Let's do the telegraph

Saturday, 15 March, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

mircea_popescu http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/10695204/Paranoia-leads-Vladimir-Putin-to-the-point-of-no-return.html
ozbot Paranoia leads Vladimir Putin to the point of no return - Telegraph
moiety baha i need to read this
mircea_popescu This is perhaps the best I've read on the topic, for any value of best equal "entertaining due to the propaganda dial being turned to such 11, the insanity of the whole process becomes obvious even to the casual observer resulting in an unintentional self-parodical quality"

Let's go into the nitty gritty of it shall we ?

The Russian leader’s personal insecurity will ensure that Crimea falls under his control

Leaving aside the historicali, culturalii, linguisticiii and so on considerations, only a Pulizer prostitute could fail to notice the strategic implications thereof. Russia has presently, and has always had historically, one major strategic disadvantage : it has no good seaports. Seaports are still essential for a civilisation, even in the 21st century. To imagine that a country larger than the US will hinge its security, its trade and future on Vladivostok alone is the stuff dreams are made of. Like you know, the dream that the average US citizen will continue to make 7 dollars an hour in minimum wage if "working" and 1.5 dollars an hour in living wage if not "working", or the dream that the average 40 year old Westerner will actually get a pension in his old age, like his grandparents. Or on and on, the list of available grandiose delusions is a lengthy one indeed.

So, while one may claim annexing Crimeea is wrong for some particular definitions of wrong, and while one may claim anyone not subscribing to their own definitions of wrong is therefore evil, one may not pretend that points of strategic interest are "personal" in any sense. With or without Putin, Russia would still pursue Crimeea, and the degree to which any alternative Russia were or were not pursuing it is more a discussion of how competent its fictive leadership is in that counterfactual world, rather than anything else. Which is all perfectly moot in our current reality, seeing how Russian leadership is plenty competent, if objectionable, obnoxious and oppressive to its own citizenryiv.

I can readily trace the mental problems displayed by this rookie mistake to the parenting difficulties Angus Roxburgh himself enountered as a child, before maturing into the splendiferous "journalist, broadcaster and singer-songwriter" he is today. Here's a hint : just because your mother suggested you were insane for trying to have sex as a teenager doesn't make this dysfunctional mental process relevant to the world at large. Whether that old biddy ever groks it or never did, the sexual drive is perfectly sane, it's old biddies with their shriveled up vaginas and vast arrays of compensatory complexes that are insane. Them's the breaks.

As Sunday’s referendum, in which the people of Crimea will decide whether to join Russia, approaches, the images on Russian television are astonishing. They are more propagandistic and venomous than anything I can remember even from Soviet times. Breathless presenters whip up hysteria with bloodcurdling stories of atrocities being committed by the “neo-Nazi junta” now governing Ukraine. Overheated “victims” beg Putin to help, kindly Russians offer to give refuge to the terrified people fleeing Ukraine, and menacing music accompanies montages of swastikas, fascist thugs armed with clubs, and black-and-white images of Hitler’s troops and burning villages.

I've never cared to look at Russian TV these days, but this I can readily imagine. TV is TV, what can or could we expect from it ? Dead medium is dead for a reason, and that reason happens to be that only the braindead still follow it. You know, just like MySpace. Or Facebook.

It is all apparently aimed at preparing the public to accept that there may be war, and that Russia will be fighting in a just cause.

The subtle difference here being that there's no such thing as a just cause in any war, by definition. As the old saying goes, "an army is a body of men assembled to rectify the failures of diplomats", which is exactly what's happening : the two sides having failed to come to some sort of shared language in which to express and resolve their concerns, one of them is necessarily wrong, and must now be extirpated from history, because there's no such thing as "mutually exclusive yet equally valid narratives of reality". Reality is one, and somehow all incoherent retellings of any prominence will have to be resolved. And resolved they will be, either with the dutiful assistance of the heretics themselves or without the physical presence of the heretics.

The foregoing paragraph is not intended nor does it function as an excuse and explanation as to why exactly Russia's position is perfectly defensible in this crisis. Instead, it functions as the explanation as to why exactly the US position is perfectly defensible. So they wish to invade Russia to forcibly persuade Putin of the validity of the US sponsored worldview ? Let them, all the better, more power for them.

I for one am looking forward to the footage of the encounter, because the last time Romania and its NATO allies did an exercise, Romania's old rustbucket MIGs got allocated the role of Russian enemies, and Romania's old rustbucket MIGs downed half the US jets without as much as a tagging. Russia is not Romania, in the sense that Russia is larger and the Russian airforce better funded, and the SU is not the MIG, in the sense that the SU is faster. From what I've seen they seem quite capable to intercept Tomahawks, which'd be an aeronautical first, never before has an ICBM been intercepted by manned aircraft as far as I know.

More importantly, the US has no particular strategic or logically discernible interest in the Ukraine. It's not on their border, and while it is arguably on the NATO border seeing how it touches Romania and Poland. it never was a friendly territory and so in no sense is this news. Moreover, the large US base at Constanta, just a few nautical miles from the large Russian bases in Crimeea, was built without substantial interference from the Russian side.

Definitely one could not say the US has any substantial axe to grind, seeing how its scandalous operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other areas of legitimate strategic interest for the Russians went quite unchecked, and moreover the sum total of the Russian production during the allied butchering of their longtime friend Serbia was some stupid song by that ex pubescent lesbian chickv. That longstanding policy of laissez faire was changed recently, and the result was quite stunning : a very efficient Putin seemed to effortlessly master the bulky, stiff and whiny Obama over the Syria crisis, the entire thing vaguely reminiscent of the last fight in Primo Carnera's "career"vi.

So then : no legitimate strategic interest, no cultural, linguistic or ethnic ties, no axe to grind, what exactly is left there ? Well, either the narcissistic rage resulting from the wounded ego of a very small man trapped in the lumbering body of an alleged Constitutional law professor and pretend-Nobel laureate, or else some idealistic gargle put on by the world's most well documented hypocritesvii. Take your pick.

Which is what makes the thing so amusing : two paragraphs in and the author's already melded some factual statements about topics of no interest (what's on TV matters sometime somewhere, I'm sure) with some shockingly psychotherapeutic statements about his own group.viii

Yet I have a horrible feeling that President Putin believes all this stuff.

Feeeeh-lings... nothing more than feeeeeeh-lings, trying to forget my...

Singalong now.


He receives his information mainly from his trusted secret services – men like himself, schooled in the dark arts of KGB disinformation.

I'm not sure what the implication is here, perhaps that he should be receiving his information from Wikileaks, like the rest of us ?

Yeah, Russian spies are trusted, mostly because they're trustable. So are the Chinese. Guess why ?

O wait, that's only there to work into the text the required "dark arts" and "disinformation" keywords, I see.

U jelly, Telegraph ?

Seriously now, you'll never be mentioned in awe by anyone, twenty years after dissolution. The reason has very little to do with "dark arts", good spies aren't hauled up in a basement somewhere murdering goats and making wax puppets.

The reason has everything to do with feeeeh-lings : you're driven by them and they're not. Which makes you stupid and them not, which makes them the masters of you and you... not. That's all there is to it.

I worked as a media consultant to the Kremlin from 2006 to 2009, close enough to gain a sense of Putin’s growing paranoia.

This would require further investigation, but on the face the claim is farcical. I imagine interns working the mail room at whatever companies I might happen to own may in time come out with ridiculous "I worked for X a coupla years a coupla years ago, close enough to opine about MP", especially is someone's paying for it. Yet I doubt they'd seriously believe it, and that aside I'm pretty certain it'd not be factual.

The guy did come out with a book recently, which doesn't really merit a mention by name but which The Guardianix and the rest of the establishment have been duly pushing. Perhaps it's the case that it's not the KGB practicing the dark arts of disinformation for the benefit of the English-as-first-and-only-language public. Or perhaps this guy has just been struggling to tell the truth about the many interesting things he's learned over at Kremlin, who knows.

I for one am easily seduced by the reversion argument, mostly because any beat cop is well advised to arrest anyone screaming "thief" in any confused crowd, and any domestic counselor is well advised to see statements such as "she's a slut" in terms of "I've cheated", and any reader of the contemporary press is well advised to keep foremost in his mind the simple observation that the copy producers are uniformly thieves with broken marriages.

I believe this has three causes, the most important of which, perhaps, is his own terror of being dislodged by popular revolution.

This is factual, Putin has his own internal problems, and they're significant. And Putin has a lot to gain from Western saber rattling and Kerry's general ineptitudex.

Putin believes the Ukrainian uprising was fomented entirely by the West. He puts two and two together and gets five.

This is likely also factual, in that Putin probably misrepresents the extent of the troubles he's facing from the West. This is nothing but solid engineering practice, encoded in the timeless "you want to err on the side of caution", but a misapprehension nevertheless.

He saw Senator John McCain saluting the Maidan crowds, and heard Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State, discussing on the phone which opposition leaders she would like to see in the new government (and he made sure his spies made the tape of the conversation public).

Cute whitewashing attempt, mostly because it's made out of an impacted molar. So, Nuland indeed lives with the grandiose delusionxi that she has something meaningful to say, and significant control over the course of events in Kiev. She wasn't exactly discussing, and it wasn't candidly "on the phone", with her girlfriends like, in between movie reviews and shopping trip planning.

Nevertheless, the mean spies of Putin made the conversation public!!1 So... please can we move this discussion from how Merkel had to call Putin and tell him to stop listening in on her phone while jacking off like some sort of mentally retarded (but black!) waspish nerd ? Wait... Putin isn't black is he. Well... I guess Merkel was on the phone with Obama then ? Anyway, something. "Please oh please let's do something because we ain't got nothing and this article's nowhere near acceptable, even by the relaxed mail order catalog standards".

Putin has been convinced ever since the Orange Revolution in 2004, followed by the Moscow protests of late 2011, that there is, in one of his advisers’ words, a “Destroy Russia” project. And he is next on the list.

Next on the list he may be, in the sense explained best by Wheatus :

Her name is Putin, I have a dream about her. She rings my bell.
I got gym class in half an hour oh, how she rocks in Keds and tube socks
But she doesn't know who I am and she doesn't give a damn about me...

But that aside, 2004 followed by 2011 ? Seriously ? Followed like how, followed like "Hi Angus baby, listen, do you recall that one time in 2006 when we were both drunk at that party ? Well... I'm pregnant now, where did you say you lived, again ?" Something of that nature is being contemplated here ?

Which is really the point where I've had enough with this sort of nonsense. Seriously... Telegraph ? Try actually paying some people for some actual editorial content sometime, because this current model where you publish freebies doled out by people who are trying to promote their books isn't working out for you.

Or for anyone else, for that matter.

  1. Crimeea was a Russian territory for centuries, randomly allocated to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic (ie, a purely administrative, specifically non-national construct) by administrative fiat, like the manner in which Kansas' borders were drawn. Someone went to a map and took out his pen - in Crimeea's case Khruschev. []
  2. Well this one's dubious, as there's no culture coming out of there. Culture is across the bay, in Odessa, but let's pretend for the sake of writing good copy that any god forsaken strip of land anywhere has "a culture", including random islands in the Pacific and what have you. And since we're at it, let's also pretend like any peopleofwalmart samples are also you know, people. Perhaps also with a culture ? []
  3. They definitely speak Russian there, and to quote Stan's expression,

    asciilifeform As a kid in early '90s I watched the street signs (and the language in my school) swapped out for one that sounds to a native Russian speaker exactly the way 'ebonics' sounds to Americans - and wondered how the hell there wasn't a war. (Normally this kind of thing is done to folks conquered in war).
    mircea_popescu Was this the simplification thing ?
    asciilifeform The independence referendum. Ukraininan was formalized as a language and became official (I'd never even heard it previously).


  4. Not quite, it must be said, to the degree US leadership is oppressive to its own citizenry, which I don't care about, and dangerous to the world at large, which I do care about. After all I don't seem to recall post 89 Russia fingering Indian diplomats because why the hell not, nor kidnapping the head of major European institutions under fabricated "charges". So in this sense, any discussions of Russian domestic oppression will have to be aired by someone other than Barrack Obama, Pol Pot or Kim-whateverthefuck. []
  5. Lena Katina []
  6. Bogart's last film (The Harder They Fall) has the story. []
  7. Guess what ? In Belarus there's no problems, it's just the Ukraine. Definitely nothing like it in say Iraq, either. Oh and MF Global was too big to fail so it had to take random people's money. And on and on. []
  8. Incidentally, do you know who accused blacks of being wanton rapists ? Why, the white people. But do you know who raped a bunch of black women ? Why... the Iroquis. He-he-he. Just kidding, wasn't it funny ? Somehow blacks came out with a black eye for being sexually dangerous while the standard fare of the average plantation owner included mostly black tit. Speaking of which, do you know who Jefferson's children were ? []
  9. Here's a morsel that should be indicative : a few years ago the FBI arrested a dozen unrelated random people, mostly around NYC, and alleged these were Russian spies. They had failed to collect anything useful at the time of their arrest, which time was chiefly set through everyone becoming bored and preparing to leave the country, so the FBI perceived it had to act. Here's the Guardian's treatment of the matter (David Hearst) :

    The FBI operation represents the biggest penetration of the SVR communications in recent memory. The FBI read their emails, decrypted their intel, read the embedded coded texts on images posted on the net, bugged their mobile phones, videotaped the passing of bags of cash and messages in invisible ink from one agent to another, and hacked into their bogus expenses claims.


    But something, surely has changed. The tradecraft used by the alleged SVR ring was amateurish, and will send shivers down the spine of the rival intelligence organisations in Russia. This was bungling on a truly epic scale. No secrets about bunker-busting bombs were actually obtained, but the network was betrayed. The defendants are not charged with espionage, but with charges like conspiracy to act as unregistered agents of a foreign government. To have a spy ring uncovered before they could actually do any serious spying is doubly embarrassing.

    Meanwhile, the hottie involved (and the only reason anyone even cares about all this nonsense - talk about paranoia why don't you) firmly pointed her finger at her ex-boss, Poteyev, and the Russians seem to have confirmed it. Irrespective of whether this was the SVR's own version of a good time story - giving Bidden some prime youthful aspirational slit to park his wild oats in and the surrounding drones some collars to feel good about while the serious business continues, undetected, elsewhere - it's worth pointing out that the story the Guardian presents, a tall tale of technical brilliance and crushing operational superiority, is quite flatly contradicted by observable reality.

    Because if the "tradecraft" employed by the US wasn't amateurish, Wikileaks didn't exist. There isn't a Russian Wikileaks, at least not yet, and consequently the only spines that should have shivers going up, down and all other directions would be the various quite rival if dubiously intelligence soup agencies in the US. Ishmael Jones had it, yo! Without "humint" you're worthless, even if it's hard to do, and even if sigint, or whatever in your eyes passes for sigint, is much cheaper and more marketable. The "tradecraft" is emphatically not about what you can sell your boss on, you know ?

    No, you don't know. How would you. []

  10. Rarely if ever was a more inept, bumbling idiot the chief diplomat of a world power. Dear friends from our colonies : you'd be a lot better served by a plain, out and out feudal system at this point. King George had poorly performing ministers, but nothing this bad. []
  11. You know, the exact equivalent of the paranoid delusion, borne of equal if different pathology. []
Category: Trilema Presei
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