Grayzone Interview with Max Blumenthal 523

This covers a lot of ground – Assange, Ellsberg, Skripal, Salmond, Taiwan and more. My highlight was getting to point out that China cannot “invade” Taiwan. Taiwan is Chinese and you cannot invade your own territory. Even Taiwan accepts it is part of China, it merely thinks its side of the Chinese Civil War should be running all of it.

On social media there have been very many comments on the poor sound quality. This is an interesting reflection on expectations.

I hear no more than mild distortion. A decade ago this would have been normal internet sound quality. And for those of us who used to strain to listen in Africa to shortwave transmissions of the test match commentary, or indeed to get Radio Luxembourg in Scotland before the BBC did “pop”, it is magnificent.


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523 thoughts on “Grayzone Interview with Max Blumenthal

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  • fonso

    Literally lol-ed at that image of 2 Russian agents strolling up a suburban cul de sac, in front of all the curtain twitchers, and painting novichok on a front door knob !

  • Clark

    “On social media there have been very many comments on the poor sound quality.”

    I’ve listened to 33 seconds. The intro music sounded fine, but after that, the voices sound like they’re recorded without close microphones, so the acoustics of the rooms dominates. Irritating, but intelligible. Yet you both appear to be wearing mics. ?

    Shows the value of a sound check I suppose.

  • Clark

    Oh, it’s feedback. You are listening to each other on speakers, which are being picked up again on your microphones. Then the video conferencing software’s default processing is trying to compensate and making a hash of it.

      • will moon

        As we enter the days of the new Samizdat here in the West Gordon Hastie, those who can’t consume less than perfectly produced content will certainly miss out!
        Agree great interview.

    • Michael Droy

      Starts off with horrible sound – won’t listen. Fortunately I have heard similar interviews with Craig and know the material. I’m sure it is a one off production wise.
      Pity, both Craig and Max do great work but so do quite a few others.
      The Short Wave reference misses the point. We are not listening to 10 mins a day of “real news”. There are hour after hour of podcasts on all kinds of issues, particularly Ukraine (which had been the big one for the past 22 months and Craig but not Max avoids it ).

      I have a rule if it is more than 30 mins I usually don’t listen with very few exception. 58 mins with bad sound – forget it.

    • S

      Max’s mic is ok. My theory is that Craig’s mic was accidentally left unplugged and they’ve had to amplify what came through Max’s mic and then add noise cancellation. That’s a tough task if so.

      It’s a pity because it could do with a wider audience.

      I guess this is why many people keep headphones on when recording podcasts.

      • Fat Jon

        “My theory is that Craig’s mic was accidentally left unplugged and they’ve had to amplify what came through Max’s mic and then add noise cancellation.”

        You might be right. Alternatively, Craig’s mic was a unidirectional one which was not attached properly and is partly picking up the noise of speech rebounding off the walls of the room. This gives the same result when the person speaking sits too far from the microphone in a recording studio.

        I fear for the future of education, if some people cannot bear listening to sound which has not been recorded to perfection. Presumably, to them, any pre-digital analogue recordings are now completely out of bounds?

        • RogerDodger

          I guess it’s a bit like showers. I try to remind myself when someone in the complex is hogging the water pressure (which should of course rightfully all be mine!), that running hot water to wash with every day – even if it’s only a dribble – is an absurd luxury by comparison to what some must endure.

          But, still, having known the pleasure of a strong, hot shower, I can’t help but feel outraged when the standard isn’t met. Sound quality is similar – some podcasters, youtubers, radio hosts etc provide perfect acoustics, often at tremendous expense and effort, and these make their absence felt once the listener is used to them. I hope nonetheless that Craig is able to get his message out; I think most people make do and only the noisy minority bother to leave feedback.

  • Reza

    You are right, the goading and provocation of China is now of the same order that produced the Ukraine war. The BBC pretends not to see it but the whole world can.

    PS the sound quality is perfectly fine. All you’ve done by mentioning it is set them off.

    • Tom Welsh

      China is revealing, in all its brazen hypocrisy, the US government’s immense entitlement and love of double standards.

      All that China can possibly be said to be doing to the USA is giving it serious commercial competition. Anyone who mounts such competition is described by Washington first as an “adversary” or “rival”, then as a “threat” – meaning a country that can defend itself against American violence – and then as an outright enemy to be destroyed.

      The Chinese people have one of the world’s oldest civilisations – although it has been interrupted, through no fault of theirs, for centuries at a time by the Mongol and Western invasions. (The Mongols perhaps slightly more destructive, although as Dr Johnson said, “There is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea”). Centuries before Europeans even discovered the Americas, the Chinese had printing presses, paper money, gunpowder, the compass, and huge civilised cities. Dr Joseph Needham’s immense magnum opus, “Science and Civilisation in China”, makes an overwhelming case for China’s leading role in creating most of today’s advanced technology. And now, having shaken off the violent parasitical yoke of the Western nations, the Chinese people are getting a chance to show what they can do.

      All they ask is to be left in peace to work together in harmony. But that is something our Western overlords grudge them. It cannot be tolerated that a different social, political and economic dispensation should be allowed so obviously and publicly to eclipse everything the West can produce. Hence the need to destroy it, as Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya was destroyed, and socialist Cuba and Venezuela have been attacked tooth and nail – yet without success.

      China’s cause is the cause of civilisation and peace.

      • Stevie Boy

        In the recent past the UK, and others, flooded China with Opium, from India, so that they could control and steal the country’s assets. Now the UK tries to flood China with ‘Democracy’ so that they can control and steal their assets. It worked for a while with Russia.
        It appears that Democracy and Opium are very similar !

        • Michael A

          To what British effort in China do you refer? Is it having any success?

          The west and China are developing hand in hand. One can make that observation from several different angles, but just look at practically everything Elon Musk and Mark Zuckenberg do. What are X and FB about if not ultra-centralised social credit?

          For all the talk of the plight of the Uighurs (which is very real), there’s still a Volkswagen factory in Xinjiang.

      • Emma M.

        Not to detract from your point about Chinese influence in history, but I am sceptical of your claim regarding Mongol invasions, which is also rather vague and refers to several different invasions. Of course, I’m not too well-read and one of them could surely have been quite destructive.

        From what I understand having worked briefly with a professor of Chinese history once who spoke quite a bit about it and could explain and back up his point far better than I can, all China’s entire history is one of being invaded repeatedly by nomadic horse-riding peoples with the conquerors’ power generally lasting for about as long as they maintain many of their foreign customs in place of Han customs. In particular, diets of meat and milk were far superior to rice-based Han diets and made warriors of such peoples formidable indeed. So that the Mongols invaded was not particularly unique, but practically a tradition among such peoples to invade China.

        The Han in particular and many historians like to discount the influences of these people on Chinese history and culture, however, and the importance of different cultures, subcultures, regions and whatnot are often ignored, as is apparently the case in the series of books you linked a Wiki article on, which again not that it detracts from the overall point of China’s importance in history, but their history is more diverse than people often think and the Chinese and their culture are not some sort of homogeneous or monolithic group; even less so throughout history. This is even true linguistically; that Chinese is a large language family with many spoken languages is often unknown to many.

        I think if people were more knowledgeable on Chinese history, there would be less ignorance toward them not only in our politics and mad talks of war, but also less idiotic racism. It’s surprising and rather amazing how often I see NATO supporters online casually make racist comments like calling the Chinese “bugmen”, treating them as some sort of bug-like and culturally, linguistically monolithic hivemind who are devoid of free thought, creativity, and so on (because we are not exposed to Chinese creativity be it in history or even the arts, literature, and visual media today, surely it must not exist!).

        • Ian Stevenson

          You are correct. Chinese languages vary which is why the characters were used. They are not phonetic symbols as with most languages.
          The Party has decided to make what we call Mandarin, the national language and uses the Latin alphabet.
          My grandparents and parents lived in Hong Kong. China is an ancient civilisation which needs to be understood. It is often very different.
          We need to understand that there is substance in what they call the century of humiliation 1840 Opium war to the Japanese invasion of the 1930s and 1940s.
          However, we also need to know about the Cultural revolution and economic expansion. As with any country, there are positive and negative elements.

      • Michael A

        China’s export ratio is 21%. It’s true the trend is downwards (in 2006 it was 36%), but 21% is still a lot higher than the US figure. No way is autarky the strategic aim.

        I don’t know why you say “the Chinese people”. The regime in China (or two regimes, or three or four depending how we class HK and Macao) is as much of a sh*thouse as the regimes in the USA, Russia, or monarchist Britain. The rulers are parasitic scum pushing for ever tighter control, just as they are in the world’s other leading countries.

        Chinese official military expenditure as a proportion of GNP is less than half the US figure, though, for what it’s worth.

        Which isn’t to say such figures shouldn’t be taken with a pinch of salt. I mean what is the infotech part of any economy other than part of the rulers’ war against the people.

        Agreed that it would be good if more people knew more about Chinese history and culture, and for that matter if they knew what WeChat was and why it’s Elon Musk’s middle name and Google’s alternative name.

      • Bramble

        Incidentally, one of the things that most irritates me is the constant whine that since China is producing more CO2 than us (which dishonestly forgets there are a billion Chinese to 70 or whatever million English: and that they are doing most of our manufacturing) it is “unfair” that we should do anything to control our emissions. In fact, China leads the world in renewable technology. Not enough yet to stop opening more coal mines, but it is actually working towards this, not just spouting pious intentions.

    • Michael A

      Steady on with that analogy!

      In 2014 the USA sent warships supposedly to be ready to evacuate US citizens if something nasty happened at the Sochi olympics.
      Then Donetsk and Luhansk seceded from the Ukraine. Then the USA and its bumlickers spent the next eight years backing the Kiev government and Ihor Kolomoisky and neo-Nazis in their war effort against the newly independent republics.

      Personally I don’t follow the BBC. I’m not transsexual.

    • will moon

      “All you’ve done by mentioning it is set them off.”
      Your point made me thoughtful here Reza and brought this to mind.

      “Kill me that green bird on yonder limb.”
      Shiva gestured with his trident and the bird fell.
      “Now kill me its mate.”
      “I do not see her.Ganesha”
      “Then kill me any other from among its flock.”
      “I see none Ganesha.”
      “And now that it lies dead, you will not. So, if you wish, strike at the first who harken to the words of Siddhartha.”
      “I gather your meaning, Ganesha. He shall walk free, for a time. He shall.”
      Lord of Light (1967), Roger Zelany

  • Alastair Aitken

    I am a subscriber already. However, I can’t get any updates except by checking your website myself.

    Are all your subscribers in this position?

      • Townsman

        The RSS feed enables “aggregator” websites to show current headlines from a lot of websites. Clicking on a headline brings the user to the source website. They’re good for users like Alastair who can see when you have a new article, and they’re good for sites like yours because they bring traffic to you.
        There are several RSS aggregator sites –,, yahoo has one somewhere. I use because it doesn’t have ads, but they all do pretty much the same thing.

    • craig Post author

      No, just stating a simple truth of international law. Taiwan is not a state. It is not recognised by the UN and only 13 states do recognise it. The UK explicitly does not recognise it since the UK China joint declaration of 1972.
      Legally it is part of China.

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          The Montevideo Convention of 1933 defines a state in international law as somewhere possessing the following qualifications, Jimmeh: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) a capacity to enter into relations with other states, provided that it was not obtained by force, whether this consists in the employment of arms, in threatening diplomatic representations, or in any other effective coercive measure. I think most modern sovereign states would fail that last bit.

          Anyway, I reckon this should be an interesting place to watch in the coming decades:

      • Hyolobrika

        Do you think the wishes and interests and liberties of the people living there are not important to this debate?
        Do you think law is identical to morality? Might to right?
        Do you think civil rights are only for the West and other parts of the world simply don’t deserve them?

        • Tatyana

          Taiwan doesn’t want to be independent, Hyolobrika. Taiwan wants to rule the rest of China 🙂
          Though the wishes and interests of people are important, still I believe it is the majority who is to decide 🙂

          • Emma M.

            Not only China, but they also have claims to territory belonging to just about everywhere else in the region, including the entire state of Mongolia! In theory, I support any people’s desire for independence, but that’s not the wish of the majority in Taiwan nor the position of their government.

          • Pears Morgaine

            Taiwan wants to be independent. What it doesn’t want is to be ruled by Beijing.

            I think we’re just arguing semantics here about what legally might constitute an invasion. It doesn’t have to be state vs state, any armed force entering a region with hostile intent can constitute an invasion.

          • Yuri K

            Pierce Morgan again spreads rubbish below. According to the latest opinion poll of June 2023, 32.1% Taiwanese want to keep status quo indefinitely; 28.6% want to keep status quo but decide the fate of Taiwan later; 21.4% want to maintain status quo but move toward independence; only 4.5% want independence ASAP and just 1.6% want unification ASAP.

            Thus, the majority of the Taiwanese do not want independence.

          • Bayard

            “It doesn’t have to be state vs state, any armed force entering a region with hostile intent can constitute an invasion.”

            So the despatching by the British government of its army to Northern Ireland was an invasion of Ireland in your book?

      • Alf Baird

        “It is not recognised by the UN and only 13 states do recognise it.”

        This does not stop Taiwan having one of the top global container lines, Evergreen Marine Corp, the latter busy carrying a significant share of global trade. Neither the UK or USA has a major global container line – we depend on the likes of Evergreen. China has a couple of big container lines – COSCO and OOCL. Even little Israel has ZIM Israel Navigation Co, and Denmark with Maersk, serving more or less every country in the world. Meantime St. Petersburg is full of ships and trade from around the world. Recognition does not seem to mean much, neither does sanctions.

        • will moon

          Alf Baird
          September 20, 2023 at 00:20

          Mr Baird, I have been meaning to ask you about the Scots language and its connection to Scottish Independence. From what I have read in your comments you appear to have given this topic a lot of thought, more than anyone else I am aware of.
          Do you think Scottish Independence can be achieved without an elevation in the importance of Scots, as a language? A long time ago I had the privilege of knowing a writer who wrote in Scots and they educated me concerning both the unique beauty of Scots as a written form and the importance of the connection between the written form and the spoken words of the Scottish people, with all the implications attendant therein. I believe colonisation exists in the mind, first and foremost.

          I have not read Memmi yet, so forgive me if my question seems naïve.

      • Malcolm Boyd

        The comment you’re replying to is dismaying in its cynicism and bad faith re discussion but I have to say, however legally correct you are, it does come across as a bit flippant to say China can’t invade Taiwan. To the people in Taiwan it would be of little consolation to know they weren’t really being invaded should it happen.

        I’ve not had the chance to listen to the video yet and generally I’m sure I’ll broadly agree or find illuminating with most of what you have to say but that comment in the text didn’t come across well to me and could certainly be twisted by those with an axe to grind.

        • terence callachan

          If China cannot invade Taiwan it’s obvious that the people of Taiwan are not afraid of being invaded think of it this way , the Isle of Wight cannot be invaded by England

    • terence callachan

      The losing side took refuge in Taiwan after the civil war in China , Taiwan is still part of China but being an island the winning communist army were content to allow the losers to camp there , better to know where your enemy is at all times , especially the enemy within.

  • Hyolobrika

    >China cannot “invade” Taiwan. Taiwan is Chinese and you cannot invade your own territory. Even Taiwan accepts it is part of China, it merely thinks its side of the Chinese Civil War should be running all of it.

    Does this mean you think the PRC should run the island of Taiwan in addition to it’s current territory? Or that the ROC should run mainland China in addition to it’s current territory? Or that some other government should run the entire historical territory known as “China” (which?)? Or that there should be anarchy?
    Please also explain why you think that.

      • Steve Hayes

        Of course equally, that argument says Scotland is part of the United Kingdom. It’s not one that I’d make. China can play the long game over Taiwan with carrots and sticks so I’m not expecting military action. But then I didn’t expect Russia to actually invade Ukraine…

      • Ronny

        You claim “Taiwan accepts it is part of China, it merely thinks its side of the Chinese Civil War should be running all of it.” Taiwan has no interest in governing the mainland, and the only reason it has not openly declared independence is that the mainland authorities have made that a red line which, if crossed, would lead them to invade. You know this perfectly well. Why the disingenuous claptrap?

      • terence callachan

        Stevie boy…everything England touches comes to a crawl , England is a parasite with nothing much of its own other than a history of stealing from just about every country on this planet

        • Stevie Boy

          I sympathise with your comment, but in fairness the Scots, Irish and Welsh (establishments) were fully onboard with the empire in its heyday. Nowadays the provinces like to pretend it was nothing to do with them, but history tells a different story !

  • Jack

    It is interesting with the China reporting in the west, all of a sudden a couple of years ago it just exploded into daily warmongering against China. If you go back just 10 years, the hysteria is nowhere near where it is now, China is now, for some reason framed as an enemy to the west. Why? What have they done to us in the west?
    And on and on again it is west that provoke China, not the other way around. A couple of years ago it was Huawei that was targeted because they push out western influence, tech. companies; now it is Taiwan, an issue that was a non-issue and then suddenly some warmongers in the west began to egg on the Taiwanese to become more cocky and aggressive towards mainland China. Totally unnecessary.

    The west are ruled by such nincompoops, in a time when they need China against Russia, they infuriate China right in the middle of the Ukraine war! Same with Canada now picking a fight with India, the same India they need against Russia. On top of that they failed to get the southern globe with them on their crusade against Russia.
    It is like no one in the west has any diplomatic sense how to manoeuver geo-politically.

    • Michael A

      Part of the “why” is to justify weapons contracts.
      If Britain or the US picked a war with China, they’d get their arses kicked to kingdom come.

    • Shaun Onimus

      I also noticed the narrative switch, Jack. IIRC, it happened around the time China began to ban/block the empty container ships being returned with Western garbage (refuse). It could have been other events also happening around that time; there was a behind-the-doors trade mishap (can’t recall the acronym, TITP maybe?). Anyways, we really were focusing on the climate change narrative and China refusing to burn our trash for us made us dirtier while pumping $s into green technologies for themselves.
      It forced our thinktanks to focus on new narratives (Uighur concentration camps, Taiwan independence, made a big deal out of HK being returned). Everything was just much weaker than their constant ‘we are cleaner cus we burn our garbage in China’ narratives. It is kinda fun watching these ‘thinktanks’ squirming up new narratives and watching our useful parrots squawk. Gotta enjoy the little things, folks!

    • Tom Welsh

      Jack, I think the critical moment was when they realised that China was eminently capable of defending itself against military and even economic threats.

      The US (and UK) definition of a dangerous aggressive enemy is any nation that can defend itself against them; to put it in its simplest terms, one they cannot invade with any chance of success. First Russia, then China; Iran; maybe Venezuela… for about 60 years now Cuba… the list is growing. Soon there may be dozens of nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America that are no-go areas for Western imperialism.

    • Steve Hayes

      It looked like the Huawei situation arose because it was selling good quality products more cheaply than its American and European competitors. So those competitors lobbied to effectively get it shut out of Western markets. With hysterical tales of spying even though the products had been minutely examined, some such as aerials couldn’t spy anyway and any spying could have been detected by looking at network traffic flowing to China. Not a huge problem for Huawei of course which still has 7/8 of the global market open to it. But the message that went out to China was clear: Don’t bother playing in our casino by our rules. If you start winning, we’ll just change those rules. Could their response include helping to give the West a bloody nose in Ukraine?

    • terence callachan

      AUKUS and the warmongering against China and the war in Ukraine and brexit are all part of the panic in USA as it loses control of trade across the world , Russia China Brazil and others are refusing to use the USA dollar to do do their foreign trade India buys its oil from Russia so does China India buys its arms from Russia too.
      AUKUS is ( all ex uk colonies ) trying to do some bullying down under sailing USA war ships up and down the coast of China a threatening move indeed , just imagine what would happen if China sailed war ships through the English Channel,or up and down the coast of the USA , U.K. and USA are teaming up against China and Russia , India is desperately trying to be friends with everyone

    • Stevie Boy

      Not wishing to start a sh*tshow, but maybe there was a link with Brexit !
      Once the UK split from the EU there was no-one to blame for all the things that were going wrong in the UK. Since we cannot blame Brussels any more let’s blame … China, the new bogey man, yellow, slit eyed devils.
      One political party has been running the government for the last 13 years, but of course the decline, poverty and destruction of the economy and healthcare is nothing to do with them, or the other complicit political parties.

  • Michael A

    On China…

    1. Of course you can invade your own territory.

    2. The line in much of the western media nowadays (presumably in Britain imposed by the Foreign Office, on strict orders) is that the PRC views Taiwan as a “province” of China (sometimes a “renegade province”) whereas the ROC views Taiwan as an independent country. That is simply false. It is a warmongering lie. Actually as anyone who has even only a little acquaintance with the diplomatic history will be aware, both regimes view Taiwan as part of China, as also do the US, Russia, France, and Britain. The ROC government has never declared Taiwanese independence, even if it’s true there are some in Taiwan who say that’s what they want. They can say what they like but the ROC government doesn’t seem anywhere close to declaring it.

    3. I wonder how many western media consumers when they read about the PRC’s air force having carried out x flights recently across the line that demarcates the ROC’s “Air Defence Identification Zone” realise that a large part of that zone is in mainland China. This is not the same as crossing the median line that runs down the middle of the Taiwan Strait. Many of the supposedly aggressive flights are flights by the PRC over territory that’s on the mainland.

    4. The division between the PRC and the ROC is in my opinion exaggerated, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some strategic deception in play. It’s just a hypothesis, of course, and it may be wrong, but even an outbreak of war with many hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths would be compatible with it. As evidence for it, let me cite two things:

    a) The police stations run in overseas Chinese communities by the PRC. These are growing in importance. (I can’t resist saying that if they were British from a century or two ago, the terms “consular court” and “consular jurisdiction” would have been used. What goes around, comes around, eh?) Leading roles in these are played by gangsters. And I’m not calling a guy a gangster because he’s say a senior army officer who banks loads of money from weapons contracts. I mean out and out known Triad leaders, “faces” in the local Chinese communities – guys who 20 or 10 years ago you would not have expected to be, shall we say, openly PRC-focused. But if they’re running police stations for the PRC, which can only reinforce their status and the fear from which they benefit, I’d call that a friendly relationship and not one that indicates that a shooting war is about to break out between trads and mods. Not a lot has been published about the role of gangsters in the overseas police stations, but there have been a few articles about it in connection with the PRC’s copshops in Italy. (Incidentally a large proportion of the biggest films made on the Chinese mainland nowadays are gangster films.)

    b) The important of Taiwan’s trade with the PRC. The ROC currently trades far more with the PRC than it does with the USA.

    • terence callachan

      Michael c , don’t be so silly , invade your own territory , what nonsense , yes you can mistreat even kill your own people it happens all over the world but they are not invasions , if you are already there you cannot invade.

  • John Chen

    You have clearly no respect at all for democratic processes. The Republic of China is a democracy – as opposed to the mainland run by the clique in Peking. If the Taiwanese want to be governed by the CCP they would vote accordingly.

    • Michael A

      Which party would they vote for if they wanted that?

      A “Taiwan Communist Party” was allowed to exist between 2008 and 2020, when it was banned, but it was Sun Yat Sen-ist and it didn’t advocate rule of Taiwan by the CCP.

      I may be stating the obvious, but the CCP doesn’t have legal branches in Taiwan that are allowed to field candidates in elections.

    • Bayard

      “The Republic of China is a democracy – as opposed to the mainland run by the clique in Peking.”

      All so-called “democracies” are oligarchies, run by a clique. Sure, every democracy has an elected body that makes laws, but there is a huge gulf between electing people to make laws every five years or so and actually running the country. That’s what “democracy means, the people run the country.

      • Yuri K

        The assumption that democracies are somehow superior to non-democracies is just that, an assumption. And, BTW, Craig himself never answered my question, Are those injustices he’s fighting against, that is, injustices toward Assange, Salmond and himself, so are they a bug in the system or its feature?

        It is tempting to say that democracies are more flexible and adopt for the better, unlike totalitarian regimes. However, history does not support this. Why then, for example, most European monarchies banned slavery long before the democratic USA did? Why was lobotomy banned in totalitarian Soviet Union before it was banned in the USA? And so on.

        When the Covid-19 pandemic began, The Lancet published a commentary that USA and other democracies will deal with the pandemic better than totalitarian China and Russia, because democratic countries have freedom of information. I wrote a letter to the editor in reply, that the outcome is uncertain at the moment because freedom of information also means freedom of misinformation, and the outcome will depend on other factors. They did not publish it, but time proved I was correct. The impact of Covid-19 had no relation to Freedom House index of democracy at all.

      • Steve Hayes

        China appears to have a system where, with only one party, anyone with political interest and ambition joins that party and fights for their views and/or advancement within it. This has two obvious advantages. The people deciding things are people who actually take an interest and hopefully know something about things rather than just seeing headlines in their Daily Mail on the way to the celebrity gossip columns. And there’s continuity and can be long term planning rather than always preparing for the next election. The obvious disadvantage is that single parties often become intolerably corrupt and can’t just be voted out. So far the CCP seems to be keeping corruption to a tolerable level which could always change but meanwhile those two advantages are paying off big time.

        • Bayard

          “The obvious disadvantage is that single parties often become intolerably corrupt and can’t just be voted out.”
          What is the point of voting out one party, only for it to be replaced by another, equally corrupt, party? Power tends to corrupt. In a one party state, you vote for the candidate, not the party. If that elected member becomes corrupt, they can be voted out far more easily than voting out a party. This is immediately less corrupt than voting for a party. With a single party, you have a divergence of policies within the party, not some monolithic party policy, which policy, in multi-party states, is usually a sham cobbled together for the purpose of appealing to the voters and bearing no relation to the actions of the government.
          The party political system offers no democratic advantages to anyone except the parties themselves..

        • terence callachan

          U.K. two party system gives power to minorities all the time and in reality the two minorities are pretty much the same every time , labour and conservative two sides of one neoliberal face

      • terence callachan

        Taiwanese people understand wholly that Taiwan is part of China and the majority of people living there still want to be part of China .All this nonsense about Taiwan being a separate country is western government fiction

  • AG

    Average citizens in Europe do not know that Taiwan is legally China. If you go and ask I dare say 90% will tell you those are two separate countries.
    If I am right I wonder when and why this shift in public perception took shape.
    (I fear we might have to deal with this issue more in the future unless Europe puts its brains back where it belongs. If it ever had one.)

    • Michael A

      Yes indeed. Someone who is of the appropriate bent could usefully look at the shift in the western media line, because there definitely has been one.

      It wouldn’t surprise me at all, at least in the British context, if it has had something to do with aircraft carriers and public relations for “defence” a$$e$$ments that indicate a need for aircraft carriers.

  • Wee Jim

    One of the main Taiwanese parties – the DPP – and its allies in the Pan-Green Coalition advocates independence, but will not declare it if the Chinese government does not threaten to use force to coerce “unity”.
    Considering the brevity of Chinese rule over Taiwan compared with that of other countries in the last three hundred years, China’s claims to have territorial rights are pretty flimsy.

    • Michael A

      Both regimes that assert sovereignty over Taiwan are Chinese.

      Taiwan has been under Chinese rule for most of the last 300 years, and it’s under Chinese rule now.

      There probably won’t be a Christopher Soames-style governorship, whether French or Japanese, supposedly just to keep warring locals at peace and ensure a smooth transition to something or other, as there was in “Rhodesia” 🙂

      • Wee Jim

        The DPP is only “Chinese” because it does not want Taiwan to be forced to be Chinese. In fact, in the last hundred years mainland Chinese government has only ruled Taiwan for four years.

        • Tom Welsh

          Er, because the Japanese invaded and annexed Taiwan in 1895, holding it till 1945. Then “…the Allies, having entrusted Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to Chinese administration and military occupation, nonetheless considered them to be under Japanese sovereignty until 1952 when the Treaty of San Francisco took effect…”

          Then, at the end of 1949, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek fled with his “Nationalist” crew to Taiwan, which has been in limbo ever since. Chiang Kai-Shek was one of the most sanguinary, cruel, greedy, unprincipled, and cynical dictators ever to hold sway over a country, and the mainland Chinese were only too glad to see the back of him. He was certainly no advertisement for democracy. He and his successors have felt safe on Taiwan, with the US Navy to protect them from the forces of the PRC.

          Of course Washington and London were happy to support Chiang Kai-Shek and give him whatever he asked for, simply because he was opposed to the Communists.

          • Wee Jim

            “Chiang Kai-Shek was one of the most sanguinary, cruel, greedy, unprincipled, and cynical dictators ever to hold sway over a country,”

            … with the exception of Mao-Tse Tung. The fact remains, China has only governed Taiwan for four of the last hundred years and Taiwanese of all kinds are not enthusiastic about a resumption of Chinese rule.

          • will moon

            Nobody seems to have mentioned this.

            ” The White Terror period, the decades of martial law under Kuomintang (KMT) leader Chiang Kai-shek and his son. It began in 1947 with tens of thousands of civilians massacred for protesting against his rule, in what is now known as the 228 Incident. By the time it ended in 1987, it was estimated that as many as 140,000 people had been imprisoned and another 3,000-4,000 executed for actual or perceived opposition to the KMT.”
            The Guardian

            Comparing tyrants seems akin to the school yard gibe “My dad is the Heavyweight Champion of the World” Each case should be treated on its own demerits and merits, out of respect respect to those who suffered and those died, surely?

  • nevermind

    Whatever our policy for /with or against Chinas setting of examples when it comes to African development and aid, their gloval outreach and instant support of needs , is mere whinging. We do not like their comprehensive approach to trade because our colonial past has marked our DNA.
    This from a country that is split on just about every policy approach possible.
    We are living under the media onslaught supporting the rejected (Truss) and the unelected (Sunak) In a St. Viets dance around issues that divert, and issues that pitch both parties against each other….despite their common inevitable goals.
    Rowing back on goals that have to work for our childrens sake, means that the Torys have declared war on our childrens future today, so they could get elected again.
    Vote Green is all I can say, sadly, cause this party political shit show, regards Julians plight and that of free speech and a new form of democracy will not come from party political whores to neo liberalism.

    • Michael A

      @Nevermind – What is a comprehensive approach to trade?

      Are you arguing that Chinese influence over foreign countries has a different imperialistic flavour from classical European colonialism? It does, but so does US imperialism.

      Soon they will push for military control over trade routes, bearing in mind that the domains of warfare include cyber. Contrary to the underlying messages in the official propaganda both about climate change and artificial intelligence, the world really does have only limited resources. OK I’m sounding like Rosa Luxemburg on markets but it could be she was right.

      India banned WeChat but that will change one way or another.

      Which is not to say there isn’t such a thing as ultra-imperialism. The pandemic should have shown that, to anyone who doubted.

      In any case, analysis of differences among the world’s leading regimes has to be based on analysis of what, underneath, is the same.

      The US buys off the most venal members of local elites almost all around the world, by which I mean proportions of national elites that vary between say 60% and 99%. Not just pimps and drug dealers but academics using the Fulbright scheme, scientists, etc. etc. Most elite c***s in most countries jump for joy, tongues lolling, at the thought of having their offspring go to “school” in the USA. The proportion is lower in South America than it is in Western Europe but not by much. In very few countries is the proportion smaller than 60% – in North Korea and Israel it’s practically zero, maybe in Russia it’s 25% but that depends on how big a chunk of the privileged part of society we look at. Take somebody like Abramovich who when he was governor of Chukotka in the the Far East of Siberia made it clear he’d rather stay in hotels in Alaska, USA, because he considered the country of his birth very stinky in comparison.

      Meanwhile in Britain nobody gets invited to dinner parties who keeps a phrase such as “brain drain” in their active vocabulary.

      • Bayard

        “Soon they will push for military control over trade routes,”

        Do you know that for a fact or is this just a unfounded supposition to support your argument?

    • will moon

      I take it that “St Viets dance” is St Vitus’ dance, nevermind? That is the third reference to medieval ecclesiastical phenomena on this thread! (Tom Welsh has “ex cathedra” and not wanting Brand burnt at the stake for heresy!)
      A friend of mine used to produce web pages back in the 90’s for local business and one day I sat with them as they coded these pages. I was struck by the thought that the task bore striking similarities to the labours of medieval copyists, only slowly realising that in terms of the accuracy of information available, the common person is back in the Middle Ages were there are dragons or so we’re told.

      To retool the old saw, when the going gets medieval, the medieval get going!

      [ @Bramble: ] Your point about your deafness being non-discriminatory struck me hard and will be turned over in my mind for many a day, thanks

      • will moon

        Bramble, nevermind and mods-cm-org apologies

        Bramble I confused you with nevermind [ Mod: Fixed. You’re welcome. ]

        Your point about deafness has struck me .profoundly

  • Robyn

    I am surprised to see this on YouTube and not (as far as I can see) on Rumble. It can’t be that hard to put it on Rumble where there are no ads and no censorship.

    • Goose

      On the subject..

      The most sinister development resulting from the Russell Brand allegations involves the Department for Digital, Culture ,Media and Sport (DCMS) writing to various social media platforms demanding his content be demonetised. Basically a demand to deprive him of a living based on anonymous allegations made on Channel 4 and in the Times. The boss of Channel 4, Alex Mahon, previously worked for the DCMS. It does look like an orchestrated media blitz to remove him from social media altogether.

      It comes at the same time as the deeply reactionary Online Safety Bill completes its passage through parliament (soon to be an Act with royal assent). Part 10 of that Bill – Harmful, false and threatening communications offences – section 156, states that a person commits an offence if – the message conveys information that the person knows to be false, at the time of sending it. This seems wide open to someone’s subjective interpretation as to whether that was or wasn’t the case. It allows govt to police the truth, in a time when faith in politicians’ honesty is at an all time low.

      Absurdly, under section 157 – Exemptions from offence under section 156, it states…

      (1) A recognised news publisher cannot commit an offence under section 156.

      So basically, a free pass for the MSM to print and broadcast falsehoods while everyone else (e.g. this blog included) aren’t allowed such freedom, at the risk of punitive fines.

      • Tom Welsh

        Accusations of heresy have always suited the establishment down to the ground. Vague, unsubstantiated, yet very effective in ruining the target person.

        At least Brand is unlikely to be burned alive… I hope.

      • Tom Welsh

        Yes, the “Online Safety Bill” essentially divides the media into the licensed and the unlicensed. The former are government-approved and safe from persecution – in return, needless to say, for publishing only what the government approves. The latter are outlawed – beyond the pale – and in effect deprived of legal status. They can be bullied and punished just like a little girl who sets up a lemonade stand without buying an expensive permit. The message is that they are not real journalists at all – just as no one without a license from the BMA can be a doctor, and no one without a license from the DVLA can drive a vehicle.

  • Crispa

    I glanced over the recently published UK Government response to the Parliamentary committee’s report on the China “threat” to national security. Over a hundred pages long it can be summarised in just a few sentences.
    1. Because of our incompetence or complacency, or both, we have just woken up to the idea that China does most things better than us, but because it is communist we can’t recognise their achievements and we certainly cannot allow it to influence our British way of life. That is leaving aside our enjoyment of Chinese food, the fact that most products bearing a union jack are actually made in China and our universities earn lots of money from having Chinese students.
    2. We seem to be disorganised when it comes to safeguarding all our wonderful secrets and need a system that will stretch across the civil service, academia and industries, wherever Chinese reds under the beds might be hiding, to stop them from stealing them. This will require a well-coordinated network of spies and security measures to prevent any prying.
    3. After all, has not the UK so much to teach China about things like building a high speed rail network that will make their bullet trains seem like Stephenson’s Rocket and how to save lives in a pandemic? And we don’t need their help any more to build our nuclear power stations because we are so strapped for cash and are pretending to push a green agenda anyway.
    If anyone else can be bothered to read this risible stuff you will find it from:

    • Tom Welsh

      Well said, Crispa. Absolutely spot on. Another reason for the secrecy is to prevent too many people catching on to our complacency and incompetence.

  • Stephen C

    You cover so much in this video. Again the interviewer created a place where you are able to bring out so many points about the ridiculousness of some official narrative.

  • will moon

    This is very good work. I have watched it a half dozen times, a couple more viewings and I will have a clear memory of what you have said here. You make a lot of sense when you talk at length about a topic and made perfect sense here when you spoke about Scotland and at the end about China.
    Sometimes I see hints of a better future – one in which the finer things in life are to the fore. If we ever get there, might I suggest an hour or two of you talking informally about the Law of Sea and any particular aspects or implications you find interesting. You would have at least one careful listener.

    You may not roll like Palestinian Action do but you do roll.

  • Brian c

    Enjoyable reminder of certain scams that had faded from memory and look ahead to the coming storm. It is obvious Washington is now pivoting hard towards provoking Beijing, having given up on the fantasy of Ukraine winning. Wolfgang Streeck detailed it earlier this year.
    Comments here suggest the Slava Ukraini brigade are already geared up for it. The poor old Ukrainians will fade away as the all-important Iraqi, Afghan, Libyan, Syrian People etc etc did. They are just waiting for the nod to go berserk on the latest new Hitler.

  • Townsman

    At about 51:50 minutes in:

    The United Kingdom … a nation … particularly open to militarism

    Bollocks. The people of any country can be conned into militarism, as explained by Goering in an interview with Gustave Gilbert in 1946, worth quoting:
    [Goering] “Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship”
    [Gilbert] “There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives …”
    [Goering] “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

    For countless examples see the history of the past 70 years.

    • Brian c

      The past 70 years have only confirmed Britain is far more militaristic than virtually every other nation. Not just engaged near-permanently in military action but fomenting it everywhere as the primary arms dealer. And it’s absolutely nothing new. There is no 70-year period in modern history when it was any different.

      • Tom Welsh

        That is really little more than habit. Once people have been doing anything for a long time, and finding that they tend to benefit from it, they like to go on doing it.

        Which is unfortunate for them when it becomes impossible. Sending gunboats to overawe the Chinese and the Russians would be more than foolish. (They might decide to keep them for some museum exhibit).

        The same is becoming true of Iran, and maybe Venezuela… and soon will be true of all Asian countries. Africa and Latin America will follow in short order.

        The life of a bully who loses his power is pitiful indeed.

        • Goose

          China is advancing so quickly technologically (see recent 7nm process chip manufacturing breakthrough) and importantly, is producing so many STEM graduates each year, the US and partner UK presumably believe fighting them in the next couple of years is preferable to fighting them in 5-10 years, as potential AI and naval power equals?
          Various recent war game simulations show the Chinese already have the potential to sink multiple US carriers (4 in one simulated battle) along with many other ships, in any confrontation over Taiwan. The US does prevail in all conducted simulations, due to long-range bombers firing from outside Chinese airspace, and superior submarine capability, but only at huge cost. And Taiwan itself would be devastated with chip manufacturing disrupted for years.
          This is the cold calculation of a global hegemon. The Nvidia (H100), AMD, Intel AI chip China bans seem designed to antagonise, as these cutting edge EUV chips are only produced at scale in Taiwan.

          • Michael A

            STEM is an ideology. It’s bullsh*t. In Belgium there was a big fight about bringing it in.
            Serious question: do they use it in China? I doubt it.

      • Stevie Boy

        The problem, as I see it, is that the UK, like the USA, has allowed the MIC to dominate its economy. This was maybe an understandable hangover from WW2, however; what it means is that to have a bouyant conflict-based economy you need lots of conflict and wars. Britain will never be great again unless it learns to ditch the war pigs and their corrupt followers.

        • will moon

          Who would of thought Black Sabbath were talking about the future Stevie Boy – at the time I thought they were talking about the past

          Generals gathered in their masses
          Just like witches at black masses
          Evil minds that plot destruction
          Sorcerer of death’s construction

          In the fields, the bodies burning
          As the war machine keeps turning
          Death and hatred to mankind
          Poisoning their brainwashed minds
          Oh lord, yeah!

      • Bayard

        “The past 70 years have only confirmed Britain is far more militaristic than virtually every other nation. ”

        You obviously only have a nodding acquaintance with the USA, which is far more militaristic, both as a state (by at least an order of magnitude compared to most countries) and as a people.

          • Bayard

            Well only if you ignore almost the entire Middle East, the Caucasus, the Balkans and the Cossack nations, not to mention the Germans, the French and the Japanese.

        • Michael A

          What makes you say the USA is far more militaristic than Britain and would you say that’s by an order of magnitude too?

          I use the word “militarism” to mean the spread of the culture of the army (not particularly the navy or airforce) throughout much of the rest of society.

          Britain looks pretty damned militaristic to me by that criterion – more so than say the Republic of Ireland where armed soldiers collect the cash from banks.

    • Tatyana

      I watched and re-watched the interview and really liked it. Of course there is a problem with sound – reverberation. Either an echo, or some kind of equipment settings, but the sound is not clear. The overtones mixe in, or whatever the pros call it. However, the ear gets used to it after a few minutes.

      Warning. Non-necessary part with personal remarks.

      However, if the goal was to capture as wide an audience as possible, then one should record and view a small piece, adjust the sound, and only then record the entire large interview.
      Also, if you do not offer a movie, that is, there will be no change in the video sequence, then expect that we will listen to you and not watch you. For the sake of keeping the attention of those listening, I would add text over the video sequence, like hard subtitles (now this is almost a standard in short videos on social networks).
      From the same series of tips (I realise no one asked me for), to capture the attention of the audience, it’s better to film against a monotonous background, so that there are fewer distracting details. It brings the faces and expressions of the speakers to the focus, and it’s good as we like to look at people, not at things hanging on the walls behind them. Especially when the things are nearly the same color as the face.
      It works like that: I can listen to what they say. If I’m not sure if I hear it correctly there’s the text running in the bottom. There are no other things in the screen to distract me.
      I’d suggest neutral grey background, the most simple is a painted wall, a brick wall, or grey textile. Mr. Murray is Summer appearance colour type, Mr. Blumenthal is Mild Autumn. Mr. Murray was dressed perfectly to fit his appearance, Mr. Blumenthal again choses too saturated shade of clothes, that creates too much contrast with himself, thus drawing attention and creating the psychological effect of “something is wrong here.” (The effect of the right dress is well described in the scene of Anna Karenina at the ball, and in my humble opinion should be used in life if we want to give the audience a truly ‘high-quality show’.).
      I’m sorry for these silly women’s remarks. I’m from a creative tribe, I just know how it works to gain more viewers – make a ‘picture’ which is pleasure to see, make a sound which is pleasure to hear, convey your message in simple words.

      Regarding openness to militarism, I feel a little differently. Some time ago I already mentioned that in the Western mentality there is a division into inferior and superior peoples, which also entails the “justification” of violence towards inferior ones. (Important remark here is: I do not blame or hate you for this, I think it is rather a natural outcome of your culture and edication. Much of this you can find in Russia too, called ‘great-Russia imperialistic mentality’).
      A very subtle psychological moment, but very dangerous. A small dose of hatred injected into the public consciousness at the right moment, and people are ready to sponsor a war. Which, it seems to me, is what we are seeing at the moment.
      I see this as a relic of the persecution of Jews – the most vivid sample of hatred, still live in the modern memory. I think that anti-Semitism and more generally Nazism, racism and other manifestations of xenophobia, were legally prohibited, but not naturally eradicated through the educational, cultural and historical process. Russians or Chinese are filling the empty room today. There were Muslims and migrants earlier, perhaps the Germans before, the French even earlier etc etc.
      I imagine, an average person needs someone to hate 🙂 Ridiculous, but certaily serves some psycological moments, experts may comment.
      Well, I have this song in mind

      • Michael A

        The dance scene in Anna Karenina taught me why men prefer women to wear black underwear. But then again, white is just as unsaturated as black.

    • Bayard

      “The people of any country can be conned into militarism,”

      That may be true, but the ease with which it can be done will vary from country to country. I would agree though, that the British people are no more than averagely militaristic, certainly less open to militarism than, say the Afghans or the inhabitants of the USA, but it is probably the case that the British government is more militaristic than many.

    • will moon

      Yet it was Britain that brought the world “Jingoism”, Townsman

      When a scare over German naval construction developed over the winter of 1908-9, public feeling was such that crowds petitioned parliament to build more warships with chants of ‘We want eight and we won’t wait!’.

  • Pinhut

    As someone who has resided in Taiwan, your views are completely at odds with the reality on the ground here. Thankfully, the audio is so bad few will hear your misinformed prattle anyway.

  • Neil

    “My highlight was getting to point out that China cannot “invade” Taiwan.”

    Having spent seven years in Taiwan, I can assure you most Taiwanese people believe otherwise and would not be impressed with your word-game argument.

    • U Watt

      As someone who is three quarters Taiwanese I can assure you that nobody cares more genuinely about us than Nancy Pelosi and Lindsey Graham. (Eventually Sean Pean too.)

    • Michael A

      @Neil – Don’t take the piss. Nobody was saying the forces of the PRC can’t move aggressively into territory held by the ROC. Of course that’s possible.

      Incidentally, just because a majority of people believe something doesn’t make it true. And a second piece of advice: citing a number of years you’ve been doing something – in this case, breathing in and out in a locality – isn’t an effective way of supporting your opinions, at least not among those who are experienced thinkers for themselves rather than believers of what they’re told. It has quite the opposite effect on that audience to the effect you might imagine it has.

      • Neil

        Michael, what a patronisingly silly comment. I might as well ask you how you know anything at all about anything, since you’ve only spent your life so far “breathing in and out” in the world and not learning anything about it.

  • U Watt

    The US will not tolerate the existence of any state that cannot be intimidated and does not follow orders the way Europe does. That is what the British political-media class really mean when they talk about the “China threat.”

  • Observer

    The poor audio quality is NOT due to the transmission via the Internet and YouTube, as the comparison with Blumenthal’s remarks clearly shows. It was local, caused by the microphone you were using and/or its connection to the system there.

  • JK redux

    A post-UDI Scotland ‘re-occupied’ by English military forces would suffer the same experience as Taiwan following a successful mainland occupation.

    Though the latter vastly more kinetic given that the ROC can defend itself.

    And the civil population would in both cases experience an invasion, whatever international law or retired diplomats might say.

  • R

    “you cannot invade your own territory”

    What a laughable statement. It’s quite remarkable how many layers of incorrectness and how much information about your prejudices are contained within just these few words.

  • Tatyana

    Mr. Murray used the phrase ‘The US will fight Russia to the last Ukrainian’, but the latest news here in Russia says that perhaps it’s ‘to the last European’.

    Today’s article reports that the crew of the destroyed Leopard tank were Bundeswehr soldies.
    “… we moved towards the burned equipment intending to take prisoners. And we discovered that the tank driver was seriously wounded, and the rest were killed. When he woke up and saw us, he started shouting “nicht shissen”.
    The driver of the damaged tank said several times that he was not a mercenary, but a Bundeswehr soldier and the entire crew from one company. ( Google suggests ‘company’ when in Russian it is ‘рота’)
    While the German soldier was receiving first aid, he named his brigade and its location.”

    And yesterday’s news said that the attack on the fleet headquarters in Sevastopol was carried out with the Storm Shadow missiles and the British refused to comment on this.

    There were experts in the eve of this war, who said the US would benefit enormously from the war in Europe. Several arguments have been given for this:
    • the US debt is huge and the best way to write off debts is to lend to warring countries.
    • Also, a war in Europe will economically weaken the European Union, in which the United States would not like to one day see a strong competitor.
    • The confrontation with Russia will for a long time prevent the potential unification of Europe and Russia, which would create a powerful, developed union on the continent, and this again is not in the interests of the United States.
    • Well, and small tasks, such as getting rid of obsolete types of weapons by transferring them to the warring parties, for profit, of course.
    • Military presence in Europe.
    • It was also pointed out that the last great war in Europe not only enriched the US, but also allowed it to become a world leader, since they themselves were not as affected by that war as the countries here on this continent.

    • Pears Morgaine

      ” Today’s article reports that the crew of the destroyed Leopard tank were Bundeswehr soldiers. ”

      A very serious accusation if true but I’ve not found it on any other new outlets and RIA are not the most reliable source in the world.

      Note that they lament the fall of the Soviet Union. What’s that quote from Putin? ” Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain. ”

      I swear we were assured that Storm Shadow was obsolete technology, that the guidance systems would be jammed or they’d be shot down with ease.

      • Jack

        “RIA are not the most reliable source in the world.”

        Proceed by linking to the ukrainian military governmental site….

        Also, Leopards have been struck before and western vehicles sometimes bring western technicians with them.

          • Jack

            Yes If you steer a tank in a middle of a war I believe calling yourself a combatant to be a more fitting description than a technician.

          • Tatyana

            Yeah 🙂 among those surrended Ukrainian guys most of them claimed to be either drivers or cooks.
            As to the RIA and reliability, nowadays you don’t know whom to believe. I recall there were around 40 US officials and intelligence officers, who put their signature under the statement on Hunter Biden’s laptop, trying to convince the world it was Russian propaganda.
            The same Russian propaganda I heard on US biolabs in Ukraine, that seemed absolutely wild lie, until Victoria Nuland confirmed in the Congress that the labs do exist and there’s something there what they don’t want to get in Russia ‘s hands.

          • Tatyana

            Technician? So, that’s the word?
            Let me clarify what was in Russian article:
            немецкий военнослужащий
            боец бундесвера

            I asked my husband what does that mean. He explained that in Russian Army the driver of the tank is at the same time the mechanic, because tanks need technical service often, and so the driver must learn how to make the tank work again. In Russian it is МехВод – / mech vod / – abrr. of Mechanic+ Voditel (Technician+Driver)

          • Pigeon English

            They were just test drivers/ technicians on a battlefield. Finally someone is testing in the real conditions!
            BTW in theory would it be better to claim you are combatant or a civilian?

          • Tatyana

            Pigeon English
            Civilian sitting wounded in a destroyed tank 🙂 If you’re creative enough you may try it. Like “I was on my walk in this beautiful autumn field, hunting for berries and mushrooms, enjoying the weather… when all of a sudden something exploded near me and my eyes caught this Leopard tank burning nearby. As I have never seen a tank from the inside, I thought it may be my the only chance in my life to see what it’s like. So I hurried to get inside and have a look before the tank burns out to ashes. At this unlucky moment you came up, unfortunately.”
            So, how do you find it, Pigeon English? 🙂

          • will moon

            Pigeon English, they have the category of “unlawful combatant” after the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as “combatant” and “civilian”. I have been told there is a scene in “American Sniper” , a film made by Clint Eastwood where a child is near an RPG and the sniper has to make the decision whether to shoot this “unlawful combatant”.

          • AG

            In Germany so far nothing reported. neither from military blogs nur the RU side. If anyone reported they exclusively quote RIA.

          • AG

            (regarding Germany an interview with frm. Daimler CEO Cordes might be more interesting. In the end of following German piece –
            – Cordes is being quoted that not only could nuclear power plants be brought back online, but Nordstream be repared as well.

            The notion is clear. Germany´s industrial backbone relies on cheap energy as Alastair Crooke has stressed a million times. Since in the long run the companies would indeed relocate if the domestic sit. will not change.
            Mr. Cordes admits China could wipe out German auto companies easily.

            As much a complete break with RU might not be on German industry´s wish list (whereon I would assume that Scholz won´t risk putting official German “boots” on UKR ground as to keep open the door to RU a tiny bit) – I would assume the RUs by now are way less prone to such infatuations.

            What Cordes of course will not say: German industrial “might” was doomed by the 1970s built on a false premise. To not alter that industrial base was the historic shortcoming caused by egotism and simple greed by the elite industrial class.

            What I would be curious about: RU, CHINA and INDIA plans on how to counter climate issues. Since if something is of much higher urgency to BRICS than G-7 its that. Simply for the number of people and land mass of the former affected by it.

            In that regard I don´t understand at all why German climate activists don´t act on multilateral level in an old internationalist tradition to build cooperative networks with other countries like China. In fact I find them small-minded and provincial.
            Since if Germany fails to meet its climate goals its one thing. But if China wont be able to lower her comsumption because its being dragged into a major conflict by Europe it concerns the entire planet. Thats just stupid. And I dont see anyone in Germany talking about these interdependencies.

            That alone shows how little the GREENs actually understand about their own alleged agenda and roots.

            This might not fit here, but its important to point out where real focus should be along ending 1) the war on the grounds of the RU demands of December 2021 2) freeing Julian Assange. )

          • Bayard

            “What I would be curious about: RU, CHINA and INDIA plans on how to counter climate issues.”

            Depend on what you mean by “issues”. If you mean mitigating the effects of climate change, one would hope that they have some plans to do this. If you mean reducing the consumption of hydrocarbon-based fuels in order to prevent climate change, then I suspect that they have no plans in that direction since it seems that they do not believe that the two are linked.

        • Michael A

          Some here are just getting on their usual hobbyhorses rather than thinking clearly about the “new information” that’s provided by the story about the German soldiers in the tank.

          By “new information”, I mean you didn’t know about this story before you heard about it, right? I don’t mean everything in it is true.

          Never mind any discussion about the definition of “combatant”. Ditto any thoughts about torture porn relating to this story being published on Telegram in the future.

          Important questions include these:

          1. Where did the incident occur? In particular, did it occur on disputed territory, which is to say in one of the six disputed areas? The RIA piece only refers to the tank being headed in the direction of Zaporozhye. It also mentions the location Lugansk, but only as where the article was written or issued from. Now Zaporozhye and Lugansk are of course two of the six territories, but the event is not specifically alleged to have occurred in either of them.

          2. Why hasn’t even a rough location been alleged?

          3. Where are the bodies?

          4. Were the bodies wearing dog tags?

          5. Have the bodies been identified by dog tags or any other means?

          6. Will Russia formally accuse Germany of sending soldiers to take part in this war? If so, what is Russia going to do about it?

          7. What will the German response be to such a Russian claim? Will they admit it, say the men were mercenaries, say you’re dirty liars, or say we don’t know nuffink, guvnor.

          8. Does Germany have soldiers who are taking part in this war?

          Note that

          a) Russia drew little propaganda advantage from their capture of the Azovstal steel plant, although given that quite a large number of foreign combatants were captured it seems probable that advantages of other kinds (aka ransom payments) were obtained, and

          b) one can assume that lessons from Azovstal have been learnt by both sides.

      • Bayard

        “A very serious accusation if true but I’ve not found it on any other new outlets”

        Which did you check? The statement “I’ve not found it on any other new(s) outlets” is not very informative, you might not have looked at any and it would still be true.

    • JK redux

      In the unlikely event that the RA have captured Bundeswehr troops in Ukraine I expect they will be treated properly in accordance with the laws of war.

      I also expect that the Russian media will be allowed access to them to confirm this claim.

      Odd that DW haven’t said anything about this.

        • JK redux

          Will Moon

          Hard to cover up the capture of Bundeswehr troops.

          Plenty of die Linke and AfD outlets that would be keen to leak it.

          These guys have families who are not going to be rounded up and interned.

          I don’t believe it I’m afraid.

          • Tatyana

            JK redux
            I find it hard to believe, too. But the funny aspect of modern news is – they may turn out to be true regardless of my or your opinion. Even the most unbelievable things, looking like 100% pure lie.

            And, vice versa. For example, I didn’t believe my country could ever go to war with Ukraine. Or, that some people may look at nazi swastika on military men ( tattooed right next to other nazi symbols including Hitlers portrait) and with the straight face say it is an ancient Indian sign.

          • will moon

            I don’t know JK redux but I have been told that some soldiers have been tortured to death on Telegram. I don’t watch Warsnuff myself as I am susceptible to PTSD

          • Bayard

            “I don’t know JK redux but I have been told that some soldiers have been tortured to death on Telegram.”

            Must be true then.

          • will moon

            Bayard being “told” a story does not make a story true, as I know you know well. However when one is told a “story” the elements of said story and indeed the storyteller themselves form a logical calculus which in time yields a functional output. This is how information travels through time ie “In the beginning was the word/logos…” , on a probability curve
            If everything followed your logic ie it must or must not be true entropy would outstrip transmission and change would be logically impossible, somewhat like the universe that Judge Death (Judge Death – a popular cartoon character depicted in the comic 2000AD) originated from before he came to our universe. His catchphrase was “The crime is life, the sentence is death”

          • Michael A

            Families? I don’t know which country you are in, JK. But if it’s Britain could you seriously imagine a few British soldiers getting killed in a combat zone in this war and then their wives and brothers etc., with “Help for Heroes” bumper stickers on their vehicles, saying eff you, SAS, we’re going to the Daily Mirror, so we are, and then the Daily Mirror publishing a story saying the SAS has had a whole squadron in Lugansk since…blah blah…military secrets galore…I mean, after all, Daily Mirror, anti the Tories, innit? And then there’s Nigel Farage.

            That’s not how loyalty to the regime and the state work at all. Some states may be centralised more than others, but all states are centralised.

          • Bayard

            “the elements of said story and indeed the storyteller themselves form a logical calculus which in time yields a functional output.”

            I have no idea what this means, but if it means “there must be a grain of truth in it somewhere”, then it’s bollocks.
            BTW, It’s “Judge Dredd”, not “Judge Death”.

          • will moon

            Bayard, Judge Dredd was an enemy of Judge Death. I know this because I was there when these two comic book titans fought their titanic clash to the death. To state the obvious, titans will clash. Dredd was a goody-two shoes whose catchphrase was “I am the Law”. Death was an iconoclast and appealed to the more discerning reader. He hung with three other Dark Judges, the pithy Judge Fear, the effervescent Judge Fire and dear old Judge Mortis. There is a parallel with the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse as featured in another old comic, though I quite forget its name.

            “Hailing from a dark dimension called Deadworld, the Dark Judges are a dark and twisted parody of the Judges as we know them. To them, all crime is committed by the living and therefore life itself is a crime. They originated as a cabal of human Judges based around the sociopathic Judge Sidney De’ath and used their position to murder thousands ‘legally’ before gaining supernatural power.”

            The words “grandmother”, “suck” and “eggs” are forming in my mind but I will let you finish the thought for me, as I have more important things to think about.

            If you can’t get basic facts right, I see little point in discussing the meaning of information and the nature of reality with you, let alone what it is for an individual to hold a “justified true belief”. I will allow, on this occasion, your cast iron grasp of the term “bollocks” to hold sway, in deference to your obvious, vast experience and intimate knowledge of this concept. Toodle pip, Old Bean!

          • Tatyana

            will moon
            Wow! How much new information about culture and art, and how many new linguistic treasures for me in one short but picturesquely colorful and humanly emotional comment 🙂
            Respect and gratitude!
            I wish I could subscribe to see your new comments

          • will moon

            Tatyana, Craig Murray’s website is the only place where the operators are kind enough (and mad enough) to allow my musings to see the light of day.

            Many thanks for your kind words but your comments too exhibit a remarkable propensity towards cultural erudition and linguistic expression and you are operating in a language which is not your native tongue. I laughed at that stuff you posted in the discussion forums concerning Russian internet users and their comments.

            “We live in the flicker—may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling.”
            Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

          • Tatyana

            Yes, this site is absolutely wonderful in every way. With the host who supports freedom of speech and diversity of opinions, and a moderating team who are superhumans.
            I can’t imagine how much effort is needed to keep these discussions going, with such an extensive set of positions (which are often diametrically opposed) in a form acceptable for the public space and without allowing the interlocutors to start a duel on mud throwers.
            However, they do it, yet allow people to be themselves when expressing their opinions. And that’s what I love here. Real people on the other side of the screen. Like being on air via radio.
            In other places the comments are kind of lifeless, made according to templates. I sometimes look at this and think: who are you, the people who wrote this? Why are you commenting like it’s your job?
            I imagine people who woke up, drank coffee and said to themselves, “Well, well, now pull yourself up, we have work to do, and don’t forget to wash your hands before you touch the keyboard.” And so they wash their hands, look at themselves in the mirror, put on a serious face and go on the Internet to write very important things – what they think about this or that 🙂

          • Bayard

            “If you can’t get basic facts right, I see little point in discussing the meaning of information and the nature of reality with you, ”

            Well, I’m sorry I got thee two Judges mixed up, but, in my defence, it is over 40 years since I read 2000AD and I do not possess your elephantine memory for such ephemera. However you still haven’t explained either what you meant by the sentence that left me baffled, or why someone telling you about something they saw on the internet has any more validity than something I might hear down the pub.

          • will moon

            “Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor…I am Pagliacci.”
            ― Alan Moore, Watchmen

            Remind you of anyone?

        • irene

          Someone once claimed, “Politicians are born liars” – other option: they suffer from (sudden) amnesia. ( has happened to Olaf before)

          • Tatyana

            Olaf 🙂
            do you call this reverend gentleman simply ‘Olaf’?
            Olaf is the name for a silly snowman from the Frozen animation movie for kids, and I do find it amusing to think of Herr Scholz in connection with the Frozen, since Germany refused to get Russian gas and the winter is coming 🙂

        • Tatyana

          Pigeon English
          We have children’s folklore, like monsters under the bed, or killing messages on the radio. There are also stupid jokes that seem funny to children, with which they entertain each other in company. So, in that children’s folklore there is a joke:
          “Do you know how the bear died? One day he was walking through the forest, saw a burning car, climbed into it and burned to death.”
          It fits perfectly into the ‘technician in Leopard’ version, and generally into the total infantilism of Europeans, which never ceases to amaze me.
          Another joke from the same type of children’s creativity would be appropriate:
          “Do you know how the hedgehog died? He learned to breathe through his ass, but one day he sat down to rest on a tree stump and suffocated to death.”

    • Michael A

      In another indication that the rulers may be about to immanentise the eschaton (in the sense meant by R A Wilson, which pedants will point out was spurious – but which may also be called imaginative and incisive, depending which way you look at it), two lead-lined coffins have been unearthed in Gaza.

      And one of them features images of dolphins.

      WTF is it with ancient peoples and dolphins?

      In Scotland too:

      The Angels of Mons are on standby.

      Personally I’ve been scared of Ursula von der Leyen ever since 2014 when she essentially said that anyone who effed about in the Ukraine in a way Germany didn’t like would soon find they had the German army to deal with.

    • Michael A

      It’s not clear where the bodies are now or whether the alleged German soldiers were wearing dog tags.

      If the Russian government publicly accuses Germany of sending soldiers to fight in the war, the German government will surely respond publicly.

      Possibilities include
      1. “How dare they accuse us of doing such a dirty thing!”
      2. “The hell, yeah! We do it, we’re proud of it, and whatcha gonna do about it?”

      Some may recall overflights and Gary Powers. Eisenhower switched from 1 to 2 and fast.

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