Putin, Russia and the West


Come on, NATO. Lets be serious
EU defense, always on the back boiler but The chronically underfunded (by FG) are not going to be up to much.
The FF heads appear to have missed another trick in crying about the poor Russian diplomats. There is method to what Leos is doing. The doffing the cap was previous Irish policy. His statements about Brexit etc plays well to a domestic audience. You dont have to be the best little lapdog.


Nice of you to start out being completely condescending. As about 30% of my daily news and current affairs reading is in Russian I’d say it’s fair bet that I have a wider perspective on this issue than you do.

That was exactly my point. Thank you for confirming it. It’s not the fact of the (attempted) assassination that brings other countries into it but the use of chemical weapons in a public place.

So the fact that it was possible to find Skripal excuses the use of chemical weapons in civilian space? That’s an unusual equivalency to say the least.

There are two ways of looking at that. Ireland is a small country and should stay out of these issues in the hope it doesn’t get noticed and doesn’t antagonise bigger powers. Or Ireland is a small country and should align with more powerful countries with which it has most in common (which doesn’t necessarily mean join NATO or an EU army). Both positions have merit.

I don’t doubt that they are but that doesn’t negate rightful outrage about chemical weapons being used in a public place in the UK. It’s the same argument that says the people advocating against a hard border post-Brexit are also anti-Brexit so must be acting cynically and should not be heeded. It’s a false connection in both cases.


We will go along with the rest of the EU, since the UK are leaving the EU and we will be on our own in certain future arguments, then it would be foolish to take an independent line on this, but I’m still waiting for any kind of proof it was the Russians behind the attack

A question, how big is the Irish embassy in London, is it bigger or smaller than the Russian embassy in Dublin


NATO is very much in the long term Fine Gael thinking

yfg.ie/news/entry/yfg-calls- … -with-nato


Unusual how ? Using this weapon in such a way is an escalation. And surely a big shock to the Brits. But The Russians and the U.K. are the adversaries not us. And the British drop bombs in civilian spaces all over the Middle East. They’re no strangers to collateral damage.

Aligning with powerful countries about the consequences of their spy games has no merit for a neutral country with no border with Russia. I can see why the Finns join in. For us it’s reckless leadership, inconsistent with neutrality.

The atrack is an “outrage” for the UK. It’s up to them to respond or retaliate. It arises from the actions of their intelligence services so Ireland should stay well clear.


‘Ireland needs to invest in its neutral status - is expelling a Russian diplomat the best way?’
thejournal.ie/readme/neutral … 4-Mar2018/

Russian ambassador: “totally unwarranted, uncalled for, senseless and regrettable”.

Taoiseach says expulsion of Russian diplomat from Ireland is an ‘act of solidarity’ with the UK
thejournal.ie/russian-diplom … 6-Mar2018/

I recall previous Irish governments being much more careful with the countries neutrality…


:neutral_face: Because we used to export so much intelligence? That we learned from? The Skibereen Eagle?


I think what he’s getting at is that given the unequal nature of the current setup, the expulsion has 0 benefit for us.
Basically we’re acting blind…on the whispers from our neighbors.


Right, but our neighbours are close to us, hence the title, and useful to us, but Russia is far away and no skin off our nose. They will perennially be under some sort of a cloud while they’re a kleptocracy, so being nice to them has few if any benefits and we need to keep our powder dry for more important issues.


A quick recap of what we know.

Ex-soviet spy and his daughter found sitting on a bench, poisoned by Cold War type nerve gas in the town centre of Salisbury, just about a 10 minute from Porton Down which is described in its wiki as…

In the weeks prior to the attack the UK army conducted exercises on Salisbury plain codenamed “Toxic Dagger - the sharp end of Chemical Warfare” gov.uk/government/news/exer … al-warfare

So they were drilled and ready for an event which could take place anywhere in the UK but conveniently it happened in the immediate vicinity.

Now back to the ex-spy. He had spent time in prison in Russia before being sent to the UK in a spy swap so in effect he became UK property and obviously was of little importance to the Russians if they were happy to deport him. The Russian had both the means and opportunity to do him in but obviously they didn’t have a motive and ultimately give him over the Brits to do with him what they please; to the UK he had became an expendable dependent.

Now considering how far a previous UK government went to present Saddam Hussein as an immediate threat to British soil it’s not hard to see another set piece has been laid out.

I’m very disappointed with the Irish expulsion, especially when we have every reason to demand proof from a foreign government that we know gave support to the Dublin and Monaghan bombing.

I think our support will have the opposite effect, it will only embolden the Brits to push for more action, anything to distract its own public from the cul de sac they’ve driven into with Brexit.

It feels like a double down on Brexit.


Interesting developments in Russia. Western countries really failed in the sensitivity stakes by announcing the expulsions on the day Russia was mourning the loss of 60+ people, mostly kids, in a shopping centre fire. That’s in direct conflict with their stated aim of targeting the elites close to Putin but supporting the general population. But the Putin regime have handled the fall out from the fire disastrously too. Painful meeting between Putin and the local governor today where the families of the deceased were disparaged as political stooges and they are battling nationwide rumours that the real death toll is five times higher. That’s probably untrue but when you build your regime on weaponising lies it can get hard to convince people of the truth. And now, at the memorial gathering in Moscow, the crowd have chased away the RT camera crew with chants of “Lies kill”. In the context of last week’s boycott of parliament by much of the non-state media, following it’s Neanderthal response to alleged sexual assaults on journalists by an MP, there’s a lot of unprecedented and long over due kick back against the system emerging.

twitter.com/CurrentTimeTv/statu … 7968216064


John Pilger’s take…

Within a post-Brexit political landscape, does the UK remain an ally of Ireland? Or has it become a hostile competitor? We’ve already witnessed the UK’s blatant disregard for Irish political interests around the border issue. Plus in strict economic terms surely we’re now very much in competition for similar pieces of the same pie?

And in simplistic ‘moral’ terms (ie the one provided to the public), why are we expelling Russians on the back of little or no evidence when we repeatedly failed to expel British diplomats in the wake of Bloody Sunday, Dublin/Monaghan etc etc?

From a broader geo-political perspective, one of the reasons why I was happier with a Trump victory in the last US election, was the suggestion by Trump during the course of that camapign that he would seek to recast the US/Russian relationship and move away from the ‘poke the bear’ policy that seemed to be favoured by Clinton. For example, she had said during the course of her campaign that she would seek to impose a no fly zone in Syria which some such as John Pilger suggested, would lead to inevitable conflict with Russia. Is Trump now fully on board with the Neo-Con line on Russia?

Beyond all that, why exactly would the west not seek to make Russia an ally? Its no longer a communist state and it stands opposed to Islamist extremism across the board, an ideology that we’re informed, is the greatest threat to western civilisation. It cant be because of Russian human rights abuses because numerous western alies engage in a lot worse…as well as the fact that the likes of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib have exposed moralistic western finger wagging for the hypocrisy that it has always been. So what exactly is it that the West cant stomach about Russia?

If its down to personalities, who would you wish to align yourself with in a scrap? Any of Varadkar, Trump, Boris Johnson or Macron? Or Validimir Putin?

The whole thing is a very dangerous charade that makes very little sense.


I reckon for the moment from the UK side it’s just a posturing distraction from Brexit but I’m not convinced Trump is fully reliable to follow through on neo-con prompts. The bigger game seems to be to box in China via Russia. I can see the USA trying to destabilize Russia to the point of installing a puppet that won’t allow China access to Russian resources in the far east. As it stands I believe China rents vast tracts in far east Russia for mining and solar power generation.

I can’t help but feel after the disastrous Iraq campaign that the current gambit may backfire spectacularly.

Edit to ad: China/North Korea annouce agreement to make Korean peninsula Nuke free. Do the USA have Nukes based there and if so that’s a direct challenge from China. 3D chess.


Whats that now, Iraq was a total success, Libya too

Putin opposes all these crazy wars, this is why he gets painted as evil in the media


Some quality stuff in today’s IT

irishtimes.com/opinion/lett … -1.3443413
Sir, – In order that he can advise President Putin appropriately, the Russian ambassador to Ireland Yuri Filatov needs to know that the outrageous actions of the Irish Government in expelling a Russian diplomat from Ireland without good reason, do not represent the views of the ordinary decent Irish people.
Our “look-at-me, I’m-a-good-boy” Taoiseach and the rest of his Vichy government have clearly had their orders from Brussels on this one. The sooner that they, their hangers-on, their “Dr Goebbels” communication unit, and indeed their beloved EU are all gone from our midst, the better.** – Yours, etc,


Woodstown, Co Waterford.


What a load of twaddle. And with a usual Nazi reference to boot.


The loons on Broadsheet and TheJournal have found their way to the Irish Times


Some close friend (ex neighbour) was on Sky the other day, claiming the Skripals would be better off dead at this stage. Then there was the interview with the cousin in Russia saying they were keeping it from the old grandmother but it was just considered inevitable they were going to die. But the daughter is pulling through this evening, to some extent at least.


Noticing so much repetition and co ordination of language in recent events. Within this story Boris Johnston is quoted on Russia:

Which co incidentally is the term used to rally the troops in the anti Semitic slur against Corbyn. While MLK’s granddaughter used the term in Washington last weekend. Je Suis enough already.

The other one is ‘rules based system’. Not sure what it is, but Russia isn’t a ‘rules based system’ anyway. May kicked this one off, and now every Tom Dick and Harry is on Sky coining the phrase while they expel a few diplomats in solidarity. The English language can be quite broad. The Bard himself would be most disappointed in the lack of originality on display from world leaders.


Russia expels Irish diplomat as row over nerve agent attack continues
independent.ie/irish-news/n … 59765.html