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How Clintonites are preparing for war in Syria

An alliance of supporters of US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and neocons is mobilising to press for the US to go to war in Syria.

Rick Sterling

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The Syria Propaganda Campaign

Neocons and Clintonites have launched a major campaign with the goal of direct US military intervention and aggression against Syria, potentially leading to war with Iran and Russia. An early indication emerged as soon as it was clear the Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party nominee.  Following the California primary, the NY Times reported on State Department diplomats issuing an internal memo “urging the United States to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al Assad.”

In early August Dennis Ross and Andrew Tabler opined in the NY Times about “The Case for (Finally) Bombing Assad”. Dennis Ross is a favourite Clintonite.  In her book “Hard Choices”, Clinton described how she asked Dennis Ross to come to the State Department to “work on Iran and regional issues”.

NY Times regular Nicholas Kristof made his pitch for war against Syria. According to the self-styled humanitarian, we need “safe zones” as proposed by Clintonite Madeline Albright and retired General James Cartwright.  That is risky but “the risks of doing nothing in Syria are even greater”.

PBS broadcast a story titled “Repeatedly targeted by airstrikes, Syrian doctors feel abandoned.” The story features video from the “White Helmets” along with photos from the reported April bombing of Al Quds Hospital.

Currently there is a huge media campaign around the situation in Aleppo. Syrian American doctor Zaher Sahloul, of the Syrian American Medical Society, has been interviewed extensively on mainstream media as well as DemocracyNow with widespread promotion in Truthout and other sites.

There has been lots of publicity around a letter to President Obama, supposedly written by 15 doctors in East Aleppo. The letter ends “We need your action.” The flow and wording of the letter suggests it may have been composed by a marketing company and there has been no verification of the doctors who supposedly signed it.

An online Change petition asks German Chancellor Merkel and President Obama to “save the people of Aleppo”. 

The publicly funded Holocaust Memorial Museum has promoted the video #SaveSyria. One of the producers of the video is The Syria Campaign which is the marketing organization which branded the pervasive “White Helmets” as documented in “Seven Steps of Highly Effective Manipulators”.

In parallel with this media campaign, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has introduced HR5732 the “Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act of 2016”. The resolution calls for escalating economic/financial pressure on Syria and “Assessment of potential effectiveness of and requirements for the establishment of safe zones or a no fly zone in Syria”.

Dr. Sahloul, the Syrian American Medical Society doctor / spokesperson says that Obama’s legacy will be defined by whether or not he attacks Syria to impose a “no fly zone”.  It seems unlikely that Obama would do that at the end of his term.  Instead, the goal is to prepare the public for the new war to begin after Hillary Clinton becomes President.

Falsehoods and Lies of Omission 

In his article ““The media are misleading the public on Syria” author Stephen Kinzer recently wrote “Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.

Here a few facts about Aleppo which contradict the MSM narrative: 

* At least 85% of Aleppo’s population is in government controlled area.

* The estimate of 300K civilians in rebel/terrorist controlled east Aleppo is likely a gross exaggeration. In Spring 2015 Martin Chulov of the Guardian visited the area and estimated there were 40K.

* While there are very few doctors serving in the opposition controlled Aleppo, there are thousands of doctors working in the government controlled area. 

* The dominant rebel terrorist group in Aleppo is the Syrian version of Al Qaeda.

* The armed groups who invaded Aleppo have been unpopular from the beginning. In the Fall of 2012 James Foley wrote:

“Aleppo, a city of about 3 million people, was once the financial heart of Syria. As it continues to deteriorate, many civilians here are losing patience with the increasingly violent and unrecognisable opposition — one that is hampered by infighting and a lack of structure, and deeply infiltrated by both foreign fighters and terrorist groups.”

* The rebel-terrorists launch dozens and sometimes hundreds of mortars daily into the government controlled areas causing huge casualties. Western media ignores this destruction and loss of life.

* The much publicied April bombing of the supposed MSF supported “Al Quds Hospital” in Aleppo was full of contradictions and discrepancies. These were highlighted in an Open Letter to MSF. To this date, MSF has not provided corroborating information.

* Much of the video purporting to show bombing effects in Aleppo are stamped with the “White Helmets” logo. White Helmets is a creation of the US and UK and primarily a propaganda tool. The claims they are Syrian, independent and non-partisan are all false.

* Much of the information about Syria comes from “activists” trained and paid by the USA.  In her book  “Hard Choices” Secretary Clinton speaks says the US provided “training for more than a thousand (Syrian) activists, students, and independent journalists” (p464, hardback version). Obviously they are not independent and their reports should be carefully checked. 

* In contrast with the ambiguous situation at “Al Quds Hospital”, consider what happened to Aleppo’s “Al Kindi Hospital”.  Take three minutes to view the suicide suicide bombing of Al Kindi Hospital. Take two minutes to view what the “rebels” did to Syrian soldiers who had been guarding the hospital.

* Like Richard Engels fake kidnapping, the contrived CNN reports by “Syrian Danny”, the August 21 chemical attack in Ghouta effectively shown to be a staged event intended to force US attack because of the supposedly crossed red line.

* The letter to President Obama was likely written by a paid Syria War propagandist or Washington lobby firm.  Read the letter here and judge for yourself. For contrast watch this interview with a real Syrian doctor not mouthing propaganda from K Street Washington DC.

* The latest propaganda tool being used to promote US aggression against Syria is the photograph of little Omran in the orange ambulance seat. The video comes from the Aleppo Media Center “AMC”.  Like the White Helmets, AMC is a US creation. The photo of Omran has been widely accepted without scrutiny. The insightful Moon of Alabama, has raised serious questions about the media sensation.  Brad Hoff has documented that the main photographer, Mahmoud Raslan, is an ally of the Nour al Din al Zenki rebel terrorists who beheaded a young Palestinian Syrian a few weeks ago. This is confirmed step by step in this  short video. Another good short video exposing the propaganda around #Syrianboy is here.

Why the Burst of Propaganda and Calls for US Attack Now?

The Syrian crisis is at a critical point and there is prospect of the collapse of the rebel-terrorists.  If they crushed or expelled, it would allow hundreds of thousands of displaced Aleppans to return home as soon as services are restored.  This would also allow the Syrian army and allies to focus on attacking ISIS in the east and terrorist groups remaining in Idlib, Hama, the outskirts of Damascus and the south.

The tide is running against the rebel terrorist factions and their supporters. Up until the last year, fanatics and mercenaries were traveling from all parts of the globe into Syria via Turkey. Tens of thousands went to Syria from SE Asia, China, Russia, North Africa, Europe and North America. 

They were given carte blanche to depart their home countries, arrive in Turkey and be guided into Syria. For example, young Canadians such as Damien Clairmont went and died in Syria. His mother has courageously exposed the fact that Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) knew about his plans yet did nothing to stop him. Progressive Muslim leaders demanded the government identify and start dealing with the radical recruiters.  It was evidently the policy of the cynically named “Friends of Syria” to “look the other way” as their citizens were being brainwashed then recruited to become terrorists attacking Syria.

Now, with terrorist blowback, these same “Friends” are feeling some consequences from their policies. Terror attacks in Britain, France, Belgium and the USA have ended the policy of collusion with wahabi terrorists. In the last year, security services have started arresting recruiters and new recruits. In Britain, a long time promoter of ISIS has been convicted.  In Belgium, the court has approved the extradition of a suspected French terrorist. Previously Belgium was the Western country with the highest per capita number of citizens joining the terrorist fight in Syria. And now Turkey has started arresting people en route to join ISIS in Syria.

Since the rebel terrorists invaded Aleppo in 2012, they have had a constant pipeline bringing weapons, fighters and supplies into the city. For the past few months the Syrian army has been on the verge of encircling and closing the access routes into rebel terrorist sections of east Aleppo.  Western media and governments which support the rebel terrorists are doing all they can to delay or prevent this closure. They are trying to stall or prevent a Syrian victory until someone more hawkish than Barack Obama is in the White House. 

Who is Driving the Conflict?

Regional forces supporting the war on Syria include Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Israel has always been deeply involved, contrary to the faulty analysis of some observers.  Israel has provided medical and military support to Nusra/Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups operating near the Golan Heights.  Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren was explicit:  “Israel has wanted Assad ousted since Syria war began” .

The USA and western powers are also deeply involved. Working with Saudi Arabia and through Turkey, the US has supplied huge quantities of weapons to the rebel terrorists.  Sophisticated weaponry totalling 994 TONS was provided last winter as documented here.

On the other side, Iran and Hezbollah are committed to defending the existing Syrian government.  They know that if the Syrian government falls, they will be the next ones under attack.  Russia also sees this as a crucial conflict. The USA has expanded NATO up to the Russian eastern border, promoted the 2014 Ukraine coup, and insisted on economic sanctions against Russia. Syria is Russia’s only Arab ally and hosts Russia’s only foreign naval base. Russia probably sees this conflict as a crucial for its own future. In another sign of resistance to US global hegemony, China has indicated it wishes to expand military cooperation with Syria.

Following the US lead, Canada, Australia and West European countries have supported the regime change effort despite it being in clear violation of the UN Charter and international law.

What is at Stake?

Despite five years of tragedy and destruction, the U.S. continues trying to overthrow or destroy the Syrian government. This is not a new US objective.  In 2005, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed Syrian President Assad and said to him

“Mr. President, you know the rhetoric of regime change is headed towards you from the United States….They’re talking about isolating you diplomatically and, perhaps, a coup d’etat or your regime crumbling. What are you thinking about that?

Amanpour is not only the CNN host, she is the wife of neocon Clintonite James Rubin.

In 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Syria to stop its support of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, “loosen” its alliance with Iran and sign a treaty with Israel. Significantly, these are Israel’s demands and of much higher importance to the Zionist state than the USA.

The war in Syria is bringing numerous conflicts to a head: sectarian wahabism vs secular Islam; the “new american century” with one superpower vs a multilateral world;  zionist dominance and occupation vs Lebanese and Palestinian resistance. 

Hillary Clinton is on record criticizing the decision to not bomb Syria in the Fall of 2013. She has continued to promote the idea of a “no fly zone”. She is an avowed zionist who has said she wants to take the US-Israeli relationship to the ‘next level’.

Zionist Israel is deeply worried by the prospect of a strengthened Syria and Lebanese resistance. In addition,  there are many Palestinian refugees and their descendants in Syria and Lebanon. They retain their wish to return home in keeping with international law.  Just as Zionist Israeli interests were a major factor in the invasion of Iraq, so they are in continuing the conflict in Syria. In addition, neocons have not given up their goal of a “new American century”.   

What Has been the role of the Western Left?

The left has been weak in responding and opposing the aggression against Syria. Major factors have included:

– Saudi and US State Dept funded Muslim groups which support the aggression against Syria. This includes the recently famous Dr Zaher Sahloul and the Syrian American Medical Society. SAMS and Zahloul are aligned with Saudi Arabia and receive substantial State Dept funding. 

– deluded leftist groups who support a fantasy “revolution” in Syria just as they did in Libya.

– the flooding of social media and the internet by “activists” and Syrian “civil society” groups who are actually paid and trained agents of the west. This is confirmed by Clinton herself in her book “Hard Choices”.

– uncritical acceptance of major NGOs who are predominately funded by billionaires. These organizations need to be considered with some skepticism. For example, in 1990, Amnesty International mistakenly corroborated the accuracy of the false claim that Iraqi soldiers were stealing incubators from Kuwait, leaving babies to die on the cold floor. In the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Syria, Human Rights Watch did not oppose the invasion and implicitly accepted it by only criticizing the lack of preparation.  Physicians for Human Rights, another Soros project, has issued grossly misleading reports on Syria.

– alternative media which is progressive on many issues but echoes NPR and mainstream media on critical foreign policy issues including the Syrian conflict.

Some groups including Arab Americans for Syria, Syrian American Forum, Black Agenda Report, Syria Solidarity Movement, Answer and Workers World Party have actively challenged the disinformation but their budgets and influence are relatively small in comparison with the heavily funded organizations pushing for regime change.

Veterans for Peace, one of the most influential and respected peace organisations, has recently sharpened its understanding and position.  Following a recent visit to Syria, the Vice President of Veterans for Peace, Jerry Condon, has said,

“Everything we read about Syria in the US media is wrong. The reality is that the U.S. government is supporting armed extremist groups who are terrorizing the Syrian people and trying to destroy Syria’s secular state. In order to hide that ugly reality and push violent regime change the U.S. is conducting a psychological warfare campaign to demonize Syria’s president, Bashar al Assad. This is a classic tactic that veterans have seen over and over. It is shocking, however, to realize how willingly the media repeat this propaganda, and how many people believe it to be true.” 

What Needs to Happen

Neoconservatives including Clintonites are pushing hard for a direct US attack on Syria to prevent the collapse of their regime change project. Claiming that the US and NATO can bring a ‘safe zone’ and ‘protect civilians’ is a grotesque falsehood. If the US tries to impose a “no fly zone” it will result in vastly more deaths and risk escalation into direct conflict between Syria, Russia, Iran and Israel.

Former Acting CIA director Mike Morell recently suggested the killing of Russians and Iranians in Syria to make them “pay a price”. He has endorsed Hillary Clinton as President. This is how dangerous, ignorant and arrogant Washington has become.

There is a clear solution to the Syrian tragedy: the countries who have been supplying tons of weapons and paying tens of thousands of mercenary terrorists should stop.  The conflict would soon end. The foreigners would depart with much less fanaticism than what they came with.  Many Syrian rebel terrorists would accept reconciliation.

There needs to be a global campaign but there is much responsibility in the US since our government is the greatest threat to peace. Following are specific ideas which are realistic and could help significantly.

1. Bernie Sanders raised expectations when he talked about the need stop the ‘regime change’ foreign policy. Now is when he needs to be clear and unequivocal: US military aggression against Syria will make things worse not better and must not happen. Sanders proved that a progressive policy is popular.  If Sanders abandons his core foreign policy position and does not speak out strongly against the drive for aggression, it will be a huge disappointment and failure. He must not be allowed to betray his own message and end up as a porter for Hillary Clinton and the war machine. 

2. DemocracyNow and other leading alternative media need to start including different analyses. To a sad extent, their coverage of Syria has echoed NPR and CNN.  If DemocracyNow is truly an “Exception to the Rulers”, it needs to start including more critical examinations. DN producers should be studying publications such as Consortiumnews, Global Research, AntiWar, MoonOfAlabama, Al Masdar News, Al Mayadeen, Counterpunch, The Duran, DissidentVoice, American Herald Tribune, 21stCenturyWire, Black Agenda Report, the Canary, RT, PressTV and TruePublica (not corporate ProPublica).  They should be bringing the observations and analysis of journalists such as Sharmine Narwani,  Dr. Tim Anderson, Edward Dark, Eva Bartlett, Brad Hoff, Vanessa Beeley, Stephen Sahiounie and Ken Stone to name just a few. Syrian academics such as Issa Chaer (UK) and Nour al Kadri (Canada) could be interviewed. Followers of DN have heard Hillary Clinton as Secy of State and other US officials speaking about Syria countless times. Why have Amy and Juan not interviewed the Syrian Ambassador to the UN?

3. This is an opportunity and challenge for Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party. They are clear on this issue. If they can get a mass audience to hear their message, it could be crucial to their winning support and prompting crucial national debate.  At the moment there is almost no debate on the life and death issue of war in the Middle East.

Instead, the media is filled with propaganda using a boy’s photo to promote more war. The Green Party could play a hugely important role exposing the danger and duplicity of Clinton and Trump. They could play a key role in blocking the Clintonite march to a new war.

4. Veterans for Peace will hopefully play a leading role in changing the perception and ending the demobilisation of the US peace movement. There is a lot at stake.

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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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