Monday, March 12, 2018

Lessons From the Source: Impressing and Growing Your List of Admirers

"First, we have principles whereby we do not allow others to interfere in our domestic affairs and do not get into the affairs of others ... Secondly, we don't have this quantity of tools."
"Maybe they are not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews, but with Russian citizenship, which should also be checked."
"Maybe they have dual citizenship or a green card; maybe the U.S. paid them for this. How can you know that? I do not know, either."
Russian President, Vladimir V. Putin, NBC News interview
With NBC anchor Megyn Kelly.
Vladimir Putin answered questions from NBC anchor Megyn Kelly. The interview was recorded in the Kremlin on March 1, 2018, and in Kaliningrad on March 2, 2018.  Photo: President of Russia

"[If there is no] credible response [by the end of Tuesday, the UK would conclude there has been an] unlawful use of force [by Moscow]." 
"Either this was a direct action by the Russian state against our country, or the Russian government lost control of its potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others."
British Prime Minister Theresa May, Salisbury nerve agent poisoning

"President Putin bizarrely has resorted to the blame game by pointing the finger at Jews and other minorities in his country."
"It is deeply disturbing to see the Russian president giving new life to classic anti-Semitic stereotypes that have plagued his country for hundreds of years, with a comment that sounds as if it was ripped from the pages of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'."
Anti-Defamation League chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt
It's really, really hard not to come to the conclusion that the imp in Vladimir Putin is at it again. He does enjoy himself on the world stage, to an extraordinary degree. Perhaps he is counting on the fact that his intrigues and denials, his provocations and eye-poking on the world stage will have the effect of leading his presumed international opponents to an early demise through sheer apoplexy, who knows? He cuts a dear, avuncular figure, doesn't he just?

He enjoys playing the innocent, puzzled by all the fuss that follows and surrounds him, for he is a decent man, utterly devoid of any sinister thoughts much less plots to destabilize the world. For all we know he is simply engaged in the friendly pursuit of keeping world leaders on their toes, prepared to react as they should to any given situation, whether or not they would prefer not to be given those situations; he has only their very best interests at heart.

Can anyone doubt  his statements for their sincerity? Oh yes, there are those of unsound mind and reckless thought that would complain about his sanctimony, pointing out in particular that little leap of illogic relating to 'principles' so important to the Russian Federation. Impolitely enquiring about the 'principles' that has Russian warplanes bombing Syria's Ghouta region, targeting hospitals and schools, inconveniently killing men, women and children in the process.
Su-24 Russia

An Su-24 taking off from Hmeimim air base in Syria.  Photo:Russian Ministry of Defense
Russian Ministry of Defense Moscow first sent fighter jets to Syria in 2015 to help the Assad government, which is a large purchaser of Russian arms. In the last few months, Russia and the Syrian regime have increased bombing runs in Idlib and Eastern Ghouta, killing, injuring and displacing thousands of civilians.

That point about not interfering in other countries' affairs was another good one that anyone with a grudge against such an honest, decent statement might find offensive. That one seen as a whopper that might give a heart attack to any Syrian who got to know very intimately what it feels like to gasp for breath after being hit by a chemical attack. Or the good people of Salisbury, U.K. now in a bit of a nerve-agent tizzy.

And oh yes, let's see; Russia hasn't the technical expertise to allow it to maliciously interfere in U.S. elections; well he's right, the Americans do their best to interfere in Russian elections. But Russia lacking technical expertise? After that recent light-and-sound-show that highlighted the latest advances in nuclear armament technology? When the avuncular Putin showed off his latest toys? Um, strains credulity, just a tad.

As for the non-Russian-outsider-status of Russian Jews, Tatars, Ukrainians, et al, what's that all about? Jews, in particular, the perpetual, universal outsiders, shunned for their pestilential role in enriching any society through their proficiency in the sciences, the arts and humanities, because they are, after all ... different ... difficult ... enduring ... mysterious ... threatening ... too damn smart for their own good, damn them!

What are Novichok agents?
  • The name means "newcomer" in Russian, and applies to a group of advanced nerve agents developed in secret by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s
  • One chemical - called A-230 - is reportedly five to eight times more toxic than VX nerve agent, which can kill a person within minutes
  • Some are liquids, others are thought to exist in solid form. Some are reported to be "binary weapons", meaning they are typically stored as two less toxic chemicals which when mixed, react to produce the more toxic agent
  • One variant was reportedly approved for use by the Russian military as a chemical weapon
  • Designed to escape detection by international inspectors, their existence was revealed by defectors
Investigators in Winterslow, near Salisbury on 12 March 2018
Investigators removed a vehicle from a village near Salisbury on Monday   PA

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