All professional athletes use drugs, ranging from outright (advanced and hardly detectable) steroids to relatively harmless painkillers and “vitamins”. For instance, pretty much all Norwegian skiers get themselves diagnosed with asthma to take performance enhancing anti-asthma meds. There are multiple substances that can be detected in athletes’ blood. The decision on what goes on the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) ban list is made on purely political grounds.

WADA-AP

Thus, Meldonium (the stuff that got Sharapova disqualified earlier this year), an anti-ischemia medication that, in theory, supposed to decrease the risk of heart attacks (although the Soviet tests that were conducted during the 1970s only showed significant results on animals; human research has been inconclusive and it’s been prescribed since mostly for the Placebo effect) was banned only because it has been used by the Eastern European athletes. Moreover, the improved screening technologies can detect very marginal trace amounts in the blood stream these days, and Meldonium leaves metabolites that don’t leave the body for, like, 4-5 months. So, given that the updated WADA ban-list is released at the end of the year (either in October or November), there was no way the athletes could clean themselves up before January 2016.

It seems like WADA and various organisations within the IMO/IAAF are being utilised for the Cold War 2.0. They removed wrestling from the Olympic program (athletes from the Caucasus region have always been dominating this kind of sport, brining Russian Federation gold and silver medals), and now we have the Meldonium travesty, as well as the “doping scandal” with Russian track & field athletes being banned from Rio 2016 (Russian women are traditionally dominant in this, with no real competition from other white female athletes).

It’s also funny how Rodchenkov, the “whistleblower”, who supposedly used to curate the “doping program” in Russia now holds a key role in WADA.

I’ve always been wondering what kind medications and “vitamins” do athletes from the US Swimming Team take…

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Interesting fact in regards to Pokemon Go: the company that developed it, Niantic Inc, started off as a side project inside Google. Its founder, John Hanke, used to be the Vice President of Product Management for Google’s “Geo” branch (the branch that deals with Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Street View and similar products).
 
It’s the same Google that hooked up with Hillary Clinton’s team and Al Jazeera network a few years ago to spread and amplify information about the unrest in Syria (renaming streets in Damascus for ideological purposes in real time, as the events were unfolding, along the way) to “encourage more dissent” in the effort to overthrow the lawful president Assad. As of today, that venture has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands and the displacement of millions more.
 
Prior to his Google years, John Hanke used to work for the US State Department, dealing with foreign policy matters…
 
***
 
Remember how social media was utilised to facilitate the, so called, Arab Spring in the early 2010s and the Euromaidan riots in 2013-2014 (all the elites needed was to get a bunch of impressionable idiots into the main city square, and then they began initiating the algorithms initially developed by a historian/sociologist Gene Sharp, progressively turning the peaceful protest into mass riots that got over 100 people killed, overthrowing the government and dragging the country into a bloodbath civil war)? Social media manipulation is no joke. And the governments/intelligence agencies understand that well.
 
Pokemon Go, in theory, can serve as a very convenient tool for crowd manipulation, and former Google and the US State Department employees being behind the product adds certain funk to it.
 
In the meantime, try to google what sort of companies provide satellite data to Google, and then check the background of the people who founded those companies. Lots of food for thought you will find.

I love BBC. I really do. They are amazing when it comes to wildlife documentaries (used to be absolutely fascinated by those when I was a kid). The Essential Mix program on BBC Radio 1 often offers a fantastic variety of high quality electronic music (ahh! those legendary 1990s trance mixes by Paul Oakenfold!). Their TV show production, both old and new, is superb (A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Doctor Who, Sherlock, just to name a few). Can’t say the same about their news service, though. In fact, it is beyond revolting.

These days, I have the same problem with the British Broadcast Corporation as I have with the CNN: whenever I watch or read their news coverage, I get this feeling like somebody just opened up my skull and took a huge dump right inside my head. As I’ve been saying it before – I don’t like it when (pseudo-)journalists do that to me. I have my own sh*t there already.

Indeed, your BSmetre can go off charts when you consume content produced and delivered by mainstream media outlets.

I was thinking of doing something fun today. Let’s take one of the recent articles posted to the BBC web-site and see how they manipulate their audience by distorting information, omitting facts and just generally misinforming and talking BS.

For example, here is a nice article I came across recently. “Doubts cast on Russian TV’s navigator interview” by someone named Stephen Ennis (published on 03.12.2015):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/monitoring/doubts-cast-on-russian-tvs-navigator-interview

While some of the points the article makes are sound and well-argued, the implications that the author draws, the omission of facts and general distortions make it such cheap propaganda BS.

Let’s take it apart, piece by piece.

Ennius begins with:

“The day after the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber in the vicinity of the Syrian-Turkish border on 24 November, pro-Kremlin TV channels showed an interview with a man they said was the plane’s navigator, Captain Konstantin Murakhtin.”

And right here, in the very first sentence, we get the first minor manipulation attempt. Since when did “in the vicinity of the Syrian-Turkish border” become synonymous with “in the Syrian airspace”? Though not technically misinformation, such wording deliberately blurs the information and draws reader’s attention away from the fact that the Turkish F-16 jet itself violated the Syrian airspace while downing the Russian plane. BBC tries to whitewash Turkey in such way to make Russia look worse?
But, okay, it’s a minor detail, let’s move on.

“Filmed from behind at the Humaymim airbase in Syria, the man categorically denied that the Russian bomber had at any time entered Turkish airspace or that it had received a warning from the Turkish air force, thus apparently adding extra weight to Moscow’s rebuttal of Ankara’s claims to the contrary.”

What Ankara’s claims to the contrary? Like that letter to the UN Security Council, in which they stated that the jet violated airspace for 17 seconds, from which, with the distance it flew provided, you can easily calculate that the plane flew at a speed of 391 km/h (waaay to slow to be true; ordinary passenger jets normally fly at 800-900 km/h, the military jets’ speeds normally exceeds 1000 km/h; so, the letter suggests that those on the Turkish side who were making this up are rather incompetent when it comes to the military aviation, like, really basic level incompetent)?

The fact that he was filmed from behind is easily explained by security measures. Like there have been incidents when certain groups were encouraging people to post personal information about Russian military personnel stationed in Syria and their families online, so that the religious extremists inside Russia could “take revenge on them under Sharia law”:
https://www.rt.com/news/317849-ukrainian-russia-isis-revenge/
Plus, there is just a general set of rules regarding revealing the identity of those who participate in anti-terrorist operations (although, to be fair, I’m not sure whether it’s going to help in this particular case – the names and the photos of the two pilots have been all over the social media since the 24th of November; but still, the rules are the rules, I guess).

The article continues:

“Leading Western media generally took the interview at face value [too good we have BBC, an alternative media outlet that questions everything, eh? lol], with many quoting statements attributed to Murakhtin in their headlines. But there are credible grounds for questioning whether the scene shown on Russian TV was at all authentic and the man talking to journalists was indeed Captain Murakhtin. According to Russian media reports, Murakhtin was rescued in a night operation by Russian and Syrian special forces after ejecting from his Su-24 in northern Syria.”

I’m not sure which Russian media reports he refers to exactly, but the pilot got rescued by the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) forces. This information was first reported by the Al Mayadeen (a Lebanese news network) sources. Shortly after, it was confirmed by a Russian ambassador to France, Alexander Orlov, in his interview to Europe 1 radio:

Who reported that the Syrian AND Russian special forces rescued the second pilot? Which Russian media outlets reported it? Please post links to the comments if you find some. Judging by the vibe on the Russian social media and in the blogosphere, Russian mainstream media reported everything correctly and the Russian general public knew well who rescued Murakhtin. Or did Ennius mean the initial Russian rescue team that got ambushed, because the militants on the ground were waiting for them? It’s unclear what this BBC journalist says.

“His pilot, Oleg Peshkov, was killed, possibly as a result of ground fire from Syrian rebels.”

Okay, here where it gets really messy with this “reporting”. It’s been known from day one that the pilot was murdered, in violation of Geneva convention, by Turkmen militants who shot at him while he was still in the air. There was a video of them celebrating the murder over the pilot’s dead body:

Video: U.S.-backed Syrian “moderates” scream “Allahu akbar” over body of downed Russian pilot

They even gave an interview to the Western TV crews (who got there suspiciously fast, by the way), in which they bragged about what they just did:

Their leader was identified as Alparslan Celic, a Turkish national, a member of Turkish ultra-national group known as Grey Wolves, and also a son of Ramazan Celic, a former mayor of Keban district in Elazig, Turkey:

‘Turkmen commander’ turns out to be Turkish nationalist

https://twitter.com/celikalparslan
http://ntv.livejournal.com/426110.html

All this information has been verified and available to public for over a week, yet, on 03.12.2015, this, so called “journalist” writes a piece for BBC in which he says “Oleg Peshkov was killed, possibly as a result of ground fire from Syrian rebels”. Whitewashing Turkey (and, by extension, NATO) again? Also, notice how these mainstream media journos always refer to these scum as “Syrian rebels” (even though these particular terrorists are Turkmen, with a Turkish citizen being their leader, guarding the buffer zone through which various extremist groups, including ISIS and al-Nusra/al-Qaeda, get their supplies and reinforcements). Low.

“There are aspects of the interview with the man said to be Murakhtin that suggest it was staged or even in some respects doctored. A number of these were identified by TV director and producer Vera Krichevskaya in a report on liberal TV channel Dozhd on 30 November.”

Referencing a “liberal” TV channel Dozhd’, a media outlet that is financed by Western NGOs for the sole purpose of spewing pro-American, russophobic propaganda? K.
See, the issue with the media outlets like Dozhd’ is that they follow the US State Department line, as they are largely influenced by the BBG (Broadcasting Board of Governors), an organisation which was established to spread pro-American propaganda overseas. In their official reports, they admit that they’ve been having an “affiliate-type” relationship with Dozhd’ (page 12):
https://oig.state.gov/system/files/217908.pdf
Moreover, in their congressional budget request for 2014, they explicitly state that their project, Voice of America (originally funded during the Cold War to spread Western propaganda to the socialist states), fed news content to Dozhd since as early as 2012 (page 69):
http://www.bbg.gov/wp-content/media/2013/09/FY-2014-CBJ.pdf
(note that this is only the information that is currently unclassified and, thus, available to the public, we never know to what extent things are actually done in reality)
In addition, it’s not entirely clear where Dozhd’ gets its financing from:
http://tass.ru/en/archive/669993

Project Pedro and Operation Mockingbird, anyone?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pedro
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

So, basically, the Western agencies invests into media outlets in foreign countries, feed them news content and then get their own mainstream media to reference and cite them as “independent and liberal media”? Nice. But nothing new, really. This propaganda method has been practiced for decades.

Needless to say that Dozhd’ frequently gets caught producing Orwellian-style fakes (not surprising, considering who feeds them the content).
But, anyway, let’s move on.

“First, the audio of the interview showed signs of heavy editing. “I can hear every join,” Krichevskaya said. The background noise fades in and out depending on who is speaking. The man said to be Murakhtin sounds as if he were in a studio rather than on an airfield.”

There is some merit to this.

“Second, he moves his head up and down as if he were consulting notes. What is more, some of the phrases he uses do not sound like spoken Russian. Krichevskaya singled out the phrase “our military medics work miracles”, which he uses in response to an inquiry about how he is feeling at the beginning of the interview. Finally, the behaviour of the journalists looks pre-arranged or rehearsed. As Krichevskaya points out, although there are around a dozen of them, they do not interrupt each other at all. Instead, they all put their question in order as if on cue.”

Again, that’s a common practice when dealing with sensitive matters, such as details of the anti-terorrist operations, information on the military personnel stationed overseas, and so on. Whenever officials speak to the press, they use speeches that were written in advance too (or, at least, they follow their dot points). No need to make a conspiracy theory out of this (as if BBC wouldn’t know of such practices).

“The physical condition of the man said to be Murakhtin does not tend to suggest someone who has recently survived an ejection and spent a considerable time out in the open… [blah, blah, blah] … He has a noticeable limp, but otherwise appears to move fairly freely. He does not show obvious signs of pain or discomfort… [blah, blah, blah] … As Keir Giles, an associate fellow of Chatham House, told BBC Monitoring, the man in the video looks “remarkably well for someone who has just ejected”.”

So, the man “has a noticeable limp, but otherwise doesn’t show obvious signs of pain or discomfort”? Well, it would be remarkably strange if a trained and experience military pilot, who, in addition, received instructions prior the interview, would behave like a crying girl (or a soccer player) in front of cameras.

“On 30 November, state news agency RIA Novosti reported that Murakhtin would be spending a month in a Moscow hospital, where he had been visited by his wife. It quoted a former officer as saying this is standard practice in ejection cases. But, according to data from media monitoring organization Medialogiya, the main Russian state TV channels did not report this news. It seems odd that they would not want to keep viewers informed about the progress of a man who is officially a decorated war hero.”

So, the state news agency RIA Novosti reported it, but the “main Russian state TV channels” did not? I don’t really see BBC having an argument here. What does it imply? By the way, Ennis doesn’t report when he accessed the Medialogiya data. Was it on the 30th as well, two hours after RIA released this news? Besides, even if it’s true that the major TV channels didn’t report on this, what’s strange about it? Does Ennis of BBC imply that they all should have made an extensive reportage, showing the hospital, stating its address and the exact hospital wing where the pilot (who just returned from an anti-terrorist mission) will be kept, so anyone could come and visit him?

“The operation that apparently led to Murakhtin being rescued has been given fairly cursory treatment on state TV. Channel One’s flagship weekly news programme Voskresnoye Vremya described the operation in a report captioned “All for One”. But the actual rescue of Murakhtin occupied a fairly minor part of the report and was overshadowed by a much more dramatic sequence about Russian journalists coming under fire in Syria. The equivalent programme on official channel Rossiya 1, Vesti Nedeli, gave the rescue even shorter shrift.”

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the details of such operations are not immediately disclosed to the public and, therefore, are not accessible to the press? BBC is more than welcome to provide full and insightful report into the details of the rescue operation that was conducted by the SAA forces in Syria, if they know something the Russian media doesn’t.

“There are sound operational reasons why the Russians would not want to divulge details of the rescue mission [finally some indications that the author has a bran!]. It is nevertheless strange that they have not made more of a propaganda splash about it.”

*facepalm*
A BBC “journalist” feels confused and surprised that they didn’t make more of a propaganda splash out of sensitive information. It’s rather ironic, if you ask me.

“It is equally odd, perhaps, that the journalists in the “Murakhtin” interview show no curiosity about his experiences: how did he feel, for example, when he knew he was parachuting into enemy territory?”

It is equally odd, perhaps, that the BBC “journalist” doesn’t go further in telling what else he feels confused about and doesn’t state that he finds it odd that they didn’t ask the pilot his wife’s name and what schools do his kids go to.

“This tends to reinforce the impression that the interview was staged simply to achieve the propaganda purpose of providing apparently firsthand corroboration of Moscow’s claims that the Su-24 had not violated Turkish airspace and that its crew had received no warnings.”

Reading this BS article tends to reinforce the impression that it was written purely to whitewash a NATO member Turkey and to further slander Moscow.

“Leading western media generally took the “Murakhtin” interview at face value [unlike you, Ennis, a BBC’s critical freethinker]. But pro-Kremlin media have a proven track record of dubious reporting and even outright fakery, including inventing identities and using bogus witnesses. In April 2014, two of Russia’s leading TV channels ran reports featuring the same man in a hospital bed in Ukraine. But in one report he was a pro-Russian victim of Ukrainian nationalists and in the other he was a German citizen who was funding Ukrainian nationalists. A few months later, state news agency TASS and other Russian media were found to have been quoting a phoney German professor.”

I’ll be honest with you, I’m not familiar with the reports he refers to. Yes, it is true that some Russian media outlets occasionally produce fakes, but it’s rather amusing to hear this kind of accusation coming from the likes of BBC. BBC is gross and horrendous in this regard, perhaps even much more so in comparison to the Russian state media.
Staging chemical attack reports in Syria, digitally altering sound in eyewitness testimonies, deliberately using old footage in their reports and documentaries, with paid actors playing victims, and so on:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-bbc-saving-syrias-children-documentary-staged-events-fake-video-footage/5470158

Apart from outright fakes, there are also multiple accounts of gross censorship. For instance, BBC has been caught editing Scottish PM interview responses:

BBC release statement over cut out of Alex Salmond’s answer

… as well as cutting out bits and pieces out of the interview with the former Ukrainian president, Viktor Yankovich, in which he talks about Crimea and Donbass:
https://www.rt.com/news/269107-yanukovich-crimea-bbc-interview/
… cutting a Palestinian doctor off air when he accused BBC of bias and misreporting:

… censoring their own report with MH17 eyewitness testimonies:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/deleted-bbc-report-ukrainian-fighter-jet-shot-down-mhi7-donetsk-eyewitnesses/5393631
… as well as misreporting obvious sarcasm as a serious response in order to make East Ukrainian/Novorossia rebels look bad:
http://russia-insider.com/en/bbc-dances-mozgovoys-grave-surprise/ri7314

Note that these are only the instances I was able to think of straight away. I’m pretty sure that if you spend a couple of hours digging deeper and researching it all properly, you’ll be able to find dozens more of such fakes and misreportings. And that’s only BBC. There are also CNN, Fox News, Sky News, ABC, and so on, all faking and brainwashing their audience in a similar manner. So, BBC complaining about Russian state media is rather bizarre. “Who are you to f#cking lecture me?” – as Lavrov would say.

We continue:

“Then there is Carlos, the Spanish air-traffic controller and Twitter user, who according to several pro-Kremlin media was supposed to have had evidence that the Malaysian airliner MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian warplanes. The only problem is that Carlos does not actually seem to have existed.”

So, who said that this “Carlos” was supposed to have had evidence about MH17? His Twitter or the Russian media? To what extent do you have to disrespect your audience to manipulate in such way? The information was coming from that Twitter account, not from Russian media (Russian media merely cited it, and so did numerous alternative media outlets in the West):
http://sherriequestioningall.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/carlos-spanish-kiev-air-traffic.html

By the way, in regards to MH17 (mis)reporting, how about that phantom “Russian supplied BUK” that does not actually seem to have ever existed? All Western mainstream media outlets (including BBC) were going crazy with this conspiracy theory from the very beginning, despite the fact that nobody actually saw the said BUK, and all the “evidence” that exists in support of it is just a few unverifiable, poorly dated videos and a couple of photos (some of which are proven fakes). BBC never asked why the US State Department, instead of providing solid forensics data on MH17, like the satellite images, which they have, keeps peddling this cheap conspiracy theory, citing dodgy “social media reports” (the majority of which are either provided directly by the Ukrainian Security Service, SBU, and are proven fakes, or are badly photoshopped images from “anonymous users”):
MH17 – ‘Buk launch photo’s’ are cheats

MH17 – Paris NO Match


https://hectorreban.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/an-alternative-track-trail-another-buk-on-another-day/

The article concludes with:

“The “Murakhtin” interview may not be fakery on this level, but there are grounds for thinking that it should be treated with a good deal of caution.”

Great point, Ennis! Thanks for the advice!

***

Seriously, what’s up with all this cheap propaganda? BBC hasn’t always been that bad. Even their 2008 reports on Russia-Georgian conflict were well balanced in comparison to the majority of Western mainstream media outlets. Nowadays, however, it’s impossible to read them without fear of giving yourself a concussion with facepalms.

There is a saying: “The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger that to produce it”. It seems as if people in the Western mainstream media have been taking advantage of this law. If they state a single lie, you would have to write a paragraph explaining and elaborating on why the statement is false. If they write a paragraph worth of BS, you would have to write an article to refute it all properly. If they write, say, a BBC article, you would have to write a long post to address all the things that they either distorted or lied about (this post, for instance, is way over 3000 words long, and I had to use links with further elaborations on the points I was making, because it’s impossible to fit everything in here). Now, what if it’s a massive 10-pages long pseudo-research piece in the Washingtonpost, NYT or The Economist? Not many people would find time and strength to read a complete and elaborative debunking of such work (and I’m not even talking about the amount of time it would take to disassemble something like that properly, piece by piece).

And there isn’t really any other way to deal with such BS. What else should others do? Lie in response? Not the best strategy (especially considering that the Western mainstream media has perfected such propaganda techniques over the past 100 years and has more resources to propagate its BS).

But, seriously, this systematic, institutionalised russophobia is rather irritating. The sad thing is that many people who don’t consult alternative sources still believe it.

This entry is a back-up copy of my Facebook post that I originally made on 28.11.2015. For better user experience, please read, like and/or comment the original post on FB.

Let’s do something that is somewhat unscientific in its nature, yet fun and should be done for the sake of considering different views regarding the recent incident with the Russian and Turkish jets. Let’s adopt a theory that the attack on Russia SU-24 bomber by a Turkish F-16 was a pre-planned provocation and try to see which pieces of publicly available information support it.

1. First of all, it is now known that the Turkish F-16 jet fighter (!) wasn’t on a standby when they, supposedly, received information about a foreign jet moving towards their border. The F-16 has been in the air for much longer prior to the attack, circling, as if waiting to ambush something.

The attack itself was done against all the conventional protocols. Even if the SU-24 violated the Turkish airspace (although both Russian Ministry of Defence and Russian Aerospace Forces command centre say that it did not, and they present empirical data to support their version), and, according to Turks themselves, the supposed violation only happened for 17 seconds, the F-16 didn’t try to establish a direct visual contact wth the supposed intruder. They just shot it down from behind.

Moreover, the Russian Ministry of Defence says that they’ve shared their combat plans for that region (including the flightpaths, possible targets and the types of aircrafts employed during the upcoming operations) with the Americans, who, in turn, were supposed to share the information with Turkey, as Turkey is a part of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition. Russian SU-24 was expected to be seen in that region. So, the Turkish military saying that they didn’t know whose plane that was sounds rather suspicious.

Alternative explanation? Well, maybe the Turkish F-16 fighter jet (armed with advanced AIM-9X rockets) just happened to be there at that time, performing training manoeuvres, or something. And the attack (in violation of all international norms) was a result of someone from the lower chain of Turkish command just screwing up. It might have been a tragic accident that the Turkish side is now embarrassed about and, thus, does not want to apologise, blaming it all on Russians.
Everything is possible.

2. There is an interview with a Russian air-defence expert Alexey Leonkov circling the Russian Internet at the moment. In the interview, he says that two American AWACS aircrafts (one Boeing E-3 Sentry and one E-3A) were in air on that day (one took off from an airbase in Preveza, Greece, and the other one from Riyadh military airbase in Saudi Arabia). The AWACS aircrafts could have been specifically monitoring the exact locations of the Russian military jets over Syria on that day, identifying which of them are in active search for targets mode and which of them have completed their mission and returning back to the airbase (and, therefore, least likely to defend themselves):
http://regnum.ru/news/polit/2021108.html

Alternative explanation? AWACS aircraft were just performing their routine data gathering missions. US and NATO have always been gathering intel on the Russian and Syrian aviation activity in that region, so it doesn’t really imply anything specific.

3. Now, when the SU-24 got hit, both pilots managed to eject. On the ground, there were Turkmen militants waiting for them. One of the pilots, Oleg Peshkov, was shot while still in the air (again, that’s a crude violation of the Geneva convention and, therefore, should be regarded as a war crime). The other one managed to hide for 12 hours, until he got rescued by the Syrian special forces and, subsequently, brought back to the Russian military base.

The leader of the Turkmen group was identified as Alparslan Celik, a Turkish national, the son of a former mayor of Keban district in Elazig province, Turkey:
http://www.kurdishinfo.com/turkmen-commander-turns-out-to-b…

Here is his Twitter account:
https://twitter.com/celikalparslan

He’s also a member of an organisation called Grey Wolves, which is an ultra-nationalist/nazi group (essentially, it’s a Turkish version of the Right Sector):
http://ntv.livejournal.com/426110.html

It also implies connection to various Turkish security services.

There are some hints that the Grey Wolves were also involved in the Operation Gladio back in the days, a NATO-led false-flag attack campaign that brought terror upon European citizens a couple of decades ago:
http://operation-gladio.net/operation-gladio

So, in theory, it is possible that these Turkmen and Turkish ultra-nationalists still have connections to NATO and US intelligence agencies, and that their appearance at the SU-24 crash site was preplanned and coordinated (either by Turkish secret services alone or in cooperation with their Western counterparts). Why? To eliminate the Russian pilots as incident witnesses (the survivor later told the press that, contrary to what Turkey is saying, they didn’t receive any warnings) and to send a message.

Alternative explanation? Well, the Turkmen militants, supported by Turkey, have been there for long, and it just happened that a heavily armed group lead by a Turkish national was there, just below the spot when the Russian jet got hit.

4. Right after the incident, Russians sent two helicopters to rescue the pilots. They got ambushed. The Turkmen militants attacked the helicopters with American-made TOW anti-tank systems. One of the Russian marines got killed. It appears that the militants on the ground were expecting the rescue mission and were prepared to ambush it.

Alternative explanation? As above, the Turkmen militants, armed with advanced American weaponry systems, just happened to be there. It’s been a warzone, after all.

5. What surprised many was the fact that Western media TV crews (namely CNN and Fox News, all with cameras, microphones and other heavy equipment) were nearby and interviewed the Turkmen commander almost as soon as the incident happened.

Were they all there on a standby, ready to document something? Seems like it.

Alternative explanation? The Turkmen militants have been complaining that Russian Aerospace Forces target them, so a number different Western mainstream media crews were sent there to investigate. So there were just there by themselves when the unexpected incident happened.

6. The attack happened on the 24th of November, which is a rather symbolic date for Russia-Turkey history. It’s Alexander Suvorov’s birthday. Suvorov was a genius-level Russian general who won multiple wars and battles against the Ottoman Empire, becoming a historic icon of the 18th century Russian history. If the attack was indeed pre-planned, choosing the 24th of November wasn’t random. It’s a part of psychohistorical warfare, plus a symbolic message.

Alternative explanation? It’s just a coincidence.

***

Let’s sum up, shall we?

If we are to say that it was NOT a pre-planned attack, we would have to assume that that a Turkish F-16, armed with advanced AIM-9X air-to-air misses, just randomly happened to be circling near that area on that day, the two American AWACS’ were just doing their routine missions and not sharing their data with the Turks (who are officially a part of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition), the Russian SU-24 got shot down over the piece of the Syrian land controlled by Turkmen militants (with their leader being a member of Turkish neo-nazi group called Grey Wolves, a group that used to be affiliated with NATO intelligence services back in the days). Properly equipped Western TV-crews just happened to be there by a chance to interview the Turkmens on how they murdered an unarmed Russian pilot. It just happened that these militants also had American TOW systems that they readily used to attack the Russian rescue mission, killing one marine. And that it all just happened on Alexander Suvorov’s birthday. Such a long chain of coincidences. Well, it’s an active war-zone, after all, so anything is possible…

If we are to adopt a different view and say that it was a pre-planned attack (and, as demonstrated, there is an overwhelmed amount of evidence for this, on multiple levels), then what would the reasons for it be? Well at the moment, it’s not entirely clear whether it was a solely Turkish/Erdogan venture, or whether it was all planned and coordinated at higher, international levels. It could also be that Erdogan got played.

So, what’s the possible logic behind all of this? To simply create a temporal no-fly zone near Turkish border, so that ISIS could continue to sell the oil? To manipulate Russia into doing something strategically stupid? To set up NATO against Russia so that Erdogan’s family could keep performing their political and financial affairs with ISIS while Russia is distracted? To further test Russian military capabilities? To send some kind of covert message to Russia? Or to simply increase tensions so that American military-industrial complex could get better stock-market figures? Maybe it was a polyfunctional incident?
I don’t know.

Perhaps the time will tell.

Either way, someone’s playing very dangerous and irresponsible games.

I may say quite an obvious thing, but China appears to be heading towards a major crisis. The economic growth that they’ve been experiencing for the last couple of decades (which, by the way, is slowing down rapidly) has its own downsides in countries with large populations. Social segregation is one of them. 

chinese_grunge_flag_1920x1080_by_qian12-d4llnka

Just to give you an abstract example, imagine a small Chinese town with a population of, say, 1 million people. The town becomes prosperous enough to allow every citizen to consume a proper beef steak for dinner at least once a week. In order to keep up with the demand, you have to produce hundreds of thousands of cows. Cattle requires pastures of enormous sizes, hundreds and hundreds of millions of litres of water to irrigate it all, then you have to produce fertilisers, transport it all, pay for logistics, infrastructure maintenance, employ millions of people to maintain it all, and these people need to eat something too, so, when you talk about everything needed to produce rice in quantities sufficient to meet the demand, the numbers will grow exponentially. Don’t forget that resources, both human and natural, are limited, so you can’t maintain a steady economic growth for too long. And even then, people who have to survive on rice to produce beef for the rich aren’t going to stay too happy for long. If you going to cut the beef production, you’re not going to meet the demand, which will cause an additional bunch of problems, as people don’t like it when their life quality (including the quality of food they eat) decreases. The changes in life quality are only welcome when they go up. The opposite direction causes social unrest…

So, the system naturally becomes unstable, creating a risk that everything will just burst into a bloodbath civil war (the Chinese history, pretty much, consists of these cycles when you end up with tens of millions dead at the end of each dynasty rule).

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China has been approaching its socio-economic limit (also, don’t forget that it’s been happening with the global economic recession in the background). The Occupy Hong-Kong protests that we saw last year is one of the earlier manifestation of such deep, systemic issues (additional issue for China here is that, these days, natural protests are easily hijacked by geopolitical competitors, who have rich experience in artificially worsening such things).

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters hold up yellow umbrellas, symbols of the Occupy Central movement, during a march in the streets to demand universal suffrage in Hong KongChinese historians and sociologists are, of course, aware of this. Over the recent years the government has been setting up multiple research centres all across the country to study the fall of the Soviet Union, to learn from its mistakes and to avoid repeating its faith (Russia was lucky in a way that the disintegration was happening at its periphery back during the late 1980s and the 1990s; if the same thing happens China, they are going to get it across their core).

At the same time, it appears that the Chinese are trying to solve their internal issues by expanding their economic and geopolitical influence over the globe (it’s a very capitalist thing to do). China has been very enthusiastic in investing into Africa, trying to stabilise the Middle East (that’s where Russian and Chinese interests match almost perfectly, by the way), then developing what has been termed the “New Silk Road”, and so on.

If you want to build up and maintain your geopolitical influence, you have to have proper military capabilities, accordingly. So we’ve seen China creating artificial islands in the South China Sea where it creates airbases, and stuff.

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No wonder the US neocons are getting frustrated, with all the influence America has been loosing (also, don’t forget Russia asserting its interests in the Middle East for the first time since the fall of the USSR, using airforce to conduct airstrikes in Syria, launching ballistic missiles against ISIS from the Caspian sea, and doing all sorts of amusing stuff).

The world appears to be getting multi-polar once again.
Interesting times we live in.

This entry is a back-up copy of my Facebook post that I originally made on 15.08.2015. For better user experience, please read, like and/or comment the original post on FB.

There is one very interesting theory on the true motives Osama bin Laden had while executing the 9/11 attacks.

Going back to history, everyone knows that Osama bin Laden had a vision of a giant, united Grand Muslim Super State that would include over 40 countries all around the globe, ranging from Saudi Arabia to Egypt to Kazakhstan to Albania, where people would be living under Salafi style Sharia law. He thought this project could be finished in the 21st century, by the year 2100. That was his life goal. He saw world’s big geopolitical powers as standing on his way, and, therefore, he was trying to strategically undermine them all, one by one.

First, he lead guerrilla fight against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan (with Zbigniew Brzezinski facilitating him and his people through the CIA in Pakistan with weapons, logistics and intelligence, as well as assisting them with information warfare). The 9-year war in Afghanistan caused multiple problems for the USSR, adding to the internal issues that eventually lead to its collapse in 1991. bin Laden saw the fall of the Soviet Union as the first major victory for the Islamic world.

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The United States, as the only remaining global superpower, was his next target. And that’s the point from where it gets interesting. Some analysts suggest that he planned major attacks on the United States soil specifically to provoke a military intervention in Afghanistan. bin Laden was hoping, as some suggest, that Americans will get stuck in Afghanistan, fighting for many months, even years, the same way as it happened to Russians a couple of decades earlier. He hoped that the fierce fighting will result in massive civil casualties. He was then planning to use images of killed Muslim women and children for propaganda purposes, to unite people in the Middle East against the United States, evoking waves of radical islamism (to the point when local islamist groups would become coherent enough to start taking over regional governments) and then use the momentum to 1) decrease the US global influence and 2) to gain more influence for Al-Qaeda and similar groups, approaching closer to the Grand Muslim Super State dream.

It’s highly likely that he had this plan in mind while executing the 9/11 attacks. But he miscalculated. He never accounted for one geopolitical figure while planning his strategies – Vladimir Putin. Not many Western people remember it now, but Putin used to be very friendly to the United States and Western Europe during the early years of his presidency, seeking close partnership and economic collaboration (it was later during his political career, after he got fooled, betrayed and lied to on multiple occasions by the Western leaders, many of those times face to face, when he reached a conclusion that the West isn’t interested in working with Russia on equal grounds, that’s when he began pursuing a more independent path, but that’s a topic for another post). He was happy back then to offer Americans the support they needed after those terrible terrorist attacks, so he was able to convince some of the Central Asian leaders to let Bush use their military airbases to carry out airstrikes against the key Taliban positions. The US intervention went tactically much more effective than it was initially calculated by bin Laden, letting them to neutralise the major threats within weeks.

Therefore, Osama bin Laden miscalculated his strategy and lost. Interestingly, it could be speculated that he himself got played by other figures/organisation. Various conspiracy theorists say that the CIA did the 9/11, which I find highly unlikely, given the overwhelming amount of evidence that it was, indeed, the Al-Queda’s job. It should not be dismissed, however, that some elements in the United States ruling establishment might have known of the possibility of such attacks, yet, nevertheless, did nothing to prevent them, allowing bin Laden to be a useful idiot. After all, if you look into what the US military doctrine designers and strategists (e. g. the already mentioned Brzezinski) were saying back in the 1990s, you’ll see that some of them were openly suggesting that the US must take a more active military role in Eurasia, to remain its hegemony in the post-Cold War world. They were also saying that it would take long time to mobilise the American nation for such endeavour (Brzezinski was arguing that the democratic tendencies that are imprinted in the American social fabric will make people very reluctant to support the deployment of troops to another side of the world), UNLESS there will be some kind of a catalytic event that will speed it all up….

I don’t like crazy conspiracy theories, but if you take into account that Brzezinski personally knew bin Laden since as early as the early 1980s, and that too many of Brzezinski’s old ideas have been strangely coming to live (e. g. chaostization of the Eurasian continent, starting from the Middle-East (hello the Arab Spring and ISIS), pulling Ukraine away from Russia to prevent Russia from becoming an economic superpower (hello the Ukrainian Crisis), among other things), and that we now know declassified instances from recent history when security agencies were pulling terrorists attacks on their own citizens (e. g. Operation GLADIO), you will be getting really uncomfortable feeling about the whole thing…

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Also, don’t forget that the heroin production in Afghanistan has increased 30-40 times since 2001, so someone has surely been making crazy profits off this (would be interesting to see where all this money go; the rumours are that some of that stuff goes to finance “colour revolutions” and co ups in various interesting places).

So, either way, lots of stuff for researchers and analysts to explore.

Decided to make a list of my personal favourite sic-fi movies. Here are my Top 5. The list goes in chronological order (by the year of move release):

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The apotheosis of space sci-fi cinematography. The movie is almost half a century old now, yet it’s still unbeaten in its genre. Scientific realism, technical details, high production values, deep themes that cover everything from evolution of the Humankind to our strive to explore to the issues with the artificial intelligence – everything is put together perfectly, making 2001: A Space Odyssey a prime example of what the true Science Fiction should be about. An absolute must-see. Lots food for thought this movie gives you. (by the way, I think it was the first movie that had computer generated graphics in it)

Gattaca (1997). A movie about dystopian future society in which each person’s place is predetermined by his/her genes. It kind of depicts what could have happened if nazis had won – eugenics, ultimate biological determinism, cast systems, among other things. But the main message is about the importance of strong free will that can help you overcome the boundaries through hard work. The movie is about personal character and how it is possible to reach the stars if you have the right determination. A must-watch.

The Matrix (1999). My personal favourite movie of all times. The film is brilliant on multiple levels, appealing to a wide range of aesthetic, emotional and intellectual senses. It’s one of those works that you have to re-watch at different ages, because, as you grow older, you start noticing new details and uncover new themes in this multi-layered work of art. I first saw it when I was 8. I was instantly blown away by the fight scenes and the special effect. When I was in my early teens, the movie was getting me with the brilliant atmosphere and the overall cyberpunk aesthetics (e. g. the soundtrack, which is beyond amazing; it played a huge role in forming my taste in music: The Prodigy, Rob Zombie, Lunatic Calm, Ministry, Fluke, Juno Reactor, even Paul Oakenfold, who wrote proper, non-BS trance music for this project, among many other artists). As I grew older, I began seeing the philosophical and religious themes expressed in the movie. The Wachowski brothers did an outstanding job at playing with jungian archetypes and various ambiguous elements, making the movie resonate strongly with various people. The Matrix is not sci-fi about science per se (everyone who understands the basic law of conservation of energy will laugh at the core scientific concept of the film), but it’s about the deep symbolism, and the subtle details. The movie could be seen as a giant metaphor for the post-modernistic world we live in. Replace the machines with the financial elites and the Matrix with the mainstream media and our current socio-economic structure, and we will get a pretty accurate description of the times we live in.

Equilibrium (2002). A much less known sic-fi movie with Christian Bale. It’s about a dystopian post-WW3 society the citizens of which are forced to pharmacologically repress all the emotions to avoid future conflicts. It is quite apparent that the creators of this movie were inspired by The Matrix. In fact, it could be referred to as “The Matrix Light”. Similar themes (a system that represses society’s most human virtues in order to stay afloat, a hero who breaks free and joins a few in resistance to fight it), similar aesthetics (e. g. costume designs and fight scenes), all conveyed at a rather sound level. I wouldn’t say that this movie is an absolute must-watch, but I would recommend it anyway, especially to those who like the sub-genre. I, personally, love it.

Interstellar (2014). A truly brilliant masterpiece. Probably the best space sic-fi since 2001: A Space Odyssey. I haven’t seen anything that would touch me that much in a very long time. The movie is not perfect, there have been some questions raised about the scientific accuracy (although Interstellar touches the topics that are still subjected to theoretical research, and, therefore, Christopher Nolan had the right to make certain extrapolations in the ways he saw them), some of the moments in the plot are also questionable, but it’s not a big issue. The movie is about the Human character, about human strive for survival, compassion, progress and exploration. The movie shows how one selfish jerk can destroy the entire Human race, and how another selfish jerk can save it if they stop being a selfish jerk and try to develop thoughtful compassion and understanding of other’s motives. Interstellar is one of those rare movies that deliver a message (rather than aiming to merely entertain the audience; although visual effects, soundtrack and acting are superb in this film), it raises many grand questions and makes you think. It’s one of those true Science Fiction movies that make you more complete. A true masterpiece. A must-watch.

Bonus. A couple of sic-fi movies that are among my personal favourites that everyone seems to hate: Contact (1997) with Jodie Foster and I Am Legend (2007) with Will Smith.
Also, a couple of my favourite (formally) sic-fi movies that are more valuable as cinematic works on their own, rather than the works of Science Fiction: Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Men In Black and The Avengers (yes, I loved the Avengers! extremely entertaining).