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Putin Derangement Syndrome After Mueller

© Time Magazine
By Patrick ARMSTRONG | Strategic Culture Foundation | 09.04.2019

The West – its governments and its governments’ scribes – are obsessed with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Obsessed” is probably too weak a word to describe the years of impassioned coverage, airy speculation and downright nonsense. He is the world’s leading cover boy: military hats, Lenin poses, imperial crowns, scary red eyes, strait-jackets, clown hats; anything and everything. He’s the avatar of Stalin, he’s the avatar of the Tsars, he’s the Joker, he’s Cthulhu, he’s Voldemort, he’s Satan. He’s the palimpsest for the New World Order’s nightmares. Putin is always messing with our minds. He weaponises information, misinformation and sexual assault accusationsChildrens’ cartoonsfishsticksPokemon and Yellow Vests, “Putin’s warships” are lurking when they aren’t stalking; “Putin’s warplanes” penetrate European airspace; “Putin’s tanks”, massing in 2016massing in 2018, still massingHis empire of rogue states growsAll Putin, all the time.

In an especially imbecilic display in 2015, Western reporters (unable to find his website) thinking he hadn’t been seen for several days started a contest of speculation about coups, death, wars, plastic surgery, secret births and other nonsense; when he “re-appeared”, the story went down the Memory Hole.

For some reason, Americans personalise everything. In meetings with US intelligence agencies I was always fascinated how they would reduce every complicated reality to a single individual. But it isn’t Saddam, or Assad, or Qaddafi, or Osama, or Aidid, or Milosevic, or Maduro, or Castro or any of the other villains-of-the-day, it’s a whole country: these people got to the top for good reasons. Removing the boss makes some difference but never all the difference. They go but they never leave a Washington-friendly country behind and Washington does it all over again somewhere else. This peculiar blindness drives Putin Derangement Syndrome and has infected everybody else.

But Putin is much worse than the others. The other enemies had relatively weak countries but Russia could obliterate the USA. But worse, Putin’s team has steadily become more powerful and more influential. And worst of all, he’s still there: huffing and puffing has not blown him down, sanctions strengthen the economy and there is nothing to suggest he won’t be succeeded by someone who carries on the same policies. It’s a whole country, not just one man.

Vladimir Putin is the biggest man on earth.

Except that he’s short and can’t hide itHe’s a megalomaniac because he’s short; he’s trying to prove his bignessnapoleon complex says some shrink. Just another in a long list of crackpot “expert” opinions. From a list I complied in 2015: Asperger’s Syndromecancer of the spinal cordpersonality disordersgaynessParkinson’s Diseasepsychopathpeople don’t like him so animals have tosinister, lonely lifefears his own peopleenvious of Obama. Remember the “gunslinger walk”? Oh, in case you hadn’t heard, he was in the KGB and that explains everything: “Once a KGB man, always a KGB man”. Nothing is too absurd.

But laughing has passed – Putin Derangement Syndrome has become dangerous.

In 2016 Hillary Clinton lost a sure-fire election to Donald Trump and, looking for an excuse, jumped on the Russia claim. Putin Derangement Syndrome was ramped up to a much more dangerous level. War-level dangerous.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said President Donald Trump’s administration is doing nothing to stop Russians from interfering in the 2018 election cycle, comparing the lack of action on the part of the president to the 9/11 and Pearl Harbor attacks that killed thousands of Americans.

A popular actor made a video to tell us we were at war. “Warfare” says Haley, “act of war” said John McCaincould be says Cheney911 says Clintondisappointed CIA guy agreesPearl Harbor says NadlerDiplomatic expulsions and sanctions and more sanctions. These are much more serious than gassy op-eds about Putin’s gait or fish weights, these are actions: actions have consequences. Moscow doesn’t find war talk very funny.

Clinton’s victory was 99% certain until it wasn’t and excuses were needed. Clinton went through a lot of them but “Russian interference” was always the big one.

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. [9 November 2016] Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument. (From Shattered, quoted here.)

In What Happened, Clinton also says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support for Trump was driven by his own anti-women sentiment, stacking the deck against her: “What Putin wanted to do was… influence our election, and he’s not exactly fond of strong women, so you add that together and that’s pretty much what it means.” At press events for her memoir, Clinton continues to warn Americans against Russia’s power over Trump and the country. “The Russians aren’t done. This is an ongoing threat, and that is one of the reasons why I wrote the book and one of the reasons I’m talking about it,” she said on Sunday at Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival. (Newsweek)

Her claim is, to put it mildly, unproven; the so-called “all 17 agencies” report notwithstanding. (The first premise that it was hacked is here disproved: downloaded by someone in the building). Her accusation moved Putin Derangement Syndrome away from the realm of mere craziness into war talk. Taking the hint, Western politicians, under attack for their lacklustre performances, were happy to push the blame onto Putin. He’s attacking democracy! Western media weighed in until it became completely accepted by some people that anything that spoiled the happy complacency of the Western world must be a result of Putin’s interference: gilets jaunes, “assistance provided to far-right and anti-establishment parties”, he’s the poster boy of the dreaded populism, his populist tentacles reach Hungary and Italy. And the next thing we knew, Putin was mucking around in everybody’s votes: Brexit; Catalonia; Netherlands; Germany; Sweden; Italy; EU in particular and Europe in general; Mexico; Canada. Newsweek gives a helpful list. Sometimes he loses elections: Germany, Ukraine but he goes on, unstopping. But his greatest triumph was said to have been in the US election: he “won” because Donald Trump was his willing puppet.

(None of these “experts” ever seem to wonder why Putin’s influence, so decisive far away, is so ineffective in Ukraine or Georgia. But then, it’s not actually a rational, fact-based belief, is it?)

The entire ramshackle construction is collapsing: if Mueller says there was no collusion then even the last ditch believers will have to accept it: Robert Mueller Prayer Candles are out of stock, time to toss the other tchotchkes, it wasn’t a Mueller Christmas after all. Clinton’s fabrication had two parts to it: 1) Putin interfered/determined the election 2) in collusion with Trump. When the second part is blown up, so must the first be. And then what will happen to all the loyal little allies crying “ours were interfered with too”!? The two halves of the story had the same authors and the same purpose: if one dies, so must the other. Now that Trump is secured from the obstruction charges that hung there as long as Mueller was in session, he is free to declassify the background documents that will show the origin, mechanics, authors and extent of the conspiracy. And he has said he will. In the process, both halves of the story will be destroyed: they’re both lies.

(For those who now realise there is something they have to catch up on: Conrad Black has a good exposition of the overall conspiracy and here is a quick round-up of the mechanics of the conspiracy. This may show its very beginning, three years ago).

Will the exposure of the plot and the plotters end the war-talk stage of Putin Derangement Syndrome? In a rational world, it would (but can its believers be embarrassed by the exposure of their credulity? Can they be made to think it all over again from the beginning?). It is true that Russia stands in the way of the neocons and liberal interventionists who have been guiding Washington this century, but that hardly means that Putin is the enemy of the American people. Because, properly considered, it’s the neocons/liberal interventionists and their endless wars burning up lives, money and good will that are the enemies of Americans; in that respect Putin (unintentionally) stands with the true best interests of the American people. But the propaganda is so strong and the hysteria so unrestrained, that anyone who suggests that blocking the war party is in the best interests of Americans would be run out of town on a rail. (As the attacks on Tulsi Gabbard show.) The USA is far down the rabbit hole. (Although I should say US elites: a Rasmussen poll shows that slightly more Americans think Clinton colluded with a foreign power than think Trump did. Considering the news coverage of the last two and a half years, that’s a very interesting finding.)

So, the sad conclusion is that Putin Derangement Syndrome will probably endure and the best we can hope for is that it is dialed down a bit and the “act of war” nonsense is quietly forgotten. Derangement was strong before the interference/collusion lie and it will exist as long as Putin does: the war party is too invested in personalities ever to realise that it’s Russia, not its president, that’s the obstacle. Let alone ever understand that much of what Moscow does is a pushback against Washington’s aggression.

Let The Onion have the last laugh at this dismal matter:

“What the hell? I worked so hard on this—if I wasn’t colluding with the Trump campaign, who the hell was I colluding with?” said the dumbfounded Russian president, growing increasingly angry as he scrolled through his email inbox and recounted his numerous efforts at covert communication with individuals who he had thought were high-ranking Trump officials, but now he suspected were bots or anonymous internet trolls.”

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Venezuela sabotage, evil Russians: 5 times video games were just blatant US war propaganda

© AFP / Frederic J. Brown
RT | April 9, 2019

It’s long been known that Hollywood works hand-in-glove with the CIA to produce entertainment imbued with unsubtle pro-US messaging — but the use of video games as propaganda, while as common, is less talked about.

A producer for Venezuela-based news outlet Telesur tweeted a video on Monday showing clips from the 2013 game ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ which appear to foreshadow massive electricity blackouts which left Venezuela’s capital city Caracas in almost total darkness in March.

In the game, US special forces are seen on a “mission” to cause a blackout by installing a virus onto a computer at the Guri Hydroelectric Dam — the very same location where a major failure caused the recent blackouts, which the Venezuelan government blamed on the US. The game’s creator said in 2014 that the Activision publishing company brought in “outside help” to produce the game, including “military advisers” and planners from the Department of Defense.

Here’s a look at some other games that don’t exactly do ‘subtle’ when it comes to pro-US propaganda.

Regime change in Bolivia!

US special forces are back in ‘Ghost Recon: Wildlands (2017)’, but this time the setting is Bolivia, where a brutal Mexican drug cartel called Santa Blanca are propping up another bad government. The good Americans, working for the CIA, must infiltrate Bolivia on the side of the harmless rebels to protect and liberate the innocent villagers we see dotted around the Bolivian landscape.

Depose the Venezuelan dictator…

Off to Venezuela again for the 2006 game ‘Mercenaries 2: World in Flames,’ where the goal is to oust “a power-hungry tyrant [who] messes with Venezuela’s oil supply, sparking an invasion that turns the country into a war zone.”

The game, developed by Pandemic Studios (which has also developed training aids for the US military), is set in what the makers called a “fully destructible Venezuela” and was criticized upon its release by the government of Hugo Chavez which said it was an attempt to drum up support for a real invasion.

US Army-funded recruitment tool

America’s Army is the “official” US Army game which “provides young Americans with a virtual web-based environment in which they can explore an army career.” AA was developed and offered for free as part of a post-9/11 campaign to help recruit new members to the military. It was revealed in 2009 through Freedom of Information Act requests that the game cost American taxpayers $33 million over eight years.

Evil Russians on the eastern front

Turning to World War 2, the 2013 game ‘Company of Heroes 2’ caused controversy in Russia over the presence of unnecessarily brutal Russian characters who killed for the fun of it. In one instance, the evil Russians even burn down civilian homes. Popular Ukrainian games blogger and developer told gaming website Polygon that the game “manages to use almost every single Russia-related trope” and that the missions even inexplicably show Soviet soldiers “killing more of their own people than the enemy.” The American characters, unsurprisingly, were depicted in a far more positive light.

‘Culture of consent’

Former associate professor of communication and journalism at Suffolk University in Boston, Nina Huntemann, wrote in a 2010 paper that video games are a vital part of US government efforts to create a “culture of consent” for war.

“The people need to consent to our government participating in war. To do that, we need a whole process of teaching us from childhood that killing is a legitimate mode of conflict resolution.”

This “soft propaganda,” she added, helps persuade the public by telling stories with universal appeal “where the sides of “good” and “evil” are unquestionable.”

It’s no secret that the earliest forms of digital gaming were heavily funded by military spending — not only for the purposes of propaganda but also to develop tools to train recruits. Historian Nick Turse told the Guardian in 2012 that by the late 1990s, the US Army was pouring tens of millions of dollars into the Institute of Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California, “specifically to build partnerships with the gaming industry and Hollywood.”

Video games and reality have become so intertwined that in 2010, when a United Nations investigator called for a halt to CIA-directed drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he warned that killings ordered from afar could lead to a “Playstation mentality.”

But if any more proof was needed that the US government sees video games as the perfect tool for soft propaganda, look no further than former CIA director William Colby, who upon retiring from that job, went to work for video game company Activision to develop “spy thriller video games.”

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

US decision on Golan Heights violates UN Security Council resolutions – Putin

RT | April 8, 2019

The US’ decision to recognize Tel Aviv’s sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights region violates UN Security Council resolutions – a position that Moscow has already made clear, Russia’s president said.

Following a meeting between Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow on Monday, the Russian leader was asked by reporters about Moscow’s stance on the US move.

“Regarding recognition of the Golan Heights as a part of Israel, you already know Russian stance. It’s been presented in a statement by Russia’s Foreign Ministry. The [US] move violates respective UN Security Council resolutions,” Putin stated.

Syria’s Golan Heights region has been occupied by Israel since 1967 and later Tel Aviv unilaterally proclaimed sovereignty over it. US President Donald Trump announced the decision to recognize Tel Aviv’s sovereignty over it in late March, gaining praise of Israel – and sparking world-wide outrage. Trump’s move has received no support outside of Israel, getting rejected even by the closest allies of the US.

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan’s PM Slams India’s Modi and Israel’s Netanyahu as “Morally Bankrupt”

Sputnik – 09.04.2019

New Delhi – Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the day when Israel is voting to elect its next government; India will begin the voting process for its general elections shortly.

“When leaders in Israel and India show a moral bankruptcy in their readiness to annex the occupied West Bank and India-Occupied Kashmir in defiance of international law, UN Security Council resolutions & their own Constitution for votes, don’t their people feel a sense of outrage and wonder how far they will go simply to win an election?” Imran Khan tweeted on Tuesday.

Israelis are voting on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud Party, seeking a fifth term in office.

Around 900 million will begin casting their votes starting on 11 April in a seven-phase polling process in India that will end with the announcement of its results on 23 May. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hopes to retain control of the 543-seat Lok Sabha (Indian Lower House of Parliament).

“Our duty is to protect our nation, while Congress (the country’s main opposition party) and its supporters are anti-national. They are in favour of Article 370 (pertaining to unfair privileges to the strife-ridden state of Jammu and Kashmir). What Congress’s sham document (manifesto) is stating is exactly what Pakistan is saying,” PM Modi thundered at an election rally on Tuesday.

The BJP, in its 48-page manifesto, has made a new pledge to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A that gives special privileges to residents of India in the Kashmir region, such as laws preventing outsiders from buying property.

Earlier, Imran Khan took to Twitter to criticise the Indian government for fuelling war hysteria with Pakistan after the mid-February incident, when more than 40 Indian soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack in the Pulwama district of Kashmir.

Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack but the Indian government had squarely pegged blame on the Imran Khan government for allegedly sponsoring terror activities in India. In retaliation, the Indian Air Force had conducted an aerial strike on 26 February, describing it as a non-military strike against terrorist facilities in Balakot, inside Pakistan. The following day, the two nuclear-armed nations embroiled themselves in their first aerial clash in decades, which resulted in the loss of air assets.

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , | 2 Comments