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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

EU's Antitrust Charge Against Gazprom: Another Putin Disaster

The trashing of Russia’s most valuable economic asset adds to Putin’s growing list of major policy disasters. By attacking Ukraine, he has alienated the Ukrainian people for generations to come. By saber rattling beyond the borders of Ukraine, he has rejuvenated NATO and given it new purpose. Putin has succeeded in pushing traditional sympathizers in the European community, such as Germany’s foreign minister; they’ve decided that the danger he poses trumps their business interests. Instead of raising Russia’s prestige and national pride, he has turned the country into a pariah state with a tottering economy and declining living standards.
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Taking On Robert Reich And The Myth Of The 'Non-Working Rich'

Serious policy should be based on facts, not on anecdotes cherry-picked to match a political agenda. Before sweepingly concluding that the “fabulously wealthy” who “have never worked” are “undermining the moral foundations of American capitalism,” Reich should do his homework. His only offered evidence is that “six of today’s ten wealthiest Americans [most notably the Wal-Mart Waltons] are heirs to prominent fortunes.” Reich, in his usual fashion, simply assumes what he says is true. 

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Is The MH17 Joint Investigation Team Avoiding The Question Of Kremlin Guilt?

That the JIT has yet to interview Russian and separatist officials and officers having intimate and invaluable information about the shooting down of MH17 seem to suggest a reluctance, if not cowardice, to bring the real perpetrators of the disaster to justice. Putin and the Kremlin need not worry. Even if the JIT got its act together and started to move up the ladder, Putin could grant Strelkov and Bezler et al either parliamentary immunity or an unexplained disappearance.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Could Unpaid Traffic Tickets Destroy The Kremlin’s Nemtsov Murder Narrative?

Western leaders do not want to recognize what Putin and his regime are capable of. Scholars John Dunlop and Karen Dawisha have chronicled evidence that the FSB, the state internal security service, was behind the 1999 apartment bombings that killed almost 400 Russians and helped bring Putin to power. English justice will probably conclude that the Kremlin ordered the “nuclear poisoning” of defector Alexander Litvinenko in London, and then sheltered his assassin with parliamentary immunity.

Do not Merkel and Obama realize they are conceding Putin’s defense. By declaring Putin’s Kremlin responsible for finding the murderers, they are ruling out the possibility that the Kremlin itself ordered the hit.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Perry Mason Moment in the Nemtsov Murder

According to leaks from the Nemtsov murder investigation, the Chechen killers were given a ZAZ Chance as a surveillance and getaway car. The Kremlin investigation, it appears, will settle on the charge that the Chechen 5 killed Nemtsov on their own out of anger over his rebuke of the Charlie Hebdo killings on January 10.

A Russian newspaper published traffic camera photos of the alleged assassins in the ZAZ Chance already back in September, well before the Charlie Hebdo killings.

Moskovsky Komsomolets published (already on March 10) traffic photos of the getaway car, some in the vicinity of Nemtsov’s apartment. The image of the chief assassin, Zaur Dadaev, appears visible on the left passenger side. The photos date to September. I quote from the article (for photos of the car, see below):

“What is this – a coincidence? If we allow that the suspects already were following the politician (Nemtsov), the fundamental motive disappears. At that time, there had been no shooting in the offices of Charlie Hebdo; there were no remarks by Nemtsov, which would have incited Muslims. That means there was nothing to kill him for – at least according to the logic of Zaur Dadaev. We should also notice the carelessness of the gangsters. They did not once bother to pay parking fees. This infraction plus frequent speeding tickets – on the car added up to 12,000 rubles. Who is going to pay? So far, we do not know.

the future assassins in the surveillance car

Image of cheif assassin on left side

Ad for ZAZ Chance

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Kremlin's New 'New' Version Of The Nemtsov Murder

Let’s see if the Kremlin can keep its story straight. The March 16 Interfax story insists that the Chechen 5 planned and carried out the murder on their own. No need to look for higher ups, just the lowly Chechen thugs in Lefortovo prison.  Although these men belong to Kadyrov’s Chechen gang, he had nothing to do with the murder. It looks like Kadyrov carried this round.
Tomorrow is another day and perhaps another round. Maybe it will bring with it yet a fourth version of the Nemtsov murder. If the Kremlin wants to achieve maximum confusion, it has done so.
One thing is certain. The Kremlin propaganda machine will charge ahead with its version of alternate reality irrespective of what investigators say. Putin’s trolls have purportedly been instructed to write that Ukraine is behind the Nemtsov murder, no matter what prosecutors or judges decide. This will remain the narrative of the Nemtsov murder just like the fable that a Ukrainian fighter shot down Malaysian Flight 17.

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