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US slanders Russia with new sanctions over Skripal poisoning hoax

The US government displays its lack of contact with reality with sanctions, designed to hurt both US-Russia relations and President Trump.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The pattern of slandering all things Russia with or without (usually without) the burden of proof continues in the US.

The US State Department made the decision to impose new sanctions on Russia, based on the insinuation that Russian agencies were involved in the poisoning of Sergey and Yuliya Skripal in Salisbury, England this past March.

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RT reports:

The US is imposing new sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK. The measures are scheduled to go into effect on or around August 22, according to the State Department.

“The United States…determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Wednesday.

The accusation comes despite there being zero evidence suggesting Moscow was behind the attack.

A State Department official told reporters in a conference call on Wednesday that Washington informed Russia “this afternoon” about the sanctions. The US still wants to maintain relations with Moscow, despite the new sanctions. “We are tough on Russia, at the same time we are quite committed to working to maintain relations because there are important things at stake here,” the official said, as quoted by Sputnik.

London was predictably delighted and rushed to welcome Washington’s announcement of new punitive actions against Moscow. “The UK welcomes this further action by our US allies,” a spokesman for the UK Foreign Office said in a statement. “The strong international response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury sends an unequivocal message to Russia that its provocative, reckless behavior will not go unchallenged.”

The Duran has followed this case very closely, and there has never been evidence provided by British or international agencies investigating this incident or its sequel that happened last month, to prove conclusively that Russian agencies were involved in poisoning former USSR Spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yuliya, in Salisbury in March of this year.

The news of this new set of sanctions was apparently enough to create jitters on the Russian stock exchanges, and the Russian Ruble has fallen to a new 2018 low against the American dollar. Trading went over 66 rubles to the dollar. This marks almost a 20% devaluation in the currency since April of this year, and the worst valuation since mid-November, 2016.

This incident has not gone unanswered in Moscow. The Russian Embassy in the United States called for documentation about the source and reasoning behind these new sanctions, as reported by TASS:

The Russian embassy in the United States has called on the US Department of State to publish correspondence on the introduction of new sanctions on Moscow over the Skripal incident, the embassy said in a statement.

“We suggested publishing our correspondence on this issue. No answer has followed so far,” the Russian embassy added.

This pattern of throwing out destructive slander while refusing to provide opportunity for a real answer has permeated American policy towards the Russian Federation with increasing intensity since 2013. It reveals the machinations of a very divided American government, with the “deep State” or establishment politicians and foreign policy makers completely unwilling to even give Russia a fair shake at representing itself.

Sergey and Yuliya Skripal, who were poisoned in Salisbury, England in March 2018. No one really knows who did this.

This policy is shared by the United Kingdom, as this piece by The Duran’s Editor in Chief, Alexander Mercouris shows, with this summary of violations of due process the British authorities are committing with regard to Russia:

(1) The British government is interfering in the conduct of a criminal investigation, with Prime Minister Theresa May and especially Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pointing fingers at who they say is guilty (Russia) whilst the criminal investigation is still underway;

(2) The British government has said that unless Russia proves itself innocent within a specific time the British government will conclude that it is guilty.  As I have explained previously this reverses the burden of proof: in a criminal case it is the prosecution which is supposed to prove the defendant’s guilt, not the defendant who must prove his innocence;

(3) The British government refuses to share with Russia – the party it says is guilty – the ‘evidence’ upon which it says it has concluded that Russia is guilty, the evidence in this case being a sample of the chemical with which it says Sergey and Yulia Skripal was poisoned.

This violates the fundamental principle that the defendant must be provided with all the evidence against him so that he can properly prepare his defence;

(4) The British government is not following the procedure set out in Article IX (2) of the Chemical Weapons Convention to which both Britain and Russia are parties.  This reads as follows

States Parties should, whenever possible, first make every effort to clarify and resolve, through exchange of information and consultations among themselves, any matter which may cause doubt about compliance with this Convention, or which gives rise to concerns about a related matter which may be considered ambiguous. A State Party which receives a request from another State Party for clarification of any matter which the requesting State Party believes causes such a doubt or concern shall provide the requesting State Party as soon as possible, but in any case not later than ten days after the request, with information sufficient to answer the doubt or concern raised along with an explanation of how the information provided resolves the matter.

(5) The British authorities are denying the Russians consular access to Yulia Skripal, though she is a Russian citizen who the British authorities say was subjected to a criminal assault on their territory.

This is a potentially serious matter since by preventing consular access to Yulia Skripal the British authorities are not only violating the interstate consular arrangements which exist between Britain and Russia, but they are preventing the Russian authorities from learning more about the condition of one of their citizens who has been hospitalised following a violent criminal assault, and are preventing the Russian authorities from carrying out their own investigation into the assault on one of their citizens which the British authorities say has taken place.

I would add that this obstruction of Russian consular access to Yulia Skripal has gone almost entirely unreported in the British and Western media.

The Americans are playing the same game here, and, regrettably, President Trump’s overtures towards repairing this relationship are almost sure to be torn out from under him by the actions of this virulent group of people. It is quite possible that this is the very reason for these new sanctions.

The perspective of the American government as one divided, with a rabid force in favor of continuing to isolate and vilify a great power in the world for no good reason, is sure to have repercussions. However, given the gradual realignment of Russia and China to be in closer and closer partnership, and Russia’s increasing prominence in Asian and Eastern Hemisphere affairs, the end result of this behavior is likely to damage the United States and its standing in the world over the long run.

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HamletquestfoxenburgRex drabbleNicole TempleHappyCynic Recent comment authors
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Hamletquest
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Hamletquest

Another round of the echo chamber of lies. Novichok a story cooked up by retired MI6 spooks to feed their pension pots drags itself onto the geopolitical stage again… What’s it about and who benefits? Well it ain’t about facts as there are none. But it gives the Neo-cons another pop at Trump, the Tories another distraction from the impending BREXIT chaos and Browder another attempt to avoid prosecution in Russia for fraud and the US for perjury. The WMSM are dutifully using this as another attempt to reinforce the lies it has been spinning about Russia since the Georgian… Read more »

foxenburg
Guest
foxenburg

“there has never been evidence provided by British or international agencies investigating this incident or its sequel that happened last month, to prove conclusively that Russian agencies were involved”

What do you mean “prove conclusively”? This “conclusively” is a weasel word. It implies there’s a lot of proof out there but none that could be called conclusive. There’s been no proof of any kind whatsoever.

Rex drabble
Guest
Rex drabble

They are desperate to start a war,its going to get worse.
Thankfully Russia has the means to stop these clowns in their steps,if and when the time comes.

Nicole Temple
Guest
Nicole Temple

Here is an interesting look at how the anti-Russian narrative began in the United States and who really rigged the 2016 U.S. election:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-genesis-of-russian-interference.html

Main Street America is being manipulated into believing that Russia is the enemy, giving Washington a complete pass on how business is done in America’s political capital.

HappyCynic
Guest
HappyCynic

The game being played is asymmetric sanctions. No US airlines fly directly to Russia, but Aeroflot flies directly from Russia to the US. So a simple-minded view of this is that sanctioning Aeroflot doesn’t harm US interests, and it lets Trump appear like he’s being hard on Russia (he has elections coming up). It’s a game of appearances – nobody in the US (except the simple-minded) actually believe the Novachuk nonsense, but it’s a good club to pound on political opponents. The question is whether Russia will let Trump do this – suffering minor economic damage and turning the other… Read more »

Eggie Offo
Guest
Eggie Offo

Russia’s weakness will cost it dearly because of Putin’s passivity and aloofness, contemptible timidity, and unprincipledness . It’s time for Russia to stop answering all questions relating to election meddling to poisoning, and being nice to Trump, for respect because Putin wants to meet and interact with Trump at all cost to feel relevant to the US , which is pathetic and a humiliation to all Russians I am also sad. The so-called western world just makes Russia looks stupid internationally. I also don’t understand why Russia is “soooooo” eager to work or to be in the good books of… Read more »

AM Hants
Guest
AM Hants

‘Destructive slander’ – what does the US gain, besides trying to divert media attention, from other stories? Create problems, with the financial markets. Timing – when the US is desperate to go to war with Iran, whilst nobody is backing them up. Theresa May is horse trading her ‘Remoaner friendly BREXIT’ script, over in the EU. Christopher Steele – Trump Dossier – Skripal – $US millions invested in Porton Down, just around the corner from Salisbury. Rand Paul, who passed a private letter from President Trump, to be handed over to President Putin. ……………………. Is it the official view of… Read more »

voza0db
Guest

The novichok magic cream
comment image

if it wasn’t the cream, it would have been some other nonsense excuse like “The Russian Cows are emitting more CH4 than any others!”

The United States of Terrorism is quickly eroding in terms of POWER! Their society is dying… And that’s why they need to bring everyone down.

VeeNarian (Yerevan)
Guest
VeeNarian (Yerevan)

Trump is the POTUS but not in power. Like love-struck teenagers he is even not allowed to meet Putin on his own. As if the two would spawn the son of Satan together in their long-delayed honeymoon in Helsinki.
H-E-L-L-L-L-L-S-I-N-K-E-E-E-E!!!
Trump will sign any sanction against Russia. The only question is if he will give the orders that will start WW3, especially if the “US intelligence agencies” were to hold his family hostage.
That letter from Trump, carried by the only loyal US senator Rand Paul, really looks ominous.

James Johnson
Guest
James Johnson

Is Trump so badly influenced that he doesn’t see that Tarese May has accused but not proven any thing

Taras77
Guest
Taras77

This probably goes into the twiight zone if one is searching for logic; state dept neo con thugs unfortunately have trumps ear as I do not believe that trump could dream up something this stupid by himself.

This skripal hoax has been laughed out of the park world wide and to come up with this now after trump did try to act responsibly by meeting with putin, it goes beyond what any rational person could conceive.

SPQR
Guest
SPQR

So Trump is either impotent (unable to control the rats that infest the US state department) or a fool… perhaps he is both but the author of this piece will no doubt continue to excuse his many failings as commander in chief. I’m tired of all the excuses, all the misderections regarding the myserious ‘deep state’ upon whose shoulders is placed the blame for the insanity that has gripped Washington DC. Trump owns this mess and has done from day one of his presidency.

Spike Munch
Guest
Spike Munch

there is ample evidence; cctv, witnesses, etc. but it isn’t being put into the public domain because this remains an ongoing investigation, but USA issuing more sanctions against russia seems to indicate the the intelligence agencies are sharing information and that information has convinced the USA to sanction more

louis robert
Guest
louis robert

Time for Russia to recall its ambassador to Washington and break diplomatic relations with the Empire altogether. Sooner or later, Russia will be forced to do so by said Empire anyway. In actual fact, this is war, total war, unavoidable war, as has been crystal clear all along. Come to terms with it, Russia, before it’s too late!

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

comment image comment imagecomment imagecomment image

ColinNZ
Guest
ColinNZ

“The pattern of slandering all things Russia with or without (usually without) the burden of proof continues in the US.”

Terrible article, implying there sometimes IS proof. I don’t usually swear but I really am tired of the bollocks Hanisch writes.

Jack
Guest
Jack

We all know that Skripals are another pretext. Where there is a will there is a way so do not forget that American politician are acting not only on their own but under a huge lobby of influential not satisfied Russians who live in US and moreover by Jews of Russian origin who together want overthrow patriotic Gov of Putin’s Russia and put instead in the helm somebody like former president Yelcin to subjugate the country which enable them exploit and rob Russia of valuable natural resources stuffing their pockets and making Russians their slaves. So Putin has to act… Read more »

AM Hants
Guest
AM Hants

Look at how the US State Department handles unsubstantiated claims against Russia or Syria and how they handle claims against Saudi behaviour in Yemen? The pure hypocrisy.

Watch Reporters Slam US For Refusing To Condemn Saudi-US Airstrike On Yemen School Bus In Live Briefing… https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-09/watch-reporters-slam-us-refusing-condemn-saudi-coalition-airstrike-yemen-school-bus

Gio Con
Guest
Gio Con

The Israelis are on a killing spree in Gaza and the Saudis just blew up a bus full of children in Yemen, but the degenerate US congress and president are laying draconian sanctions on Russia and Iran for … committing … no crimes … whatsoever.

spoint
Guest
spoint

Release the Soviet files showing the holocaust is a total Soviet/ US lie. Say it over and over. Then aim all retaliation at israel.

anastasia157
Guest
anastasia157

The evidence is mounting, especially with the drug addicts getting poisoned after leaving their drug den, that someone other than Russia is using novichok poison.

anastasia157
Guest
anastasia157

The reason is quite clear to anyone with eyes to see.. It’s about making money for people inside government and their oligarchs on the outside of government. They want to weaken Russia economically and wipe out the competition on the gas

anastasia157
Guest
anastasia157

Two people, who clearly look like and act like drug addicts, and who admit they are drug addicts, and who admit they had just been to a drug den before the poisoning, were poisoned with novichok. This drug den is located nearby to the park where the Skripals were found poisoned. Did the Skripals just ingest some recreational drug that they obtained by the nearby drug den? It’s growing more ridiculous and obvious by the day, and the more obvious it becomes that Russia did not do it, the more sanctions they are imposing on them. It is almost as… Read more »

AriusArmenian
Guest
AriusArmenian

The Skripal poisoning is a hoax but more aptly should be called a classic false flag attack. The CIA/MI6 use the false flag to enforce the hate and fear Russia narrative to push along the evolving Cold War v2 that they love so much (vermin that they are).

Most will never regret what they did even into old age as they are so wrapped up and identify with their sick worldview. The are criminals aided and abetted by US elites.

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Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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