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Here’s your ‘Putin Did It!’ Survival Guide…

Here’s your helpful guide to dealing with the various types of people who blame Putin for everything.

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As the Duran reported, it was only a matter of time before the ‘Putin Did It’ (see The Duran Lexicon for more) line crept back into the news in light of a re-opened FBI investigation, following the discovery more incriminating Hillary Clinton emails. Sure enough, Howard Dean, the man who ended his own presidential campaign by acting like a crazed hooligan on stage, has said that now the FBI and Putin are on the same side.

This comes days after Putin reassured the world that he really doesn’t want, need or care to meddle in the US election. Of course the usual suspects in the western mainstream media don’t listen to Putin because he’s just too damn reasonable. It seems that western mainstream media are confounded by Putin’s calm, his consistency, his logic and moreover by the fact that he doesn’t seem too perturbed about the issues that western pundits go hysterical over on a daily basis.

In order to make life easier for those who ‘question more’ in the following week,  I’ve come up with a list of the varieties of people who say ‘Putin did it’ and why.

  1. THE OLD ANTI-SOVIET COLD WARRIOR WITH IMAGINARY NUKES AT THE READY

This is an increasingly small but vocal group of people who lost their raison d’etre after the illegal break-up of the Soviet Union. Much like the members of the CPSU who rallied against the leadership of Gorbachev in 1991, this variety of person was equally devastated by the loss of Soviet power. The absence of the USSR meant that they could no longer talk about nuking Moscow in order to ‘free the people’ from Communism. In an instant they went from being extreme defenders of liberty, to trigger happy weirdos.

But life has recently got a lot better for them. These people go home at night pretending that the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is not Gennady Zyuganov but Vladimir Putin. To them the Soviet Union is back and so too is the great crusade against it.

Many of these people couldn’t actually care less about Hillary Clinton’s emails and her crimes against everyone from Bernie Sanders to foreign heads of state. They’re simply happy that a mainstream political figure has allowed them to once again feel relevant. The USSR is back, it must be destroyed by any means necessary and the former Goldwater supporter Hillary Clinton is their kind of gal. Put on your cowboy boots…

  1. THE PATHOLOGICAL ANTI-RUSSIAN RACIST

This group has roots which date back far beyond America’s ascension as a world power. Unlike the previous group, these people are no laughing matter. Where the anti-Soviet cold warriors have a certain Dr. Strangelove value to them, one that even in 1960s America wasn’t fully taken seriously, the anti-Russian racists have been spreading vile propaganda in the west for centuries.

To these people, Russians are barbaric by design. They are expendable and their country is fit to be used by western powers as they see fit. This attitude reached a fevered pitch during the so-called ‘Great Game’ between Britain and Russia in the mid to late 19th century.

The kind of propaganda spouted at that time held that Russians have no culture, no education, no civilisation and most importantly,  that Orthodox Christianity is an inferior faith vis-à-vis varieties of Western Christianity. This was said in spite of Orthodoxy’s direct relationship to the Ancient Church.

This attitude was later elevated to the realm of pseudoscience when Sir Halford John Mackinder proposed that Russia ought to be used as a geographical pivot region that the west must control in order to better dominate the Orient. According to such people, Russia wasn’t even worthy of colonising, it was simply a geographical motorway that ought to be pacified in order to get to the final destination.

These ideas were refined and consequently became highly dangerous under the Nazis. Hitler sought Lebensraum or living space for the German race. In order to accomplish this, Slavic populations, mainly Russians, needed to be eliminated so Hitler could use the land to provide resources for the Germanic races.

Although few of the ‘Putin Did It’ brigade openly associate themselves with Hitler, their attitudes have a similar origin. It is a deep set attitude whereby those of western European lineage and those of a Western Christian persuasion feel they are implicitly superior to Russians, black people, Jewish people, Orthodox Christians, Arabs, all Asian people and native peoples of the Americas and Oceania.  Russia is the safest target for them because of the power and unity of the Russian state. But do not be fooled. These people are old fashioned western racists, they’re just more careful about whom they openly insult these days.

  1. THE BORING, WILFULLY IGNORANT LIBERAL

‘Putin isn’t a liberal therefor he MUST be bad’: so goes the mantra of those who talk about Russia in a negative light and blame them for everything from the local health food shop running out of inedible garbage to the fact that their loser kids failed a recent maths exam.

For them, Russia has a DUTY to be a neo-liberal state, because that’s just the way the world should be. There’s a weirdly racist element to this thinking. Because they see Russia as a nation of ‘white people,’ they expect Russia to do as European countries do and embrace the post-identity liberal way where to quote the song Lola by The Kinks ‘Girls will be boys and boys will be girls It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world’.

They are incensed not by Russia’s alleged lack of democracy but because Russia is too democratic and actively choose to do things the Russian way rather than the liberal European way. Of course this doesn’t fit the narrative, so in their minds, Putin is forcing Russians to have what they want in a totally undemocratic way.

If you’re looking for logic, don’t attempt a conversation with one of these liberals. These people know almost nothing about Russia, they simply cannot believe anyone who looks vaguely white wouldn’t want to be like good European liberals. Therefore it must be due to ‘oppression’.

The insincerity of their pseudo-compassion is easily exposed. Most of these people reckon they are Putin experts and can tell you made up stories concerning everything you need to know about Putin from his childhood to his present attempts to ‘rig the election’.

Less familiar to such people will be the names, Alexander Yakovlev, Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais. These people are often wilfully ignorant that western bandits like George Soros acted in collusion with Russian traitors in the 1990s to stave the Russian people. When they hear that in the liberal 1990s, young men were committing suicide left and right, the elderly were starving and homeless, young girls who would have been teachers, scientists, athletes or musicians were forced into prostitution; they just tend to cover their ears. To them, the precious liberal narrative is more convenient than the truth of what Russia’s neo-liberal experiment did to the lives of ordinary Russians.

So go on, ignore reality, and don’t choke on your gluten free smoothie. Keep calm and remember no matter the problem, ‘Putin did it’.

  1. THE ‘CAN’T HAPPEN HERE’ TRUE BELIEVER

Unlike the previous groups, I almost pity these people. These are the people who were brought up to believe ‘the west is the best’. In the west the newspapers tell the truth and in other places they are full of lies. Western politicians are honourable men and women who go into public service to enhance the lives of their countrymen. In the west there is free speech and everywhere else there isn’t. In the west, everyone is honest.

WRONG!

These people are confounded to lean that western powers are as bad or worse than the faraway places they’ve grown up thinking are vastly underdeveloped and backward vis-à-vis the west. These people still believe the myth even though the age of Wikileaks, new media like The Duran and RT, social media and an inter-connected world, has made such beliefs increasingly difficult to maintain.

For them, the clichés about ‘truth justice and the American (or French, or British, or Swedish or Dutch) way’ must be clung onto because it makes them feel safe in the world and absolves them of any guilt for voting for war criminals and con-artists.

  1. HILLARY CLINTON

She really does deserve her own category. Seneca once said, “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful”. This quote goes a long way in explaining the modus-operandi of Hillary Clinton. She will say anything to anyone in order to gain some sort of electoral, economic or general political advantage.

I truly believe that Hillary Clinton knows that Putin did NOT do it. But she has found a way to simultaneously exploit stupid liberals, wicked racists, old Cold Warriors and true believers. It was only after Trump and Putin said some vaguely positive things about one another that Hillary Clinton began blaming Putin for all of her own ills and beyond her, those of the wider world.

This demonstrates that the ‘Putin did it’ line is a child of opportunism rather than ideology. Had Trump and the leaders of China said vaguely positive things about each other ‘China did it’ could have easily been her go-to mantra.

However, Hillary Clinton underestimated Donald Trump. To quote George W. Bush, perhaps she even ‘misunderestimated’ Trump. Where many less independent minded leaders would have buckled under pressure and eventually said, ‘yes Putin is bad, sorry Mrs. Hillary you can spank me now’, Trump stuck to his principles and he ought to be lauded for it.

Trump has consistently said that whilst he doesn’t have a relationship with Putin he would like a good one because, cooperation between superpowers is better than conflict, because a common policy on ISIS is better than a hypocritical and confused one and because Putin is a man who inherently commands respect, something which Donald Trump finds rightly admirable.

The moral of the story is, Hillary Clinton can fool a lot of the people a lot of the time but she cannot fool everybody all of the time. Donald Trump’s indefatigability has made this especially so.

So there you have it. Your ‘Putin Did It’ survival guide. I have a feeling that over the next week it will be increasingly useful.

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US continues to try to corner Russia with silence on Nukes

Moscow continues to be patient in what appears to be an ever more lopsided, intentional stonewalling situation provoked by the Americans.

Seraphim Hanisch

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TASS reported on March 17th that despite Russian readiness to discuss the present problem of strategic weapons deployments and disarmament with its counterparts in the United States, the Americans have not offered Russia any proposals to conduct such talks.

The Kremlin has not yet received any particular proposals on the talks over issues of strategic stability and disarmament from Washington, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS on Sunday when commenting on the statement made by US National Security Adviser John Bolton who did not rule out that such talks could be held with Russia and China.

“No intelligible proposals has been received [from the US] so far,” Peskov said.

Earlier Bolton said in an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis aired on Sunday that he considers it reasonable to include China in the negotiation on those issues with Russia as well.

“China is building up its nuclear capacity now. It’s one of the reasons why we’re looking at strengthening our national missile defense system here in the United States. And it’s one reason why, if we’re going to have another arms control negotiation, for example, with the Russians, it may make sense to include China in that discussion as well,” he said.

Mr. Bolton’s sense about this particular aspect of any arms discussions is correct, as China was not formerly a player in geopolitical affairs the way it is now. The now all-but-scrapped Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, was a treaty concluded by the US and the USSR leaders Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, back in 1987. However, for in succeeding decades, most notably since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has been gradually building up weaponry in what appears to be an attempt to create a ring around the Russian Federation, a situation which is understandably increasingly untenable to the Russian government.

Both sides have accused one another of violating this treaty, and the mutual violations and recriminations on top of a host of other (largely fabricated) allegations against the Russian government’s activities led US President Donald Trump to announce his nation’s withdrawal from the treaty, formally suspending it on 1 February. Russian President Vladimir Putin followed suit by suspending it the very next day.

The INF eliminated all of both nations’ land based ballistic and cruise missiles that had a range between 500 and 1000 kilometers (310-620 miles) and also those that had ranges between 1000 and 5500 km (620-3420 miles) and their launchers.

This meant that basically all the missiles on both sides were withdrawn from Europe’s eastern regions – in fact, much, if not most, of Europe was missile-free as the result of this treaty. That is no longer the case today, and both nations’ accusations have provoked re-development of much more advanced systems than ever before, especially true considering the Russian progress into hypersonic and nuclear powered weapons that offer unlimited range.

This situation generates great concern in Europe, such that the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on both Moscow and Washington to salvage the INF and extend the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, or the New START as it is known.

“I call on the parties to the INF Treaty to use the time remaining to engage in sincere dialogue on the various issues that have been raised. It is very important that this treaty is preserved,” Guterres said at a session of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Monday.

He stressed that the demise of that accord would make the world more insecure and unstable, which “will be keenly felt in Europe.” “We simply cannot afford to return to the unrestrained nuclear competition of the darkest days of the Cold War,” he said.

Guterres also urged the US and Russia to extend the START Treaty, which expires in 2021, and explore the possibility of further reducing their nuclear arsenals. “I also call on the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the so-called New START Treaty before it expires in 2021,” he said.

The UN chief recalled that the treaty “is the only international legal instrument limiting the size of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals” and that its inspection provisions “represent important confidence-building measures that benefit the entire world.”

Guterres recalled that the bilateral arms control process between Russia and the US “has been one of the hallmarks of international security for fifty years.”

“Thanks to their efforts, global stockpiles of nuclear weapons are now less than one-sixth of what they were in 1985,” the UN secretary-general pointed out.

The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) entered into force on February 5, 2011. The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into effect each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers. The new START Treaty obliges the parties to exchange information on the number of warheads and carriers twice a year.

The new START Treaty will remain in force during 10 years until 2021, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. It may be extended for a period of no more than five years (that is, until 2026) upon the parties’ mutual consent. Moscow has repeatedly called on Washington not to delay the issue of extending the Treaty.

 

 

 

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Trump witch hunt dots connected: CNN to Steele to John McCain (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 110.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss documents released which show that Christopher Steele admitted to using posts by ‘random individuals’ on the CNN community website ‘iReport’ in order to back up his fabricated Trump dossier.

President Trump took note of Steele’s use of CNN citizen journalist posts, in a twitter tirade that blasted the British ex-spy for running with unverified community generated content from a now now-defunct ‘iReports’ website as part of his research.

Trump the proceeded to rip into late neocon Arizona Senator John McCain, tweeting that it was “just proven in court papers” that “last in his class” McCain sent the Steele’s dossier to media outlets in the hopes that they would print it prior to the 2016 US election.

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Via The Daily Caller

A federal court unsealed 43 pages Thursday of a deposition that former British spy Christopher Steele gave as part of a lawsuit over his infamous anti-Trump dossier.

To the disappointment of many observers, the full deposition was not unsealed in Thursday’s motion. Instead, portions of Steele’s interview, which he gave in London on July 13, 2018, were unsealed in separate court filings submitted in the lawsuit.

Steele’s full deposition totaled 145 pages. The portions published Thursday focus mainly on questions about the dossier’s claims about Aleksej Gubarev, a tech executive who Steele alleges took part in the hacking of Democrats’ computer systems.

Gubarev has vehemently denied the claim and sued Steele and BuzzFeed News, which published the dossier on Jan. 10, 2017.

U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro, who handled the lawsuit, ordered a slew of previously sealed documents to be made public Thursday. Ungaro dismissed the lawsuit on Dec. 19 but did not weigh in on whether the dossier’s claims about Gubarev were accurate.

It is unclear whether Steele’s entire deposition will be released. A source familiar with Steele’s interview tempered expectations of any bombshells in the document, saying that Steele avoided going into detail about his efforts to create the dossier and his sources.

A deposition given by former State Department official David Kramer was perhaps the most enlightening document contained in the dump.

Kramer, a longtime associate of late Arizona Sen. John McCain, was BuzzFeed’s source for the dossier. Kramer shared the dossier with at least 11 other reporters, including CNN’s Carl Bernstein. (RELATED: John McCain Associate Gave Dossier To A Dozen Reporters)

Kramer obtained the dossier in late November 2016 after visiting Steele in London. Steele acknowledged that Kramer and McCain were picked as conduits to pass the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey. McCain met with Comey on Dec. 9, 2016 and provided all of the dossier’s memos that had been written up to that point.

“I think they felt a senior Republican was better to be the recipient of this rather than a Democrat because if it were a Democrat, I think that the view was that it would have been dismissed as a political attack,” Kramer said in the deposition when asked why Steele and his business partners at Fusion GPS wanted McCain to meet with Comey.

Via Washington Examiner

Former British spy Christopher Steele admitted that he relied on an unverified report on a CNN website for part of the “Trump dossier,” which was used as a basis for the FBI’s investigation into Trump.

According to deposition transcripts released this week, Steele said last year he used a 2009 report he found on CNN’s iReport website and said he wasn’t aware that submissions to that site are posted by members of the public and are not checked for accuracy.

web archive from July 29, 2009 shows that CNN described the site in this manner: “iReport.com is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.”

In the dossier, Steele, a Cambridge-educated former MI6 officer, wrote about extensive allegations against Donald Trump, associates of his campaign, various Russians and other foreign nationals, and a variety of companies — including one called Webzilla. Those allegations would become part of an FBI investigation and would be used to apply for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

During his deposition, Steele was pressed on the methods he used to verify allegations made about Webzilla, which was thought to be used by Russia to hack into Democratic emails.

When asked if he discovered “anything of relevance concerning Webzilla” during the verification process, Steele replied: “We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport.”

“I do not have any particular knowledge of that,” Steele said when asked what was his understanding of how the iReport website worked.

When asked if he understood that content on the site was not generated by CNN reporters, he said, “I do not.” He was then asked: “Do you understand that they have no connection to any CNN reporters?” Steele replied, “I do not.”

He was pressed on this further: “Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?” Steele replied: “No, I obviously presume that if it is on a CNN site that it may has some kind of CNN status. Albeit that it may be an independent person posting on the site.”

When asked about his methodology for searching for this information, Steele described it as “what we could call an open source search,” which he defined as “where you go into the Internet and you access material that is available on the Internet that is of relevance or reference to the issue at hand or the person under consideration.”

Steele said his dossier contained “raw intelligence” that he admitted could contain untrue or even “deliberately false information.”

Steele was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to investigate then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. Fusion GPS was receiving funding at the time from the Clinton campaign and the DNC through the Perkins Coie law firm.

The series of memos that Steele would eventually compile became known as the “Trump Dossier.” The dossier was used in FISA applications to surveil Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

When asked whether he warned Fusion GPS that the information in the dossier might be “Russian disinformation,” Steele admitted that “a general understanding existed between us and Fusion … that all material contained this risk.”

Steele also described his interactions with Sen. John McCain’s aide, David Kramer, whose own deposition showed that he provided BuzzFeed with a copy of the dossier and had spoken with more than a dozen journalists about it.

“I provided copies of the December memo to Fusion GPS for onward passage to David Kramer at the request of Sen. John McCain,” Steele said. “Sen. McCain nominated him as the intermediary. I did not choose him as the intermediary.”

When asked if he told Kramer that he couldn’t “vouch for everything that was produced in the memos,” Steele replied, “Yes, with an emphasis on ‘everything.'”

When asked why he believed it was so important to provide the dossier to Sen. McCain, Steele said: “Because I judged it had national security implications for the United States and the West as a whole.”

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Trudeau’s Top Bureaucrat Unexpectedly Quits Amid Growing Corruption Scandal

In a scathing letter to Trudeau, Wernick said that “recent events” led him to conclude he couldn’t hold his post during the election campaign this fall.

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Via Zerohedge


Since it was exposed by a report in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper earlier this month, the scandal that’s become known as the SNC-Lavalin affair has already led to the firing of several of Trudeau’s close advisors and raised serious questions about whether the prime minister was complicit in pressuring the attorney general to offer a deferred prosecution agreement with a large, Quebec-based engineering firm.

And according to the first round of polls released since the affair exploded into public view…

…it could cost Trudeau his position as prime minister and return control to the conservatives, according to the CBC.

Campaign Research showed the Conservatives ahead with 37% to 32% for the Liberals, while both Ipsos and Léger put the margin at 36% to 34% in the Conservatives’ favour.Since December, when both polling firms were last in the field, the Liberals have lost one point in Campaign Research’s polling and four percentage points in the Ipsos poll, while the party is down five points since November in the Léger poll.

Meanwhile, as the noose tightens around Trudeau, on Monday another of the key Canadian government officials at the center of the SNC-Lavalin scandal has quit his post.

Michael Wernick, clerk of the privy council, the highest-ranking position in Canada’s civil service and a key aide to Justin Trudeau, announced his retirement Monday. Trudeau named Ian Shugart, currently deputy minister of foreign affairs, to replace him.

In a scathing letter to Trudeau, Wernick said that “recent events” led him to conclude he couldn’t hold his post during the election campaign this fall.

“It is now apparent that there is no path for me to have a relationship of mutual trust and respect with the leaders of the opposition parties,” he said, citing the need for impartiality on the issue of potential foreign interference. According to Bloomberg, the exact date of his departure is unclear.

As we reported in February, Canada’s former justice minister and attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, quit following allegations that several key Trudeau government figures pressured her to intervene to end a criminal prosecution against Montreal-based construction giant SNC. Wernick was among those she named in saying the prime minister’s office wanted her to pursue a negotiated settlement.

Wernick has since twice spoken to a committee of lawmakers investigating the case, and during that testimony both defended his actions on the SNC file and warned about the risk of foreign election interference, as “blame Putin” has become traditional Plan B plan for most politicians seeing their careers go up in flames.

“I’m deeply concerned about my country right now, its politics and where it’s headed. I worry about foreign interference in the upcoming election,” he said in his first appearance before the House of Commons justice committee, before repeating the warning a second time this month. “If that was seen as alarmist, so be it. I was pulling the alarm. We need a public debate about foreign interference.”

Because somehow foreign interference has something to do with Wenick’s alleged corruption.

Incidentally, as we wonder what the real reason is behind Wernick’s swift departure, we are confident we will know soon enough.

Anyway, back to the now former clerk, who is meant to be non-partisan in service of the government of the day, also criticized comments by a Conservative senator and praised one of Trudeau’s cabinet ministers.

Wernick’s testimony was criticized as overly cozy with the ruling Liberals. Murray Rankin, a New Democratic Party lawmaker, asked the clerk how lawmakers could “do anything but conclude that you have in fact crossed the line into partisan activity?” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said he seemed “willing to interfere in partisan fashion for whoever is in power.”

Whatever Wernick’s true motives, he is the latest but not last in what will be a long line of cabinet departures as the SNC scandal exposes even more corruption in Trudeau’s cabinet (some have ironically pointed out that Canada’s “beloved” prime minister could be gone for actual corruption long before Trump). Trudeau had already lost a top political aide, Gerald Butts, to the scandal. A second minister, Jane Philpott, followed Wilson-Raybould in quitting cabinet.

Separately, on Monday, Trudeau appointed a former deputy prime minister in a Liberal government, Anne McLellan, as a special adviser to investigate some of the legal questions raised by the controversy. They include how governments should interact with the attorney general and whether that role should continue to be held by the justice minister.

As Bloomberg notes, the increasingly shaky Liberal government hasn’t ruled out helping SNC by ordering a deferred prosecution agreement in the corruption and bribery case, which centers around the company’s work in Moammar Qaddafi’s Libya. Doing so would allow the company to pay a fine and avoid any ban on receiving government contracts. That decision is up to the current attorney general, David Lametti; of course, such an action would only raise tensions amid speculation that the government is pushing for a specific political, and favorable for Trudeau, outcome.

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