating opinions and attitudes. Part of Babel’s “jihad” (I suppose you could call it) was to convince these rough Cossacks that the socialism ideal encompassed all of humanity, including Jews.

              Anyhow, according to the piece you linked (whose accuracy I have no idea): 40% of the anti-Jewish pogroms were committed by forces controlled by Symon Petliura. And you surely must be aware that Petliura was no Bolshevik, quite the contrary.

              The piece goes on to say that “The majority of the anti-Jewish pogroms took place west of the Dnieper River in Ukraine; these peaked in 1919. Violence reached virtually every Jewish settlement, and several were attacked repeatedly. A vicious massacre of Jews in Proskurov (later ironically renamed Khmel’nyts’kyi), which occurred in February 1919, was widely regarded as emblematic of these violent times.”

              But it does not claim that these pogroms were committed by the Red Army. Goes on to imply that the vast majority of the violence was committed by Ukrainian Nationalists:

              “Ironically, violence against Jews created a type of self-fulfilling prophecy, as Jewish communities increasingly perceived the Red Army as their defender. Many Jews who had initially been attracted to Ukrainian activists and their experiment in statehood, first under the Central Rada and later under Petliura’s Directory, became alienated from the movement due to the brutality; hence, they openly switched allegiances to the Soviet regime.”

              Which makes sense, when you take into account, that the Ukrainian Nationalists, then and now, have Jew-hating in their blood; and despise socialists/communists, whom they perceived as being Jewish Cosmopolites. Since the latter espouse a doctirine which regards all human beings as EQUAL, and equally deserving of dignity and respect.

              Ryan, if you truly understood the nature of Ukrainian Nationalism, then you would understand who was truly killing the Jews.
              Ukrainian Nationalism is a virulent Jew-hating and Human-hating force which also hates Communism and Socialism, because of the latter’s ecumenical nature. Can you come to grips with that?

              Like

            • Ryan Ward says:

              The paragraph I included was a direct quote from the article (although I forgot to put it in quotes). I’ll post it again here.

              “The Red Army, under the direction of Leon Trotsky, was specifically charged not to attack Jewish populations, and indeed Soviet troops are blamed for only 9 percent of the pogroms. Furthermore, statistical evidence indicates that pogroms perpetrated by Red Army troops were milder in nature: whereas an average of 38 people were murdered in every Ukrainian pogrom, and 25 people per White Army pogrom, only 7 people were killed in the typical Red Army pogrom.”

              So again, the article states that Red Army units were responsible for 9% of the pogroms in Ukraine, killing an average of 7 people per pogrom. Again, as I said, that’s significantly less than the Whites, and orders of magnitude less than the Ukrainian nationalists. But it’s not nothing. And as for the credibility of the source, the encyclopedia I took it from is a respectable publication, which (as the language in the paragraph I posted makes obvious), has no particular antipathy to the Reds. In any case, the website isn’t where I got my information; I just posted it as a reference. The same information can be found in any decent scholarly history of 20th century Ukraine. As for the other points, you’re treating the question as either/or, when it’s really both/and. Every army fighting in Ukraine committed pogroms. The Red Army, by quite a margin, committed the least, but again, fewer is not the same as none. Pointing out (as is true) that the nationalists and Whites committed many more pogroms is irrelevant to the fact that the Red Army committed some, even though this was against official policy and actively discouraged by the upper echelons (and again, you’re putting words in my mouth that I never said by talking about whether the Red Army “systematically” committed pogroms).

              On the topic of Ukrainian nationalism, your comments are grossly exaggerated and one-sided. Anti-semitism was rife all over Eastern Europe at that time, so the Ukrainian nationalists were not some uniquely “anti-human” movement. Nationalists of all stripes in that time and place were prone to anti-semitism, so it’s unfair and inaccurate to single out the Ukrainians specifically. It’s also unfair and inaccurate to ignore the fact that Ukrainian nationalism only took a sharp anti-semitic turn after the fall of the Central Rada. Under Hrushevsky, the Central Rada was a multi-ethnic governing body with socialists in the key positions of power and representatives of ethnic minorities (including Jews) specifically included. So it’s simply inaccurate to make sweeping generalizations about Ukrainian nationalism just on the basis of the later period.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Hi, Ryan.
              Okay, some good points. I think we’re probably just quibbling over definitions, like “systematic” and “official”, and that sort of thing.

              I mentioned the Babel book, Babel noted that some of the Cossacks he had to deal with were hostile to the Jewish population. Perhaps it was some of these Cossacks who killed Jewish civilians. But the Red Army (including Commissar Babel) attempted to re-educate these types, and did not condone their actions. I think this is an important point when talking about armies. Same points apply when talking about rapes — it’s not a question of which army committed rapes — they all do — but of when such actions are “systemic” or condoned at the highest levels.

              Perhaps my previous argument was too sweeping, about socialists being immune from anti-Semitism. I didn’t mean, on reflection, that ALL socialists are immune from this virus. Just that it is not an official part of the ideology, nor is it condoned. And yes, that DOES matter, quite a lot. The distinction I make is that socialism is NOT a Eugenics movement, whereas Nazism (and the various Nationalisms) are.

              Like I said, I am polemicizing against those who draw an equivalence between Nazism and Communism. Their argument basically boils down to: The ideology/philosophy doesn’t matter, because the people were all equally bad. That’s a ludicrous argument.
              I don’t think that’s where you’re coming from, but it’s where a lot of anti-communists start, and it’s the simplistic idiocy they teach in American elementary schools. Instead of really getting down into the differences between the various ideologies.

              As for Ukrainian nationalism, yes, it’s a movement that has evolved over the decades. At one time there there were as many strands in it as, say, in Russian Nationalism. But the dominant strand that we see today is particularly virulent.

              Like

            • Ryan Ward says:

              I agree about Ukrainian nationalism, and I think that’s a very tragic aspect of what’s been happening there. The problem is that “the die is cast” to a great extent. Ukraine has gone down the nationalist road, and I don’t think there’s any turning back now. People who are still trying to repaint Ukraine as “Malorossiya” are swimming against the tide. After almost 30 years of independence, Ukraine in general (quite naturally) wants to be its own country, rather than a semi-appendage of Russia, which is definitely understandable. However, the intellectual and ideological resources in Ukraine have become so impoverished that the natural desire for independence has no way to express itself other than weird neo-nazism, historical revisionism and disturbing authoritarian tendencies. I don’t think this is what the majority of Ukrainians want, even in the West of the country. In the post-Maidan election, the performance of the far-right parties was terrible. The trouble is that there’s no coherent and forceful nationalist narrative to rally people who don’t want to go in that direction. I think Ukraine’s best hope is for another Hrushevsky to appear, but there doesn’t seem to be one on the horizon.

              Like

  16. Patient Observer says:

    Dear Yalensis – sorry for the focus on Venezuela but one last comment:

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/the-violent-past-of-venezuelan-opposition-leader-leopoldo-lopez/229679/

    A good read.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Lopez is indeed violent, but he has been disavowed by the rest of the opposition. He does not represent the entirety of the opposition.

      Out of all the Venezuelans killed due to protests, about half were members of the opposition and half were pro-government. Both sides are similar in terms of violence.

      Authoritarian governments tend to exaggerate the violence in the opposition in order to discredit them. Combine that with smears of them being foreign puppets, and you’ve got yourself the standard dictator play-book used over the last few years.

      I discussed the National Assembly and Maduro’s attempts to render it useless, which he succeeded at doing now. What are your thoughts on that?

      Like

    • yalensis says:

      No worries, Patient Observer, you can focus on whatever you want.
      Thanks for posting that good expose of López, by the way, he seems like the traditional kind of violent radical type that the U.S. trains and puts in place wherever they want to overthrow a government they dislike.

      And by the way, there is more than one connection with the Ukrainian Maidanites. Including the violent tactics employed, and even the ridiculous headgear (like Venezuelan Opps wearing colanders, etc.)
      These types exchange ideas and tactics, probably while studying “Gene Sharp 101” at the CIA schools and the Yale School Of Management seminars where Navalny attended as well.

      Like

      • Matt says:

        If one follows your logic, then the attackers of Navalny (who almost blinded him) were also trained by the Kremlin, since they met with various Duma members to discuss “anti-Maidan activities”. Anyway, there’s nothing indicating Lopez was “trained” by the U.S. There are many violent opposition members in various countries. Was that recently-releaed-from-prison Leftist in Russia also “trained by the CIA”?

        “These types exchange ideas and tactics, probably while studying “Gene Sharp 101” at the CIA schools and the Yale School Of Management seminars where Navalny attended as well.”

        Sometimes, I do not know if you are joking or actually serious.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          No, I’m actually serious about the Yale School of Management thing. If you understood
          Navalny’s biography, you would know about that semester he spent at Yale University in 2010.
          And the seminar they teach there literally is all about “regime change” according to the tactical ideas of Gene Sharp.

          Just for the record, I disavow those who tossed that green antiseptic in Navalny’s face. I had several polemics on Mark’s blog against you-know-who, who considers all forms of violence acceptable if employed against somebody one disagrees with.

          First of all, I personally consider that tossing something into somebody’s face is an act of violence, especially if there is the risk of causing harm to the eyes.
          And secondly, Navalny’s criminality is that of a white-collar criminal: He is a rogue, scam-artist and embezzler. His whole family is such. But he (=Navalny) has never been accused of committing any violent crimes, he is not armed and dangerous, nor a violent type of criminal. Even more so, it is inappropriate for his opponents to employ violence against him.

          Having said that, it is definitely 100% certain that Navalny is a paid agent of the U.S. government. You should trust me on this one, I am a Navalny expert!

          Like

          • Matt says:

            This Gene Sharp fellow seems to be perfectly normal. He:

            “is the author of The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Power and Struggle, which advises the use of symbolic colors, short slogans, and so forth.”

            Doesn’t seem that different than the Kremlin’s campaign of using St. George’s ribbon as an “anti-maidan” symbol. Such things are normal.

            As for Navalny learning about this trade, he certainly isn’t alone. Look at the large numbers of ultranationalist organizations directly supported by the Kremlin, like Nashi. They are super-duper pro-government, and even train its members in street-fighting, all the while organizing attacks against members of the opposition. (Don’t forget their cyber campaign).

            I mentioned the attackers of Navanly meeting with Duma officials and their activities being not only allowed, but punished with very light sentences. Compare that to Udaltsov’s 4 year sentences.

            Navalny doesn’t know who he’s up against!

            There is still no proof that Navalny is paid by the U.S. government. Such rhetoric is used to demonize him and justify attacks against him and his supporters.

            Like

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              Oh dear – and after you worked so hard at this gusano routine.

              Your Ukraininanity just keeps popping up like the proverbial jack-in-the-box, doesn’t it?

              Like

            • Matt says:

              Reply to Pavlo:

              Still obsessed with me being a Ukrainian, all because I mentioned the names of some Russian political figures?

              My dear Pavlo, I want you to be happy. Please continue believing I am a Martian or whatever makes you sleep at night.

              Nighty night, Pavlo.

              Like

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              You do make happy – I don’t know exactly what you think you’re doing here, but watching you going at it just puts a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

              It comforts me to know that the dork abides.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Dear Matt (sigh…)

              1) In the “Russophile” blogosphere, Gene Sharp is considered an enemy because he promotes regime change of governments which are disliked by the U.S. Such “regimes” include the legitimately elected Russian government.
              Sharp calls his methods “non-violent”, the colors, symbols, painting moustaches on disliked leaders, etc. In time, as Maidan shows, these tactics escalate into horrendous violence. Actually, Sharp’s disciples were behind the Serbian Otpor movement which helped to defeat Serbia during the NATO bombing campaign against that country.

              The fact that Sharp had something to do with the destruction of a traditional Russian ally (=Serbia) also did not endear him to the Russian people.

              2) The Kremlin didn’t start any St. George Ribbon campaign. The St. George ribbon has been there since World War II, and one of the several symbols of Soviet victory. It was Ukrainian nationalists who sought to demonize it, and its wearers, by calling them “Colorado beetles” and calling for their extermination. From the Ukrainian nationalist POV, St. George ribbon wearers ARE enemies, because the Ukrainian nationalists fought on the other side of the war, alongside the Hitlerites. And those are the people who apparently have your sympathy.

              Mentioning Udaltsov alongside Navalny and in this connection shows your ignorance of Russian Opps and of Udaltsov’s case in particular. Udaltsov was convicted, among other things, of taking money from Givi Targamadze, a member of the Gruzian government at the time. Russian police had him on tape and video talking violent overthrow of the government and taking Targamadze’s money. It was a slam-dunk case. The video is out there on youtube.

              I saw in the Russian press last week that Udaltsov finished his sentence and was released. He is actually repentant now, he admits that it was a mistake, not to oppose the government, but to (A) ever trust the likes of Navalny; and (B) take Givi’s money. You obviously haven’t been following this case close enough, or you wouldn’t have invoked Udaltsov. I also advise you to climb off the Navalny bandwagon. Most readers of Western media probably don’t even realize that the guy is a true Russian character — the “zhulik” (=Scam Artist).

              The fact that you even know Udaltsov’s name indicates to me that you are indeed a Russia -watcher, and one who very carefully cherry-picks his sources for all the anti-Russian propaganda pieces. Not sure I agree with Pavlo that you are a closeted Ukrainian nationalist, you don’t seem quite svidomite enough for that. On the other hand, you have proved to be a fairly slippery eel all in all, so who knows?

              I don’t actually care who you are, I just like to know who I am dealing with, ideologically speaking.

              Like

            • Eric says:

              “ultranationalist organizations directly supported by the Kremlin, like Nashi”

              ..officially you are a clueless cretin. I would not describe Nashi as “ultranationalist” but more importantly , I would not describe Nashi as “ultra-ethno-nationalist” which is an important distinction, and is what Navalny is, certainly by western standards

              Like

            • Matt says:

              Reply to Eric:

              Why do Russians use the term “cretin” so much? Is it a popular insult in Russian or something?

              Anyway, Nashi certainly is ultranationalist; you just confused the definition:

              “extreme devotion to or advocacy of the interests of a nation, especially regardless of the effect on any other nations.”

              Fits Nashi perfectly.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Eric is right, Matt:
              Navaly is way more Nationalist than Nashi ever was.
              I would call “Nashi” more like patriotic and pro-Putin; in American terms, they would be, like the Young Republicans.
              Navalny is a true ethno-nationalist; and in Russian terms that means also fascist. Literally. They even give the Hitler salute, and use swastika-like symbols, the whole 9 yards:

              You saw the video where Navalny compares Central Asians to cockroaches, right?
              Navalny’s American handlers made a bet on him, that he could overthrow Putin and rally Russians based on Nationalism. If that didn’t work out, then they would go with a Liberal. Or Udaltsov. Or whomever. Anybody but Putin.

              Like

  17. Matt says:

    Reply to yalensis:

    In the “Russophile” blogosphere, Gene Sharp is considered an enemy because he promotes regime change of governments which are disliked by the U.S. Such “regimes” include the legitimately elected Russian government.”

    I still don’t see anything morally wrong with teaching people how to use symbols in peaceful protest. Has he ever encouraged violent protests? If not, then I see nothing wrong with him.

    “The Kremlin didn’t start any St. George Ribbon campaign.”

    What I meant was the Kremlin appropriated it shortly after the Orange Revolution, and especially for the “anti-maidan” protests. These tactics are the same as those taught be Gene Sharp.

    “The fact that you even know Udaltsov’s name indicates to me that you are indeed a Russia -watcher, and one who very carefully cherry-picks his sources for all the anti-Russian propaganda pieces.”

    My point still stands: Navalny’s/opposition’s attackers always receive very light sentences.

    “I don’t actually care who you are, I just like to know who I am dealing with, ideologically speaking.”

    I have no ideology.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      “I have no ideology.”

      Matt, that’s the funniest thing you ever said!

      Like

      • Matt says:

        It’s still true.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          If that’s the case, if you’re so flexible in your political thinking, then why not come over to the pro-Russian side? All you have to do is drop your #DownWithAssad hashtag and come up with a new one, how about #iLoveRussia

          Wouldn’t that be something?

          Like

          • Matt says:

            Not having an ideology is not the same as being flexible in my thinking. Aren’t I more “pro-Russian” than the average Westerner?

            I like to have options, noam saying?

            Like

    • Eric says:

      “Navalny’s/opposition’s attackers always receive very light sentences.”…..mainly because
      1.There is no real attack , just some non-incident that Navalny then goes to the western press with , for propaganda purposes
      2. Navalny himself has received a very very light sentence for his financial crimes in Kirov, and seems to still be very financially comfortable
      3.Often during the occasion of this ” attack” Nanalvy and his supporters are doing something that technically isn’t legal- like an unsanctioned rally..thus leaving the authorities in a bit of a quandary

      Like

      • Matt says:

        The attacks are very real. They are sometimes violent, including dumping acid in Navalny’s eye, and sometimes they simply harass Navalny by dumping shit, piss, green dye, or whatever on him. The attackers’ partners met with Duma officials to discuss… “anti-maidan” activities:

        https://globalvoices.org/2017/05/01/navalnys-army-unmasks-the-state-supported-radicals-out-to-get-him/

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Matt, I already told you that I don’t endorse violent attacks, including throwing something in peoples faces. Even people I don’t like.
          Having said that, Why do you give a shit about Navalny? He’s a fascist, and you claim to be an anti-fascist.
          You’ll support a fascist if he’s anti-Putin? Just like you support ISIS because it’s anti-Assad, O Mr. #DownWithAssad ?

          Like

          • Matt says:

            Navalny is no fascist and you know it. He may have used some questionable rhetoric in an ill-fated attempt to attract nationalists, but those comments were far and few.

            Look at Deputy PM Rogozin. He said some pretty nasty things of immigrants and when he headed Rodina, it was banned in Moscow, IIRC.

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              No, Matt. Navalny actually IS a fascist. You obviously are not familiar with his entire political history. One of your limitations is that you are reliant mostly on Western Anglophone media, which whitewashes Navalny, since they regard him as an ally of Western interests.
              In Russian media there is a very rich history of Navalny’s fascist political ties.
              There is an actual Russian fascist movement out there, with various wings and flavors.
              Every year they do the “Russian National March”, zigging down the streets of Moscow (Russian slang for throwing the Hitler salute and going “Sieg heil!”)

              These Nationalists self-identify as white-skinned and members of a superior race.
              Navalny was one of their leaders in the past, until his Western handlers told him to start distancing himself un peu. But Navalny can still basically do what he wants.
              Westies are confident that the average American is too dumb and too ignorant to know the difference between an “anti-Corruption” warrior and an actual fascist. And they are right about that.

              Like

            • Matt says:

              Plenty of Russian politicians have said things like that, including Deputy PM Rozogin. If he’s good enough for the Kremlin, then so is Navalny.

              And all those comments were made by him when he was an inexperienced politician. A naive novice. Does he still make those comments now that he’s more experienced? He has tempered his views and rhetoric.

              I must say, however, that it is deeply unethical for state media to denigrate the domestic opposition in such a slanderous manner. RT’s slandering of Navalny is grasping at straws, replete with a LITERAL side-by-side comparison with Hitler (@ 2:10 in the second video), in which they had to pathetically resort to matching their friggin’ arm movements, since their rhetoric was waaaaaaaaay too different for a meaningful comparison.

              Like

  18. Matt says:

    Speaking about ma boi Navalny:

    https://navalny.com/p/5501/

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      So, you DO read Russian, ha ha!
      You read Navalny’s blog, and you’re a Navalny fan. I know exactly the type, now.
      Okay, I guess it doesn’t bother you that Navalny is a Heil-Hitler fascist and white supremacist. Oh right, he “tempered” his views, on the advice of his American handlers.

      It also doesn’t bother you that the anti-Assad jihadists are ISIS, Mr. #DownWithAssad.
      And yet you sanctimoniously lecture others on morality and how terribly bad other people are. You obviously have no particular standards, Matt.
      Anything that helps the American ruling class is grist for your mill.

      You should just get one thing through your thick head: Navalny will NEVER be the President of Russia. You should give up on him, he’s a perennial loser.
      America has already wasted umpteen millions on him, but now they’re just throwing good money after bad. Please inform Mr. Soros next time you see him.

      Like

      • Matt says:

        I don’t read Russian. The Moscow Times wrote an article and linked to Navalny’s blog post, which contained the YouTube video:

        https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/navalny-outs-kremlin-peskov-alleged-son-58689

        You’ll never catch me! Nevah!

        Anyway, what I said was perfectly reasonable: Navalny said some dumb things when he was a novice. Also, a Russian guy on Reddit said that the pistol reference was talking about gun control, not shooting Central Asian migrants. Not that I would know, considering I don’t speak the language.

        Regardless, Navalny is no fascist, nor does he have “American handlers”. Does Trump have “Russian handlers”? These are conspiracy theories.

        I recall hearing about some documentary made by NTV, that slandered Navalny by claiming, with forged documents, that he was recruited by the CIA /MI6 through Browder. The documents, they claimed, were taken from Browder’s apartment or something. Except they were filled with typos and strange language quirks.

        Or remember that time, when, shortly after the mass protests earlier in this year, led by Navalny, the Kremlin paid two pop stars to make anti-protest songs? The move backfired spectacularly.

        Anyway, he is no Hitler. Why don’t you address my comparison of Navalny and Rozogin? Rozogin was made Deputy PM and he has said things equally as disgusting as Navalny, regarding migrants, to the point where the Moscow Duma banned his party.

        As for the rebels, who said I support them? I only want Assad to be judged by the ICC. Speaking of that, have you read the story of a U.N. war-crimes prosecutor resigning, for precisely the reasons I say Russia/China are allowing war crimes? Because they don’t allow the U.N.S.C. to refer the Syrian civil war to the ICC. And she is no fan of the rebels, saying they would be prosecuted too and that they commit the chemical attacks.

        And lastly, I don’t care whether Navalny becomes President or not. He is a viable opposition candidate, who makes the Kremlin sweat in places it shouldn’t sweat in. I like that!

        Like

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          Viable

          <1%

          Ukrainian cannot into math

          Like

          • Matt says:

            Hi Pavlo!

            By “viable” I meant he’s not pseudo-opposiiton like Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

            Still think I’m a Ukrainian? Self-delusion is never a good thing, nor is unbridled xenophobia.

            Like

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              You should eat a dictionary, since reading one didn’t help you learn what words mean

              Like

          • Patient Observer says:

            <1% represents the error rate people make in voting. Navalny is relying on noise to keep his candidacy alive. A viable candidate? OMG! He is mad! mad!

            Like

        • yalensis says:

          Sorry, Matt, I just don’t believe a word you say any more.
          You’re clearly not here to engage in dialogue or debate, you’re simply an anti-Russian troll, just like other people have accused you. A troll from the real “Savushkina Street” in the good ole USA. Where they hire people to troll pro-Russian blogs.

          “Navalny said some dumb things when he was a novice” — no, he spoke his actual real mind, and his actual fascist political views, before his American handlers told him to cool it.
          Yes, Navalny has American handlers. How do you think he got into the Yale program?

          As for Rogozin, yes, he has political views trending to Russian Nationalism, but he is not an American agent, that’s the difference. The point is that the Americans hire all kinds of shady characters to undermine foreign governments. They didn’t hire Rogozin, they hired Navalny. More fool them.

          As for the Syrian rebels, they’re pretty much over with. Assad has pretty much won the won, with Russian military assistance. Your boys LOST, dude! That must really chafe your buns.

          Like

          • Matt says:

            Whether you believe me or not is irrelevant. I don’t speak/read/write Russian or Ukrainian.

            And I think I’ve engaged in respectful dialogue these past few posts. It was you who responded sarcastically to me, and in a mocking tone. Look, you are now claiming I’m a paid troll. Ad hominem.

            It seems you’re convinced Navalny is a fascist who wants to genocide all Central Asian immigrants. I can’t convince you otherwise.

            How’d he get into Yale? By applying. He was only there for a single semester. He was given several recommendations by people, which helped him:

            ———————————–

            – Maria Gaidar

            – Sergey Guriev, rector of NES

            – Oleg Tsyvinsky , professor of economics Yale

            – Zhenya Albats, the chief editor of The New Times and the former professor Yale.

            – Garry Kasparov

            – Maxim Trudolyubov , Trudolyubov , the editor of the Vedomosti newspaper’s commentary strip and Yale World Fellow 2009

            – Alexei Sitnikov, Lesha_sitnikov , vice-rector of the NES

            – Andrey Kibishev, senior lecturer of the Department of Foreign Languages ​​of Vyatka State University

            —————————-

            Source: http://navalny.livejournal.com/453781.html

            What is “NES”?

            Anyway, Sharapova got in to Harvard Business school:

            Is she employed by the CIA too?

            “As for Rogozin, yes, he has political views trending to Russian Nationalism, but he is not an American agent, that’s the difference.”

            That still doesn’t prove your point that Navalny is a fascist. If a guy like him is good enough for the “anti-fascist” Kremlin, then it means Navalny is fine. So now you’ve changed tactics and claim it’s “different” because of some strawman you conjured up regarding Navalny and his “handlers”. Are you talking about the discredited NTV film?

            Lastly, I don’t care about the rebels either way. I just want Assad to be judged by the ICC.

            Like

    • yalensis says:

      Russia is the only nation in the world in which nepotism occurs among the political elite.
      There never was such a creature as George W. Bush nor Ivanka Trump nor Hillary Clinton.

      Like

      • Matt says:

        This has nothing to do with nepotism. It has to do with Peskov’s spawn having enormous amounts of unaccounted money, while people in Russia starve.

        And Ivanka has a few symbolic roles in the WH. This is commonly done by Presidents, who use their sons/daughters/wives for goodwill purposes. Is Ivanka in charge of any serious policy that involves the management of a lot of capital, in the form of money or other assets? No. Therefore, this is not nepotism. Ditto for Bush and anyone else.

        The correct term you’re looking for is patronage, which is prevalent in the U.S., and very much so in the Kremlin.

        Regardless, as a Russian, you ought to applaud this expose, regardless of the creator’s political stances. Exposing this stuff can only be a good thing for Russia

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          You’re an idiot, Matt, as well as a troll. People in Russia are not starving.
          People in America are starving.
          I know this because I live in the U.S., and I can’t drive even a block without seeing some shabby homeless dude on the street corner begging for money from passing motorists.

          And please don’t start up again with that “I come from a family of starving Venezuelans” bullshit. You played that card already, and nobody believed you. Not one single person.

          You’re just an asshole, Matt.
          Please go away.

          Like

          • Matt says:

            I’m sorry if what I said caused offence. I didn’t mean that all Russians are starving. I just meant that there is great wealth inequality in Russia, between politicians and the citizens, as is evident from Peskov’s son’s pictures. I could have expressed myself better.

            Again, I’m sorry if what I said sounded insulting; that was not my intention.

            Like

          • Patient Observer says:

            Yalensis, Please inform Matt that I want Bush, Obama, Clinton, Cheney and McCain tried, convicted and jailed for the millions killed or maimed. Harry Truman’s body should be dug up, tried and convicted for nuclear terrorism against Japan.

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              Good point, Patient Observer. You-Know-Who, if he were consistent in his horror of war, should demand that all those war criminals (also include Hillary and Albright in the cohort) should be tried by the ICC for the massive war crimes they committed against several nations and peoples.

              Only problem is, I cannot communicate your point, as I’m not speaking to You-Know-Who right now, and seriously considering doing a “Full Averko” on him.

              That last crack in You-Know-Who’s comment, about the “You’ll never catch me – nevah!” showed a bit of the slipping of the mask, no?

              If I do decide to do a Full Averko on this troll, then I will make proper announcement, even including appropriate clips from “Alexander Nevsky”, and perhaps even invite readers to up- or down- vote him. That last a bit iffy, since I don’t have that many commenters.

              Any suggestions?

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              P.S. – everybody, can we switch this to the newer thread. I noticed just now, on my own PC that this comment thread is loading very slowly, most likely due to You-Know-Who’s barrage of comments, links, and spam. He wasn’t even talking about the pilot story anyhow, it could have been any post that he spammed me, but for some reason everybody got stuck on this one.

              Like

  19. Matt says:

    “That last crack in You-Know-Who’s comment, about the “You’ll never catch me – nevah!” showed a bit of the slipping of the mask, no?”

    That sentence was me referring to you continuously claiming I could read Russian, so I said “you’ll never catch me!” in a humorous manner. But I ain’t no troll.

    Anyway, I dunno who this Averko guy is, but I’m outta here!

    Good bye, my dear friends!

    PS: Another Russian website forged documents to pin the MH17 shoot-down on Ukraine.

    https://cgrozev.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/the-sbu-mh17-leaks-kremlins-latest-echo-chamber/

    Pavlo, please read the above. Impatient Observer, you too. The U.S. has far too many anti-American 5th-columnists living in it, who pledge their allegiance to their home countries rather than the U.S. The Serbian Impatient Observer and Russian yalensis are good examples. You even believe Russia’s filthy lies about MH17! Pavlo also probably lives in the West. How pathetic!

    Like

    • Patient Observer says:

      Mr. Matt – I am an American citizen by birth and have lived here my entire life. My allegiance is to the USA but I will not hesitate for one second to call out the leadership when, in my opinion, it is wrong. I am not a slave to the media or the popular opinions of the moment. I must assume that Mr. Matt pledges his allegiance to Venezuela, his home country as well. But curiously, his allegiance aligns 100% with the current campaigns of the US MSM. Just saying the obvious.

      Like

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