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CJB
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:08 pm

I'm hardly a Russia-hysteric, but I can't picture this event being anything other than a classic KGB hit. Putin knows he can act with virtual impunity because the West is too divided and impotent to do anything truly crippling against his regime and, in any case, Western "hostility" only benefits him politically with his zombified NTV audience.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:44 pm

CJB wrote:
I'm hardly a Russia-hysteric, but I can't picture this event being anything other than a classic KGB hit.
KGB was woundup in 1991. That aside, was this an unprovoked attack on the UK or was the EU's move on Ukraine the catalyst?
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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:58 am

FSB now isn't it?
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:02 am

Hilly KCMG wrote:
FSB now isn't it?

No, the SVR.

FSB is Russia's domestic intelligence service (MI5 equivalent).
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:14 am

So Rex Tillerson is gone a day after publicly condemning the supposed Russian attack in the UK.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:38 am

Salomé wrote:
So Rex Tillerson is gone a day after publicly condemning the supposed Russian attack in the UK.

And Gina Haspel becomes the first female head of the CIA. Interesting to see how her appointment is playing in some states such as Pakistan.

Quote :
Haspel played a direct role in the CIA’s ‘extraordinary rendition program,’ under which the captured militants were handed to foreign governments and held at secret facilities, where they were tortured by agency personnel.

The agency’s first overseas detention site in Thailand was run by Haspel, where she oversaw the brutal interrogations of two detainees, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Zubaydah, during the captivity, lost an eye and was pushed so hard, including sleep deprivation and physical abuse, that at one point the CIA officials feared he might die.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1658956/3-torture-works-gina-haspels-elevation-cia-chief-epitomises-trump-mindset/

Whatever Trump is, he's unpredictable. People outside the media don't like that.
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CJB
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:19 pm

Erica Ambler wrote:

KGB was woundup in 1991.

I know, but I don't think their successor operates all that differently; though I hear they're finally getting a mandatory course in gender fluidity in the workplace and a Nespresso machine.


Erica Ambler wrote:
That aside, was this an unprovoked attack on the UK or was the EU's move on Ukraine the catalyst?

Putin's been offing his enemies for years (including on British soil). Don't really see a connection between Skripal and the events in Ukraine in 2014 (and why strike the EU by launching an attack on the territory of its mortal enemy?)

Salomé wrote:
So Rex Tillerson is gone a day after publicly condemning the supposed Russian attack in the UK.

Perhaps more importantly:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-28/exxon-quitting-russian-oil-ventures-frozen-by-u-s-eu-sanctions

Quote :
Exxon Mobil Corp. said it’s abandoning joint ventures with Russia’s Rosneft PJSC after international sanctions against the nation’s energy sector paralyzed a historic drilling project.

Exxon’s decision to quit its biggest exploration region was made late last year as the U.S. expanded sanctions, the company said in a 10-k filing on Wednesday. “The corporation expects it will formally initiate the withdrawal in 2018,” Exxon said.

Exxon’s deal with Rosneft to drill millions of acres on and offshore from Russia’s Arctic to the Black Sea in 2013 was the crowning achievement of Rex Tillerson’s 11-year tenure at the head of the world’s largest oil explorer by market value. Vladimir Putin personally blessed the arrangement, which envisioned decades of exploration in some of Russia’s richest, untouched fields.

But the project was troubled almost from the start. In 2014, the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions on Russia for meddling in Ukraine and the restrictions were strengthened last year after the country was accused of tinkering in the 2016 U.S. election.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:06 pm

The UK is far from being the EU’s mortal enemy. Almost the entire British establishment was working towards the betrayal and subjugation of the UK within the EU; the spoke in the wheel was the English people voting Leave in a referendum the UK elite never thought they could lose. As to what the UK can do about the Salisbury incident, the Russians are no doubt terrified of the might of the modern Britain army. Certainly it scares me:

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Salomé
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:04 pm

It's not like Russia itself is still the terrifying bear of the Cold War. They have a GDP similar to Spain's.
The only real change is the current vacuum of American leadership in terms of pushing back against Moscow.

Speaking more generally about the Salisbury incident and the Litvinenko assassination which preceded it, I'm struck by the sloppiness of the execution of the plots. Especially in terms of the total lack of care that was used with the lethal substances.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:21 pm

Salomé wrote:
I'm struck by the sloppiness of the execution of the plots. Especially in terms of the total lack of care that was used with the lethal substances.

All of which suggests something that was not approved at the highest level. I've been struck by what appears to be a highly efficient if ruthless Russian air campaign in Syria, but this seems very different.

Re GDP, I don’t think that measurement tells the right story. EU countries (France apart) have tended to rely on the UK and USA for their defence (while simultaneously telling them what shits they are), whereas Russia spends an incredibly high percentage of its budget on defence. Despite reports to the contrary, it's still a world leader in some areas such as missiles and submarines.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:04 pm

CJB wrote:
Don't really see a connection between Skripal and the events in Ukraine in 2014

Remember this? colgate

Quote :
Two war-mongering women who represent the West’s foreign policy apparatus, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and EU official and onetime British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament activist Catherine Ashton, have seen their secret agenda for Ukraine revealed as a result of leaked phone conversations.

It is clear that neither the Ashton nor Nuland phone calls were meant to be overheard by the "unwashed masses." However, thanks to the intercept capabilities of loyal and proficient Ukrainian security agents, the world now understands the perfidy of two chattering women who are helping lead Europe and, possibly, the rest of the world, into a massive conflagration…

http://www.voltairenet.org/article182601.html
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Salomé
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:12 am

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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:29 am

So UK is to expel 23 Russian spies ('diplomatic staff') and call a Security Council meeting. Britain is now at loggerheads with both the EU and Russia, while repeatedly shitting on Donald Trump. Maybe it's not too late for an alliance with North Korea.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:46 pm

Well ultimately the events in Ukraine were brought on by the massive corruption of Yanukovych (in addition to opposition his Moscow ties). Millions of Ukrainians didn't go out into the streets because Uncle Sam or the Queen of England ordered them to. I'm not going to feel too bad that Putin is having trouble winning back Stalin's empire.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:45 pm

Bizarre twist claimiing Yulia was the real target not her father:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5812917/russia-attack-daughter-yulia-real-victim-niece-claims/
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:23 pm

Erica Ambler wrote:
Bizarre twist claimiing Yulia was the real target not her father:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5812917/russia-attack-daughter-yulia-real-victim-niece-claims/

If this is true, aren't there easier ways to get rid of her than assassinating her with a nerve agent in a foreign country?
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:36 pm

Indeed. The lack of anything other than circumstantial evidence is disturbing.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:08 pm

Salomé wrote:
It's not like Russia itself is still the terrifying bear of the Cold War. They have a GDP similar to Spain's.
GDP isn't a useful indicator at all. Luxemburg has the world's largest GDP but how many battalions? I suggest you take a look at Russia's armed forces:

http://globalinterests.org/2016/06/24/russias-military-assessment-strategy-and-threat-2/
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:52 am

Erica Ambler wrote:
Salomé wrote:
It's not like Russia itself is still the terrifying bear of the Cold War. They have a GDP similar to Spain's.
GDP isn't a useful indicator at all. Luxemburg has the world's largest GDP but how many battalions? I suggest you take a look at Russia's armed forces:

http://globalinterests.org/2016/06/24/russias-military-assessment-strategy-and-threat-2/

I'm aware of the size of Russia's standing army.
I still maintain that Russia is significantly weaker as a military force than it was even at the tail end of the Soviet Union.
The main change is that the U.S. is less willing to push back against Putin.
This isn't something that can be reduced to just Trump.
Obama himself was modest in terms of his response to Russian aggression.
Of course, it's not necessarily the Americans obligation to protect the rest of the world from Russia for perpetuity. It's just an observation.
It has changed something significant in Germany, in that now there are ever louder voices for them to significantly increase their defense budget.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:11 am

World Cup in Russia is coming up, no one needs this shit right now. chain smoke

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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:47 pm

England should withdraw from the World Cup in protest ... they'll get to look principled AND avoid the embarrassment of crashing out of a tournament in the first round yet again.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:22 am

Yes. Yes we should.

Briefly glimpsing Dateline London on BBC News (24) today, the Russian chap seems to think the West is edging Russia towards conflict and the American one thinks conflict's coming whereas the West is rudderless in its direction. Carrie Gracie though seemed quite OTT in her moderation of it like it was Question Time and not some little bit programme on the old 24.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:30 am

British MPs are calling for a mass boycott

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/932487/russia-world-cup-2018-uk-ministers-international-boycott-spy-nerve-agent-attack

And English fans haven't been buying tickets as much as they were for Brazil 4 years ago.

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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:47 am

bitchcraft wrote:
British MPs are calling for a mass boycott

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/932487/russia-world-cup-2018-uk-ministers-international-boycott-spy-nerve-agent-attack

And English fans haven't been buying tickets as much as they were for Brazil 4 years ago.


I think this was already the case before this diplomatic stand-off. Russia does not exactly have a great reputation when it comes to guaranteeing the safety of traveling football fans.
And Russian hooligans seem to have a special interest in harming English fans.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:03 pm

Classic sting on Cambridge Analytica. Am a bit pissed that Baker St's role in running the world is revealed 15 minutes in.

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