• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

maandag 23 oktober 2017

Max van der Werff: ' I think #MH17 docs are fakes'

My name mentioned (Макс ван дер Верфф) but explain here why I think docs are fakes:

CIA Uses 1000 of US Overseas Bases to Facilitate the Smuggling of Drugs, Cash, Gold, Guns

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Robert Steele 5 fa8d1
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You wrote the book The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust. Its content as well as the fact that you have distributed it free on the web are revolutionary. Can you explain your concept of Open Source to our readership?

Robert David Steele: First, although I understand there is a pirate copy of the book free on the web, it is the only one of my 10 books that I do not own the English rights to.  I can give a free digital copy to anyone that wants to publish it in any other languages.  It has been translated into Chinese. My other books are both free online and also for sail at Amazon.
The easiest explanation of open source reverts to Richard Stallman and his early pioneering efforts with software that is both free for anyone to use, and also freely open to modification and improvement by anyone provided they offer the same freedoms to their innovations. One for all and all for one. The best online overview is provided by the Peer to Peer Foundation Wiki page, Category:Open Source Everything.
For me there are three critical aspects to open source everything and what I now call Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE):
First, it is a mind-set and a culture as much as a process and a combination of inputs and output. OSEE is the exact opposite of the prevailing political, economic, and social paradigm that permits the fencing of the commons, the criminalization of individual behavior in relation to harvesting that commons, and the perpetuation of political tyrannies, criminal economies and concentrate wealth, and scientific reductionism. OSEE demands holistic analytics and true cost economics as its supporting pillars.
Second, it is about everything, not just software and hardware. In the book I list over 60 opens. After the book was published I created a more structured understanding of nine major open source categories with twenty-seven priority sub-categories that are needed to achieve a prosperous world at peace, a world that works for all.  Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation and Marcin Jacubowski of Open Source Ecology (OSE) helped me refine this.  The final graphic is below.
Ecology dd90f
Third, The Open Source Way, the link leads to my Kindle collected white papers on this topic, the subtitle is Achieving the UN SDG Goals in 10 Years for 10% with OSEE, is, as the subtitle suggests, a means of creating a prosperous world at peace — focusing specifically on the five billion poor — in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the cost of the dysfunctional industrial-donor model. I credit Marcin Jakubowski and his Global Village Construction Setwith documenting the FACT that most things we need — from energy and water desalination to pressed brick housing and aquaponics food — can be made without chlorine, new plastic, or toxins, and it can be done at 10-20% the cost of the prevailing industrial model that relies on secrecy and the law to “fence” the intellectual commons.
Is not your proposal to reform, among other things, Intelligence as well as to create intelligence minutemen susceptible to be fought by the Establishment, because it threatens its survival? You have mobilized 800 employees in your futuristic project Phi Beta Iota with a very modern working method and an original concept. What is the impact of this immense work?
First, I only have 80 contributors, not employees, at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, and of those, about 8 are most active. The Blog is merely a place for collecting and sharing useful information. It is not what I actually want to build, for that see the following:
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Recommended for 2017 cycle by Jan H. Kalvik, as disclosed in his essay “Intelligence & the Nobel Peace Prize,” Defence and Intelligence NorwayPR1
Put most simply, I want to build an Open Source Agency that in turn sponsors Schools of Future-Oriented Hybrid Governance everywhere, each school offering a meta-Phd/DBA that integrates holistic analytics, true cost economics, and Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE); a World Brain Institute that sponsors a global network of local to regional to global public intelligence (decision-support) networks, perhaps including a United Nations Open-Source Decision-Support Information Network (UNODIN); and a wide range of OSEE Innovation Centers — at least one major one for each of the nine major open source categories shown in the graphic above — to begin elevating the five billion poor. By my calculation, using OSEE, we can elevated the five billion poor for a one time price of $500 per person.
In your book Information Operations: All Information, All Languages, All the Time, which makes a relevant report on the world of intelligence, you are proposing another approach, particularly in terms of inter-agency cooperation, data sharing, etc. Do you think that intelligence services are outdated and inefficient?
The book you cite is about information operations, not intelligence. I have many other books, among which the most useful to your readers would be the latest, Intelligence for Earth: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, and Sustainability (2010), and the second one, The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political (2002). All my books can be seen at my Book page online.
The easiest way to understand my vision in one single graphic is to look at the one below.
OSE 067b5
I will must make two points here. First, speaking only of  the US spies that I know very well, we process only 1% or less of what we collect, and we provide “at best” according to General Tony Zinni, USMC (Ret), less than 4% of what a major commander needs, to which I would add, and nothing for everyone else. My article, “Intelligence for the President–AND Everyone Else,” CounterPunch, March 1, 2009 expands on this point. See also, the chapter in which the above graphic first appeared, “The Evolving Craft of Intelligence,” in Robert Dover, Michael Goodman, and Claudia Hillebrand (eds.). RoutledgeCompanion to Intelligence Studies, Oxford, UK: Routledge, July 31, 2013.
You are a former CIA officer who personally trained 7500 agents in 66 countries, and you claim that the CIA as well as the NSA are now out of control. How do you explain this drift and, in your opinion, what would be the solution for these agencies to be under the authority of the State?
First, I trained 7,500 mid-career officers in an ethical, legal, open manner. While I recruited over 25 agents (five times the regional average in my CIA Division), I have never recruited an agent since I left CIA. Bear in mind that in my world, agents are people who commit treason. It is not a term we use lightly. These 7,500 officers were generally from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries, attracted in part because I was hired to write the NATO Open Source Intelligence Handbook and also provided most of the content for the NATO Open Source Intelligence Reader. Your readers can find many Handbooks on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) at Phi Beta Iota, listed under the Blog page.
Second, NSA and CIA are indeed out of control, and in fact as I write this senior NSA and CIA officers are trying to topple the US government in a blatant coup d’Etat. They are using their long-standing ability to spy on all politicians with impunity to blackmail politicians such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham (Wayne Madsen broke this story). Part of the problem is that the FBI is also part of the Deep State — remember that the FBI was founded by J. Edgar Hoover, a cross-dressing pedophile — and does not do serious counterintelligence, it is more of a theatrical agency that goes through the motions.
The drift can be explained by a combination of Wall Street subversion of the US Government, from creating the Federal Reserve to federal taxation to the creation of the CIA as a secret lily pad for the Deep State, and the simultaneous dumbing down of the public — schools including universities are part of the over-all mind control campaign being managed by CIA and funded by Wall Street.
The public allowed itself to be gradually shut out of politics, and politics has been disconnected from the economy. How stupid it is to separate the teaching of politics from the teaching of economics? Or culture? Most economists are idiots — none of them do holistic analytics and true cost economics, and of course governments do not do evidence-based governance, they do bribery-based governance.
You sent a Memorandum to President Trump in which you made several recommendations by warning him on a violent American spring. You recommend that he dismiss General Flynn, while according to our sources, General Flynn was neutralized by the neocons, accused among others of being pro-Russian. Do not you think the neocons are the real holders of power in the United States, even in the Trump era? Do not you think that the neocons project has survived all the successive presidents since Bush?
Flynn is gone. My other predictions can be read here: “Donald Trump’s Next Moves: 7 Predictions from Robert David Steele,” Russian International Affairs Council, February 18, 2017. Certainly I would be pleased if your readers examined my Memorandum for the President, and also the underlying longer Spy’s Surprising Christmas Message to Trump as published at The Mind Unleashed. These are fundamental reforms that would make any population happier and more prosperous. The Christmas message was delivered via Certified Mail to Reince Priebus, the Judas in the White House, he of course did not deliver it to the President-elect (it was intended to make the Inauguration speech a unity speech) because Reince Priebus’s highest priority is to keep President Trump from unrigging the system.  I encourage your readers to examine #unrig at Twitter, and to share my Memorandum for the President to @realDonaldTrump including the hashtag #unrig.
Dick Cheney and the neo-cons are the US traitors most associated with the Zionists, and they are also intimately integrated with the Saudi Arabians, Wall Street, and the military-industrial complex. The USA is a web of criminal complexes that have been legalized by a captive US Government. Matt Taibbi explains this best in his book Griftopia. I also like Chris Hedges’ book, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.
How do you explain the Trump administration prohibition of the entry of citizens from 7 Muslim countries (Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen), while the real generator of Wahhabi terrorism is Saudi Arabia that Mr. Trump spared? In my interview with Dr. Bruce Riedel, himself a former CIA officer, Obama’s advisor on Pakistan and Afghanistan issues, he told me that relations between the US and Saudi Arabia would never be affected. How do you explain the unfailing links between the United States with Saudi Arabia and Israel?
This is a really excellent and important question with a two-part answer.
First, this prohibition was created by Trump loyalists with limited knowledge and no experience in this domain, and it was not properly staffed through the bureaucracy. However much many might not trust Donald Trump, the bureaucracy does have many experts and a process that works. This prohibition should never have been ordered before Rex Tillerson entered on duty as Secretary of State. I would have added not only Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also  the United Kingdom (naturalized citizens from the other countries only).I will note that the judges were wrong when they said these countries have not sent terrorists to the USA, 72 terrorists arrested in the USA come from the specific countries selected by Kushner. Still and all it was a childish exercise. What they should have done was a) waited for Tillerson and staffed it properly; b) stopped issuing visas rather than cancelling visas, especially for long-term residents with established roles here in the USA; and c) thought through a deeper concept that intercepted people born in those countries regardless of citizenship (e.g. the UK is a next of terrorists with legitimate UK passports, and of course Germany and France have been equally stupid).
Second, it is important to understand that Zionist influence in the USA is based on bribery and blackmail as well as an extraordinary ability to penetrate all US electronic systems including NSA. Anything NSA collects is copied to Tel Aviv and anything many of our law enforcement agencies across the USA collect is also copied to Tel Aviv. We only have nine million Jews in the USA. They are generally loyal but too many of them are all too willing to betray the USA to help the Mossad. And of course you have Jeffrey Epstein, the Mossad agent who created Lolita Island and a no-name elite hotel in NYC — both are wired for audio and video and his mission was to collect videos of US elites raping children of both sexes. He got both Clintons and I would not be  at all surprised to find he also has Chuck Schumer on tape. The Saudis have bribed everyone — they bought Syria and Yemen from the Clinton Foundation. The Saudis are also in some way a vassal state of Israel.
If with an election of Clinton, knowing that she is a warlord, we were heading for an inevitable total war, especially between the USA and Russia, can we say that the world is immune to this option against Russia, China and Iran with the Trump administration? Even if the administrations and the presidents change, does not the military-industrial complex need a total war for the benefit of the 1%?
The fate of the Trump Administration will be decided in the next two months. If Donald Trump appoints a National Security Advisor — particularly if he appoints a person who is under the influence of the Zionists as the two leading candidates are — and if he does not fire Preibus and call for an Electoral Reform Act as I recommend, then Donald Trump is toast. He will not finish his term. Riots will begin in late March as the weather gets warmer, will spread across the country with paid agitators (there are even newspaper ads now calling for people who want to learn how to and be paid to disrupt town hall meetings), and will culminate in 3 million people being bused into Washington DC for May Day (1 May).
As I note in my Memorandum for the President, he has 30 days to settle the country. I know how to do that but I do not know how to make Donald Trump listen. For that, we are in the hands of God.
What have I not asked? Any additional thoughts?
Thank you for that open-ended question. I would say three things.
First, the USA is the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet. I am most distressed about this and believe that we need a massive purge of 500 traitors across the government as well as a cut of the federal budget by 50%. We need to close the 1,000 overseas bases whose real function is to facilitate the smuggling of drugs, cash, gold, guns, and small children for the elite, by CIA using conscripted military aircraft, and we need to bring our Army home. My three monographs for the US Army Strategic Studies Institute provide a review of grand strategy, global reality, and concepts for re-inventing the US Army and everything else, your readers can find those three monographs free online as well as at Amazon.
Second, no issue — whether climate change or trade in women and children or relations between nations or economic and social justice — is going to get a fair hearing by any government in existence. All governments are corrupt and controlled by a false two-party tyranny that blocks 70% of the public from meaningful participation. All electoral systems are rigged twelve different ways. Electoral reform is the “root” reform — if electoral reform is accompanied by intelligence reform, then it is possible to do evidence-based governance that takes into account true cost economics, and deliver full employment — peace and prosperity for all.
Third, I have figured out how to raise the five billion poor from poverty with Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE). I have the cost down to $500 per person, a one-time cost that gives them pressed brick housing, solar energy, desalinated water, aquaponics, and free Internet with free open source communications and Internet-based education. This is of course anathema to the governments that rely on bribes and the industries that rely on war and waste for their profit. In fact there is more profit to be made by peace but that profit is more evenly distributed across all of us. I would like very much to see people study, understand, and adopt my ideas for future-oriented hybrid governance, a collection of my latest papers can be found here: The Future: Recent “Core” Work by Robert Steele.
I wish everyone well and will pray for peace in our time. My motto is “the truth at any cost lowers all others costs.
Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen
Who is Robert D. Steele?
Robert D. Steele is thepro bonoChief Enabling Officer (CeO) of Earth Intelligence Network, devoted to teaching holistic analytics (HA), true cost economics (TCE), and open source everything engineering (OSEE). He seeks to create an international Open Source (Technologies) Agency for local to global information-sharing and sense-making as well as OSEE innovation. His ideas would enable the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals — first within the USA and then globally — within a decade or two at 10-20% of the cost of the prevailing industrial-donor model.
He was recommended to the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 cycle by Jan H. Kalvik, as disclosed in his essay “Intelligence & the Nobel Peace Prize,”Defence and Intelligence NorwayPR1
His Blog Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog is where he curates over 80 contributors who believe that the truth at any cost lowers all other costs. His most important blog post to date is this one: Memorandum for the President – Warning on a Violent American Spring, Eight Actions for Donald Trump to Make America Great Again
As author, he wrote eightbookson intelligence reform, two on electoral reform, multiple Kindle Shorts as well asarticleschapterslecturesmonographsonline posts, andtestimony. His work is informed by being the top Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, respecting the work of other authors, publishing over 2,000 reviews in 98 categories of non-fiction reading.
He is the Co-Founder of the Information Warfare Conference, founder of the Open Source Solutions Conference, invited lecturer world-wide on topics of Cyber, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), (All-Source) Intelligence Reform, and Applied Collective Intelligence inclusive of holistic analytics, true cost economics, and Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE) focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Robert David Steeleis a formerCentral Intelligence Agencyclandestine servicescase officer. He served in the Marine Corps as a 0203 Ground Intelligence Officer. After serving 4 years he joined CIA where he served for 10 years (3 tours overseas focused on extremist and terrorist targets). He resigned from the CIA to accept a Marine Corps invitation to be the senior civilian responsible for creating the Marine Corps Intelligence Center (today a Command) and served as the study directory for the flagship study, Overview of Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World. He resigned from the Marine Corps civil service in 1993 to lead the modern Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) revolution, and is the author of the DIA, NATO, and SOF OSINT Handbooks, as well as personally responsible for training 7,500 officers from 66 countries. Mr. Steele holds graduate degrees in international relations and public administration from Lehigh University and the University of Oklahoma. He has also earned a certificate in intelligence policy from Harvard University and a diploma in defense studies from the Naval War College.
Memorandum for the President: http://tinyurl.com/Memo4Trump
Personal web page: http://robertdavidsteele.com
Subscribe free: http://phibetaiota.net

Carolien Roelants en Haar Propaganda

Voor meer informatie over Carolien Roelants, lees:

Mijn antwoord op het belachelijke artikel:
Belachelijk, Rusland en China staan te springen om Syrië op te bouwen..Heeft U al eens gekeken wat er gebeurd is in Aleppo of Homs? Was U daar? Ik wel en ik kan U verzekeren dat er wel degelijk wederopbouw is. Raqqa is bezet door de VS, die überhaupt niets in het midden-oosten te zoeken hebben, i.s.m. de Koerden, die ook niets in Raqqa te zoeken hebben. Raqqa werd voornamelijk bewoond door Soennietische Arabieren en Christenen. De anti-Assad retoriek van het NRC is ronduit walgelijk te noemen, dit is geen journalistiek maar politiek gekleurde berichten. Ga zelf eens kijken hoe het daar is!


By John Helmer, Moscow
Nicolo Machiavelli once called moral philosophy the child of civil war. That also makes moral philosophy after the fact, after the crimes. War winners write histories; losers and martyrs write philosophies.  
Tsar Nicholas II (lead images) was killed, along with his family, because the Romanovs were a dynasty threatening the revolutions which had transformed Russia from the start of the year 1917. They did not just represent their own interest to retake power and fortune. They represented the anti-democratic side among Russians. They also represented the aims of the outside powers, including ally Britain and enemy Germany, whose forces invaded Russia during the sixteen months between Nicholas’s abdication on March 15, 1917, and his death on July 17, 1918.
Dynasts who have relied on the divine right to rule can’t voluntarily resign God’s commission; retire to the Crimean beachside; take a ticket of leave for Paris, London or Berlin. Nicholas believed God had given him power to rule; and that he was above Russian law, too. Because he felt free to overpower the human rights of his mortal subjects, he could hardly claim their human rights.  Not to be executed for crimes one was not tried for nor convicted of was a human right in Russia in 1917 — but Nicholas didn’t qualify for it. If Nicholas had human rights like other Russians, after his death he would no more qualify for sainthood than millions of other Russians, who suffered his fate no less nobly.
As it happened, the records show Nicholas accepted the Russian General Staff’s advice that if he did not give up autocratic power, the war with Germany would be lost, and there would be civil war.  It was the Russian Army, not the government nor the revolutionaries, which toppled Nicholas. But Nicholas tried to break the Romanov law on succession by refusing to allow the General Staff’s candidate, the ailing 12-year old tsarevich Alexei, to succeed him; he tried naming his brother, the Grand Duke Mikhail,  instead.  Mikhail signed his renunciation less than twenty-fours later. “This is the end!” the Grand Duke Sergei was heard to say at Army HQ. And it was. Russia became a democratic republic; it still is. 
Had there been a Russian revolution without civil war and without foreign military invasion,  it’s likely Nicholas would have been indicted, tried, convicted, sentenced to prison, or shot. The rest of the Romanovs might have been spared their lives, but hardly their freedom to attempt a restoration.
Their execution was ordered in Yekaterinburg, and authorized in Moscow, because the Czech Legion, was within miles and hours of capturing the city, with the intention of restoring the Romanov monarchy in a Russia they and their international allies were bent on breaking up. Their plan was to turn the prisoner tsar into a puppet tsar. Through the day and night before the pistol shots which ended Nicholas’s life, the firing of the Czech heavy artillery could be heard in the city. Its citizens were already fleeing, taking as much of their valuables as they could.  Nicholas  understood that the value of himself had dwindled by then to the foreign armies, to domestic counter-revolutionaries, and to God. He ended up with the third variant.
A new history by Robert Service, published a few weeks ago in London, explains what happened, and why.  Service reports from evidence not accessible in Russia for almost a century, and also missed by western researchers. “Copious fresh material” Service reports in his introduction. And yet apart from a couple of interviews in Russian with Service himself, no Russian historian and no Russian book reviewer has mentioned the book, reviewed its evidence, or analysed its lessons. Therein lies a lesson of its own.
Service’s history is being studiously avoided in Russia because to do otherwise can only reignite the  civil war,  at least in debate, and especially between the Kremlin and the Church. President Vladimir Putin has pushed the Kremlin closer to the Church than at any time since the 1917 revolutions. With the presidential election campaign already under way, and the vote due in five months, Putin has dissuaded public debate of the issue of legitimacy to rule and the fate of the last tsar. The Church has encouraged icon worship of Nicholas as a martyr, though that’s explicitly not the status the Church adopted when it decided on sainting him. 
Service (right) is an each-way bettor – that’s putting money on winner and loser at the same time. He’s an Oxford University professor of Russian history, a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California. In 2011, in the London High Court, Service was engaged by the lawyers for  Roman Abramovich to testify to a version of oligarch history since 1991 against Boris Berezovsky’s version. Service objected to the use of the term “oligarch” and to the media evidence for their power. “It is my job here,” the court transcript records Service saying, “ to be picky.”  Service even thinks of himself as a martyr when “someone is wealthy and malicious enough it is possible to tread on the throat of free and open discussion in this country almost with impunity. I  was close to caving in at times simply because I lacked [a rival academic’s] financial resources.” 
Service’s history of Nicholas II presents freshly uncovered papers on the tsar’s abdication, including General Staff  logs, reports, cables, diary entries,  and several abdication drafts by Nicholas himself, as his mind kept changing and his wife couldn’t get through to him. 
The new material also includes records of what Nicholas and his family ate in their three places of confinement — at the Alexander Palace of Tsarskoe Selo, outside St. Petersburg; at Freedom House in Tobolsk; and at the Ipatev House, Yekaterinburg.

“Russian Revolution Private Tours -- Find out all the secrets that deal with the exile of the Russian royal family and even visit the places where they spent their last years” for just $3,300 per person, click and book. 
There are the lists of books Nicholas read to himself, and those he read aloud to his family, including the thoughts he scribbled in the margins. The depositions of witnesses in Yekaterinburg in the last days; telegrammes between Moscow, Tobolsk and Yekaterinburg; and other documents covering the decision on execution have also been reopened from the investigation commission supervised by the White General Mikhail Diterikhs, and undertaken by the Omsk judge, Nikolai Sokolov, in 1919. 
According to Service, Diterikhs was a military commander without legal experience. He was also “a passionate nationalist, a believer in the greatness of the ‘Christian Russian people’, and a rabid anti-Semite.” Sokolov “was known for his attentiveness to fact and detail. Above all, Sokolov was Russian born and bred, a Christian, a patriot and a monarchist…[he] deeply sympathized with the murdered monarch, but once he took on his duties, he put aside most of his feelings and concentrated on establishing the verifiable facts…Everyone could see that Sokolov was a true professional, punctilious about details and reluctant to accept statements at face value….This was not to endear him to his superiors in the longer term, especially Diterikhs, who came to want to monopolize the credit for the investigation…”

Left: Mikhail Diterikhs; right, Nikolai Sokolov.
By 1922, at the head of a small army in the fareastern Altai region, Diterikhs made the last effort to restore the Romanov monarchy on Russian soil. His army defeated, he then fled to China and subsequently died in Shanghai. The investigation archives went ahead of him from China, through the British consulate in Harbin, by French and British naval escort, until the archive boxes and Sokolov reached France. Sokolov published his findings in French in 1924. Dieterikhs’s papers went through his family to the US.  
Most of Service’s source material can’t be read in Russia. It is tucked away in the 26 sets of papers held at the Hoover Institution, part of Stanford University in California.

For the Hoover Institution’s image of itself as the curator of Russian history, click
“In the last sixteen months of [Nicholas’s] life,” Service concludes at the beginning of his history, “this modest, inadequate , rigid ex-ruler  suffered personal tragedy in a country he had played no small part in bringing to catastrophe”.
Serve the nincompoop right , you say – but that isn’t what Service judges. “Nicholas has enjoyed a tenacious afterlife,” Service concludes at the end of the book. “As with Lenin …myths about the last tsar compete fiercely against the demonstrable historical record”.

Left: BBC illustrates a report last month on protests by Russian Orthodox fundamentalists against the film Matilda, which depicts Nicholas in a pre-marital affair with a ballet dancer, Matilda Kschessinskaya,  in St. Peterburg between 1890 and 1894.   Right:  Nicholas and the German princess Alix were married on November 26, 1894, while Matilda, whom her ballet director called a “nasty little swine”, went on to alliances with other Romanov dukes. She was not exceptional, even as a dancer. The history of the imperial ballet theatres in the late 19th century St. Petersburg and Moscow was one of  sex farms --  harems without the cost of squabbles over inheritance. To the Russian court then,  they were what seminaries and convents were to the Catholic priesthood until recently. Read more
 “[Nicholas’s] competence to oversee the governance of Russia,” Service writes, “had never been better than average, and his autocratic wilfulness wrecked any chances of a gradual transition to a more balanced constitution. The widespread image of him as a blameless monarch is unconvincing. In power and out of it, he was a nationalist extremist, a deluded nostalgist and virulent anti-Semite… In captivity he had the time to recognize any of his mistakes and rectify his basic analysis. In fact he did nothing of the kind.”
Service tries to give every source a say in the assessment, and not only of what exactly happened to Nicholas.  Service allows the reader to know that the BBC trumped up “the entire story of  the murder of Nicholas and his family… The evidence was slim and their attempts at annotation were pitiful… Although the British seem to have cornered the market in outlandish narrative  about the Romanovs, American authors have started to compete with them.”  As for Russian researchers, he dismisses some of the historians for “monarchist sympathies”.  He passes over the Romanov hagiography by Edvard Radzinsky (right) who made money popularizing the monarch as soon as he thought it safe to do so after the start of the Yeltsin period.  Radzinsky is notoriously vague about the causes of death in which he has been more directly involved. 
Service also notes in a line, two pages from the end of his book, that “Patriarch Alexi [sic] was loyal to the memory of the Romanovs and canonized them as ‘passion-bearers’ who sought to live by the principles of the Gospels.”  Service ignores the controversy within the Church – the church inside Russia and the so-called Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia – over whether Nicholas was a martyr for his faith, or something less – a passion bearer, according to the Church doctrine.  
Unlike martyrs, passion bearers are not explicitly killed for their faith, though they hold to that faith with piety towards God. Thus, although all martyrs are passion bearers, not all passion bearers are martyrs. The Russian Church’s press releases, like the priesthood, regularly slip in the term martyr for Nicholas, although of evidence that he was shot because of his religious belief there is none at all.  At least none Service has found in every Russian and foreign record he reports finding.
Although Service doesn’t mention it, and apparently hasn’t read it, the report on which the patriarch’s and the synod’s decision to canonize the Nicholas was based, came to the same conclusion. Entitled “R E P O R T OF THE HOLY SYNOD COMMISSION ON THE CANONIZATION OF SAINTS WITH RESPECT TO THE MARTYRDOM OF THE ROYAL FAMILY”,  the report of the Synod Commission headed by Metropolitan Yuvenaly (Vladimir Polyakov) was first presented on October 10, 1996. It can be read in full here

President Putin awards Metropolian Yuvenaly the Order of Merit for the Fatherland (2nd Class) at a Kremlin ceremony on September 22, 2016.
According to Yuvenaly, Nicholas’s history recorded that he had built churches and canonized saints, demonstrating thereby his “personal piety” and “religio-ethical principles”. However, his formal responsibility for the killing of demonstrators, including priests, in the January 1905 St. Petersburg demonstrations, leading to the first anti-tsarist revolution, and his calculated “inactivity in these events”, were morally culpable.  Nicholas’s failure to  remove “the Rasputin phenomenon” was also a blot on his escutcheon, Yuvenaly reported to the Synod.  “It is evident that the Sovereign repeatedly attempted to get rid of Rasputin, [but] he stepped back each time under the influence of the Empress who found it necessary to resort to Rasputin for the healing of the Heir. It can be said that the Emperor found it impossible to go against Alexandra Feodorovna who was tortured by grief over the Heir’s illness.”  Summing up, the synod commission concluded that it “did not find sufficient grounds for his canonization.”
So that was the tsar’s life. But it was his death that attracted the Church: “[There were] two uneven periods, in duration and in spiritual significance,  namely, the period of his reign and the period of his confinement following his abdication…[so] the Commission turned to a detailed analysis of the Royal Family’s last days, which were burdened with severe suffering and the martyrs’  death of its members….The liturgical and hagiographic literature of the Orthodox Church applied the term ‘passion bearer’ to those Russian saints who in the strict sense were not martyrs for Christ, but who ended their lives at the hands of persecutors and killers…” This was the category for which Nicholas qualified. He was one of the “people who suffered and, in spite of all the insults and abuse, led a devout life. In the confined Royal Family, we see people who sincerely strived to bring out the message of the Gospel in their lives.”
Reading between the ecclesiastical lines, it turns out that the death, and the public opinion that has been mobilized since 1991 by the Church and by media promoters like Radzinsky,   which have turned into the rationale for sainthood. “All this bears witness to the growing veneration of the murdered Royal Family throughout Russia. For example, on 3 September of this year [1996] His Grace Nikon, Bishop of Ekaterinburg and Verkhotursk reported to the Commission on canonization about the broad public veneration of the Royal Family in the Ekaterinburg diocese, where the tragedy took place. Already for decades, the veneration of the Royal Family has been observed in Serbia as well as in the Russian diaspora. Having examined the found in literature information about miraculous events in connection with the veneration of the Royal Family, the Commission considered several of them to be trustworthy…” 
“In the many sufferings borne by the Royal Family during their last days we see the light of Christ’s truth ever-conquering evil, the light which was manifest in their tragic death, just as it shone in the lives and deaths of millions of Orthodox Christians who suffered persecutions, tortures and a martyr’s end in the period of Russia’s new time of troubles…Their true magnitude did not come from their royal status but from that remarkable moral magnitude, which they gradually attained. They themselves became a forth of an idea. And in their humiliation they were a striking manifestation of that remarkable clarity of the soul, against which all violence and all fury were powerless, and which triumphs in death itself.”
The canonization decision was taken initially with President Boris Yeltsin’s approval; then with the backing of Prime Minister Putin. The formal canonization ceremony occurred three months after Putin’s first election to the presidency, on August 20, 2000. 
Service’s evidence reveals no sign of suffering on the part of Nicholas or his family until the very end, nor was there among their guards any persecution.  The petty thieving in the three households was minuscule compared with the norm in the imperial palaces before 1917.
Service’s findings make nonsense of the Church’s claim that “the Imperial Family devoted a lot of time for spiritually beneficial reading, primarily the Holy Scripture, and in regular – practically continuous – attendance at Divine services.” According to Service, Nicholas “strove to make sense of his experience by reading historical literature… He also introduced himself to books that told him about those social classes in his empire with which he had negligible acquaintance… neither Nicholas nor Alexandra gave adequate thought to the causes of their fall from power, and in so far as Nicholas tried to understand what had happened, he blamed alien forces that had deceived and manipulated his former subjects.” 
That’s either a delusional, or a nincompoop. Nicholas didn’t atone for his sins, because he didn’t recognize he had committed any, at least not in the way he had ruled Russia. In the end the churchmen decided to canonize him as a symbol of the Church itself, reviving after the communist policy of secularism had ended.
Last week Putin made a rare statement on the events of 1917 – certainly his first during this centenary year. He wasn’t speaking to the Russian people, but to a group of American and other academics paid out of the Kremlin’s budget to assemble annually at what is called the Valdai International Discussion Club. In the past, Putin’s speech has been in a relatively informal dinner-table format. This year it was a formal platform presentation. Also on the platform to make speeches were a former Afghan president,  a Chinese billionaire, and a NATO-financed think-tanker from Norway.  

Read Putin’s remarks in full at http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55882
“Revolution”, declared  Putin, “is always the result of an accountability deficit in both those who would like to conserve, to freeze in place the outdated order of things that clearly needs to be changed, and those who aspire to speed the changes up, resorting to civil conflict and destructive resistance.”
“Today, as we turn to the lessons of a century ago, namely, the Russian Revolution of 1917, we see how ambiguous its results were, how closely the negative and, we must acknowledge, the positive consequences of those events are intertwined. Let us ask ourselves: was it not possible to follow an evolutionary path rather than go through a revolution? Could we not have evolved by way of gradual and consistent forward movement rather than at a cost of destroying our statehood and the ruthless fracturing of millions of human lives.”
That is an implied rebuke to the tsar who, according to Service’s history, made an evolution in Russian governance impossible. Putin doesn’t want to say so. But neither is he taking the Church’s side in condemning the Bolsheviks. “The largely utopian social model and ideology, which the newly formed state tried to implement initially following the 1917 revolution, was a powerful driver of transformations across the globe (this is quite clear and must also be acknowledged), caused a major revaluation of development models, and gave rise to rivalry and competition, the benefits of which, I would say, were mostly reaped by the West.”
“I am referring not only to the geopolitical victories following the Cold War. Many Western achievements of the 20th century were in answer to the challenge posed by the Soviet Union. I am talking about raising living standards, forming a strong middle class, reforming the labour market and the social sphere, promoting education, guaranteeing human rights, including the rights of minorities and women, overcoming racial segregation, which, as you may recall, was a shameful practice in many countries, including the United States, a few short decades ago.”
And so it turns out that Putin chooses to be an each-way bettor, like Service the historian.  It also appears from last Thursday’s speech that some of the Kremlin staff who worked on Putin’s text are White, others Red — or at least as pink as,  say, presidential advisor Sergei Glazyev.   The result is that Putin decided to declare that what is more important today is to condemn the outcome of the Russian revolution of 1991 than argue about the revolution of 1917. This is how, for the time being,  Putin breaks free of the passion-bearing doctrine of the Church and the martyrology of  the monarchists, and proposes common cause with Russian nationalists. It’s the United States the Enemy, he is saying — the American Great Satan.
“Following the radical changes that took place in our country and globally at the turn of the 1990s, a really unique chance arose to open a truly new chapter in history. I mean the period after the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Unfortunately, after dividing up the geopolitical heritage of the Soviet Union, our Western partners became convinced of the justness of their cause and declared themselves the victors of the Cold War, as I just mentioned, and started openly interfering in the affairs of sovereign states, and exporting democracy just like the Soviet leadership had tried to export the socialist revolution to the rest of the world in its time.”
“We were confronted with the redistribution of spheres of influence and NATO expansion. Overconfidence invariably leads to mistakes. The outcome was unfortunate. Two and a half decades gone to waste, a lot of missed opportunities, and a heavy burden of mutual distrust. The global imbalance has only intensified as a result.”
Putin followed with his inventory of US misdeeds, betrayals, deceptions, and warfare by all means. He concluded: “Today, new centres of influence and growth models are emerging, civilisational alliances, and political and economic associations are taking shape. This diversity does not lend itself to unification. So, we must strive to harmonise cooperation. Regional organisations in Eurasia, America, Africa, the Asia-Pacific region should act under the auspices of the United Nations and coordinate their work.”
In such a scheme of the future, there appears to be no place for the restoration of the Russian monarchy, let alone a Romanov with divine right.  But do the Russian monarchists and the churchmen  who promote the kissing of his icon and wave his flag in protest for one reason or another – the takeover of St. Isaacs Cathedral in St. Petersburg;  the film Matilda in Moscow – have Putin’s favour?  The answer is yes, and also no.
“Each association,” the president he added in his Valdai address, “has the right to function according to its own ideas and principles that correspond to its cultural, historical and geographical specifics. It is important to combine global interdependence and openness with preserving the unique identity of each nation and each region. We must respect sovereignty as the basis underlying the entire system of international relations.”
If that sounds like a doctrine of pluralism and tolerance, perhaps it is. Inside Russia, does that mean Putin is committed to leaving St. Isaacs Cathedral in state hands, as the people of St.Petersburg wish?  No. Does Putin mean he will go publicly to the cinema this week to watch the film Matilda,  despite the Church protests. No.
That’s two-way betting, again.