Worst secret agent ever

For the past couple of years, Donald Trump’s enemies have been waiting with bated breath for the moment when Special Counsel Robert Mueller issues what they are confident will be a damning report revealing the multiple terrible sins committed by Trump in his role as a Kremlin agent. Of late, though, there have been hints that they’re likely to be disappointed. Most recently, ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl warned that,

People who are closest to what Mueller has been doing, interacting with the special counsel, caution me that this report is almost certain to be anti-climatic. … We have seen nothing from Mueller on the central question of, was there any coordination, collusion, with the Russians in the effort to meddle in the election? Or was there even any knowledge on the part of the president or anybody in his campaign with [sic] what the Russians were doing, there’s been no indication of that.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Despite the best efforts of a major part of the American press corps, nobody has yet managed to come up with any concrete evidence of collusion. This, however, has not dampened the spirits of the serried ranks of true believers who remain convinced that proof of Trump’s guilt has never been closer. Indeed, even as Mr Karl was cautioning against such expectations, American political commentators ramped up the rhetoric to a whole new level. The excuse was Trump’s response to the revelation that the FBI had investigated him for being a Russian agent after he fired FBI director James Comey. Asked whether he worked for Russia, Trump called the idea ‘insulting’. It was, he said, ‘the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked’. But, commentators noted, this response wasn’t strictly speaking a denial. ‘What more proof of Trump’s guilt is needed?’, they pronounced, ‘He doesn’t even deny it.’

And so it was that in the past week, commentary passed on from mere accusations that Trump is a Russian spy to statements of near certainty that this is the case. Reading the Globe and Mail over my toast and marmalade this morning, I came across a typical example of this genre by Jared Yates Sexton, a professor at Georgia Southern University, with the title ‘No longer a wild conspiracy theory: the possibility of Trump as Russian agent.’ Mr Sexton declares:

For too long we’ve given Mr Trump and his associates the benefit of the doubt and the cover of incredulousness. For too long we’ve been in denial of the real possibility. …. The possibility that the President of the United States is working for Russia is now real … We simply cannot afford to look away any longer.

I have to say that I don’t know who Mr Sexton is addressing here, who these mysterious people are, who apparently have been giving Trump ‘the benefit of the doubt’ and have been in ‘denial’ about the possibility that he’s a Russian agent. As far as I can tell, the problem hasn’t been one of denial at all – it’s not like there’s exactly been a shortage of politicians and political commentators accusing Trump of being a Russian spy during the past couple of years. But maybe Sexton hasn’t been watching CNN or reading the Washington Post, and has somehow missed all this stuff.

The Washington Post has been banging the ‘Trump is a Russian agent’ drum incessantly, and was at it again this week, with an article by that well-known bastion of common sense and accurate analysis, Max Boot, entitled ‘Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian agent’. Boot’s article doesn’t actually provide any evidence concretely linking Trump with the Russian intelligence agencies, but that’s pretty much par for the course. Boot ends with the words:

Now that we’ve listed 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian assets, let’s look at the exculpatory evidence:

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I can’t think of anything that would exonerate Trump aside from the difficulty of grapsing what once would have seemed unimaginable: that a president of the United States could actually have been compromised by a hostile foreign power. … If Trump isn’t actually a Russian agent, he is doing a pretty good imitation of one.

So what does a ‘pretty good imitation’ of a Russian agent look like in real life? To answer that we have to find examples of the Trump adminstration’s policies towards Russia, and fortunately the international press has just provided us with a good example. The German paper Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday that the American ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, sent letters to companies participating in the North Stream 2 gas pipeline project in which he told them that, ‘We emphasize that companies involved in Russian energy exports are taking part in something that could prompt a significant risk of sanctions.’ A spokesman for Grenell subsequently clarified the Ambassador’s letter by saying that it was not a threat, just a ‘clear message of US policy’, though I have to say that the distinction is lost on me. Grenell’s letter didn’t come out of the blue. The United States has long been doing all it can to sabotage North Stream 2. And Trump himself is fully signed up to the policy. At a meeting with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia last year, the US president declared his opposition to North Stream 2, declaring:

Germany hooks up a pipeline into Russia, where Germany is going to be paying billions of dollars for energy into Russia. And I’m saying, ‘What’s going on with that? How come Germany is paying vast amounts of money to Russia when they hook up a pipeline?’ That’s not right.

This is indeed a ‘pretty good imitation’ of a Russian agent. There’s no doubt about it – Trump is working for the Russians. Why else would he doing his damnedest to destroy one of the Russian Federation’s most valuable international trade projects? Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t to me. If Donald Trump is indeed a Russian agent, I have to conclude that he’s got to be the worst secret agent ever.

118 thoughts on “Worst secret agent ever”

  1. Very good blog piece. I agree with your assessment.

    My only problem with President Trump is his lack of leadership when it comes to publicly damning Russa’s aggression towards other countries, actually almost all countries in the world. “Very, very bad” does not equate to a full-blown statement or speech damning Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Russia’s telegraphing an imminent invasion or Russia’s overwhelming information war, including denials, deceptions, disinformation, fake news, cover-ups, etc. Russia is clearly a rogue nation and it is about time President Trump calls that out – very publicly.

    Yes, our administration is “doing stuff”, but our President is being accused of serious matters – only because his actions and lack of words imply otherwise. Saying that he is the toughest on Russia does not match the reality and the widely held perception on the ground. I’ve been staring at Russia for decades, it was my job. Trump’s perceived and projected indecisiveness is almost overwhelming.

    Mr. President, you need to publicly denounce Russian actions, policies, and lack of responsibility. …and you need to do it now.

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    1. Yep, let’s do all that and end diplomatic relations between the USA and Russia altogether while we’re at it. Quite pointless to have them at this point anyway. Maybe in a decade or ten the US will come down to earth at last.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure where I said to end diplomatic talks or stop using diplomacy.

        By coddling Russia and not holding Russia accountable, we de facto encourage their rogue behavior.

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    2. You say that “Russia is clearly a rogue state”. If you thought that a clear majority of Crimeans wanted to reunite with Russia would that make you reconsider your opinion. Can you even imagine this as a possibility? What might possibly cause you to rethink your position? You say that Russia is threatening an imminent invasion of Ukraine. When did they start doing this- was it under Obama, or did it start more recently? If it is obvious that Russia is aggressive why was the West so surprised when Russia intervened in Crimea? What didn’t the West understand? How many people did the Russian military kill in this intervention? (How many people did the West kill in its earlier bombing in Serbia? Did you approve of this intervention? Why?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “You say that “Russia is clearly a rogue state”. If you thought that a clear majority of Crimeans wanted to reunite with Russia would that make you reconsider your opinion. Can you even imagine this as a possibility? What might possibly cause you to rethink your position? ”

        – Obviously, you are a Russian troll, so I’ll type slowly so that you can follow. The “referendum” in Crimea was held under duress, under the guns of Russian Naval Infantry. If you can show me that legitimate voting monitors were in attendance and certified the results, you might make me reconsider. But, since nobody in the world accepts the voting results, that nobody in the world recognizes that Crimea belongs to Russia, that nobody in the world believes the results were legitimate, I doubt anything you can share would be acceptable.

        You say that Russia is threatening an imminent invasion of Ukraine. When did they start doing this- was it under Obama, or did it start more recently?

        – 2,000+ T-62, T-64 tanks parked on the Ukraine border is an indicator of a Russian invasion. They’re expendable. As soon as the tank crews realize they’re just fodder, the invasion will fail. This all started in the past few months, you figure out when it started.

        If it is obvious that Russia is aggressive why was the West so surprised when Russia intervened in Crimea?

        – No. Russia took advantage of the vacuum left when Yanukovych fled to Russia. Everything after that signaled that Russia was becoming a rogue state.

        What didn’t the West understand?

        – Because the West thought Russia wanted to be considered legitimate. Now Russia is being considered rogue and it has been proposed the Russia will lose their seat on the UN Security Council and lose their veto power.

        How many people did the Russian military kill in this intervention?

        – Russia is responsible for 10,300 deaths in Eastern Ukraine.

        Anything beyond that is pure propaganda. Greetings to the Russian Troll Farm in St. Petersburg.

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      2. “The “referendum” in Crimea was held under duress, under the guns of Russian Naval Infantry.”</em

        Can you provide examples of said Russian Morpekhi threatening people or somehow influencing their vote?

        “If you can show me that legitimate voting monitors”

        Define “legitimate voting monitors”. Also, while we are at it – define “legitimate”. Once again – your own words. I want to know your views.

        “But, since nobody in the world accepts the voting results, that nobody in the world recognizes that Crimea belongs to Russia, that nobody in the world believes the results were legitimate”0).

        “Because the West thought Russia wanted to be considered legitimate”

        I already asked you for definition of the “legitimacy”. Now I will ask you provide a source for this particular claim. Also – who appointed you to talk on behalf of the West?

        “and it has been proposed the Russia will lose their seat on the UN Security Council and lose their veto power”

        When and by whom?

        “Russia is responsible for 10,300 deaths in Eastern Ukraine”

        Who determined that Russia (and only Russia) is responsible for that?

        “Anything beyond that is pure propaganda. Greetings to the Russian Troll Farm in St. Petersburg.”

        Can you prove to us that userperson “davidt” is indeed from Olgino?

        I’m saying it again, Mr. Harding – you are a gift that keeps giving. THANK YOU!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You need not worry about the cretin accusations on the part of a retired major Joel Harding – he is a well known psy-ops troll on the payroll of Ukrainian diaspora: dozens articles have been published exposing his activities: cyberstalking independent reporters and common social media users: https://mvlehti.net/2016/07/09/meet-joel-harding-finlands-and-ukraines-king-troll-welcome-to-world-of-private-sector-io-information-operations, blacklisting alternative media, in collaboration with faceless Ukranian trolls: https://www.mintpressnews.com/connecting-diaspora-ukraines-monsters-ukrainian-diaspora-handler/246021, helping Ukrainian neo-Nazis to build up their hit lists: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/18/a-crisis-in-intelligence-unthinkable-consequences-of-outsourcing-u-s-intel-part-3.
        The poor mental handicapped still does not get it that accusing someone of being a “Russian troll” simply demonstrates his lack of arguments and intelligence in general. :)) https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/accusing-someone-you-disagree-with-of-being-a-russian-troll-is-admitting-you-have-no-argument-1c6f61782c2b

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    3. “…actually almost all countries in the world.”

      Really? It seems you and I live in two different worlds.

      Regards,

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      1. Only Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and occasionally Ghana and Vietnam support Russia. The Russian media is betraying your trust, friend. Putin, his friends, and the Russian government systematically lie to you, feed you propaganda, and block the truth.

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      2. Joel, I noticed on your (?) site you link to here there is an ad to a recent interesting study by Emma Briant containing acknowledgments to you for helping to get get the right interviewees on the US side. If I don’t misread;

        What made you stick out for her? Your solid experience on Russia, as a Russia watcher?

        I’ve been staring at Russia for decades, it was my job.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Emma (Dr. Briant) and I have been friends for… well over a decade. She’s good people. In her latest book, I know all the key players in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. I even worked for one of them for a few months.

        When I wrote a review of Emma’s book, I had quite a bit of angst. The IO community was quite small and I was one of only a handful of people doing the work. She mentioned me in her book too often, so much so that I actually dreaded turning the page. Nothing she said was wrong, but so much was taken out of context it was painful to read at times. I did IO work in the Pentagon, in Qatar, in Afghanistan, then back in the Army at INSCOM.

        I wonder if any of y’all are human enough to step out of your troll persona and correspond with me as a real human being?

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      4. Meaning?
        In her latest book, I know all the key players in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. I even worked for one of them for a few months.

        Ok, ok that is private information. I respect that.

        But how would you in a nutshell describe that scandal? I give you a hint where I am coming from: completely out of the usual?

        Interesting:
        When I wrote a review of Emma’s book, I had quite a bit of angst. The IO community was quite small and I was one of only a handful of people doing the work. She mentioned me in her book too often, so much so that I actually dreaded turning the page. Nothing she said was wrong, but so much was taken out of context it was painful to read at times. I did IO work in the Pentagon, in Qatar, in Afghanistan, then back in the Army at INSCOM.

        If may with a slight irony alert, I can understand. I was obsessed with being misunderstood from an early age on. Alternatively: you meant to convey that she really got all about the Soviet threat right but it was hard for you to relive it somehow?

        Any chance you can give us something about the time-frame in which you did IO work in those places?

        I wonder if any of y’all are human enough to step out of your troll persona and correspond with me as a real human being?

        I am human, and as a general rule of thumb, I think it is enough if the author of a blog knows my basic private details. As curious nitwit. Although I am admittedly more careful in this context, even concerning people I trust more generally after my address was triumphantly posted on the web once by a conspiracy-theory-expert. 😉

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    4. “I’ve been staring at Russia for decades, it was my job.” I would not have bothered to comment if I had noted this. However, I am unconvinced that you are very good at it as, for sure and for certain, I am not a Russian troll. In any case, good luck with your enterprise. It must be reassuring to know that the Russian tank crews will call it quits if push comes to shove.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Mr. Harding, several questions.

      “damning Russa’s aggression towards other countries”

      Define “aggression”. In your own words.

      “damning Russia’s actions in Ukraine”

      Such as?

      “Russia’s telegraphing an imminent invasion”

      Care to elaborate here?

      “Russia’s overwhelming information war, including denials, deceptions, disinformation, fake news, cover-ups, etc”

      Define “information war”. When is denial an act of war? What “deceptions, disinformation, fake news, cover-ups” are you implying here?

      “Russia is clearly a rogue nation”

      Define “rogue nation”.

      “I’ve been staring at Russia for decades, it was my job”

      What, like that:

      Thank you in advance. I look forward to read more of… yours 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    6. No, by pretending or believing Russia’s conduct in international affairs is in any way worse than that of the USA you prove that having relations between the two countries is pointless. Views prevalent in Russia are diametrically opposed to views on the same subjects in the USA. If you try to “hold Russia accountable”, everything will only worsen further, because, in the eyes of most Russians, it’s just hypocritical hubris on your part.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “I can’t think of anything that would exonerate Trump aside from the difficulty of grapsing what once would have seemed unimaginable: that a president of the United States could actually have been compromised by a hostile foreign power. … If Trump isn’t actually a Russian agent, he is doing a pretty good imitation of one.”

    Here – this phrase that (coincidentally) began appearing in all the articles/newsies/propaganda reels about “Trump is like totally Putin’s spy – 100500% true story” this and the last week. “The Hostile (Foreign) Power” as a way to describe Russia (because “the rogue power” is soooo 2000s and Bush-y). It is “highly likely” (c), that the, ah, “ground crews”, responsible for launching all these lead zeppelins of Propaganda are just calling Russia “meanie bad-bad” in a slightly more sophisticated manner. Still, this begs several important questions:

    A) What is “hostile (foreign) power”? What qualifies a country to be one?

    B) Who decides whether a certain (foreign) power is hostile to the US? Also – is there a comprehensive list of the “hostile (foreign) powers”?

    C) What is the algorithm of behavior (top->down) in the US for dealing with the hostile powers?

    I’m not trollin’ – I genuinely want to know. It’s a habit of mine – demanding from the people to clarify what they mean, especially when they become so agitated and use the same (turn of) phrase over and over again, and all around them pretend that they share (or even understand) the meaning.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. “Google is your friend. “

        You mean – “The Big Brother”? 😉 How about youm Mr. Harding, try to answer these questions to the best of YOUR knowledge?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lyttie, not sure if Google is your friend. Train-Riding I once bought “The Circle”. A bit futuristic, although? For us nitwit citizen. The technic is out out there to use.
        https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Circle_(2017)

        Google seemed to have the best algorithms for us at one point in time. I am getting older. Strictly historically not always been the best technics may have survived? But really that is another question.

        To some extend you gotta get out of their basic offers.How about you check your search routines? Remember their basic business model? Maybe?

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  3. Breaking news! Quick, page CNN, MSNBC, BBC and Der Spiegel! Finally – incriminating photos, depicting the act of collusion between Trump and the Russian government!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Professor–an aggressive individual has appeared on your site. He seems to be new and is dominating the discussion with his claims about “Russian aggression all over the world”. I usually enjoy reading the comments because I lean something valuable. Today I learned that this individual is most probably a paid propagandist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As long as people are polite and refrain from extremist views, they are welcome here.

      Joel has popped up in the comments section once or twice before. You can see what I believe is his blog here: https://toinformistoinfluence.com/2019/01/15/ukraine-russia-ad-hoc-media-update-75/ On Twitter he describes himself as: ‘Information Warfare and IO expert, Strategic Communications, Cyberwar, Ex-Special Forces, scuba instructor, retired MI. Specialty: Russian Information War.’

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “As long as people are polite and refrain from extremist views, they are welcome here.”

        Really!? Plenty of submitted fact based comments (that were certainly no less than Joel Harding’s salvo) didn’t get thru.

        Hopefully, this one will, seeing how some of Harding’s points haven’t been substantially refuted.

        The situations concerning Kosovo and northern Cyprus conclusively reveal that the hoopla over Crimea is hypocritical BS.

        This very point has been further addressed by yours truly in commentary that you can find by clicking into the hyperlink of my name.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ‘Plenty of submitted fact based comments (that were certainly no less than Joel Harding’s salvo) didn’t get thru.’ – If so, it’s WordPress’s spam filter, not me.

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      3. FYI, the WordPress spam filter is quite fault ridden and should therefore be checked, if the intent isn’t to ban opposing views.

        To date, Joel Harding has yet to address the note about the gross hypocrisy of making hoopla over Crimea’s changed territorial status versus the Kosovo and northern Cyprus situations.

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      4. I dug through the spam filter and found a few messages from LeaNder and others which had no obvious reason being there, so I accepted them.

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      5. Paul, I saw this before. Didn’t really feel to leave a comment.

        Amb Grenell in Berlin elicits a lot of Russian propaganda, but very little effect in Germany media – Nordstream 2 would have died already without the political support of the SDP, who are resolutely committed to protecting their retirement plans.

        That’s nonsense obviously. The “protecting their retirement plans” is interesting though.

        Whose retirement plan. Schroeders? Would be Schroeder’s in English..;)

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      6. On Twitter he describes himself as: ‘Information Warfare and IO expert, Strategic Communications, Cyberwar, Ex-Special Forces, scuba instructor, retired MI. Specialty: Russian Information War.’

        So, paid propagandist, in other words.

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      7. Joel Harding is ANYTHING but “polite and refraining from extremist views”, he harasses journalists https://washingtonsblog.com/2015/05/ukraine-nazis-target-american-journalist-in-donbass.html and libels people in social media, calls for terrorist acts in his pathetic blog: https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/brig-gen-joel-harding-natos-troll-king-and-neo-nazi-extraordinaire-part-iii/ri16370. With all the respect, if I were at your position I would research this psy-operator online activities with scrutiny before advertising him – not to undermine your blog respectability.

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    2. No-no-no! I think that Mr. Harding should be allowed to express themselves freely, “unburdening their soul” so to speak. Because any new information is, ultimately, a net positive kind of information, and what can be more positive than a peek into the gently shining minds of the #Resistance neocons/SLASH/Old Cold Warriors with no life?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lyttenburgh, you had me until “#Resistance neocons/SLASH/Old Cold Warriors with no life”. You’ve just lumped almost everybody in the US into one all-encompassing term. I don’t know if you realize what you’ve succeeded in doing, but most of those were opposing terms. If you’re flailing about trying to categorize me, I can almost guarantee you’re going to miss your target. I am tragically unique.

        FYI, I have a life, I had multiple successful careers, and I’m still an adrenaline junkie. I also don’t hide behind an anonymous amorphous pseudonym.

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      2. “You’ve just lumped almost everybody in the US into one all-encompassing term”

        That claim of yous, Mr. Harding, can’t be possibly true, for not even a tine fraction of the Americans are (allow me to quote myself) “#Resistance neocons/SLASH/Old Cold Warriors” (end of quote). Or you can prove othervise?

        “I am tragically unique.”

        In your, ah… modesty? 🙂

        “FYI, I have a life”
        +
        “still an adrenaline junkie.”

        🙂

        Sure, you are

        “I also don’t hide behind an anonymous amorphous pseudonym.”

        …And?

        Also – if you did’t notice, I asked you several question above. Are you fit to answer them?

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    3. Hi, Sylvia! Paid propagandist? Not likely. I “did” Information Operations in the US military, which is agonizingly legal, ethical, and moral. Now I research, write, consult, and advise (gratis, to date) how to counter Russian information warfare. Oh, and I write a blog, also unpaid.

      Dominating? It appears from Sylvia’s comments that claims of Russian peace, prosperity, pureness, and nonaggression are not to be discussed, only supported. If the comment section isn’t a democracy, if only one perspective is tolerated, one’s perspective is not at all tolerant. It reminds me of the ФСБ.

      Aggressive? Not likely. Just not intimidated. Suppression of opposing opinions is the job of the farm in St. Petersburg, not grown adults.

      Russian aggression all over the world? That is the perception in much of the world. I understand you do not accept that as fact.

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      1. “If the comment section isn’t a democracy”

        It is not. No comment section anywhere is a “democracy” – the owner and proprietor of any given “comment space”, be it blog, forum, site, etc. has the ultimate authority over what is posted. Btw, Mr. Harding, do you know the definition of the term “democracy”? With you, as other examples show, one can not be entirely sure.

        “It reminds me of the ФСБ.”

        In what way? What do you know of the FSB? What, did they molest you?

        “Suppression of opposing opinions is the job of the farm in St. Petersburg, not grown adults.”

        Mr. Harding, have you ever suppressed comments in your own blog? Oh, wait – no one really reads it!

        “That is the perception in much of the world.”

        Care to support that claim?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is a democracy if I can write on it and my comments aren’t deleted.

        No. The FSB drove me to and from the airport in Moscow.

        Funny you mention molestation, why is that on your mind?

        I’ve deleted spam but never opposing perspectives.

        Okay, break’s over. Back to work.

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      3. “It is a democracy if I can write on it and my comments aren’t deleted.”

        No, it is not. What you described is a (form of) freedom of speech. Democracy is merely a mode of rule, for which, frankly, freedom of speech is not necessary.

        But thank you for demonstrating before others your peculiar approach to reality and non-conformist attitude to the common terms.

        “No. The FSB drove me to and from the airport in Moscow.”

        Aaaaah! That explains… some things. Tell us more!

        “Funny you mention molestation, why is that on your mind?”

        You sound genuinely butthurt – that’s why. What did they use on you – a bottle of champaign, police baton or something exotic?

        “Okay, break’s over. Back to work.”

        Yes, tell us more about your RL activities! It is so interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I “did” Information Operations in the US military, which is agonizingly legal, ethical, and moral.

        Look, I know as soldier you are bound by basic legal frames, even as SF man under whatever top secret cover.

        my obsession with the PR trade at one point in time was what the ‘legal, ethical and moral’ framework, no doubt it cannot be compared to the military, was rather loose.

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      5. I’ve never worked in what is called “Cover Status”, having a fake name, identity, etc.

        I believe at one point you wanted me to elucidate on when I worked IO jobs, where, etc? I was sort of a midwife of IO when it was born in the mid-90s.
        – I worked IO on the Joint Staff in the Pentagon from 1996 – 1999
        – I worked IO at INSCOM in 2000 until 9-11-2001
        – I worked IO at SOCCENT from just after 9-11-2001 until May 2002 at MacDill AFB, in Qatar, and in Afghanistan
        – I worked IO at INSCOM from June 2002 until July 2003
        – I worked IO at SAIC from mid-2005 until April 2007
        – I was director of the IO Institute from April 2007 until April 2011
        – I’ve been consulting in IO and IW since then.

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      6. ” I was sort of a midwife of IO when it was born in the mid-90s.”

        Then you are a further proof that, yes, something is rotten in the system.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Based on this thread so far, Joel Harding is empty calories. He made brazen comments against Crimea’s reunification with Russia. When called out with the Kosovo and northern Cyprus examples, he chose not to answer.

    Not surprising manner for a Molly McKew admirer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, I haven’t read most of the comments. I never saw the one about Kosovo or Cyprus.

      I suppose you know Molly? I do. I guess everything you read about her is factual, unbiased, and objective? Until you meet her and really get to crawl around inside her head (figuratively, of course), I would say you know nothing about her.

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      1. Duly noted how you didn’t address the Kosovo and northern Cyprus situations relative to Crimea.

        As for MM, I prefer not making things personal. According to one bio on her (might be the one she wrote) she has a Russian studies related LSE degree and speaks Russian. If true, that runs counter to one of the recent negative JRL propped pieces concerning her.

        Regardless, she has a tabloid manner which spins negatively inaccurate generalizations about Russia.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. @ Joel Harding

    ” The Russian media is betraying your trust, friend.”

    A slight problem Sir. Russian media do not betray my trust as I do not reside in Russia – in fact have never been there. As with the western media, whatever russian media convey is of interest but nothing more. The country of my residence, not mentioned by you, is one of many (also not mentioned in your comment) to have rather frendly ralations with Russia. In fact, in the last decade or so there has been more political friction with the USA than the Russian Federation.

    Regards,

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Now, before clicking anything Joel Harding posts, I suggest for everyone to do it via DoNotLink.It site, as not to help this funny exemplar of mammoth shit hard rigidity to get any improvements in statistics. So – if you must – use this link instead (https://donotlink.it/L5wZ)

        1) No proof that the hacker attacks against Estonia were either sanctioned or carried out on behalf of the government of Russia.

        2) Georgia was recognized as the aggressor state – by the EU no less.

        3) No proof that the hacker attacks against Georgia were either sanctioned or carried out on behalf of the government of Russia.

        4) Cutting gas to someone who fails to pay you is not an aggression – this is capitalism. The entire Western world should feel pride in such pupil as Russia 😉

        5) No proof that the hacker attacks against Kirgizia were either sanctioned or carried out on behalf of the government of Russia

        6) Vetoing in UN could not possibly be thought of as “aggression”, unless you are a dumbfuck idiot.

        7) Forming military units on your own territory =/= aggression.

        8) “Nato has accused Russia of conducting a mock nuclear attack on Sweden in March 2013. Sweden’s military was unprepared and had to rely on Danish jets, operating as part of a Nato’s Baltic air policing mission, to respond.” (c). Any proof that this was true? To accuse =/= to recognize someone guilty of something. Mr. Lynch was a stout fella form Cork, but his Irishness shouldn’t give him a free pass on a practice named after him. If you think otherwise, Joel Harding, then this is my answer to you:

        9) The so-called “doping” scandal is not an aggression.

        10) Did anyone caught on the tape the act of Russia “invading” Crimea? Why Ukraine did not declare war on Russia after this, that and recent Kerch strait clusterfuck if it was a genuine Honest-To-God “invasion”?

        11) No proof that the hacker attacks against Ukraine were either sanctioned or carried out on behalf of the government of Russia.

        12) Eastern Ukrainian militia’s actions were – at the time – legitimate, as I explain in my comments to your answers. Accusing Russia of their actions is stupid.

        13) Massing troops on the border is not an act of aggression. Or, what – you gonna claim that The Donald plans to invade Mexico? 😉

        14) No one proved that Russia shot down MH-17

        15) “Russian claims that the Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate, Russian claims that NATO’s response is escalatory, Russian claims that the so-called referendum in Crimea was legal” (c). None of which is an act of aggression. In other news – you are a fuckwit.

        16) Supposed infiltration by the Russian submarine of the Swedish waters had never been confirmed.

        17) Panama papers showed lots of interesting things which resulted in… the fall of Icelandic government. How is that a sign of Russian aggression? Are lazy or just plain dumb, Joel? Try harder!

        18) “Russia bombs anti-Assad rebels – not ISIS/ISIL in Syria” So? All of them are legit targets.

        19) “Russia sailing warships near the British coast in “a show of force and a show of capabilities”

        […]

        You are a joke, Joel. Please – tell us more!

        “What have I missed?”

        Taking your prescribed drugs?

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Taking the deceitful cowardly route:

    https://toinformistoinfluence.com/2019/01/16/a-list-of-russian-aggressions-for-the-past-11-years/

    He initiated the discussion here – only to then back out and misrepresent things in his stall. That’s not indicative of earnestly intelligent dialogue.

    Perhaps JRL will prop him again as it did with La Russophobe and some others sources of that type. No small wonder why the Russia related English language coverage continues to lack.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Russian/Soviet propaganda, against which people like Mr. Harding fought so hard:

    Oh, wait… Turns out, “propaganda” here means “the truth”!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 1) The CIA memo I cite dates back May 3, 1982. So, no – not even 57 years.

        2) You basically admit that in your line of work you’d been doing the same thing – lying

        3) The crappy propaganda piece you linked here is wrong from the start. Russia is recognized as the USSR successor not because of some rhetoric, but because it agreed to assume all of its foreign debts. The fact that Russia is the successor state to the USSR, therefore, is recognized in the international treaties.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. 1. I do not lie. Now now, not ever.
        2. 57 years is during the Soviet Era, not applicable.
        3. Now quite, Scooter. The article maxime is correct. You can invent all the alternate facts you’d like to nitpick one thing about the sequence for Russia vs USSR. You are using a Red Herring to dismiss the entire thing, you avoid facing the facts of most of the article.

        You avoid confronting the truth.

        Like

      3. “1. I do not lie. Now now, not ever.”

        Lying was in your job description.

        “2. 57 years is during the Soviet Era, not applicable.”

        1982 was just recently. And this is not the most recent example of the Western vehement protestations over something being “fake news” later proved to be a reality.

        “The article maxime is correct.”

        How do you know that?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I never lie, unlike the Soviets. Never have, never will.

        Perhaps 1982 is recent for you. That was inordinately long time ago. Many friends were not alive. I was living in another country. I was young.

        Like

  9. Mr. Harding, one of your first responses to another commenter was the following (emphasize mine):

    “Obviously, you are a Russian troll, so I’ll type slowly so that you can follow”

    and

    “Anything beyond that is pure propaganda. Greetings to the Russian Troll Farm in St. Petersburg.”

    Judging by your profile, Mr. Harding, one can surmise your age to be… significant. One can also deduce by your career path(s), posting style and general comments that your had been brought up as a traditional self-identified male person. In pre-Progressive times one of the chief traits of the “man” had always been to be the master of his own word and being capable to answer for your words and actions.

    Mr. Harding! You made a serious claim, even accusation, from the very get go – you accused another participant in the discussion of being “Russian (paid) troll”. If you are indeed self-identify with the “traditional male” identity, then I expect you to support your claims with substantial proof, to show all and everyone, that you are, indeed, a man and a master of your own word.

    OTOH, I might be mistaken and even misgendered you all the time, when I addressed to you as “Mr. Harding”. Or I was mistaken in assuming that you were brought up “in the atmosphere of toxic masculinity” (c), meaning, that you were an Ur-Progressive all along. In that case – my most sincere, deepest apologies. I had no intention of invading your safespace and triggering you. If you will need some professional help due to anything said by me and others then, please – go for it. There is nothing to be ashamed here.

    P.S. Oh, and, please – answer my questions, for to have an iformed discussion, we first ought to come to the common meaning of the terms used.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mr/Ms/Neutral Lyttenburgh,

      Unfortunately, your questions are voluminous and I cannot spend much time paging back and forth.

      Ah… “you expect me to”.. “provide substantial proof”. Quick answer – no. It is my professional opinion, and I am an expert, that their behavior is, was, and probably shall remain – Russian troll-like. Proof someone is a Russian troll? Excuse my garbled grammar, “there ain’t no such animal”. Even most quotes in articles about the troll farm are anonymous, the fear is that great that the FSB or someone like them will cause them to cease to exist.

      Beyond that, you need to synopsize your questions and repost. You have managed to spread your questions all over God’s green earth and I have neither the time nor the patience to hunt them down. Since you’re attempting to troll me in two places, you can do it if you are so inclined.

      Like

      1. You’re the troll here. You initiated a series of provocative comments, followed by your ducking of fact based replies – not what true experts do.

        A troll isn’t necessarily anonymous.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. “Ah… “you expect me to”.. “provide substantial proof”. Quick answer – no. It is my professional opinion, and I am an expert, that their behavior is, was, and probably shall remain – Russian troll-like. “

        Hmm… No proof – check. Appeal to the unverifiable authority – check. “I have no time” lame excuse – check. Got it!

        This opens one big, ugly, smelly bag of opportunities, Joel Harding. I.e. anyone can say “it is my professional opinion” or something along the lines and be done with it. But that’s also is libelous and unbecoming of the (traditional) “man”. This is something a person full of shit gonna say.

        The equivalent of what you are doing with your claims here, Joel Harding, the kind of accusations would be for me to cite claims that you engage in bestiality. Passive, of course. I would then reference authoritative insiders (who wish to remain anonymous for the security reasons), because you (and others in your… circle) are so important figures in the Western Intelligence/Military circles, that they have to fear reprisals. Said anonymous (but 100% reliable!) sources would then claim (and I quote) that you became hopelessly enamored with the muskoxen after seeing one in zoo at the tender age of 6 (six).

        (See? The presence of little details like that totally proves that this is not something cooked up but a real thing. Not just general bestiality, but a lusting after muskoxen!)

        Musk-ox is an all-American mighty beast. It was only natural for you, to wish to become… joined with one. For it to fill you with the meaning, of what it is to be an American. And (as claim 100 reliable sources that wish to remain anonymous for security reasons) you had your dream cuome true – many, many times in the past. After all – you are an adrenaline junky!

        That’s the option of one vein of conversation – if we opt for the “nothing is true, everything is an opinion” way. The way which also shows that no – you are not a “man” in the traditional, retrograde meaning of that word. You are a modern progressive “man” – not a pussy, as you might have been called in the past, not a lying asshole. You are a “man”. Modern “man”.

        Or you can just apologize before the people you were accusing of being “Russian trolls” without enough proof and in future choose your words more carefully. Because, who knows – maybe this would save you from a libel suit or two.

        Oh, and I insist for you to compile a list of suicide prevention, anxiety/depression hotlines and sites, Joel Harding. For your own good.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “Beyond that, you need to synopsize your questions and repost. You have managed to spread your questions all over God’s green earth and I have neither the time nor the patience to hunt them down.”

        Lack of patience might be a symptom of your ADD, Joel Harding. Were you diagnosed with it? Or you just don’t know what to answer, as we have seen previously, you don’t know what is a democracy? Or the reasons are the following (quoting your own blogpost):

        “I’m being trolled by pro-Russians on another website, asking multi-faceted, long questions, demanding detailed answers, and basically trying to tie me up.

        Their basic purpose is to get me so wrapped up in defining terms that I’ll give up, get branded as a US propagandist, and they will basically try to trip me up. I decided to back off and take a fairly detailed approach to their query about “Russian aggression”.”

        “Multi-faceted, long questions” – how… heinous! How… low!

        Still, for simplicity sake (and for your own), here are my questions. When I ask you for definitions, don’t be shy – use your own words.

        1) Can you provide examples of Russian Naval Infantry threatening people or somehow influencing their vote during 2014 referendum?

        2) Define “legitimate voting monitors”

        3) Define “legitimate”.

        4) Who appointed you to talk on behalf of the West?

        5) Source of the claim that “the West thought Russia wanted to be considered legitimate”.

        6) When and by whom it has been proposed the Russia will lose their seat on the UN Security Council and lose their veto power?

        7) Who determined that Russia (and only Russia) is responsible for the deaths in the Eastern Ukraine?

        8) Define “aggression” as performed by a state.

        9) Provide examples of the “damning Russia’s actions in Ukraine”(c)

        10) When and by whom did Russia had been “telegraphing an imminent invasion”(c)?

        11) Define “information war”. When is denial an act of war? What “deceptions, disinformation, fake news, cover-ups” are you implying here?

        12) Define “rogue nation”.

        13) What is “hostile (foreign) power”? What qualifies a country to be one?

        14) Who decides whether a certain (foreign) power is hostile to the US? Also – is there a comprehensive list of the “hostile (foreign) powers”?

        15) What is the algorithm of behavior (top->down) in the US for dealing with the hostile powers?

        Bonus question – do you know the difference between the “democracy” (mode of rule) and “freedom of speech”?

        Do you posses the mental capacity to answer them?

        Liked by 3 people

      4. 1) Can you provide examples of Russian Naval Infantry threatening people or somehow influencing their vote during 2014 referendum?
        No, trick question. They were known as polite green men in some circles. This has nothing to do with Russian aggression. Stick to the issue.
        2) Define “legitimate voting monitors”
        In the case of Crimea, OSCE trained monitors.
        3) Define “legitimate”.
        “conforming to the law or to rules”

        4) Who appointed you to talk on behalf of the West?
        That would be you, by the way you refer to me. You may stop calling me “your eminence now”.
        5) Source of the claim that “the West thought Russia wanted to be considered legitimate”.
        I have no clue what you’re talking about. Context?
        6) When and by whom it has been proposed the Russia will lose their seat on the UN Security Council and lose their veto power?
        Last week, by Ukraine. It was only that Russia and all others lose veto power.
        7) Who determined that Russia (and only Russia) is responsible for the deaths in the Eastern Ukraine?
        Russia invaded, Russia is sponsoring terrorist activities in Donbas, Russia is responsible. Vladislav Surkov runs the operation in Donbas, it should be him first. Putin made the decision, he should be next. Ghirkin lead the invasion, he should be next.
        8) Define “aggression” as performed by a state.
        Aggression definition
        • hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another; readiness to attack or confront.
        • the action or an act of attacking without provocation.
        • forceful and sometimes overly assertive pursuit of one’s aims and interests
        If you had read the updated blog you might have caught that. It’s not a static document.
        9) Provide examples of the “damning Russia’s actions in Ukraine”(c)
        Again, context?
        10) When and by whom did Russia had been “telegraphing an imminent invasion”(c)?
        • “Forward basing large military units on foreign borders”
        Again, it’s in the updated article.
        11) Define “information war”. When is denial an act of war? What “deceptions, disinformation, fake news, cover-ups” are you implying here?
        Refer to http://toinformistoinfluence.com It’s all in there.
        12) Define “rogue nation”.
        Russia
        13) What is “hostile (foreign) power”? What qualifies a country to be one?
        When a country acts outside the norm, aggressively
        14) Who decides whether a certain (foreign) power is hostile to the US? Also – is there a comprehensive list of the “hostile (foreign) powers”?
        Who? The Intelligence Community, in what is called a National Intelligence Estimate. All the intelligence agencies participate.
        15) What is the algorithm of behavior (top->down) in the US for dealing with the hostile powers?
        The President directs, the National Security Council directs the planning.
        Bonus question – do you know the difference between the “democracy” (mode of rule) and “freedom of speech”?
        Yes.

        Like

    2. You are totally right: lying everyday is what the retired major Joel Harding has been earning his bread by. He denied, for example, threatening George Eliason, the US reporter based in Donbass, with SBU interrogation = tortures while the former has the necessary evidence: https://washingtonsblog.com/2015/05/ukraine-nazis-target-american-journalist-in-donbass.html. Or how Harding himself described his libelling efforts to tarnish another journalist reputation: “And there are many kinds of propaganda; let me focus on what we are mostly seeing being dumped on us by Russia …I’ll put them in a spreadsheet and send it to anyone wanting to help. Together we’ll see if we can send that to enough people to make a case against him, embarrass him and make it impossible for his to show his face without being labeled a bad journalist, a liar, guilty of perjury, and a dirty propagandist…Photographs can be photoshopped, so can videos. Eyewitness accounts are suspect. Reporters stories are only as reliable as the news sources and that means they are not reliable. Even if the most reliable person in the world says something, their word can always be branded speculation, biased or that they are a paid troll, be it Russian or otherwise (although I really don’t know of any others).” https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-psychological-warfare-in-ukraine-targeting-online-independent-media-coverage/5437883

      Like

  10. Ok, guys, you disagree with Joel, and he disagrees with you. That’s no need for mutual insults. Keep it polite, please. Attack facts and arguments, not the person.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s what I prefer. On Crimea, see:

      http://www.academia.edu/37358188/Michael_Averko_Consistency_and_Reality_Lacking_on_Crimea

      Andreas Umland has been known to answer back commentary that he disagrees with. Umland doesn’t do so with the above piece which he posted at academia.edu.

      That commentary addresses some of what Joel Harding has brought up at this thread. Concerning the OSCE and the Crimean referendum, it wasn’t a matter of Crimea/Russia not inviting the OSCE to monitor the process at issue. The OSCE declined to monitor that vote because the Kiev regime viewed that process as illegitimate. Meantime, it’s quite foolish to second guess the well over 2/3 support in Crimea for reunifying with Russia.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting, your linked Michael no doubt made it onto Source Watch via the Eurasia Review page it seems.
        https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Michael_Averko

        I am not familiar with Umland, not too familiar that is. I should have, maybe, but Russia and Dugin weren’t that high on my radar then. I was alerted to him on an edu list. Checkig it, it was advertised with Umland’s name in the title, although he was only one of three editors and not listed first:

        https://www.sova-center.ru/en/xenophobia/news-releases/2006/07/d8776/

        The book was a badly bound paperback. Thus curiously enough the whole introduction and part of the first section were gone without me noticing or noticing it too late. I guess after that at one point in time I discarded it. Maybe to not have to reflect on how and why those pages disappeared or to reflect how to easily add the missing pages. 😉

        https://www.amazon.de/Fascism-Past-Present-West-East/dp/3898216748/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1547846105&sr=8-1&keywords=3898216748#reader_3898216748

        Like

  11. The whole Russigate narrative is built – from a media perspective – on innuendo and the shallow attention to details of the audience.

    Just look at how many people who consider themselves well learned and informed still believe that Manafort’s work in the Ukraine was in favour of Russian interests, simply because he was working for a President and a Party that have been depicted as “pro-Russia”.

    The fact that Manafort’s job was to improve Yanukovich’s and Ukraine’s image in the eyes of the US and EU in order to improve diplomatic relations and facilitate the negotiation of the Free Trade Agreement by convincing the Wetern partners to overlook some of the political and human rights shortcomings of Yanukovich administration, is completely lost on most people, even though it’s pretty clear according to Mueller’s indictment (for instance, Mueller spends a lot of words documenting Manafort’s efforts to craft a smear campaign to counter what Manafort referred to as “Tymoshenko’s propaganda”, because – at the time – the detention and health conditions of Yulia Tymoshenko were one of the issues that kept troubling some of the most prominent EU politicians, especially Ms.Merkel).
    In one of the documents provided by Manafort and attached to the indictment, Manafort even boasts of his team success in coordinating with the White House a statement about Ukrainian reforms that doesn’t mention Yulia Timoshenko…

    So, in reality Manafort was working on a project that was actually damaging to the interests of Russia and not in favour. Ironically, the indictment makes the collusion hypothesis less likely, not more.

    But this is lost because the presentation of facts is somehow watered down in favor of the elicitation of emotions and the crafting of a moody narrative.

    Like

  12. Part I.

    1) “No, trick question. They were known as polite green men in some circles. This has nothing to do with Russian aggression. Stick to the issue.”

    But you claimed: “The “referendum” in Crimea was held under duress, under the guns of Russian Naval Infantry.” Therefore, you can’t prove that there was any “duress”.

    2) “In the case of Crimea, OSCE trained monitors.”

    Why? Why only them? Can you cite a provision in the OSCE mandate that makes them and only them “legitimate” ones?

    BTW, speaking about Crimean referendum – are you familiar with the Ukrainian legislation? Article 5 of the Constitution of Ukraine establishes that only the people of Ukraine are the source of power, and no one can usurp it. Also, according to the Article 9 of the Constitution of Ukraine, international norms (including the right to self-determination) are part of the legislation of Ukraine and have the force of law on the territory of Ukraine.

    As you know, during the referendum in the Crimea, the legitimately elected power in Ukraine was absent. A coup d’état was carried out, President Yanukovych and the legitimate internationally recognized government of Ukraine were overthrown without complying with any proper impeachment procedures.

    The Ukrainian authorities say that the legitimate Verkhovna Rada has appointed a new government, as it was necessary to govern the state. However, in Ukraine (imagine that!) the power is divided into legislative, executive and judicial, which provides a system of checks and balances. Each branch of power has strictly defined functions.

    In accordance with Article 112 of the Constitution of Ukraine (as amended up to February 21, 2014), in the event of the early removal of the President from power, their powers are transferred to the Prime Minister. In violation of this norm, on 21 Feb 2014, the Verkhovna Rada appointed as the Acting President Turchinov, who in turn illegally appointed a new government. It turns out that the Ukrainian parliament illegally assumed the functions of the executive power, which makes the power as a whole illegitimate. What would the “democratic pro-Western opposition” say if Yanukovych ordered the arrest of all members of parliament (despite their immunity), would force them to flee Ukraine, and then single-handedly approve the laws without coordination with Rada? That’s right – they would call him a usurper. But, ultimately, the Verkhovna Rada did the same.

    The UN Charter, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that all peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of this right, they freely establish their political status and freely ensure their economic, social and cultural development. All States participating in this Covenant must, in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter, promote the exercise of the right to self-determination and respect this right.

    In a situation of legal vacuum, when central authorities are formed and act contrary to the Constitution and the will of the people, in a democratic state, the people have the right to express their will directly, including self-determination up to secession. Thus, the conduct of the Crimean referendum was actually based on the people’s direct implementation of the norms of international law recognized by Ukraine. The right to self-determination implies that the self-determining part does not ask permission of the whole.

    Oh, and speaking about “Russian aggression”. According to Budapest Memorandum, Russia has assumed obligations to “refrain from the threat of force or its use against the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine.” But all countries could not take (and have never taken) obligations to violate the UN Charter, which guarantees the right of peoples to self-determination (which, as we found out, is higher than territorial integrity).

    According to the Ukrainian authorities, Russia organized the annexation of the Crimea under the guise of holding a referendum, for which it used military forces. However, according to the agreement with Ukraine, Russia had the right to maintain up to 20,000 troops on the peninsula. There is no evidence that the quota was exceeded.

    What is the violation of the Budapest Memorandum – namely, the use of military force by Russia? Where are the consequences of such an application? Neither Kiev, nor Washington, nor Brussels gave a meaningful answer, turning a blind eye to the legality of the entry of Crimea into the Russian Federation from a legal point of view.

    3) “conforming to the law or to rules”

    No, this is definition of the lawful. “Legitimate” OTOH means something which is considered lawful.

    His Most Catholic Majesty King Philip II of Spain was the lawful sovereign of the Netherlands and had the Law on his side when he decided to send Duke Alba (and Spanish Inquisition) to deal with the pesky protestants and rebels. OTOH, from the POW of the latter he was an illegitimate authority, what with him being Catholic, (nominally) Spanish and taxing them while simultaneously reducing local autonomy.

    Or one can go for another example – from the late 18th c. and across the globe. But it would bring so much uncomfortable parallels, right, Joel? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Part II.

    4) “That would be you, by the way you refer to me”

    I refer to you “they/them”, because this is gender neutral pronoun, that befits your very modern “male” identity. You are, therefore, mistaken – I’ve never called you “Your Rminence”. But you admit, that you have no authority to speak on behalf of all the West – despite doing just that.

    5) “I have no clue what you’re talking about.”

    You have no clue about what you wrote yourself – and can’t even recall it. Oh dear. Oh dear-dear. Let’s add Alzheimer to the list of mental maladies, that might very well plague you, Joel. Or, you know, go and re-read your own comment. You know how to use “search” option, don’t you?

    6) “Last week, by Ukraine. It was only that Russia and all others lose veto power.”

    🙂

    Thank you. See? If you are more, ah, “forthcoming” when describing events, they turn out to be more comical.

    7) “Russia invaded”

    When? Confirmed and recognized by what internationally valid authorities? BTW, if, as you claim, “Russia invaded” Ukraine, why Ukraine did not declare war on Russia? Also, why Minsk I-II accords recognize as the sides of conflict only Kiev based Ukrainian government and the Peoples Republic of Donbass?

    “Russia is sponsoring terrorist activities in Donbas”

    That’s not true – no international body recognizes People’s Republic and their military forces as the “terrorists” – even US of A. Hell, even Ukraine itself no longer calls it “ATO”.

    In order to understand whether the actions of the militias are criminalized, it is necessary to determine what they are aimed at, what is the motive (basis) for such actions. The basis is the non-recognition of the Kiev authorities as legitimate. Also, the militias do not recognize the legitimacy of the anti-terrorist operation.

    There is legal logic in their position, it is based on the following legal facts.

    A) Illegal seizure of power in Ukraine – let’s not forget that Yanukovych, in violation of the Constitution of Ukraine, was never impeached. As a result, the appointment of presidential elections is also illegal, since early presidential elections according to the Constitution of Ukraine are possible only in the event of death, resignation or impeachment of the head of state. None of the above circumstances happened. Additionally, the Constitution of Ukraine establishes that elections ought to be held in 2015. This was in the official text of the Constitution, which was approved in the wording of the Verkhovna Rada’s Act of 21/02/2014 (after the removal of Yanukovych).

    In such a situation, can it be considered that the Ukrainian authorities are a subject of the Law? Is someone obliged to carry out the orders of those who illegally seized power? Especially, if these orders contradict a number of international conventions and are aimed at the destruction of the civilian population? Let me remind you that the violation of the rights of civilians and the use of illegal methods of war had been already noted by independent Western human rights activist groups.

    B) Article 41 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine confirms this position: “An order or command is recognized as lawful if it is given by the relevant person in the proper manner and within its authority and its content do not contradict the current legislation and it is not connected with violation of the constitutional rights and freedoms of a person and citizen.”

    From a legal point of view, the actions of the militias in conditions where there is no generally recognized legitimate power in Ukraine constitute the necessary defense.

    Article 36 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine states that “necessary defense is recognized as actions committed in order to protect the rights and interests of a defending person or other person protected by law, as well as public interests and interests of the state from the socially dangerous encroachment by causing the agents of said encroachment harm necessary and sufficient in a given situation for the immediate prevention or suppression of the encroachment “.

    C) It is necessary to dwell on the question of the legality of the antiterrorist operation. The Law of Ukraine “On Combating Terrorism” defines terrorism as follows: “Terrorism is a socially dangerous activity, which consists in the conscious, purposeful use of violence by taking hostages, arson, murder, torture, intimidation of the population authorities or the commission of other encroachments on the life or health of innocent people or the threat of criminal acts in order to achieve criminal their goals.

    Which of the above did the militia? Initially, they took a defensive position, did not take hostages (unlike the Kiev authorities), did not commit murder and torture. All the victims arose solely as a result of the aggression of Kiev based authorities and the realization of the right to self-defense by the militia. It should be noted that the militia carried out their activities with the support of the local population.

    Accordingly, if the militiamen are not terrorists, then conducting an anti-terrorist operation against them is a crime.

    So, in the end, we can surmise, that NO ONE of any authority ruled Russia as being responsible for the dead of Donbass. You have nothing, Joel – only hot air.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Part III

    8)

    “hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another; readiness to attack or confront.”

    […]

    “forceful and sometimes overly assertive pursuit of one’s aims and interests”

    […]
    […]
    […]

    Do you understand, that this makes the US of A the chief aggressor on the globe? By your own definition, virtually ALL states commit acts of aggression daily. That’s… that’s insane. That’s in no way an internationally recognized definition of the “state aggression”, as per, e.g. Rome Statute. Your worldview is simply… wrong, Joel. It’s as if you are living in a parallel dimension, that has no connection with out own whatsoever.

    9) “Again, context?”

    Don’t play dense… okay, denser than usual here. Your own words thrown back at you – either confirm or GTFO.

    10) “Forward basing large military units on foreign borders”

    That’s not “telegraphing an imminent invasion”. Have you read M. Koffman’s article?

    11) Your own blog is not an authoritative source. Besides, I was asking you to provide answers in your own words here. Try again. Define “information war”. When is denial an act of war? What “deceptions, disinformation, fake news, cover-ups” are you implying here?

    12)

    Joel Harding: “Russia is clearly a rogue nation” (c)
    Me: Define “rogue nation”
    Joel Harding: “Russia” (c)

    […]
    […]
    […]

    That’s the equivalent, if someone would ask me to provide a medically solid definition of “A 7-year old petulant child personality trapped in the balding and overweight body of an adult”, and I’d answer: “Joel Harding”. But such diagnosis won’t be helpful not only from the POW of the medicine, but even from the formal logic standpoint.

    Now, one more time – define “rogue nation”

    13) “When a country acts outside the norm, aggressively”

    What “norm”? Who decides the “norm”? Btw, do you understand, that this applies, most of all, to the US?

    Also, care to point out to a particular part of the extensive legal code of the US, where it DOES define such entity as “hostile (foreign) power”? If not, what you have here is just meaningless.

    BTW, POTUS successfully pushed for Pakistan to be re-added to the Financial Action Task Force’s terrorist financing grey list. Does it mean that a country, still called “ally” and “partner” of the US in the fight against the terrorism is (simultaneously) a “rogue state” and “hostile (foreign) power”? More so, is Saudi Arabia also a “rogue state” and “hostile (foreign) power” after the murder and dismemberment of J. Khashoggi? Is Turkey a “rogue state” and “hostile (foreign) power” after detaining (on dubious charges) an American national? I’m asking, because you, Joel, failed to provide reliable criterions.

    14) “Who? The Intelligence Community, in what is called a National Intelligence Estimate. All the intelligence agencies participate.”

    Uh-huh. But that would require to have a legal definition of “hostile (foreign) power” (see above) in the first place. Are you saying that the policy of the US is determined by a close group of the unelected officials in a way contravening the existing legislation?

    15) “The President directs, the National Security Council directs the planning.”

    Nixon style? 😉 But, joking aside – if the POTUS (as the representative of the American people at large) is the ultimate authority here, then what’s this all hoopla is all about?

    16) “Yes.”

    Which is?..

    P.S. This was just… amazing! See, people? The power of the Freedom of Speech is such, that should you allow all low and sundry to express themselves freely, you not only will get a good laugh for free, but also might notice their most prominent mindboggling delusions! Joel Harding, please – don’t stop! MOAR! We need MOAR of your revelations!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Paul, my apologies for allowing this comment section to be used as a dartboard. I understand Lyttenburgh is baiting me, I also understand Lyttenburgh will never accept any of my responses but will continue acting juvenile.

    Once again, I had hoped to have a civil adult discussion but due to Lyttenburgh et al, that appears to be not possible.

    Like

  16. Joel, as per your own admission, you submit opinions, unsubstantiated by facts. I’ve seen a lot more facts quoted out of Lyttenburg over these years on this blog, than I’ve seen from you.
    To still claim Crimea’s referendum was made under duress is laughable. Personally, I do not believe the process was all together perfect (and here I would refer not to the ‘little green men’ – who were hardly to be seen according to my American friends in Crimea, who showed me a video of driving through the streets to various polling stations in Sevastopol, and they had to go looking to find any military), but the imperfect process was vindicated amply by subsequent polling by Western agencies, as well as the undisputed presidential elections in 2018, which showed Crimeans hold exactly the view that was expressed in that referendum.
    Consequently, when your opinion clings to a narrative that was proven wrong in the present by the facts, you are simply a West-believer. In this day and age, when American actions and policies have not only been exposed but also been wildly unsuccessful for the better part of at least 20 years – one has to have a lot of faith to be a West-believer.
    It is decidedly easier to believe in the foreign policy of a nation like Russia which is not only unusually successful there, but does entice with a clear logic that’s drawn from its evaluation of what is the core of its sovereign interests. The latter is a reductionary exercise that the US has not done, is intrinsically unable to do, as it falls primarily to those that have endured a resounding defeat (Germany, Japan after WW2) or collapse (Russia during the US-assisted 1990’s).
    So to an extent we are all believers, yet some of us – primarily the west – have lost the battle of logic. Hence, I guess, the need for the Integrity Initiative, and my immediate association of you with your, hopefully very far removed, repugnant relative.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. If your “nobody” is not =0, but, instead >0, then it is not “nobody”. USA at first were not internationally recognized either – like the USSR as well 😉

        As for the reasons, well, The United States and Europe systematically use the principle of the right of the nations to self-determination where it is beneficial for them: e.g. in Yugoslavia or Tibet. These are double standards in the application of international law.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. “So, which nation has recognized Donbas? =0=nobody . “

        Again, Joel, I have to wonder – are just stupid as fuck or deliberately deceitful piece of unmanly crap? As can anyone attest by reading first Josh’s comment (“To still claim Crimea’s referendum was made under duress is laughable” (c)), then your own comment to his comment (“If the referendum was so fair, why does nobody in the world accept the results?” (c)), we were talking about 2014 referendum in Crimea. What you are trying to do here – super lamely btw – is called “moving goalposts”. Maybe for such silver surfer as you it might appear as a brand new tactic, but for the rest of the Net its rather obvious.

        Try again.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Pardon me, stranger, you’ve dropped your mic on your toe. I hope you’ve not hurt yourself.

        You debase yourself with your inane statements. Your choice of words and logic are decidedly different, not at all Western. Where are you from?

        Like

      4. “It should read: Russia annexed Crimea, …and who acknowledges that? =0”

        Russia, Afghanistan (US of A ally and client state ;)), Venesuella, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syaria, North (Best) Corea.

        7>0

        [drops the mic]

        Liked by 1 person

      5. “*chortle* A good cast of characters. Not.”

        Barbary pirates of Tunisia were the second state that recognized the US as an independent state, Joel. Also, “A good cast of characters. Not” (c)

        You know what was the first state to do that?

        “You debase yourself with your inane statements. Your choice of words and logic are decidedly different, not at all Western.

        At least I have logic. You OTOH try to spread your Good Word logic free.

        “Where are you from?”

        I can easily answer this question, but… How could you know if I’m telling you the truth?

        Inb4, as someone who wrote:

        “Once again, I had hoped to have a civil adult discussion but due to Lyttenburgh et al, that appears to be not possible.”

        and then claimed to never lie (pffft!) – hey, Joel! You are still talking to me! Oh, I forgot – you are not a master of your own word!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. “If the referendum was so fair, why does nobody in the world accept the results?”

        *****

        Not true as some countries do. Meantime, no countries recognize the Turkish propped “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, which has been around for decades. Hence, it’s grossly hypocritical to make hoopla over Crimea, while avoiding the matters of northern Cyprus and Kosovo.

        The world at large isn’t always fair – something that everyone seems to agree with, albeit for different reasons. This matter of fairness pertains to those like the necons, neolibs and flat out Russia haters, who bash Russia over Crimea, while being noticeably mute about the situations regarding Kosovo and northern Cyprus.

        Over time, more and more countries will likely accept (in the formal sense) Crimea’s reunification with Russia. A recent pro-Kiev vote at the UN didn’t receive the support of the majority of UN member states.

        Related:

        https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/12/21/un-does-kosovo-and-azov-sea.html

        Liked by 2 people

    1. In response to Josh, re Crimean referendum, undoubtedly it was an imperfect process. Subsequent polling, however, suggests that the result was probably a fairly adequate representation of reality. Below are some examples. (Unfortunately, I’m having problems pasting in pictures, so can’t show the graphics).

      Here’s a link to a Canadian-sponsored survey of Crimeans. The survey was done by a German-Ukrainian company, and as such can’t easily be accused of pro-Russian bias.

      Click to access GFK_report_FreeCrimea.pdf

      This link summarizes it: https://www.newcoldwar.org/survey-on-attitudes-of-the-crimea-people-to-the-events-of-2014/

      The key result was that 82% fully supported the annexation, 11% mostly supported it, 2% fully opposed, 2% mostly opposed, and 3% said they didn’t know.

      The Levada centre reports fairly similar results, though with a slightly higher proportion opposed (around 10%). Here are their results in 2018 (available here: https://www.levada.ru/en/2018/04/17/crimea-2/ ).

      DO YOU SUPPORT CRIMEA’S REUNIFICATION WITH RUSSIA? (single answer)

      Definitely Mostly Mostly not Definitely not It is difficult to say
      Mar. 18 53 33 8 2 4
      Sept. 17 52 32 7 4 5
      Sept. 16 56 27 10 3 4
      May 16 57 31 8 2 3
      Feb. 16 45 37 10 3 5
      Jan. 16 47 36 9 4 4
      Nov. 15 48 35 11 3 3
      Sept. 15 54 30 9 3 4
      Aug. 15 50 33 10 2 5
      Jul. 15 51 33 8 3 4
      Jun. 15 53 34 7 2 4
      May 15 56 29 7 2 6
      Apr. 15 55 34 6 2 4
      Mar. 15 55 33 6 2 4
      Feb. 15 52 32 9 3 4
      Jan. 15 50 34 8 4 4
      Dec. 14 50 36 7 3 4
      Nov. 14 53 31 6 5 6
      Oct. 14 55 31 7 2 5
      May 14 54 36 4 1 5
      Mar. 14 57 31 6 1 4

      As far as Crimean Tatars are concerned, this survey by some Irish scholars indicates slightly more Tatars saying that the annexation was ‘generally right’ or ‘absolutely right’ than saying it was ‘wrong’ (only about 30% said it was ‘wrong’): https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/john-o%E2%80%99loughlin-gerard-toal/crimean-conundrum

      The Irish-sponsored survey also suggests that slightly more Tatars view Putin favourably than unfavourably: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/01/22/how-popular-are-putin-and-obama-in-crimea-and-eastern-ukraine/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7101f619d37a

      In another survey, by the Russian polling organization VTsIOM, 49% of Crimean Tatars supported the Russian annexation of Crimea, 26% supported remaining part of Ukraine, and 25% said it was ‘difficult to answer’: http://old2.wciom.ru/fileadmin/news/sobytiya/Krblm2015.pdf\

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Pr. Robinson, You don’t “annex” a historically integral part.
        By now, all three major Western pollsters have affirmed the fact of voluntarily reunification: Gallup, GfK and Pew Research.
        To continue using the term “annexation” is to deny the Crimean people of any agency & repeating Western propaganda designed to support the illegal coup in 2014 Ukraine.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Hey-hey-hey! Look what I found:

    ‘Brig Gen Joel Harding’: NATO’s Troll King and Neo-Nazi Extraordinaire

    “Joel Harding appears to be “secretly” instructing Ukrainian ultra-nationalist paramilitary groups, including the “Right Sector”, to commit criminal offenses such as destroying natural gas pipelines.
    • He promotes a positive image of Stepan Bandera, an infamous Nazis collaborator whose Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) was responsible for mass annihilations of civilians in the Ukraine.
    • Harding claims to maintain/contribute to 3,000 blogs, most of which are dedicated to spreading disinformation on and smearing Russia.
    • Those who dare to counter Harding’s and his fellow trolls’ “cyber activities” usually face libel, harassment and even death threats.
    • The essence and modus operandi of such trolling leaves little doubt regarding the sources of its financing.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “You haven’t even found the good stuff yet”

        ” As a recent lawsuit filed in a Virginia court reveals, Joel Harding seems hopelessly addicted to teen pornography from “former Soviet-bloc countries”
        Keeping close tabs on Russian women in social networks and cyber-stalking some of them also takes up much of Harding’s Information Operations time and budget allocation.
        Harding’s peer trolls at LinkedIn, including US Department of Commerce officials, ostensibly countering “Russian propaganda”, appear equally addicted to porn.”

        +

        “It so happens that our “former senior US military intelligence officer” or “Brigadier General” was sued recently for copyright infringement of Internet-distributed pornography (Case No. 1:16-cv-00384-AJT-TCB) in the US District Court for the eastern district of Virginia, Alexandria division. The plaintiff, Malibu Media LLC, is seeking damages from the defendant, a certain Joel Harding who uncannily shares the same address as our Brigadier General, for the unauthorized downloading, copying and distribution of the plaintiff’s copyrighted pornographic movies. The Plaintiff charges that the “defendant is a habitual and persistent BitTorrent user and copyright infringer.” This is of course natural for an online stalker who trolls through 3,000 blogs to uphold the US Constitution. Most of these blogs are presumably centered on content such as the one below in his one-stop centre for “information warfare” patsies and imposters.

        […]

        “Anyway, Harding’s teen porn activities were supposedly a cover for hush-hush counter-espionage and information warfare of the highest order. Harding took the plaintiff’s allegations like a true soldier in order not to blow his clandestine-covert mission. Instead of claiming “Putin did it” or “Russia framed me”, this time the defendant claimed that he merely “acted in good faith as an innocent infringer under Section 504 of the Copyright Act and without any intent to infringe Plaintiff’s work.””

        ID • 2 years ago
        Lorton, VA 22079, where Brig Gen Joel Harding resides, is a small town known for an unusual number of child sex offenders. Perfect place for this pervert to hide and download kiddie porn from Eastern Europe while dreams up anti-Kremlin strategies. The town housed Washington DC’s prisons till recently and continues to process up to 30% of DC’s garbage. How apt!
        https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/brig-gen-joel-harding-natos-teen-porn-addict-and-troll-king-extraordinaire-part-ii/ri16368#comment-2885863883

        Liked by 1 person

  18. To tell the truth, I frequently find compulsive obsessive types among Russian trolls. Lyttenburgh, you seem average, but perhaps that is being too generous.

    Eliason included my name in almost every article he wrote for three years. You two belong in bed together. Perhaps you are.

    Like

      1. Yes, I thought that you would take it as a compliment. Here’s a video that I am in two minds as to what your response will be, (I have certainly not chosen it to cause offence.)

        Like

      2. By way of explanation, and as some sort of completion, my interest in the above video was piqued by the simple observation that “the old poem” “Farewell my sons and daughters” is a Soviet poem, written in 1943 by Pavel Antokolsky. It is usually called “Son”. Here is the “original” version.
        https://www.bilibili.com/video/av2621745/

        Like

    1. You will have your wish fulfilled, Professor, should you rescue several comments from the “Your comment is awaiting moderation” Limbo.

      Like

  19. Broadly speaking:

    -Mr. Harding seems to be completely enconsed in the neo-liberal/neo-conservative group think on Russia. From a Russian pov., this group thing actually has upsides and downsides. The upside is that, while this group think will always be incredibly over the top hostile to Russia, it will base its strategies against Russia on the siboleths on its own propaganda, rather then on factual observations of reality. This makes their strategies far less likely to be effective. For example, if you would actually want to get rid of Putin, providing Putin, also known as Mr. “I rescued you from the 90s” to his voters, with a vivid historical reenactment of Russia in the 90s (but with more violence and more Nazis) in neighbouring Ukraine was actually the dumbest thing the west could have done (at least in my imagination of dumb things. Given how dumb neocons are, my imagination may be insufficently creative).

    -Even within the anglosphere, this groupthink is in considerable variance with what everydayman on the street thinks. In Germany much more so. If you have historically interested everydaymans like me, they are mostly “well duh, Russia is a great power and will behave in great power ways, doing great power stuff neighbouring countries, particularly if a rivaling great powers starts some stuff there. And yes it has a sphere of influence, else it would not be a great power. For the record, regional powers like Vietnam (Cambodia, Southern parts of Laos)can have spheres of influence.” .

    -The Blob either has to conduct even more propaganda to sway the everydayman according to its maxims (propaganda is expensive and also makes you stupid), or to completely shut out the everydayman from foreign policy, which will itensify the already ongoing populist backlash. In Germany, 80% of our members of parliament are members of parties with an anti Russian programmes, while 80% of our population polls against intensifying sanctions on Russia. This is sustained due to massive degrees or transatlantic networking/influencing for now, but I do not think that it will be sustainable in the long run.
    Naturally, the populist backlash is something Russia can, and from its perspective should, utilize.

    -They are completely and utterly blind to the fact that the current west is, as a matter of fact, a revisionist hegemon. The last revisionist hegemon was the Mongol Empire (Nazi germany was revisionist, but I argue they were not a hegemon). Being a hegemon with clear world conquest ambitions leads to the rise of a balancing coalition (driving Russia and China together is quite an achievment, it took real threats of genocide by the Imperial Japanese army to do that the last time), and greatly cuts down the time a hegemon is actually a hegemon.

    -In the case of Ukraine, being neutral and nukefree was already written into Ukraines declaration of state sovereignity. Being nuke free was further formalized in the Budapest memorandum, in which Ukraine received a formal written no regime change pledge from the USA, UK and Russia. Not only the the USA blatantly violate its obligations to Ukraine, it did so for essentially no reason whatsorever, and I dont think the “group thinkers” are even aware of what the consequences of their policies will be in terms of f.e. non proliferation. So much for the “revision of the post cold war order”.

    -Just for the record, the west completely obliterated its own credibility Ukraine. They made a deal with Ukraine in which Ukraine gave up a rather sizeable number of nukes in return for guarantees of security and non regime change pledges. Ukraine fully fullfillfed her part. All the west had to do in order to maintain its legal position and fullfill its obligation was to literally do nothing. Pre Maidan Ukraine was no threat whatsoerever to anyone. By regime changing it anway, the west essentially signalled that it is completely and utterly untrustworthy. This greatly reduces the odds of third countries reaching deals with the west, and since particularly the blob like group “thinkers” are more into threatening rather then making deals, greatly increases the risks of war since the countries they threaten are now less likely to back down.

    -I live in the west, I would likely be drafted in the event of hostilities against Russia. As I would end up with a bunch of Russian bullets/rocket artillery fragments/”insert martial implement of your choice here” in my body in the event of a war, I feel justified to demand that, at minimum, our glorious war planners devise their stratagems of “how to get me killed in Ukraine” based on some type of observable reality, rather then on their own PR efforts.
    This is not even a pro Russian point of view, its just pro reality, and if you think that going to war with Russia and having a strategy based on PR rather then based on reality is a good idea then god help us all (I am an atheist btw.).

    Ideally I would like to have a say, but given German electoral politics this is rather unlikely.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “The last revisionist hegemon was the Mongol Empire (Nazi germany was revisionist, but I argue they were not a hegemon)”

      Well… One can argue that Revolutionary/Napoleonic France was a revisionist hegemon, which origins lie in the military defeats of France and its losing of the colonial competition to Britain (along with the emergence of the “Great Powers Pentarchy” by mid 18 c.). While the Mongols… that’s really “Ancient history”, and trying to apply modern terms like “revisionist” to them is really unwarranted.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Revolutionary France was definitly revisionist, but just like Nazi Germany they did not control Russia, where effectively locked in Europe, and their British adversaries controlled the seas.

        Napoleon was a hegemon for the period in which Russia accepted French hegemony. Napoleon tried to transition into being the Status Quo power, and it didnt quite work out.

        Like

      2. Maybe we have different understanding of the term “hegemony”?

        Well, consider the international situation by 1812:

        – After 1807 (see Konigsberg Convention) Prussia ceased to be a Great Power, instead becoming just another one among other mid-weight German states. There still remained a threat of this situation deteriorating further.
        – Russia officially recognized Napoleonic (i.e. France dominated) New Europe – without HRE, without recognition of the old balances of powers, without old legitimism. Russia lost its “soft power” (in that time – dynastic) influence in Germany. Russia had to agree to participate in the Continental Blockade – a measure that ran directly against Russian (both state and nobility’s) economic interests. Also often overlooked development – Russia lost its hard won outposts and bases in the Mediterranean. Still – Russia retained its military potential and this, as we all know, is the nightmare for all world Hegemons, for whom “might be” equals “bound to happen any moment now”.
        – Out of nowhere re-appeared Poland, in the guise of the “Grand Duchy of Warsaw”. 100% French puppet state, that served as a “geopolitical wrecking ball”, that could be easily used against French enemies either to the West (Prussia) or to the East (Russia) of it. And the states against which this wrecking ball was installed couldn’t even protests this.
        – Austria got rektd in the War of the 5th Coalition. As the aftermath, it lost a significant amount of territories (strengthening such limitrophes like Bavaria and GDoW) and became completely landlocked all of which put its status as one of the Great Powers in question.
        – England no longer had a “continental soldier” in Europe to use against France. In fact – it found itself, as it is fashionable to say nowadays, in the “international isolation” ™. All other Great Powers ceased all kinds of positive diplomatic relations with it – most lesser powers followed suit. Add to that Continental Blockade.

        That’s why I claim, that in 1807-12 period Napoleonic France reached the status of the European Hegemon – and in that time and age it was pretty much the same as being the world one. From Portugal to Russia there was no country truly independent in conduct of its policy (any kind of policy) without factoring strong French factor into it. What Napoleon did in Bayonne to Spanish Bourbons (hapless king Karlos and his son Ferdinand) was for the crowned head of Europe, an affront beyond good and evil. Even what Trumps says/tweets from time to time about America’s allies is not even 1% as shocking. Hell, even should Trump (or, better, Bolton or Pompeo) “perform” live on camera before their erstwhile “friends and allies”, calling them names and denigrating them, ending their speech by the “golden shower” for the first rows of the enraptured audience… that would be only half shocking in comparison. Napoleon, after all, couped his nominal allies and did whatever he bloody wanted with their territories by radically redrawing borders.

        Like

  20. The following is from Mr. Harding’s webpage.

    “US actions are painfully legal, moral, and ethical. Russian aggression is usually not ethical, not moral, and often not legal.”

    The statement is a manifestation of an interesting mindset and may be of diagnostic value. The legality of the US’s presence in Syria, for instance, or earlier actions against Libya or Iraq, comes to mind. The word “painfully” certainly applies, if not the other adjectives, at least from the perspective of the residents of those countries.

    However, most of you have ignored the admonition, “Please Do Not Feed the Troll.” This phrase should be embroidered on your pillowcases at the earliest opportunity.

    Liked by 2 people

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