Reading on Russia Roundup #22

The Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski Gives Up on Empire (Counterpunch)

The main architect of Washington’s plan to rule the world has abandoned the scheme and called for the forging of ties with Russia and China. While Zbigniew Brzezinski’s article in The American Interest titled “Towards a Global Realignment” has largely been ignored by the media, it shows that powerful members of the policymaking establishment no longer believe that Washington will prevail in its quest to extent US hegemony across the Middle East and Asia.

The Arizona Election Hack Story Is An Embarrassment To Everyone Involved (Medium)

It’s an embarrassment to Ellen Nakashima and the Washington Post who ran the salacious and inaccurate headline “Russian hackers targeted Arizona election system”, and to every news organization that ran the same story including Financial Times (Geoff Dyer), the Washington Times (Douglas Ernst), and of course Yahoo (Michael Isikoff).

This is what the next president of Russia is going to look like (ExtraNewsFeed). Dominic Basulto indulges in a little Kremlinology. And J.T. is displeased. Unless the whole article is sarcastic. In that case, J.T. is pleased.

Who do I call if I want to speak to “pro-Russian forces” in Georgia? (Open Democracy). Decent article, though I’m no fan of OpenDemocracy.

Old news: Russia’s Future: Deadlock or Competitive Politics (reply to Whitmore)(RIAC)

Russia is not the Soviet union.  The regime in Russia has little in common with the Soviet regime. To imply that the process of reforming Russia represents a continuation of attempts to reform the Soviet regime, as Whitmore does, distorts reality beyond recognition.

Ukraine And The Dumbed-Down New York Times Columnist (Eurasia Review)

I was reading the latest smug piece by New York Times columnist Timothy Egan, when I came across the most amusing example of being what you’re criticizing.

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8 comments

  1. “While Zbigniew Brzezinski’s article in The American Interest titled “Towards a Global Realignment” has largely been ignored by the media…”

    In any normal situation/world the “American Interest” would be relegated to the role of retarded and horribly disfigured cousin of his more “established” brothers – like the “National Interest” (whose ugly Siamese brother he is, flesh of the flesh), WaPo, NYT, the Economist, or even one of the Alt-Rightards dumpsters. The thing is – the AmInt is considered “handshakable” and kosher by the establishment. No one’s going to lock it in the basement/attic and pretend this abomination not only don’t share the same blood as the same members of the most Russsophobic rag-papers (they do), but that the Powers That Be (Was and Will) ™ has nothing to do with it.

    And now they thank’s to such perpetual (and handshakable) Russophobe Brzezinski they have their own “oh, kurwa!” moment. Probably – probably – they expect this to go unobserved by the vide masses. Or that the very same Alt-Rightards won’t disseminate anything such treasonous. Probably. probably… Which makes it abundantly clear – we, who want it disseminated, must do it ourselves. We ourselves – and I do believe that Irish call something memetic

    Like

  2. And because now I have an opportunity to access I-net without toubly – some posts that are dated, but having to do with “hot” (at that moment) issues.

    Responding to “Russia Book Purgatory”

    On replacing #11 with “President = Country”

    That’ really interesting, I think! This is where now just Irrussionality – but a whole-cloth Russophrenia of the Western Media becomes apparent. On the one hand – there are already established tropes and national stereotypes. Therefore, a knee-jerk reaction of the Media is to present this or that national leader as an embodiment of these traits. Thus, Putin must be giant, barrel-chested bearded vodka-swinging muzhik, who wrestles bears, has wild mood swings and constantly shows his “Asiatic barbarity”.

    …Well, they tried to do that! They failed. Yes, there are still those people around who without thinking (what you expect of the people unused to such activity?) would post/write as a response to any Russian (as a state) action something like: “Are you mad, Vlad? Too much vodka yesterday?”. Because, naturally, all Russians are drunks. Therefore, Putin must be drunk also.

    So, failing to portray Putin with broadly accepted Russian stereotypes, the Western Media had to invent new ones, or using less obvious. The most used (overused, I’d add) is that “Putin is former KGB agent”. No, seriously – there is hardly an article out there which fails to remind their apparently amnesiac readership about the fact. Plus – they feel required to point out that FSB is “successor to the KGB”. And, As We All Know, KGB were vile beasts and monsters – compared to the Jedi Order of the CIA. True story (c)!

    Both linking a national leader with the whole country and then applying to him or her all varieties of stereotypes serves one purpose – to dehumanize both the leader and the people of that country, to present them as “cartoonish Other”. Despite having access to all kinds of data at their fingertips, most people are mentally lazy to check the data fed to them by “reputedly honest” news services. So, the people believe 100% that Putin rides shirtless all the time, has gazzilions of cash hidden in secret palaces built over the world, in one of which he sneaks once per year to host bunga-bunga parties, that result (in due time) in Alina Kabayeva giving birth to yet another Vladimirovich/Vladimirovna.

    Russian liberasts spread and pretend to believe in such tall tales out of spite and livid hatred, Westerners – out of ignorance or deep seated, maybe even ancestral Russophobia. If you have such vile person as a national leader, surely, no one would support him, right? Then all high ratings of Putin must be either fake, or because people are forced to support him under gun barrels (the same nonexistent barrels that forced Crimeans to abandon fascinatingly successful, free and democratic Ukraine and choose Russian Mordor).

    Now, you have successfully dehumanized national leader and, together with him or her – the entire government of that country. You have 2 options – “Doves” would suggest a regime change, which would be “surely” supported by now freed downtrodden masses, longing for jamon, real parmesan and international approval. “Hawks” (including about 80% of Russian liberasts, especially of emigrant variety) would claim that the people supporting such Evil Regime must be defective themselves, and only Holy Democratic Nuclear Fire ™ can cleanse their collective sins. With the general Western Population brainwashed literally for decades with all kinds of nonsense about Russia, Russians and Russian government, where is guarantee that after some yet another informational campaign and presentation of the “irrefutable proof” of Russia’s various crimes there won’t be attempt to launch one of the above mentioned scenarios? And if they succeed/fail – with fallout affecting lives of all Russians no matter what – the West will just go into: “Oh, that was a mistake. Sorry!” and pretend that it wasn’t really a big deal?

    On one of the forums (where I’m now banned – but this comes as no surprise, right?;)) there was “Turkish Politics Thread”. For a long time, after Erdogan did this or that thing, be it shelling Kurds in Syria, allowing jihadis free pass through Turkish border, suppressing journalist and, worth of all for the local forumites, banning/dispersing gay prides, one or that user (usually different people, of varying age and background, but mostly from the USA) would ask others: “Why can’t we topple him? C’mon, CIA – activate the Inner State!”. Think about it – both self-professed SJWs, “Leftists” (although what is described as the “Lest” in the West has little to do with that), pro-Everything Good and “Legalize NAOW!” and former Army/Marine folks, right-wing neo-con Bible Belt faithful, were of one mind how to deal with a person leading supposedly allied to the USA country, and their solution was not “try diplomacy first”. This “why can’t you just shoot the problem?” I’ve noticed in many, many Americans, whom I read online. I don’t know whether this is true, or just I was unlucky to stumble upon an enormous crowd of interventionists, emboldened by the Net anonymity. But if true, and this is what the people of America really think, well, the whole world is in danger. That’s your attitude to an ally – I guess neither Assad nor Putin should expect a quarter from them (or give any).

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  3. Re: Favorite/least favorite Russia’s watchers.

    The Good.

    Oh, c’mon here! That’s where I’m (still) allowed to comment and do it often and a lot ;). But if you need some names – fine!

    Blogs:

    The UCG blog. It’s largely inactive now (you have to motivate its owner and proprietor with a cattle prod to make him write new stuff – right, UCG?!). Still – the author *is* both passionate and knowledgeable about things he writes about. Namely – the not so golden state of affair in California and Rrrrrrussia and West’s beef with it. The amount of work is amazing. One particular blog about Crimea’s reunion with Russia cites enough reference data to events prior, during and after (as well as the results of the polls) to if not the shut up some of the most brain-dead Russophobes (that’s impossible), but pwn them resoundly.

    – Fred Eidlin’s Misperception and Reality. The author is not antagonistic to Russia as a whole – which is already good in itself these days. Bad news – looks like this one blog became inactive. Also – the author is rather naïve faux “left-leaning” liberal, that can’t simply grok some ugly realities.

    – Professor Paul Robinson’s Irrusionality. Nuff said. Drawbacks – the author is a fundamental believer in the virtues of liberalism as the only way of life and also an honest egoist to boot. Plus – desire to appear “neutral” and “balanced” even when there is a clear indication that some side (say, currently supported by the West) is clearly wrong or guilty of something. To quote the immortal words of Zap Brannigan:

    “What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?”

    – Mark Chapman’s “The Kremlin Stooge”. Each and single one of blogposts has plethora of links, sources and proofs to satisfy “Sauce!” shrieking all-too-doubtful masses of the Net. Mind you – new articles take time to be writeen down and researched, and in the meantime the comment section gets a life of its own with us, Stooges, commenting and reporting on news at hand and having highly intellectual discussions. This might seem overwhelming at times – but it’s through this comments new blog posts are born, or new blogs are recommended, discussed and dissed.

    Awful Avalanche. That’s a go to place if you are interested in news items (about events both at home and abroad) that actually interest Russians but don’t want to skim through a lot of Russian-language articles not knowing whether they are a) Accurate b) Interesting at all. AfAw author and proprietor yalensis writes most excellent posts, translates articles from Russian to English and possess the most sharp (and 100 appropriate) sense of humor. Plus – he’s an opera buff.

    – Hal Freeman’s Between Two Words. Truly – a small wonder of a blog and this summer’s big Net discovery for me. Oh, there are plenty of blogs about expats living/tourists travelling through Russia – now, mostly defunct. But for the most part they deal either with a) Moscow or St. Pete b) How everything is different (read: badgodawful) in Russia compared to the Blessed West. Here we have an opinion on life in small Russian town from a full grown mentally mature man, not your perpetual petulant kids pushing close to 30s who has no idea what they really want, besides dissing Russia, Russians and their government. I, as Russia, can relate more to what Mr. Freeman writes about, than to the usual drivel about a night in new anti-café with local kreakleriat who were “so critical about Putin”.

    – Colonel (ret.) Patrick Lang’s Sic Semper Tyrannis. A stomping ground for a bunch of Cold War Era grognards who – suddenly! – are not antagonistic to “Putin’s Russia”. Fair warning – their “support” and “lack of antagonism” comes from the thoroughly conservative if not right-wing positions. There are times when “their approval feels me with shame” (c).

    Russian Universe by some fellow Russian who, like me, “survived the Rough 90s” as a kid – and was never the same again. While a tidbits about going ons in present day Russia are still appearing from time to time, what is really valuable here is series of excellent essays on Russia’s perception in the West, Russophobia and “Klukvifikation”

    – Natylie Baldwin (she already weighted in this thread) and her blog, who does important job of combating the insanity of her supposed “betters” in the field. But – not enough content! MOAR!

    – Раша Ревьювд. Абсолютли! Фром зе боттом оф май харт – вери гуд! 😉

    News aggregators:
    – “Russia Insider” and “Russia Beyond the Headlines”. Not that I read them often – but, so far, they are the only one’s I can remember without Russophobic/pro-liberal slant.

    Russian language:
    Colonel Cassad. Crimean Blogger and personal enemy of the current regime in Kiev. Aggregates lots of videos and photos on hot topics relevant to Russia, plus he has (through personal connections) some insider info on what is happening in the People Republics in Donbas. Some of his articles are translated into English – like the one about Odessan Massacre of 2014.

    Anatoly Shariy’s channel. If you need your typical fake Russia related news debunked – don’t go to the Soros funded StopFake (which has a clear pro-Ukrainian/Anti-Russian bias – d’uh!). Anatoly Shariy became an exile from the Ukraine under tyran Yanukovitch – but it was under the blessed new Regime in Kiev, that he became a true enemy of Dignity and Free Ukraine, with his mocking and doubting exposes of fakes, lies and creeping banderisation of his home country. Shariy is *not* pro-Russia – he described himself as “Ukrainian Nationalist” previously, he does not support Crimea’s re-union with Russia and is against DNR and LNR severing ties with the Ukraine and going independent (that got journalists working for him there in some trouble) – BUT! If such a person is not amused with the way news about Russia/Ukraine are reported (often – even by the Western Media, copy-pasting whatever their colleges in Kiev gobble together) well, then they are really in trouble. Some of his videos related to internationally important events are with English subs.
    e/least favorite Russia wathcers

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    • ‘Раша Ревьювд. Абсолютли! Фром зе боттом оф май харт – вери гуд!’
      Thanks Lyttenburgh! I really appreciate it.

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  4. The Bad

    [Sigh]

    Too long to list. Legion is their name. Or something Unspeakable and Unutterable.

    – All Western Free and Independent Media ™. Doesn’t matter – “corporate” or “alternative”. As the Russian expression goes: “same eggs – side view”. Cliché-ridden to death of millions of innocent brain cells. Same tropes done for a billionth time. No efforts of actual work. BBC, RFE/RL are the most obvious offenders here.

    – All “think tanks”. They are thick like thieves with the establishment, living in a repugnant symbiosis of circlejerk, echo chambers and confirmation bias, employing/supplying the same tropes and clichés about Russia as their lessers from the Media (but who secretly want to be published in these rag papers). Yes, I’m including Russia based foreign-funded ones like Levada and Carnegie Moscow as well.

    – All Western political forums/comment sections. Any vaguely pro-Russian voices are purged without mercy.

    – Some particularly notorious names were already dropped here – Julia Ioffe, Anne Appelbaum, Garry Kasparov, Maria Alexandrovna Gessen. Why be coy here? All Jewish journalists writing either articles or books about Russia are Russophobes. Whom media corps will send to cover Russia? Sometimes (up to recently it was a universal rule) someone with a smattering of Russian, being capable to understand the primitive aborigines, who might (le gasp!) prefer speaking their native tongue instead of English. And they had a ready pool of such persons – either the one’s whom Anatoliy Karlin (about him – later) calls the “Sovok Jews” or their children. I.e. the people already prejudiced against Russia and Russians. Up from 2/3 to ¾ of Russophobic journos regularly writing/posting/filming for the Media in the West are Jewish. Go ahead and prove me wrong – find me a Jew/Pole/Ukrainian descendant journalist/columnists in the West who is not Russophobic (see – I’m not even asking for impossible, like “Russophilic” one).

    And in Russia these perpetually kvetching masses are even more Russophobic and open about it. Freshly emigrated ones like Gessen and Kasparov give a taste to their usual modus operandi. Gary Kimovich Kasparov said during this year’s Vilnius “Democratic forum of Russian opposition” (attended by You Guess Whom):

    “Historically, one of the conditions for successful reform in Russia has been geopolitical defeat. If this should involve the losses of territories which do not wish to live by Euro-Atlantic rules, then whatever. Russia is a big country. The USSR fell apart and nothing bad happened.”

    Million excessive deaths yearly is, apparently, “nothing bad” to him.

    It doesn’t mean that Jews as an ethnicity are some hell-spawns hell-bent on world domination and the genocide of Slavs (there were a lot of ethnicities hell bent on that in the past). It only means exactly what I said in the beginning – that in the West they are nearly universally Russophobic, no matter from which position they are arguing, whether unashamingly right-wing neo-con Zionism of faux-leftism.

    Bloggers

    – Oh, you know the names. A lot of them came out from the closet as anti-Russian in early 2014, showing that they were never “friends of Russia” in the first place, or that they hoped for more “liberal” and weak Russia under Medvedev and didn’t like Putin’s return in 2012. In that respect, I think, both Galeotti *and* Adomanis sold their souls. Either for big fat checks or for a chance to become “handshakable”.

    – “Fluent Historian”. Frankly, I became disappointed with her. Blocking my comments – okay, I’m already used to that. But her unwavering idealization of the “[Czarist] Russia That We Have Lost” multiplied by barbs and rising negativity at anything USSR related tells me enough. “Any Anti-Sovietist is always a Russophobe” (c). Even if not at first, then in the end.

    – Jim Kovpak’s Unutterable crapspace. And to think that this born-again svidomite shares the last name with the Hero of the Soviet Union, great commander of the guerilla army in Ukraine… Is Jimbo-fellow still languishing in the Northern Mordor or already buggered off to the land of his ancestors?

    – I already told – several times – everything I think about Jordan Uni’s blog posts on Russia. Short version – there is nothing even close to the alleged “balanced” research or reporting.

    News aggregators:
    – “Johnson’s Russia’s List”, “Russia Direct”, “Russian Reader” “Eurasianet”, “Elicitor” (which freely admits its collaboration/propping up by Russia Direct – thought I forgot about you?) – have very pronounced neo-liberal/Euro-Atlanticist/Anti-Russian bias in picking up their article. There is NOT A CHANCE they will run anything 100% pro-Russian, but there is 100% that their go-to sources on news are all handshakable to the point of making senator John McCain shed a couple of tears.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Ugly.

    – RT and Sputnik. Yeah – “what a twist”! An ugly number of westerners believe that we, Russians, watch RT – that’s why we are brainwashed slaves of Putin refusing to revolt against the Bloody Regime, so we should be ultimately purified in the nuclear fire by the Free World in the name of Democracy ™. In fact – no, we don’t watch/read foreigners oriented news sites even if they are owned/produced by “our people”. Sometimes RT and Sputnik are the sole means to actually present Russian point of view to the Western auditory. Sadly, they often do it in the most facepalm-inducing manner.

    Anatoly Karlin. No doubt – he knows a LOT about Russia, Russians, history and stuff. Maybe he is even an ethnic Russian. The fact is – he is thoroughly Americanized by now. His thought process, his concerns, biases and worries are not of a Russian, even one who had to live in a foreign land for a long time. Karlin became an alien creature, which modern Russians have trouble to relate to.

    His views are… worrisome. UNZ tend to attract right-wingers and reddit/4chan dwelling “alt-right” types (not to mention rabid racists, bigots, antisemites and conspiracy theorists)* and comment section below Karlin’s posts clearly shows WHO reads him, and with whom he bothers to disagree. As for his articles – they are hit or miss ones. Yeah, the most recent one about why Turkey-like putsch: not only it won’t succeed – it won’t even happen in Russia in the first place. Othervise – a decent work. Not excellent – decent one. His previous one, about Turkey’s urban “Islamification”, which first brought Erdogan to power and then resulted in the failure of the coup is arguably better. But the one before that, written while the events in Turkey were still unfolding proved to be a pointless one and missed a bat several times.

    _______________________
    * Yes, you heard it right. Poor Lyt is disgusted by the level of racism and antisemitism in UNZ-report comment section. Which might mean either:

    a) Lyt, despite what wise people of the net (still shy of being 20 years old… or 18… or 16… or…) might tell you, is not a “rabid Russian nationalist” or “filthy racist” and “homophobe”

    b) The comment section is beyond bad – it’s WORSE. It’s so bad, that the shades of Birkenau’s torturers can only say “Your support fills us with shame”.

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      • Really, can’t say anything about it. Especially – anything positive. In the past they proved to be completely toothless and unknown for the world at large. At least the West know about RT and Sputnik and considers them to be a threat. I remember stories that my friends on vacation in Turkey in August 2008 told me back then. Our foreign oriented media failed then, so even to this day we have net-retards claiming that “Russia started the war” and then “got its ass handed back to them”.

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