CNN ‘Exclusive’ Repeats MoA’s Year Old Reporting – Ukraine/CIA Tried To Snatch Russian Veterans

September 08, 2021

CNN ‘Exclusive’ Repeats MoA‘s Year Old Reporting – Ukraine/CIA Tried To Snatch Russian Veterans

Trust in U.S. media is at a record low:

The United States ranks last in media trust — at 29% — among 92,000 news consumers surveyed in 46 countries, a report released Wednesday found. That’s worse than Poland, worse than the Philippines, worse than Peru. (Finland leads at 65%.)

One reason is that U.S. media are either not reporting important events, are misreporting them, or are very late in covering twisted plots that even a lowly blogger can get right just as they happen.

On August 7 2020 Moon of Alabama reported on a Ukrainian operation designed to lead to the arrest, in Ukraine, of soldiers who had fought on the side of Donbas during the Ukrainian war on its east:

People who had claimed to work for the Russian oil conglomerate Rosneft, but used a fake Rosneft domain for their emails, had hired Ukrainian/Russian veterans who had fought on the pro-Russian side in the civil war in the Ukraine.

The men were told that they would guard oil fields in Syria and in Venezuela. They received some money and were given tickets prepared for them for a flight from Minsk to Turkey. Those tickets were booked by an Ukrainian travel agency in Kiev which seems to have been founded solely for that purpose. But when the mercenaries arrived in Belarus they were told that the flight had been canceled. They were put into a local hotel and told to wait a few days for another flight.

The Ukrainian secret service then informed Lukashenko that a group of Russian mercenaries were in his country to launch a coup during the upcoming election. Lukashenko has publicly acknowledged that the information about the group had come from the Ukraine. Belarus arrested the men and the Ukraine immediately demand their extradition.

the original idea had been to make the plane with the former soldiers land in the Ukraine during its flight from Minsk to Turkey. The former soldiers would then have been arrested.

But some entity on the Ukrainian side – some says its president’s office, others blame the CIA – sabotaged the original plan to create a ruckus in Belarus. After Russian media uncovered the whole plot Belarus released the veterans and let them go back to Russia.

On September 21 2020 Moon of Alabama flogged the New York Times over misreporting the story:

[The August 7 version of the] story has since been confirmed by the Ukrainian side (see below).

But today’s New York Times report does not tell that story at all. It makes it seem as if Lukashenko changed his mind about the ‘Russian coup’ not because he gained knowledge of the real plot, but because he was under pressure from election protests.

The NYT makes it look as if the Ukrainian intelligence service and the CIA were not involved at all and as if the revealed Ukrainian plot has not been real. The change in the ‘Russian coup’ story is attributed solely to the changing needs of Lukashenko.

That is of course bollocks. The Ukrainian plot was real. We know that because officials from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, which is supported by the U.S. State Department, have officially admitted it and because the Ukrainian media have been all over the story.

There is zero doubt that the Ukrainian plot, which was planned and executed together with the CIA, was real.

More than a year after Moon of Alabama provided an extensive account of the whole plot CNN is today (re-?)publishing the very same story as an “Exclusive” report:

Ukraine spies tried to ensnare alleged Russian war criminals with a fake website, promises of riches and an international sting
EXCLUSIVE by Matthew Chance and Zahra Ullah, CNN

Three former high-ranking Ukrainian military intelligence officials described exclusively to CNN how they orchestrated the extraordinary operation aimed at luring suspected war criminals out of Russia to face prosecution for atrocities committed in eastern Ukraine where separatists backed by Moscow have been fighting for years.

It was apparently of interest to US intelligence too, although US officials deny having a direct role. According to the Ukrainian intelligence officials, the Ukrainian-led operation got US cash, technical assistance and advice from the CIA on how to draw the Russian mercenaries in.

A senior US official told CNN those claims are “false.”

The CNN report is sprinkled with Ukrainian propaganda. But there is otherwise nothing in the ‘Exclusive’ story except the last sentence quoted above which, according to the old adage “never believe anything until it is officially denied”, is a confirmation of the CIA’s extensive involvement in the plot.

Considering that it took me only the better part of two days work from behind my desk to get the whole story right a full year ago this sentence in the CNN story  is somewhat frustrating:

CNN spent weeks in Ukraine, verifying and reviewing accounts of the operation and speaking to the men who were on the inside.

Weeks of paid vacation for a story that was a just a web search away … Nice job if you can get it.

The Russian authorities have acknowledged the CNN report and call out the Ukrainian government and the CIA over it:

The CNN report disclosing the circumstances of an attempt to kidnap Russians in Belarus in 2020 confirms that Ukraine’s secret services, in fact, commit acts of state terrorism, a spokesman for Russia’s federal security service FSB told the media on Wednesday.

“The [Ukrainian] authorities are not interested in an impartial investigation of this affair. Because if it is investigated properly, all the facts that were mentioned a year ago and which CNN has now confirmed serve as fresh evidence Ukraine commits acts of state terrorism by the hands of its secret services. This is an accusation at a level of an international criminal court. There is no getting away from this.”

“We remember perfectly well what happened then: our citizens were in fact lured into Belarus by the GUR [main intelligence directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry] and the security service SBU under the guidance of the United States’ CIA. …”

Intent one of the plot – to get the Russian veterans in front of an Ukrainian court – has failed.

Intent two of the plot – to create panic in the government of Belarus just as the CIA’s color revolution there was gaining steam – also failed.

But what has failed even more is the U.S. media reporting of the whole story.

Posted by b on September 8, 2021 at 16:45 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Intent one of the plot … has failed. Intent two of the plot … has also failed.

Intent of CNN coverage: to further anti-Russia narratives and bolster support for Ukraine and a tarnished military – HAS SUCCEEDED.

CNN tells its viewers that Ukraine sought to bring Russian “war criminals” to justice. And CNN embellishes the story with interviews of Ukrainians (identity hidden for their protection!) that took part.

Western sheeple will swoon at such a noble purpose . . . and not complain about the ongoing costs of “protecting” Ukraine from the evil Russians – as well as bloated EU and USA military budgets.

<> <> <> <> <>

b’s pride in publishing the story a year ago gets in the way of his seeing that this story was TIMED JUST RIGHT from the perspective of TPTB. Days after the war in Afghanistan is over. Weeks after Russian show of force against Ukraine and then threatening UK’s warship HMS Defender as it made “innocent passage” near what NATO considers to be Ukrainian territory.

Planning for perception management around the end of the war in Afghanistan has been extensive. While the war was a failure, TPTB CYA operation has been a resounding success.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 8 2021 17:12 utc | 2

If merely taking part in a civil war makes one a “war criminal”, then by the same definition most of the NATO collaborators evacuated from Kabul are “war criminals”.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 8 2021 17:20 utc | 3

CNN is just an arm of the propaganda machine.

For example, Joe Rogan recently contracted Covid, was prescribed Ivermectin and other drugs by a doctor and CNN is telling the world that Joe Rogan is taking horse paste, an obvious lie.

SSDD Same Shit, Different Day

I am being barred from seeing my 104 year old aunt for her birthday because I am not mRNA vaccinated and am taking Ivermectin and other supportive herbals instead.

The spell holding control over Americans mentality is stressed but not yet broken. I sure hope it breaks soon so humanity can get on with evolving its form of social organization into something more humanistic.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 8 2021 17:39 utc | 4

CNN spent weeks in Ukraine, verifying and reviewing accounts of the operation and speaking to the men who were on the inside.

Weeks of paid vacation for a story that was a just a web search away

This is hilarious! What a scam!

Posted by: Down South | Sep 8 2021 17:39 utc | 5

Norman Solomon wrote about this problem in his book “War Made Easy, How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us To Death”
. . .from Amazon: In War Made Easy, nationally syndicated columnist, media critic, and author Norman Solomon cuts through the dense web of spin to probe and scrutinize the key “perception management” techniques that have played huge rolls in the promotion of American wars in recent decades.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 8 2021 18:11 utc | 6

Thank you, b! I saw this story headlined elsewhere yesterday and was very confused by it – never recognized that the original was what we followed here, with interviews of Lukaschenko and so on, wherein his sturdy character was revealed along with future closer ties with Russia — that story is so much more memorable because it was the truth, and clearly an elaborate scheme with Ukrainian duplicity highlighted…I don’t go to mainstream media for news, haven’t since early in Obama’s presidency when I resolved I would never listen to any of his speeches — we really are two different tribes, aren’t we? Those that ‘do’ and those that don’t.

I must check out Finland’s media!

Posted by: juliania | Sep 8 2021 18:17 utc | 7

b – cnn has a lot of work to do to catch up with you!!! i like the triple failure description at the bottom… i am like juliania and don’t do msm.. not worth it… but if i want my brain washed, i know where to go!

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2021 18:26 utc | 8

Good reporting then and now.

Except of course it is all fake news. The US, and especially the CIA would NEVER, EVER be involved with anything untoward or even impolite. The USA stands for happy endings in which the means justify the ends and anyone who disagrees is an absolute moron-conspiracy-theorist-truther! Shame on you…. 🙂

Posted by: gottlieb | Sep 8 2021 18:39 utc | 9

IMO, this crap is prelude to further crap about Russia’s elections that will be deemed illegitimate, and indeed already have been by the EU which you can read about here since we’re talking about old news remade anew.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 8 2021 19:42 utc | 10

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 8 2021 19:42 utc | 10

Elections coming, time to warm up the machine, deemed illegitimate even before taking place. The agenCIA and the ukro operation was a complete failure, Batka Lukashenko went from suspecting Moscow to quickly realize he was next standing, that might’ve help him to come out on top of the Belarus color rev.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 8 2021 20:04 utc | 11

“The Russians were told they would be flown to Turkey for a flight connection to Caracas. The real plan was to get them to Ukraine where they could be arrested.”
So, basically, what happened to that Belarusian opponent a few months ago when his plane bound for Vilnius actually landed in Minsk? Except this is bad when it might be (or might not, actually) a Belarusian plot to get the guy, but it’s good when it’s definitely a plot by Ukraine?

As for CNN’s “weeks of investigations”, come on. Drinking champagne with escorts in Kiev takes time.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 8 2021 20:14 utc | 12

It is clear that they will try to build up the “Rooskis, Roosia did-it” narrative, before the upcoming Russian elections. The trouble for them is that there are so few real facts that they will be able to latch on to.

Which is why they will have taken out a full subscription to “Juicy Archives for beginners and CNN“,and “Authentic Scandals! (by anonymous officials)”.
**

Thus “Russian Mercenaries” (as well as Russia itself), will possibly be blamed for the US Afghanistan debacle, Ukraine and Crimea (False flag to come?), and any forthcoming ME problems. Libya, Syria or anything else that can be used to tie Russia to turbulence or social troubles, and not forgetting that they should have checked that Navalny has managed to untwist his knickers.

***
All we need to do is look up old numbers of MoA to see what CNN will find next.
***

PS. The only conclusion to reach about the expression on Navalnys face, is that he still has problems with his underwear.

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 8 2021 20:17 utc | 13

Can a [partial] truth conceal one [or more]bigger truth?

On May 24 2021, b. wrote

Lukashenko’s Revenge (Served Cold)
On yesterday’s threat Petri Krohn wrote of:

LUKASHENKO’S REVENGE (Best served cold)
Last summer Ukraine’s security service SBU tried to play dirty trick on Lukashenko. Russian volunteers, who had fought on the Novorossiyan side in the Ukrainian civil war were made a fake job offer…

We are told today that in RT report
https://www.rt.com/russia/534211-us-financed-ukrain-russians-detained/

Meanwhile, Kiev-based news platform Ukrainska Pravda spoke last year of an even more elaborate plan. It said the original plan was for the men to fly from Minsk to Istanbul, with their plane being forced to make an emergency landing in Ukraine due to a passenger falling ill (this individual would have been a member of Kiev’s KGB successor agency, the SBU). The Russian citizens would then have been arrested on Ukrainian soil, in a maneuver similar to a subsequent Belarusian operation to capture opposition activist Roman Protasevich.

but Ryanair is one year after! So the copyrighted plot is a CIA’s one.

I posted today on Lebanon thread a short for Petri Krohn

@ Petri Krohn
and friends. A little bit north of topics, but…

I posted information on OpenThread

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/09/the-moa-week-in-review-ot-2021-068.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef0282e11f9117200b#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef0282e11f9117200b

The Ryanair thing was debunk on MoA after just one day, by Petri Krohn et al. on an OpenThread.

So freedom on OpenThread is to be preserved. Collective knowledge is strength
_______________
Glaube wenig,
hinterfrage alles,
denke selbst

– – – – – – –
Believe little,
question everything,
think for yourself
_______________

Posted by: Odenwälder | Sep 8 2021 20:43 utc | 14

I had been hoping B would weigh in on the new Taliban government that was announced yesterday, but I would guess he’s waiting to see how this is being received in various quarters.

So I’m going to jump the gun a bit here, although keeping in the spirit of Bernhard’s theme here which is about the disinformation games that media play.

Now the most prominent commentary I have seen at this early stage is from Bhadrakumar, who posits, without any evidence, as usual, that the major powers like Russia and China are allegedly ‘shell-shocked’ by this hardline, non-inclusive government. He sees Pakistan as the puppet-master behind the new regime.

The regional capitals will react — Tehran and Moscow (and possibly even Beijing.) They have been taken for a ride by the Pakistani narrative of “inclusive government”.

Mercouris, who must be taking his cues from Bhadrakumar, likewise assumes that Moscow and Beijing are heavily disappointed—although he at least tempers his unfounded assumptions by noting that there have been no official statements from either Lavrov or Wang.

New let’s rewind the tape just a couple of weeks shall we? Even as the Taliban waltzed into Kabul on August 15 and Ghani jetted out of Dodge in a plane loaded with cash, we had completely ABSURD media prognostications. My favorite was the one about Ali Jalali, a complete US stooge, who not only is a US citizen and teaches at the National Defense University in Washington, but is also a former VOA propagandist, as well as the interior minister under the first Karzai puppet regime.

This was heavily pushed by the completely ridiculous Indian media, but was also picked up by western agencies like Reuters. Interestingly, those obvious psyop stories now appear to have been scrubbed. We have from Reuters only a piece from Aug 16 where Jalali tries to downplay those rumors, but the piece itself does mention their own previous reporting of just that rumor.

[Jalali] was responding to a Reuters report that quoted three diplomatic sources on Sunday as saying he would likely be named to head a transitional administration in Kabul as the Taliban took over the capital.

So much for Reuters and their ‘diplomatic sources.’

This psyop showed up here on the discussion board as well, at which time I said something to the effect that I would not only eat my own shoe, but the shoes of all the other twitter clowns spreading this, if it ever comes to be.

Even the estimable Monsieur Pepe made a goofy prognostication just a few days ago:

…former president Hamid Karzai and ex-head of the Reconciliation Council Abdullah Abdullah: a Pashtun and a Tajik who have vast international experience.

Both Karzai and Abdullah are shoo-ins to be part of the 12-member shura.

Well…so much for ‘expert’ analyses, lol!

The Panjshir froth was similarly whipped up way beyond what it ever really amounted to. There were never any pictures of the ‘thousands’ of fighters, just lots of twitter feeds. The Talib did negotiate with the clownshow, but, after considering their demands outlandish, simply sent a small force in to take control. Two days ago, the Talib entered the provincial capital and is filmed here inside the governor’s mansion, taking down and tearing up photos

This has been the fate of all the disinfo and wishcasting that have been major talking points in the last weeks. What happened to the thousands of US PMCs that were to be left behind? What about the ‘over-the-horizon’ drone strikes? [I think some people still believe in that one, even though it’s not realistic.]

Now we have another huge FAIL in predicting the ‘inclusive’ Talib government. Of course this was to be expected and is completely logical. The Talib first have to consolidate power and establish security and stability throughout the country, before they can think about ‘inclusiveness.’

The actual reaction from Moscow is along those lines. From Izvestia yesterday:

…the country’s new authorities have their own view of inclusiveness: they are ready to work for the good of the entire society but it doesn’t mean they are willing to establish an inclusive government.

And from this report, Moscow does not seem too disappointed:

“I think that most members of the international community will adopt a wait-and-see attitude. They will be willing to discuss humanitarian and security issues with the Taliban but there will be no political recognition. However, some countries certainly will maintain full-fledged relations with them,” the expert noted.

“Russia is inclined to join the second group of nations. Many countries won’t bring their embassies back to Afghanistan any time soon but Russia’s embassy continues to operate.”

The Global Times expresses a similar view, lacking any obvious ‘disappointment.’

It would seem logical that for Moscow and Beijing there is really nothing to fret about with this supposedly ‘hardline’ government. Their main concerns are political stability and the fight against radical groups, which the Taliban has promised to root out. Exactly how the Taliban accomplishes this is very much a secondary consideration.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 8 2021 20:43 utc | 15

Can a [partial] truth conceal one [or more]bigger truth?

Posted by: Odenwälder | Sep 8 2021 20:47 utc | 16

Ouuups

Can a [partial] truth conceal one [or more]bigger truth?

On May 24 2021, b. wrote

Lukashenko’s Revenge (Served Cold)
On yesterday’s threat Petri Krohn wrote of:

LUKASHENKO’S REVENGE (Best served cold)
Last summer Ukraine’s security service SBU tried to play dirty trick on Lukashenko. Russian volunteers, who had fought on the Novorossiyan side in the Ukrainian civil war were made a fake job offer…

We are told today that in RT report
https://www.rt.com/russia/534211-us-financed-ukrain-russians-detained/

Meanwhile, Kiev-based news platform Ukrainska Pravda spoke last year of an even more elaborate plan. It said the original plan was for the men to fly from Minsk to Istanbul, with their plane being forced to make an emergency landing in Ukraine due to a passenger falling ill (this individual would have been a member of Kiev’s KGB successor agency, the SBU). The Russian citizens would then have been arrested on Ukrainian soil, in a maneuver similar to a subsequent Belarusian operation to capture opposition activist Roman Protasevich.

but Ryanair is one year after! So the copyrighted plot is a CIA’s one.

I posted today on Lebanon thread a short for Petri Krohn

@ Petri Krohn
and friends. A little bit north of topics, but…

I posted information on OpenThread

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/09/the-moa-week-in-review-ot-2021-068.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef0282e11f9117200b#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef0282e11f9117200b

The Ryanair thing was debunk on MoA after just one day, by Petri Krohn et al. on an OpenThread.

So freedom on OpenThread is to be preserved. Collective knowledge is strength
_______________
Glaube wenig,
hinterfrage alles,
denke selbst

– – – – – – –
Believe little,
question everything,
think for yourself
_______________

Posted by: Odenwälder | Sep 8 2021 20:48 utc | 17

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 8 2021 18:11 utc | 6

Thanks for the reminder. I bought that book last year and got through about 2 chapters before “we” got pregnant. I need to get it out again and finish it this time.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 8 2021 20:55 utc | 18

About “intelligence” on Plane Hijacking

Unfortunately, RT wrote

a subsequent Belarusian operation to capture opposition activist Roman Protasevich.

Due to regulation, the “passenger falling hill” plot is really easy and effective.
A panic or epilepsy crisis, or epheart attack, is really easy to fake. The captain must divert to the closest airport because the flight security is at risk [not only the “victim” but other passengers could really panic!].

Q: Why Belarus don’t use a so simple

“operation to capture opposition activist Roman Protasevich”

in order to divert The Kid’s Ryanair flight?

A: Just because they were not in charge of the plot.

It’s easy to understand that the fake “I’ll passenger” will be taken to the next hospital and quickly to the airport police!

Ryanair plot was to divert to “enemy” Airport.
Need an “external” threat.
Proton’s one…

Posted by: Odenwälder | Sep 8 2021 21:10 utc | 19

Gordog @14–

What was just named is the interim government’s cabinet, not the next official shura. Do be careful who you pick to slander. In case you don’t know, shura is a generic term for council, and there are many shuras. For example, “Mohammad Hasan Akhund – the head of the Taliban Rehbari Shura, or leadership council, for 20 years – will be the acting prime minister,” Escobar announced in today’s article I linked to on the Week in Review open thread. There’s also another type of council called a jirga or “tribal assembly” that makes decisions via consensus, of which the Taliban’s version incorporates what’s called Pashtunwali.

As Pepe reported, “Spokesman Mujahid took pains to stress that this new cabinet is just an ‘acting’ government. This implies that one of the next big steps will be to set up a new constitution.” And that will certainly involve the Taliban spiritual leader:

“It’s crucial to stress that Himatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban supreme leader since 2016, is amir al-momineen (‘commander of the faithful’). He can’t be a prime minister; his role is that of a supreme spiritual leader, setting the guidelines for the Islamic Emirate and mediating disputes – politics included.”

Well prior to 911, Ahmed Rashid wrote and published Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, which although it’s quite dated and today’s Taliban is very different, still serves as a basic primmer for understanding, and can be freely read at the link. His many other works are also worth consulting.

Pepe Escobar coined the term Pipelineistan and it was first published here, then another update less than two months later here. Indeed, plug pipelineistan into any major search engine’s box then click and you’ll get several thousand articles and videos on the topic and those related to it. IMO, Escobar has more expertise when it comes to the entire spectrum of relations with Eurasia than all the Beltway’s thinktanks and the Outlaw US Empire’s executive branch of government combined because he’s spent many years crisscrossing the region and talking with its residents–plain folks, academics and government officials–while also appreciating and respecting their very rich cultures and diversities.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 8 2021 22:36 utc | 20

How on earth did I ‘slander’ anybody? That’s just hyperventilation.

As for splitting hairs about ‘shuras’, what shuras have Karzai and Abdullah been appointed to?

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 8 2021 22:49 utc | 21

Did they survey Australia? I’m sure our media dominated by Murdoch and other right wing players takes the cake for lies, omissions, and deceptions. The trouble is that many Australians suck it up because there is nothing else here and they have virtually complete control of the flow of news information. Besides that if you say anything against the government they sue for defamation now.

I see American media is far more diverse, and sites like this one appear to operate with far more freedom.

Posted by: George | Sep 8 2021 23:39 utc | 22

George 21

Until now Australia always had a reasonable health system. The medical side of as far as covid goes seems to be good, but the government……. The entire country should be vaccinated by now. Instead they have waited on their knees for crumbs of uncle sams table.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 8 2021 23:56 utc | 23

@ Gordog

Thank you for the analysis.
I’m surprised no one, even the Saker or the columnists at Unz, has made any analysis on the candidates’ pick.

Posted by: Smith | Sep 9 2021 0:07 utc | 24

Gordog

Escobar has been around a long time and although he is not infallible, has proven very good.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 9 2021 0:21 utc | 25

Juliania @ 7:

I wouldn’t be so hasty to check out Finland’s news media if I were you. Just because 65% of Finns polled apparently tell pollsters they trust their country’s news reporting doesn’t tell you a great deal. Who does the polling, who is polled and who pays for the polling are missing from the context.

One reason that trust in US news media is low, and the MoA link to the source Reuters Institute / University of Oxford website mentions this, is that the US poll questioned people from minority groups (such as black Americans) who believed or felt that US news media did not represent the interests of their groups fairly.

As Finland tends to be more ethnically homogeneous than much of Western Europe (especially Sweden), it may very well be that Finns’ trust in their country’s news media might be due in part to the public’s perception that their views, opinions and socio-economic situation are portrayed or represented well by their media.

Here is a more detailed survey of the media landscape in Finland from the same Reuters / Oxford University site.

Incidentally though, there have been reports that journalists and news editors in Finland are under increasing political and social media pressure to conform to a narrative on certain topics: see this link and this link.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 9 2021 0:41 utc | 26

Smith, thanks! Glad you found my comment useful, although I would hardly call it any kind of serious analysis.

Btw, Pepe does have an informative new writeup that’s up on the Saker site—and he doesn’t sound alarmist at all [unlike the frantic Bhadrakumar.]

Global Times has a new piece up too where they say China is likely to accept the Talib invitation to attend official new govt ceremony. I will go out on a limb and say Russia will go too.

Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan and Iran have also been invited. No one else. That tells you about Talib foreign relations priorities. They are sticking with those who stuck with them.

Look at it from their POV. It’s been a long, hard struggle of 20 years. They have persevered and endured all hardships…and they have WON!

It’s neither reasonable nor logical to expect them to bend like a willow to the whims of the ‘international community.’

I don’t believe either Russia or China is surprised, nor disappointed. There is a long road ahead. I think everyone is on the same page.

As for Escobar, I think he’s one of the best for sure. I take nothing away from the man. But even Babe Ruth struck out twice as often as he hit homers. That’s just the nature of the game.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 9 2021 1:18 utc | 27

@ Gordog

Indeed, we need a much more detailed analysis on who’s who, unfortunately, lot of scrambling noises for now.
I guess we could wait until it gets a bit more official.

Posted by: Smith | Sep 9 2021 1:27 utc | 28

Gordog

Main part for both Russia and China I think is stability of Afghanistan and of course wiping out terrorists. I commented on the other thread that going by how fast they took the valley, Taliban may have more support or at least neutrality throughout the country than we realize.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 9 2021 1:33 utc | 29

Peter, yes I think it’s clear the Talib have both broad and deep support within the country, which of course is quite ethnically heterogenous.

But I think people are tired of fighting. And they are even more tired of the corrupt puppet government that did NOTHING for them.

I have a feeling it will all work out just fine. National liberation is a very powerful thing!

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 9 2021 1:47 utc | 30

@ Gordog
I think your thoughts on what’s happening in Afghanistan are good: you name some names and add a bit of background: “Mercouris, who must be taking his cues from Bhadrakumar, likewise assumes that Moscow and Beijing are heavily disappointed—although he at least tempers his unfounded assumptions by noting that there have been no official statements from either Lavrov or Wang.”
That helps me to get an idea of where guys like Mercouris and Bhadrakumar are coming from since I read and listen to their commentary. Pepe Escobar, as most here agree, is impressive, sometimes I get lost especially when he puts together an esoteric Greek classic based allegory, but he’s also human, moves and thinks very fast and I’m guessing he would welcome some pushback or different perspectives. I tend to agree with you that the Taliban are playing hardball, much like Fidel Castro, purging enemies and consolidating power in order to survive and prosper. Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran and the Stans must know this.
Overall, I appreciate your posts, I learn from them. Thank you.

Posted by: migueljose | Sep 9 2021 2:03 utc | 31

Thanks Miguel!

I like your comparison of Talib to Castro, a man’s man. He was driven by deeply-held principles that he would never compromise. From what I see of Talib, I get similar impression.

It doesn’t mean you can’t adjust as circumstances change, but core principles don’t bend.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 9 2021 2:22 utc | 32

Was reading the comment section of The Saker today.

This really happened!

My internal reading voice or inner narration
started doing Boris and Natasha as I read the comments!

Had to move on to a different site, it didn’t quit.

Glad I didn’t visit Disney.

Posted by: librul | Sep 9 2021 2:30 utc | 33

Gordog “But I think people are tired of fighting. And they are even more tired of the corrupt puppet government that did NOTHING for them.”

I have had similar thoughts and am hoping this will bind them into a nation. China and I think Russia will give that every chance to succeed.
Other than that, just a matter of waiting to see what eventuates.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 9 2021 2:37 utc | 34

[intrepid reporters spent considerable time in Ukraine, b is grumpy:]
Weeks of paid vacation for a story that was a just a web search away … Nice job if you can get it.
—–
Anyone can paste “Ten most fun things to do in Kiev”?

1. Learning how to write and say Kyyv. Ponder what philosophers wrote about nobility of futile efforts.

2. Study, in depth, why Ukrainian vodka is the best. Avoid “bytovka”, if you do not know what is it, try to keep it that way. (Read “Conflict avoidance while very drunk”)

3. Discuss with the locals who should be hang from the bulava of Bohdan Khmelnitsky.

4. Search for genuine solomakha and consume it — but remember wisdom in point 2.

5. Spend a day walking along Dnyeper river and ponder: but Chagos would be worse.

6. Find the best way to mix solomakha, borscht and vodka (consuming two at the same time is easy, all at once is a challenge.

7. Investigate how a water park can burn.

8, 9, 10 — I ran out of ideas.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 9 2021 3:21 utc | 35

@Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 9 2021 3:21 utc | 34

8. Test a flame thrower in a closed space

9. Let your dog drive above the speed limit

10. Fuck the EU

Posted by: librul | Sep 9 2021 3:59 utc | 36

Offers of assistance to the new Gov. of Afghanistan should come quickly, IF, there’s anyone with any sense running the U$A’s foreign policy. Marshall plan type help. But first, a food airlift plan to assist the PEOPLE of the nation.

Then I woke up…….

Posted by: vetinLA | Sep 9 2021 4:07 utc | 37

P.S. For those who don’t know:

What was the Marshall Plan and its goal?

The Marshall Plan was a massive program of aid from the United States to sixteen western and southern European countries, aimed at helping economic renewal and strengthening democracy after the devastation of World War II. It was started in 1948 and was officially known as the European Recovery Program, or ERP, but is more commonly known as the Marshall Plan, after the man who announced it, US Secretary of State George C. Marshall .

The empire blew it up illegally, they need to fix it…..

Posted by: vetinLA | Sep 9 2021 4:13 utc | 38

Yes, Jen @25, I would certainly agree that the rating might be a two edged sword – and really, although I can’t tell from my search what the population thinks, the few news venues available online didn’t seem that different from what the media is like here. I suspect the satisfaction comes from being looked after, and living in a beautiful country.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 9 2021 4:33 utc | 39

After all, Finlandia – what’s not to like?

Posted by: juliania | Sep 9 2021 4:35 utc | 40

Jackrabbit @2, “Intent of CNN coverage: to further anti-Russia narratives and bolster support for Ukraine and a tarnished military – HAS SUCCEEDED.” Wrong!

CNN is a joke even to the most docile viewers.

Posted by: Steve | Sep 9 2021 9:32 utc | 41

B” reports “zero doubt Ukrainian plot, planned and executed together with the CIA, was real.
JackRabbit @ 2 observes “Planning for perception management around the end of the war in Afghanistan has been extensive. “
Petri Krohn @ 3 suggest ” most of the NATO collaborators evacuated from Kabul are “war criminals”.”
Psychohistorian @ 4 “CNN is just an arm of the propaganda machine” and MSM “control over Americans mentality is stressed”
Steve @ 40responds to Jackrabbit @ 2 CNN a joke
Deep South @ 5 ” hilarious!… scam”
Don Bacon @ 6 “perception mgt” “[propaganda] makes war easy”.
Juliania @ 7 “an elaborate [MSM, repurpose] scheme
karlof1 @ 8 “old news remade anew”
Gordog @ 14 <= I think new acting Afghanistan government is
Mula Hassan Akhund, PM; Abdul Ghania Baradar, Deputy PM; Mohammad Yaqoob, Defense Minister; Sarajuldeen Haqqani, Interior minister.

Peter AU1 @ 28 says
Taliban may have more support or at least neutrality throughout the country than we realize.

Odenwalder @ 18 names “proton” <= did you forget Google.. ?
Korlof1 @ 19 Escobar’s knowledgeable input “Pipelineistan”
Jen @ 25 reports on political and social media pressure increasing to conform in Finland..

I suggest B’s crowded Bar concentrate on developing a model of the structure and debunking the methods used by the global propaganda machines.. as they distributed their propaganda down to each armed nation state.
can we elaborate the Trickle down distribution system used by the MSM to adjust perception in each of the 256 nation states, which hold 8 billion humans, in their boundaries (cells).
How are the propaganda machines organized in each nation state.. How is recruitment done? How are global narratives synchronized in each nation state? Where are conformist journalist hired from”? How are emergencies handled..?
Who makes these decisions? Who plans the subject matter of the propaganda, who approves it, how is it tested?
Is there a systematic set of elements that define a generic or
common thread to the development of MSM propaganda.

Posted by: snake | Sep 9 2021 10:16 utc | 42

the flemish newspaper De Morgen describes it as a failed attempt to catch the Russian culprits of MH17 downing. Below the abstract you can see their request for support for their quality journalism. there is a certain tension in the juxtaposition.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Sep 9 2021 15:13 utc | 43

@b

In all fairness Aleksandr Kots from Komsomolskaya Pravda beat you by one day, or maybe its just a matter of time zones, he published an article on September the 6th 2020 claiming that the agenCIA was behind the failed operation, then he published a second article on the 11th of September.

There is a lot of interesting material and theories coming to the surface, Kots claims that there was no mole in Zelensky entourage, and claims that Russian military counter intelligence was behind since there were two other groups already formed and ready to travel.

There are speculations about the timing, Putin-Lukashenko meeting today, probable displeasure in Washington with Zelensky after his meeting with Biden and even Bellingcat comes into the mix with an investigation about the operation about to be released Then there is the MH17 court case in Holland. I think we will hear more about this shoddy operation.

Links to Kots material, the original articles published in kp.ru and a link to his Telegram channel where he posts the pictures and names of the supposed US agents in charge of the failed venture. All material in Russian.

https://www.kp.ru/daily/217180/4285562/
https://www.kp.ru/daily/217180/4285562/

https://t.me/sashakots/25686
https://t.me/sashakots/25692

Posted by: Paco | Sep 9 2021 17:33 utc | 44

The CNN story has two elements: CIA involvement and a MH17 link. B stresses the first element but completely misses the second element.

Yet I think the second element is at least as important as the first. It says that these were not some random LPR/DPR fighters but people involved somehow in the MH17 affair. And given that circumstance they might well have been extradited to the Netherlands instead of Ukraine.

That explains also the CIA involvement better. Having such a complicated operation for a bunch of random soldiers would hardly make sense. But having alleged culprits in the Netherlands would greatly increase the pr value and possibly also the credibility of the ongoing MH17 trial.

Posted by: Wim | Sep 10 2021 7:19 utc | 45

@wim 45 the CNN story has one storyline:Ukraine trying to catch Russian war criminals, two of the targets incidentally claiming links with the MH17 downing. Even CNN does not give them a central role. The CIA involvement is also not central to their story. Bernhard’s story last year was ‘ Ukraine trying to drive a wedge between Belarus and Russia with a fake coup setup’. That is not ‘looking at only part of the story’, it is an entirely different look at the events. In neither of the stories the CIA or MH17 are central.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Sep 10 2021 7:57 utc | 46

Any MH17 link may well have been wishful thinking with nothing tangible behind it; a matter of predicting a desirable outcome for the operation.

Think about it: A passenger, read SBU agent, stages a very public performance, forcing the plane to divert its course. 30 (iirc) supposedly experienced guerilla fighters are thus purposefully made aware of their impending capture while still in flight. They are certainly aware of the reputation of the state which intends to apprehend them, its treatment and torture of prisoners and the total absence of justice which they might expect there. They are also, presumably, aware that they can count on 0 international support.

Ergo, they are placed in a position where they are incentivized to take control of the situation, the only way of doing so being hijacking the plane. I believe such an operation could be well within the capacity of any group of battle-hardened men of that number, provided they were determined enough. But, even a failed attempt would create a sufficiently convincing drama, with potential for civilian suffering. The matter would undoubtedly create echoes of MH17 and responsibility for whatever happened would be placed firmly on Russia and the self-proclaimed republics, no matter that it was stage-managed from its very inception.

That is my interpretation of any purported links between MH17 and this, thankfully, unsuccessful provocation — phantom pains over what could have been. And by that I don’t mean lamentations over a failure to ‘snatch’ some mercs, who would have had as much chance of adding legitimacy to the MH17 trial as they would the opposite, but regret over an air incident and potential tragedy that didn’t materialize.

Posted by: Skiffer | Sep 10 2021 9:01 utc | 47

I suggest you start a news service on youtube. Call it ‘BNN’.

Posted by: KAIAMA | Sep 10 2021 12:30 utc | 48

The Ukrops were involved in explosions on AUgust 23 blowing up gas pipelines in Crimea. The Ukraine GUR (= same as Russian GRU military intelligence) had sub-contracted the work, and the patsies were caught. They spilled the beans over the attacks and the ultimate orchestrators.

Translate to taste:

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/7038768.html

https://youtu.be/3cT_Ozzpk2c

So Ukraine has been caught red handed commissioning an act of terrorism in de facto and de jure Russian territory. Oh dear. They have now given Russia all it needs to defend itself against Ukrop activities.

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Sep 10 2021 15:59 utc | 49

Ukraine has given sufficient casus belli (pl) over the past 7 years. Somehow I remain skeptical that this latest act of sabotage will change anything in regards to the Russian position of avoiding direct conflict at any cost. And pushing the grievance on the international arena will, presumably, remain futile, as Western institutions will continue to turn a blind eye to any transgressions.

Posted by: Skiffer | Sep 10 2021 21:25 utc | 50

Source

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