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Furious China slams Trump’s UN speech on North Korea

Global Times editorial says US President Trump’s UN speech endangers peace in Korean Peninsula.

Alexander Mercouris

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Global Times, the unofficial English language voice of the Chinese government, has published a strongly worded editorial which makes clear China’s strong disapproval of the comments about North Korea made by US President Trump during his recent speech at the UN General Assembly.

In that speech US President Trump had these things to say about North Korea

The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based.  They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries.

If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.  When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea.  It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.

We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America only to die a few days later.  We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother using banned nerve agents in an international airport.  We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies.

If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life.

It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.  No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles.

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.  Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.  The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.  That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for.  Let’s see how they do.

It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future.  The United Nations Security Council recently held two unanimous 15-0 votes adopting hard-hitting resolutions against North Korea, and I want to thank China and Russia for joining the vote to impose sanctions, along with all of the other members of the Security Council.  Thank you to all involved.

But we must do much more.  It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior.

This sort of existential language – talking of North Korea’s government as “evil”, bracketing it with a group of other “rogue regimes” (specifically Iran, Venezuela and Cuba) in a way eerily reminiscent of George W. Bush’s previous “Axis of Evil” speech, ridiculing Kim Jong-un (North Korea’s “Great Leader”) as “Rocket Man on a suicide mission”, and threatening North Korea with “total destruction” – is guaranteed to raise hackles in Beijing.

Beijing’s response is the editorial in Global Times, whose sentiments are summed up by its title

Trump’s UN address reduces hope of peace on Korean Peninsula

Global Times follows this up with the very first sentence of the editorial, which most unusually directly criticises Donald Trump (China, like Russia, generally avoids personal criticisms of foreign leaders)

US President Donald Trump vowed to “totally destroy North Korea” at his UN address Tuesday. This is not what one expects from a US president.

(bold italics added)

Having called President Trump “un-Presidential” Global Times goes on to say why

Trump’s anger toward Pyongyang is understandable. China firmly opposes North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and has joined the UN in sanctioning the country. But it’s increasingly clear that pressure alone cannot address Pyongyang’s nuclear issue and actions should be taken to alleviate tensions on the peninsula. Vowing to “destroy” North Korea, Trump’s UN remarks dampened public hopes for the US to ease the situation.

Facts prove Pyongyang won’t yield to pressure. Pushing North Korea to its limit may eventually trigger a bloody war.

Chinese and South Koreans strongly oppose war. “Totally destroying North Korea” would bring an ecological disaster unbearable to Northeast Asia, and Northeast China, Shandong peninsula and South Korea would all be engulfed by nuclear fallout. Thus the US president, instead of boasting of military strength, should try to avoid such a war.

Neighboring North Korea, China and South Korea naturally have different feelings from Washington about the “total destruction.” The US would be extremely selfish if it cannot understand Beijing’s and Seoul’s wish to peacefully address the issue.

If a nuclear war broke out, that would be a crime against Chinese and South Koreans by Pyongyang and Washington.

Eliminating potential security threats by war is crazy in the 21st century. The US may have the capability to destroy North Korea, but a peaceful solution would be the real victory.

Washington should address the North Korean conundrum in a way that conforms to the interests of all human beings, instead of pressuring and even destroying Pyongyang at the sacrifice of neighboring countries.

Confrontation between Pyongyang and Washington has escalated to a degree that we have never seen before. If Washington is worried about national security while possessing an overwhelming military advantage, then Pyongyang will only feel even more insecure. If the US President cannot calm down, how will the North Korean leader exercise restraint?

Washington is too obsessed with its strength. Its elites hold the view that as long as the US applies pressure to the full, it can crush any will that confronts the US. But the geopolitical rule tells us that some changes cannot be forced by threat of war. If the core interest of the other party is touched upon, it will mount a desperate resistance.

In other words, threatening North Korea with “total destruction” will not persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.  On the contrary it will make North Korea – which has acquired nuclear weapons because it feels threatened by the US – even more determined to hold onto them.

Worse still such language actually increases the danger of war, by making North Korea feel even more insecure, whilst at the same time making the “total destruction” of the “evil regime” of North Korea appear to be not just a US national security interest but even a moral duty.

As Global Times points out, such a war aiming at North Korea’s “total destruction” – which given North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons would be certain to go nuclear (that is what the words in the editorial about North Korea “mounting a desperate resistance” refer to) – would have utterly devastating consequences for the surrounding countries, first and foremost for China and South Korea.

The Global Times editorial in China’s usual way tries to balance its criticism of Donald Trump and of the US with criticism of North Korea.

Pyongyang must bear equal responsibility for the worsening situation. It’s a delusion if North Korea believes it can break the stalemate by advancing nuclear and missile technology. The world won’t accept North Korea as a legitimate nuclear state. There is no hope that it can overcome this view.

(bold italics added)

The point about these words however is that in a sense they are also a criticism of the US.  What the Chinese are saying is that the US and North Korea are as bad as each other.  Not only is that a claim which the US would vehemently reject.  It is one which by placing the US on the same level as North Korea (an “evil rogue regime”) the US is bound to see as insulting.

Behind these strong Chinese words one senses feelings of deep dismay.  How else to explain words like “crazy” and “Washington being too obsessed with its strength”?

Unlike Russia, which in the Arctic directly borders on the US, and which has to deal every day with NATO on its doorstep and with US regime change strategies and wars in its “near abroad” and in the Middle East not far from its borders, China has been protected from the worst effects of US foreign policy by the fact that it has no land border with any US ally and is separated from the US itself by the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

In addition, since the end of the Vietnam war in the 1970s, China’s neighbourhood in the Asia Pacific region unlike Europe and the Middle East has been for the US an area of only peripheral geostrategic interest.

The result is that the US has until recently left the Chinese alone, enabling them to build up their now massive economic position quietly by themselves.

That to a certain extent has made the Chinese complacent, so that every so often one comes across an article in the Chinese media which hints that the Russians by their actions have brought at least some of their problems with the US upon themselves.

In the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea the Chinese are now for the first time becoming exposed to the full weight of the aggressive and nihilistic maximalism of US foreign policy in the neocon era, which despite Donald Trump’s election victory it is now clear is still continuing.

The result is that the US threats of a total war in the Korean Peninsula with potentially catastrophic consequences for China and the rest of north east Asia have come as a shock.

Moreover the Chinese are undoubtedly aware that Donald Trump is not the only person in the US who is talking in this way, with persistent rumours that General H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s National Security Adviser, is one of those who along with Senator Lindsey Graham are pressing for a “solution” of the North Korean problem involving an armed attack on that country, with all the catastrophic that will follow in its wake.

The Chinese have already made it clear that they will defend North Korea if the US invades North Korea and tries to overthrow its government.

As the full implications of the dangerous turn of US policy sinks in, it is now a foregone conclusion that the Chinese will be focusing increasingly on building up their defences.

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Neil
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Neil

Good writing from Alexander and from Global Times.
Unlike the average Chinese person in the street, China’s leaders will not be surprised by US attitude.
US wants to borrow more money to increase it’s military spending to 700 Billion. US already owes a lot of money to Chinese investors. I wouldn’t lend them any more.

S.M. De Kuyper
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S.M. De Kuyper

They may not loan one cent more!

Matt Hol
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Matt Hol

i watch the TIC reports every month. And every month, the cowards in China bail the US out

stevek9
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stevek9

You, like many others mistake the nature of the financial relationship between China and the US. China does not ‘loan’ the US anything. What they stupidly do is run a huge trade surplus with the US. So, now they have dollars. What to do with them? They can just leave them in an account at the Fed, or they can buy Treasuries and earn more dollars … The Fed doesn’t care whether they buy them or not. There are usually plenty of takers, and if not the Fed buys the bills themselves. What China needs to do is stop trading… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Of course you are correct but it comes to the same thing: China is left with US Treasury bonds which are devalued by US money-printing and may be worth very little when people start selling them in a hurry. Buying US bonds is effectively the same as lending the US money.
I agree completely with you that China should stop trading real good for numbers at the Fed, and running huge trade surpluses with US is stupid.
When China stops buying oil with dollars, the US will have very little to offer China.

S.M. De Kuyper
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S.M. De Kuyper

Furious China lashes out at USA…. I really see that President does not know what he is doing instead he is doing what he has been told to do. What he has been told to do, If I am right, is 100% wrong.

colum
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colum

Best thing for China to do is firstly have a word with Kim about Diplomacy (the kid really is in over his head) and knowing when to shut up. Next do a bit of growling at the US. When Kim becomes a bigger dog (a few more nukes to intimidate the US and a calmer, more mature attitude. Hell maybe a tourist industry (Saudis have one) and some less militaristic pet projects) he can growl back when the US is old and on it’s way out.

Helen B
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Helen B

… already there mate.

Matt Hol
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Matt Hol

Yeah yeah. China sucks at this. They will cry in their media about it. Then they will hand over 100’s of billions of dollars of their own money, to the US in the form of US treasury debt purchases.

Learn from Russia.

Amerikanisch
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Amerikanisch

Well, we gave them one-third of our manufacturing base. They ought to give us something. A loan that we have to pay back? Big F’ing deal!

George Orwell
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George Orwell

China and Russia are the US’s WATER CARRIERS. I despise especially Lavrov’s spineless comments designed apease the war criminal nation. It is obvious Russia is a hostage of the same Rothchild banks that fund both Russia’s and the UK’s Defense Industries. And “bad” behavior from Russia may cause that money to dry up at the detriment of Russia. China also has huge trade with both North America and Europe, and the American gangsters openly blackmail both nations exactly as the mobsters in NY/NJ/PA and Chicago do amongst themselves for turf. After all the US government is a collection of war… Read more »

Helen B
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Helen B

You mistake diplomatic language for being spineless. That’s because the West usually appoints retired or failed politicians or people they owe a favour to as diplomats.
Lavrov is a professional diplomat, and long may he remain. He and his rare ilk are the only hope for adult conversation at a diplomatic level. The bullying bluster of American presidentS … note plural … is just so tiresome.
Don’t mistake diplomacy for weakness though … BIG mistake.

Jermano
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Jermano

Here’s the rub. Kim’s missile firing hits Japan because of a malfunction, and the US unleashes the fury of retaliation, destroying N.Korea. Very stupid, to continue provocations. My advice if Kim wants nukes, is become a New Province of China, and be under their Security umbrella. China handles the nuke security, now Kim can take care of his province Economy. No more provocations, or possible malfunction or accidents. And no more senseless arguing. I know Kim’s father would not be behaving like his son. And it will shut up President Dotard. A good thing.

Helen B
Guest
Helen B

Here’s the real rub. Korea has an independent history and civilisation of over 6,000 years. America is a Johnny-come-lately rag tag 400+ year old nation that perpetrated genocide against the original inhabitants of its land, couldn’t even live together in peace, and have been stirring up wars somewhere on the planet ever since. Born in violence, lives in violence, is entertained by violence and sees only violence as the solution to getting its own way. KJU saw what happened to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria … if you can’t defend yourself against US aggression, you will end up the same.… Read more »

Jermano
Guest
Jermano

Dear Helen, I know all about N. Korean History. And I agree with you on the founding of the US Government. I have written articles about it. I have even written about the fraud of American Universities. Consider that we as a society have no deterrent really. And it matters not where you go, we are already home. Have you noticed that the Super Powers don’t do nuclear test any more? Why? Because it does havoc to the Environment. Detonation of Atomic Bombs there is no escape from where it is done. Underground? You think it is safe? No it’s… Read more »

Helen B
Guest
Helen B

I doubt they will subsume their sovereignty to China, but the proposition by Russia of a Russia-China-NK-SK (and possibly Japan) co-operation zone seems to me the best option. Russia is, as ever, the adult in the room. SK’ns still talk of when NK and SK are re-united: it’s only the US that keeps them apart. Common sense would indicate that 60 years after the end of the “Korean War”, and 72 years after Japan was bludgeoned by 2 nuclear blasts, there is no valid reason for the US’s presence in the far east. As I have said before, NK is… Read more »

Jermano
Guest
Jermano

Russia’s idea will not work. N. Korea wants Nuclear Protection, and a cooperation zone is too muddy, just like the EU Zone a bloody farce.. They trust China more than Russia. China shares the greater N. Korean Border. Economic ideas are fine and dandy, but N. Korea wants Nuke Protection, and their best option is with and through China. The greater achievement is to get them to stop testing, and stop the radiation contamination factors.

Andrew Earl
Guest
Andrew Earl

The scourge of our planet is the USA.

Helen B
Guest
Helen B

“This is not what one expects from a US president.”
Really?
This exactly what we have come to expect. The Bushes, Clinton, Obomba & Killary … sounds just like any one of them.
Doesn’t surprise me one jot.

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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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