There are two “Plan A’s”. One may written as Putin-Khamenei-(Obama), and that is the plan in evidence and promoted by the conservative right. It draws the fascists or “feudalists” across lines, from chemical warfare in Syria to Iranian expansion in Yemen and on to the infiltration of North American governments and intellectual assets. The alternative is that first “Plan A” is actually encompassed by choreography laid down by the democratic open societies to draw out the “Red Brown Green” crew, their totalitarian methods, and to draw them into war at their disadvantage.


The arguments for the larger “Plan A” involve greater energy independence in North America and reduced oil revenues — lower oil pricing or market flooding (by the Saudi) — for those aligned with the Putin-Khamenei axis (Red Brown Green).

When you’re able to see that, say, ISIS is a Khamenei project (because if you believe you’re God, why not play both sides of the chessboard?), the greater “Plan A” may prevail.

It has been said that Obama — a true president, not the caricature — has been playing chess while Putin has been laying poker. That may be true, but I would add this: of the Khamenei-Putin arrangements, Khamenei has been using his military and nuclear threat powers to abet Iranian expansion in the middle east and influence around the world, while Putin has been downplaying Russia’s nuclear threat capability in tandem with related ambitions: the problem, imho, is Putin is the more likely to breach the nuclear threshold in a gambler’s (or criminal’s) compulsive moment — and there are “tactical” battlefield nuclear weapons or conventional weapons (like the “barothermic” bomb) that he might deploy where Russian troops are active (as far as I’m concerned, he has already shot down an airliner).

By comparison with this one, it was a sunny day when Obama took office and spoke of being a wartime president and mentioned — as been mentioned in The Awesome Conversation recently — the gathering storm, which BackChannels believes has just about gathered and is dimming to the blue black of gun barrels and spent accelerants.

President Putin has long left behind defending the image of his idea of Russia as a democratic state.  Successfully bridging the KGB to FSB eras, he has transformed the Soviet, post-Soviet state into a feudal oligarchy replete with an internal policing element estimated to have a staffing per capita greater than that of the KGB (reference whatever’s relevant to you in this blog’s “Russian Section” of the library). He has managed to return the modern-looking Russia Today engine to a tool for state propaganda, so much so that station anchor Liz Wahl felt compelled to quit her position in March 2014, and has essentially nulled the meaning of “free elections” and “free press” for Russians.

While the “Vertical of Power” rose to his current heights, the “Detached from Power” (one may suppose) fell to new lows:

Fifty-four per cent of Russians suffer from economic deprivation, up from 46 per cent in 2013, the survey by the Moscow-based Financial University found. The indicator last reached that level in 2010, a year after it hit a peak of 61 percent as the country’s economy contracted by almost eight per cent in the global financial crisis.

Russia, hit by a combination of plunging oil prices and sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union over the Ukraine conflict, is heading into recession this year. President Vladimir Putin warned last month the downturn may last two years and Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev is predicting a 4 per cent to 5 per cent contraction in 2015 if the price of crude oil stays at about $45 a barrel. Inflation reached 11.4 per cent in December, the most among the world’s 10-biggest economies.

Bloomberg News.  “More than half of Russians live in poverty: Moscow-based Financial University says 54% of Russians can’t buy more than basic necessities.”  The Star (Toronto), January 20, 2015.

While the post-Soviet neo-feudal financial drama plays out and plays through the ribs and nodes of the defunct “empire” — yes, BackChannels believes it has been watching of late The Return of the Phantom Soviet — other elements more disturbing have lit up on the radar: the mysterious death of Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman; the assassination of Boris Nemtsov; the apparent recent deployment of chemical weapons in Syria — and all met by Moscow’s shrug of silence.

Additional Reference

BackChannels.  “Ali Khamenei and the Letter from Near Mosul — A Speculation.” January 16, 2015.

BackChannels.  “Alpha – Zulu”.  Page.  Readers may find repeated the schematic definition of “Syndicate Red Brown Green” on this just published (and not yet built out) list of concepts, events, and persons of interest.

BackChannels.  “A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: Obama.”  April 1, 2015.

Elgot, Jessica.  “Russia Today Host Abby Martin Goes Spectacularly Off-Message in Ukraine Broadcast (VIDEO)”.  The Huffington Post UK, March 4, 2014, updated June 3, 2014.

Troianovski, Anton.  “Germany Seeks to Counter Russian ‘Propaganda’ in Baltics: Berlin to train journalists, provide Russian-language content to broadcasters in region.”  The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2015.

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