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Kremlin backs police in Moscow protest, Navalny gets fined

Russian authorities support police handling of unsanctioned protest whilst organisers confirm accuracy of police estimate of numbers.

Alexander Mercouris

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Alexey Navalny, the organiser of yesterday’s unsanctioned protest in Moscow, and the person who called the protests elsewhere in Russia, has now been convicted by a Moscow court of organising an unsanctioned protest and has been ordered to pay a $350 fine.

This is part of the regular circus between the Russian authorities and Navalny.  He pretends to be persecuted, and they pretend to punish him.  In reality, though he now has two convictions for serious embezzlement as well as multiple public order offences – some minor, some less so – he remains free and continues exactly as before, with the authorities doing nothing to enforce the various sentences the Russian courts have imposed on him.

Navalny’s essential immunity from legal action partly reflects the authorities’ unwillingness to make a martyr of him.  However it also reflects their hardheaded calculation that Navalny puts off far more people than he attracts, and that he creates for Russia’s ‘non-system’ ‘liberal’ opposition more problems than benefits.  This is in part because notwithstanding Navalny’s undoubted rhetorical and public relations skills, his political views are not only not those of most Russian liberals, but are actually their diametric opposite.

The point was made best by the independent analyst Mark Sleboda in a typically forthright comment on Facebook in response to my previous article about the protests

Liberal opposition activist?  Navalny is a far right, racist, ultranationalist, anti-Semite, gun-nut, neoliberal twice convicted fraudster. But he’s also pro-Western so who cares?

Anyone who has followed Navalny’s career with care knows that this characterisation exactly describes Navalny’s political views.

The only qualification I would make is that I suspect Navalny’s ‘ultra nationalist’ views are ultimately as phoney as everything else about him.  At some point early in his career Navalny, or possibly his Western advisers, hit on the idea that ultra-nationalism and anti-corruption were the route to breaking out of the electoral ghetto Russia’s liberals have boxed themselves into.  Above all the idea seems to have been to win over Russia’s working class, whom Western commentators and Russian middle class liberals axiomatically assume are ultra-nationalists.

If so then the calculation has turned out to be completely wrong.  Navalny’s political constituency is the same middle class constituency that always votes liberal, and which has been doing so since free elections came to Russia in the 1980s.  There is no sign of Navalny winning over Russian working class voters in any number, whilst his ‘ultra-nationalist’ pose discomforts some Russian liberals, and has earned for Navalny a measure of criticism from his liberal peers.  However the ‘ultra nationalist’ pose together with Navalny’s forthright manner does at least win Navalny national attention by differentiating him from other liberal ‘non-system’ politicians, so he has stuck with it ever since, and realistically he is now too associated with it to abandon it.

Regardless, the key point about Navalny is that I suspect the Russian authorities have long since concluded that because of his arrogance and extremist views Navalny is a disruptive and divisive force within Russia’s liberal ‘non-system’ opposition, not a consolidating one, which is one reason why they tolerate his activities and his persistent law-breaking.

As for the Kremlin’s reaction to yesterday’s protests, the most important thing Dmitry Peskov, President Putin’s spokesman, said about them today was that he confirmed the Kremlin’s strong backing for the way the police handled them.  There have been some (predictable) complaints that the police acted in a ‘heavy handed’ way.  However Peskov was having none of it, calling the police’s handling of the Moscow protest “fully correct, highly professional and legal”.  For the record, I agree.

I would add that politically it is also the right approach.  In my opinion the moment Ukrainian President Yanukovych began to lose control of the situation in Ukraine was when he failed to give his police full backing after they cleared Maidan Square of protesters on 30th November 2013.  Instead of supporting the police, who were simply doing their job, Yanukovych put up his Prime Minister – Mykola Azarov – to criticise them instead.  At a stroke that demoralised the police, making them unsure how to respond to protests in future, and emboldened the protesters, whose narrative of police violence had been given official sanction.  That set the scene for the collapse which followed, with the only surprise for me being that the discipline of the Ukrainian police held for as long as it did.

Obviously the authorities in Russia, like the authorities in Belarus, are not going to make the same mistake.  If only for that reason the possibility of the events in Kiev being repeated in Moscow does not exist.

Lastly, in concluding my comments about yesterday’s protest, I would refer to the fine description of the Moscow protest by another interested and insightful observer – Anatoly Karlin – and I would also point out something about the protest that is so unusual as to be almost unique: that both the organisers and the police appear for once to agree that the number of people at the protest in Moscow was around 7,000 to 8,000.  Apparently Navalny’s team are claiming that the total number of people who protested yesterday across the whole of Russia was around 20,000 to 30,000, which is more than the 20,000 I estimated yesterday, but hardly significantly so.

As I said yesterday, in a country of 144 million people this was in no sense a huge ‘protest wave’, or anything like it, and it is surprising for once to see even Navalny’s people agree.

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World War I Homage – A Triumph of Lies and Platitudes

The unilateral, lawless imperialism that engendered World War I and 20 years later World War II is still alive and dangerously vigorous.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via Strategic Culture:


World leaders gathered in Paris on Sunday under the Arc de Triomphe to mark the centennial anniversary ending World War I. In an absurd way, the Napoleon-era arc was a fitting venue – because the ceremony and the rhetoric from President Emmanuel Macron was a “triumph” of lies and platitudes.

Among the estimated 70 international leaders were US President Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, each sitting on either side of Macron and his wife. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also given pride of place beside the French president.

Macron’s address to the dignitaries was supposed to be a call for international multilateralism. He urged a “brotherhood” for the cause of world peace. He also made a pointed rebuke of “nationalism” as posing a danger to peace – a remark which seemed aimed at Donald Trump who recently boasted of his politics with that very word.

But, ironically, everything about the ceremony and Macron’s speech resonated with jingoistic French nationalism, not his avowed multinationalism. As the politicians sat under the Arc de Triomphe, Macron walked around its circular esplanade in a salute to assembled French military forces bearing assault rifles and bayonets. The French anthem – The Marseillaise – was played twice, once by an army brass band, the second time sung by an army choir. There was also a military plane flyover displaying the blue, red and white tricolor of the French national flag.

In his speech, Macron talked about soldiers coming from all over the world to “die for France” during the 1914-18 Great War. He even said at one point that the war was fought for “the vision of France” and its “universal values”.

This was fluent drivel, French-style. No wonder Russia’s Putin momentarily gave a look of boredom as Macron waxed lyrical.

The speechifying and commemoration was completely detached from current realities of conflict and international tensions.

Among the “brotherhood” whom Macron was appealing to were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whose military forces continue to bomb and slaughter Palestinian civilians in illegally occupied territory. Also present was Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko whose armed militias continue to terrorize the people of eastern Ukraine with the blatant objective of instigating a war between the US-led NATO alliance and Russia.

Listening to Macron one would think that World War I erupted mysteriously from no specific cause and that an estimated 10 million soldiers were all killed in heroic battles for noble principles.

There was, of course, no mention by Macron of imperialist warmongering and the barbaric sacrifice of humans as slaves in the service of national capitalist power interests.

Grotesquely, as the world leaders donned solemn faces and mouthed pious platitudes for peace, the whole occasion was a triumph in burying reality and the ongoing causes of wars, as well as whitewashing the very culprits responsible for wars. Among the war criminals wearing a mournful black suit was former French President Nicolas Sarkozy who launched the NATO blitzkrieg on Libya in 2011.

While the empty, self-indulgent rhetoric was ringing out, one couldn’t help but recall some of the most glaring contemporary contradictions that were blocked out with awesome Orwellian efficiency.

Just this week, reports emerged of the horrific civilian death toll from the American air force bombing the Syrian city of Raqqa. The city was razed to the ground by US air strikes last year – supposedly to defeat the ISIS terror group. Some 8,000 bodies of civilians, mainly women and children, have now been recovered by Syrian government forces. And that’s only from clearing away a tiny area of rubble for the whole city.

What the Americans did in Raqqa was a monumental war crime, all the more criminal because US forces, along with their NATO partners Britain and France, are illegally present in and assaulting sovereign Syrian territory.

As Macron was telling world leaders about “the vision of France”, hundreds were being killed in Yemen in a battle to strangle the entire population by taking the port city of Hodeida. The genocidal war on that country – which is putting up to 16 million people at risk from starvation – has been fully backed by France, the US and Britain, from their supply of warplanes and bombs to the Saudi and Emirati aggressive forces.

We could mention other specific conflicts where the culprits are clearly identified. For example, the multi-million-dollar support from Washington for the Azov Battalion and other Neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine, which openly emulate the genocidal conduct of Hitler’s Third Reich to exterminate ethnic Russians.

We could mention how US-led NATO forces continue to expand towards Russian territory with outrageous provocation. The mounting earlier this month of the biggest-ever NATO war drills since the Cold War in the Arctic region adjacent to Russia’s northern border was a brazen threat of rehearsing invasion. The announced tearing up of yet another nuclear arms control treaty unilaterally by Washington is a reckless undermining of global security.

Washington threatens China with naval forces marauding near Beijing’s maritime territory in the South China Sea. Washington blockades Iran with illegal economic warfare and openly agitates for regime change. Washington declares Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba a “troika of tyranny” and reserves the right to threaten each of these countries with military invasion at any time.

Meanwhile, this weekend, Russia hosted peace talks in Moscow between the warring parties of Afghanistan. It was seen as a major breakthrough in trying to bring peace to the Central Asia country which has been wracked by 17 years of violence since US forces began their ongoing military occupation – allegedly to defeat terrorism.

Elsewhere, Russia has engaged with Turkey, Germany and France to convene a summit for peaceful reconstruction of Syria. The latest summit held in Ankara at the end of last month follows several other such meetings in Astana and Sochi, largely at the behest of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, to find a political settlement to the nearly eight-year war in Syria – a war that was fomented covertly by Washington and its allies for regime change.

France’s Macron talks about “multilateralism” for world peace, yet the two countries which have arguably supported and implemented multilateralism in practice are Russia and China in their calls and policies for global partnership and economic development.

And yet it is Russia and China that are being harassed with American and European sanctions, and US military provocations.

The unilateral, lawless imperialism that engendered World War I and 20 years later World War II is still alive and dangerously vigorous. We only have to look around the present world to realize that. But when the culprits indulge in a triumph of bullshit then we also know that the world is once again in very grave danger.

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Creepy Porn Lawyers’ disgusting assault on Tucker Carlson and his 19 year old daughter (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 14.

Alex Christoforou

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Days after ANTIFA targeted Fox News’ Tucker Carlson’s home, trying to intimidate and scare the TV host into curbing his free speech against totalitarian mob rule propagated by ANTIFA and their paymasters, it appears that the SJW establishment swamp is going after Tucker with everything they got…sending in the expendable, and always eager to get publicity, Creepy Porn Lawyer, Michael Avenatti, to try and ensnare Carlson in some sort of racist assault scandal.

The entire event appears to be a staged, purposefully hitting upon all the right identity politics buttons…so as to maximize full SJW pressure on Tucker and Fox News.

The Gateway Pundit reports that Tucker Carlson has denied Michael Avenatti’s charges of assault, and explains that his actions were prompted by an unhinged gay man calling his daughter a wh*re and a c**t…

Creepy porn star Michael Avenatti made headlines again this weekend with trumped up charges of assault against FOX News host Tucker Carlson.

On Saturday Avenatti released video of Tucker Carlson in an argument with a crowd of people at a country club in Virginia.

Avenatti claims Tucker assaulted a gay Latino immigrant for no reason.

Avenatti posted this video made the allegations on Saturday.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the SJW swamps’ latest attempt to smear Tucker Carlson, by going after his 19-year old daughter, in a disgusting display of misogyny and hate towards the very women that establishment liberal claims to defend.

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Here’s Carlson’s full statement about the incident:

“On October 13, I had dinner with two of my children and some family friends at the Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Virginia. Toward the end of the meal, my 19-year-old daughter went to the bathroom with a friend. On their way back through the bar, a middle aged man stopped my daughter and asked if she was sitting with Tucker Carlson. My daughter had never seen the man before. She answered: ‘That’s my dad,’ and pointed to me. The man responded, ‘Are you Tucker’s whore?’ He then called her a ‘f—— c—.’

“My daughter returned to the table in tears. She soon left the table and the club. My son, who is also a student, went into the bar to confront the man. I followed. My son asked the man if he’d called his sister a ‘whore’ and a ‘cunt.’ The man admitted he had, and again become profane. My son threw a glass of red wine in the man’s face and told him to leave the bar, which he soon did.

“Immediately after the incident, I described these events to the management of the Farmington Country Club. The club spent more than three weeks investigating the incident. Last week, they revoked the man’s membership and threw him out of the club.

“I love my children. It took enormous self-control not to beat the man with a chair, which is what I wanted to do. I think any father can understand the overwhelming rage and shock that I felt seeing my teenage daughter attacked by a stranger. But I restrained myself. I did not assault this man, and neither did my son. That is a lie. Nor did I know the man was gay or Latino, not that it would have mattered. What happened on October 13 has nothing to do with identity politics. It was a grotesque violation of decency. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

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Former Hillary Clinton Advisor: She’s Running Again in 2020

Clinton admitted that while she doesn’t want to run again — she would “like to be president.”

The Duran

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Via The Gateway Pundit…


Hillary Clinton’s former adviser Mark Penn is warning the public that we should brace ourselves for another run from the power hungry sore loser in 2020.

Penn co-wrote in a Sunday op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that she “won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House.”

“True to her name, Mrs. Clinton will fight this out until the last dog dies,” the op-ed that Penn authored with Andrew Stein claims. “She won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House.”

Like a cockroach that just won’t die, or the final boss in a video game that keeps obnoxiously coming back after each defeat — Clinton just won’t go away.

Penn said that by “reinventing herself as a liberal firebrand, Mrs. Clinton will easily capture the 2020 nomination.”

“You can expect her to run for president once again,” he said. “Maybe not at first, when the legions of Senate Democrats make their announcements, but definitely by the time the primaries are in full swing.”

Last month, Clinton admitted that while she doesn’t want to run again — she would “like to be president.”

Even some of her closest allies want her to give it a rest though.

“She’s more likely to win Powerball,” Philippe Reines, Clinton’s longtime adviser, told The Hill.

While nobody really wants to hear that woman’s voice ever again — at least the right can recycle all their best memes from 2016.

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