TRUMP AND PUTIN. Strange as it may seem, Trump and Putin have the same job: they both want to get their countries working again; or, if you prefer, to make America/Russia great again. There are more similarities than an American jingoist would like to think of: unemployment, failing infrastructure, poverty, loss of production ability, hopelessness, corruption, failed wars. The difference is that Russia is 20 years further along the curve, having got through the collapse of empire and the death of ideological fantasy. The USA has (we hope) reached the end of the New World Order/Neo-Con fantasy and given up its “imperial overreach“. Moscow did, long ago: “I felt an enormous sense of relief, as if a huge leech had dropped from my back“. In this endeavour, wars are not only a distraction but make the internal decay worse. In my opinion, too many wars are what kill off empires most of the time: empires end up losing the war while winning every battle. Trump seems to understand this; at their end, empires are simply a losing proposition by every measurement.

PRESIDENT TRUMP. At a minimum, the worst case of more and more wars and accelerating confrontation with Russia and China leading to nuclear destruction all round has been avoided. Trump’s idea that the US and Russia can collaborate in fighting Daesh et al takes us right back, in fact, to Putin’s phone call to Bush on 911. Trump has been very persistent in his assertion that Washington and Moscow should work together and has held to it despite much abuse. It’s all very encouraging so far.

WAR PREPARATIONS. My belief is that Moscow, like most everyone else, expected Clinton to win and the two meetings on war preparations were scheduled well before. I would expect Moscow to continue war preparations for the following reasons. 1) Obama & Co are still in office (remember недоговороспособны). 2) Moscow has just learned (again) that Washington’s policy can suddenly change 3) while both willing and hoping, Moscow is prudently waiting to see what Trump and his people really do. It awaits actual meetings, discussions and actions (most of which will be stopping actions) in Syria and NATO. Washington is the driver for most everything and Moscow will wait for the drive to be turned off. Washington long ago squandered the trust and good will that Moscow had for it in the 1990s. If Trump can get the Washington-Moscow relationship right, many other international entanglements will disappear and he will have the time and money for his ambitious domestic programs.

CORRUPTION. At last a serving minister has been arrested and fired (“due to the loss of trust“). I’ve long said that I’ll believe the anti-corruption effort is really biting when someone in an office near Putin or Medvedev is busted. Pretty close, this time. But Serdyukov and the Luzhkovs walk free (although I have sympathy for Yuriy – I remember the immediate improvement he brought to Moscow)

FAILED SLOGAN. Putin wants you to vote Brexit! Putin wants you to vote Trump! Bulgaria! Moldova! Now Putin wants you to vote a certain way in Germany and France. Not a winning accusation, as it turns out. Like the “Assad-must-go curse”: the more you say it, the less you get.

RUSSIA IN THE WORLD. It’s not so surprising (if you ignore the rubbish the WMSM pumps out and think about it) that, one after another, people are scrambling to make an arrangement with Moscow. It hasn’t been beaten, it hasn’t backed down, it hasn’t collapsed. Rather it has gone from strength to strength and its opponents are the ones that are staggering. Even Obama has changed his tune: now Russia is a “superpower” with “influence around the world”; only two and a half years ago he said it was only a regional power acting out of weakness.

WESTERN VALUES™. Remember when the USSR censored our stuff and we didn’t care about theirs because they were lying and we weren’t? Neither does the EU which condemns Russian media together with “violent jihadi terrorist groups”. Hopefully all this will be swept away by the Trumpquake.

WHITE HELMETS BUSTED! This organisation, which has been much hailed in the West and has received much money, is a complete fake. Many of us have know that for a long time – here and here – but here, at last, is the film. Make sure everyone is in position, check the fake blood, is there enough dust? (oops, the black overalls are too clean; were they teleported to the site? Pretty slapdash!); then Action! Screams, movement and another dramatic rescue! The fakers are getting sloppier – Bellingcat’s stuff now refutes itself. (PS anybody remember “Green Helmet”? I do.) Aren’t you glad they didn’t get a Nobel Prize? Where do you suppose the money actually goes?

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer

Obama changes his mind on Russia

It’s been quite a progression, hasn’t it?

Part One: Weak, Regional, Failing

Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors — not out of strength but out of weakness.

Netherlands, 25 March 2014

But I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything. Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking. And so we have to respond with resolve in what are effectively regional challenges that Russia presents. We have to make sure that they don’t escalate where suddenly nuclear weapons are back in the discussion of foreign policy. And as long as we do that, then I think history is on our side.

Economist interview, 2 August 2014

Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, as we were reinforcing our presence with frontline states, Mr. Putin’s aggression it was suggested was a masterful display of strategy and strength. That’s what I heard from some folks. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated with its economy in tatters. That’s how America leads — not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve. (Applause.)

State of the Union Address, 20 January 2015

Part Two: Maybe not

The bottom line is, is that we think that Russia is a large important country with a military that is second only to ours, and has to be a part of the solution on the world stage, rather than part of the problem.

Washington, 18 October 2016

Part Three: Powerful, Worldwide

With respect to Russia, my principal approach to Russia has been constant since I first came into office. Russia is an important country. It is a military superpower. It has influence in the region and it has influence around the world. And in order for us to solve many big problems around the world, it is in our interest to work with Russia and obtain their cooperation.

Berlin, 17 November 2016

“constant since I first came into office”

Media Bias

(Response to a question from Sputnik inviting my comments on a poll finding that 80% thought the US media had been biased in the election.)

Why as few as 80%? The bias and general worthlessness of the MSM as a source of information has been apparent for years. In this particular case, as Wikileaks shows, the owners of the US media had invested in a Clinton future and the Clintons had invested in the media. One of the reasons Trump won was that the more the MSM reviled him, the more support he gained: if the liars accuse him of something, he must be innocent of it.

The principal difference between the Eatanswill Gazette and the NYT, the WaPo, the Economist and the rest of them is that the first freely admitted its bias.

What to do? Turn off your TV, cancel your newspaper subscription and let them go bust faster. Oh, and shut down all the “journalism degree” mills.

Let the new rise from the compost of the old.


I’ve been at this business for a while. I’ve been collecting quotations for a while.  I do my best to find an active link for quotations from my collection that I post on my site.

But I often can’t find a live link for the early ones. So you have to take my word for it sometimes. But, I think you recognise the flavour. For example, The Economist has hated Russia since, as far as I know, Cardigan invented his sweater.

It’s actually rather interesting, now that I root through my back files, to discover (well, depressing more than interesting) how hostile the WMSM has been to Russia for how long. From the very beginning, in fact.

Even Yeltsin, after he got off his tank, was spun as Cthulhu Redevivus.

People come and go (anybody out there remember when Chernomyrdin was on the Forbes’ world billionaire list? I do.) but the Russia The Eternal Enemy meme remains.

Personally. I don’t get it. What’s Russia ever done to us?

But, maybe, this period is coming to an end and Russia will at last be treated by Washington as a normal country — argue with it sometimes, cooperate with it other times; but normal business.

As a last teaser, I leave you with what will be (I hope) Ed’s finale before going into retirement.

Is blitz on Aleppo the start of Putin’s war to rebuild USSR? As Russian missiles rain down on besieged city – and Trump cosies up to Putin – a Kremlin expert’s chilling warning.


Russia the Eternal Enemy Quotations

Why do the Russians still give us trouble even though the Cold War has long ended? Why do they invite the terrorist Hamas leaders to Moscow? Why do they cut off natural gas to Ukraine and thereby reduce its flow to Western Europe? Why do they harass foreign non-governmental organizations, accusing them of espionage and incitement to revolution? Why do they carry out joint military exercises with the Chinese, clearly aimed at Taiwan?

Richard Pipes: “Why the Bear Growls”, Wall Street Journal, 1 Mar 2006;