Patrick Armstrong is a former political counselor at Canadian Embassy in Moscow
MUELLER. One half of the lie has been exploded with the finding that no one connected with Trump colluded with any Russians. The other half of the lie – created by the same people for the same reasons – lives on. Again I tell you: Russia did not/not interfere in the US election, Mueller’s indictment of a Russian clickbait farm notwithstanding. (Again: read MoA and learn today what the NYT will discover (admit to) tomorrow.) Neither official Russia nor unofficial Russia. Why not? Simple deduction: if Moscow had wanted to damage Clinton, it would have used its most powerful weapon; it didn’t; QED.
AMERICA-HYSTERICA. Will continue – somewhat diminished by the hard kick of reality to be sure – but they’ve too much invested in it and some will double down while others try to slither away. We see the goalposts beingmoved. The winner so far: Mueller Report Has Moscow in Ecstasy, Opening the Way for More Putin Plots… expect Vladimir Putin to be more aggressive than ever. Schiff (Mr Pillow Man) digs his hole deeper; Swalwell and Peters dive into it.
MEDIA. "[Did you] receive bad information throughout this process like so many of us did?” asks whathishair – remember that moment: a "Big Journalist” admits that they’re just typists. Followed by the admission from the boss of CNN that they’re not investigators. NYT blubbers not just we, but you too.Taibbi is correct: "death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.” Last week I wrote "A poll shows that "hardly any confidence at all in the press” is the winning answer.” What’s next week’s answer going to be? A free, sceptical and challenging media is important; what happens when it’s just a big typing pool waiting for Big Brother’s Dictaphone? Time to learn from the Soviets.
SCHADENFREUDE COMPENDIUM. Here. And there’ll be more: make your choice for the biggest liar. Schadenfreude is enjoyable (I do enjoy it – earliest I could find, but I always knew it was BS). Hannity rant. Carlson ditto.
RUSSIA RELATIONS. Immense damage has been done. Will it be repaired? Can it be repaired? Russia is not a joke country in Disneyland and we’re not characters in a Marvel comic. How idiotic it would be if the Earth were destroyed because Hillary Clinton lost, couldn’t accept it and invented a story for lying liars to lie about. Much will depend on whether Trump starts a real investigation so that the falsity is exposed. (Conrad Black has the best exposition of the conspiracy for people who are just tuning in.)
CALVEY ARREST. I have no worthwhile opinion and I defer to John Helmer who is sceptical.
CRIMEA. Five years ago. What’s been done. A lot.
SANCTIONS. A sentence from Awara’s latest struck me: "Russia’s imports from China (26% of total) are now three times bigger than those from Germany (7.8%). Total imports from the EU now make up only 30% of all Russia’s imports.” I don’t think the EU is going to get much of that market back, do you?
GOLAN HEIGHTS. Bingo! There goes the Western case on South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Karabakh, Transdnestr and, of course, Crimea. (One yuuugedifference being, of course, that in the other cases the locals were consulted.) But maybe Trump knows that: "Crimea is part of Russia because everyone there speaks Russian"; which, if you’ve taken the trouble to learn Trumpian, is quite a profound statement.
KAZAKHSTAN. Nazarbayev has constructed a smooth changing of the guard.
NEW NWO. Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian Chiefs of Staff meet in Damascus. Don’t remember seeing this in the PNAC manifesto. But it’s a result, all the same.
CHICKENS. HOME. ROOST. "[T]he G7 group is concerned by extreme political movements in Ukraine…". Whoa! Weren’t these people just Putin’s "fabricated claim", "revanchist policy", "lying"? FBI: Neo-Nazi Militia Trained by US Military in Ukraine Now Training US White Supremacists. Azov-Christchurch?
UKRAINE. Lowest confidence in their government in the world. Comedian still in front: someone hopes that things will get better. Sorry: Kiev has to burn the last bit of the Galician fantasy to ashes and understand that the right people won the Second World War. Then, maybe, some hope.
© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer