US President Donald Trump (right) with Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, in the White House last week.

Poor Donald just couldn’t keep hush in
A chat with a senior Russian
Diplomatic guy
By which I mean spy
There’s bound to be some repercussion.

John Moynes

Pic: Russian Foreign Ministry

39 thoughts on “A Limerick A Day

  1. Nigel

    Okay, so Vladimir Putin is tearing it up in the Middle East and the Ukraine, but also undermining the EU and hacking European elections. US allies will now almost certainly stop sharing intelligence with the US at least until Trump has gone. Thus the US is further isolated. Trump is about to go on a world tour, and has a known affinity for autocrats and strognmen like Putin and Erdogan. If this tour strengthens ties with Putin while European ties with the US are eroded, Europe is left more vulnerable than ever to Putin’s efforts at destabilisation. Meanwhile European electorates turn increasingly top the same centre-right that gave us austerity in an effort to avoid the far-right, while the left is mostly in disarray. In short – this all has the potential to hit a lot closer to home than you might think.

    Reply
    1. bisted

      …is hacking European elections worse than military intervention to assist regime change…are the activities of NSA,GCHQ and Mossad as exposed by Snowden and Wikileaks worse than alleged unproven sour grapes from fantasists and conspiracy theorists?

      Reply
      1. Nigel

        Can we sneer about the relative worseness of things in the same sentence we dismiss some of those things as non-existent? What’s the percentage in pretending that Putin’s activities either don’t exist or don’t matter because of supposedly worse things?

        Reply
        1. bisted

          …that the NSA hacked Angela Merkels phone for years is fact…that Eamon Gilmore gave briefings to the yanks and israelis is fact…speculating what the bad dudes may be doing is just that…speculation…

          Reply
          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Is hacking Merkel’s phone really worse than sharing an ally’s classified information and jeopardising work done to defeat an unhinged, murderous military regime that slaughters people on a daily basis?

          2. Nigel

            Oh wow great never mind then carry on, Mr Putin, whatever. In case anyone was wondering whether the mindset that gave the US Trump exists over here. This is like kicking the rock in front of you and ignoring the hard place ccming up behind.

          3. Nigel

            And, y’know, given Listrade’s thoughtful piece yesterday, published by our kind hosts, one of whom is plus-oning bisted above, why is the notion of being outraged by one AND appalled by the other so seemingly incompatible? Makes no sense to me.

          4. Bodger

            Nigel, you only accept as true information from BBC, CNN, the Irish Times, RTÉ, etc. It’s like talking to someone who hasn’t heard of the internet.

          5. Nigel

            Bodger I loves ya but don’t feckin tell me what I think is true or where I get it from.

          6. Bodger

            Nigel, it seems every time anyone strays from the official story you cry ‘conspiracy theorist’.

          7. spudnick

            It always just comes down to probabilities. If you feel like you occasionally don’t trust the BBC or CNN, that doesn’t make omghilarypizzagatetruth.com a viable alternative all of a sudden.

          8. Nigel

            Not actually true, Bodger, (except maybe in the case of Pizzagate?) but skepticism goes both ways.

        2. f_lawless

          “Vladimir Putin is tearing it up in the Middle East and the Ukraine” Nigel you’re getting too sucked in by the relentless anti-Russian spin in much of Western corporate media! Putin’s actions in Syria were a response to the US and its alliies’ attempts to destablise the country and affect regime change. Similarly, his actions in Ukraine were provoked by a coup by ultra right-wing extremists which the US helped orchestrate.(here’s a good account of it by Seumas Milne https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict ).

          Reply
          1. Vote Rep #1

            Them carpet bombing villages in Syria and invading the Ukraine was really the fault of the US. Basically, Russia has done nothing wrong. Everything bad is the fault of the US.

          2. Nigel

            Orrrrr, and I’m just throwing this out there, you’re getting sucked in by pro-Putin propaganda of which we know there is a lot. Even in the Guardian. Because while I would never for a second deny that criminally inept US interventions have spread destabilisation all over the place, ‘response to’ is just another way of saying ‘take advantage of.’

          3. bisted

            …all the evidence shows that…but lets not put facts in the way of a good conspiracy theory…who’s for the last of the plenary indulgences…

          4. Nigel

            All the evidence shows… what? That the US and Putin can’t both be bad actors in this?

          5. f_lawless

            I don’t agree Nigel. I think it’s pretty apparent that in these times, balanced articles on Russia/Putin in Western corporate media are pretty few and far between.
            Who do you think is a greater threat to world stabilty? It’s not Russia with over 700 military bases stationed around the world; instigating wars of regime change in the Middle East; encircling China like a noose with 400 bases around the Sothe China Sea; driving NATO towards an unprecedented build-up of troops on Russian borders all with warheads primed.
            You say “take advantage of” but I think a more accurate description in the context of an orchestrated coup in the Ukraine and build up of hostile troops on its borders would be “was provoked into taking action”. I mean it’s obvious that US motivations in bringing about the Ukranian coup were to gain geopolitical advantage over Russia.
            I don’t think any right-minded person would claim Putin is some kind of shining knight who can do no wrong but I think a bit of perspective is necessary. In modern times, it’s not Russia/Putin who’ve been acting as provocateurs, rather it’s the warhawks in the US and those allied with them.

          6. Nigel

            I’m sorry, but murky and all as this is, that assessment sounds both unrealistic and downright sanitised and frankly does bugger all to address any of the concerns voiced in my first comment above.

          7. f_lawless

            Is this the so called “Backfire Effect” in action? Regarding Ukraine, the assessment of Seumas Milne, British Labour Party’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications, is dismissed as “both unrealistic and downright sanitised” because it doesn’t sit well with Nigel’s world view.
            And what about seasoned intellectual Noam Chomsky who’s been around enough to see it all? To him, talk of Russian meddling in foreign elections is “laughable” in comparision to what the US has done over the years to overthrow governments it didn’t like.
            And regarding NATO, he believes that since the fall of the Soviet Union, it has been used underhandedly by the US, in contravention to international agreement, in order to expand its influence into Eastern Europe along Russia’s borders in order to gain a geopolitiical upperhand ..Rather than defending Europe from the Russian hordes, as was its original purpose, it has now become “an intervention force under US command..to control global energy systems, pipelines, and sea lanes”. Sure, you only have to look at how NATO was used to destroy Libya in recent times under the phony guise of humanitarian intervention to see what it has become.
            http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/03/most-of-the-world-is-just-collapsing-in-laughter-on-claims-that-russia-intervened-in-the-us-election-an-interview-with-noam-chomsky/

          8. Nigel

            ‘Compared to’ is doing a lot of work there and Chomsky has his blind spots. I wish I had time and energy to dig into it properly. Maybe later in the summer.

          9. jungleman

            “Chomsky has his blind spots”

            Well it’s lucky we have you here to clarify matters.. Silly Chomsky

    2. martco

      straight question…what’s in it for Putin to destabilise EU in the end of the day?
      I don’t get it. It’s normally about oil, land, ideology or money.

      Reply
      1. Nigel

        If I have it correctly it’s geopolitics. It’s part of his efforts to control Eastern European satellite states. The prospect of seeing them absorbed into a strong EU is threatening to him, as is the existence of a strong EU. It’s also part of undermining NATO, ably assisted by Trump, which will free him to ramp up military activities in places like the Ukraine where even as we speak there is an ongoing low-level shooting war.

        Reply
      2. MoyestWithExcitement

        He gets to point at western civilisation and tell the Russian people ‘it doesn’t work’ so they’re more amenable to the idea of submitting to him.

        Reply
    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      McMaster? The denial that methods were discussed? The WaPo report didn’t say they were. He denied a claim nobody made.

      Reply
  2. MoyestWithExcitement

    “There’s bound to be some repercussion.”

    Nah. Apparently he can choose to declassify things on a personal whim according to GOP senators. To paraphrase a tweet I saw a few months back;

    That’s it! He finally crossed the red line. He’ll never wriggle his way out of THIS jam.
    *Trump easily wriggles his way out of jam*
    Ah! Well. Nevertheless..

    Reply
    1. Nigel

      Or that SNL clip with Baldwin-asTrump admitting he fired FBI guy because of the Russia thing and the reporter saying ‘Is that it? Is it over? Did I get him? Oh. Oh yeah. Nothing matter. Okay.’

      Reply
  3. Vote Rep #1

    I’d imagine all this pleases Bodger who seemed annoyed that the email leak didn’t have the desired effect in the french elections if the retweets were anything to go by.

    Reply
  4. Owen

    I like the Limerick. And I like that Trump got played by the Russians. He thinks he is a savvy business man, but they played him, probably without effort. Led him up the path and let him brag about the intelligence they had. And Trump probably didn’t even know he was not allowed brag about it.

    Say what you want about Trump, he makes slow news says a thing of the past!

    Reply

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