by Scott Humor
In the last days of 2016, one couldn’t do enough to avoid announcements of 35 Russian diplomats being expelled from the US and Russian government-owned property being seized.
Every five minutes on every channel, there was footage of people burdened with children and suitcases waiting on wet tarmac for a plane to pick them up, because they weren’t allowed to remain inside the airport building.
Also, there was the same, it seemed, footage of a modest red three-story turn of the century waterfront house with a simple garden bench near water, that was inevitably referred to by every US and EU channels as a “Russian secret services center” despite the notable absence of any satellite antennas so prevalent around the American Embassies all over the world, in Ukraine, for example, or in Venezuela.
One, however, would be hard pressed to find any information about the American diplomats being expelled from Russia. Fox News had a 24 second announcement:
All of these channels concentrate mostly on the properties, and on the Senate taking over from the “executive branch” meaning here the president and his power to run the foreign policy. In essence they leave him with nothing more but to greet the local Police departments and open baseball matches while Tillerson issues three sentence statements.
For everyone living outside of OCONUS, it means that the US won’t have anyone to call directly. And that US foreign policy will have no “face,” if you don’t count McCain after his brain surgery. Last year, I wrote that we will see times when we will remember John F. Kerry as a good guy. Those times are upon us.
Short of PBS, none of these media announcements mentioned the number of the US diplomats being expelled. PBS, a government owned broadcasting company, reveals the extent of the operation in its segment, “why Moscow’s retaliation for U.S. sanctions is a major escalation.”
PBS corresponded, Nick Schifrin, reported that by September 1, the US will have to reduce its stuffs inside of Russia to 455, at the Embassy in Moscow and three consulates around the country. By Monday, they will lose access to the storage facility inside Moscow, as well as a country house that they generally use right outside of Moscow.
In terms of Russia’s property, it was reported as “seized,” while in the case of US property in Moscow, it was reported as a “lost access.” The language here is important, because its reflects the actual right of ownership, which I will illustrate later.
PBS also dutifully explains why this is a major escalation. “Former US officials told me that there are anywhere from 1100 to 1500 staff in Russia. So, to bring that down to 455 could mean expelling hundreds, and hundreds and hundreds US staff. This is on the magnitude much higher that the expelling of 35 Russians being to be intelligence officers by President Obama last year.
[At 1:40] Clearly, today’s announcement is designed not just to affect the US’ ability to conduct intelligence in Russia, but the US’ ability entirely…the US government’s entire ability to conduct its operations in Russia.”
“It could be a turning point, because it does seem to signify that President Vladimir Putin has given up his hope that the relationship could get better. ”
“One Russian official told me today, “We came to the point where there was no hope.”
On July 29, 2017, in response, the State Department issued a short statement signed by the Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson saying that the U.S. has started the sanctions war on Russia with the aim to improve relations between two great nations, because the American people have a collective delusion that the US’ war against any nation tends to greatly improve relations with this nation.
At least that’s how his statement was understood in Russia.
“The near unanimous votes for the sanctions legislation in Congress represent the strong will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope that there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues and these sanctions will no longer be necessary.
We will work closely with our friends and Allies to ensure our messages to Russia, Iran, and North Korea are clearly understood.”
In essence, he blames this unprecedented diplomatic crisis and military tensions on the American people, who allegedly want to strong will the Russian nation into submitting to the US dictate.
I beg to differ with him here. Since the end of the WWII, only candidates who promised to improve relations with Russia won presidential elections. Not one has ever fulfilled this promise. Maybe, with the exceptions of Bush Jr., but that is open for debate.
In his Saturday statement, Tillerson doesn’t leave any room for expectations that improvement of bilateral relations is possible. He warns the US allies, that they will be pressured to join this sanction war and to be forced to walk goose steps behind the US.
Also that sanctions are imposed on Iran, Russia, and North Korea, but only Russia has to cooperate on “major global issues.”
Tillerson doesn’t gives any specifics on what those “major global issues” are, meaning that no matter what Russia agrees to, the US will be able to say that they meant something totally different.
It’s impossible to find out what exactly a “strong will of the people” entails in this case, since the referendums as a form of direct democracy are banned in the U.S. Taking a totally unscientific poll of ZeroHedge readers, one would opine that people want stronger Russia’s response, that the idea of parity of the number of diplomats at each embassy. is great.
Every time the Americans expel Russians now, they expel their own as well. Very Putinesque. Also, thanks to the deep state for greatly improving Russian relations with Germany and Europe. Ukraine was a total mess, and Russia got Crimea, making the whole exercise a costly waste. Many agree that Europe must see that the US is a dying waste pile and that the future is with China, Russia, India etc.
Also, that these uncalled for sanctions against Russia, based on lies, won’t go unnoticed by China, who realizes that the USA can never be trusted. A deal made with them now means nothing tomorrow. Thus pushing China closer to Russia.
While President Putin spoke in Finland about international laws and the WTO rules and regulations, Tillerson indicates US actions are governed by the “strong will of American people,” substituting the vox populi expressed by a handful of politicians for all of the laws and regulations, agreements and rules ever invented.
In three sentences, Tillerson stated that the US government is “недоговороспособное” or is “not-agreement-capable,” that the whims of the US law makers override all the international laws, as it would for any rogue state. All attempts to reason with the current US government are futile.
I personally like Tillerson, He is a typical Republican businessman. You would be surprised, but most of them are actually decent people. I am talking about people who run real companies, not the money-from-air mobsters. He is not brainwashed and doesn’t even mention any “democratic values” and other such neo-liberal nonsense. He says what it is. He says that the US government is a runaway train, and that there is no way for him and the Trump to stop it while it’s heading into abyss and taking many of its friends with it.
So far, Trump has not tweeted a word about the new anti-Russia sanctions bill.
Since the presidential elections, the US seemingly descended into chaos, but up-close the chaos is orchestrated and irrelevant. The general political movement of the country has not changed much in following the general path of the Obama/Clinton neo-liberal policies. The supra-national para-state needs to consume at least one country a year to have money to pay for its armies of mercenaries and political engineers. There is a color revolution underway in Venezuela; so far it has been unsuccessful due to a strong support of the people and military for their elected government. There is also a strong support by Russia and other allies for Maduro government and secret services in curtailing the putsch, just like a year ago in Turkey.
Friday July 28 decision to evacuate families and some of the personnel from the American Embassy in Venezuela, indicates that the putsch failed, and an operative relocation operation was underway.
In parallel to this we also see an ongoing efforts to undermine the political stability in Russia for the next March Presidential elections. We have discussed different aspects of this process regularly, but for those who missed it: a basic color revolution formula in development. There are three non-systemic ideological opposition groups of the liberal democrats, “communists,” and nationalist-patriots, all of them want to bring the country to a “revolution” that would topple not just the elected government, but an entire country. Not one of them presented any program for the “day after.”
All of them have something in common, they are controlled and paid by the Western government and private institutions via the U.S. Embassy. All of them are being closely watched by Russian intelligence and active part of the population. Blogs have been dedicated to the photo reports of the opposition members movements and activities. Anyone reading those reports can see that the opposition in Russia gravitates to the same few centers that just happened to be the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, and its Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok.
In Russia, it’s been dubbed a “raid on the American barbecue.” A true extent of this isn’t immediately obvious due to the secrecy surrounding the US Embassy’s activities in Russia. The Russia’s officials are not releasing any information, information in the open sources have been collected by the journalists, bloggers and commentators.
These are a few facts that you probably won’t find anywhere else.
On Friday morning of July 28, Russia’s Foreign Ministry ordered the United States to cut the number of its diplomatic staff and Embassy workers on the territory of Russia to be equal to the number of Russian diplomatic missions in the United States as of the time in December, when former president Obama ordered 35 Russian diplomats to live the country. Reportedly Russia had 455 at that time.
What many people fail to understand, that it’s not a number that is important, but the parity principle, when countries have the same number of people in corresponding embassies. Since the 1990s, the US had much larger representation on the territory of Russia.
From PBS, we know that the US has anywhere from 1100 to over 1500 personnel in Russia.
This workforce will be reduced to 455. If, however, the US decides to expel more Russian diplomats on Monday in retaliation, the same number of the US diplomats will be added to the equation. Until, as you might guess, there will be none, since we know that US Senators are not rational beings and prone to uncontrollable rage, lapses of judgment, and other public demonstrations of senility. I personally think that the next step will be revoking the visas of the Russia UN representatives.
There is also a very interesting and delicate situation with the Ambassadors, because as of July 26, the US Senate stalls appointment of new ambassador to Russia.
“The US Senate has deliberately put off the hearing on the appointment of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman as new Ambassador to Russia, some Russian diplomatic sources told Izvestia. According to the diplomats interviewed by the paper, should there be a simultaneous change in the chiefs of diplomatic missions, they would assume office practically at the same time.
Washington has already approved the nomination of numerous ambassadors to various countries, but the hearing on the new envoy to Moscow has not been held yet. A source in the US Department of State said talking to the paper that they are waiting for the new ambassador to Russia to be appointed but cannot influence the procedure in anyway.
The US Embassy in Moscow likewise said they have no specific information on the issue, as the Senate does not notify anyone about anything.
Because of this, Moscow cannot send Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov to replace Sergey Kislyak who has already left Washington, while US Ambassador John Tefft is waiting for Huntsman’s arrival.”
As of Saturday July 29, Putin has not signed a decree to appoint the new Ambassador to the US, per Peskov’s statement.
It’s mirroring a current situation in Ukraine, with two countries having no working Ambassadors.
The Diplomatic properties
The Russian side is suspending the use of all storage facilities on Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow, and a cottage in Serebryaniy Bor by the US Embassy in Russia as of August 1.
Russia: Drone captures US embassy dacha as sanctions standoff spirals
LIVE from outside the US embassy in Moscow after Russia retaliates to US sanctions
Russia owns outright properties that were seized by the US government. It also owns its Embassy building in Washington, D.C. These properties were purchased by Soviet Russia back in the 1930s – ’50s.
The US owns the building in Moscow where the Embassy is located. All other buildings around Russia including the Spaco House, a home of the US ambassadors, are being leased from the cities. The general lease on properties in Moscow expired in 2049. The US doesn’t pay for the Moscow properties. In other words, it uses them for free.
The Storage facility
Russia: Drone captures US storage facility following clear out order in wake of sanctions
Jul 29, 2017 Drone footage captured activity at what is believed to be a US embassy storage facility on Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow, Saturday, a day after Russia instructed the US to clear the unit before August 1 as part of Russia’s response to further US sanctions.
The Silver Wood “Serebryanny Bor” property
Currently, groups of journos are reportedly stalking those properties, hoping for something interesting to take place.
Judging by this video, however, nothing much was happening. I suspect that Americans have moved most valuable stuff in the past six months.
Through the fence: Journalists struggle to get pics of Russian US Embassy ‘dacha’
Drone captures US embassy dacha as sanctions standoff spirals
Issues of personnel
The decision of the Russian government leaves the US with full freedom to decide who goes and who should stay.
As I mentioned above, the Russian opposition’s activities depend on the US Embassy. Allegedly, members of the opposition to the government receive instructions, money, and intelligent support. After decades of activity, the US developed an army of agents, and built structural support for the US policies inside the Russian society. The US intelligence operatives are working in Russia with diplomatic passports. The sudden removal of 1000 of these people, is going to bring devastation to the US color revolution processes that are underway right now and were expected to intensify for the time of the presidential elections.
Before that, Russia had no legitimate reason to expel those people, until this fateful decision of Obama to expel the Russian diplomats.
Back in December President Putin said that they would wait with the retaliation, hoping for the improvement of the bilateral relations. In the US Senate, it was understood that Putin was waiting to expel 35 diplomats and take away a barbecue pit, which is useless during the winter, anyway. By spring, they thought ,they might have someone else in the Kremlin altogether. They have been accumulating the NATO troops on Russia’s borders and training hundred thousands of Eastern European mercenaries in case the liberal part of Russian government would take over and invite NATO’s invasion, by blocking the military response.
If you remember, last week HBO’s Real Sports interview with Ramzan Kadyrov,
Kadyrov said, “America is not really a strong enough state for us to regard it as an enemy of Russia. We have a strong government and are a nuclear state. Even if our government was completely destroyed, our nuclear missiles would be automatically deployed. We will put the whole world on its knees and screw it from behind.”
That comment certainly puts the left’s insistence on a war with Russia in perspective. And Kadyrov is probably being more accurate than not in that statement.”
“Hours after the Russia-bound Metrojet flight 9268 A321 with Russian vacationers exploded in the sky over Sinai on October 31st, 2015, President Putin had not come on TV to address the people of Russia. Many immediately questioned why. Many observers had also noticed that before this act of terror and hours after it there was a coordinated influx of messages on social media declaring that Russian planes would be dropping down from the skies everywhere until, mind you, Russians surrender to some mysterious forces. If you go back on Twitter and search for those messages you might still find some of them, but the majority of them mysteriously vanished just as coordinated as they appeared. Russian planes have not been dropping from the skies by the hundreds, as it was projected.
So… Where was President Putin for several hours between the explosion of the plane and him talking to the Minister of Defense, Shoigu, on the news?
Minutes after the terror attack on the Russian passenger jet, the airborne strategic command center aboard an Ilyushin Il-80 aircraft, took off.
Immediately after, far away in the US, Obama was whisked away from Washington on his helicopter and the US “Doomsday plane” took off and started circling around. Russia’s nuclear forces took aim at major US targets. Apparently, some exchange of words took place between the Russians and Washingtonians.
When President Putin was finally seen on the news many people commented that he looked like he was “just taken off a cross.”
Whatever gleeful reaction was expressed by some Europeans and Americans on the account of the death of many Russian passengers, they apparently didn’t realize that these could be their last day on earth.
I am bringing up this little known factoid to illustrate that Russia’s government is not going to dance around when it comes to the preservation of peace and stability in the country. And that any attempt of such will be immediately forwarded back to Washington, militarily speaking. This all in accord with Russia’s new Military Doctrine 2014. “
Kadyrov routinely delivers messages that other Russian officials couldn’t. To bring you up to speed, according to the new Military Doctrine, the color revolution is an act of foreign war. According to the same doctrine, Russia won’t have a ground war, and any acts of war will be answered with the nuclear strike against a potential aggressors. All this, not because we, Russians, are “evil,” but because after a century of wars and the Red Terror and the Liberal Terror, we simply don’t have enough people for ground wars.
My pure speculation is that maybe, the ousting of 35 Russian diplomats, and the birth of Senate Bill 722, was orchestrated by US intelligence with Trump’s and Putin’s agreement to have an excuse to remove over 1000 of deep state’s operatives who have been working non-stop to push the color revolution situation in Russia. From this perspective, the removal of the operatives from Russia could be qualified as “draining the swamp.”
In this way, Trump is not to blamed for signing this bill, since the Russia’s decision came prior. He never said anything about this on twitter. The PBS came out with perfectly reasonable explanation of the situation. All the liberal media outlets are subdued and hashed in their reporting.
It sounds like everybody’s intention to softly cover this up and remove the issue from the public eyes like this never happened.
Russian deputy FM: US sanctions will compel Moscow to seek alternatives to the dollar-based reserve currency system
Director of Research and Development
author of The enemy of the State
In case you have forgotten what happened in Ukraine, this book should refresh your memory with the incredibly precise and humorous chronicles: ANTHOLOGY OF RUSSIAN HUMOR: FROM MAIDAN TO TRUMP