Patrick Armstrong is a former political counselor at Canadian Embassy in Moscow
THE LIE. The Mueller report kills half of the lie (Trump colluded) but the other half (Russia interfered) is still alive. But things are happening. One well-informed reporter says Trump told AG Barr to "find out what happened”; Barr ran into resistance; went back to Trump who gave him the authority to declassify everything. The Trump conspiracy began with several entrapment efforts (mostly done in the UK so as to create a bogus "intelligence trail”); one of the innocents is suing. She was supposed to be "Putin’s honeytrap” for Flynn: details here. Flynn was an important target because, as former head of US military intelligence (DIA), he knew where many bodies were buried. George Papadopoulos, victim of another entrapment attempt, has been speaking out. Details occasionally make it into the corporate media.
CHURCH. There’s a kerfuffle about re-building a church in Yekaterinburg. Some want The Boss to decide; the Boss wisely said it’s a local issue and perhaps a poll should be taken.
BUTINA. Her show trial is over: "jailed for the crime of being Russian".
PATIENCE AND THE LONG GAME. Russia’s voting rights have been restored in the Council of Europe. I don’t know how significant that is, but it’s a change from the pattern. After all, Moscow’s not going anywhere but Washington might be.
RAND. Has published a study on how to defeat Russia. And it’s…. drumroll… more sanctions! More pressure on allies not to buy Russian gas! Usual rubbish about Russia being a weak state, over-dependent on oil and gas, tiny economy, with many fault lines. Russia should be encouraged to over-extend itself militarily. (That’s projection; but whatever, the authors were paid.) A more intelligent consideration would look at 1) how and where the sanctions have strengthened Russia’s economy 2) how Russia has managed to checkmate US military superiority by focussing on its weak points and 3) how it is that Russia constantly surprises people like the authors of pieces like this one. Leading to an understanding that the the "US government has a very shallow bench on Russia".
BAD DAYS FOR THE FABRICATORS. In a puff piece about how difficult it is for the CIA Director to deliver "facts and assessments” to her attention-deficit (blah blah blah, etc etc), boss, the NYT made a major slip-up: she only got Trump to go along with the story when she showed him photos of dead ducks and sick children. But there were no such things. Her lies or British lies, but lies they were. And then somebody leaked the suppressed engineer report: no, not through the roof, placed there. A corporate media outlet finally mentions it.OPCW squirms unconvincingly.
NEOCONFUSION. Justin Raimondo suggests Trump may appointed Bolton and Pompeo to humiliate the neocons. If so, it’s working. After Washington sanctioned Venezuelan oil, imports of sanctioned Russian oil imports rose dramatically. Flop after flop in the Venezuelan regime change operation. The Pentagon boasts it deterred Iran from doing something it hadn’t done and wasn’t about to. Charging Assange may be backfiring. Now Bolton boasts that the US will have a year-round presence in the Arctic; "soon". In the real world, the US Coast Guard dares not go there and Russia just launched its third monster icebreaker.
AMERICA-HYSTERICA. "Tulsi Gabbard’s Campaign Is Being Boosted by Putin Apologists.”
NUGGETS FROM THE STUPIDITY MINE. A Beluga whale that hangs around people; exactly the behaviour you’d expect from one of Putin’s spy whales! The NYT, welded to the lie, opines that Barr’s inquiry might expose a "person close to Mr. Putin”. Oops! NYT, you just did (shows that they don’t even read the handouts they re-type). English needs a new vocabulary for the concept of "stupid”.
UKRAINE ELECTION. He was invited everywhere, pressed the flesh with everyone, has a whole wall of ego pictures; in the end he was defeated by Anybody-At-All. I have no idea what Zelensky will turn out to be and I doubt anyone else does either. But the conclusion is that the entire "revolution of dignity” fiasco has been rejected: whatever Ukraine the voters want, it’s not the one Nuland & Co gave them.
© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer