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Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA
and destroys not enhances national security

News Neoconservatism Recommended Links Paleoconservatism Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place New American Militarism
Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Wolfowitz Doctrine Hillary role in Libya disaster Lock her up movement
From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss  Color revolutions John Dilulio letter Mayberry Machiavellians Madeleine Albright Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Leo Strauss and the Neocons
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Deception as an art form The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism   IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
American Exceptionalism Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Robert Kagan Samantha Power Jeb "Wolfowitz Stooge" Bush Corporatism Big Uncle is Watching You
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Guardian paper LA Times Paper by Neal Gabler   Washington Post paper by Mike Allen    
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014   Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
Note: This page is partially based on Wikipedia materials.

Introduction

The neoconservative impulse became visible in modern American foreign policy since Reagan, but it became dominant ideology and foreign policy practice during criminal George W. Bush administration, which unleashed disastrous for American people Iraq war and destabilized the region, which eventually led to creation of ISIS. Those disastrous neoconservative policies were continued during Obama administration ("Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place. Especially sinister role was played  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton  while she was the Secretary of State. She was the butcher of Libya and Syria.

Unlike traditionalist conservatism (which in the USA survived in the form of Paleoconservatism and preaches noninterventionism), Neoconservatism has nothing to do with conservative doctrine at all. This is neoliberal interpretation of Trotskyism -- neoTrotskyism. Like neofascism it glorifies militarism (in the form of New American Militarism as described by Professor Bacevich), emphasizes confrontation, and regime change in countries hostile to the interests of global corporations, and which are a barrier of spread of neoliberalism and extension of global, US dominated neoliberal empire. It is an extremely jingoistic creed.  All Secretaries of state starting from Madeleine "not so bright" Albright subscribed to neocon thinking.

The unspoken assumptions of neocon cult have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual wars of neoliberal conquest.  Which overextended the USA as a country and lowered the standard living of population further, as if neoliberalism alone was not enough.

It also led to destabilization of the whole regions. It was the USA that launched political Islam into its current position, which at the end resulted in creation of ISIS and "institutionalization" of  suicide bombings as the only means to fight against global neoliberal empire by people deprived of regular military means.  From which many nations, suffered especially Russia and several European nations such as GB and France. 

In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism promoting it in such areas as Chechnya and Dagestan, facilitated import of extremists (sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies). Like in Afghanistan before that they considered Wahhabi extremists as a useful political tool in their attempts to dismember Russia, as the lesser evil.

In Ukraine neocons supported far right nationalists with distinct national socialism leanings and history of crimes against humanity (Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia - Wikipedia). Organized by them putsch against the legitimate (albeit corrupt) government of Yanukovich. Which was done with full support of several EU nations which also now have imperial ambitions and wanted to cut the country from Russia and use it the market for EU goods as well as the source of cheap commodities and labor for EU.

EuroMaydan as this color revolution was called made the country a debt slave of IMF and dropped already low standard of living of population almost three times. Making the Ukraine probably the poorest country in Europe where large percent of population (especially pensioners and single mothers) needs to survive of less the $2 a day. Average (note the word "average")  pension in Ukraine is about $1500 grivna which at the current exchange rate is approximately $60. It was three times higher before the Maydan color revolution which State Department so skillfully organized.

Everywhere neocons bring wars and disasters. And they impoverish the US middle class. To say nothing about desperate, completely robbed 50 or so million people with McJobs, who are liming essentially in the third world country that exists within the USA now  (Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 38 Straight Months ). 

They are concerned mainly with enriching themselves and their masters from military industrial complex and bloated government bureaucracy, especially "national security parasites"). In other words they behave like the USSR nomenklatura -- a privileged, above the law class, degeneration of which eventually led to collapse of the USSR. Such a conservatives. And not unlike Party bureaucracy of the Third Reich, despite being disproportionally Jewish. 

In foreign policy they were a real, unmitigated  disaster.  Or more correctly series of disaster of varying magnitudes.

Iraq was a huge, humiliating disaster. Probably the biggest one. 

Afghanistan was a disaster of lesser scale.

Libya were another, more small scale disaster.

Syria is a potentially huge disaster, due to international consequences of creating ISIS in this region. 

Ukraine is a huge and very expensive disaster, which might lead to the WWIII, a nuclear holocaust (neocons like to speculate on tragedy of Jewish population during the WWII but now are acting like Nazi and ally with far right extremists)

They successfully revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (probably in the name of "US security", as neocons understand it ;-). Moreover they moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests.

Starting from Clinton administration their attitude to Russia was essentially was: be our vassal, or you have no right to exist. Which is reckless attitude to the second most powerful nuclear armed state in the world.  Even taking into account huge difficulties and huge deterioration of the Russia military capabilities after the dissolution of the USSR they were playing with fire initiating  the rearmament of Russia (which negatively affected the well-being of Russian people).  And they are enjoying every minute of their destructive actions.  Just look at glib face of Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was appointed as advisor to State Department by Hillary Clinton) during his public speeches. This man is definitely enjoying himself and his wit. 

An assertion that the fundamental determinant of the relationship between states rests on military power and the willingness to use it, is clearly wrong. It is a foreign policy equivalent to Al Capone idea that "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone". It is very close to neo-Nazi idea that "War is a natural state, and peace is a utopian dream that induces softness, decadence and pacifism." The problem here is that it's the person who promotes this creed can be shot. Of course neocons are chickenhawks and prefer other people die for their misguided adventures.  Almost non of them served in Vietnam.

The idea  that disagreement about some unrealistic postulates (such as "full spectrum dominance") is tantamount to defeatism is simply silly. "Global unilateralism" promoted by neocon since dissolution of the USSR is capable to bankrupt the USA and it awakened  really powerful countervailing forces. The military alliance of Russia, China and Iran now is a distinct possibility at least in certain areas, despite all differences. Pakistan might be  the next to join this alliance. 

Democracy promotion was a nice racket (via color revolutions) until probably 2008, but now way too many countries understand the mechanics of color revolutions and created mechanism to defend themselves from such attempts. bout. They failed in Russia in 2012 and in Hong Cong later.   Their last success was EuroMaydan in Ukraine which can well turn in Pyrrhic victory.

Neocon policies created the level of anti-American sentiment at Middle East unheard before,  provoked rearmament of Russia and armament of China which together represent a formidable force able to turn the USA into radioactive ash no less effectively then the USA can turn them. 

Despite disastrous results of the Neocon foreign policy neocons remain a powerful, dominant political force in Washington. In recent Presidential race neocons were represented by Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton which managed to get almost half of the votes (or steal then for Sanders, to be exact -- DNC pushed Sanders under the bus).

After the defeat they launched anti-Russian hysteria (as the way of rallying the nation around the flag and preventing loss of power of Clinton's wing of the Democratic Party) and then the color revolutions against Trump (with heavy involvement of FBI and CIA). Russiagate will remain one of the most sordid stories in the US political life, next to McCarthyism  

Neoconservatives are attempting to build an American Empire, seen as successor to the British Empire

From Wikipedia

John McGowan, professor of humanities at the University of North Carolina, states, after an extensive review of neoconservative literature and theory, that neoconservatives are attempting to build an American Empire, seen as successor to the British Empire, its goal being to perpetuate a Pax Americana. As imperialism is largely considered unacceptable by the American media, neoconservatives do not articulate their ideas and goals in a frank manner in public discourse. McGowan states,[68]

Frank neoconservatives like Robert Kaplan and Niall Ferguson recognize that they are proposing imperialism as the alternative to liberal internationalism. Yet both Kaplan and Ferguson also understand that imperialism runs so counter to American's liberal tradition that it must... remain a foreign policy that dare not speak its name...

While Ferguson, the Brit, laments that Americans cannot just openly shoulder the white man's burden, Kaplan the American, tells us that "only through stealth and anxious foresight" can the United States continue to pursue the "imperial reality [that] already dominates our foreign policy", but must be disavowed in light of "our anti-imperial traditions, and... the fact that imperialism is delegitimized in public discourse"...

The Bush administration, justifying all of its actions by an appeal to "national security", has kept as many of those actions as it can secret and has scorned all limitations to executive power by other branches of government or international law.

Neoconservatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In foreign policy, the neoconservatives' main concern is to prevent the development of a new rival. Defense Planning Guidance, a document prepared during 1992 by Under Secretary for Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, is regarded by Distinguished Professor of the Humanities John McGowan at the University of North Carolina as the "quintessential statement of neoconservative thought". The report says:[68]
"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

.... For its opponents it is a distinct political ideology that emphasizes the blending of military power with Wilsonian idealism...

Donald Rumsfeld and Victoria Nuland at the NATO-Ukraine consultations in Vilnius, Lithuania, October 24, 2005

Democracy promotion as the universal door opener

See also Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair

Neoconservative foreign policy is a descendant of so-called Wilsonian idealism. Neoconservatives endorse democracy promotion by the US and other democracies, based on the claim  that human rights belong to everyone, while killing thousand hundred people in their attempt to install puppet regimes in various countries in the globe. They practice so call liberation by killing, or "in order to free the village you need to destroy it". They hypocritically criticized the United Nations and, in the past, the  detente with the USSR not understanding the existence of the USSR, while disastrous to Russian people, were the main factor that protected the middle class in the USA from looting by financial oligarchy and prevented the US elite from self-destructive impulses, which became apparent after 1991.

Democracy promotion is allegedly derived from a belief that "freedom" (understood as the rule of neoliberal oligarchy subservant to the USA) is a universal human right and by opinion polls showing majority support for democracy in countries with authoritarian regimes. But the neocons driven "democracy promotion" provided fertile ground to the rise of Radical Islamism the most anti-democratic regime in existence. This essentially created ISIS. They also consider medieval Saudi Arabia to be the US ally and close eyes on horrible social condition of woman in this country.  Such a despicable hypocrites.

Another Neoconservative myth is that democratic regimes are less likely to start wars. The USA is perfect count-argument to that (although  the idea that it is a democratic country is open to review -- empires usually are not democracies, and not even republics). If we assume that the USA is still a republic, it is the most war-hungry and aggressive republic in the history of the world. Being  a direct successor of British empire, they actually managed to beat British in this respect, which is not easy, taking into account British record of mass murders in India, Opium wars and like.

Neocons argue that not extreme debilitating poverty, but the lack of freedoms, lack of economic opportunities, and the lack of secular general education in authoritarian regimes promotes radicalism and extremism. At the same time they promote nationalism and islamist extremists movement in Russia ("divide and conquer" strategy). In short  neoconservatives advocate democracy promotion to regions of the world with natural resources to loot, such  the Arab nations, Iran, Russia, and China.

During April 2006 Robert Kagan wrote in The Washington Post that Russia and China may be the greatest "challenge [neo]liberalism faces today":

"The main protagonists on the side of autocracy will not be the petty dictatorships of the Middle East theoretically targeted by the Bush doctrine. They will be the two great autocratic powers, China and Russia, which pose an old challenge not envisioned within the new "war on terror" paradigm. ... Their reactions to the "color revolutions" in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan were hostile and suspicious, and understandably so. ... Might not the successful liberalization of Ukraine, urged and supported by the Western democracies, be but the prelude to the incorporation of that nation into NATO and the European Union -- in short, the expansion of Western liberal hegemony?"[77]

During July 2008 Joe Klein wrote in TIME magazine that today's neoconservatives are more interested in confronting enemies than in cultivating friends.  In other words in foreign policy they tend to behave like a bully. He questioned the sincerity of neoconservative interest in exporting democracy and freedom, saying, "Neoconservatism in foreign policy is best described as unilateral bellicosity cloaked in the utopian rhetoric of freedom and democracy."[78]

"Neoconservatism in foreign policy is best described as unilateral bellicosity cloaked in the utopian rhetoric of freedom and democracy." ~  Joe Klein

Support of Israel as the key goal

During February 2009 Andrew Sullivan wrote that he no longer took Neoconservatism seriously because its basic tenet became the defense of Israel:[79]

The closer you examine it, the clearer it is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right. That's the conclusion I've been forced to these last few years. And to insist that America adopt exactly the same constant-war-as-survival that Israelis have been slowly forced into... But America is not Israel. And once that distinction is made, much of the neoconservative ideology collapses.

Neoconservatives respond to charges of merely rationalizing aid for Israel by noting that their "position on the Middle East conflict was exactly congruous with the neoconservative position on conflicts everywhere else in the world, including places where neither Jews nor Israeli interests could be found – - not to mention the fact that non-Jewish neoconservatives took the same stands on all of the issues as did their Jewish confrères."[80]

Wolfowitz Doctrine as quintessential Neoconservatism

Wolfowitz Doctrine is an unofficial name given to the initial version of the Defense Planning Guidance for the 1994–99 fiscal years (dated February 18, 1992) authored by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz and his deputy Scooter Libby. Not intended for public release, it was leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992,[1] and sparked a public controversy about U.S. foreign and defense policy. The document was widely criticized as imperialist as the document outlined a policy of unilateralism and pre-emptive military action to suppress potential threats from other nations and prevent any other nation from rising to superpower status.

Such was the outcry that the document was hastily re-written under the close supervision of U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell before being officially released on April 16, 1992. Many of its tenets re-emerged in the [2] which was described by Senator Edward M. Kennedy as "a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept."[3]

Superpower status

The doctrine announces the US’s status as the world’s only remaining superpower following the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War and proclaims its main objective to be retaining that status.

Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.

This was substantially re-written in the April 16 release.

Our most fundamental goal is to deter or defeat attack from whatever source... The second goal is to strengthen and extend the system of defense arrangements that binds democratic and like-minded nations together in common defense against aggression, build habits of cooperation, avoid the renationalization of security policies, and provide security at lower costs and with lower risks for all. Our preference for a collective response to preclude threats or, if necessary, to deal with them is a key feature of our regional defense strategy. The third goal is to preclude any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests, and also thereby to strengthen the barriers against the re-emergence of a global threat to the interests of the U.S. and our allies.

U.S. primacy

The doctrine establishes the US’s leadership role within the new world order.

The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.

This was substantially re-written in the April 16 release.

One of the primary tasks we face today in shaping the future is carrying long standing alliances into the new era, and turning old enmities into new cooperative relationships. If we and other leading democracies continue to build a democratic security community, a much safer world is likely to emerge. If we act separately, many other problems could result.

Unilateralism

The doctrine downplays the value of international coalitions.

Like the coalition that opposed Iraqi aggression, we should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished. Nevertheless, the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S. will be an important stabilizing factor.

This was re-written with a change in emphasis in the April 16 release.

Certain situations like the crisis leading to the Gulf War are likely to engender ad hoc coalitions. We should plan to maximize the value of such coalitions. This may include specialized roles for our forces as well as developing cooperative practices with others.

Pre-emptive intervention

The doctrine stated the US’s right to intervene when and where it believed necessary.

While the U.S. cannot become the world's policeman, by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong, we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations.

This was softened slightly in the April 16 release.

While the United States cannot become the world's policeman and assume responsibility for solving every international security problem, neither can we allow our critical interests to depend solely on international mechanisms that can be blocked by countries whose interests may be very different than our own. Where our allies interests are directly affected, we must expect them to take an appropriate share of the responsibility, and in some cases play the leading role; but we maintain the capabilities for addressing selectively those security problems that threaten our own interests.

Russian threat

The doctrine highlighted the possible threat posed by a resurgent Russia.

We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others....We must, however, be mindful that democratic change in Russia is not irreversible, and that despite its current travails, Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.

This was removed from the April 16 release in favor of a more diplomatic approach.

The U.S. has a significant stake in promoting democratic consolidation and peaceful relations between Russia, Ukraine and the other republics of the former Soviet Union.

Middle East and Southwest Asia

The doctrine clarified the overall objectives in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.

In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil. We also seek to deter further aggression in the region, foster regional stability, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways. As demonstrated by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, it remains fundamentally important to prevent a hegemon or alignment of powers from dominating the region. This pertains especially to the Arabian peninsula. Therefore, we must continue to play a role through enhanced deterrence and improved cooperative security.

...

The April 16 release was more circumspect and it reaffirmed U.S. commitments to Israel as well as its Arab allies.

In the Middle East and Persian Gulf, we seek to foster regional stability, deter aggression against our friends and interests in the region, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways and to the region's oil. The United States is committed to the security of Israel and to maintaining the qualitative edge that is critical to Israel's security. Israel's confidence in its security and U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation contribute to the stability of the entire region, as demonstrated once again during the Persian Gulf War. At the same time, our assistance to our Arab friends to defend themselves against aggression also strengthens security throughout the region, including for Israel.

Neocon architects of American foreign policy are destroying American national security

Regular Americans can't even imagine the level of hate and resentment that neocon policies produce. . And those feeling became material force when they are shared by the majority of people of a particular country. In some countries it is now really uncomfortable to be an America tourist. I know the cases then American tourists in Spain pretended being from other country to avoid this resentment. But spectrum of problems neocons inflict on the USA are much wider and more dangerous. Professor Stephen Cohen recently gave a very insightful interview to  Patrick L. Smith in salon.com (Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security) which we will reproduce verbatim:

“Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security”: Stephen F. Cohen on the truths U.S. media and politicians hide

Myths of American nationalism busted as our interview with noted scholar concludes

Patrick L. Smith

If there is a lesson in Stephen F. Cohen’s professional fortunes over the past year, it is the peril of advancing a dispassionate reading of our great country’s doings abroad. Cohen’s many pieces in The Nation on the Ukraine crisis and the consequent collapse of U.S.-Russia relations now leave him in something close to a state of siege. “My problem with this begins with the fact that… I don’t have a vested interest in one of the ‘isms,’ or ideologies,” Cohen says in this, the second part of a long interview conducted last month. 

The problem lies with the ideologues infesting the waters wherein Cohen swims. Terminally poisoned by Cold War consciousness, they cannot abide disinterested thought. Cohen has been mostly scholar, partly journalist, since the 1970s. His “Sovieticus” column, launched in The Nation in the 1980s, put a magazine traditionally tilted toward domestic issues among the few American publications providing consistent analysis of Russian affairs. At this point, Cohen’s Nation essays are the bedrock scholarly work to which those (few) writing against the orthodoxy turn.

The first half of our exchange, last week on Salon, began with events during the past year and advanced toward the post-Soviet origins of the current crisis. In part two, Cohen completes his analysis of Vladimir Putin’s inheritance and explains how he came to focus his thinking on “lost alternatives”—outcomes that could have been but were not. Most surprising to me was the real but foregone prospect of reforming the Soviet system such that the suffering that ensued since its demise could have been averted.

Salon: Putin inherited a shambles, then—as he would say, “a catastrophe.”

Stephen F. Cohen: As Russia’s leader, Putin has changed over the years, especially in foreign policy but also at home. His first impulse was toward more free-market reforms, anti-progressive taxes. He enacted a 13 percent flat tax—Steve Forbes would’ve been ecstatic, right? He offers [George W.] Bush what Clinton never really offered Yeltsin: a full partnership. And what does he do? On September 11, 2001, he called George and said, Whatever you want, we’re with you. Bush says, Well, I think we’re going to have to go to war in Afghanistan. And Putin said, I can help you. We’ve got major resources and assets in Afghanistan. I even have an army over there called the Northern Alliance. I’ll give it to you! You want overflight? It’s all yours!

How many American lives did Putin save during our land war in Afghanistan? And do you know what a political price he paid in Russia for that? Because his security people were completely against it.

They were? Please explain.

Oh, yeah. You think they minded seeing America being brought to its knees? They’d been invaded so often; let America get a taste of it! But Putin assumes he’s achieved what Yeltsin couldn’t and that this benefits the Russian state. He has a real strategic partnership with America. Now, remember, he’s already worried about his radical Islamic problem because Russia has nearly 20 million Muslim citizens of its own. Russia sits in the East and in the West; it’s on the front lines.

What does Bush give him in return? He expands NATO again and he unilaterally withdraws the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the bedrock of Russia’s nuclear security— it’s a complete betrayal. Is that how you repay somebody who’s helped you save the lives of your citizens? This is where the word “betrayal” begins to enter into the discourse.

It’s an important word for Putin.

It’s not only Putin; [Dmitry] Medvedev uses it, too, when he becomes president [in 2008]. America has broken its word, it’s betrayed us, it’s deceived us, and we no longer take America at its word— well, they never should’ve in the first fucking place, just as Gorbachev should have got the promise not to expand NATO in writing. We’d have done it anyway, but at least they would have had a talking point.

This trust, this naive trust on the part of Russians, that there’s something about American presidents that makes them honorable—it suggests they need a crash course in something. This was betrayal for Putin, and for the entire Russian political class, and Putin paid a price.

I’ve heard him called, among right-wing Russian intellectuals, an appeaser of the West. Soft. You can hear this today: Mariupol? Odessa? Should’ve taken them a year ago; they belong to us. What’s he thinking? Why is he discussing it? [Mariupol and Odessa are two contested cities in the southeastern region of Ukraine.]

So Putin sets his course, and then comes this famous speech he gives in 2007 in Munich, with McCain sitting in the front row. Putin says just what I told you. He says, Look, we want to be your partner; this is what we’ve wanted to be since Gorbachev. We believe in the common European home. But every time we turn to you or we negotiate with you or we think we have an agreement with you, you act like a hegemon and everybody has to do exactly what you say if they want to be on your side. 

Putin has come to tell them that America is risking a new Cold War with more than a decade of bad behavior towards post-Soviet Russia. John McCain interprets this as the declaration of a new Cold War.

But the demonization of Putin came earlier, before the Munich speech, when he began to drive a few favorite American oligarchs [oil companies] out of the country. I looked it up: No major oil-producing country permits majority foreign ownership of its oil. So there’s a long a long history of how Putin goes from a democrat for sure in the U.S. media and an aspiring partner of America to becoming the Hitler of today, as Hillary Clinton put it. You can see what a disease it’s become, this Putin-phobia….

RT just aired a documentary in which Putin explains exactly when and why he decided to move as he did in Crimea. It’s striking: The deliberations began the night President Yanukovych was ousted in the American-supported coup last year. Can you talk about Putin’s thinking on the Crimea question, leading to the annexation? 

Putin, in my judgment, did some wrong-headed things. We now know much more about Crimea, but even given what he has said, there was an argument. It wasn’t quite as clear-cut as he says it was. There was a debate with two sides.

One side said, “Take Crimea now or fight NATO there later.” The other said, “Let the referendum [on association with Russia, held in March 2014] go forward and they’re going to vote 80-plus percent to join Russia. We don’t have to act on it; they’ve just made a request and we’ll say what we think about it. Meanwhile, we see what happens in Kiev.” The Kremlin had done polling in Crimea. And it’s the best bargaining chip Putin will have. He’ll have Crimea wanting to join Russia and he can say to Washington, Well, you would like the Crimea to remain in Ukraine? Here’s what I’d like in return: an eternal ban on NATO membership and federalization of the Ukrainian constitution, because I have to give my Crimean brethren something.

But those arguing that Crimea was the biggest bargaining chip Putin was ever going to have lost. The other side prevailed.

Now, Putin took all the credit, but that’s not what really happened. They were all dependent on intelligence coming out of Kiev and Crimea and Donbass. You see now, if you watch that film, what a turning point the overthrow of Yanukovych was. Remember, the European foreign ministers—Polish, German, and French—had brokered an agreement saying that Yanukovych would form a coalition government and stay in power until December, and that was burned in the street. I’ll never forget the massive Klitschko [Vitali Klitschko, a prizefighter-turned-political oppositionist, currently Kiev’s mayor] standing on a platform at Maidan, all 6’ 8” of him, announcing this great triumph of negotiation, and some smaller guy whipping away the microphone and saying, Go fuck yourself. This thing is going to burn in the streets. The next day it did. That night you saw what an undefeated heavyweight champion looks like when he’s terror-stricken.

This is the turning point, and “It’s all due to Putin,” but it’s all due to Putin because demonization has become the pivot of the analysis.

What do we do from here to resolve the Ukraine question? You used the word “hope” when talking about the February cease-fire, Minsk II—“the last, best hope.” It tripped me up. Hope’s a virtue, but it can also be very cruel.

Anyone of any sense and good will knows that it [the solution] lies in the kind of home rule they negotiated in the U.K.—and don’t call it a federated Ukraine if that upsets Kiev. As the constitution stands, the governors of all the Ukrainian provinces are appointed by Kiev. You can’t have that in eastern Ukraine. Probably can’t even have that in Western and Central Ukraine anymore. Ukraine is fragmenting.

I want to turn this around: what is your view of America’s strategic goal? I ask in the context of your analysis, in “Failed Crusade,” of “transitionology,” as you term the paradigm wherein Russia was supposed to transition into a free-market paradise. As the book makes clear, it amounted to the elevation and protection of crooks who asset-stripped most of an entire nation. Now we don’t hear much about Russia’s “transition.” What is Washington’s ambition now?

I think the Ukrainian crisis is the greatest blow to American national security— even greater than the Iraq war in its long-term implications— for a simple reason: The road to American national security still runs through Moscow. There is not a single major regional or issue-related national security problem we can solve without the full cooperation of whoever sits in the Kremlin, period, end of story.

Name your poison: We’re talking the Middle East, we’re talking Afghanistan, we’re talking energy, we’re talking climate, we’re talking nuclear proliferation, terrorism, shooting airplanes out of the sky, we’re talking about the two terrorist brothers in Boston.

Look: I mean American national security of the kind I care about—that makes my kids and grandkids and myself safe—in an era that’s much more dangerous than the Cold War because there’s less structure, more non-state players, and more loose nuclear know-how and materials…. Security can only be partial, but that partial security depends on a full-scale American-Russian cooperation, period. We are losing Russia for American national security in Ukraine as we talk, and even if it were to end tomorrow Russia will never, for at least a generation, be as willing to cooperate with Washington on security matters as it was before this crisis began.

Therefore, the architects of the American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security—and therefore I am the patriot and they are the saboteurs of American security. That’s the whole story, and any sensible person who doesn’t suffer from Putin-phobia can see it plainly.

Is it too strong to say that the point is to destabilize Moscow?

What would that mean? What would it mean to destabilize the country that may have more weapons of mass destruction than does the U.S.?

Is that indeed the ambition?

I don’t think there’s any one ambition. I come back to the view that you’ve got various perspectives in discussion behind closed doors. I guess Mearsheimer [John Mearsheimer, the noted University of Chicago scholar] is right in the sense of saying that there’s a faction in Washington that is behaving exactly as a great power would behave and trying to maximize its security, but it doesn’t understand that that’s what other great powers do, too. That’s its failure. Gorbachev and Reagan, though it wasn’t originally their idea, probably agreed on the single most important thing: Security had to be mutual. That was their agreement and they built everything on that. We have a military build-up you’re going to perceive as a threat and build up, and I will perceive your build-up as a threat… and that’s the dynamic of permanent and conventional build-up, a permanent arms race. And that’s why Gorbachev and Reagan reasoned, We’re on the edge of the abyss. That’s why we are going to declare the Cold War over, which they did.

That concept of mutual security doesn’t mean only signing contracts: It means don’t undertake something you think is in your security but is going to be perceived as threatening, because it won’t prove to be in your interest. Missile defense is the classic example: We never should have undertaken any missile defense program that wasn’t in cooperation with Russia, but, instead, we undertook it as an anti-Russian operation. They knew it and we knew it and scientists at MIT knew it, but nobody cared because some group believed that you’ve got to keep Russia down.

The truth is, not everything depends on the president of the United States. Not everything, but an awful lot does, and when it comes to international affairs we haven’t really had a president who acted as an actual statesman in regard to Russia since Reagan in 1985-88. Clinton certainly didn’t; his Russia policy was clownish and ultimately detrimental to U.S. national security interests. Bush’s was reckless and lost one opportunity after another, and Obama’s is either uninformed or completely out to lunch. We have not had a statesman in the White House when it comes to Russia since Reagan, and I am utterly, totally, 1000 percent convinced that before November 2013, when we tried to impose an ultimatum on Yanukovych—and even right now, today—that a statesman in the White House could end this in 48 hours with Putin. What Putin wants in the Ukraine crisis is what we ought to want; that’s the reality.

Interesting.

What does Putin want? He’s said the same thing and he’s never varied: He wants a stable, territorial Ukraine—Crimea excepted—and he knows that’s possible only if Ukraine is free to trade with the West and with Russia but is never a member of NATO. However, somebody’s got to rebuild Ukraine, and he’s not going to take that burden on himself, but he will help finance it through discounted energy prices. It could all be done tomorrow if we had a statesman in the White House. Tomorrow! Nobody else has to die.

I think Chancellor Merkel understands this, too.

I think she’s come to, but how strong she is and whether Washington will cut her legs out from under her as they’re trying to do now… [Shortly before this interview Senator McCain delivered a blunt attack on Merkel at a security conference in Munich for opposing the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine. The Arizona Republican was similarly critical when Merkel began to explore a diplomatic solution in Ukraine in spring 2013.]

They have very little respect for her, which is wrong.

What Lindsay Graham and McCain did in Germany, in her own country, on German national television, to her face—and the fact that she’s a woman didn’t help, either. The way they spoke to her, I can’t think of a precedent for that.

Parts of your work are very moving, and that’s not a word a lot of scholarship prompts. The enormous value the Soviet Union accreted—most Americans know nothing of this; with the media’s encouragement, we’re completely ignorant of this. There’s nothing encouraging us to understand that the hundreds of billions of misappropriated assets during the 1990s was essentially the misappropriation of Soviet wealth.

A lot of it came here, to the United States.

Can you talk about this?

I can tell you about a guy who was formerly very high up in the CIA. I called him about a something I was writing on Russian wealth smuggled through the banks into the United States, and he said, We have informed the FBI exactly where all this wealth is in the United States but we are under strict political orders to do nothing about it. Now, the interesting thing is, why now? Well, it would have badly damaged the Yeltsin regime, which the Clinton administration had unconditionally embraced, but also because that money became part of the flourishing stock and real estate markets here at that time.

Even today in Russia, when you ask people if they wish the Soviet Union hadn’t ended, you’re still getting over 60 percent, among young people, too, because they hear the stories from their parents and grandparents. It requires a separate study, but it’s not rocket science. If young kids see their grandparents dying prematurely because they’re not being paid their pensions, they’re going to resent it. When the bottom fell out of the Soviet welfare state and out of the professions, what happened in the 1990s was that the Soviet middle class— which was one of the most professional and educated, and had some savings and which therefore should have been the building block of a Russian free market sector— that middle class was wiped out, and it’s never been recreated. Instead, you got a country of impoverished people and of very, very rich people—with a small middle class serving the rich. That changed under Putin; Putin has rebuilt the middle class, gradually.

The Russian middle class isn’t the same as ours. A lot of Russia’s middle class are people who are on the federal budget: Army officers, doctors, scientists, teachers—these are all federal budget people. They’re middle class, but they don’t become middle class as autonomous property owners. A lot of my friends are members of this class, and a lot of them are very pro-Putin, but a lot of my friends are very anti-Putin, too. The thing about the Soviet Union can be summarized very simply: The Soviet Union lasted 70-plus years, so that would be less than the average life of an American male today. A person cannot jump out of his or her autobiography any more than they can jump out of their skin; it’s your life. You were born in the Soviet Union, you had your first sexual experience in the Soviet Union, you were educated, you got a career, you got married, you raised your kids: That was your life. Of course you miss it, certainly parts of it.

There were ethnic nationalities in the Soviet Union who hated it and wanted to break away, and this became a factor in 1991, but for a great many people— certainly the majority of Russians and a great many Ukrainians and Belorussians and the central Asians— it’s not surprising that 25 years later, those adults still remember the Soviet Union with affection. This is normal, and I don’t find anything bad in it. You know, Putin wasn’t actually the first to say this but he did say it and it’s brilliant and tells you who Putin is and who most Russians are. He said this: Anyone who doesn’t regret the end of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who thinks you can recreate the Soviet Union has no head. That’s it, that’s exactly right!

Didn’t Putin say that the end of the Soviet Union was the 20th century’s greatest catastrophe?

It all has to do with the word “the.” There’s no “the” in Russian. Did Putin say, in translation, that the end of the Soviet Union was “the” greatest catastrophe of the 20th century? If so, there’s something wrong with that, because for Jews it was the Holocaust. Or did he say, “one of” the greatest catastrophes?

I would have guessed the latter.

All four professional translators I sent Putin’s phrase to said you have to translate it as “one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century.” Now, we can have a discussion. He’s taken a moderate position, but what are the others? Fair enough, but catastrophe for whom? Americans don’t think it was a catastrophe. Putin would say, “Look, 20 million Russians found themselves outside the country when the Soviet Union broke up, that was a tragedy for them, a catastrophe. Seventy or 80 percent plunged into poverty in the 1990s, lost everything. Can I put that on the list of “one of the greatest?” I would say sure, because for everybody there’s a greater catastrophe. For the Jews there’s no catastrophe greater than the Holocaust. For the Armenians, their genocide. Again, people can’t jump out of their history. A tolerant, democratic person acknowledges that. Each people and nation has its own history. I’d like to write an article about this, but I’m not going to live long enough to write all the articles or books I want to write. We say, for example, the Russians have not come to grips with and fully acknowledged the horrors of Stalinism and its victims. I would argue in this article that they have done more to acknowledge the horrors of Stalinism than we have of slavery.

Interesting.

For example, do we have a national museum of the history of slavery in the United States? They’re building a large one in Moscow to commemorate Stalin’s victims. He recently signed a decree mandating a monument in central Moscow to those victims.

In the way of being moved by some of the things you write, I’ve wanted to ask you about this for years. It has to do with the sentiments of Russians and what they wanted, their ambitions for themselves, some form of… as I read along in these passages I kept saying, “I wonder if he’s going to use the phrase ‘social democracy.’” And, sure enough, you did. These passages got me to take Rudolph Bahro [author of “The Alternative in Eastern Europe”] off the shelf. The obvious next step after East-West tension subsided was some form of social democracy. I don’t know where you want to put it. I put it between Norway and Germany somewhere. To me what happened instead is a horrific tragedy, not only for Russia but for Eastern Europe.

My problem with this begins with the fact that I’m not a communist, I’m not a socialist, a social democrat. I’d like to have enough money to be a real capitalist, but it’s a struggle. [Laughs.] I don’t have a vested interest in one of the “isms” or the ideologies, but I agree with you. I don’t know about Eastern Europe, let’s leave it aside, but look at Russia. You’d have thought that the logical outcome of the dismantling of the Stalinist Communist system, because the system was built primarily by Stalin from the 1930s on, would have been Russian social democracy and that, of course, was what Gorbachev’s mission was. Lots of books have been written, most persuasively by Archie Brown, the great British scholar, who knows Gorbachev personally, probably as well as I do, that Gorbachev came to think of himself as a European social democrat while he was still in power. That’s what his goal was. He had this close relationship with the Social Democratic prime minister of Spain, I forget his name.

Zapatero?

I don’t remember, but I remember that they did a lot of social democratic socializing and talking.

Felipe Gonzalez, I think it was.

Gonzalez, that’s right. Gorbachev was a very well-informed man and his advisors during his years in power were mostly social democrats and had been for years. Their mission had been to transform the Soviet Union. Now, remember, Lenin began as a social democrat, and the original model for Lenin had been not only Marx but the German Social Democratic Party. The Bolshevik or Communist Party was originally the Russian Social Democratic Party, which split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. So in a way, and I once said this to Gorbachev, historically you want to go back to Lenin before he became a Bolshevik. He said, “Well that’s kind of complicated.” Then Gorbachev said, “Everybody agrees Russia is a left-of-center country.”

The Russian people are left of center. They’re a welfare-state country. Gorbachev had this interesting conversation with Putin, when he went to tell Putin that he, Gorbachev, was going to start a social democratic party. There had been several start-ups and they never went anywhere. And Putin said that’s the right thing to do, because Russia really is a left-of-center country. So Putin said the same thing. And so Russia is, if you look at the history of Russia…

Are you talking about Russia very early, thinking about Russian givenness to community and all that?

However you put it all together, the peasant tradition, the urban tradition, the socialist tradition. Almost all the revolutionary parties were socialist. You didn’t have a Tea Party among them. This is a Russian tradition. Now, it’s obviously changed, but I would say that today, looking at the polls, most Russians overwhelmingly believe that the state has obligations that include medical care, free education, and guaranteeing everybody a job. In fact, it’s in the Russian constitution, the guarantee of a job. Most Russians feel there should not be a “free market” but a social or regulated market, that some things should be subsidized, that the government should regulate certain things, and that nobody should be too rich or too poor. For that you get 80 percent of the vote every time. So that’s a social democratic program, right? Why don’t they have it?

I ask everybody in Russia who wants a social democratic party. They exist, but not a party that can win elections? What’s the problem here? I think know, but I want to hear Russians tell me what’s right. People cite what you and I would guess. First of all, there’s the hangover from communism, which was social democratic and somewhat socialist, in some form.

Second, and this is probably the key thing, social democratic movements tended to grow out of labor movements—labor unions, historically, in England and Scandinavia and Germany. They became the political movement of the labor movement, the working class movement. So you normally get a labor movement that favors political action instead of strikes, creates a political party, you have a parliamentary system, they begin to build support in the working class, elements of the middle class join them, and you end up eventually with European social democracy.

Old Labour in Britain is a perfect example.

Well, the labor unions in Russia are a complete mess. I shouldn’t say that, but they’re complicated. The major one remains the old Soviet official one, which is in bed deeply with state employers. The independent one, or ones, haven’t been able to get enough traction. In almost every European country there were circumstances, you might say the political culture was favorable. Those objective circumstances don’t exist [in Russia]. First, you have an insecure savaged middle class that’s seen its savings confiscated or devalued repeatedly in the last 25 years. You’ve got a working class trapped between oligarchs, state interests and old industries, and private entrepreneurs who are very vulnerable. In other words, the working class itself is in transition. Its own insecurities don’t lead it to think in terms of political organizations but in terms of issues—of whether Ford Motor Company is going to fire them all tomorrow. They’re localized issues.

Then you don’t have a leadership. Leadership really matters. No one has emerged, either in the Russian parliament or in Russian political life. By the 1990s Gorbachev was past his prime and too hated for what had happened to the country. He hoped to be, when he ran for president that time [in 1996] and got 1 percent, he hoped to be the social democratic leader. There are a couple guys in Parliament who aspire to be the leader of Russian social democracy…. When I’m asked, and I’ve told this to young social democrats and to Gennady Zyuganov, whom I’ve known for 20 years, the leader of the Russian Communist Party, the only real electoral party, that Russia needs social democracy with a Russian face….

What this means is that the most important force in Russia, and people were wrong to say Putin created it, is nationalism. This began, in fact, under Stalin. It was embedded during the Brezhnev years, and it was overshadowed during perestroika in the late-1980s. Then there was an inevitable upsurge as a result of the 1990s. You cannot be a viable political candidate in Russia today unless you come to grips with nationalism.

Therefore, the best way, in my judgment, if you also want democracy, is social democracy with a Russian nationalist face. What’s interesting is the guy who was until recently the most popular opposition leader, Navalny [Alexei Navalny, the noted anti-corruption activist], who got nearly 30 per cent of the vote in the Moscow mayoral elections and then blew it by becoming again a foe of the entire system instead of building on his electoral success—he’s too nationalistic for the taste of a lot of democrats.

Truly? You wouldn’t know it from what you read.

He’s got a bad history in regards to the Caucasus people, among others. But what’s interesting in this regard is, we don’t ever speak of American nationalism. We call it patriotism. It’s weird, isn’t it? We don’t have a state, we have a government….

Every American politician who seeks the presidency in effect tries to make American nationalism the program of his or her candidacy, but they call it patriotism. They’re fully aware of the need to do this, right? So why they think Putin doesn’t have to do it, too, is completely beyond me. There’s no self-awareness.

In Russia, people had lost hope tremendously after 1991 but their hope later attached to Putin—imagine what he faced. For example, can you imagine becoming the leader of such a country and for the sake of consensus having a textbook putting together Tsarist, Soviet and post-Soviet history? Our presidents had a hard time dealing with slave and post-slave, Civil War and post-Civil War history. How do they do it? Each president did it differently, but Putin inherited this conflicting history, and the way he’s tried to patch all three together into a consensual way for Russians to view their history and to teach kids in school is very interesting. Now, of course, it’s being ruptured again with this war and with Crimea and with this new nationalism.

I’d like to change the subject. Often in the books you mention an interest in alternatives: What could’ve happened if this or that hadn’t. We just covered one, the missed opportunity for a historically logical social democratic outcome in Russia. How do you account for this tendency in your thinking?

We have formative experiences—what shaped you, at least so you think when you look back. You don’t know it at the time, you don’t know a formative experience is formative until later. You’d agree with that.

It’s only in hindsight. “Reality takes form only in memory.” Proust.

For me it was growing up in the segregated South. But the reality was valid in retrospect, because I later realized that what I was doing had been so shaped by growing up in the segregated South, the way I reacted to that and the way I learned from it later, actually, in a strange way, led me to Russia.

You suggested this in the book on gulag returnees, “The Victims Return.” I wonder if you could explain the connection. How did growing up in Kentucky [Cohen was raised in Owensboro] lead you to Russian studies, and what does it do for your analysis of the Russian situation? How does a Kentucky childhood keep you alert to alternatives?

Well, you have to remember what segregation was. I didn’t understand this as a little boy, but it was American apartheid. Owensboro, probably had fewer than  20,000 people then, including the farmers. For a kid growing up in a completely segregated county, first of all, the world you’re born into is the normal world. I had no questions about it…. I didn’t perceive the injustice of it.

And then you get older and you begin to see the injustice and you wonder, how did this happen?… At Indiana University I run into this professor who becomes my mentor, Robert C. Tucker, [Tucker, who died in 2010, was a distinguished Russianist and author of a celebrated biography of Stalin]. I’d been to Russia—accidentally, I went on a tour—and he asked, “What in Russia interests you?” And I said, “Well, I’m from Kentucky, and I’ve always wondered if there was an alternative in Kentucky’s history between being deep South and not being deep South.” And Tucker said, “You know, one of the biggest questions in Russian history is lost alternatives. Nobody ever studies them.” And I said, “Aha!”

So the title of your 2009 book, “Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives,” is in his honor?

I began to live in Russia in 1976, for two or three months a year until they took my visa away in 1982. This is when I got deeply involved in the dissident movement, smuggling manuscripts out and books back in and all these things. I begin to think, how does Russia change today? And my mind reverted to segregation and the end of segregation and the friends and foes of change…. I wrote an article called “The Friends and Foes of Change” about reformism and conservatism in the Soviet system, because I thought that it was institutions, it was culture, it was history and leaders and that you needed a conjunction of these events before you could get major change in Russia and the Soviet Union…. I published that as an article in 1976 or 1977 and I expanded it for a book I wrote, “Rethinking the Soviet Experience,” which was published in 1985, a month before Gorbachev came to power. And everybody would later say, “He foresaw Gorbachev.”

Actually I didn’t quite. What I foresaw was perestroika. For me it wasn’t about the name of the leader, but the policy such leader would enact. I got one thing wrong. Because it was so hard to make this argument in Cold War America, that the Soviet Union had a capacity for reform awaiting it, if factors came together. I didn’t think to carry the argument beyond liberalization to actual democratization. So I didn’t foresee a Gorbachev who would enact actual democratization, free voting, and dismantle the Communist Party…. But I always thought that thinking about the history of Kentucky, living through segregation, watching the change, seeing the civil rights movement, seeing the resistance to it and why helped me think more clearly about the Soviet Union under Brezhnev and about my dissident friends. And I also knew reformers in the party bureaucracy pretty well, and when we would talk at night, I never mentioned this but my mind would always kind of drift back.

The connection is not at all obvious but you explain it very well and it’s clear once you do. 

Well, sometimes people read a book that opens their eyes. I think the whole secret, particularly as you get older… Trotsky I think wrote that after some age, I think he said 39 or 45, all we do is document our prejudices. And there’s some truth to that, obviously. But one of the ways that you avoid becoming dogmatic about your own published views is to keep looking for things that challenge what you think. You try to filter them through whatever intellectual apparatus you’ve been using for, in my case, 40 years.

I thought it would be interesting to get through those sections of Kennan’s journals [“The Kennan Diaries,” 2014] that would be germane to our exchange. What struck me coming away from them was the enormous sadness and pessimism that hung over him in the later years. I wonder if you share that.

My position has always been, America doesn’t need a friend in the Kremlin. We need a national security partner. Friendships often don’t last. Partnerships based on common interests, compatible self-interests, do.

I have always known such a partnership would be difficult to achieve because there are so many differences, conflicts, and Cold War landmines. There were numerous chances to enhance the relationship—during the Nixon-Brezhnev détente period, Gorbachev and Reagan, Gorbachev and Bush, even with Putin after 9/11, when he helped [George W.] Bush in Afghanistan. But they all became lost opportunities, those after 1991 lost mainly in Washington, not Moscow.

When I speak of lost alternatives I do not mean the counter-factuals employed by novelists and some historians—the invention of “what-ifs.” I mean actual alternatives that existed politically at turning points in history, and why one road was taken and not the other. Much of my work has focused on this large question in Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history and in U.S.-Russian relations.

So you ask if I’m disappointed by the lost opportunities for an American-Russian partnership, especially in light of the terrible confrontation over Ukraine? Having struggled for such a partnership for about 40 years, yes, of course, I’m personally disappointed—and even more so by the Ukraine crisis because I think it may be fateful in the worst sense.

On the other hand, as an historian who has specialized in lost alternatives, well, now I have another to study, to put in historical context and analyze. And it’s my historical analysis—that an alternative in Ukraine was squandered primarily in Washington, not primarily in Moscow—that those who slur me don’t like.

To which I reply, Let them study history, because few of them, if any, seem ever to have done so.

Patrick Smith is the author of “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century.” He was the International Herald Tribune’s bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote “Letter from Tokyo” for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist.

More Patrick L. Smith.  

Nulandgate as an example of disastrous neocon foreign policy

While moving Ukraine closer to the West might be a worthwhile goal, but handing of this geopolitical task by the USA is a classic case of "elephant in china store". Level of incompetence, Chutzpah demonstrated by Nuland and her neocon friends in State Department is simply staggering. With the level of control of Yanukovich they demonstrated  during EuroMaydan events, including their ability simply buy some key government figures (and control of a part of Ukrainian security apparatus, inherited by Yanukovich from Yushchenko, who was a pro-Western president)  the need to violet overthrow of his government is highly questionable.

As a result, Ukrainians (like Iranian and Libyans before them) became another victim of Washington's dirty geopolitical games. And they are paying for those games with their lives,  with dramatically (to the level of starvation of pensioners; and I am not exaggerating) diminished standard of living and destroyed infrastructure, completely broken economic ties with Russia -- which was the major economic partner and major market for Ukrainian goods.

While rise of Ukrainian nationalism was given, taking into account the mere fact of independence, the forms which it took are definitely sub optional. Now they have a civil war in the South East, with all the associated cruelty and destruction. In other words "Somalization" of Ukraine proceeded after February 22, 2014 at full speed. It's very easy to destroy a civil order in a fragile country, but it will take decades to repair the damage and bring citizens back to their previous level of well-being and security.

Victoria Nuland will probably enter the history as a person who instigated the start of civil war in Ukraine. Generally Ukraine proved to be another colossal failure of the USA foreign policy: they tried to hit Russia, but got closer alliance of Russia and China. And like elephant in China store they hit Ukraine first, breaking country into peaces,  destroying the economy in the process. And what West needed is a new market for manufacturing, not a new hot spot. Not another failed country that now needs to be financed and maintained by Western loans which have little chance to be repaid.  Actually the role of Germany and personally Angela Merkel in all this mess is pretty negative too, although Germans definitely can't match the level of Chitzpah of their transatlantic masters.

Important factor contributing to the failures of the US foreign policy in recent years is the decrease of the intellectual potential of the "foreign policy establishment". To see the trend it's enough to compare Kissinger or Brzezinski, with the current Secretary Kerry and Victoria Nuland. The result is the degradation of quality of the USA foreign policy, which now creates a lot of unnecessary anger and indignation in large part of Europe and Asia. Even when goals of the USA are not that imperialistic per se. 

Unlike McFaul who got Ph.D, Nuland has just BA from Brown University (1983) where she studied Russian literature, political science, and history. She never served in Russian or even any Eastern European embassy. Her major previous position were  U.S. ambassador to NATO and State Department spokeswoman. Both positions required very little diplomacy and destructive influence of being the State Department spokeswoman (which is the propagandist, not a diplomat) were clearly detrimental to her current role.  Especially, her previous position as the US ambassador to NATO which essentially conditions a person to view Russia only via hairlines. And she lacks real, native diplomatic skills which the following dialogs clearly attests:

The start of this trend toward the intellectual degradation probably has began with the collapse of the USSR. At that time, the USA elite suddenly became the actual "master of the world", which does not need to be engaged in maneuvers in international politics, but can simply to impose their will through various levers of political and economic coercion, and, if necessary, by military operations. So the USA became a bully.

The first robin of this degradation was "not so bright" Madeleine (not so bright) Albright -- an interesting example if not a female sociopath, then a pretty much borderline personality. Those personalities do not care about building lasting fundament of international relations based on UN (which was created as an effort for preventing the repeat of WWII), they were hell bent on destroying this framework to provide the USA maximum political and economic advantages in the unipolar world. As such they all work toward WWIII ( Jen, July 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm ):

Since when Madeleine Albright (she who uttered the notorious line “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” to Colin Powell) was US State Secretary, the US State Department has more or less acted as a rogue element within the US government. Not that this particular gallery of rogues has been the only one with a mind of its own. The US Treasury is dominated by Goldman Sachs management, some of whose people have investments and links with arms companies and thus clear conflicts of interest. Plus US economic and foreign policies have been dictated by University of Chicago alumni who worship Friedrich Hayek / Milton Friedman free market economics and Leo Strauss’s faux-Platonian Republic political philosophy in which a ruling elite tells lies to its subjects to keep them all under control.

Nuland can also can be viewed as example of a related trend: the trend for the appointment to senior posts in the State Department people on the criteria of loyalty to a particular clan of the political elite to the detriment of the interests of the state as a whole. This trend started under Reagan and which got in full force under Bush II and continued under Barack Obama administration. Victoria Nuland was a member of Cheney's Cabal of Zealots:

'Cabal' of Zealots - Wilkerson calls Cheney’s inner group a “cabal” of arrogant, intensely zealous, highly focused loyalists. Recalling Cheney’s staff interacting in a variety of interagency meetings and committees, “The staff that the vice president sent out made sure that those [committees] didn’t key anything up that wasn’t what the vice president wanted,” says Wilkerson.

“Their style was simply to sit and listen, and take notes. And if things looked like they were going to go speedily to a decision that they knew that the vice president wasn’t going to like, generally they would, at the end of the meeting, in great bureaucratic style, they’d say: ‘We totally disagree. Meeting’s over.’” The committee agendas were generally scuttled.

And if something did get written up as a “decision memo” bound for the Oval Office, Cheney himself would ensure that it died before ever reaching fruition.”

It does not help that Nuland is married to Washington Post columnist and neoconservative historian Robert Kagan, who helped sell the case for the Iraq War, advised both Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, and co-founded the Project for a New American Century think tank with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. His credentials as neocon chickenhawk in the conservative foreign policy establishment are unimpeachable. Obama has spoken fondly of some of Kagan’s work as well.

And it does not help that her previous job was State Department spokesmen, the job which definitely further  radicalized her into right-wing neocon zealot. And would negatively effect the political views of  even more moderate person then Nuland was at the moment of her appointment.  Now she is definitely far tot he right from her husband Robert Kagan, who along with Wolfowitz is a leading US neocon:

Nuland is married to Washington Post columnist and neoconservative historian Robert Kagan, who helped sell the case for the Iraq War, advised both Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, and co-founded the Project for a New American Century think tank with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Obama has spoken fondly of some of Kagan’s work as well, but his credentials in the conservative foreign policy establishment are unimpeachable.

"Republicans are good at wielding power, but they're not so wonderful when it comes to the more idealistic motives of liberal internationalism. The Democrats are better at liberal internationalism, but they're not so good at wielding power. I would say that if there were a Joe Lieberman/John McCain party, I'm in the Joe Lieberman/John McCain party."

- Robert Kagan

Leading antiwar blogger Marcy Wheeler called her a “former Cheney hack.” In both Bush and Obama State Departments when such people commit errors, some of which had all the signs of intentional crimes, they are swiped under the carpet. This has created favorable conditions for creation of the situation when real national interests and the security of the USA were sacrificed to the private interests of individual corporations and oligarchic clans, which enriched themselves using "sacred" neoliberal principle: " profits to private corporations, expenses to the state."

This reduction of the intellectual potential of the American elite contributed to gradual replacement of real experts in the higher echelons of power with incompetents who are sometimes called "effective managers" - people with close, often family connection to powerful clans (such as neoconservatives) and who after obtaining particular position try to advance interests of those clans on international arena. Occupying senior positions, such "effective managers" select the relevant employees. Both Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland can be viewed as examples of this trend.

Foreign policy became yet another area in which, in best traditions of neoliberalism, the objective interests of the United States as a state are sacrificed to the interests of private corporations. for example by driving the United States into military conflicts, in result of which the country suffers tremendous losses -- both material and image-related -- and only certain corporations reap huge profits (Iraq). There are similar signs of the same intellectual degradation in other areas, for example development of new types of military hardware based on unproven technologies. Which gives zero results but still generating huge profits for military-industrial complex.

This intellectual degradation strengthen Messianic elements in the USA foreign policy, the confidence that only the USA should solely determine all the elements of the new world order in all countries. And for this trend EuroMaidan in general and Victoria Nuland in particular is a textbook example.

See more in "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Instead of conclusions: Neocons are the War Party

Justin Raimondo aptly described neocons as the war party:

Such phrases as "the War Party" (yes, capitalized like that), and casual mention of "the neocons" – language pretty much confined to this site, until relatively recently – are now commonplace. The anti-interventionist lexicon is defining the terms of the debate, and I think Antiwar.com can take much of the credit.

All during the period leading up to the Kosovo war – and long after – we warned of the danger posed by the neoconservatives, and their doctrine of "benevolent global hegemony," as Bill Kristol, their Lenin, put it in 1996. In my first column, dated February 26, 1999, I wrote:

"Well-funded and well-connected, the War Party is such a varied and complex phenomenon that a detailed description of its activities, and its vast system of interlocking directorates and special interests, both foreign and domestic, would fill the pages of a good-sized book. The alternative is to break down the story, and serve up its constituent parts in brief glimpses, portraits of individuals and organizations that lobbied hard for this war and its bloody prosecution."

Except that the war I was referring to was the Kosovo war, those words might easily have been written today. The face of the enemy is unchanged: what's changed is that it is increasingly recognized, and resented. That is what we have been doing, here at www.antiwar.com: revealing, with every link and article, the many faces of the War Party – in all its aspects, and from a wide variety of viewpoints.

Our eclecticism has been the focus of criticism by some: David Frum, the ex-White House speechwriter turned neocon enforcer of political correctness, recently took us to task for running links to pieces by John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Alexander Cockburn, and other demons of the right-wing imagination. It is typical of Commissar Frum that he would misunderstand the whole purpose of linking in this way: the very concept of the internet, with its constant cross-referencing interconnectivity, is utterly alien to the party-lining neocon mentality.

Another problem for the neocons is that it's much harder to smear someone on the internet than it is on paper, without showing up the smearer as a liar. In criticizing the views of an opponent, one is obliged to come up with a link – so that readers can see for themselves if the criticism is fair. The artful use of ellipses no longer works, because the entire context of a statement is readily available. Of course, one always can do what Commissar Frum did in his National Review screed against antiwar libertarians and conservatives, and not provide any links to the targets of abuse. But that isn't very convincing. Indeed, it is highly suspicious: no wonder many conservatives are now rising up against the self-appointed arbiters of political correctness on the Right. The neocon campaign to smear conservative opponents of the Iraq war as "anti-American" has backfired badly – and we at Antiwar.com take a special pride in knowing that this site had a lot to do with that.

We have, from the beginning, cultivated anti-interventionist sentiment on the Right, not only among libertarians – who already accept it as a defining principle of their ideology – but also among conservatives. The idea that we cannot be a republic and an empire is finally beginning to dawn on the advocates of limited government -–as they see the national security state swallowing up the last of our freedoms. Big Brother reads our email and tracks our every move, while Big Government just keeps on getting bigger.

Conservatives are catching on, and, while Antiwar.com alone can't take credit for this, what we can take credit for is amplifying and popularizing anti-interventionist views on the right, injecting them into the national debate.

Over the years Antiwar.com has presented a wide range of opinion, from left to right and all points in between, yet we have always been pretty up-front about our own ideological predilections. We are libertarians: we stand for the free market, and we don't take the view that American culture and American capitalism are the repositories of all that is wrong with the world. We reserve that role for governments –notably, and especially lately, the U.S. federal government.

We support the antiwar movement, yet we are not uncritical: far from it. We have tried to promote some sense of self-awareness, and of responsibility, while doing our best to correct what we view as the mistakes and misconceptions that are rife in antiwar circles. You may not always agree with our analysis – of tactics, or of general principles – but it is hard to contend that we haven't consistently tried to broaden and deepen the anti-interventionist current, in America and internationally.

Looking back on where we've been, I am filled with pride – and a sense of optimism. Looking ahead, however, to the prospect of future wars, I can feel only a gathering sense of dread.

My friend Pat Buchanan has recently posed the question: "Is the Neoconservative Moment Over?" He makes the case that the worst may already be behind us:

"The salad days of the neoconservatives, which began with the president's Axis-of-Evil address in January 2002 and lasted until the fall of Baghdad may be coming to an end. Indeed, it is likely the neoconservatives will never again enjoy the celebrity and cachet in which they reveled in their romp to war on Iraq.

"…the high tide of neoconservatism may have passed because the high tide of American empire may have passed. 'World War IV,' the empire project, the great cause of the neocons, seems to have been suspended by the President of the United States."

It's a nice thought, but I don't believe it for a moment. Not when the same propaganda campaign once directed at Iraq is now being launched against Iran; not when leading politicians declare that U.S. troops may have to go after Hamas – and certainly not as long as the President of the United States reserves the "right" to carry out a policy of "regime change" as a means of preemptive "defense."

The empire project may or may not be temporarily suspended: perhaps stalled is the right word. We can be sure, however, that the War Party isn't going away. As long as they're around, and more active than ever, Antiwar.com is a necessity. But our continued existence is by no means assured.

Unlike the interventionists, who lavish billions – much of it taxpayer dollars – on their permanent propaganda campaign, Antiwar.com doesn't have access to unlimited funding. Arrayed against us is the whole complex of neocon think tanks, newspaper chains, radio networks and special interests that keep the arteries of the media clogged with a constant stream of warmongering disinformation and outright fabrications. We have no Rupert Murdoch, no "merchants of death," and no government subsidies to fill our coffers. We depend on you, our readers, for the support we need to survive.

... ... ...


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The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[2]

An unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove:

Reality-based community - Wikipedia

[Aug 14, 2018] Iran s Supreme Leader No War Nor Negotiations Ever With This White House

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

In near simultaneous statements addressed to the Iranian public in a speech aired on state TV, the supreme leader who has the final word over all affairs in the Islamic republic, issued the directive: "I ban holding any talks with America... America never remains loyal to its promises in talks."

"America's withdrawal from the nuclear deal is a clear proof that America cannot be trusted," state TV quoted Khamenei further.

As part of his series of tweets, some of which mocked Trump's policy in the Middle East, Khamenei published an infographic presenting his position on ratcheting tensions with the U.S.

He also slammed the idea that this was the first such offer of talks, saying that Iran has proudly resisted unfair and imbalanced U.S. offers of negotiations for decades, and even cited President Ronald Reagan's sending his national security advisor, Robert McFarlane to Tehran for failed negotiations.

Notably, he appeared to troll Trump personally as well as his cabinet in the following:

A stupid man tells the Iranian nation that 'your government spends your money on Syria'. This is while his boss-- the U.S. president-- has admitted he spent 7 trillion dollars in the Middle East without gaining anything in return!

The top Iranian cleric also briefly referenced Iran's domestic crisis, which has included sporadic protests and clashes with the police throughout the summer in response to a plummeting rial and inability of people to access imported goods, stating "Today's livelihood problems do not emerge from outside; they are internal."

He urged the country to resist sanctions and erect "prudent" ways shielding from their effects.

It will be interesting to see if Trump responds to this directly in a tweet, or if any official reaction will be forthcoming from the White House.

But in the meantime it appears the possibility of any renegotiation after Trump's official pullout of the JCPOA last May has just had to the door slammed on it.


truthseeker47 -> vvaleria692 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 13:41 Permalink

Of course Iranian leaders do not want to negotiate with Trump, they know they cannot walk all over him like they did with Obummer.

peddling-fiction -> truthseeker47 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 13:50 Permalink

No war? Chuckle.

TBT or not TBT -> peddling-fiction Mon, 08/13/2018 - 13:57 Permalink

The mullahs are going to be quite the whiny bitches for a while. The anti-American pro Islam President Obama, Commie CIA director, for sale Sec of State, gay agenda Pentagon director and Ben Rhodes and ValJar, Rice and their ill will not be returning. Islamic socialism will be performing the economic wonders you can expect, putting a strong clamp on you their foreign subversion and domestic payrolls too. Meanwhile, they've got a middle class that hates them and views Islam as foreign dirty Arabs' inhuman sect. Good luck with that.

[Aug 14, 2018] Paradoxically it is not in best inteersts of Russia to rock the boat of international economy despite sanctions

Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

All attempt to limit their effectiveness are OK. Attempts to undermine the USA economy or dollar status as the reserve currency are not.

[Aug 14, 2018] New US Sanctions. Bring Them on and Let's See Whose Side God Is On!

Russia pays the [huge] cost of remaining a nation, a civilization and a state ~Vladimir Putin.
Putin Slams US: "The Biggest Mistake Russia Ever Made Was To Trust You"
This is a clear attempt top abuse the dominant position of the USA in the world. For Russian this is powerful blow in the torso, Will it be knockdown remains to be seen. Also as a weaker party Russia can's afford a powerful counterstrike.
Notable quotes:
"... "Skulduggery instead of diplomacy, lies instead of truth, hairdresser-saloon hearsay against facts and truth, anything goes in the attempt to derail the one nation with the guts, gumption, grit and wherewithal to counter the evil hegemonistic plans of Washington and its chihuahuas" ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com
"Skulduggery instead of diplomacy, lies instead of truth, hairdresser-saloon hearsay against facts and truth, anything goes in the attempt to derail the one nation with the guts, gumption, grit and wherewithal to counter the evil hegemonistic plans of Washington and its chihuahuas" Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey 14 hours ago | 2,909 85 More sanctions from the USA using the Skripal affair as an excuse without a shred of evidence, based on hype, hysteria and hearsay. Back-door economic warfare.

Surprise, surprise. The USA invokes a law from the 1990s claiming that it has to impose sanctions when a country crosses a chemical or biological line, in this case an invisible one with no proof, no law case, no due legal process, just an allegation from wonderful British intelligence that the Kremlin was involved in the Skripal case. Proof? None actually...none at all. Just a vague blanket statement along the lines of "They have done it before and they have said they will take out traitors and in the absence of any plausible alternative, they must be guilty". For Washington, after months of vacillating, stating the obvious that it is very complicated to apportion the blame when nobody knows which novichok was used, where it was produced and in the total absence of any trail linking it to the Kremlin, we get the idea that we are looking yet again at the wonderful British intelligence of the type that Colin Powell used to justify the USA's illegal and murderous act of butchery against Iraq. The type of intelligence which resembles a decade-old doctoral thesis copied and pasted from the net and sexed up by Downing Street.

And here they are again, the dynamic duo. Skulduggery instead of diplomacy, lies instead of truth, hairdresser-saloon hearsay against facts and truth, anything goes in the attempt to derail the one nation with the guts, gumption, grit and wherewithal to counter the evil hegemonistic plans of Washington and its chihuahuas.

Drawing the time line at the beginning, let us analyze what is happening and let us see the movie developing from a distance. The political system in vogue at present is the corporatist model controlled by the $inister $ix $isters which control the policies of Washington and its chihuahuas, namely the BARFFS (Banking, Arms, eneRgy, Finance, Food, Pharma/DrugS Lobbies). The BARFFS live off resources and as history has shown us when they have none themselves, they invade countries and steal them. Ask Africa, the victim of a silent Holocaust which claimed seventy million lives.

Russia for them is kosher when it is ruled by something that bends over when told to and allows foreigners to steal the country's resources. Russia for them is not kosher when someone like Putin comes along, slams his fist on the table and says loud and clear that Russian resources are for Russians, managed by Russians. What the BARFFS want is to see Russia divided up into, say, one hundred micro-states each one with a BARFFS-friendly government allowing foreigners to syphon off the vast resources of this country.

me width=

The game starts with promises made to the then-USSR about friendly relations, about NATO not encroaching eastwards, about a new world order based on partnership. It then quickly morphs out of control with the help of the media, using buzz-words and expressions such as "collapse of the Soviet Union" (absolute nonsense, it did not collapse, it transformed from the Union to the Commonwealth as per the terms of the Third Soviet Constitution, without consulting the people, or has everyone forgotten that?). There then ensued acts of provocation in the Balkans, and then in Russia itself (Chechnya), then on Russia's frontiers.

Before Georgia in 2008 we had a spectacular example of war crimes and an illegal invasion of Iraq to test the waters, where military hardware was deployed against civilian structures, where fields of cereals were strafed by NATO aircraft to starve families, where Depleted Uranium was deployed leaving swathes of territory poisonous; beforte this we had the illegal interference in the Republic of Serbia, backing terrorists (Ushtria Çlirimtare ë Kosovës, UÇK or KLA) and the illegal act of kidnapping and subsequent manslaughter/murder of Slobodan Milosevich, who died in custody while being held illegally and without being found guilty of any of the crimes leveled against him.

With Georgia we had another act of provocation in which Georgian forces attacked Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia and were building up to do the same in Abkhazia, territories which under the Soviet Constitution had necessarily to have status referendums on which way the people wanted to go and into which Republic they should integrate. Georgia refused to hold these referendums.

And since Georgia we had Libya, a shocking act of barbarity in which NATO interfered in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, sending the country with the highest Human Development Index back into the dark ages, fragmented and crawling with terrorists. Not to mention Afghanistan, started in 2001 and ongoing, where "allied" troops are photographed guarding opium fields, where opium production has risen and where Talebaan fighters are seen escorting NATO convoys, paid, like WTF?... and not to mention Syria, in which the same side once again allied itself with terrorists as it did in Libya, terrorists which raped little girls before and after they were beheaded, which raped nuns savagely in every orifice of their bodies, which impaled little boys on stakes and which ripped the hearts out of Syrian soldiers and bit into them.

So we see what we are up against. And if all that were not enough today we have the idiotic acts of provocation in the Baltic where a handful of NATO soldiers are cavorting around like toy soldiers claiming to keep their countries safe. From what? Jupiter? Ah and yes, we have Ukraine as the latest act of provocation.

It started off well before the so-called protests in Independence Square, Kiev with subversion and organization of protesters who took to the streets in November 2013 and in late February 2014, shots were fired from the sixth floor of Hotel Ukraine on the protesters in the square below to create a "cause", the democratically elected President was ousted in an illegal coup, massacres were perpetrated against Russian-speaking Ukrainians (this story seems to have disappeared from the Western media) and Fascists shouted slogans such as "Death to Russians and Jews". As a reaction, Russian-speaking Ukrainians defended themselves in South-East Ukraine and in the absence of the due legal force in the Republic of Crimea, the Legislative Assembly, now the organism with due legal force, organized a referendum on status and over ninety per cent of the population (Russians) voted to reintegrate Russia. It's called Democracy. Maybe Washington and its chihuahuas should try it some time.

What the BARFFS wanted Russia to do was to roll over, drop its pants and say "sock it to me, babe". With another leader, that might have happened. Not with Putin. So now we have instead, economic warfare with sanctions, more sanctions and increased sanctions, trying to tie a knot around Russia's throat and tightening it, now linking Crimea to Abkhazia to South Ossetia, to state-sponsored terrorism without a shred of respect for the law and the facts. It is by now crystal clear what the West wants.

It wants to strangle the Russian economy to create unrest in Russia and create political movements against Putin. It then wants to instal a west-friendly government which will see Russia fragmented, sooner or later, into a myriad of republics, each one with their resources controlled by foreigners.

That is what the sanctions are about. Let us see whose side God is on.


Source: Pravda.ru

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump s Creative Vision for a New, Sensible, RealPolitik American Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... Financial Times ..."
"... raison d'état ..."
"... balance of power ..."
"... Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, "Does the United States Have a Future?" was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on http://www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide. See the recent professional review http://theduran.com/does-the-united-states-have-a-future-a-new-book-by-gilbert-doctorow-review/ For a video of the book presentation made at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on 7 December 2017 see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciW4yod8upg ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Tharoor quotes from New York Times columnist David Brooks who concluded that Trump's behavior was that "of a man who wants the alliance to fail." He quotes extensively from Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister and leader of the Liberal political fraction in the European Parliament fighting for a much more integrated EU, who sees Trump as the enemy of liberal internationalism and ally of his own alt right enemies in Europe.

Tharoor also brings into play Martin Wolf of the Financial Times , who delivered a scathing attack on Trump for his rejection of the West: " today the U.S. president appears hostile to core American values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law; he feels no loyalty to allies; he rejects open markets; and he despises international institutions."

In the 23 July issue of "Today's World View," Tharoor takes advantage of the time gone by since Helsinki to refine the conclusions. He offers a pithy commentary from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker : "We are witnessing nothing less than the breakdown of American foreign policy."

In the same issue, Tharoor notes that public reaction to Trump in Helsinki is less pronounced than one might suppose from reading the pundits. He offers the following remarks of colleagues on the results of a recent poll: "Most Americans do not feel Trump went 'too far' in supporting Puitn, and while more Americans say U.S. leadership has gotten weaker than stronger under Trump, his ratings on this question are slightly improved from last fall."

If we go back in time to the days following Trump's visit to the NATO gathering in Brussels, we find in the headlines of the 11 July issue another take on what Trump is doing:

"Trump's NATO trip shows 'America First' is 'America Alone.'"

Here we read about Trump's insistence that America "stop footing Europe's bill" for its defense, namely his demand that all NATO allies pay up 2% of GDP at once, not in the remote future; and that they prepare to double that to 4% very quickly. By intentional abrasiveness, these moves by Trump are, Tharoor tells us, "undercutting the post-World War II order in pursuit of short-term, and likely illusory, wins."

All of these comments address the question of what Trump opposes. However, Tharoor is unable to say what, if anything, Trump stands for. There are only hints: continued US hegemony but without the ideological cover; might makes right; nationalism and the disputes that lead to war.

Does this make sense? Or is it just another way of saying that Trump's foreign policy stance is an inconsistent patchwork, illogical and doomed to fail while causing much pain and destruction along the way?

I fully agree with the proposition that Donald Trump is ripping up the post-Cold War international order and is seeking to end NATO and the rest of the alliance system by which the United States has maintained its global hegemony for decades. But I believe this destructive side is guided by a creative vision of where he wants to take US foreign policy.

This new foreign policy of Donald Trump is based on an uncompromising reading of the teachings of the Realist School of international affairs, such as we have not seen since the days of President Teddy Roosevelt, who was its greatest practitioner in US history.

This is not isolationism, because Trump is acting to defend what he sees as US national interests in foreign trade everywhere and in geopolitics in one or another part of the world. However, it is a world in which the US is cut free from the obligations of its alliances which entail maintenance of overseas bases everywhere at the cost of more than half its defense budget. He wants to end the risks of being embroiled in regional wars that serve our proxies, not core US national interests. And he is persuaded that by a further build-up of military might at home, by adding new hi-tech materiel the US can secure its interests abroad best of all.

I reach these conclusions from the snippets of Trump remarks which appear in the newspapers of daily record but are intentionally left as unrelated and anecdotal, whereas when slotted together they establish the rudiments of an integrated worldview and policy.

For example, I take his isolated remark that the United States should not be prepared to go to war to defend Montenegro, which recently passed NATO accession, because Montenegro had been a trouble-maker in the past. That remark underwent virtually no analysis in the media, though it could be made only by someone who understood, remarkably, the role of Montenegro at the Russian imperial court of Nicholas II precisely as "troublemaker," whose dynastic family aided in their own small way the onset of WWI.

Donald Trump is not a public speaker. He is not an intellectual. We cannot expect him to issue some "Trump Doctrine" setting out his Realist conception of the geopolitical landscape. All we get is Tweets. This inarticulate side of Trump has been used by his enemies to argue he has no policy.

In fact, Trump is the only Realist on the landscape.

Going back to 2016, I thought he was being guided by Henry Kissinger during the campaign and then in the first months of his presidency, I misjudged entirely. Trump is true to the underlying principles of Realism without compromise, whereas Henry K. made his peace with the prevailing Wilsonian Idealism of the American Establishment a couple of decades ago in order to remain welcome in the Oval Office and not to be entirely marginalized.

Trump's vision of Realism draws from the source in the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648 with its guiding concept of sovereign nation-states that do not intervene in others' domestic affairs. It further draws on the notions of raison d'état or national interest developed by the French court of Louis XIV and then taken further by "perfidious Albion" in the eighteenth century, with temporary and ever changing combinations of states in balance of power realignments of competitors. The history of the Realist School was set out magnificently by Kissinger in his 1994 work Diplomacy . It is a pity that the master himself strayed from true and narrow.

In all of this, you have the formula for Trump's respect, even admiration for Putin, since that also is now Vladimir Vladimirovich's concept of Russia's way forward: as a strong sovereign state that sets its own course without the constraints of alliances and based on its own military might.

The incredible thing is how a man with such poor communication skills, a man who does not read much came to such an integrated vision that outstrips the conceptual abilities of his enemies, his friends and everyone in between.

We are tempted to look for a mentor, and one who comes to mind is Steve Bannon, who is very articulate, razor-sharp in his intellect and who provided Trump with much of the domestic content of his 2016 campaign from the alt right playbook. And though Bannon publicly broke with Trump in their falling out over his ever diminishing role in the Administration, Bannon's ongoing project, in particular his Movement to influence European politics and shift it to the Right by coordinating activities across the Continent during the parliamentary elections of May 2019, very closely parallel what Trump's ambassador in Berlin seems to be doing in Trump's name.

It may well be that the President and his confidantes find it prudent for him to play the hapless fool, the clueless disrupter of the global political landscape until he has the support in Congress to roll out the new foreign policy that is now in gestation.

The logical consequence of such a Realist approach to foreign policy will be to reach an understanding with the world's other two principal military powers, Russia and China, regarding respective spheres of influence in their geographic proximity. But I do not believe we will see a G-3 succeeding America's unipolar moment. Given the predispositions of both Russia and China, we are more likely to see a broader board of governors of global policy in the form of the G-20, ushering in the multipolar age. In such a formulation, regional conflicts will be settled locally by the interested parties and with the major powers involved only as facilitators, not parties to conflict. That promises a much more stable and peaceful future, something which none of Donald Trump's detractors can begin to imagine as his legacy.


Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, "Does the United States Have a Future?" was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on http://www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide. See the recent professional review http://theduran.com/does-the-united-states-have-a-future-a-new-book-by-gilbert-doctorow-review/ For a video of the book presentation made at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on 7 December 2017 see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciW4yod8upg

[Aug 14, 2018] Washington won t be winning any wars against Russia and/or China. It should stick with what it s good at, that is bombing third world countries, on behalf of its Zionist masters. On second thoughts, it shouldn t be doing that either.

Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Nicole Temple 15 hours ago ,

As shown in this article, the United States is preparing to fight a war on a frontier outside of Russia and China:

https://viableopposition.bl...

One has to wonder on how many fronts can Washington keep expanding America's military with the goal of fighting and actually winning a war before it collapses under the weight of its expenditures?

Walter Braben Nicole Temple 13 hours ago ,

Washington won't be winning any wars against Russia and/or China. It should stick with what it's good at, that is bombing third world countries, on behalf of its Zionist masters. On second thoughts, it shouldn't be doing that either.

[Aug 14, 2018] Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo Push Confrontation With Iran

Aug 14, 2018 | truthout.org

July 23, 2018

President Donald Trump lashed out at Iran Sunday, warning he was prepared to unleash dire "consequences" on Iran if its president threatens the United States again. Trump's threat came just hours after Rouhani's speech earlier Sunday, in which the Iranian president warned the US about pursuing a hostile policy against his government. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech Sunday in which he compared Iran's leaders to a "mafia" and promised unspecified backing for Iranians who are unhappy with their government. Pompeo spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library outside Los Angeles. "This is not an administration that is pursuing a policy of actually trying to find a way to the negotiating table or striking a new deal," says Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council. "Everything they're doing right now is only compatible with a policy of confrontation."

... ... ...

But it is nevertheless indicative of where this administration wants to go with its Iran policy. And I'm very worried that the pattern that we've seen before, which is that when the United States escalates, the Iranians escalate, as well -- and they have made threats of saying that if they cannot sell oil and they cannot ship oil out of the Strait of Hormuz, then no one can, threatening to close it. This is going to have a devastating effect on the global economic markets, but also it will risk sparking a larger military confrontation, because if the Iranians do this, in response to efforts by Trump to reduce their oil sales to zero, then the US will move in militarily. So this is a very dangerous moment, with very unresponsible people here at the helm in Washington.

... ... ...

TRITA PARSI : So, as you mention, we don't know exactly what was being said. But it is a very important part of this puzzle, because the Russians, so far -- I wouldn't say that they're allies with Iran, but they have aligned interest in some areas. They've had it, to a certain extent, in Syria. And, perhaps most importantly, the Russians don't want to see the United States be able to have more governments in the Middle East that are aligned with Washington. So, in that sense, they do appreciate that Iran is quite opposed to American influence in the Middle East.

But the Russians have more important interests at heart, as well, which is particularly breaking out of their own sanctions that the US have imposed on them, as well as issues such as NATO expansion, Ukraine, etc. So there is a gamble from the Trump administration side in which, essentially, by offering the Russians anything they want on Ukraine and some other issues, that they would get the Iranians -- they'd get the Russians to throw the Iranians under the bus. What they may not be as sensitive to is that if that scenario were to take place, it's not so much Russia throwing Iran under the bus as it is the United States throwing Europe under the bus. And this may also explain why Trump has been so negative in his rhetoric towards the Europeans.

[Aug 14, 2018] A neocon view of Trump attempt to solve the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA

What Michael T. Klare does not understand that in attempt to be global policemen and dominant superpower the USA overextended itself and shallowed its economy. Trump understands that at least America needs a break to rebuild what was lost. Neocons just want to kick the can down the road.
Notable quotes:
"... Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet ..."
"... Blood and Oil ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | truthout.org

Originally from: Implementing the Sino-Russian Blueprint for a Tripolar World Order by Michael T. Klare

it's a mistake to assume that Trump lacks a coherent foreign-policy blueprint. In fact, an examination of his campaign speeches and his actions since entering the Oval Office -- including his appearance with Putin -- reflect his adherence to a core strategic concept: the urge to establish a tripolar world order, one that was, curiously enough, first envisioned by Russian and Chinese leaders in 1997 and one that they have relentlessly pursued ever since.

Such a tripolar order -- in which Russia, China, and the US would each assume responsibility for maintaining stability within their own respective spheres of influence while cooperating to resolve disputes wherever those spheres overlap -- breaks radically with the end-of-the-Cold-War paradigm. During those heady years, the United States was the dominant world power and lorded it over most of the rest of the planet with the aid of its loyal NATO allies.

For Russian and Chinese leaders, such a "unipolar" system was considered anathema. After all, it granted the United States a hegemonic role in world affairs while denying them what they considered their rightful place as America's equals. Not surprisingly, destroying such a system and replacing it with a tripolar one has been their strategic objective since the late 1990s -- and now an American president has zealously embraced that disruptive project as his own. The Sino-Russian Master Plan

The joint Russian-Chinese project to undermine the unipolar world system was first set in motion when then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin conferred with then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin during a state visit to Moscow in April 1997. Restoring close relations with Russia while building a common front against US global dominance was reportedly the purpose of Jiang's trip.

"Some are pushing toward a world with one center," said Yeltsin at the time. "We want the world to be multipolar, to have several focal points. These will form the basis for a new world order."

This outlook was inscribed in a "Joint Declaration on a Multipolar World and the Establishment of a New International Order," signed by the two leaders on April 23, 1997. Although phrased in grandiose language (as its title suggests), the declaration remains worth reading as it contains most of the core principles on which Donald Trump's foreign policy now rests.

At its heart lay a condemnation of global hegemony -- the drive by any single nation to dominate world affairs -- along with a call for the establishment of a "multipolar" international order. It went on to espouse other key precepts that would now be considered Trumpian, including unqualified respect for state sovereignty, non-interference in the domestic affairs of other states (code for no discussion of their human rights abuses), and the pursuit of mutual economic advantage.

Yeltsin would resign as president in December 1999, while Jiang would complete his term in March 2003. Their successors, Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao, would, however, continue to build on that 1997 foundational document, issuing their own blueprint for a tripolar world in 2005.

Following a Kremlin meeting that July, the two would sign an updated "Joint Statement of the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation Regarding the International Order of the 21st Century." It was even more emphatic in its commitment to a world in which the United States would be obliged to negotiate on equal terms with Moscow and Beijing, stating :

"The international community should thoroughly renounce the mentality of confrontation and alignment, should not pursue the right to monopolize or dominate world affairs, and should not divide countries into a leading camp and a subordinate camp World affairs should be decided through dialogue and consultation on a multilateral and collective basis."

The principal aim of such a strategy was, and continues to be, to demolish a US-dominated world order -- especially one in which that dominance was ensured by American reliance on its European allies and NATO. The ability to mobilize not only its own power but also Europe's gave Washington a particularly outsized role in international affairs. If such ties could be crippled or destroyed, its clout would obviously be diminished and soit might someday become just another regional heavyweight.

In those years, Putin was particularly vocal in calling for the dissolution of NATO and its replacement by a European-wide security system that would, of course, include his country. The divisions in Europe "will continue until there is a single security area in Europe," he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in 2001. Just as the Warsaw Pact had been disbanded as the Cold War ended, he argued, so Western Europe's Cold War-era alliance, NATO, should be replaced with a broader security structure.

... ... ...

The proof that Trump sought such an international system can be found in his 2016 campaign speeches and interviews. While he repeatedly denounced China for its unfair trade practices and complained about Russia's nuclear-weapons buildup, he never described those countries as mortal enemies. They were rivals or competitors with whose leaders he could communicate and, when advantageous, cooperate. On the other hand, he denounced NATO as a drain on America's prosperity and its ability to maneuver successfully in the world. Indeed, he saw that alliance as eminently dispensable if its members were unwilling to support his idea of how to promote America's best interests in a highly competitive world.

"I am proposing a new foreign policy focused on advancing America's core national interests, promoting regional stability, and producing an easing of tensions in the world," he declared in a September 2016 speech in Philadelphia. From that speech and other campaign statements, you can get a pretty good idea of his mindset.

First, make the United States -- already the world's most powerful nation -- even stronger, especially militarily. Second, protect America's borders. ("Immigration security," he explained, "is a vital part of our national security.") Third, in contrast to the version of globalism previously espoused by the American version of a liberal international order, this country was to pursue only its own interests, narrowly defined. Playing the role of global enforcer for allies, he argued, had impoverished the United States and must be ended. "At some point," as he put it to New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman and David Sanger in March 2016, "we cannot be the policeman of the world."

As for NATO, he couldn't have been clearer: it had become irrelevant and its preservation should no longer be an American priority. "Obsolete" was the word he used with Haberman and Sanger. "When NATO was formed many decades ago there was a different threat, [the Soviet Union,] which was much bigger [and] certainly much more powerful than even today's Russia." The real threat, he continued, is terrorism, and NATO had no useful role in combating that peril. "I think, probably a new institution maybe would be better for that than using NATO, which was not meant for that."

All of this, of course, fit to a T what Vladimir Putin has long been calling for, not to speak of the grand scheme articulated by Yeltsin and Jiang in 1997. Indeed, during the second presidential debate, Trump went even further, saying , "I think it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together."

Though the focus at the moment is purely on President Trump and Russia, let's not forget China. While frequently lambasting the Chinese in the economic realm, he has nonetheless sought Beijing's help in addressing the North Korean nuclear threat and other common perils. He speaks often by telephone with President Xi Jinping and insists that they enjoy an amicable relationship. Indeed, to the utter astonishment of many of his Republican allies, he even allowed the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE to regain access to essential American technology and computer chips after paying a $1 billion fine, though the firm had been widely accused of violating US sanctions on trade with Iran and North Korea. Such a move was, he claimed , "reflective" of his wish to negotiate a successful trade deal with China "and my personal relationship with President Xi."

Trump's World Reflects That Sino-Russian Plan

Although there's no evidence that Donald Trump ever even knew about the Sino-Russian blueprint for establishing a tripolar global order, everything he's done as president has had the affect of facilitating that world-altering project. This was stunningly evident at the recent Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki, where he repeatedly spoke of his desire to cooperate with Moscow in solving global problems.

"The disagreements between our two countries are well known and President Putin and I discussed them at length today," he said at the press conference that followed their private conversation. "But if we're going to solve many of the problems facing our world, then we're going to have to find ways to cooperate in pursuit of shared interests." He then went on to propose that officials of the national security councils of the two countries get together to discuss such matters -- an extraordinary proposal given the historical mistrust between Washington and Moscow.

And despite the furor his warm embrace of Putin triggered in Washington, Trump doubled down on his strategic concept by inviting the Russian leader to the White House for another round of one-on-one talks this fall. According to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, National Security Advisor John Bolton is already in preparatory talks with the Kremlin for such a meeting.

[Aug 14, 2018] US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the Inside by Dmitry Orlov

Highly recommended!
This is an interesting analysis shedding some light on how the US intelligence services have gone rogue...
Notable quotes:
"... Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence. ..."
"... the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough. ..."
"... That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment. ..."
"... He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail? ..."
"... The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up." ..."
"... The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on. ..."
"... "What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task." ..."
"... "The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact." ..."
"... But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts. ..."
"... Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria. ..."
"... Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
Jul 28, 2018 | russia-insider.com
In today's United States, the term "espionage" doesn't get too much use outside of some specific contexts. There is still sporadic talk of industrial espionage, but with regard to Americans' own efforts to understand the world beyond their borders, they prefer the term "intelligence." This may be an intelligent choice, or not, depending on how you look at things.

First of all, US "intelligence" is only vaguely related to the game of espionage as it has been traditionally played, and as it is still being played by countries such as Russia and China. Espionage involves collecting and validating strategically vital information and conveying it to just the pertinent decision-makers on your side while keeping the fact that you are collecting and validating it hidden from everyone else.

In eras past, a spy, if discovered, would try to bite down on a cyanide capsule; these days torture is considered ungentlemanly, and spies that get caught patiently wait to be exchanged in a spy swap. An unwritten, commonsense rule about spy swaps is that they are done quietly and that those released are never interfered with again because doing so would complicate negotiating future spy swaps.

In recent years, the US intelligence agencies have decided that torturing prisoners is a good idea, but they have mostly been torturing innocent bystanders, not professional spies, sometimes forcing them to invent things, such as "Al Qaeda." There was no such thing before US intelligence popularized it as a brand among Islamic terrorists.

Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence.

There are unlikely to be any more British spy swaps with Russia, and British spies working in Russia should probably be issued good old-fashioned cyanide capsules (since that supposedly super-powerful Novichok stuff the British keep at their "secret" lab in Porton Down doesn't work right and is only fatal 20% of the time).

There is another unwritten, commonsense rule about spying in general: whatever happens, it needs to be kept out of the courts, because the discovery process of any trial would force the prosecution to divulge sources and methods, making them part of the public record. An alternative is to hold secret tribunals, but since these cannot be independently verified to be following due process and rules of evidence, they don't add much value.

A different standard applies to traitors; here, sending them through the courts is acceptable and serves a high moral purpose, since here the source is the person on trial and the method -- treason -- can be divulged without harm. But this logic does not apply to proper, professional spies who are simply doing their jobs, even if they turn out to be double agents. In fact, when counterintelligence discovers a spy, the professional thing to do is to try to recruit him as a double agent or, failing that, to try to use the spy as a channel for injecting disinformation.

Americans have been doing their best to break this rule. Recently, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a dozen Russian operatives working in Russia for hacking into the DNC mail server and sending the emails to Wikileaks. Meanwhile, said server is nowhere to be found (it's been misplaced) while the time stamps on the files that were published on Wikileaks show that they were obtained by copying to a thumb drive rather than sending them over the internet. Thus, this was a leak, not a hack, and couldn't have been done by anyone working remotely from Russia.

Furthermore, it is an exercise in futility for a US official to indict Russian citizens in Russia. They will never stand trial in a US court because of the following clause in the Russian Constitution: "61.1 A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported out of Russia or extradited to another state."

Mueller may summon a panel of constitutional scholars to interpret this sentence, or he can just read it and weep. Yes, the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough.

That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment.

He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail?

Since there exists an agreement between the US and Russia to cooperate on criminal investigations, Putin offered to question the spies indicted by Mueller. He even offered to have Mueller sit in on the proceedings. But in return he wanted to question US officials who may have aided and abetted a convicted felon by the name of William Browder, who is due to begin serving a nine-year sentence in Russia any time now and who, by the way, donated copious amounts of his ill-gotten money to the Hillary Clinton election campaign.

In response, the US Senate passed a resolution to forbid Russians from questioning US officials. And instead of issuing a valid request to have the twelve Russian spies interviewed, at least one US official made the startlingly inane request to have them come to the US instead. Again, which part of 61.1 don't they understand?

The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up."

The "intelligence" the US intelligence agencies provide can be anything but; in fact, the stupider it is the better, because its purpose is allow unintelligent people to make unintelligent decisions. In fact, they consider facts harmful -- be they about Syrian chemical weapons, or conspiring to steal the primary from Bernie Sanders, or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, or the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden -- because facts require accuracy and rigor while they prefer to dwell in the realm of pure fantasy and whimsy. In this, their actual objective is easily discernible.

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips. It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

Trump was recently questioned as to whether he trusted US intelligence. He waffled. A light-hearted answer would have been:

"What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task."

A more serious, matter-of-fact answer would have been:

"The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact."

And a hardcore, deadpan answer would have been:

"The US intelligence services swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution, according to which I am their Commander in Chief. They report to me, not I to them. They must be loyal to me, not I to them. If they are disloyal to me, then that is sufficient reason for their dismissal."

But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts.

Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria.

The total cost of wars so far this century for the US is reported to be $4,575,610,429,593. Divided by the 138,313,155 Americans who file tax returns (whether they actually pay any tax is too subtle a question), it works out to just over $33,000 per taxpayer. If you pay taxes in the US, that's your bill so far for the various US intelligence "oopsies."

The 16 US intelligence agencies have a combined budget of $66.8 billion, and that seems like a lot until you realize how supremely efficient they are: their "mistakes" have cost the country close to 70 times their budget. At a staffing level of over 200,000 employees, each of them has cost the US taxpayer close to $23 million, on average. That number is totally out of the ballpark! The energy sector has the highest earnings per employee, at around $1.8 million per. Valero Energy stands out at $7.6 million per. At $23 million per, the US intelligence community has been doing three times better than Valero. Hats off! This makes the US intelligence community by far the best, most efficient collapse driver imaginable.

There are two possible hypotheses for why this is so.

First, we might venture to guess that these 200,000 people are grossly incompetent and that the fiascos they precipitate are accidental. But it is hard to imagine a situation where grossly incompetent people nevertheless manage to funnel $23 million apiece, on average, toward an assortment of futile undertakings of their choosing. It is even harder to imagine that such incompetents would be allowed to blunder along decade after decade without being called out for their mistakes.

Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars."

[Aug 14, 2018] Rand Paul Stands Up for Peace by Justin Raimondo

Please support antiwar.com -- a unique antiwar site in the climate of rabid militarism and jingoism...
Notable quotes:
"... "the unlikely, unholy alliance between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, one a libertarian iconoclast, the other the cancerous center of the Republican party" is upsetting to writer Tina Nguyen because the "far left and the far right" are "converging." Or something. Peace with nuclear-armed Russia? That qualifies the Senator as a "wacko bird" and "Putin's perfect stooge." ..."
"... Rand Paul has gone from being an overly cautious presidential candidate who seemed scared of his own noninterventionist shadow to a principled statesman unafraid to take a stand for peace. He is a living example of how people – yes, even politicians – learn and change. His trip to Russia to bring a message of peace and détente at a time when the wolves of the War Party are howling ever louder was an act of courage that should have every person of good will standing and applauding. Bravo, Senator! ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

Libertarians are largely lost in the wilderness of the present era: wandering without a compass, either moral or ideological, and without a clue as to how to get home, never mind reach their ultimate goal of "freedom in our time." Yes, that was the old slogan that we libertarians started out with: an optimistic battle-cry that, today, seems unrealistic, at best. But is it? And if it isn't, who can show us the way forward?

My answer is simple: look at what Sen. Rand Paul is doing, and take a lesson. Instead of weeping and wailing about the loss of a "libertarian moment" that never really happened, Sen. Paul is making a difference. As Politico reports :

" Rand Paul has the ear, and the affection, of the most important person in the White House: President Donald Trump.

"Once bitter rivals on the Republican campaign trail, the Kentucky senator and the commander-in-chief have bonded over a shared delight in thumbing their noses at experts the president likes to deride as 'foreign policy eggheads,' including those who work in his own administration."

When Trump appointed the hawkish John Bolton as his National Security Advisor, the usual suspects crowed that "the neocons have taken over the White House." Never mind that a) Bolton is no neocon, and b) Trump is known for encouraging vigorous debate among his policy advisors while not necessarily agreeing with one or the other – these people, mostly alleged non-interventionists, hate the President for other reasons, and merely seized on the appointment as a convenient talking point. However, this narrative is contradicted by the reports of Sen. Paul's increasing influence in the Oval Office:

"While Trump tolerates his hawkish advisers, the aide added, he shares a real bond with Paul: 'He actually at gut level has the same instincts as Rand Paul.'"

"Paul has quietly emerged as an influential sounding board and useful ally for the president, who frequently clashes with his top advisers on foreign policy. The Kentucky senator's relationship with Trump, developed via frequent cellphone calls and over rounds of golf at the president's Virginia country club, became publicly apparent for the first time on Wednesday when the senator announced he had hand-delivered a letter to the Kremlin on Trump's behalf."

While the Beltway apparatus put together by the Kochs has jumped on the NeverTrump bandwagon with both feet, publicly declaring war on the administration and announcing a de facto alliance with the Democrats, Sen. Paul has made a difference in a key area that the Koch machine has largely abandoned or reversed itself: foreign policy. Here's Politico again:

"Both Paul and Trump routinely rail against foreign entanglements, foreign wars, and foreign aid – positions characterized as isolationist by critics and as 'America first' by the president and his supporters. Even on points of where they disagree, Paul has extracted small victories."

That one area is Iran, and even there it looks like Sen. Paul has his finger in the dike:

"But Trump has stopped short of calling for regime change even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Bolton support it, aligning with Paul instead, according to a GOP foreign policy expert in frequent contact with the White House. '

Rand Paul has persuaded the president that we are not for regime change in Iran,' this person said, because adopting that position would instigate another war in the Middle East."

As the President launches peace initiatives from the Korean peninsula to the steppes of Russia, the virtue-signalers among us pretend that none of that is happening and obsessively descry the decision to exit the Iran deal. Yet where has all their moaning and groaning gotten them? Sen. Paul is single-handedly doing more for peace than any of these bloviating nonentities could dream of.

The hysteria aimed at the President is now directed at Sen. Paul, with the New York Times in what is perhaps mistakenly presented as a "news" article describing the Senator's relationship with the White House in words that are clearly over the top:

"Suddenly, in the mind of the junior senator from Kentucky, Mr. Trump has soared from lower than that speck of dirt to high enough for Mount Rushmore."

One imagines the foam-flecked computer screen of the author was quite a mess well before she reached the end of her jeremiad. Hatred for the President blends and merges with hatred for Russia as the Fourth Estate becomes an instrument in the hands of the War Party. Vanity Fair – that bastion of foreign policy expertise – shrieks that

"the unlikely, unholy alliance between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, one a libertarian iconoclast, the other the cancerous center of the Republican party" is upsetting to writer Tina Nguyen because the "far left and the far right" are "converging." Or something. Peace with nuclear-armed Russia? That qualifies the Senator as a "wacko bird" and "Putin's perfect stooge."

Yeah, suuure it does, Tina: anything you say. Just like those who wanted to end the Vietnam war were "stooges" of Ho Chi Minh. Just like Ronald Reagan getting rid of a whole category of nukes made him a "stooge" of Gorbachev.

And to get down to the real intellectual heavyweight: S. E. Cupp, whose credentials seem to be phony glasses and blondness, vomits up her considered opinion that Sen. Paul is now Putin's "errand boy." Which is far better than being Max Boot's errand girl , but don't anyone tell Iraq war-supporting Ms. Cupp that she has blood on her hands. She feels no need to apologize.

Oh yes, the heavies are out in force, sliming Sen. Paul for defending the President's Helsinki peace initiative with nuclear-armed Russia. Vanity Fair , S. E. Cupp – who's next? Madonna? Women's Wear Daily ?

Rand Paul has gone from being an overly cautious presidential candidate who seemed scared of his own noninterventionist shadow to a principled statesman unafraid to take a stand for peace. He is a living example of how people – yes, even politicians – learn and change. His trip to Russia to bring a message of peace and détente at a time when the wolves of the War Party are howling ever louder was an act of courage that should have every person of good will standing and applauding. Bravo, Senator!

[Aug 14, 2018] Latest Sanctions Against Russia Show Trump Not in Control of His Administration by F. Michael Maloof

It could be the Trump was already deposed as a President by Pompeo.
I never understood appointment of Haley and appointment of Bolton if we assume that Trump is not a neocon and does not want to continue previous administration policies. Haley is kind of Sikh variant of Samantha Power. Bolton is probably as bad as Wolfowitz. Pompeo also can be viewed as Hillary 2.0.
Notable quotes:
"... In addition, the US has delivered an ultimatum, saying that if Russia does not give assurances within 90 days that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow international inspectors to inspect its production facilities, further sanctions will be implemented. But Russia denies it used chemical weapons. Unlike the US, it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in accordance with international treaties. ..."
"... The legislation gave a 60-day window to begin implementation of sanctions after the Trump administration determined that the now-British citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a strain of the Novichok nerve-agent. The US came to that conclusion following an initial determination by the British government. ..."
"... However, the US administration missed the deadline by more than a month. That prompted Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, to write a letter to Trump some two weeks ago slamming the president for ignoring the deadline. ..."
"... Strangely, a government research facility at Porton Down in Amesbury, not far from Salisbury where the alleged March poisoning took place, examined the strain of Novichok. Porton Down lab does work for British Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, run by the Ministry of Defense, and the Public Health England. ..."
"... All of this makes makes the issue as to why Britain, and even the US, never wanted to share samples taken from the poisoning of the Skripals with Moscow more concerning. Yet, they all went ahead in lock-step to condemn Moscow for the poisoning, without any evidence, suggesting a more sinister reason for lobbying increased sanctions against Russia with the goal of further isolating the country. ..."
"... It reflects the need especially by the US to have a demon in an effort to justify its defense spending to bolster NATO up to the border of the Russian Federation in the form of a new containment policy that launched the Cold War in the first place. ..."
"... With even further sanctions against Russia in the recently passed Defense Department Authorization Bill about to go into effect, it is becoming apparent that the allegations against Russia are politically-motivated, false flag allegations to be used as an excuse for a greater geostrategic reason -- to contain Russia just as the Trump administration is increasingly finding its US-led unilateral world order being challenged more than ever. ..."
"... Trump talks about better relations with Russia, but the actions of his own administration in demonizing Moscow dictate otherwise. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | russia-insider.com
Forget about running the Empire or the American state. Trump isn't even in control of his team US President Donald Trump is not in control of his own administration, as evidenced by the latest round of sanctions imposed against Russia for the alleged involvement in the poisoning of the Skripals in the UK in March.

The sanctions came the same day that US Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced on a trip to Moscow that he had handed over a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin from Trump calling for better relations between the two countries. For that reason, the timing appears to be suspect, suggesting strongly that Trump has his own foreign policy while the Trump administration, comprised mainly of bureaucrats referred to as the Deep State, have their own. Right now, they appear to be in control, not President Trump, over his own administration, and it is having the adverse effect of further alienating Washington and Moscow.

The neocons, led by National Security Advisor John Bolton, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, comprise the Trump " war cabinet " ostensibly aimed at directing a harder line toward Syria, North Korea, Iran but also Russia. Bolton, in particular, has been outspoken in calling for regime change in some of these countries. Trump not so much so. In fact, he has said just the opposite. Nevertheless, their anti-Russian flair in Washington has breathed new life into the neocons who, along with the Democrats, Deep State and much of the mainstream media, have pushed the false narrative of collusion between Russia and Trump.

This persistent anti-Russian rant and repeated sanctions which have been imposed have had the effect of leading to further threats of sanctions for questionable reasons, raising the potential prospect of suspension of diplomatic ties.

Even at the height of the Cold War, relations between the US and Russia never reached such low depths as they have now. The latest sanctions affect primarily dual-use technologies which are civilian products with potential military applications. They include gas turbine engines, electronics and integrated circuits which will now be denied. Previous sanctions going back to the Obama administration, however, already imposed bans on many of these dual-use technologies.

In addition, the US has delivered an ultimatum, saying that if Russia does not give assurances within 90 days that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow international inspectors to inspect its production facilities, further sanctions will be implemented. But Russia denies it used chemical weapons. Unlike the US, it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in accordance with international treaties.

Implementation of the sanctions stem from provisions of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

The legislation gave a 60-day window to begin implementation of sanctions after the Trump administration determined that the now-British citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a strain of the Novichok nerve-agent. The US came to that conclusion following an initial determination by the British government.

However, the US administration missed the deadline by more than a month. That prompted Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, to write a letter to Trump some two weeks ago slamming the president for ignoring the deadline.

Curiously, the British government hasn't implemented similar sanctions, although the US has. It may reflect the continued uncertainty among some British politicians and experts over the origin of the Novichok and concern with Britain's trade dependency on Russia. But since the Americans opted to implement sanctions due to existing legislation, there was apparently no objection from London even though it initially implemented sanctions by kicking out Russian diplomats from the country.

Moscow, however, vehemently denied that it was involved in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter. Novichok was created by Russian scientists during the Cold War but never used on the battlefield. Russian officials asked Britain for evidence of Russian involvement and called for a joint investigation to be conducted by the Kremlin and British governments.

The British government repeatedly turned down the offer, as did other Western members of the United Nations Security Council, the US and France, when Moscow sought such a joint investigation.

The US claimed that the information linking the poison to Russia was " classified ."

Strangely, a government research facility at Porton Down in Amesbury, not far from Salisbury where the alleged March poisoning took place, examined the strain of Novichok. Porton Down lab does work for British Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, run by the Ministry of Defense, and the Public Health England.

Results from the examination confirmed the poison was a form of Novichok but – importantly – could not determine where the poison had been created or who had used it. This development created further confusion and prompted disputes among politicians.

It is known that samples of Novichok have been in the hands of many NATO countries for years after the German foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, had reportedly obtained a sample from a Russian defector in the 1990s.

The formula was later shared with Britain, the US, France, Canada and the Netherlands, where small quantities of Novichok reportedly were produced in an effort to develop countermeasures. Porton Down labs similarly had received samples to study. Czech President Milos Zeman recently admitted that his country synthesized and tested a form of Novichok. Sweden and Slovakia also have the technical capability to produce the nerve agent, according to Russian officials.

All of this makes makes the issue as to why Britain, and even the US, never wanted to share samples taken from the poisoning of the Skripals with Moscow more concerning. Yet, they all went ahead in lock-step to condemn Moscow for the poisoning, without any evidence, suggesting a more sinister reason for lobbying increased sanctions against Russia with the goal of further isolating the country.

It reflects the need especially by the US to have a demon in an effort to justify its defense spending to bolster NATO up to the border of the Russian Federation in the form of a new containment policy that launched the Cold War in the first place.

With even further sanctions against Russia in the recently passed Defense Department Authorization Bill about to go into effect, it is becoming apparent that the allegations against Russia are politically-motivated, false flag allegations to be used as an excuse for a greater geostrategic reason -- to contain Russia just as the Trump administration is increasingly finding its US-led unilateral world order being challenged more than ever.

The reason, however, isn't due to anything that Moscow initiated but by Trump himself who isn't in control of his own administration, and maybe never has been. Many of his campaign promises such as dropping out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iranian nuclear agreement, the threat of sanctions against any company that trades with Iran, his tariff war with US allies are in conflict with each other, leading to increased world instability. At the same time, Trump talks about better relations with Russia, but the actions of his own administration in demonizing Moscow dictate otherwise.

F. Michael Maloof is a former Pentagon security analyst.

[Aug 13, 2018] Sergey Lavrov SLAMS new US sanctions over Skripal case

Aug 13, 2018 | theduran.com

Sergey Lavrov SLAMS new US sanctions over Skripal case

Ruble continues to tank under the spectre of looming American sanctions imposed on the basis of circumstantial evidence and insinuation.

Published

9 hours ago

on

August 13, 2018 By

Seraphim Hanisch 1,639 Views ,

[Aug 13, 2018] Like Iran, the Russians know the USA. Is about as reliable as a third hand condom and just as classy.

Aug 13, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Beibdnn. , Aug 13, 2018 4:33:04 PM | 59

@spudski.

I believe Russia sees the sanctions for what they are. A crude attempt to provoke them into a hasty reaction. It is virtually certain they won't react in a childish or inconsidered way.

Paul Craig Roberts is well behind the curve when it comes to what is believed about the west in Russia politics.

A clue might be in the fact they have just reduced their $ reserves to 14 billion, down from nearly 200 4 or so years ago.

Like Iran, the Russians know the U.S.A. Is about as reliable as a third hand condom and just as classy.

[Aug 13, 2018] New US Sanctions vs. Russia by Anatoly Karlin

Notable quotes:
"... Proposed new "sanctions" on Russia essentially amount to a declaration of war. ..."
"... The US is spelling out the conditions that have no chance of being met. Let's hope that the result will be further Russian alignment with China, rather than nuclear war. I'd hate to be killed by Russian missiles hitting the US just because bought by MIC and paid for American "leadership" has gone completely insane. Hope springs eternal. ..."
"... They are constantly talking about the "hybrid warfare" and the Russian "attack" on America, but it means that the US (both its politicians and its population) get psychologically prepared for an actual war, and it is precisely their actions which keep drifting towards actual war. ..."
"... I don't think the Israel lobby alone should be blamed for these "sanctions". Insanity is more widespread in the US "leadership" than Jewish shekels. This looks like the death throes of the Empire. Let's hope it does not take the humanity with it to its grave. ..."
"... Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe. ..."
"... Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again. ..."
"... Unless the EU finally shows some spine – which is very unlikely – then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order. ..."
"... Turkey's implicit bet was that it could continue to rely on Western money flows while pursuing an agenda contrary to Western interests has been conclusively shattered. When I say Western interests, I do not mean the propaganda about human rights, which the West manifestly doesn't give two hoots about. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

* NBC: Trump administration to hit Russia with new sanctions for Skripal poisoning

The Trump administration is hitting Russia with new sanctions punishing President Vladimir Putin's government for using a chemical weapon against an ex-spy in Britain, U.S. officials told NBC News Wednesday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on a determination that Russia violated international law by poisoning the former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in March, officials said, a decision that was announced Wednesday afternoon by State Department.

The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis.

A second, more painful round kicks in three months later unless Russia provides "reliable assurances" that it won't use chemical weapons in the future and agrees to "on-site inspections" by the U.N. -- conditions unlikely to be met. The second round of sanctions could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending state airline Aeroflot's ability to fly to the U.S, and cutting off nearly all exports and imports.

The sanctions are directly based on H.R.3409 – Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 .

Section 7 covers the sanctions that are to be imposed, which consist of initial sanctions, and further sanctions to be imposed after 90 days if there is no compliance on the country's part.

Initial sanctions : Ban on foreign assistance, arms sales, denial of US credit, and exporting national security sensitive goods. (Most of this is already functionally in place with respect to Russia).

Further sanctions : Ban on multilateral bank assistance [e.g. IMF, World Bank, the EBRD, etc], ban on US bank loans, a near total export ban (except food and agricultural commodities) and import ban, downgrade or suspension of US diplomatic relations, revocation of landing rights to air carriers controlled by the government of the sanctioned country.

Reuters has a US State Department official saying that the sanctions would not apply to Aeroflot, which some commenters have qualified as backtracking. But I think that the official was merely talking of the initial sanctions.

How does Russia go about removing the sanctions? The President will need to "certify" to Congress that the country in question: (1) Has made "reliable assurances", and is not making preparations, to use chemical/biological weapons in violation of international law, or against its own citizens; (2) is willing to allow on-site inspections by UN observers to confirm the above; (3) is making restitutions to the victims of its chemical/biological weapons usage.

This would basically require Russia to admit guilt for the Skripal poisoning and subject itself to the inspections regimes that the US typically tries to force on "rogue states." In other words, it is out of the question.

Moreover, even in the theoretical possibility that this goes through, it's not like President Trump's "certification" will be worth anything amidst the Russiagate hysteria.

Another possibility to avoid the near cessation of trade between the US and Russia is to have the President "waiver" the application of individual sanctions, if he can determine and certify to Congress that doing so is necessary for the national security interests of the US; or that there has been "a fundamental change in the leadership and policies" of the sanctioned country. In either case, the President needs to provide a report to Congress explaining his detailed rationale for the waiver, and listing steps the sanctioned country is taking to satisfy the "removal of sanctions" clause.

This isn't near the end of it, though.

***

* Meduza: Russian newspaper leaks draft text of U.S. Senate's Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act

The newspaper Kommersant has published a full draft of the proposed "Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act," which demands a U.S. investigation into Vladimir Putin's personal wealth and whether Russia sponsors terrorism, and would impose a ban on U.S. citizens buying Russian sovereign debt, though the U.S. Treasury publicly opposed this idea in February, warning that it would disrupt the market broadly. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the initiative's sponsors, says one of the draft legislation's goals is to impose "crushing sanctions."

[Sanctions to include:]

* Banning the banks . The draft bill proposes banning Russia's biggest state banks -- Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank, Promsvyazbank, or Vnesheconombank -- from operating inside the United States, which would effectively prevent these institutions from conducting dollar settlements.

* Oil and gas . In the energy sector, the legislation would impose sanctions on investment in any projects by the Russian government or government-affiliated companies outside Russia worth more than $250 million. Businesses would also incur penalties for any participation (funding or supplying equipment or technology) in new oil projects inside Russia valued above $1 million.

* Lists and research . If the bill is submitted in its current form and adopted, the U.S. president would have 180 days to begin implementing its provisions; within 60 days of adoption, the White House would need to provide a new list of Russian individuals suspected of cyber-attacks against the United States; the Treasury Department would have 180 days to update its "Kremlin list" of Russian state officials and oligarchs; the director of national intelligence would be tasked with completing a "detailed report on the personal net worth and assets" of Vladimir Putin and his family; and the State Department would have 90 days to determine whether Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

* A new Sanctions Office . In order to shore up the 2017 Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the draft legislation would also create an "Office of Sanctions Coordination" within the State Department to coordinate work with the Treasury.

Here is the original Kommersant article: Комплекс мер по сдерживанию Дональда Трампа

Here is the text of the draft bill: https://www.kommersant.ru/docs/2018/_2018d140-Menendez-Russia-Sanctions-Bill.pdf

It contains many more interesting details.

(1) The bill's sponsors, which include Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, and Ben Cardin, preface their text with a call for President Trump to demand Russia stop interference in US "democratic processes", return Crimea to the Ukraine, stop supporting the separatists in East Ukraine, as well the "occupation and support of separatists" in the territories of Georgia and Moldova, and support for Bashar Assad, who continues to commit "war crimes."

(2) They note that the general drift of the document is towards a consolidation of separate anti-Russian sanctions, from the "Ukrainian" to the "cyber" ones, into a "single mechanism."

(3) Subject to a 2/3 vote in the Senate, the bill also includes a ban on financing "direct or indirect" steps, that have as their goal to support the attempts of "any US government official" to take the country out of NATO. Every 90 days, the US Secretary of State, in coordination with the Defense Minister, would be required to present a report to the relevant committees in Congress about "threats to NATO", which would include attempts to weaken US commitments to the alliance. Considering Trump's ambiguous feelings on NATO, this part is primarily aimed at Trump himself.

(4) There are calls to "pressure" Russia from interfering with UN and the OPCW attempts to investigate chemical weapons usage, as well as to "punish" Russia for producing and using chemical weapons. This directly syncs this sanctions bill to the previous one.

The report concludes that it's not yet clear how to interpret this. In the worse case, it could be a "preliminary application" for a UN campaign to exclude Russia from the Security Council; alternatively, it could just be a "pragmatic" run-up to merely invoking great sanctions, as with Iran in 1983.

***

I suppose we now also know why Russia has been selling Treasuries for the past three months, which plummeted from their typical level of $100 billion in March to just $15 billion from June (i.e. just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade).

For comparison, the last time such a drawback happened (but which only lasted three weeks) was in the immediate aftermath of Crimea.

The last time Russia pulled such a large sum out of the U.S. was just after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, when the central bank withdrew about $115 billion from the New York Fed, Reuters reported last year, citing two former Fed officials. Most of that money was returned a few weeks later, after it became clear that the scope of initial U.S. sanctions would be narrower than the Kremlin expected, according to the news service.

But I suppose this drawdown would now be permanent, since it is increasingly evident that Iran-tier sanctions on Russia are now on the horizon.

These sanctions are either going to steadily creep in – or rush in like a tsunami if there is a Blue Wave in 90 days, or if Trump was to be removed.

However, as I have pointed out, the ultimate ability of the US to directly punish Russia is limited; it has twice as many people as Iran, after all, and many times the economic output. Trade between Russia and the US is very limited.

Moreover, as I have pointed out , Russia has plenty of surprising ways to hurt the US as well. For instance, banning Aeroflot from flying to the US has a simple response – banning US air carriers from overflying North Eurasia, period. It can resurrect a bill – first raised this May, since sunken in the legislature – to impose fines and prison time on individuals and entities who support Western sanctions by refusing to do business with Russian citizens or entities on America's SDN list. It can throw out the American-dominated copyrights regimen out of the window.

Some questions we should now be asking include:

1. Precisely how far is the US prepared to go? Cutting off its own trade with Russia is one thing – penalizing foreign companies that do business with Russia is something else. As Ben Aris notes , the US Treasury Department has been ratcheting back on its sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and Rusal, after the chaos it has caused in the international metals market. The ideological Russiagaters need to balance their PDS/TDS against the pecuniary practicalities of catering to finance and oil & gas interests and their lobbies.

2. To what extent will the EU join in, passively acquiesce to, or resist the US sanctions against Russia? The answer to this question will to a large extent determine precisely how deeply Russia falls into China's orbit in the next couple of decades.


reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 3:38 pm GMT

Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

I think unrequited love often turns to hate, and so there's some chance that these weaklings become anti-American nationalists.

The Scalpel , Website August 10, 2018 at 3:40 pm GMT
This sounds very close to a declaration of war. USA is beginning to throw everything it has behind economic warfare and go "all in" forcing even its closest allies to either suffer serious sanctions for not joining the economic attacks or to inflict self-harm by limiting trade with Russia, Iran, and anyone else the US chooses to declare economic warfare upon.

I don't believe that this set of circumstances can continue indefinitely without a serious realignment or a degeneration into "kinetic" warfare.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 3:47 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

Twit:

Maxim A. Suchkov @MSuchkov_ALM

Russia's PM @MedvedevRussiaE now: #Moscow to treat
:urther #US sanctions as an open declaration of economic war.
1:54 AM-Aug 10, 2018

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 3:48 pm GMT
Proposed new "sanctions" on Russia essentially amount to a declaration of war. Lunatic asylum is the most appropriate place for the whole American "leadership", down to the last man/woman/tranny. The only thing that stands between us and WWIII, which would be a suicide of humanity, is unbelievably cool and reasonable position of Putin and the rest of Russian leadership.

It is clear to anyone with a brain that the US "sanctions" on Russia have zero chance of changing Russia's stance on any international issues of consequence. Crimea is a good example: it will return to Ukraine the day after the Hell freezes over. On the same date Georgia gets South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and US-sponsored Islamic bandits win over Assad in Syria. Thus, The US is spelling out the conditions that have no chance of being met. Let's hope that the result will be further Russian alignment with China, rather than nuclear war. I'd hate to be killed by Russian missiles hitting the US just because bought by MIC and paid for American "leadership" has gone completely insane. Hope springs eternal.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

I agree. They are constantly talking about the "hybrid warfare" and the Russian "attack" on America, but it means that the US (both its politicians and its population) get psychologically prepared for an actual war, and it is precisely their actions which keep drifting towards actual war.

There is also a lot of projection going on here: the Americans obviously perceive their own election meddling as war by other means, and so they accuse their enemies with the very same thing.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Maybe we'll see unrequited love turning into hatred.

LondonBob , August 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm GMT
Russia is far too integrated in to the wider European economy, and Russia is too stronk for sanctions to do anything. See Nord Stream II. Ignore the Israel lobby sanctions, not even the corrupt congress critters could vote for those.

I have no idea why these new meaningless sanctions have been conjured up, maybe the Rand Paul letter has the answer, maybe not. I think we may have some answers after the midterms.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT
@LondonBob

I don't think the Israel lobby alone should be blamed for these "sanctions". Insanity is more widespread in the US "leadership" than Jewish shekels. This looks like the death throes of the Empire. Let's hope it does not take the humanity with it to its grave.

neutral , August 10, 2018 at 4:13 pm GMT
Now that it is within the realms of reasonable debate, if there were a nuclear war between the USA and Russia what targets would be hit? Would Russia hit puppet regimes such the UK, France or Poland? Would the USA hit Iran (because if they are going to hit Russia they might as well get Iran in there as well).

If say only Russian and USA were hit, how much of the nuclear fallout would affect Europe?

LondonBob , August 10, 2018 at 4:14 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe.

Polish Perspective , August 10, 2018 at 4:18 pm GMT
Russia today is in a much better position to withstand sanctions. Global oil investments have been lagging for half a decade due to low prices, and this will inevitably show up in the coming years. Russia in 2014 was battered by a twin storm, of which the oil price collapse was in fact far worse. That factor is now gone.

Furthermore, a planned VAT rise next year will mean that the break-even oil price for the Russian budget will fall to $50 after $60 this year and $67 last year, according to Alfa Bank's analysis . Steady, impressive improvement. So even in an event of an unexpected oil price decline, Russia is far more prepared this time around.

Additionally, over the last 4 years, Russia's economy has indigenised to a much greater extent than before. This is especially the case in the financial markets. Russia is simply a lot less reliant on foreign funding. Bershidsky wrote about how more and more Russian companies are leaving UK capital markets and returning to Russia. This process will continue but it has already yielded results. As a country with a large current account surplus, tamed inflation, an incredibly strong fiscal state, there is indeed very little that the US can do, which is probably why they are reaching with ever-greater desperation.

I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again.

India has always bristled at being treated as a close ally rather as a 'partner'. It has cherished it's non-aligned movement legacy and its historically close relations to Russia. It is unlikely to want to give up on that in order to become a subservient lapdog to US interests in the manner that the EU has degraded itself.

China's AIIB is a good start, but the full range of new institutions must bear fruit. Some of the BRICS ideas are good but ultimately both Brazil and South Africa are too unimportant. It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

Turning to Europe. Unless the EU finally shows some spine – which is very unlikely – then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order.

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 4:37 pm GMT
America now has a "good cop, bad cop" with Trump and Congress. Congress puts in more sanctions, but there is constraint responding too much because Trump seems friendly, and you don't want to alienate him. Trump himself doesn't care about the sanctions, because he thinks it is leverage that he can lift them later.

There was an article a few months ago that Trump is actually worse than Obama – even in Obama did not supply direct weapons to Ukraine.

I think Trump plans to remove the sanctions in the next year and improve the relations – but without any kind of timetable (his meeting with Putin is delayed already to next year).

Polish Perspective , August 10, 2018 at 4:43 pm GMT
OT: The Turkish lira is now the worst-performing currency this year, bar none.

Turkey's implicit bet was that it could continue to rely on Western money flows while pursuing an agenda contrary to Western interests has been conclusively shattered. When I say Western interests, I do not mean the propaganda about human rights, which the West manifestly doesn't give two hoots about.

Turkey was not entirely foolish to believe this strategy could work. Pakistan during the reign of Islamist military dictator Zia ul-Haq, used a similar strategy during the 1980s. He empowered the mullahs and moved Pakistan decidedly to the hard-right in religious/cultural terms while massively opening up the economy to speculative finance, thereby pleasing Washington. Saudi Arabia has used this policy for a long time. For those who knew this, the revelation that the US funded some of the most extremist "moderate" rebels in Syria came as no shock.

So perhaps it isn't the Islamism in of itself which is the problem in Erdogan's case. What could it be? Well, one clue is the case of Pastor Brunson. The good pastor, who under house arrest in Turkey, is accused to be close to the Gülen cult. The official line in the Western MSM is that Trump is trying to appease evangelicals before the midterms. I don't buy that. He has them in the bag regardless. Gülen himself, some of you might recall, still lives in the US despite repeated pleas from Turkey to give him back. Which is the unreliable ally here? Curiously, Gülen's religious bent is even more Islamist than Erdogan's. He's also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

At any rate, the demand from the US has been for Turkey to release Brunson unconditionally. Erdogan's media has speculated that Brunson was slated to become CIA chief in Turkey had the 2016 coup come to pass. Obviously, Turkey does not want to release him unconditionally: it makes them look extremely weak. Well, they now got hit where it hurts. Indeed, Trump even tweeted out new sanctions news today even as Erdogan was delivering a speech. I don't happen to believe in coincidences. The result is that the lira lost close to a quarter of its value in a single day. I haven't even mentioned Turkey's apparent interest in the S-400 missile system among other matters. This, I think, is what truly irked D.C. rather than Erdogan's human rights record or "authoritarianism", which is just the pretext.

Make no mistake: the decline of the lira was structural from the beginning. Turkey's large CAD made it extremely vulnerable to financial speculation from the getgo. It has now paid that price. But this does not preclude the fact that countries which are overtly reliant on Western financial flows to fund large current account deficits should forgo the lesson that there is no free lunch. Erdogan made this cardinal error. Poland is not nearly as vulnerable, but we're also in the same orbit. This is why I always laugh at the Poland Stronk memes. It's also why I dismiss the criticism against Orban that he plays all sides, including taking money from the EU, as politically naïve. Very few countries in this world can reliably be called truly independent. Russia is in the process of becoming one. So is China. India is not quite there, but it has the potential. The rest of us will simply have to balance hegemons, while reminding ourselves of our inherent vulnerability. If we forget that, then we just had a textbook example of what happens when we overestimate our hand, playing out in front of our very eyes today.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 4:46 pm GMT
@Polish Perspective

Good to hear something sensible from Polish Perspective (in every sense of this expression). I know some Poles, who tend to be reasonable people, so the policies of Polish government always amazed me. Then again, if Polish democracy is similar to the US, the opinions of the people don't matter at all.

There is still a long way to go before Russia, China, or any other country frees itself from the clutches of dollar-based financial system. However, an alternative might look parallel at the beginning, but it won't be parallel for long. Thing is, the US dollar and the US sovereign debt have become essentially Ponzi schemes. If Russia, China, and a few others create a "parallel" system, dollar-based Ponzi scheme folds, as the US does not have sufficient assets to support the dollar or pay off its debt. The fall of the Empire will likely be violent. The only thing we can hope for is that the humanity survives it.

As to EU, it missed every chance of becoming something with a spine. Too late now. In fact, what French president once said about Arafat (he never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity) applies to the EU with a vengeance.

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 4:47 pm GMT

I suppose we now also now why Russia has been selling Treasuries for the past three months, which plummeted from their typical level of $100 billion in March to just $15 billion from June (i.e. just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade).

You're making the Kremlins look smarter than they actually are. They should have done this 4 years ago. What I want to know is what happened to the proceeds from the sale? CBR data shows that value of "foreign exchange" held by the CBR hasn't declined:

https://www.cbr.ru/eng/hd_base/mrrf/mrrf_m/

Did they convert the dollars into other currencies, or are they keeping it in cash on a bank account somewhere, where it could be easily "frozen"?

notanon , August 10, 2018 at 4:49 pm GMT
@LondonBob

Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

i don't this is just AIPAC driven – partly yes but the banking mafia have their own reasons for trying to bring Russia to heel.

Thorfinnsson , August 10, 2018 at 4:54 pm GMT
Great.

Now I can't use the Export-Import Bank insure the export of American-made products from a swing state to Russia. Really Making America Great Again! Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 5:04 pm GMT
@Polish Perspective

Regarding India, they are asking America for a permission to keep buying Russian weapons. Asking for a sanctions "waiver" – this is just sad. India also agreed to reduce imports of Iranian oil. So, perhaps, not so independent anymore.

There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth. But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia's exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

Cagey Beast , August 10, 2018 at 5:07 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

Rohrabacher is a flake and blowhard as well. If he were in the running for Secretary of State, he could just as easily flip and become militantly anti-Russian in order to impress people in Washington. Appearing tough on foreigners in front of one's peers in Washington is their prime motive. They've been like this since before the Vietnam War era.

Kimppis , August 10, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT
Anatoly, I read your Russian "Whitepill" article through Google Translate recently:

http://akarlin.ru/2018/08/whitepill/

Obviously a good read overall, but there was this one part that I found particularly well, interesting, and actually quite surprising:

"Moreover, the mid-2020s will also see a massive influx of electric vehicles into the global car fleet, which could lead to a final collapse in oil prices. There was practically no real diversification: the number of industrial robots per worker in Russia is at the level of Iran and India. Meanwhile, "effective managers" like Sechin turned out to be so effective that Rosneft's debts exceed the value of the company itself from this year. An acute economic crisis in a few years is almost inevitable. "

So I'm clearly not even entirely sure whether that translation is accurate, but it really seems like you're kind of suddenly much more pessimistic on the Russian economy. Or is that just the "best-case" scenario for Russian nationalists?

Didn't you rate Putin's "economic management" reasonably highly not a long time ago, just before the Presidential elections? Of course compared to the situation in 2000, but still.

You've also pointed out several times that Russia's oil dependency has been considerably exaggerated. Also, Russia's federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there's Jon Hellevig's research and numbers as well (GDP share of oil & gas, the consolidated budget, etc). And Polish Perspective's comment above.

So shouldn't the repeat of 2014 be kind of unlikely, if not impossible? At this rate, Russia's remaining oil dependency should already be considerably lower by the mid-20s, despite all those technological limitations.

You don't believe in an annual growth of 3% anymore? You seriously think there will be an "acute crisis" in a few years?

I actually just read that even the always (or atleast recently) conservative/pessimistic Russian authorities (in this case, the Economic Development Ministry) forecast a growth rate of atleast around 3% beginning from 2021, after the VAT hike, some other "reforms" and increasing spending.

Cagey Beast , August 10, 2018 at 5:23 pm GMT
At the same time, Trump his helping to push the Turkish economy off a cliff with his Twitter account. Russia and Turkey find themselves in the same boat. So?
Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT
@LondonBob

Israel and Netanyahu responsible for American sanctions on Russia, conspiracy makes less sense to me than the others I read here (Israel responsible for killing Kennedy, etc). Why do Israel want to impose American sanctions on Russia?

This week's sanctions mainly targeting Russian airlines. Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.

In Israel, Aeroflot is the third airline, and Israeli government pays it direct subsidies to reduce the ticket prices for places like Eilat. They allow Aeroflot to put giant Aeroflot commercial posters along the roads and skyscrapers.

According to the news earlier in the year, Israel is negotiating to join a customs union with the Eurasian Economic Union. How will they reconcile their own actions, with being the one responsible for America to sanction Russia? It would be very competent 4 dimensional chess, from people who cannot even count their illegal immigrants or deport a single illegal immigrant, or coordinate their nationality policy with a few thousand druze. While making America sanction Russia has no benefit for them, deporting illegal immigrants, or coordinating with Druze has important benefits for them (yet supposedly they can do the former, but not the latter).

At the same time, they do the opposite of sanctioning themselves.

Also if this is the case, how in Russia, nobody in the expert community is aware Israel is responsible for the sanctions. Instead the media celebrate when it still wants to export carrots. And if any of the Kremlin top think relations with Israel are bad, then why is Israel allowed to operate freely in Russia.

If explanation is to do with Syria – it also does not fit. Intervention in Syria was presented as something which would encourage West to remove its sanctions.

For Israel, Russian-American alliance would improve the situation in the region. And also probably for Turkey and the Arabs.

Israel is terrified with an increase of Iran in Syria. The reality is that is that both Russia and America is going to reduce presence in Syria, and Iran is going to increase it. The problem of Russia in Syria for Israel, is that Russia's presence is only minimal, and will allow Iran on the ground to take over the same territories that Russia helps secure for Assad. In the current equation and stage of the war, they will be hoping Russia increases its presence and reduces the need for Iranian forces. Problem of Assad for them is his only to the extent of his relation with Iran, not with Russia.

Mikhail , Website August 10, 2018 at 5:43 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Before the Trump-Putin summit, the Mueller involved FBI indicted 12 Russians, knowing full well that they'd not be turned over to the US. This latest round of sanctions comes right after Rand Paul's trip to Moscow, for the purpose of seeking closer US-Russian relations.

As noted in this below piece, these sanctions are crock based: https://www.rt.com/news/435576-russia-us-sanctions-reactions/

On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might've poisoned the Skripals without Putin's prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there're Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

Of course we don't know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there's very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 5:51 pm GMT
@Polish Perspective

I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions.

Seconded. Washington is too much in love with their sanctions.

It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

What about Turkey?

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Kimppis

Also, Russia's federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there's

It's up to 50% of the federal budget in recent years, is funded by oil and gas revenue, although in low oil price years the proportion can fall (to lower 40s%).

When the proportion falls, then you are by definition financing a federal budget in other ways, which are usually less politically popular.

You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

Raising pension age (as needs to often be repeated to people) is necessary and reasonable, but raising VAT is a bad thing as in most countries.

Karlin is probably too pessimistic about oil price demand peaking in 2020s (demand for oil probably peaking in the 2030s).

Either way, it's known there need to be economic reforms, reduction of size of government sector, increase in proportion of private sector in many areas, investment in education for future industries.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 6:05 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.

Aeroflot should cancel the orders and buy the Airbus 320s Iran was supposed to get.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 6:07 pm GMT
@Cagey Beast

But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of "après moi le déluge"?

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 6:09 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Agree. Aeroflot should not buy anything American. Neither should Iran or Syria. The most sensitive part of the US anatomy is the wallet.

Lars Porsena , August 10, 2018 at 6:48 pm GMT
Having Russia go pirate on US copy-rite laws could be interesting. Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it's citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?

Russia might even make some headway with Pirate Party types. Information belongs to the people, comrades! Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

g2k , August 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Looks like these sanctions will force their hand: their new narrowbody airliner was going to have pratt and witney engines with the aviadvigatel ones only for government planes. Not sure what the exact reasons for this were: p&w ones have a slightly higher bypass ratio, it allows international buyers to utilise existing service infrastructure or aviadvigatel's ability to mass produce might be crap. If the us imposes a complete export ban they'll all have to have them.

Russia's current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm GMT
Aeroflot had benefited from collapse of Transaero. They're getting 35 planes (all Airbus and Boeing models) from the Transaero fleet and are putting them into Aeroflot fleet this year.

With Boeing, they also had an order of Dreamliners, which they cancelled a few years ago. Although that was just because there was a downturn in long-haul flights. New Boeing 737 orders are for building up their lowcoster "Pobeda".

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

For that, Russia needs to produce all types of civilian aircraft, like the USSR did. That's hard after the 1990s, when the traitors destroyed Russian aircraft industry. There are moves in the direction of restoring it, in cooperation with China. However, they both need to be able to build aircraft w/o any parts from the US and its vassals. That would take 5-10 years. In fact, US sanctions pushed Russia and China in the direction of self-sufficiency very hard. In Russian it is called "sawing off the bough you sit on". The West is really good at that lately.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm GMT
@g2k

These sanctions might be a net positive for Russia in the long term, forcing them to develop indigenous industries instead of just importing everything from the oil revenue.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 7:17 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Probably working together with China is the easier way, and more feasible economically.

Daniel Chieh , August 10, 2018 at 7:23 pm GMT
@Lars Porsena

Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it's citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?

The "free market" of Facebook, Apple, Google and Spotify will protect good Americans from fake news.

El Dato , August 10, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Lars Porsena

Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

I would finally have a good reason to learn me some Russian.

Thorfinnsson , August 10, 2018 at 7:31 pm GMT
@g2k

Presumably they can still source from Rolls Royce. The UK is a smaller economic power than America and presumably less interested in sabotaging one of its crown jewels (never rule it out with the UK ofc).

Russia's aerospace technology is inferior to the West, but that's irrelevant since Russia can simply force Russian carriers to purchase Russian aircraft. Higher operating costs relative to foreign carriers can be addressed with subsidies (or tariffs).

Prioritizing your own technology also creates the option of charting an independent technological course. For instance, instead of building swept-wing jets with low bypass turbofan engines optimized for transonic cruise, you could build straight-wing aircraft with propfans optimized for low fuel consumption. You can also build supersonic aircraft and experiment with different planforms than the boring one established by the Boeing 707.

Thorfinnsson , August 10, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

This is already in the works with the CRAIC CR929. Engineering in Moscow, assembly in Shanghai. Will be in service around a decade from now.

German_reader , August 10, 2018 at 7:38 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

It's kind of funny how many Americans feel threatened by Iran. Regarding Russia as a threat at least makes a certain sense given Russia's nuclear arsenal and ability to destroy the US.

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Every time Medvedev opens his mouth, he makes me cringe. Seriously, if you're going to proclaim an "economic war", against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win. Smart Russians will be heading to currency exchange ( обменный пункт ) after hearing this statement.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 7:58 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

More fuel consumption than is usual with modern aircraft, noisier passenger cabin, more external noise (also important for some airports with regulations restricting noisy aircraft), less safety, etc.

It's just not competitive to operate them. Airlines have very low margins anyway, you cannot make a profit with obsolete aircrafts.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 8:50 pm GMT
@German_reader

On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ideologically far more committed to anti-Americanism than the RF.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 8:53 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

if you're going to proclaim an "economic war", against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.

Sun Tzu would disagree. Why let the enemy know what you are planning to do?

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 9:50 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

There are a couple of new planes which Aeroflot is going to buy/buying for shorthaul – Superjet 100 and MC-21. Karlin was blogging about these planes a few weeks ago.

Airtickets are a freemarket, and most passengers don't want to fly in unsafe old planes like Tu-154

A single crash can be even fatal for an airline – crash of an An-148 has earlier this year, destroyed Saratov Airlines

As a customer, I don't think there is any disgrace in buying Boeing and Airbus. All major airlines now, and around the world, are using mainly Airbus and Boeing, and have now retired the Tu-154.

Gerard2 , August 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth

AND also Ukraine's, Moldova's, Georgia's, the Baltics and the friendly countries like Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan etcetera. If anything the US's moron, scumbag policy towards Russia ends up doing the exact opposite of what it intends to do Ukraine, Moldova, Gerogia and Baltics then become more financially interlinked and even dependent on Russia than they were before.

But in the circumstances ..is guaranteed 1% or 1.5% GDP growth per year for the next decade even that bad considering the circumstances? Every social/infrastructure element is improving in Russia

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 10:08 pm GMT
@Mitleser

The enemy is probably laughing his ass off at Medvedev. One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia. Here is another fool, who doesn't understand currency markets:

Gerard2 , August 10, 2018 at 10:13 pm GMT
@Dmitry

You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

It's fake outrage and fake unpopularity on these two issues. 18% increased to 20% is a non-issue ( the budget is being spent significantly better than ever to offset this increase in VAT)

A lot of nonsense about "long overdue" get's said about pension reform but this is total BS. Yes Russia has 48 million out of 146 million as pensioners, but the most important thing is the unexpected , way above average increase in life expectancy . that has actually instigated this move by the authorities.

Those approaching retirement won't suddenly have to work 1-5 years longer they can still opt-in to the current arrangements in the overlapping period.. and with guarantees pension increased much further to corresponding inflation levels than now.

Either way, it's known there need to be economic reforms

Disagree with this .the same patterns that have been shown in the last 4 years need to continue, no radical "reform" is necessary. Small and medium sized business have gone from 10 million to 20 million people and should easily reach the target in afew years time that the President wished for in May,credit behavior and availability is becoming more and more western,

Instead of saying "reduction in size of government sector" you must specify exactly which areas of state control should be privatised .too often from liberasts their focus is solely on getting state control off critically important energy resources and distribution .nothing else.

Cyrano , August 10, 2018 at 10:45 pm GMT
Americans see the Russians as greatness deniers. Their European lackeys are their greatness-acknowledgers – even when it's detrimental to their own survival.

If the world was a theater, Americans see themselves as the only performers – the role of the rest of the world is to applaud their performance.

Russia is not a part of the audience, it's not even a heckler. It's a performer, it has always been, and a very talented one too. To try to demote them to the role of spectators, or to try to usher them out of the concert hall can be suicidal, they have enough musical instruments to put on a remarkable concert – even if afterwards no one is left to applaud.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia.

What statements should the PM make?

Anonymous [899] Disclaimer , August 10, 2018 at 11:12 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Yes we can.

https://www.businessinsider.com/mouse-grown-from-its-mothers-skin-cells-2016-10

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2109305-eggs-made-from-skin-cells-in-lab-could-herald-end-of-infertility/

Daniel Chieh , August 10, 2018 at 11:31 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Mice and humans are quite different, results applying to mice apply to humans less than 50% of the time. The loss rates on this, at any rate, are insane:

Of the 1348 embryos they made, eight pups were born.

Anonymous [931] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 12:16 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Every beginning is hard. Considering that all the cutting edge research in fertility/cloning/artificial wombs is done on shoestring budgets, the progress is amazing. Imagine what could be done with sufficient funding.

Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.
The West is stymied by the "pro-lifers" of the right and "bioethicists" of the left, and this is Russia's chance. Unlike the origial M project, Russians can keep things secret, and even if the West will suspect something, what can they do? Impose sanctions?

In the thirties, ignorant Caucasian moustacheoid gangster picked the Lysenkoists over the scientifically correct Darwinist transhumanist eugenicists. Time to undo this mistake.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 12:37 am GMT
@Anonymous

Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.

And it will have as much impact on the outcome of the looming confrontation as the Mengele's research had on the outcome of the WWII.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 2:01 am GMT
@Polish Perspective

He's also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

The west has no qualms about using Islamist. Radical Islam has been used in 1950s against Nasser's regime in Egypt. Islamist were used against secular pro Soviet regime of Afghanistan and then against Assad's Syria, Hussain's Iraq and Gaddafi's Libya. The equation is complicate: on one side you have Israel's Yinon Plan and global neoliberal and Islamists and on the other side you have secular national countries that try to build greater sovereignty and stronger state.

Majority of Islamist are just useful idiots while some among the leadership are operatives of western security services. Sometimes they break off the leash like Hamas which it does not seem to be controlled by Mossad anymore but it still does everything from the wish list of Israel's hard-liners.

My pet theory is that Islamist of Iran who destroyed the fast growing and developing Iran of Shah were also used by some foreign interests in the west and/or Israel. Shah himself believed it was the British.

You should look at history of your own country in 19 and 20 century. To what extent all those patriots responsible for numerous and hopeless uprisings were useful idiots, dupes or operatives of foreign interests?

Mr. XYZ , August 11, 2018 at 2:09 am GMT
Question about the Skripal poisoning–if it wasn't the Russians, then who did it?

Also, it's interesting that Sergei Skripal's poisoning has resulted in much more Western action than Alexander Litvinenko's poisoning back in 2006 did.

Colin Wright , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:00 am GMT
' The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis. '

Now they'll have to pay the Israelis to get it for them. Does this count as aid to Israel?

Colin Wright , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:04 am GMT
If, without admitting guilt, Russia expressed her regret for the fact that Donald Trump won the election, would that open the door to a settlement?
Colin Wright , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:07 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

' Americans view Russia as a greater threat than Iran '

I can go along with that. Russia's a greater threat than Togo as well.

Anon [813] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 3:39 am GMT
@German_reader

I am always puzzled to hear that lesbians require artificial insemination. I had a couple of friends who were a bit behind schedule, and were trying hard to conceive just before the last eggs would wither. Whatever they were doing, taking days off from work when the thermometer said so, shoving it at any price, and so on – it could not be described as pleasurable. So why would the lesbians not bear it if they so much need children?

On a more general note, I am puzzled as to how USSR survived between 1945 and 1989 without fainting at the thought that Americans would not recognize annexation of the Baltic jokes, that Russians would not be allowed to use dollars, or that Pokemon Go could be blocked in the Russian app store. Surely, if you have a population of idiots, like USSR circa 1989, who would think that it's their ow government blocking the dollar and Pikachu, it may gnaw at the roots of the state. But today's Russians can guess that with Putin or without him, with Crimea or without it, they are still seen as enemies of America, and will be treated accordingly.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 4:08 am GMT
@Anon

New state provision would cover fertility services for lower income women

https://nypost.com/2017/04/16/new-state-provision-would-cover-fertility-services-for-lower-income-women/

Conservatives pilloried the program, which sources said is a gift to an Orthodox Jewish community that has pressed for government-paid fertility services for 15 years.

Orthodox leaders called the budget measure a "significant victory" for women struggling to have kids in a community that traditionally values large families.

"This amendment will make it easier for women who would like to have children to do so," said Jeff Leb, a top lobbyist for Jewish nonprofits.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 7:25 am GMT
@Anonymous

scientifically correct Darwinist

Darwinism violates basic laws of probability theory and the observed fossil record.

It's a nice just-so story for the innumerate (most biologists are innumerate), but not in any way, shape or form science.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 7:28 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

if it wasn't the Russians, then who did it?

Guilty until proven innocent? Don't open that Pandora's box. You're gleefully piling on the Russians now, but give a few years and the same gang might apply that principle to you in turn. Just because they hate Russians at this moment doesn't mean they hold any love for the rest of humanity.

Bukephalos , August 11, 2018 at 8:28 am GMT
@Polish Perspective

Brunson's captivity had dragged for quite long already, and we heard negotiations for his release made some progress before. However, Trump ramped up the rhetoric at a precise moment: when Turkey announced they would not only shirk new Iran sanctions (like they did in the past) but also were being vocal about this.

Seeing what ensued, again yes the S-400 was an irritant for a while already and certainly cumulate with other factors but the timeline is interesting. God forbid we conclude those who should not be named are ultimately setting the agenda here, not really the pastor's plight under islamist thugs.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 8:45 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

You could do a better job at reading this thread. See:

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/#comment-2458139

Excerpt –

On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might've poisoned the Skripals without Putin's prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there're Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

Of course we don't know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there's very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

reiner Tor , August 11, 2018 at 9:05 am GMT
@anonymous coward

That's wrong, except about the innumeracy of the majority of biologists. Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 9:29 am GMT
@reiner Tor

[MORE]

That's wrong

It isn't. I'm a professional, trust me.

Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

(A theory that will never be formed, because Darwinism violates the very basic theorems of probability and computation.)

anon [170] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 9:40 am GMT
Sanctions are more or less equivalent to Neo Mercantilism. Currency devalued, imports surpassed, etc.

Last round led to Russian agriculture boom.

The US would not tolerate a sanctions equivalent industrial policy, Nr would the Russian people.

Just call it better than tariffs,

Never before have unintended consequences been so obvious.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 9:49 am GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

Could you give an example of some probabilities? How do you calculate them and with what assumptions?

At resent article by Fred Reed the commenter "j2″ produced some numbers but I was too lazy and not certain that his starting assumptions were correct to verify it.

The Scalpel , Website August 11, 2018 at 10:22 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

If it wasn't the British, or ISIS, or the Martians, who did it?

Jaakko Raipala , August 11, 2018 at 10:55 am GMT
@anonymous coward

Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

Such complete bullshit. Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory. You clearly know nothing beyond high school level physics (or anything else for that matter).

Some fields of modern physics like thermodynamics ARE basically just pure probability theory applied to physical phenomena. If you take a random sample of research physicists from your local university, they're much more likely to be doing statistical mechanics rather than trying to find analytical solutions for their n-body problem and some application of probability is usually the most important field of mathematics for working physicists.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 11:11 am GMT
@Mikhail

You're right again about the Litvinenko conspiracy, Mickey. The notion that the Russian government would want to eliminate somebody who had betrayed its secret service, written books denouncing Vladimir Putin for giving the order to murder the likes of Boris Bereszvsky, Anna Polikovskaya and others, accused the secret service of being behind the bombings of the Russian apartment buildings, just doesn't add up or make any sense. The fact that Litvinenko, while lying on his death bed directly accused Putin for being responsible for his death also didn't lend any value that it was indeed Putin behind his poisoning. It just goes to show you the lengths to which the enemies of Russia and Vladimir Putin will go to try and besmearch Putin's honorable name. But they'll never be able to fool somebody with your veracity and skillul analysis – keep up the great 'independent foreign analysis'!

Anatoly Karlin , Website August 11, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

anonymous coward makes it a point of pride to be as consistently wrong as possible.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

I wasn't aware of this and am glad that you pointed this out. Another incredibly strong reason not to believe that the Russian government was behind the Litvinenko poisoning. Isn't it time that you wrote a book, Mickey? I know that other book authors regularly rely on your input to write their own monographs, isn't it time that you put it all together and shared more of your thoughts with the world? Perhaps, Karlin might let you write a chapter in his forthcoming book 'The Dark Lord of the Kremlin'?

APilgrim , August 11, 2018 at 11:33 am GMT
'Russia-Sanctions' are pitiful ' Double-Standards ', written by ' Frustrated Globalists '.
Felix Keverich , August 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm GMT
Anyone wants to comment on this bizarre diplomatic spat, that Greece and Russia are having?

The abrupt deterioration in relations between Greece and Russia has intensified after Athens publicly accused Moscow of attempting to bribe state officials and meddle in the country's internal affairs.

Athens also rejected requests for entry visas from Russian Orthodox clerics heading for northern Greece's all-male monastic republic of Mount Athos.

The community is alleged to be a "den of spies" , with reports that Moscow has turned the Holy Mount – widely seen as the spiritual centre of Orthodoxy – into an intelligence-gathering operation with extensive funding of monasteries across the peninsula.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/greece-accuses-russia-bribery-meddling-macedonia-deal

Personally, I'm not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

[MORE]

Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory.

Untighten your panties. That was my point, which you managed to miss by blindly charging to M'Lady Science's defense.

Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That's exactly the "abstract theory" you're deriding.

The practical stuff physicists are using for solving practical, well-defined problems is useless here.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 2:20 pm GMT
@utu

[MORE]

Some quick back-of-the-napkin calculations:

* Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
* The "Planck time" gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
* There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

Now assume an ideal computer. Let each atom of the Universe be a CPU, operating as fast as physics allows.

That gives us an upper bound of 10^(18+45+82) = 10^145 CPU cycles for computation.

Now take Shakespeare's sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let's ignore punctuation.)

If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations.

So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.

How much more complex is an E. Coli cell compared to a sonnet?

P.S. This is obvious, freshman-tier stuff unless you're blinded by ideology.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

What' s to make of it? The article that you cite clearly explains what the row is all about:

Moscow announced the move weeks after Athens banned four Russian diplomats after accusing them of fomenting opposition to a landmark deal between Greece and macedonia, opening up the possibility of eventual Nato membership for Skopje.

Your own bizarre explanation betrays your own Russian reasoning:

Personally, I'm not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

Mitleser , August 11, 2018 at 2:51 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

My guess is that the Greek government wants to gain a powerful backer against Brüssel.

In Greece, he very often appears in public alongside Kammenos and spreads his political views on what is going on in the country via his Twitter account.

The influence goes so far that Pyatt unchallengedly criticizes the Greek judiciary and demands measures against anti-American demonstrators. Tsipras administration, arguing anti-Americanly itself at opposition times, on the other hand, fulfils every wish of the USA. While on the other side of the Bosphorus NATO partner Turkey is pushing its dispute with the US to the top, Greece's government is the most US-friendly since the overthrow of military rule in July 1974: NATO interests, gas pipelines and the regional influence of the North Atlantic defence alliance.

The coalition government of SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks agreed to the expansion of American military bases in Greece, including the stationing of nuclear weapons. This was not initially communicated to the public by the government, but only became known when the Secretary General of the Communist Party, Dimitris Koutsoubas, criticized it during public performances.

Secret diplomacy, as in the case of NATO, is also a characteristic of the Tsipras government in resolving the name dispute with northern Macedonia and in ongoing negotiations on border corrections with Albania. All negotiations are held in secrecy, with reference to the protection of state interests. There is no detailed information and no transparency regarding the reasons for the decision.

Athens is now providing NATO with the infrastructure for military bases in the event that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan withdraws his country from the North Atlantic Defence Alliance.

https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Russland-weist-griechische-Diplomaten-aus-4130628.html

Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator

Yes, that's is the infamous Pyatt who was ambassador in Kiev during the Maidan Coup.
He has been in Athen since 2016.

The case brings to the forefront the tension that seems to have been brewing between Athens and Moscow over the last two years, for reasons that have to do with regional security.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/230551/article/ekathimerini/news/greece-decides-to-expel-russian-diplomats

reiner Tor , August 11, 2018 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Mitleser

As late as this April Tsipras was still skeptical of the Skripal case.

But yes, probably they want America's friendship.

Sean , August 11, 2018 at 3:12 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Yeltsin was president when the bombings happened. Putin was only prime minister for a couple of weeks before the tower block bombings happened. Boris Bereszvsky killed himself (exiles are often miserable, Skripal wanted to go back) after Litvinenko, they were a couple of losers. No, Putin is a proud man, he sent the anti terror police to arrest Gusinsky not because of investigation into the apartment massacres of hundreds, but because that puppet show Dolls of Gusinsky's NTV portrayed Putin in a way he hated.

Who wouldn't want to inflict a horrible death on someone who accused them of being a paedophile? Litvinenko accused Putin of being a child molester and so Putin immediately issued orders for him to be sadistically murdered and a month he was poisoned (like apartment bombings, these things take a while to set up).

Felix Keverich , August 11, 2018 at 3:30 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

This brings me back to my point about Hitler & weak, foolish Eastern Europeans. Greek government is only behaving this way because it sees no risks in antagonising Russians whatsoever. Slapping sanctions on Greece (by banning tourism for example) might get them thinking.

Anatoly Karlin , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:42 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

One thing I saw is that they dislike Russia's support for replacing Greeks with Palestinians in the Orthodox Church in Israel.

https://www.facebook.com/pakopov/posts/1975263482518921

Israel Shamir had an article on that, interestingly enough: http://www.unz.com/ishamir/the-greek-occupation/

Mitleser , August 11, 2018 at 3:44 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

No sanctions, just encourage the tourism branch to redirect Russian tourists to Turkey which can offer them more for less.

https://www.xe.com/de/currencycharts/?from=RUB&to=TRY&view=5Y

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 3:49 pm GMT
@Sean

Look, I'm not passing judgement on the veracity of these accusations, that Litvinenko made against Putler. I see that you've added another one to the list, that Litvinenko accused Putler of being a pedophile too. All I was pointing out was that there were many reasons why Litvinenko was a target for unfriendly Rusian actions, not like our resident 'Independent foreign Policy Analyst' Mike Averko who claims:

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act.

Of course, he's a professional analytical type that always knows what he's talking about?

Sean , August 11, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Greece was told it had to join NATO to be allowed into the EU.

German_reader , August 11, 2018 at 4:11 pm GMT
@Sean

Greece has been a member of NATO since 1952, it joined the European Community in 1981.
It's odd though that a Greek leftist like Tsipras is pro-American, given the strong anti-American traditions of Greek left-wingers. But Tsipras seems to be an all-around scumbag anyway.

JudyBlumeSussman , August 11, 2018 at 4:19 pm GMT

how deeply Russia falls into China's orbit in the next couple of decades

Russia can start taking China's side on an ad hoc basis, e.g. sending ships to the disputed sea and hassling US ships and planes. Russia could hassle them on the Northern half and China on the Southern half, a nice division of labor and multiplication of hassle for the US Navy.

Dmitry , August 11, 2018 at 4:20 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations – statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a "comrade in arms with Turkey".

If Greece is angry about something, it is usually related to Turkey.

As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey – they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.

Think about Trump is this week criticizing Turkey – so he is probably now a hero in Greece this week.

Greeks are also angry because they think Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society is trying to de-Hellenize Middle Eastern patriarchates .

Philip Owen , August 11, 2018 at 4:22 pm GMT
Russia has enough chicken legs of its own now. They are not washed in chlorine.

Disengagement will simply remove what little influence the US has on Russia. Russia's exports are utterly dominated by primary production which is entirely fungible. The US exports little of high added to Russia and the EU and Switzerland, Korea and increasingly China can replace that. Japan probably won't. Russia has been trying to play a softer game with Japan but both sides true imperialist nature keeps on re-emerging. Like the US, Japan has remarkably low levels of trade with Russia given the size of its economy. Switzerland does a lot of high end complex electromechanical systems, like the Germans. The Germans are good; The Swiss are perfect.

Dmitry , August 11, 2018 at 4:59 pm GMT
@Mitleser

I'm not really sure how low prices for Turkey can become lower. It's already very cheap.

Maybe further devaluation can contribute to the tourist market diverging more between Greece and Turkey. More and more poorer people will go on holiday to Turkey, as it becomes almost as cheap to go on holiday in Turkey, as it is to stay at home.

Maybe Greece can focus more on middle segment of the tourist market.

Sean , August 11, 2018 at 5:07 pm GMT
@German_reader

Greece had withdrawn from the NATO military structure after the invasion of Cyprus by fellow member Turkey. If I remember rightly it was their own PM who told Greeks they had to go back into NATO to be allowed to join the EC.

Jaakko Raipala , August 11, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT
@anonymous coward

Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That's exactly the "abstract theory" you're deriding.

Bullshit. I have a pretty good education in probability theory both from the theoretical physics and mathematics departments so feel free to explain whatever point you think you have in as technical terms and with as much abstract math as you like.

I'm just going to claim that you're trying an "it doesn't work because of fancy words X, Y, Z" bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.

anon [170] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 5:41 pm GMT
@anon

It will have a negative impact on domestic Russian consumption short term. It's stupid, short sighted, and hard to reverse. Sanctions work best when used least.

German_reader , August 11, 2018 at 5:44 pm GMT
@Sean

I hadn't known about Greece's withdrawal from NATO in the 1970s, interesting, thanks.

Jaakko Raipala , August 11, 2018 at 5:48 pm GMT
@anonymous coward

* Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.

"Age of the universe" is a pop sci concept. In the standard model of cosmology it is estimated that the universe has developed from a massively dense state to the current state in roughly 13 billion years. We can backtrack the development over that time with current theories of physics and then we hit a wall as matter is so dense that we'd need a quantum theory of gravity to go further back in time but we don't have that. We don't know how long the universe existed before that, actually we don't even know if time existed in the same manner. The earliest known state of the universe was NOT informationless (there were variations in mass distribution etc) so your assumption that patterns would emerge only in the following 13 billion years is false.

[MORE]

If you watch some pop sci documentary, they will explain all sorts of stuff about how the universe was at first some tiny point and there was a big explosion that spread it all over. This is all nonsense that was made up so that pop sci documentaries could have CGI graphics.

* The "Planck time" gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.

There is no such thing as the "smallest possible unit of time". This is complete nonsense. You seem to get your knowledge of physics from science fiction movies.

There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment). This is not the same thing as postulating that there is some "smallest possible unit of time". Current theories of physics simply do not include such a thing.

* There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

We don't even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

AnonFromTN , August 11, 2018 at 5:51 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks. In fact, I was surprised how much more organized Turks are: we rented a car in Ankara near railway station and returned it in another city near airport, and they delivered the car where we wanted it and then took it off my hands, without car rental agency at either point.

For Russians, there are two additional advantages: no visa is required (you just pay $20 at the airport, and they stick what they call "visa" in your passport), and the same services are cheaper than in Greece.

ploni almoni , August 11, 2018 at 6:10 pm GMT
@anonymous coward

"Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That's exactly the "abstract theory" you're deriding."

Phony Baloney.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 6:18 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Empty calories sarcasm on your part.

The US went thru a period of noticeable politically motivated violence (in one form or another), that among other things included the murders of the Kennedy brothers, King, X, black children in a church, fatal Kent State shootings and the Manson involved murders.

There was absolutely no need for the Russian government to orchestrate the Moscow apartment bombings. The evidence is non-existent, with the so-called evidence being a put mildly creative stretch. On par with the idea that the US government sought and was involved in planning 9/11. Terrorism from Chechnya was a clear reality before the Moscow apartment bombings.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 6:28 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

A disingenuous cherry pick on your part, along with empty calories sarcasm. It wasn't only his (as has been said) sympathy for Chechen separatism, but a combination of factors, in conjunction with that aspect.

What I said in full on this matter:

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 6:33 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

In comparison, there's better reason to be critical of the Kiev regime's stunt with Babchenko.

Spisarevski , August 11, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
It's a pity that the good things Macedonia is doing (like fixing its relations with Bulgaria and Greece and starting to slowly accept the real history as opposed to the shit made up by the Serbs, the communists and Tito) are all done for such a shitty reason like entering the EU and NATO.
Simpleguest , August 11, 2018 at 6:42 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

"Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks."

Hear, hear.

Mitleser , August 11, 2018 at 6:46 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Greece has an inferior tourist industry and plenty of great European competition (Spain, Italy, Croatia etc.)
Thanks to Cyprus, you don't even to travel to Greece if you want to be on vacation in a Greek-speaking country.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 7:40 pm GMT
@Mikhail

'Svido cherry picking'?

Stick to the facts and do not reply back with your monotonous drum of often recited BS when you don't have a credible reply, Mickey!

I was specifically pointing out the paucity of information that you provided regarding your alternative suggestion that somebody other than Russian backed was responsible for Livinenko's demise. As I've already pointed out, I do not pass judgments on any of the aspersions that Litvinenko made against Putler, only that the smoking gun clearly points towards Moscow. If you've got something better, then present it I'd try something more clever than indicating that Litvinenko was in favor of Chechen separatists.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT
@Mikhail

Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

Whoa, what do we have here? Another genuine ' Averkoism '??

You indicate that I ' include mis-informative cherry picks' to spin an otherwise faulty impression. Why yes, I guess that's what I can be contrued doing. Most impressions that you make are faulty' ' and deserve to be rebuked, don't you think? I think that what you meant to say was that:

Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise accurate impression.

Mickey, you don't really want to be remembered for making 'faulty impressions ' now do you?

Cyrano , August 11, 2018 at 8:37 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

I have to agree with Mikhail here. I think that Litvinenko affair was like a dress-rehearsal for the most famous, daring and successful spy operation in history – the Babchenko affair.

You see, such a stunning operation like that takes years to perfect and for the Ukrainians Litvinenko was just a guinea pig on whom they tested their secret intelligence (OK, intelligence might be a stretch) operations skills.

And Litvinenko was an easy choice, the Ukrainians were sure that because of his background – it will be blamed on the Russians.

Nevertheless, this doesn't take anything away from the professionalism and mastery that Ukrainians displayed when they designed the Babchenko hoax. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Babchenko success story launches a new series of spy novels – maybe about agent 008 – where 008 is the IQ of the agent.

ThreeCranes , August 11, 2018 at 8:49 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

My take too rT. Economic warfare will not play out against Russia today as it did against Japan and Germany in the 1930′s; because while they were energy dependent, Russia has an abundance of oil and can and will–as you say–bootstrap its own industries inso far as they are able. They don't have to develop a surplus to trade since, like the USA 100 years ago, their population is sufficiently large to support a robust internal market.

Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker's discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia's bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

Felix Keverich , August 11, 2018 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Dmitry

You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations – statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a "comrade in arms with Turkey".

As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey – they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.

I feel that this is one of those situations, when you need to read between the lines. Turkey, religion and "meddling" ARE excuses for Greece. Trying to please Greece's creditors is the real issue here. It's a literal crackwhore of a nation, living from one tranche to another.

Hyperborean , August 11, 2018 at 10:02 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker's discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia's bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

This is implausible, for reasons that have been discussed multiple times here, including recently.

Thorfinnsson , August 11, 2018 at 10:03 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

China isn't a threat to Russia at present for many reasons.

See my comment on this: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kissinger-sees-sense-but-its-far-too-late/#comment-2456313

The idea that the Chinese will move to seize Siberia is a ridiculous fantasy.

China and Russia already in the 1990s peacefully resolved all of their outstanding border issues.

China suffers from below replacement fertility and solved its food security issues in the 1980s, so the era of "Yellow Peril" population pressure belongs to the distant past. And in any case the Russian Far East is useless for agricultural purposes.

There are indeed some minerals in Siberia, but let's review some economic facts about China:

#1 exporter
#1 forex reserve holder
#2 creditor nation
#6 gold reserve holder

China can buy all the resources it needs. The main threat to China's economic security are the naval and air forces of the United States and Japan, and to a lesser extent the US Treasury and Commerce Departments. Expanding into Siberia does exactly zero to counter any of these threats, unless you think the Port of Vladivostok somehow enables the PLA-N to break out into the open Pacific.

Instead it multiplies these threats by pointlessly adding Russia to its enemies and eliminating the possibility of overland trade substituting for seaborne trade.

China is a security threat to Siberia only once the following are true:

1 – USA abandons Western Pacific in favor of hemispheric security
2 – China secures dominance over Second Island Chain
3 – China replaces USA as lynch pin of global financial (as opposed to just economic) system

And given China's cautious attitude, that might not be enough. For instance, a USA focused on hemispheric security would still be viewed as potentially dangerous by China owing to its blue water navy and dominance of the "Third Island Chain".

If China displaces the USA as the world's preeminent power, then there might be some cause for concern. But even then I'm not so sure–Russia would be Canada to China's America. The USA and Canada have had very good relations since the 1930s.

Lebensraum with Chinese Characteristics is not going to happen.

That's not to say everything will be hunky dory in Russian-Chinese relations. There are areas of friction like:

• Influence in Central Asia
• Chinese IP theft
• North Korea
• Japan
• Near Abroad
• Competition for defense and nuclear exports

The CRAIC CR929 project looks great for now, but the gist of it is that while it's designed in Russia it will be made in China. Once China matches Russia in aerospace technology, what is Russia's role in this partnership? Seems like the most likely outcome is that Russian industry is reduced from producing aircraft to merely being a Tier One supplier and, perhaps, an engine supplier.

Will Russia be happy with that? I don't know. The UK decided to accept being reduced to this status after the commercial failure of its innovative but flawed postwar airliners cheerfully enough I suppose. Japan considered but decided against developing a complete aerospace-industrial base, though this may be changing (MHI Regional Jet, Kawasaki P1, MHI X-2 Shinden).

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 10:05 pm GMT
@Cyrano

He's a svido troll as evidenced by his ongoing distortions and omissions, which include not having a good comeback to the following:

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there're effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 10:08 pm GMT
@Cyrano

So, do you have even one shred of any evidence linking the poisoning of Litvinenko with the Ukrainian secret service? If not, I wouldn't spend too much time writing your novel about 008 and Babchenko, unless you intend it for an audience of only one gullible reader, Michael Averko!

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 10:19 pm GMT
@Mikhail

His ' Italian friend '? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their 'friendship' and decided to take the Italian out? Could've been another Russian job too?

Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you'll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there're effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn't full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I've already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 10:37 pm GMT

Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest?

Why Litvinenko himself, albeit (if true) in a possible unintended way. No proof that the Rusisan government did him in. No need to reply anymore to your rehashed trolling tripe.

Still no good answer to:

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

Dmitry , August 11, 2018 at 10:42 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn't make much sense.

Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

Greece's foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.

-

Reason for tensions with Greece, are the new relations with Turkey.

An alternative world, with a solvent Greece, they would be more angry, than currently weak, insolvent one – considering sale of S-400 to Turkey, construction of Akkuyu for Turkey, and recent decision for Turkstream.

Turkstream was always supposed to go to Greece, but two months ago, finally announced it's going to Bulgaria (with no mention of Greece).

https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-gas-bulgaria/update-1-bulgaria-says-will-be-entry-point-for-russian-turkstream-gas-link-idUSL5N1T16DI

For Turkstream it's now option if it needs to go to Greece at all – it could also reach Italy, via the Balkans.

In a Northern option that gets to Hungary and Italy over Serbia. (With no need of Greece).

At the same time, Israel, Cyprus and Greece are probably building a rival pipeline (probably not very economically rational), after Cyprus has discovered a gas field.

https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/cyprus-israel-greece-push-east-med-gas-pipeline-to-europe

Dmitry , August 11, 2018 at 11:02 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Well orderliness is not the only reason for holiday choice.

And Schengen visa is not a big deal for middle class tourists (35 euros).

Greece already has almost "too many" tourists (from around the world), for size of the country.

Greece receives 32 million tourists this year (while Turkey receives around 40 million a year tourism – and is six times larger than Greece in land area).

Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 11:03 pm GMT
@Mikhail

You missed my reply in #143 with plenty of decent replies. I don't mind reprinting them for you, I know how prone you are to missing information that is contrary to your myopic belief system:

His 'Italian friend' ? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their 'friendship' and decided to take the Italian out? Could've been another Russian job too?

Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you'll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there're effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn't full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I've already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.

Anatoly Karlin , Website August 11, 2018 at 11:18 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Has been discussed to death on this blog, both in general, and recently.

Anatoly Karlin , Website August 11, 2018 at 11:30 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

• Influence in Central Asia

I believe Russia's loss of influence there is inevitable. China has $$$; Turkey/Islamic world has ethno/religious draw; USA has its hegemonic culture.

Russia has some fading sovok relicts, such as old political ties and the Victory Day cult.

However, China is displacing it gently, as opposed to batting it away as the US and EU are wont to do. This naturally makes Russia much better disposed than it otherwise would be.

• Chinese IP theft

Will become less of an issue as China converges with and overtakes Russia in many technological areas. For instance, the realization that China's MIC is progressing far faster than expected – without significant Russian tech transfer – has contributed to Russia dropping its inhibitions on selling the S-400 and advanced fighters to China in recent years. (An HBD realist could have told them as much, earlier).

• North Korea
• Japan
• Near Abroad

The equitable arrangement would be for Russia to defer to China on North Korea and the Far East in general (though economic relations with Japan should be broadened), and to require that China do the same for Russia wrt to its Near Abroad.

But certainly a much more dominant China may no longer feel the need to honor such an arrangement.

• Competition for defense and nuclear exports

This will certainly be an issue.

Russia's nuclear technology is much further advanced than China's (the gap is much bigger than the rapidly dwindling one in the military sphere), and it doesn't appear to me that China is making a major R&D push in that area. I think Russia will continue to dominate global nuclear tech exports for at least 2-3 more decades.

AaronB , August 11, 2018 at 11:55 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Lol, NYC received 62.8 million visitors last year. One city.

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 12:07 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

Russia's current dominance of global nuclear exports is something of a fluke.

The West crippled its nuclear industry owing to pathological atomophobia. Design expertise didn't atrophy, but construction experience did. Result was massive cost overruns and endless delays on the few Western Gen III reactor projects. Now effectively priced out of the world market.

Japan suffered from the double whammy of Fukushima and Toshiba getting dragged down by the collapse of Westinghouse. Even though it's somewhat unfair, no one will now order Japanese reactors in the near future. The Japanese elite, once truly impressive in its atomophilia and determination to resist popular atomophobia, is no longer united on the issue either. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koisumi has for instance called for Japan to shut down all nuclear power plants.

Emerging competitor is South Korea. The Koreans successfully won the project in the United Arab Emirates, and within South Korea they have an excellent record of efficient construction. Fortunately for Russia, the very weak President Moon is a disgraceful atomophobe.

ThreeCranes , August 12, 2018 at 12:11 am GMT
@ThreeCranes

Thanks for your comments. I really wasn't referring to today, more to a tomorrow when China is the world's leading economy and the USA is struggling to enforce dollar supremacy.

Daniel Chieh , August 12, 2018 at 12:55 am GMT
@ThreeCranes

It's a big world to the south without powers with nuclear weapons.

Cyrano , August 12, 2018 at 12:59 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

You are looking at it from a wrong perspective, pal. I was simply expressing pride and admiration for the competence of the Ukrainian Secret Services. Why can't a fellow – even though admittedly phony – Slav like me feel proud of the accomplishments of a Slavic country that I look upon to for inspiration and guidance?

utu , August 12, 2018 at 1:10 am GMT
@anonymous coward

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Interesting argument but it hinges on something that is not a part of it, i.e, what is special about the 458 letter sonnet? Your argument only demonstrates that if another world began 10^18 seconds ago it most likely would not produce the same 458 letter sonnet but it would produce some other sonnet which could have a meaning in this different world.

You could create similarly fallacious argument 'proving' that you cannot possibly exist. Assign probabilities p<<1 of an event that two of your ancestors met and procreated. What was a chance that your parent met and then go back to grandparents and so on. And soon you will obtain cumulative probability close to zero stating exactly what? That your life could not have happened?

I think it is east to be confused and tricked by probabilities. And this happens when we are sloppy in defining the space of events on which the probability function must be defined. When you are heating up water at some point there will me one molecule of H2O that will break free and evaporate. If this molecule asked the Nancy Kerrigan's question "Why me?" and began calculating the probability of this event soon it would have to conclude the even was impossible. The problem is with the question "Why me?"

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 1:38 am GMT
@Cyrano

Sounds like you're making some real progress – keep it up!

Cyrano , August 12, 2018 at 2:26 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

Thanks man, I am really trying. If I may confide in you, you know what I find the most admiring about the Ukrainians? Your keen sense of democracy.

I mean, it took you what – barely 4 years to figure out that Yanukovych was not democratic enough – and then boom – revolution. I mean you guys are sharp. Look at the Russians, they have been electing Putin since 2000 and they still haven't figured out that he is not democratic enough. You are way ahead of the game.

You know what I think? I think that one good coup is worth at least 5-6 regular elections. So if you guys were to stage another coup within – let's say the next couple of years – it's like you've gone through 12 regular elections of 4 years each. You know what – if I was you I wouldn't even bother with elections, elections are for dummies, just stick with coups and soon you'll overtake even Western Europe – democracy and economic development wise, so you won't even need their stinking EU.

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 2:32 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

You're still shooting blanks to this:

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there're effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

I can't help it if you don't know the specifics about Litrvinenko's aforementioned Italian friend. Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don't realize just how stupid they are. Then again, part of you might recognize that, seeing your cowardly anonymous empty calories insults.

Opposite to your shooting blanks is this precision reply:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/29/an-unhealthy-trump-putin-summit-fallout.html

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 2:35 am GMT
@Cyrano

In case you missed it:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/10/cold-war-in-the-sauna-notes-from-a-russian-american/

Thek ind of Russian-American views not getting propped in US mass media. Similar to the PC Ukrainian views getting the nod over Ukrainians thinking differently.

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 3:00 am GMT
@Cyrano

You're on the right track, buddy! I don't know why AP tries to continually put you in place by pointing out that you're not really a Slav, but some sort of Balkanized Turk. Who cares? Your last two comments indicate that you're capable of evolving your thinking patterns much higher that the typical 97 or 98. Heck, I'd guess that you're a solid 99! Keep it up!

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 3:08 am GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don't realize just how stupid they are.

I see that you're still babbling on Mickey. Isn't it time for you to do a few rounds of kumbaya in front of your icon of Herr Putler and go to sleep yet?

As La Russophobe imagines it, Averko then sits down in the lotus position, the room lit by a single candle beneath a large photo of Stalin, and intones his mantra several thousand times: "I am a journalist I am a journalist I am a journalist " until he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he heads out to his day job flipping hamburgers at Wendy's

Chainsaw1 , August 12, 2018 at 5:05 am GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

"Now take Shakespeare's sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let's ignore punctuation.) If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations. So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so."

The above just shows that the author is just completely ignorant of scientific, statistics and computing principles.

First in English the occurance of letters do not have random frequencies, the frequencies range from 0.074% for letter z to 12.702% for letter e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency

Next the letters are not combined randomly, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabetic_principle Next there are pattern the letters are used to form phonetics. The English language only has 40 sounds (English orthography) the combination of which form the words. Then there is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonemic_orthography

Incidentally sonnet 27 only has 80 unique words, many of which are not random but closely related, e.g. blind, old, sight, tired, sightless, see, ghastly, shadow, darkness, expired, eyelids, drooping, weary, bed, toil, view, night, etc. A task simple enough for markov text sonnet generators,

http://www.devjason.com/2010/12/28/shakespeare-sonnet-sourced-markov-text-generation/

https://www.prism.gatech.edu/~bnichols8/projects/markovchains/main.shtml "Shakespeare Sonnets Training Set"

and the more sophisticated that the word frequency will be generated from the 154 Shakespeare sonnets and will preserve the classic ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme of the sonnets, https://medium.com/@SherlockHumus/creating-markov-chain-based-sonnets-9609d77a2635

By trying to shuffle 26^458 random letters by brute force into sonnet showed that the author is only good at shuffling shits.

utu , August 12, 2018 at 5:19 am GMT
@Chainsaw1

[MORE]

After showing off that you know statistics of character string in English language try to explain what is your point.

RadicalCenter , August 12, 2018 at 5:41 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

If it wasn't a setup by formerly-great formerly-Britain, who was it?

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 5:57 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

Your uncritically citing LR is indicative of one stupid anonymous coward referencing another.

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 6:24 am GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

[MORE]

I'm just going to claim that you're trying an "it doesn't work because of fancy words X, Y, Z" bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.

What's the "it" in your post, exactly? Darwinism? The problem with Darwinism is that it's not a scientific theory. It's not even formulated correctly. The problem itself is framed by biologists in handwavey terms on a "monkeys and typewriters" level.

When one tries putting some sort of numbers to the idea, the whole thing falls apart. See my post above, for example, where it turns out you need a Universe about 10^300 larger than ours to make random selection work.

And before you charge to M'Lady Science's defense: note this isn't a "disproof", it's just a demonstration that nobody bothered to frame the question properly yet. There's nothing there that can be proved or disproved.

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 6:34 am GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

[MORE]

Congratulations, you missed the point again.

The actual point is that biologists framed a problem in a way that doesn't match the scale of our Universe as we observe it.

Feel free to correct the numbers I made; maybe the correct factor is 10^100 instead of 10^300. So what? The processes biologists postulate are so asymptotic that they require an infinite Universe, which doesn't exist in real life.

There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment).

We don't even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

Good point, but no. You missed the point again.

Any theory that requires time or space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics isn't Darwinism. It wouldn't even be biology, because biologists don't (and can't) deal with stuff like that.

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 6:39 am GMT
@utu

[MORE]

I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet. I merely demonstrated that the size of the probability spaces we're traversing are unimaginable orders of magnitude larger than the Universe we observe.

Formulating the probability spaces and functions should be step one of any biological theory of evolution. Only then we can start talking about meanings and other philosophy.

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 6:43 am GMT
@Chainsaw1

[MORE]

Good point, but unfortunately Markov chains (and evolutionary algorithms) are intelligent design, not random evolution.

They are tools for getting an answer when you know the result you want, but don't know the steps to get it. The better you understand the result you want, the faster you arrive at a solution.

That's a framework postulated by 'intelligent design' proponents, and rejected by conventional Darwinist biologists.

utu , August 12, 2018 at 7:38 am GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet.

OK, so what is the big deal about generating random string of 458 letters? Any such string can be easily generated with the same probability from a bag full of letters. Each string is equivalent.

utu , August 12, 2018 at 8:20 am GMT
Important speech of Victor Orban

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's speech at the 29th Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp

http://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/the-prime-minister-s-speeches/prime-minister-viktor-orban-s-speech-at-the-29th-balvanyos-summer-open-university-and-student-camp

AquariusAnon , August 12, 2018 at 8:42 am GMT
Continuing on AKarlin's conclusion how Russia's future economic and foreign policy orientation lies on the EU's response to the US's inevitable Iran-style sanctions against Russia, I'll walk through some situations, and also state that once sanctions and adversaries with unfriendly relations escalate to embargo and enemies with no relations on the US side, the EU's decision at that point will be able to determine its fate for a long time to come.

1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy. This is more likely to happen if the US threatens third party trade ties with Russia. This means that EU imposes Iran-style sanctions, and gradually turns to more expensive US LNG for energy. This would put the EU under incredible strain, and a large amount of state coffers would be shaved off due to these purchases; the citizens disposable income would plunge too. On the other hand, Europe won't really collapse if the US agrees to subsidize gas sales to the EU in exchange for joining the ideological crusade against Russia.

In the Kissinger thread where I mentioned how a blackpilled possibility of Russia's future lies as a vassal state, or junior partner, of China, while I may have exaggerated a little regarding permanent PLA bases on Russia soil, it still is a slight possibility if the oligarchs become more powerful again and also get a little desperate. However, PLA bases aside, if the EU joins in the US on an embargo against Russia, Russia would still be cut off from trade and other ties to its west, and inevitably having to completely rely on its east for trade and political ties. Since even Japan/Korea trade can be a little difficult due to their strong US ties and India doesn't really offer Russia much, except as a place to export some goods, this leaves us with China, rendering Russia's future as China's largest and most important vassal state.

This would also enable the EU branch of neoliberalism.txt to show their true colors as an American vassal. Outside of Poland and the Baltics, attitudes towards Russia vary directly on how neoliberal they feel, so in order to prevent the people from voting in non-neoliberal parties, some "checks and balances" aka non-democracy has to be implemented to make sure neoliberalism.txt stays via "voting". In this case, shave off a good at least 10% to EU's white percentage in the long run also; while its unlikely for Britain and France to ever dip below 60% white but stabilize around that point instead, a quasi-neoliberal dictatorship would mean Eastern and Southern Europe bearing a lot of this brunt, e.g. ghettos in Warsaw might go from a fear to actual reality. And expect the EU's economic growth to be highly stagnant, and China, with Russia as not just a friendly state but a vassal state, would take advantage of this to end up becoming the other pole in a bipolar world along with the US.

Unless China changes the way it conducts trade and foreign policy, this means that Russia will likely get taken advantage of and not get too much in return, especially with non-patriotic and greedy oligarchs still having significant power. In this case, Russia-China relations will resemble a more predatory version of UK/Canada-US relations and Russia will find itself to be a largely China-oriented, with Chinese tourism, businesses, language, and other ties etc. having a very broad, visible, and dominating presence.

Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe's rhetoric on Iran. China will gladly take advantage of the situation.

2. The EU doesn't cave in and continues to maintain trade and political ties with Russia. This is the better result for not just Russia, but also the entire world. A Europe that's able to stand up to American foreign policy, especially if its more ideological hysteria than based on realpolitik in the case with Russia, is one that would have taken its first step towards significantly reasserting their sovereignties. This would've also been a huge blow to the American establishment, if not THE nail in the coffin ending American unipolarity. And China also needs more competitors instead of a bipolar world with just China and America.

2a). Europe continues to be ruled by neoliberalism.txt as America enforces the embargo. Sanctions won't be lifted and the status quo remains. As China gets more powerful and European relations still cold, Russia and China will end up in a full-blown alliance, but its status quo trade and personal ties with Europe would ensure that Russia can continue to maintain a somewhat multi-vectored approach instead of complete subservience to Beijing. And Russia won't be as much of a "hot potato" if not embargoed by the EU, ties with countries like Japan and South Korea will continue unabated if not upgraded. In this case, the EU can still be a more sovereign entity, albeit just ruled by the neoliberalism.txt ideology; demographically, slightly better than, but no significant differences from the EU caving to US embargo case. In this case, Russia-China relations will resemble Japan-US relations, albeit without the military bases.

Chance of this happening? 40%.

2b). Europe undergoing a right-wing wave as America enforces the embargo. Europe in this case will lift sanctions against Russia and ties likely even upgrade to a strategic partnership. While Russia will not become enemies with China since it is in its best interest to not pick a fight with the world's #1 or #2 power, its relationship will stabilize as non-adversarial but non-aligned, a renewed strategic partnership with Europe can stimulate Russia's economy and will ensure a multipolar world emerges in the 21st century, with Russia as a powerful 3rd or 4th most powerful country on good terms with everybody (minus the US and parts of Eastern Europe). Such close ties to Russia will also be a boon for Europe's economy, and the possibility to regain their sovereignties after a century-long occupation post-WW2. America becomes more isolated and loses its unipolarity in this case.

An unrelated side effect of this tactic is that the nonwhite percentages of Europe will probably stabilize at or just above or below (in the case of southern Europe) current values.

In this case, Russia-China relations won't be any special, with close trade relations, some military cooperation, and neutral détente but inevitable minor beefs that spring up every once in a while, like a closer and better version US-China relations pre-Trump. Russia in this case will truly be one of the smaller poles in a multipolar world.

Chance of this happening? 30%, but this is by far the best outcome for the entire world.

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 9:24 am GMT
@Dmitry

Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

And encourage tourists to travel to other countries?

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 9:36 am GMT
@utu

[MORE]

Good point. If 1/2 of all random strings of letters are sonnets, then the probability of generating one is 50%. Let's test that hypothesis.

Take a dictionary of English words: https://github.com/dwyl/english-words

* There are 27 words of one letter and 26 letters.
* There are 635 words of two letters and 676 two-letter combinations.
* There are 4710 words of three letters and 17576 three-letter combinations.
* There are 11169 four-letter words and 456976 four-letter combinations.
* There are 22950 words of five letters and 11 million five-letter combinations. (Oops.)

* There are 61018 words of 8 letters, but 208 billion 8-letter combinations.

Now, these are words, not texts, but you get the idea. Letter combinations grow as c^n, while the number of English texts clearly doesn't.

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 9:41 am GMT
@AquariusAnon

1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy.

Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe's rhetoric on Iran.

Eh, what? It is not EUropean rhetoric that suggests that, but the gap between their rhetoric and reality.
Europeans talk about defending JCPOA yet European big business ditches Iran and European banks stab Iran in the back.

In recent weeks, U.S. and European intelligence agencies flagged a European-Iranian Trade Bank request to withdraw 300 million euros from the Deutsche Bundesbank. Iran claimed the cash is necessary so that Iranian citizens can use foreign currency when they travel, but Western governments warned that the cash would be used to fund Iran's terrorist proxies.

Fearing repercussions from the U.S. Treasury, the German bank decided last week to introduce the new rules to prevent the withdrawal. This move was likely coordinated with the German government.

In recent months, the E.U. has said that it will try to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal, despite the U.S. withdrawal and renewed sanctions.

Initially, the E.U. explored the possibility of compensating European firms that would be affected by the new sanctions, using the European Investment Bank.

This effort was torpedoed by the EIB, which said it might be blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury of it was part of a scheme to offset the sanctions. EIB President Werner Hoyer said two weeks ago that "doing business in Iran is something that we cannot be actively engaged in."

https://www.jns.org/wary-of-repercussions-eu-unlikely-to-defy-us-sanctions-on-iran/

AquariusAnon , August 12, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
@Mitleser

Didn't know that. I'll keep that as a note.

So my 3 predictions are essentially, Iran-style western embargo, status quo with embargo only on US side, and normalization of relations with Europe. How would you recalibrate the likelihoods?

Felix Keverich , August 12, 2018 at 10:21 am GMT
@Dmitry

Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn't make much sense.

Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

Greece's foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.

You assume that Greece is the rational actor in this situation. It's a stupid crackwhore, desperate for a bit of debt relief.

It is also fair to say that Western decisions on financial aid are not made by accountants, ultimately they are made by politicians, who do consider geopolitics.

Surely Greece can see that IMF is dumping billions of dollars into the Ukraine for no other reason than geopolitics. Ukrainian regime also got a nice debt relief a couple of years back – to better resist "Russian aggression".

utu , August 12, 2018 at 10:25 am GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

So it comes down to the meaning after all. You look for words that have meaning. But why? Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of. Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language? There are some believers in the intelligent design like yourself in Pentecostal church who speak all kind of tongues nobody heard of them but to them they have some meaning. There are patients in psychiatric wards who write 458 letter sonnets that have meaning only to them. So why did you pick up this particular Shakespeare sonnet to calculate a number that suppose to prove something?

Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument?

utu , August 12, 2018 at 10:29 am GMT
@Mitleser

Interesting. It looks really bad.

Miro23 , August 12, 2018 at 10:57 am GMT

2. To what extent will the EU join in, passively acquiesce to, or resist the US sanctions against Russia? The answer to this question will to a large extent determine precisely how deeply Russia falls into China's orbit in the next couple of decades.

This looks like a fine opportunity for the EU to 1) develop its own international settlements system based on a Euro reserve currency 2) redirect trade and investment towards the ROW (rest of the world), if necessary, excluding the US 3) become a reliable non-political trade partner to these countries 4) make a unilateral decision to terminate NATO and detach itself from US lies, subversion and military adventurism.

The place to start would be the termination of NATO, but it would be better to implement the policies simultaneously. It would initially be very costly to European corporations, but ultimately worth it, with new more predictable international relationships.

AquariusAnon , August 12, 2018 at 11:23 am GMT
@Miro23

This is exactly what I meant by my response. Not only will EU's response to the upcoming US embargo be instrumental in writing Russia's role and development in the 21st century world, but also if the EU ever wants to transform from a neoliberalism.txt US vassal experiment to either an independent "Great Power" quasi-federation (essentially USSR 2.0 after the revolutionary phase died down, Communism replaced by neoliberalism.txt), or to break up as wholly sovereign states, a continuation if not strengthening of relations with Russia will be a pivotal first step for that to happen.

Jaakko Raipala , August 12, 2018 at 11:35 am GMT
@anonymous coward

Feel free to correct the numbers I made;

There is no reason to look at any further steps in your calculations when you begin with false premises.

[MORE]

Again, you are under the false impression that the universe "began" 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity. Even if you somehow managed to argue that the complexity of life on earth is too high to emerge in 13 billion years, it would still be of no consequence to Darwinism since we don't need it to emerge in that time – 13 billion years ago is not some patternless zero state of complexity.

In fact, for all we know the emergence of life on earth could have already been determined in the earlier state of the universe 13 billion years ago. That's implausible to me but a lot of people believe in an intelligent creator and you can easily just postulate that he baked the emergence of man in the design of the early universe and then you're in no contradiction with modern science whatsoever.

Where did the patterns and complexity in the early universe come from? We don't know since the current theories of physics can't probe that far. In fact, as I said before, the whole "age of the universe" thing is a false notion that unfortunately some physicists peddle as a simplification of cosmology. What we can do is trace back the development of the universe from this point in time and we can go back 13 billion years and conclude that the universe back then was a very different place, in a very dense state that gradually "expanded" into the current one.

However in this process we run into a dead end as to study such dense states we'd need to make the theories of gravity and quantum mechanics work together and we can't do that currently. Hence, everything "earlier" than that is pure speculation, in fact we don't even know for sure whether there was a "before". This state beyond current theories has been dubbed the "big bang", "the beginning" and such but that's all just popularization. This has the unfortunate side effect that some people now believe physics to somehow have proven that the universe emerged from "nothing" 13 billion years ago and that's just not true.

And an "understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics" is definitely required for cosmology like claims that "universe is X seconds old". You are the one who began with assumptions that require physics well beyond Newtonian mechanics.

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
@AquariusAnon

Most likely is "status quo with embargo only on US side" with limited shift towards "Iran-style western embargo". EUropean elites do not show much willingness to oppose Russophobia, but on the other hand Russia is much more integrated in the EU economy than the Iran.

For instance, the value of the trade in 2017 between Russia and Germany was 57,3 billion Euro (rank 14th), the number for the Iran-Germany trade was only 3,4 billion Euro (rank 58th).

https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/GesamtwirtschaftUmwelt/Aussenhandel/Tabellen/RangfolgeHandelspartner.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

That reduces their willingness to follow American sanctions.

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 12:01 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Don't bash Greece so much.

They are still making right decisions.

From 2009 to 2011, Syria supplied almost a fifth of EU imports of phosphate, but those sales collapsed during the war.

Official EU import data shows that phosphate shipments to Europe -- heading almost exclusively to Greece -- are resuming and more than tripled between December 2017 to April 2018. The volumes remain small compared to the pre-war heyday, but Syria is making a clear push to return to the EU market and its giant farm sector.

Syrian data show that total phosphate exports were more than $200 million in 2010.

Three people either working in the phosphate industry or involved with trading the commodity said Syria is able to export again because Russian investors have resurrected the Palmyra mines, which Islamic State militia captured in 2015. Assad awarded these reserves to the Russians last year after Moscow helped him turn the tide against ISIS.

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 12:54 pm GMT
@utu

[MORE]

So it comes down to the meaning after all.

No, it actually doesn't. The probabilities grow as c^n, while the Universe doesn't. No matter how big it is, it's still a fixed size due to the laws of conservation of mass and energy.

Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of.

Even if every atom in the observable Universe had its own language, the number of possible letter combinations would still be vastly bigger.

Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language?

I'm not "disproving" anything. I'm demonstrating that the "monkeys and typewriters" argument used by biologists (and its variants "the universe is really big" and "the Earth is really old" arguments) violate basic mathematical logic.

The Universe isn't really big. In fact, it is infinitesimal compared to the probabilities we're dealing with here.

Once biologists acknowledge this obvious fact, then we can formulate some sort of theory, and maybe then there will be something to prove or disprove.

Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument

Do you? The point is that we're traversing probability spaces here that grow exponentially, and yet nothing in nature can be exponential indefinitely. Somewhere in your assumptions is a grave error.

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 1:21 pm GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

What do you mean uncritically? I think that the citation is very critical of you. If you're looking for something even more critical, just let me know?

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 1:25 pm GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

[MORE]

Again, you are under the false impression that the universe "began" 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity.

Very good point, and one I agree with. However, this is a variant of the Intelligent Design hypothesis, and is considered to be pseudoscience by biologists.

Like I said, I'm not "disproving" anything, merely pointing out that the way Darwinian evolution is framed by biologists is not science.

Maybe it can be reformulated in a way that makes sense, but don't hold your breath -- the biologists don't even understand the objections and fall back to the "Earth is, like, really old" argument.

And an "understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics" is definitely required for cosmology like claims that "universe is X seconds old".

Again, the actual figure is irrelevant. The point is that we've posited an exponentially exploding probability space, and yet nothing in nature is infinite and exponential. (I know about the cosmology arguments about the finite/infinite universe, spare me. In any case, the observable Universe is definitely finite, and science only deals with the observable.)

AquariusAnon , August 12, 2018 at 1:26 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Now that Syria has all but won the war, I wonder when will rebuilding and eventually re-emerging as a stable country good enough for FDI and tourism will start. By then, I also wonder how it will be sanctioned.

My guess is that it will rebuild under Iran-style conditions back to more or less where it was in the early 2000s politically, economically, socially, and sanctions-wise starting around 2020 or so.

Anon [536] Disclaimer , August 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm GMT
"For instance, banning Aeroflot from flying to the US has a simple response – banning US air carriers from overflying North Eurasia, period. It can resurrect a bill – first raised this May, since sunken in the legislature – to impose fines and prison time on individuals and entities who support Western sanctions by refusing to do business with Russian citizens or entities on America's SDN list. It can throw out the American-dominated copyrights regimen out of the window."

As an American, I think Russia should do this and for good reason: the people who run this country are idiots; if this is allowed to stand, they'll continue to push this until we get a war. Best to head it off now by making the US Ruling Class pay the price. I especially like the last part. Russia should just host all Hollywood movies, books, and video games on a server accessible to American pirates (hey, Red States won't have problem with this these scum just voted to remove Trump's star on the walk of fame anyway).

Anon [360] Disclaimer , August 12, 2018 at 1:52 pm GMT
"This looks like a fine opportunity for the EU to make a unilateral decision to terminate NATO and detach itself from US lies, subversion and military adventurism."

Not going to happen for a variety of reasons. NATO is a good way to keep an incompetent, belligerent U.S. bogged down so that it doesn't cause any serious trouble for advanced nations. Take Germany for instance. The number of US troops there is quite small in an absolute sense, not enough to cause trouble, but combined with troops all over the place, the all-volunteer US military can't really marshall the numbers necessary to invade anyone without support from Europe. NATO is actually a clever way to control the aggressive tendencies of the United States; without it, there is no telling what the U.S. could do.

Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process – and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved. That's why German industrialists were stupid to provoke Trump and go around telling Europeans to not buy American weapons (those weapons are in some cases FAR superior to what the Europeans have and someone is definitely going to buy them considering the cost spent to develop them, either you or a potential enemy so it might as well be you). In all, it's good deal for them. They aren't going to chunk that for anything.

The real key here is for Russia to strike back in a way that doesn't galvanize the American public against them. My suggestion: cancel all American copyright protections and start hosting American movies and television programs. Conservative republicans won't oppose this as these programs are made in Trump-hating California – a place that just voted to remove Trump's star on the walk of fame.

Uebersetzer , August 12, 2018 at 1:53 pm GMT
@German_reader

In fact, his "conservative" predecessor Samaras was more pro-German than pro-American. Tsipras is pro-American. He is leftist like Tony Blair is leftist.

Hyperborean , August 12, 2018 at 2:00 pm GMT
@Anon

Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process – and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved.

Right, which is why Denmark bought the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.

Buying American weaponry is often a combination of tribute, corruption and paying protection money.

dfordoom , Website August 12, 2018 at 2:28 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia's exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

It still makes Russia look pathetically weak. The U.S. actions are essentially an act of war. If Russia just rolls over allows itself to get kicked then the U.S. is just going to keep on kicking. Cowardice is rarely a good policy.

reiner Tor , August 12, 2018 at 2:46 pm GMT
@Hyperborean

the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.

I bought into much of the criticism, and probably a somewhat better plane could've been made cheaper, but all in all I think it'll be a fine enough weapon, and probably better than any currently deployed Russian fighters. The Su-57 is not yet ready (and it's recently got questioned if it ever will), so you cannot meaningfully compare it to it.

Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you. It's actually no longer much more expensive than 4+ generation planes. I think Boeing is trying to market the F-15X, which would be a newly produced version of the F-15 with all possible technologies (except stealth which is impossible for this frame), and it's not going to be meaningfully cheaper than the latest (and cheapest) F-35.

If buying Russian is politically possible for you, then the Su-35 might be a good cheaper alternative, though countries which are allowed to buy it are usually not sold the F-35. Maybe India (and perhaps soon Turkey?) is the only country where both could even be considered.

If the Su-57 were ready, then maybe we could talk about whether it was better than the F-35 (the answer would probably depend on a number of issues, e.g. the rest of the equipment used by the military in question, and of course politics, which is to say, if there was a chance of a political conflict with the supplier, because if yes, then obviously you'd need to buy from the other).

For most (but not all) roles the F-35 is at least as good as any other American fighter jet (except maybe the F-22, and maybe not even that).

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you.

Or you do not want Lockheed use your combat jets to spy on you.

reiner Tor , August 12, 2018 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Yes, that's another risk.

Maybe that's why Israel uses its own software? (At least they rewrote part of the software, or so I read.)

Anyway, I don't think it's a bad fighter jet for the job of fighting America's enemies. Probably even against neutrals. It might be useless against America's friends, or America itself, but no one buys it for that. And actually it's probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

And probably the American idea that the Russians might use their S-400 to spy on other Turkish weapon systems (including the F-35), when in fact it's the Americans who use weapons they sell to do that. The Russians are probably too afraid to lose their reputations.

reiner Tor , August 12, 2018 at 3:32 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Interestingly, when I searched for it, besides RT, I only found an Israeli and an Australian site. It's not a widely reported news.

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 3:37 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it's supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft.

That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors.

Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates. And on a small aircraft, you can't carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth. F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band. It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars. In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat).

The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn't optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs.

As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical. Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?

That said it's not like the F-35 is awful , and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology.

The F-35 also now costs less to buy than the Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale, which is an important advantage. Gripen is much cheaper, but Sweden has no geopolitical clout and has a very bad habit of finding moralistic reasons not to export armaments.

If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can't afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise. France is also a reliable supplier. Worst choice is the Super Hornet. The F-16, while now quite an old design, is still a very capable aircraft at a reasonable price as well.

Japan now has a stealth fighter technology demonstrator in the MHI X-2 Shinden. They somehow built it, including with indigenous turbofans, for $360m. The airframe is very interesting in that it's built of new materials which eliminate the need for RAM, which should keep operating costs down and increase sortie rates. But this is only a technology demonstrator at this time, probably as proof-of-concept for the new materials and an indigenous low-bypass afterburning turbofan engine.

As for the Su-57, it's somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it's also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance. Russia's official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true.

Who knows what the real reason is. Budgetary pressures perhaps? Russia wants to double capital spending in rouble terms in 2024, and to do so without increasing debt. At the same time it's continuing its import substitution efforts, and there are no moves to soaking the rich. So the money has to come from somewhere, and presumably that makes mass production of the Su-57 and T-14 Armata less attractive.

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 3:44 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

And actually it's probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

>study F-35 and its data
> get better at detecting/fighting F-35

It is probably one of the main reasons why the RoC (Taiwan) won't get this jet despite needing more than most. The risk that pro-PRC agents would have access to the F-35 is not small.

Felix Keverich , August 12, 2018 at 3:46 pm GMT
@dfordoom

Cowardice is rarely a good policy.

I agree. However, let's not forget that Russia and USA have very different weight and role in the international economy. USA effectively owns the system of international finance. That is to say "international finance" is but an extention of US financial system. They can exclude Russia, we can't exclude them (from the system they created and own).

If Russia is going to impose meaningful costs on the US, I think it can only be done through non-economic means. Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 3:51 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Using your own software is common for technologically advanced powers concerned about their sovereignty and their own military-industrial capabilities. Japan for instance (after being bullied out of building its own indigenous fighter in the 80s) built its own upgraded version of the F-16 which, among other things, included Japanese software. Like Israel, Japan also fields its own air-to-air missiles which on paper are in the first rank.

The UK took a different route of becoming a Level 1 Partner on the F-35 program, so they received privileged access to the source code which is not available to other powers.

The F-35 is not very useful for fighting Russia or China, but fine for fighting most anyone else. It actually could have some utility against America since America lags Russia and China in low-frequency radar and infrared search and track, but probably the real reluctance is safeguarding technology. In particular materials (e.g. the new RAM panels instead of finicky coatings) and the engines.

anon [356] Disclaimer , August 12, 2018 at 4:38 pm GMT
LOL. Not only the usual Russo-Ukro shitstorm that takes over every thread longer than 100 replies, but evolution-creation debate is there too.

This thread is officially over. RIP.

LondonBob , August 12, 2018 at 4:50 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Sun Tzu say avoid combat with superior force, bide time and wait till you are stronger. Of course doesn't take Sun Tzu to work that out, even if he did say it.

Dmitry , August 12, 2018 at 5:14 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

IMF funded by a lot of countries though – Russia now one of the top ten important creditors and more influential owners of the IMF (although it's proportion of ownership is still multiples times smaller compared to US).

Russia is 8th largest shareholder of the IMF (out of 189 countries). US is largest share-holder, and then Japan and China.

Decisions are based on member voting which is based on share in the organization, so Russia has 8th largest vote in IMF, but behind USA, Japan, China, etc.

Part of the Greek debt is owned by Russia through the IMF, probably relative to Russian ownership of IMF and the debt relief packages partly also funded from Russian loans.

Fortunately, IMF ownership of Greek debt is several times smaller than the eurozone countries. But Russia's government share of Greece debt will probably be some billions of dollars. That's how Greece can basically continue receiving money – so many countries are owed money on their debt.

Felix Keverich , August 12, 2018 at 5:31 pm GMT
@LondonBob

Not really applicable in Russia's situation. We are already at war, it's entirely one-way for now, but that doesn't make it less of a war.

Cyrano , August 12, 2018 at 5:37 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Thanks man, that's what I have been craving all my life – an approval from a Ukrainian hick. You keep it up too buddy, your encouragement means the world to me.

Dmitry , August 12, 2018 at 6:50 pm GMT
@Gerard2

VAT is not a "non-issue". When you raise from 18% to 20%, then you are taking significantly more money from the whole population (including poor people) who want to buy things in private sector, and transferring this money to state sector, where not all extra money (to be "polite") is going to be used "wisely".

At the same time, a problem now is to have up to 50% of the federal budget from oil/gas revenues – which is a volatile priced resource.

So it's typical dilemma with neither option looking good.

Of course, the solution to both, is to reduce unnecessary government expenditure, which continues to grow all the time in many useless areas, to the extent that you can see expressed in even unhidden ways of the luxurious buildings being constructed for all kinds of different government offices who could really do their job just as well (or incompetently) in a warehouse or a polyester and nylon tent.

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

Your reading comprehension sucks.

You uncritically referenced an anonymous, lying coward (not too much different from yourself BTW), who ducked a live one hours BBC World Service radio panel discussion, much unlike the person who you've an obsession with.

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 7:15 pm GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

That's: a live one hour .

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Increasing taxation reduces private consumption, but I'm skeptical that it creates a long-term output gap (short term is a different matter). The OECD has prosperous economies with taxation at a share of GDP ranging from about one-third to three-fifths. Such a wide divergence suggests that high taxes and prosperity are not incompatible. Money spent by the state is still spent, and even if it's spent dubiously it continues to circulate.

Russia's official economic plan (besides import substitution) is to increase capital spending. It intends to do with while retaining fiscal discipline and limiting offshore borrowing. If you are unable or unwilling to borrow to finance investment, you must suppress consumption.

Suppressing consumption to finance investment has a track record of success in East Asia and for that matter Russia itself (~1928-1970).

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-12/putin-s-wealth-shift-takes-aim-at-russian-economy-s-idled-engine

The intent is to increase capital spending from one-fifth of GDP to one-quarter. A reasonable goal.

The real issue here of course is that the intent is for this increase in investment to come from the state and state-controlled companies, whose track records are dubious.

Still, perhaps something good could be done. Russia's nuclear industry is one bright spot, and shifting to a more nuclear power mix would allow for more hydrocarbon exports and improve public health. Russia is a growing agricultural exporter, and somehow I doubt Russia has the ubiquitous farm roads like we have here in the American Midwest.

Perhaps it would be wiser to reduce Rouble borrowing costs for the business sector by suppressing consumer credit and promoting higher household savings. Household savings rate in Russia is only 8%. China is 38%.

Anon [204] Disclaimer , August 12, 2018 at 7:44 pm GMT
"F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it's supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft."

The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won't get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.

"That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors."

Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 – a proven aircraft – and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no "supposedly" here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35′s sensors won't be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.

"Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates."

The US can easily afford it.

"And on a small aircraft, you can't carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth."

Doesn't matter. The F-35 will be operating with many other F-35s. Combined, it will be a formidable foe.

"F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band."

No, it's not. The F-35 is simply more stealthy frontal but still stealthy over all. Further, X-band is the frequency required for a weapons lock. All stealth aircraft are specialized for this radar band.

"It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars."

Radars not capable of generating a weapon's grade lock, so they're useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars – weather radars, basically – can already detect stealth aircraft; that's always been true. Didn't do Iraq any good back in the 90s.

"In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat)."

Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.

"The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn't optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs."

F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.

"As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical."

You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn't seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.

"Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?"

This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.

"That said it's not like the F-35 is awful, and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology."

The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.

"If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can't afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise."

Sure, if you're poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.

"As for the Su-57, it's somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it's also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance."

Having superb kinematic performance doesn't count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.

"Russia's official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true."

Russia is delaying because 1. they can't afford to buy the aircraft 2. they are having trouble constructing the aircraft as designed and in the quantity required 3. it probably isn't as good as the F-35 anyway, so they don't see a point in building it.

Sean , August 12, 2018 at 7:53 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

The F-35 is for transferring US technology to Israel

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/israels-air-force-might-have-the-ultimate-weapon-custom-25983
Lockheed-Martin has mostly refused to allow major country-specific modifications to the F-35, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars foreign F-35 operators contributed to the aircraft's development. Israel, however, managed to carve out an exception. Though not an investor in the F-35's development, Tel Aviv was nonetheless quick to sign on to the program with an initial order of fifty. It also negotiated a favorable deal in which billions of dollars worth of F-35 wings and sophisticated helmet sets would be manufactured in Israel, paid for with U.S. military aid. Furthermore, depot-level maintenance will occur in a facility operated by Israeli Aeronautics Industries rather than at a Lockheed facility abroad.

The Lightning's sophisticated flight computer and ground-based logistics system has become a matter of contention with many F-35 operators. Foreign air forces would like to have greater access to the F-35's computer source codes to upgrade and modify them as they see fit without needing to involve external parties -- but Lockheed doesn't want to hand over full access for both commercial and security-based reasons. Israeli F-35Is uniquely will have an overriding Israeli-built C4 program that runs "on top" of Lockheed's operating system.

Anon [121] Disclaimer , August 12, 2018 at 7:56 pm GMT
"Right, which is why Denmark bought the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising. Buying American weaponry is often a combination of tribute, corruption and paying protection money."

Please. They bought the F-35 because it is the best aircraft they could get, and they don't trust the Russians. If they wanted to offer tribute, they'd just write a check and buy another aircraft.

Further, much of the so-called criticism of the F-35 came from non-experts in the subject or older guys who worked with the now-outdated F-14. The F-35 has made enough progress for me to believe that it will likely crush anything the Russians have now or in the future. Even if the Russians could build the Su-57, the F-35 would still win in most contests because 1. its sensor suite and over the horizon A2A capability + electronic warfare capability will be appreciably superior 2. it will be built in far larger numbers.

"The F-35 is not very useful for fighting Russia or China, but fine for fighting most anyone else."

The F-35 will be quite effective against any aircraft those countries currently field. Any belief to the contrary is either ignorance or delusion. The US isn't spending a trillion dollars on this thing to fight Trinidad and Tobago.

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 8:25 pm GMT
@Anon

The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won't get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.

"Over-the-horizon A2A capability" has existed for half a century. Previously structuring our airpower around this concept resulted in high losses in Vietnam.

The real reason for the bubble canopy's elimination (note that the stealthier F-22 and YF-23 both have bubble canopies) is the ridiculous insistence on the same platform being used for a STOVL aircraft with a lift fan placed right in the middle of the fuselage.

If your goal is to maximize stealth and only fight BVR engagements, the F-35′s design is entirely inappropriate. After all, its stealth is in the front area only and it can't carry a large missile load.

Optimizing exclusively for BVR combat would entail a large tailless aircraft (perhaps a flying wing) with all-aspect stealth, large internal volumes of missiles, and far more powerful radar.

The F-35′s design is based on political and economic considerations, not military ones.

Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 – a proven aircraft – and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no "supposedly" here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35′s sensors won't be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.

I have no doubt in the capability to produce and field top-class avionics. What I do doubt is the idea that we produce (and always will produce) superior avionics to anyone else. Europe, Russia, China, Japan, and even tiny Israel all produce AESA radars. The US lagged Russia (and Europe) in IRST for decades. The US is far behind on low-frequency radar.

The US can easily afford it.

You'll note that this was originally about F-35 exports . A solution with high operating costs and low sortie rates is problematic for anyone, but especially undesirable for a small power.

Radars not capable of generating a weapon's grade lock, so they're useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars – weather radars, basically – can already detect stealth aircraft; that's always been true. Didn't do Iraq any good back in the 90s.

Detection is not useless. It allows you to vector interceptors until they get close enough for a radar lock or can identify the target with IRST or visual tracking.

Incompetent Arabalonians. Norman Scwhartzkopf stated that if you'd reversed the weapons on each side but kept the personnel and training the same, the Allied coalition would've still handily won. Serbia incidentally did successfully shoot down an F-117, which largely owed itself to the skill of the operator in question and poor tactics on the part of NATO.

Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.

The RAND Corporation disagreed and projected one Su-35 lost for each 2.4 F-35s.

F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.

F-22 production capped at 187 units, and none were exported to other countries (despite persistent requests from Japan).

You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn't seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.
[...]
This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.
[...]
The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.

This is what is known as projection. Identifying in others the sins that you yourself are guilty of.

Sure, if you're poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.

Many countries are poor. Others are small or have limited defense budgets. Though I contend thee aircraft in question are in fact superior to the F-35 which makes this moot.

Having superb kinematic performance doesn't count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.

Superb kinematic performance enables earlier missile shots, makes it easier to defeat incoming missile shots, allows for faster transit in and out of combat zones, and gives a decisive edge in WVR combat.

The F-35 program developed a first-class powerplant and avionics, but then mated then to an inferior airframe in order to fulfill a commonality fantasy driven by a silly Marine Corps STOVL requirement.

Sean , August 12, 2018 at 8:49 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

The Kremlin would have killed the organ grinder (Boris Abramovich Berezovsky) not the monkey. Litvinenko virtually committed suicide. People become depressed when they are exiles.. Litvinenko publicly accused Putin of the apartment bombings by Chechens that killed hundreds of Russians so he must have had some inkling that Putin could be dangerous.

If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you, and if they have the means and opportunity then it is not the biggest surprise in the world if you give them the motive and you are killed by a method that is as good as a signed confession they did it. Putin wanted Litvinenko to know who had put an end to him. That was the whole point of using alpha radiation; nice and slow all the while knowing who did it. Putin is very like another famous Vlad.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/vampirediaries/images/0/08/Vlad-The-Impaler-dracula-untold-37680708-854-347.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20141217165742

reiner Tor , August 12, 2018 at 9:27 pm GMT
@Sean

If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you

I have fantasized about killing people who had seriously harmed me or the public. But I have never fantasized about killing a clown, nor can I ever imagine fantasizing about it. I cannot imagine anyone who is not a psychopath fantasizing about killing a clown. By accusing Putin of the house explosions and converting to Islam etc. Litvinenko totally jumped the shark. He was a clown, a tool used by others.

Now it's not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.

Litvinenko was a poor devil, incapable of harming Putin. If anyone harmed Putin, it's Berezovsky or the western media which gave a platform to poor devils like Litvinenko. Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 10:05 pm GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

That is pretty incredible, however, because of your reputation perhaps she was afraid of some sort of retribution for being critical of you? I notice that you often like to taunt me on by calling me a 'coward' for using a moniker instead of presenting you with my true identity. Whether deserved or not, many feel that you're some sort of a Kremlin Stooge nutcase, Mickey. From Srebrenica Genocide Denier to this:

friend of mike averko | April 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Reply
I have known mike averko for a very long time and wish to warn all of you who feel safe mocking him and his rants this is not someone you want to get angry . HE IS INSANE!!! I have seen how this man lives and it is not that of a healthy person, it is that of someone insane. Make your comments but don't ever let this man into yuour life in any way or you will end up being sorry.

This is why I choose to shield my true identity from you, Mickey. Who needs any grief from a Kremlin Stooge wacko?

utu , August 12, 2018 at 10:12 pm GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

So it comes down to the meaning after all.

No, it actually doesn't.

No, it does.

The machine that draws the numbers for a lottery manages to pick 7 winning numbers every week. It never fails to pick the winning numbers. Is this an amazing feat? The numbers it picks are the winning numbers while millions of lottery players have great difficulty to pick the winning numbers and spend millions of dollar on it while the cost to the machine is just few bucks.

Shakespeare picked 458 'winning' letters but if you would try to reproduce them in the same sequence by random selections it becomes probabilistically impossible task.

Finding a winning sonnet by Shakespeare for the Universe was not a probabilistic feat just as it is not for the lottery machine to pick the winning numbers. It all comes down to the meaning and when that meaning is assigned. You assigned a special meaning to this particular sequence of 458 letters just like lottery players assign special meaning to 7 numbers picked by a machine.

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 10:13 pm GMT
@Cyrano

Although you show a lot of promise, unfortunately there are still a few rough edges. Don't concentrate so much on your less than honorable pedigree, but work on improving your emotional dilemmas. AP is a medical doctor, and has diagnosed some of your ailments. Listen to him, for he's a pure blood Slav. And you know how great the Slavic race is. (I know that you can overcome!).

g2k , August 12, 2018 at 10:31 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

On the subject of of agriculture, it should be noted that Rostelmash has done ok for a big sovok behemoth and has had at least some success exporting west. It's combines are competitive with the American makes but not Claas, they've also been able to buy up varsatile. This is quite surprising given the fact that rostov has a reputation for being a rough and corrupt place. Ak, any thoughts?

APilgrim , August 12, 2018 at 10:33 pm GMT
The US Congress, has popularity & confidence levels in the toilet.

Congress, in defiance of public opinion has MANDATED 'Russia-Sanctions', in the law.

Congress has done this overwhelmingly & repeatedly, without VISIBLE public support.

There is no evidence available to the American Public which justifies 'Russia-Sanctions'.

Sadly, the USA Public regards Vladimir Putin more highly than they regard congress.

Vladimir Putin has consistently high favorable ratings with the US Public.

Congress is rated below treatable venereal diseases, but above Ebola.

APilgrim , August 12, 2018 at 10:41 pm GMT
Sadly, the USA Public regards Vladimir Putin more highly than they regard congress.

Vladimir Putin has consistently high favorable ratings with the US Public.

Congress is rated below treatable venereal diseases, but above Ebola.

Cyrano , August 12, 2018 at 11:08 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

You make it sound like being a Slav is like being a member of an exclusive club. How exclusive can it be if you – the Ukrainians are in it? I would say that that is setting the standards pretty low. Don't worry about my "emotional" dilemmas. I am happy with who I am, which can't be said about you people. You seem quite torn between your Western European heritage and your humble Slavic origin that gets in the way of being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 11:20 pm GMT
@g2k

USSR engaged in intensive agricultural motorization earlier than any country other than the USA and Canada. It was also fairly early to intensive chemicalization, mainly beaten out by Germany and America.

In the postwar period the share of capital investment devoted to agriculture varied from 11.8% in 1946-1950 to a peak of 20.1% in 1971-1975.

Not surprising there is something of a positive legacy. Main failures of postwar Soviet agriculture were distribution and processing. Not enough roads or trucks, inadequate cold chain, too few food processing plants, etc.

Belarus also has a successful agricultural machinery sector as well.

Heavy transportation machinery was generally a Soviet success story, probably because not only are they producer goods but they also require routine replacement. Thus unlike other capital goods in centrally-planned economies they weren't kept in service long past the time they ceased to be efficient. The irrational "development" of Siberia also increased the size of this sector and the quality of its output.

Lastly, worth noting Rostelmash has been privately owned since 2000.

utu , August 12, 2018 at 11:24 pm GMT
@Anon

The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it.

If this is the case then obviously its 'kinematic performance' is secondary. If you can see the enemy before it can see you and you have weapons to engage the enemy then obviously your top speed and acceleration are not that important. The missile you launch is faster than your top speed and your enemy's top speed.

But there are doubts. How much the stealth technology is a hype? Is information about radar cross sections of various planes credible?

Sean , August 12, 2018 at 11:25 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

I thought like you before Skripal, but after the second in a row I understood this was either Western intelligence or Putin's orders. Western intelligence simply would not dare frame Putin because the Russians would become too jumpy. Yeltsin almost started WW3 in 1995, there is no telling what could happen if the West was framing Putin repeatedly and he responded by putting Russian forces on red alert, then something like the Black Brant scare occurred.

Litvinenko was a poor devil.

I don't think he was a happy man.

Now it's not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.

I happen to believe that Putin is deliberately trying to alienate the West with these assassinations because he wants Russia to remain proudly independent after he is gone. Yet he has to justify that policy to his close associates many of whom who love the Western lifestyle and making money. It is like Hitler having to explain his attack on the USSR to his generals and Goebbels by saying it was necessary to remove that threat from the east before moving against Britain. Obviously Hitler really longed to conquer Russia, and it seems likely to me that Putin wants to initiate schismogenesis with the West. He probably is not telling his cronies that though, there will be some security pretext.

Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?

Putin has more power than anyone else on Earth, I should have thought that was obvious by now. He wants to exert control when he is no longer there, and that means setting Russia on a course that cannot be altered, and consulting/implicating the entire future leadership cadre.

Philip Owen , August 12, 2018 at 11:27 pm GMT
@g2k

John Deere does very well in Russia because they own a local factory. They seem to be the combine of choice because they have faster parts distribution than Class. Rostelmash does better than it used to but the really big commercial farms and associated contractors buy the best machines. The operators on the ex cooperatives, usually farmed under (corrupt) rental arrangements tend to use Rostelmash, insofar as they buy new.

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 11:41 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

No, you're a cowardly anonymous troll, who uncritically references such people. Much different from yours truly.

Thorfinnsson , August 13, 2018 at 12:13 am GMT
@utu

In BVR combat kinematic performance is indeed secondary to the performance of sensors, electronic warfare equipment, and missiles.

But not irrelevant. Higher top speed allows for longer-ranged missile shots. Faster acceleration (and, for that matter, turning performance) allows for faster escape from the combat zone.

Note how BVR optimized interceptors like the F-102/106, MiG-25/31, F-4, F-111B, English Electric Lightning, and so forth had great top speeds and excellent acceleration. They were however lacking in maneuverability as it was not intended for them to dogfight (hence the bad air combat performance over North Vietnam).

China's Chengdu J-20 is a modern stealth aircraft designed for this role. The F-35 is not. It's basically a tactical strike fighter. Historical analogues would be the F-100, F-105, SEPECAT Jaguar, Su-24, and so forth.

Tactical strike fighters of the classic style are dubious today since multi-mode radars and PGMs have made fighters very capable of ground attack.

Stealth isn't hype unless you believe the maximalist fanboy nonsense from the 1990s.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 1:24 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

If indeed F-22 and F-35 have several orders of magnitude smaller cross-sections (RCS) than other jet fighters then obviously it is a huge advantage that if utilized will render small differences (±10%) in speed and acceleration completely unimportant.

F-22 RCS=0.0001 sqm
F-35 RCS=0.005 sqm

F16 RCS= 5 sqm
SU-35s RCS= 1-3 sqm
PAK-FA (T-50) RCS=0.5 sqm

Providing that one can trust this blogger:

http://mil-embedded.com/guest-blogs/radar-cross-section-the-measure-of-stealth/

Mr. Hack , August 13, 2018 at 1:28 am GMT
@Cyrano

being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.

Like I said, you're showing some progress. It's hard an takes some time, don't get discouraged.

Mr. Hack , August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am GMT
@Mikhail

Much different from yours truly.

You're right about that, and I'm glad to be different from you. At least people aren't leaving messages about me at blogs warning them that I might be dangerous to deal with. 'Sbrebrenica Genocide Denier' is nothing to be proud about, Mickey.

dfordoom , Website August 13, 2018 at 1:38 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?

I quite like that idea!

Provide sophisticated arms to everybody (no matter how crazy) with an ability to cause grief to the U.S.

The U.S. objective is not to punish Russia or weaken Russia. The U.S. objective is to destroy Russia as a sovereign nation. This is war to the death. There can be no negotiation with the U.S. The only hope of forcing the Americans to adopt a sane policy is to make the costs of their current policy catastrophically high.

The U.S. is obviously stronger but a strong man will usually back down if faced with someone crazy and unpredictable. Putin needs to be crazy and unpredictable.

And Russia needs to target America's lapdogs, like the British. Perhaps let them know that if it ever came to nuclear war London would be a priority target.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 1:39 am GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

Svidomism is a mental disorder, incurable like the rest of them. You are violating the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.

Parbes , August 13, 2018 at 2:28 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

U.S. "public opinion" is literally the collective opinion of dumbed-down, amoral idiots. In fact, the word "opinion" is too dignified for this – "braindead recantation of MSM-fed government propaganda" would be a better description.

Thorfinnsson , August 13, 2018 at 2:41 am GMT
@utu

Stealth is definitely an advantage.

But it's not an invisibility cloak.

It's optimized for certain wavelengths and expected receiver locations.

Thus stealth aircraft can for instance be readily detected by low frequency radars. Stealth is still useful as low frequency radars are too bulky to fly, and they indicate a general location rather than a precise location.

Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually, acoustically, through their own electronic emissions, and through their heat signatures. Employment of weapons, obviously, compromises stealth as well.

There are also degrees of stealth. The F-22 for instance is considered an all-aspect stealth design, at least in the higher frequency bands. The Have Blue, MBB Lampyridae, F-117, B-2, and YF-23 were as well.

The F-35 however is not–it's only stealth optimized in the frontal area. This of course reflects the fact that it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter, but incompetent American force planning is now pressing it into that role.

Lastly, while stealth is obviously a good capability (hence why everyone is following America's lead on it), it's not without trade-offs. Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally. Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive (though the Japanese may have solved this problem). Because stealth requires precision shaping of the airframe, it is difficult to modify the airframe for future requirements.

Mikhail , Website August 13, 2018 at 3:00 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

A few cranks out of many more thinking quite differently.

You of course can take pride in being a cowardly anonymous troll.

Mikhail , Website August 13, 2018 at 3:02 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

[MORE]

Yes, I've been told that.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 3:20 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

"But it's not an invisibility cloak." – Nobody talks about invisibility. RCS matters. You detect enemy plane before it detects you. Period.

"The F-35 however is not–it's only stealth optimized in the frontal area. " – Presumably it will show its rear to its enemy only when the enemy will be already falling down after being hit.

"Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually " – Nobody argues invisibility.

"it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter". – It all depend on superiority over whom. Anyway this is a vague and pompous term.

"Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally." – What good are those weapons for if you are shot before you see your stealthy enemy?

"Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive". – Yes. That's why Russians do not have it.

Listen. I do not really care about this issue and I do not know much about it. I just responded to your arguments which are mostly rhetorical in nature among at diminishing importance of the orders of magnitude lower RCS of F-22 and F-35 comparing to that of their potential opponents.

Mr. Hack , August 13, 2018 at 3:36 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

[MORE]

Do you remember Ukraine? remember your Ukrainian mother? you're a sorry excuse for a human being, a modern day janissary.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 3:44 am GMT
@Sean

I thought like you before Skripal, but after the second in a row I understood this was either Western intelligence or Putin's orders.

Or something else neither of us thought of. It's a false dichotomy when we have no information at all about the whole thing, the only thing we know is that the British are lying.

Western intelligence simply would not dare frame Putin because the Russians would become too jumpy.

But that's just your model. Maybe they wouldn't become jumpy, or maybe the Western intelligence services would dare frame him anyway.

By the way it's interesting that you managed to draw a psychological profile of Putin based on just two cases a decade apart, and Putin only did it twice in his whole reign. Sure if he enjoyed torturing his critics he'd do it more, wouldn't he?

Yeltsin almost started WW3 in 1995, there is no telling what could happen if the West was framing Putin repeatedly and he responded by putting Russian forces on red alert, then something like the Black Brant scare occurred.

Risk management is my job. People don't think about risks that way. They assign a very low probability to events like the Black Brant scare, and anyway probably Putin would just realize it was only one rocket. There's no reason to believe he'd be any more likely to launch than Yeltsin.

Daniel Chieh , August 13, 2018 at 4:26 am GMT
@utu

Stealth is of limited use in an air-to-air role to take down enemy fighters(air superiority fighter) since missiles are not "stealth" and their guidance systems very, very obviously telegraph their intentions: thus "missile lock" warning. The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier, which gives the targeted plane more options to employ countermeasures.

However, ground sites lack many countermeasures against incoming missile launches and cannot lock onto low-visibility planes from the front, so even if its general location is known, there's not much that a SAM site can do to it in theory. Thus, it has a very effective, but limited role.

This is of questionable utility against a peer competitor since they will not be using ground to air systems in isolation, although it probably means that the US can destroy any number of third world countries.

Mikhail , Website August 13, 2018 at 4:27 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

On your warped world, cranks like La Russophobe and pro-Bosnian Muslim extremists are okay.

Mr. Hack , August 13, 2018 at 4:34 am GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

Nah, not really. In my world, only cranks like you are special. Don't worry, your status as #1 Kremlin Stooge remains intact.

Cyrano , August 13, 2018 at 4:37 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

Like I said, you're showing some progress

I wish I could say the same thing about the Ukrainians. You are showing nothing but regress since 1991, but I don't expect that you'll agree with that. It's one of the side effects of having a thick head.

You know how the Ukrainians got their name? It's from the Latin Cranium for scull. Basically, what it means is that when any new idea (or old one for that matter) tries to penetrate the thick Ukrainian sculls – it has to make a U turn when it reaches their fortified cranial structures – U Cranium – therefore Ukraine. Get it? It's pretty discouraging actually.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT
@utu

A good case could be made that we don't know how these jets would perform under the conditions of a real world war. But I think it's always the best bet that it will be the American weapons which perform the best. That's simply the way to bet.

It's possible that many of their weapons systems wouldn't perform as advertised. Some would perform better than thought or for roles they weren't designed for.

It's a very safe decision to buy the F-35, which is now not even that expensive. It's possible that it won't be worth much in a real war against comparable opponents, but this could be true of any other platform: these weapons are only tried out against vastly inferior opponents.

You detect enemy plane before it detects you. Period.

He will usually have a vague idea where you are. Currently it's not possible to launch a missile based on that vague knowledge, but will it stay like that forever? A lot depends on other systems like air defense and AWACS.

Anyway, my original point was that probably buying the F-35 is not based on politics, it's a safe decision for those with deep enough pockets to buy the best available fighter jet. Even if under the circumstances of a real war it turned out to be bad: it could happen to a number of other weapons systems anyway, and you cannot really tell in advance which ones.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 5:12 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier

But wouldn't the idea be that you get closer to the enemy without being detected? Your argument might work against BVR combat in general, but more against non-stealth BVR combat than against stealth: stealthy planes will probably employ their BVR weapons from closer range than non-stealthy planes.

If BVR air-to-air missiles work at all, they work much better with stealthy planes. Regardless of whether against peer or non-peer opponents.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 5:13 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Stealth is of limited use in an air-to-air role to take down enemy fighters(air superiority fighter) since missiles are not "stealth" and their guidance systems very, very obviously telegraph their intentions: thus "missile lock" warning. The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier, which gives the targeted plane more options to employ countermeasures.

If your argument states that it is actually bad to deploy weapons far away (which I do not understand) I would say that the stealth will allow you to get much closer to the enemy w/o being detected and makes it possible to launch the missile when there will be not less time for the enemy to deploy countermeasures.

I realize this is a complex game with many possible strategies and tactics with many parameters involved. For each strategy there are decision regions where the different parameters dominate what will be the optimal tactic. Furthermore we really do not know how effective various countermeasures are but I suspect that they might be decisive. But if they fail and planes get close to each other within the visual range then obvious completely different parameters might be decisive including the human factor.

I won't argue with you on this subject because I know you were raised by video games so you now better at least in the realm of video games model. I would not argue with Mowgli about the purpose and efficacy of howling at the moon. Perhaps it was a sophisticated countermeasure.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 5:16 am GMT
@reiner Tor

Exactly!

Daniel Chieh , August 13, 2018 at 6:39 am GMT
@utu

I actually have never played a flight simulator within recent memory. As far as I'm aware, none of them really calculate the issues of missile flight with any degree of accuracy and treat guidance systems like some sort of magic. My comments are actually speculations from conversations with military pilots.

If your argument states that it is actually bad to deploy weapons far away (which I do not understand)

Missiles have extremely limited flight times and their flight characteristics degrade after launch. Disrupting either their guidance or their flight negates the kill chain.

I would say that the stealth will allow you to get much closer to the enemy w/o being detected and makes it possible to launch the missile when there will be not less time for the enemy to deploy countermeasures.

This is possible, but ever-increasingly decreases the window of attack that is beyond visual range. Its possible that this is the idea, coupled with the Block III Sidewinders which are designed against a number of countermeasures, but that seems to have been cancelled for some reason.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 6:42 am GMT
@utu

Though the first comment there:

If you don't know the composite materials used, you can not give a correct RCS, and you can not tell just by looking, the physics don't work like that!

So at least we have the word of the US Air Force and Lockheed regarding the stealthiness of their planes (these are probably not outright lies, but might differ from reality in either direction: they might be modest to hide their true capabilities, or, more likely, exaggerate and give a number only true under ideal conditions for a specific type of radar etc. ), but regarding the supposedly 5th generation Chinese or Russian jets we have just very rough estimates based on the shape and some assumptions about their coating.

Imperial Menopause , August 13, 2018 at 7:29 am GMT
How hard is Imperial Menopause

Nowadays USA is Sactionistan ,sanctions !! sanctions !! sanctions !!

I read that the USA is considering sanctions to Russia because she thinks Russia insulted Mickey Mouse .

Kairos , August 13, 2018 at 7:47 am GMT
So many US sanctions and interdictions , to friends and foes alike , will end up isolating the US .

The US pressure to the EU not to trade with Russia , Iran and other countries has provoked a deep resentment in the EU and has turned the US into a very unreliable partner , and even a dangerous " friend " .

The Alarmist , August 13, 2018 at 8:13 am GMT
The better part of four decades ago, President Reagan made a joke about outlawing the Soviet Union and the press and the left went apeshit. Now Congress seriously proposes legislation that would essentially outlaw Russia, and the press and the left are all for it.
reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 8:42 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

ever-increasingly decreases the window of attack that is beyond visual range

How many seconds will the stealth pilot have to identify the target and fire its missiles? Sixty? Hundred-twenty? Thirty? Even thirty seconds must be enough for a well enough trained pilot.

There might be issues with how to leave the scene after having killed an opponent, if other enemies are still there, because it's less stealthy from other angles. I guess we're not the first to think about it, so probably there's some solution. At the very least, I wouldn't expect them to perform worse than the 4th gen planes.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 8:47 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

I think even the production of the F-16 is about to end.

Yes, the Gripen is a good and cheap alternative, but it's not the best available in the western ecosystem. The F-35 would probably destroy an equal number of Gripens, though that's not saying much, considering the price differential.

Hungary also has Gripens, though we didn't fully equip them until recently, and I don't think we spend enough on training the pilots.

Anonymous [333] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 8:57 am GMT
@reiner Tor

These demands on Russia are about as sincere and plausible as the ultimata given to Serbia after Sarajevo. They are not credible but meant only as a prelude to war. The whole slow-motion drama, with all its attendant false flags (MH17, the Skripals, gassings in Syria, etc), numerous rounds of sanctions and specious rhetoric including accusations of "stealing the election" from Hillary, since Putin checked Obama's attempt to seize Russia's Crimean base and recruit another hostile NATO member on that country's frontier has been meant to convince the American public that Russia is our country's blood enemy, that it is run by an insane dictator the equal of Hitler, and that the consequent world war will have been all Putin's fault in spite of America bending over backwards to make peace with those vicious mongrels from the steppes.

As a commentor above said, I'd hate to be killed by a Russian nuke directed at my city only because of an insane American leadership, but I'd equally hate for tens of millions of Russians (and others) to be exterminated by our weapons simply to further an agenda being promoted by the likes of Jeff Bezos, Sheldon Adelson and the other plutocrats who really pull all the strings in Washington to benefit themselves plus their Saudi and Israeli co-conspirators in some great game to rule the world. I'd say that Washington is about poised to commit the greatest crime in the history of the human race, and chances are good that it will be the last.

Anon [332] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 9:42 am GMT
"Stealth is of limited use in an air-to-air role to take down enemy fighters(air superiority fighter) since missiles are not "stealth" and their guidance systems very, very obviously telegraph their intentions: thus "missile lock" warning. The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier, which gives the targeted plane more options to employ countermeasures."

That's not quite true. The ability to shoot a barrage of sophisticated missiles at an opponent that can't shoot back beyond visual range should be quite useful in combat; these missiles will also close the gap much sooner than you would think, so it's not like an enemy is going to have all day to deal with incoming threats. Further, electronic countermeasures won't be perfect as most A2A missiles fielded by the US will have systems designed to defeat them. The F-35 will also be fielded in large enough numbers such that they'll just overwhelm opponents with their stealth ability. Combine the F-35 with the F-18 or F-22, and you'll have a very effective air dominance force.

"This is of questionable utility against a peer competitor since they will not be using ground to air systems in isolation, although it probably means that the US can destroy any number of third world countries."

I expect the F-35 to do quite well against both Russia and China in helping to establish air dominance. The F-35 will additionally have utility against surface S2A units. The navy could overwhelm Russian and Chinese air defenses – even assuming they are quite effective – by coordinating strikes with F-22s and F-35s. Those air defenses will go active, and the F-35 will then be able to hit many of them with a degree of survivability + coordinate with surface ships to smoke them out, mobile or not.

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:46 am GMT
George Soros (AKA György Schwartz) is a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
Ex-Pat William Felix Browder is a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:48 am GMT
The lying MSM is a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:49 am GMT
The ChiCOMS are a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:49 am GMT
Muhammadans are a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:51 am GMT
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a bigger threat, than Vladimir Putin.
reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 9:53 am GMT
@Anonymous

These demands on Russia are about as sincere and plausible as the ultimata given to Serbia after Sarajevo. They are not credible but meant only as a prelude to war.

That's the most frightening part.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 9:53 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

I have never put much thought into these issues. But now after reading comments and some articles I realized that this is a fascinating topic and that there are many people somewhere who study it, write simulations and developed optimal algorithms for all possible situations where they have input data on all plane and missile characteristics except with only partial knowledge of enemy characteristics and efficacy of countermeasures. So I think that everything has been already calculated. When and what to shoot and when and where to turn and when to retreat and so on. And as new data are flowing in with the outcome of the first missile or the arrival of another enemy plane the master program is just bringing in pre-calculated solutions for each new situations. And then every geometric configuration must have been analyzed and optimal actions has been found. Furthermore optimal configuration were found about how to fly , in what formations, with what speeds and so on. Mathematically this problem might not be harder than a chess game on multiple boards and thus I think a completely autonomous AI system must exist where pilot is really not needed. The only big unknown are countermeasures. You do not have them in chess. Can pilot be better in making some decisions in the present of countermeasure than computer? I doubt it.

Now the question is who is better in this game? Russians or Americans? It all comes down to money. How many good mathematicians, computer programmers and physicists I can employ? In USSR at secret sites like Arzamas-16 they had departments where 1000 or so PhDs in math (many, many women) worked. In Yeltsin times and probably before they mostly drank tea and coffee, organized birthday celebrations and send designated ones to stand in lines to do shopping. And it all fell apart. But in the US DARPA and Aerospace R&D continued w/o a break. So I would not hesitate to bet on Americans that they have significantly better systems. Another question is about spying. Jews are not as numerous as they were in R&D and no longer enamored with the Soviet Union, so it is more likely that India and China has know more about it and obviously Israel but through more official channels. But the fact that F-22 was not donated to Israel yet may suggest that there are still some boundaries within American MIC that are off limits even to our beloved Jews.

No future , August 13, 2018 at 9:57 am GMT
@Anon

Sounds like you want a war of the US against Russia and China , do you really ?

And even sounds that you think that the US could win it , and the atomic long range missiles ?

Mitleser , August 13, 2018 at 10:01 am GMT
@reiner Tor

Yes, the Gripen is a good and cheap alternative, but it's not the best available in the western ecosystem. The F-35 would probably destroy an equal number of Gripens, though that's not saying much, considering the price differential.

You don't ask for the "best", you ask for the right system.
Unless you need a stealth strike fighter (and don't mind Lockheed's involvement), the F-35 does not have to be the right one.
In Hungary's case, it is more important to have enough jets for air patrol duty.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 10:12 am GMT
@utu

Can pilot be better in making some decisions in the present of countermeasure than computer? I doubt it.

I doubt it. It's open ended, and the number of variations practically infinite. The computer can do most things way better than a human, but then could succumb to stupidity in some unknown situation, like the Tesla charging at full speed into the firetruck. Is the Tesla autopilot better than a well trained professional human, like a rally race driver? I don't think so, especially in unexpected (for the computer) situations, where the human would just do the easy and sensible thing, but not the computer.

Anyway, the US warplanes are still flown by human pilots. Of course, most things which could be automated are automated, and the logical conclusion is fully autonomous drones flying without much input from their handlers in underground bunkers.

Jews are not as numerous as they were in R&D and no longer enamored with the Soviet Union, so it is more likely that India and China has know more about it and obviously Israel but through more official channels.

Do you think that one of the things Israel pays Putin for being so friendly to him is US military tech? They did sell Russia some drones back in the Medvedev days, but nothing more recent can be found. But I'd be surprised if Putin didn't think about it. I also think it's not above Netanyahu to sell Russia American secrets. They gave such secrets to the USSR, and they also helped China more recently. I'm sure that if there's anything going on, the MSM wouldn't be reporting much on it. They also rarely wrote about the extent of the Israel-South Africa arms trade, and things only got worse recently.

But maybe it's not happening.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 10:13 am GMT
@Mitleser

The F-35 would cost so much that we couldn't operate it. We can at least operate the Gripens. Having Gripens is better than having nothing.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 10:16 am GMT
@No future

I think you can write about American military tech being better than Russian military tech without wanting a war between the two.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 10:33 am GMT
@reiner Tor

Whatever is going on within the triangle Trump-Netnayahu-Putin is the most puzzling and the most interesting.

Anon [123] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 10:37 am GMT
"The RAND Corporation disagreed and projected one Su-35 lost for each 2.4 F-35s."

I believe that study was conducted under the assumption of within visual range, which artificially presented a situation where the F-35 was at a disadvantage from the get go. In a real world situation, the Su-35 would probably be shot down before it knew what hit it, especially considering that American pilots tend to be among the best in the world.

"F-22 production capped at 187 units, and none were exported to other countries (despite persistent requests from Japan)."

That's irrelevant for three reasons:

1) 187 is still a number far greater than the number of Su-57s the Russians wanted to produce in the near term.

2) the F-22 is often stationed at bases around the world, so the US does not need to sell the aircraft to anyone to bring it to a theater of combat.

3) the F-22 would dominate any Russian or Chinese aircraft currently fielded; an appreciable number of F-22s (or any US fourth generation aircraft) along with the F-35 should be a potent combination. US pilots are also very well trained, easily matching any other country save perhaps Israel.

"This is what is known as projection. Identifying in others the sins that you yourself are guilty of."

Please. Extrapolation from a set of known facts and historical precedent is hardly projection. What you've done is classic deflection.

"Many countries are poor. Others are small or have limited defense budgets. Though I contend thee aircraft in question are in fact superior to the F-35 which makes this moot."

The aircraft you quoted are certainly not superior, so the issue is hardly moot.

"Superb kinematic performance enables earlier missile shots, makes it easier to defeat incoming missile shots, allows for faster transit in and out of combat zones, and gives a decisive edge in WVR combat."

Kinematic performance doesn't cont for much when you are overwhelmed by aircraft that you can't shoot back at effectively while they are shooting at you from a distance. Kinematic performance isn't nothing, but it isn't everything either. The F-35 will have a decisive advantage over all Russian aircraft fielded now and over the next decade, and any issues with the design will be made up for by fielding large numbers of them to overwhelm opponents + combining the aircraft with the F-22 or F-18.

"The F-35 program developed a first-class powerplant and avionics, but then mated then to an inferior airframe in order to fulfill a commonality fantasy driven by a silly Marine Corps STOVL requirement."

That's not really the right way to phrase it. "Inferior" in this case only means "less than what the US could have otherwise done but still quite good compared to most other aircraft."

Further, the philosophy you quoted will allow the US to field huge numbers of these craft – thousands – at an affordable price, so I'm not so sure it was a bad idea after all. That's much better than the SU-57, which is a dumpster fire of a program.

I'm also not sold on the idea that the B model was a bad idea for the Asian theater. In any conflict, the Chinese will attempt to destroy our bases and landing strips. Having a larger number of fighters capable of short vertical takeoffs might prove to be quite the asset in organizing a counter offensive/stationing the craft in various locations that are hard to hit or detect.

"If your goal is to maximize stealth and only fight BVR engagements, the F-35′s design is entirely inappropriate. After all, its stealth is in the front area "

That's not correct. The F-35 will have a reduced radar cross section across much of the craft compared with any other non-stealth aircraft. Nearly the entire surface is covered in radar absorbent material and the engine itself is designed to reflect away radar waves. It also has IR reduction measures.

"Small number of missiles."

Made up for by building 2000+ F-35s. How many SU-57s is Russia making?

"Optimizing exclusively for BVR combat would entail a large tailless aircraft (perhaps a flying wing) with all-aspect stealth, large internal volumes of missiles, and far more powerful radar."

No, it wouldn't. Something doesn't have to be theoretically perfect for it to work quite well in the real world. The F-35 will perform BVR combat much better than any non-American aircraft.

"Flying wing."

1. We already have that. It's called the B2 and we are also working on a flying wing stealth drone that does exactly that already: shoot a barrage of missiles at BVR in coordination with the F-35.

2. Wrong. Just wrong. There are huge disadvantages to your flying wing idea. Stability and maneuverability being just two, so they wouldn't be much use in visual range combat or in a variety of other missions for which the F-35 was designed; the F-35 is a multi-role fighter. It will do BVR just fine.

"The F-35′s design is based on political and economic considerations, not military ones."

The military design of the F-35 is pretty good. You're trying to cover this up by pointing out an irrelevant fact – that there were economic considerations when building the craft which applies to every military project ever conceived.

Felix Keverich , August 13, 2018 at 10:39 am GMT
@dfordoom

There can be no negotiation with the U.S.

You don't need to convince me. You'll need to convince Russian kleptocrats, who've been sending their kids to live in the West since 1991, and who have kept their (stolen) money in the West.

And reiner Tor , you are a funny guy, liking these militant comments from dfordoom, but getting your panties in a bunch, when I suggest occupying the Ukraine. I wonder why?

The fact is asserting dominance in Eastern Europe will be a lot easier for Russia to accomplish, than confronting USA directly, and it is something I would probably do before I started threatening New York and London with nuclear devastation. You gotta make your threats credible you know. Credibility doesn't come from making scary faces and shouting loudly, it's earned.

Mitleser , August 13, 2018 at 10:41 am GMT
@reiner Tor

Your Croatian neighbors are still operating Mig-21 and will get second-hand ((((F-16)))).
And your Austrian neighbors are unhappy with their Eurofighters.
Gripens are better than alternatives and nothing.

Anon [123] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 10:45 am GMT
"Sounds like you want a war "

No, I don't. In fact, I think the American Deep State is nuts. I have great respect for Russians and their military. I am simply pointing out facts: the F-35 isn't the chump some think it is; do not believe any random internet poster when he says this thing won't work. I've seen enough to know that it will and that you should be afraid of what it can do in large numbers.

As I said earlier, the Russians should just dump all Hollywood movies and video games onto a server and call it MegaUpload 2. Hurt an industry most Trump voters despise anyway and you might be able to turn republicans against their warmongering representatives in congress who are pushing for sanctions, etc.

Non Future , August 13, 2018 at 10:46 am GMT
@reiner Tor

Reiner Tor = Pure Door in german , not so pure , the door opens to wars .

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 10:56 am GMT
Hillary Clinton is an existential threat to The: Republic & Constitutional Rule of Law.

Obama is an existential threat to The: Republic & Constitutional Rule of Law.

Michael Anthony McFaul may be a greater threat to America, than Vladimir Putin.

Samantha Jane (Sunstein) Power may be a greater USA threat, than Vladimir Putin.

Robert Mueller may be a greater USA threat than Vladimir Putin.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 10:58 am GMT
@Non Future

Actually, it means "pure fool," "reines Tor" would be "pure gate" (not door), and it comes from the Wagner opera Parsifal, where the protagonist is a pure fool, enlightened by compassion. I'd probably choose a funnier handle today, but ultimately it doesn't matter.

I.M , August 13, 2018 at 11:00 am GMT
@reiner Tor

This point of false dichotomy is very important. Everything at this point, points to the fact that there was no nerve agent employed against the Skripals and that they were simply knocked out by some chloroform like substance. The fact that they survived, and recovered without any problems, is irrefutable proof of this.

Therefore a false dichotomy is employed in order to, we can say mentally sodomise people into believing that the only option is that the Kremlin did it.

I see people stating in comments sections in British newspapers that the official story is bullshit but that they simply can't believe that their own government would disperse CWs throughout their country, however this is a mute point as it has been disproven that CWs were used at all and that the obvious conclusion is that they were simply drugged and held against their will while their oh so benevolent government spun an endlessly shifting fairytale, growing ever more convoluted and self contradictory by the day.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 11:07 am GMT
@Mitleser

Even if both NATO and the EU collapsed, and a war broke out with one or some of our neighbors, neither Austria nor Croatia would be likely enemies. Of our NATO allies, both Romania and Slovakia were more likely enemies. I hope it won't happen, because both are seriously stronger than us.

The F-16 is no longer in production (though maybe a restart is planned?), but most operators are happy enough with it.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 11:13 am GMT
@I.M

mentally sodomise people into believing

Here, locally, I find it interesting that the commenter "Sean" got sodomized himself or is just trying to sodomize us. There is one recurring almost below the radar theme in his comments: war with Iran and the opportunity of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians it will bring. He might be right about it though I still hope this will be prevented while he seems to be welcoming it. And for some reason he seems to need Putin dead or compromised for this scenario to happen.

Felix Keverich , August 13, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
@Parbes

Public opinion in Russia is a lot like this actually. It seems that state-tv interrupted its anti-Western programming during World Cup, which caused approval of both US and EU to spike into positive territory for the first time since 2014.

Tom Van Meurs , Website August 13, 2018 at 11:23 am GMT
America is gradually isolating itself from the rest of the world. A beast driven into a corner is a dangerous one.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 11:25 am GMT
Somebody SHOULD investigate: Michael McFaul, Samantha Power, Robert Mueller, Peter Strzok, George Soros, William Browder, Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, Christopher Steele, John Podesta, Barack Obama, and John Brennan.

Congress has done a SHlTTY Job of it. Perhaps Vladimir Putin SHOULD be allowed to publicly question these traitors, in the USA.

We would probably learn a LOT!

Contraviews , Website August 13, 2018 at 11:28 am GMT
America is isolating itself increasingly more from the rest of the world, A beast driven into a corner is a dangerous beast.
Mitleser , August 13, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT

Of our NATO allies, both Romania and Slovakia were more likely enemies. I hope it won't happen, because both are seriously stronger than us.

They are?

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 11:30 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

And reiner Tor, you are a funny guy, liking these militant comments from dfordoom, but getting your panties in a bunch, when I suggest occupying the Ukraine. I wonder why?

I don't fear it much, it'd simply be a stupid policy. I also don't like ethnic cleansing and mass deportations and the like. Which would be a requirement if you were to occupy Ukraine.

The predictable result would be a state of emergency in Central Europe and a strong mobilization against Russia. Military expenditures would quickly rise to 5% of GDP in Central Europe, but it'd rise around Europe.

But actually some kind of military action in Ukraine as a direct response to American sanctions might make sense. Just don't expect Ukrainians or neighboring peoples to greet you with flowers. So you might bomb some military targets recently installed by the Americans.

But before that, you'd need to make the anti-sanctions law. Actually, you'd need to make it pretty strong. Until you cannot even do that, you shouldn't even fantasize about conquest.

There are several steps you could take before starting an actual war of conquest. Which you wouldn't even be able to finish.

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 11:42 am GMT
The notion of modern WVR 'Dogfighting' is as hokey as this photo.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 11:56 am GMT
AK: In the future, please unite your multiple low effort one-sentence posts into one. Since they aren't very high quality, fill up valuable screen real estate, and splicing them together takes too much time on my part, I will otherwise have to just start deleting them.

Captain Albert Ball, VC, DSO & Two Bars, MC (14 August 1896 – 7 May 1917) was an English fighter pilot during the First World War. At the time of his death he was the United Kingdom's leading flying ace, with 44 victories.

Those days are gone.

Forrestal , August 13, 2018 at 12:02 pm GMT
@APilgrim

and Mc Cain ??? , he hero of the Isis desert , pardon the hero of Vietnam , Victoria Nuland the F the EU " lady " .. Geoffrey Pyatt .

neutral , August 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

That's the most frightening part.

The thing is that if say Serbia, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, etc had nuclear weapons in 1914 then WW1 would likely not have broken out.

Ilyana_Rozumova , August 13, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT
These sanctions are complex, well thought out, most probably not by Goyim.
Now We can see that Scripal affair was definitely false flag.
These sanctions are obviously not a punishment.
..
These sanctions are telling Mother Russia to get on her knees, or die.
.
These are not really sanctions. This is Ultimatum.
.
Everybody should understand that.
Sean , August 13, 2018 at 12:50 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Putin cannot be read like a book, but we can be confident that he is capable of deceiving even his closest confidants, for he got his current job by completely fooling Yeltsin .

There's no reason to believe he'd be any more likely to launch than Yeltsin.

All other things being equal, but Yeltsin was never framed for murder by the West even once, so he never had Russian forces on red alert; never had the safety catches off . Yet in the Black Brant scare Yeltsin actually activated the nuclear keys , something that never happened even in the Cuban Missile crisis. In circumstances where there was already a hair trigger because of some misunderstanding and Yeltsin had a too much of a hangover to think clearly and recognize bad advice, he might well have launched. Putin would never knowingly launch first, but the opening of move of a nuclear first strike would be a high altitude air burst to blind the victim's radar so waiting for the first nuclear detonation would not be an option.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-nato-military-exercise-freaked-out-russia-nearly-started-25864?page=0%2C2
As these reports filtered in to Western intelligence agencies, there initially was little alarm. Analysts and experts who examined the information simply could not believe that the Soviets seriously thought that NATO was preparing a nuclear first strike. At this point, the West did not have any real clue just how dangerous the situation had become.

If he and his country had been framed for murder twice in a row, Putin would take the some of the safeties off of the Russian nuclear deterrent because it was not working at the normal settings. All it would then take is someone, possibly at a low level, to get careless and we are in the danger zone. The Russians do not think America is likely to attack them out of the blue, but they do not rule out the possibility (Reagan said that was what most surprised him about the Soviet leadership once he came to know them).

Wealthy Russians put their money in offshore British accounts, you seriously think anyone in their right mind would do that if the British Deep State was capable of deliberately framing Russia for assassinations. Dirty money from all over the world comes to offshore British accounts because Britain has the rule of law and the ill gotten gains are safe. It simply would not pay Britain to behave like a banana republic in the way you are suggesting. What you are suggesting is like MI5 & 6 stealing the gold out of the Bank of England, except it would be more plausible because there would be something in it for them. South Korean had the death penalty for capital flight. Putin is less crude, he is using the British sanctions against his circle (and you must be associated with circle to get rich in Russia) to force dodgy Russians and their money to stay put .

Putin's long term objective is to nullify foreign influences, which boils down to Western soft power and money. The Russian and Western elite were growing together before he started the high profile assassinations, now the divergence is gaining a momentum of its own. The more the West retaliates the better Putin likes it, hence arrest of Maria Butina and the heavy boots of the bots are grist to Putin's mill, the more amateurish the espionage against the West, the better. That is why the OPSEC–oblivious GRU suit his purpose so much

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/06/the-gru-the-russian-intelligence-agency-behind-the-headlines
"The GRU regards itself as a war-fighting instrument. Yes, it gathers conventional intelligence but its culture is much more military," said Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security issues and the country's intelligence agencies. "Although only a minority of GRU officers are Spetsnaz, it has an impact when part of your service are commandos."

Putin sacked the vast majority of the old GRU; the new commander Sergun was low ranking (although he was to be promoted to Colonel General after he designed the Donbass uprising) and was keen on contacts with the US, but died mysteriously in 2016, and the ones left know better than to ask questions about the ultimate purpose or ulterior motive of goading the US. Anyway, Putins's objectives in all this are not to get away with anything, he wants the bad public relations, he wants the West to reject Russia and all its works, all the better to keep Russian away from Western influence. I just think the idea of the West deliberately pushing a proud nuclear armed power into confusion such as Andropov was in during Able Archer would be foolhardy beyond belief.

Mr. Hack , August 13, 2018 at 12:54 pm GMT
@Cyrano

Ukrainian = U Cranium

Brilliant. And I like how you are able to weave in your almost non-existent knowledge of Latin too! This definitely proves that your IQ is in the 99* range. Like I say, you're showing real progress each and every day. Soon, I suspect that readers of this blog will be giving you 'agreements' each and every time you write something here, like your buddy Janissary !

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 12:55 pm GMT
@neutral

Probably.

On the other hand, the more such crises there will be between nuclear armed states, the more likely that one of those will result in a nuclear war. Humans (or machines, for that matter) will inevitably miscalculate once in a while, and those might result in one side believing it's about to be obliterated, so that it can "use it or lose it." All kinds of stupid (or seemingly stupid) factors might get into this, like sleep deprivation, extreme stress, fear of shame or loss of face, etc. People have committed murder-suicide under all kinds of circumstances, starting a nuclear war as an act of final desperation is certainly not out of the realm of possibilities.

So while nuclear weapons greatly diminish the likelihood of a world war, it certainly doesn't make it impossible, and, on a long enough timeline, its likelihood will approach 1.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Their armies are certainly much stronger, in terms of artillery or armored forces for example. Their air forces are not, but with the very low number of planes, it wouldn't be decisive anyway. And they're both in the process of buying F-16s, unless I'm mistaken. I think once these are over, the Slovakian Air Force will be roughly as strong as the Hungarian one, or somewhat stronger, while the Romanian will be multiple times stronger.

The Slovak military is somewhat smaller on paper (in terms of troop numbers) than the Hungarian, but even that might be just a paper advantage. At least Slovakia is a smaller country (roughly half the size of Hungary), but Romania is vastly bigger, and its military is even larger than would be proportional.

Anyway, I don't think any Hungarian government would have the appetite to wage war against either of these.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
@Sean

Cool story, but where's the evidence that you read Putin's mind correctly?

Michael Kenny , August 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm GMT
This is probably the consequence of Trump's blunder in grovelling in front of Putin (and the world's TV cameras!). He now has to inflict a defeat on Putin so unequivocal that even Putin's American supporters cannot hype it into a victory. I don't see EU Member States raising any objection to further sanctions. Quite the contrary, in fact. The EU is the principal victim of Putin's actions and is therefore the principal beneficiary of sanctions. Don't forget that the fight with Putin began over an attempt by him to prevent Ukraine signing an association agreement with the EU. The idea that the EU Member States are just dying to resume trade with Russia is a US internet myth (like so much else about Europe!).
Sean , August 13, 2018 at 1:27 pm GMT
@I.M

OK the GRU did not use deadly nerve gas on the traitor Skripal because he survived, but by the same token the GRU did not use knockout gas in the Dubrovka Theater because they killed hundreds of innocent Russian hostages. At least we can agree GRU did use flamethrowers and heavy machine guns in the Beslan school, because they shot and burned hundreds of Ossetian children to death.

Mitleser , August 13, 2018 at 1:38 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

The EU is the principal victim of Putin's actions and is therefore the principal beneficiary of sanctions.

What? How are we the "principal benficiary of sanctions"?
It is our trade that suffers.

It is the Anglophone world that is obsessed with "fighting" the guy who is soon going to visit Berlin.

neutral , August 13, 2018 at 1:38 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

This is probably the consequence of Trump's blunder in grovelling in front of Putin (and the world's TV cameras!). He now has to inflict a defeat on Putin so unequivocal that even Putin's American supporters cannot hype it into a victory.

Look I know you are another dim witted Ukrainian pretending to be an Anglo Saxon, but even for you this logic is beyond ridiculous.

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 1:42 pm GMT
The best idea out there, for exploring a better relationship with the Russian Federation.

'Michael McFaul and the Astonishment of American Life Under Trump', By David Remnick, News Desk, July 19, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/michael-mcfaul-and-the-astonishment-of-american-life-under-trump

President Trump has not dismissed the idea that Russian investigators meet with, and question, the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. President Trump has said that Vladimir Putin tendered him an "incredible offer": that, in exchange for letting Robert Mueller's team question the twelve indicted Russian intelligence officers thought to have participated in the cyber-meddling in the 2016 election, Russian counterparts would get the chance to question McFaul, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia during the Obama years. Rather than dismiss this idea out of hand, Trump, according to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is "going to work with his team, and we'll let you know if there's an announcement on this front."

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 1:44 pm GMT
Why should the crimes & tyrannies of Obama, Hillary, Soros, & McFall remain secret?
pyrrhus , August 13, 2018 at 1:45 pm GMT
@Mitleser

This economic "war", if implemented, will cause an economic collapse in Europe, and subsequently in North America These Senators are lunatics

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm GMT
The USA, UK & USSR tried, convicted & hanged NAZI War Criminals.

'What you need to know about Michael McFaul, the ex-U.S. envoy drawn into the center of another Trump-Russia flap', By LAURA KING and SABRA AYRES, WASHINGTON, WORLD, JUL 19, 2018 | 3:15 PM, http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-russia-mcfaul-20180719-story.html

At a summit in Helsinki, Finland, with President Trump, Putin floated the idea of inviting U.S. special counsel investigators to Russia for the questioning of a dozen Russian intelligence officials indicted last week as part of the special counsel's inquiry into Kremlin interference in the 2016 election. In return, Putin wanted Russian authorities to be allowed to interrogate a roughly equal number of Americans, including McFaul, for supposed illicit activities. At Monday's post-summit news conference with Putin at his side, Trump -- sounding intrigued rather than indignant -- called that an "incredible" offer.

What is the problem with a joint investigation of Michael McFALL, on American Soil.

Sean , August 13, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

I have no idea what is going on in Putin's mind, but I can see what he is doing and if he wants closer relations with the West, his way of showing it seems odd. Do I need to read Dostoevsky to understand Putin?

Felix Keverich , August 13, 2018 at 1:52 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

But before that, you'd need to make the anti-sanctions law. Actually, you'd need to make it pretty strong. Until you cannot even do that, you shouldn't even fantasize about conquest.

There are several steps you could take before starting an actual war of conquest. Which you wouldn't even be able to finish.

But the sanctions are happening anyway. We'll need an anti-sanctions law regardless of whether or not we are going to invade. Actually, as an economist, I don't think we need a law. What we need is to make sure that the vital sectors of the economy do not rely on US financial system, by converting oil trade into non-dollar currencies for example.

Eastern Europeans will never mobilise. What would mass mobilisation even look like in a country like Hungary? Instead, they'll petition USA to station more of its troops in Eastern Europe. A lot more, like hundreds of thousands more. Doing so will impose costs on the USA. Actually, this is one of the few ways Russia could impose tangible costs on USA: by stoking tensions in Eastern Europe.

And if USA suddenly grows a brain and declines to play along, Eastern NATO members will begin re-orienting their foreign relations towards appeasement of Russia instead. That's what weak people do.

I also don't like ethnic cleansing and mass deportations and the like. Which would be a requirement if you were to occupy Ukraine.

Mass deportations is the best part about occupying the Ukraine! I would drive Galicia population into Poland and other neighboring countries. There would be millions of refugees. This by itself will seriously destabilise NATO's "Eastern flank". There could be Russian agents among the refugees, allowing us to seamlessly move from the invasion of the Ukraine to a campaign of hybrid warfare against Eastern NATO members.

NATO will react to invasion of the Ukraine by positioning to support an insurgency in the Western part of the country. Instead they would have to contend with an insurgency in Eastern Poland – wouldn't that be fun?

utu , August 13, 2018 at 2:03 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Czechs if I remember correctly did everything to not blow money on any jet fighters while being pressured.

neutral , August 13, 2018 at 2:04 pm GMT
@Sean

Do I need to read Dostoevsky to understand Putin?

Probably better than trying to understand things by reading comic books (Hollywood movies are the same), which is pretty much what the US establishment uses for their thinking.

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 2:05 pm GMT
Congress did not do their job, when Barack Hussein Obama drone-killed Americans.

Hell no, we don't trust the traitors in congress.

Why would we, trust those Oath-Breaking POS?

anon [374] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 2:23 pm GMT
@Sean

for he got his current job by completely fooling Yeltsin "

Doesn't that apply to Obama? Will that not apply to future presidents? Doesn't it apply to the sitting US senators and congress ? Doesn't this "fooling" apply every time US senators and congress apply more sanction on Iran and justify their earlier "fooling" when they failed to stop Trump get out of JCPOA?
It does because majority of Americans supported the deal and wanted to keep the deal.

"fooling" is a little more complex in America that it is in Papua NewGuinea . But fooling it is.

It is like cries against "fake news ' charges leveled against Facebook infowar or intercept or antiwar or common dreams by WaPo and NYT and FOX/CNN – being bad because those lead to violences.

The violences perpetrated against Iraq ,Libya, Somalia, and Syria are based on lies and been made possible by Fake News of CNN NYT . The latest servile and sinsiter attempt by NYT to start talking of banned CW use by Syrians to kill more Syrians is nothing but 'fooling and lying" fakery of news what they accuse Putin and Russian bot of but without proof.

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 2:27 pm GMT
Congress did not do their job when the CIA, DOJ & FBI ILLEGALLY:

Surveiled citizens.
Investigated the Trump Presidential Campaign.
Paid Christopher Steele to fabricate a pack of God Damned Lies.
Told the FISA Court a pack of God Damned Lies.
Obstructed a congressional investigation, into that pack of God Damned Lies.
Fabricated ANOTHER pack of lies about Civil-Wars in Georgia & Ukraine.
Fabricated YET ANOTHER pack of lies about the Syrian Civil War & ISIS.
Fabricated STILL ANOTHER pack of lies about Russia President Putin.

So, there's that.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Even though I am not a psychiatrist, I had enough MD/PhD students to respect the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
@Cyrano

Don't confuse Ukrainians with Ukies. Ukrainians are humans, with their stronger and weaker points, like all humans, whereas Ukies are the scum of the Earth.

Z-man , August 13, 2018 at 2:35 pm GMT
Trump has to thread a fine line with the Neocons and outright JOO firsters in his cabinet who HATE Putin and the Russians. Push back against these vermin would be good but he probably wont do it until after the mid terms, we shall see.
Thorfinnsson , August 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT
@Anon

I believe that study was conducted under the assumption of within visual range, which artificially presented a situation where the F-35 was at a disadvantage from the get go. In a real world situation, the Su-35 would probably be shot down before it knew what hit it, especially considering that American pilots tend to be among the best in the world.

Here's a discussion of the matter in the Australian parliament: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/verbatim/4/133273/f_35-fares-worse-in-rand-wargame.html

The basic assumption is that over the horizon UHF radar (like Australia's Jindalee system) detects the F-35, allowing Flankers to use their IRST.

Of course some have disputed the study, as well they should. A major problem with IRST is its very limited field of view, though pairing this with low frequency radar mitigates that.

In a real world situation the Su-35 would detect the AMRAAMs before impact rather than be surprised. Whether or not the AMRAAMs destroy the Su-35 would depend on many factors such as:

• Number of AMRAAMs fired
• Distance from which AMRAAMs are fired
• Quality of Su-35 countermeasures
• Pilot skill (duh)

Should also be pointed out that the Russians are now fielding L-band AESA radars embedded in wingtips specifically for counter-VLO purposes. See here: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-06.html

That's irrelevant for three reasons:

1) 187 is still a number far greater than the number of Su-57s the Russians wanted to produce in the near term.

2) the F-22 is often stationed at bases around the world, so the US does not need to sell the aircraft to anyone to bring it to a theater of combat.

3) the F-22 would dominate any Russian or Chinese aircraft currently fielded; an appreciable number of F-22s (or any US fourth generation aircraft) along with the F-35 should be a potent combination. US pilots are also very well trained, easily matching any other country save perhaps Israel.

Chengdu J-20 and J-31 units will most certainly not be capped at 187 units. Fifth generation fighters will almost certainly proliferate beyond China and Russia as well.

No, the US didn't "need" to sell the F-22 to Japan. But the sale would've strengthened Allied forces in the Pacific theater, kept the F-22 production line open and cut unit costs, reduced the American trade deficit, and provided jobs and profits to Americans. The F-22 export ban was an own goal.

Kinematic performance doesn't cont for much when you are overwhelmed by aircraft that you can't shoot back at effectively while they are shooting at you from a distance. Kinematic performance isn't nothing, but it isn't everything either. The F-35 will have a decisive advantage over all Russian aircraft fielded now and over the next decade, and any issues with the design will be made up for by fielding large numbers of them to overwhelm opponents + combining the aircraft with the F-22 or F-18.

This decisive advantage depends on two assumptions:

• Counter-VLO sensors will not be effective (or fielded in adequate numbers), or at least won't be enough to vector interceptors (whether aircraft or missiles) to the target
• Kill probability of BVR missile shots has improved by two orders of magnitude since the last air war against a near peer

Obviously, overwhelming the opponent with numbers is always a war winning strategy. NATO can thus be expected to prevail in any air war against Russia, though not without a bloody nose.

That's not really the right way to phrase it. "Inferior" in this case only means "less than what the US could have otherwise done but still quite good compared to most other aircraft."

Further, the philosophy you quoted will allow the US to field huge numbers of these craft – thousands – at an affordable price, so I'm not so sure it was a bad idea after all. That's much better than the SU-57, which is a dumpster fire of a program.

I'm also not sold on the idea that the B model was a bad idea for the Asian theater. In any conflict, the Chinese will attempt to destroy our bases and landing strips. Having a larger number of fighters capable of short vertical takeoffs might prove to be quite the asset in organizing a counter offensive/stationing the craft in various locations that are hard to hit or detect.

The airframe is inferior to what the US could have done otherwise, and is inferior to contemporary aircraft. This inferiority was not driven by the stealth does requirement and thus counts as an own goal.

The B model stems from the Marine Corps remember some battle in the Pacific War where Navy air support didn't show up. Therefore they must have their own fighters, a logic which strangely wouldn't apply to the Army.

If our doctrine or experience dictates that a STOVL aircraft is desirable, fine. But given the limitations of STOVL aircraft, it ought to be a separate design.

Dealing with Chinese strikes at Pacific bases is probably better dealt with by buying more heavy equipment and training more Seabees. You can patch holes pretty quickly.

That's not correct. The F-35 will have a reduced radar cross section across much of the craft compared with any other non-stealth aircraft. Nearly the entire surface is covered in radar absorbent material and the engine itself is designed to reflect away radar waves. It also has IR reduction measures.

Here's a thermal image of an F-35 from a modern IR camera:

No IR reduction in the world is going to disguise 45,000 pounds of thrust from a single nozzle.

Yes, the F-35 has substantially reduced RCS compared to non-VLO aircraft. News at 11. It has, however, inferior stealth compared to the F-22 (let alone the YF-23).

RAM is useful, but the largest reductions in RCS come from airframe shaping. F-35 is not optimized in the lower or aft areas. The original X-35 is quite decent here, but this was changed for the F-35 in order to increase internal weapons load out. Given the original intention of employing it as a tactical strike fighter, this wasn't unreasonable.

Made up for by building 2000+ F-35s. How many SU-57s is Russia making?

This originally concerned exports. Any damn fool can tell you that numerical superiority is very powerful.

No, it wouldn't. Something doesn't have to be theoretically perfect for it to work quite well in the real world. The F-35 will perform BVR combat much better than any non-American aircraft.

In a 1v1 engagement with no supporting elements where the rival fighters approach each other head on, I agree. But this isn't reflective of actual combat.

1. We already have that. It's called the B2 and we are also working on a flying wing stealth drone that does exactly that already: shoot a barrage of missiles at BVR in coordination with the F-35.

B-2 is unsuitable for this role owing to the location of its radar:

That said it has been proposed to use the B-1 for this role, which I think is a good idea.

Drone idea is worth trying, though I'm skeptical of the ability to retain datalinks in an electromagnetically challenged environment. And drones autonomously launching missiles could be dubious–but this could be solved by wargaming (if its proven autonomous drones ID targets better than human pilots, have at it).

2. Wrong. Just wrong. There are huge disadvantages to your flying wing idea. Stability and maneuverability being just two, so they wouldn't be much use in visual range combat or in a variety of other missions for which the F-35 was designed; the F-35 is a multi-role fighter. It will do BVR just fine.

Stability not a concern with fly-by-wire and thrust vectoring (which the B-2 doesn't have incidentally, yet is a stable bombing platform).

There is incidentally a trade-off between stability and maneuverability, hence why fighters from the F-16 on have been designed to be inherently unstable.

But in any case you've been pooh poohing maneuverability here, citing the superiority of BVR combat. If BVR is your goal, then you want a larger missile load, more powerful/sensitive sensors, and increased stealth. A flying wing eliminates the issue with resonant effects (if a vertical surface is less than eight times the size of a radar wavelength, it produces a resonant effect).

The military design of the F-35 is pretty good. You're trying to cover this up by pointing out an irrelevant fact – that there were economic considerations when building the craft which applies to every military project ever conceived.

Well I suppose that's true, but whole JSF program would've been better if:

1 – STOVL had been left out
2 – Kinematic performance had been considered important

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT
@APilgrim

Have to agree with you: Soros, Browder, MSM owners, Pentagon contractors, and all other sorts of scum are much bigger threat to the US than Putin, Un, Iranian Ayatollahs, Assad, and many others. The enemy within is always more dangerous. Especially when that enemy has only one loyalty: to his/her/its money.

Z-man , August 13, 2018 at 2:40 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Interesting, a few years ago Algeria had to have Russia redo the electronics in the Su 30′s that it bought because there was some Izraeli electronics in it.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm GMT
@utu

You are forgetting thievery and corruption that provides cover for that thievery. Out of every dollar spent in the U on "defense", at least 90 cents are stolen, some of the money is used to buy "patriotic" politicians who pretend not to see the thievery.

anon [374] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 2:45 pm GMT
@neutral

No they don't pluck books off shelf . They watch the snippet cribbed from some internet site on Fox TV /CNN and use it as evidence. That were the sources of evidences they offered on Syrian using sarin gas.

Thorfinnsson , August 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
@APilgrim

Last air war between near peers was Vietnam. BVR combat was a total failure.

Radars and missiles have improved a lot since then of course, but so have countermeasures.

There were BVR kills in Operation Mole Cricket 19 and Desert Storm, but fighting incompetent Arabalonians doesn't count as near peer. And there were still WVR kills in those campaigns.

Depending on ROE in a conflict or confused airspace, there will be a need to visually ID targets on occasion.

The main thing that's changed about dogfighting is that heat seeking missiles can now lock onto an aircraft from any angle (instead of just behind) and launch from high off boresight. This makes instantaneous turning performance more importance than sustained turning performance.

But like I said, if BVR missiles are now truly as miraculous as you think, then the F-35 is an improper design. In fact, so is the F-22 and more or less all other existing fighters. The idea "fighter" of existing aircraft would be the Airbus A380 launching thousands of missiles at once

BVR missiles also work just as well from the ground as the air (with some kinematic disadvantages, and of course can't deal with attackers on the deck). Magical BVR missiles suggest we should be building a lot more SAM systems.

I bring you the air superiority force of the future:

anon [317] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Mr. XYZ

who did it.. answered right here go no further

https://www.rt.com/usa/435824-us-midterms-hacking-children/

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT
@pyrrhus

These senators may or may not be lunatics themselves. This does not change the fact that they are bought and paid for puppets of lunatics, the US moneyed elites that dangerously degenerated after 1991. The US used to be a decent country. Not anymore.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:52 pm GMT
@utu

There was a joke about Czechoslovakia in the USSR: Czechoslovakia is the most peaceful country on Earth, it does not interfere even in its own internal affairs. Puppet masters change (Hitler, USSR, the US), but the policy stands.

dryhole dutton , August 13, 2018 at 3:09 pm GMT
i lived in the russian federation for several years (yuzhno sakhalinsk, 2011-2012). i don't claim to be a russian expert, however, i did not detect any virulent comintern intent amongst the russians with whom i was privileged to interact. for the most part, they seemed like everyone else i have come across in my travels on this pitiable orb; they were simply trying to get by, and were as capitalistic as any crony capitalist in america.

maybe someone with more foreign relations erudition, and experience than i could pen an expositive on why there exists such animosity betwixt our nations, other than the all to well known need for a bogeyman so as to facilitate u.s. world hegemony.

for a country which is broke, and which depends upon martial, and venal, intimidation to achieve/sustain its aims, the impending comeuppance could be very humbling, and decisive.

Okechukwu , August 13, 2018 at 3:11 pm GMT

As Ben Aris notes, the US Treasury Department has been ratcheting back on its sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and Rusal, after the chaos it has caused in the international metals market.

Aluminum has a unique market dynamic which other products with more fungible supply chains don't share. Sanctions are a work in progress. Treasury has learned from the Rusal matter. Henceforth it can collapse even bigger Russian companies like Gazprom, Rosneft and Lukoil without much fear of a concomitant contagion. Oil and gas are the ultimate fungible commodities.

However, as I have pointed out, the ultimate ability of the US to directly punish Russia is limited; it has twice as many people as Iran, after all, and many times the economic output

This is delusional. Russia is vastly more exposed than Iran, as it is more tightly wound up in the western financial structures that the US created and controls. Russia's economic output, measured in GDP, is the same size as New York City's. It has always been a question of how far the US was willing to go to punish Russia. There are nuclear options in the US quiver that can pretty much destroy the Russian economy. But so far the US has been applying relatively trivial sanctions in the hopes that Russia would reform its conduct (I'm not making a value judgement). But the perception that Trump has somehow been captured by Russian intelligence has ratcheted things up.

Trade between Russia and the US is very limited.

It's not a question of trade between Russian and the US. It's a question of trade between Russia and the world since the US controls the global economy.

Maudits , August 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

Mr Fack , your ukraruina , your jojolistan , is the black hole of Europe , you want to set Europe on ( atomic ) fire fot the benefit of the usa , and of your corrupted oligarcs .

No real country in Europe respects ukraruina , a very inmoral and stupid pseudocountry . Ukraruina could have been a golden bridge between the EU and Russia ,and choosed instead to be a blood trench for the benefit of the oligarcs of the usa . You are a cursed land .

Daniel Chieh , August 13, 2018 at 3:36 pm GMT
@Anon

Swarms of missiles? What? With the F-35 capacity of 4 AMRAAM? The ones that haven't been upgraded, have been unreliable since at least 2016, and would be vulnerable to manuever anyway? The twenty five plus year old missiles?

Stealth is only stealth to high fidelity radar, as in versus missile locks. That's great, but low frequency radar will still reveal the location of aircraft for the purpose of general location. So it's not really a "bolt from blue," which is much more of a ground to air concept since IR missiles don't telegraph themselves like radar locks do.

Gerard2 , August 13, 2018 at 3:50 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

Goodness, you are one thick POS.
As I have said before Cyrano is a serious intellectual .you on the other hand are a serious cretin.

Seeing as it's that part of your menstruation cycle, I thought I would add another proof of how fake "Ukrainian" history and language is. From a company yet again threatening the collapse of Ukrainian infrastructure due to an oligarchic dispute:

Russian version:

http://www.azot.com.ua/ru/company/activity/

Ukrop version

http://www.azot.com.ua/uk/company/activity/

As you can see the Ukrainian version is a waste of time, when the Russian version exists ..the whole fake language is a fabrication by lowlife scum Banderite tossers who escaped bestiality charges in the 1940′s/50′s and fled to America/Canada

Virgile , August 13, 2018 at 3:55 pm GMT
If Putin wants to retaliate by creating a destabilizing crisis in the USA, he could simply admit that he has proofs that Trump COLLUDED with Russians operatives to affect the election.
Trump will be removed and Mike Pence will take over throwing the USA in a deeper crisis.
Is Trump aware of this Damocles sword if he does not stop the Congress for escalating sanctions?
Daniel Chieh , August 13, 2018 at 3:57 pm GMT
@utu

There are theories, but the mass bueaucracy made some really strange results. In Vietnam, ROE required visual confirmation of targets to use beyond visual range weapons. Weapons that homed into flares because they produced "heat."

Well, that worked about as well as could be expected.

awry , August 13, 2018 at 4:03 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Well, no, Austria-Hungary gave an ultimatum: "do these in 48 hours or we'll go to war". These demands are also unrealistic, but they are just pretext for new sanctions. It is very unlikely that the US will take any military action against Russia. Russia responding to more sanctions/economic warfare with attacking the West with nukes is also very unlikely.
It is also very unlikely that the people pulling the strings want WW3 with Russia. They just found a convenient scapegoat and want to ramp up tensions with Russia not independently of the game to bring down Trump for "colluding with Russia".
Face it, Russia is bound to lose an economic war, they cannot really retaliate without hurting themselves. They could close the gas taps, but then they lose a lot of money. They could close Russian airspace, but then they lose a lot of money too. They could deny Soyuz seats to American astronauts, but the US has other options (not ready yet but they could get them ready if really needed) etc. Russia is not a big economic player and never was one.
Regarding the sanctions the question is whether the EU will follow the US, probably yes, EU companies are going to lose a lot of money, but they would lose much more if they are punished by the US govt.
The US hawks think that they can bankrupt Russia like they did with the Soviet Union. The question is how viable is Russian economy if mostly cut from the world economy including finance and how tolerant will be the Russian people with the hardships. Looking at Iran, if they could manage then Russia should be able to, but more hardships must be expected. Also the government may do away with democratic pretensions and go full autocracy in the case of popular unrest. And of course Russia will be dependent on China more than now. Why is it good for the US if Russia becomes China's little bitch instead of a strategic ally against Chinese expansion is another question. Rationally thinking China is the future geopolitical rival of America and not Russia. But the people pulling the strings want to screw Russia bad, that is their first goal, obviously, they feel ideologically fueled hatred for Russia beyond strategic calculations.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Somehow a lot of comments here were deflected into a discussion of F-35 vs other fighters, including Russian. I am not a technical expert, so I can comment only in general terms. Overall, the technology in the US is more advanced. However, there is one huge difference between Russian and American weapons: Russian ones are designed for the battlefield, whereas American ones are design to maximize manufacturers' profits. To what extent does this difference cancel technological potential in fighter planes, I don't know.

I do know, though, that the engine of the super-modern destroyer Zumwalt, for which the US taxpayers paid more than $4.4 billion, broke down on its first voyage. To add insult to injury, this happened in the Panama canal, of all places ( https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/23/us-navys-most-expensive-destroyer-breaks-down-in-panama-canal ). What's more, presumably super-modern Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan had the same problem and was towed back to port ( https://navaltoday.com/2016/11/24/royal-navy-destroyer-towed-back-to-port-after-engine-breakdown/ ). All this sounds pretty much like Ukraine, where thievery has no bounds.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 4:19 pm GMT
@Virgile

Why would Russia do that? The US is destroying itself more efficiently than any of its enemies could ever achieve. Reminds me of a dark joke "if you see your enemy committing suicide, do not interfere".

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 4:23 pm GMT
@awry

As a matter of fact, the USSR was not bankrupted. It was destroyed because the Party elites wanted to steal a lot more than the Soviet system allowed. They succeeded, now they are oligarchs, whereas the great majority of the population got screwed.

awry , August 13, 2018 at 4:26 pm GMT
@Okechukwu

This is delusional. Russia is vastly more exposed than Iran, as it is more tightly wound up in the western financial structures that the US created and controls

For now yes, but if forced to, it could leave those structures and survive without them. Of course it wouldn't be pretty especially the transitional period.

But so far the US has been applying relatively trivial sanctions in the hopes that Russia would reform its conduct (I'm not making a value judgement).

The idea that Russia would i.e. abandon the Crimea if sanctioned hard enough and such "hopes" are delusional. A country that still sees itself as a great power and has a lot of national pride is not going to make such concessions to the US. If Putin looks a wuss to the Russian people he will fall more quickly than because of any sanctions. But I doubt that there were even such hopes for real. The aim was always just to ratchet the hostility up with Russia more and more, until a full blown cold war.

Daniel Chieh , August 13, 2018 at 4:27 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Sadly, it often seems the case of comparing not which competing MIC is smarter, but which one is slightly less corrupt.

LondonBob , August 13, 2018 at 4:32 pm GMT
@Art

Exactly it is AIPAC driving this and the sooner the Russians start to squeeze Israel, which is so vulnerable, the better.

[Aug 13, 2018] >As dubya the idiot once said

Aug 13, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

ggersh on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 10:01am "you're either with us or against us"

Well I'm fucking against us

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/08/13/heres-video-schoolchildren-...

Here's the Video of Schoolchildren Just Moments Before Being Massacred by U.S.-Backed Saudi Bombing
"This blood is on America's hands, as long as we keep sending the bombs that kill so many Yemenis."

After

[Aug 13, 2018] Not supposed to get angry right? Supposed to be civil

Notable quotes:
"... "Most ironic of all, US and Saudi-backed sectarian extremists, including Al Qaeda in Yemen, had served as proxy forces meant to keep Houthi militias in check by proxy so the need for a direct military intervention such as the one now unfolding would not be necessary. This means that Saudi Arabia and the US are intervening in Yemen only after the terrorists they were supporting were overwhelmed and the regime they were propping up collapsed." ..."
"... "Indeed, the conflict in Yemen is a proxy war. Not between Iran and Saudi Arabia per say, but between Iran and the United States, with the United States electing Saudi Arabia as its unfortunate stand-in." ..."
"... "In reality, Saudi Arabia's and the United States' rhetoric aside, a brutal regional regime meddled in Yemen and lost, and now the aspiring global hemegon sponsoring it from abroad has ordered it to intervene directly and clean up its mess." ..."
"... Sanders won't say that and most media will simply blame it on the U.S. supplying weapons but they don't get into the why, typically blaming it on the MIC being the MIC. ..."
"... "Most ironic of all, US and Saudi-backed sectarian extremists, including Al Qaeda in Yemen, had served as proxy forces meant to keep Houthi militias in check by proxy so the need for a direct military intervention such as the one now unfolding would not be necessary. This means that Saudi Arabia and the US are intervening in Yemen only after the terrorists they were supporting were overwhelmed and the regime they were propping up collapsed." ..."
"... "By backing the Saudi coalition's war in Yemen with weapons, aerial refueling, and targeting assistance, the United States is complicit in the atrocities taking place there." -- Sen. Bernie Sanders ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Big Al on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:28pm

ya right.
Like all wars, most media, including Common Dreams, either sugarcoat them or obfuscate the real purpose. And of course the politicians do that even better, like Sanders, who just a few years ago was begging Saudi Arabia to "get their hands dirty", just at the time that the U.S. proxy war in Yemen heated up with their lapdog Saudi Arabia getting their hands dirty indeed. The problem of course is that it's not just the U.S. supplying the bombs and military guidance, it's that it's actually another U.S. proxy war using it's favorite terrorists and terrorist supporting countries for it's imperialist agenda.

"Most ironic of all, US and Saudi-backed sectarian extremists, including Al Qaeda in Yemen, had served as proxy forces meant to keep Houthi militias in check by proxy so the need for a direct military intervention such as the one now unfolding would not be necessary. This means that Saudi Arabia and the US are intervening in Yemen only after the terrorists they were supporting were overwhelmed and the regime they were propping up collapsed."

"Indeed, the conflict in Yemen is a proxy war. Not between Iran and Saudi Arabia per say, but between Iran and the United States, with the United States electing Saudi Arabia as its unfortunate stand-in."

"In reality, Saudi Arabia's and the United States' rhetoric aside, a brutal regional regime meddled in Yemen and lost, and now the aspiring global hemegon sponsoring it from abroad has ordered it to intervene directly and clean up its mess."

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2015/03/us-saudi-blitz-in-yemen-naked....

Actually it's larger than that, it's part of the larger imperialist struggle against China and Russia, control of the Bab-el-Mandeb oil chokepoint and control of oil and other resources in the MENA.

Sanders won't say that and most media will simply blame it on the U.S. supplying weapons but they don't get into the why, typically blaming it on the MIC being the MIC.

ggersh on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:55pm
My guess is that most amerikans

@Big Al don't get the why/when for if they ever do amerika won't be amerika anymore and that could go both ways, for better
or for worse

and you're correct in Sanders won't say it but Bernie shouldn't be the one stop cure all, their need to be many more voices but the crickets are most abundant.

Sanders won't say that and most media will simply blame it on the U.S. supplying weapons but they don't get into the why, typically blaming it on the MIC being the MIC.

ya right.

Like all wars, most media, including Common Dreams, either sugarcoat them or obfuscate the real purpose. And of course the politicians do that even better, like Sanders, who just a few years ago was begging Saudi Arabia to "get their hands dirty", just at the time that the U.S. proxy war in Yemen heated up with their lapdog Saudi Arabia getting their hands dirty indeed. The problem of course is that it's not just the U.S. supplying the bombs and military guidance, it's that it's actually another U.S. proxy war using it's favorite terrorists and terrorist supporting countries for it's imperialist agenda.

"Most ironic of all, US and Saudi-backed sectarian extremists, including Al Qaeda in Yemen, had served as proxy forces meant to keep Houthi militias in check by proxy so the need for a direct military intervention such as the one now unfolding would not be necessary. This means that Saudi Arabia and the US are intervening in Yemen only after the terrorists they were supporting were overwhelmed and the regime they were propping up collapsed."

"Indeed, the conflict in Yemen is a proxy war. Not between Iran and Saudi Arabia per say, but between Iran and the United States, with the United States electing Saudi Arabia as its unfortunate stand-in."

"In reality, Saudi Arabia's and the United States' rhetoric aside, a brutal regional regime meddled in Yemen and lost, and now the aspiring global hemegon sponsoring it from abroad has ordered it to intervene directly and clean up its mess."

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2015/03/us-saudi-blitz-in-yemen-naked....

Actually it's larger than that, it's part of the larger imperialist struggle against China and Russia, control of the Bab-el-Mandeb oil chokepoint and control of oil and other resources in the MENA.

Sanders won't say that and most media will simply blame it on the U.S. supplying weapons but they don't get into the why, typically blaming it on the MIC being the MIC.

TheOtherMaven on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 4:06pm
Future generations, if there are any,

@ggersh

will call these years the "Oil Wars".

#4 don't get the why/when for if they ever do amerika won't be amerika anymore and that could go both ways, for better
or for worse

and you're correct in Sanders won't say it but Bernie shouldn't be the one stop cure all, their need to be many more voices
but the crickets are most abundant.

Sanders won't say that and most media will simply blame it on the U.S. supplying weapons but they don't get into the why, typically blaming it on the MIC being the MIC.

Big Al on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 1:52pm
Actually what Sanders and some others

(the other so called progressive heroes) are saying,

"By backing the Saudi coalition's war in Yemen with weapons, aerial refueling, and targeting assistance, the United States is complicit in the atrocities taking place there."
-- Sen. Bernie Sanders

is basically propaganda. Clearly he's making it sound like the U.S. is supplying weapons and some military assistance and therefore is complicit in the atrocities that Saudi Arabia and it's "coalition" are perpetrating in "their" war, which in turn leads people to believe (and the progressive hero politicians to propose) the U.S. simply needs to stop supplying those weapons and military assistance, i.e., get out of Saudi's war. But that misses the history of U.S. interest and involvement in Yemen, it's real role in the near genocide happening there and the overall agenda of those controlling our government. And that is why most Americans, including most progressives, don't know what is really going on in Yemen. Our political "representatives" and the 90% owned by six rich bastard corporations oligarchy media won't tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It's why people still believe the war in Syria is a civil war. It's why people believe the Russia cold war propaganda. That's all they hear and the only way to get the real truth is to dig for it and try to make sense of the big picture along with the true history of this country and our government and political system.

Not to mention he's a fucking hypocrite.

"Even worse, after the Saudis started bombing Yemen with U.S. government backing earlier this year, killing thousands and leading to what the UN is now calling a "humanitarian catastrophe," and suffering that is "almost incomprehensible," Sanders continued. In another interview, again with Wolf Blitzer in May, Sanders did correctly note that as a result of the Iraq invasion, "we've destabilized the region, we've given rise to Al-Qaeda, ISIS." But then he actually called for more intervention: "What we need now, and this is not easy stuff, I think the President is trying, you need to bring together an international coalition, Wolf, led by the Muslim countries themselves! Saudi Arabia is the third largest military budget in the world, they're going to have to get their hands dirty in this fight. We should be supporting, but at the end of the day this is [a] fight over what Islam is about, the soul of Islam, we should support those countries taking on ISIS."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/bernie-sanders-policy-backing-saudi-in...

(Note on Truthdig article: also propaganda inserted by both Sanders and the author by insinuating the U.S. wars in the MENA "gave rise" to ISIS. That is not true, ISIS was created, aided and abetted FOR the wars in the MENA and beyond.)

[Aug 13, 2018] Oh, yeah, those evil "Muslim dictators" -- always interfering with elected governments foreign trade policies

Aug 13, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

bus full of kids was a target of 500 pound bomb and probably f-16! partizan , Aug 13, 2018 11:24:58 AM | 45

Another imperial crime in the US Overseas Territory.

https://twitter.com/BitarSaif/status/1028977314351198208

Probably Raytheon's Hellfire.

partizan , Aug 13, 2018 11:39:04 AM | 46
bus full of kids was a target of 500 pound bomb and probably f-16!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_82_bomb

[Aug 13, 2018] Imperialism Is Alive and Kicking A Marxist Analysis of Neoliberal Capitalism by C.J. Polychroniou

Highly recommended!
Marxism provides one of the best analysis of capitalism; problems start when Marxists propose alternatives.
Notable quotes:
"... Such demand-compression occurs above all through the imposition of an income deflation on the petty producers, and on the working population in general, in the Third World. This was done in the colonial period through two means: one, "deindustrialization" or the displacement of local craft production by imports of manufactures from the capitalist sector; and two, the "drain of surplus" where a part of the taxes extracted from petty producers was simply taken away in the form of exported goods without any quid pro quo ..."
"... I mean by the term "imperialism" the arrangement that the capitalist system sets up for imposing income deflation on the working population of the Third World for countering the threat of inflation that would otherwise erode the value of money in the metropolis and make the system unviable. "Imperialism" in this sense characterizes both the colonial and the contemporary periods. ..."
"... The fact that the diffusion of capitalism to the Third World has proceeded by leaps and bounds of late, with its domestic corporate-financial oligarchy getting integrated into globalized finance capital, and the fact that workers in the metropolis have also been facing an income squeeze under globalization, are important new developments; but they do not negate the basic tendency of the system to impose income deflation upon the working population of the Third World, a tendency that remains at the very core of the system. ..."
"... any state activism, other than for promoting its own exclusive and direct interest, is anathema for finance capital, which is why, not surprisingly, "sound finance" and "fiscal responsibility" are back in vogue today, when finance capital, now globalized, is in ascendancy. Imperialism is thus a specifically capitalist way of obtaining the commodities it requires for itself, but which are produced outside its own domain. ..."
"... dirigiste regimes ..."
"... With the reassertion of the dominance of finance, in the guise now of an international ..."
"... Contemporary imperialism therefore is the imperialism of international finance capital which is served by nation-states (for any nation-state that defies the will of international finance capital runs the risk of capital flight from, and hence the insolvency of, its economy). The US, being the leading capitalist state, plays the leading role in promoting and protecting the interests of international finance capital. But talking about a specific US imperialism, or a German or British or French imperialism obscures this basic fact. ..."
"... Indeed, a good deal of discussion about whether the world is heading toward multi-polarity or the persistence of US dominance misses the point that the chief actor in today's world is international or globalized finance capital, and not US or German or British finance capital. ..."
"... US military intervention all over the world, in order to acquire a proper meaning has to be located within the broader setting of the imperialism of international finance capital. ..."
"... absolute immiserization ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | truthout.org

C.J. Polychroniou: How do you define imperialism and what imperialist tendencies do you detect as inherent in the brutal expansion of the logic of capitalism in the neoliberal global era?

Prabhat Patnaik: The capitalist sector of the world, which began by being located, and continues largely to be located, in the temperate region, requires as its raw materials and means of consumption a whole range of primary commodities which are not available or producible, either at all or in adequate quantities, within its own borders. These commodities have to be obtained from the tropical and sub-tropical region within which almost the whole of the Third World is located; and the bulk of them (leaving aside minerals) are produced by a set of petty producers (peasants). What is more, they are subject to "increasing supply price," in the sense that as demand for them increases in the capitalist sector, larger quantities of them can be obtained, if at all, only at higher prices, thanks to the fixed size of the tropical land mass.

This means an ex ante tendency toward accelerating inflation as capital accumulation proceeds, undermining the value of money under capitalism and hence the viability of the system as a whole. To prevent this, the system requires that with an increase in demand from the capitalist sector, as capital accumulation proceeds, there must be a compression of demand elsewhere for these commodities, so that the net demand does not increase, and increasing supply price does not get a chance to manifest itself at all.

Such demand-compression occurs above all through the imposition of an income deflation on the petty producers, and on the working population in general, in the Third World. This was done in the colonial period through two means: one, "deindustrialization" or the displacement of local craft production by imports of manufactures from the capitalist sector; and two, the "drain of surplus" where a part of the taxes extracted from petty producers was simply taken away in the form of exported goods without any quid pro quo . The income of the working population of the Third World, and hence its demand, was thus kept down; and metropolitan capitalism's demand for such commodities was met without any inflationary threat to the value of money. Exactly a similar process of income deflation is imposed now upon the working population of the Third World by the neoliberal policies of globalization.

I mean by the term "imperialism" the arrangement that the capitalist system sets up for imposing income deflation on the working population of the Third World for countering the threat of inflation that would otherwise erode the value of money in the metropolis and make the system unviable. "Imperialism" in this sense characterizes both the colonial and the contemporary periods.

We recognize the need for a reserve army of labor to ward off the threat to the value of money arising from wage demands of workers. Ironically, however, we do not recognize the parallel and even more pressing need of the system (owing to increasing supply price) for the imposition of income deflation on the working population of the Third World for warding off a similar threat.

The fact that the diffusion of capitalism to the Third World has proceeded by leaps and bounds of late, with its domestic corporate-financial oligarchy getting integrated into globalized finance capital, and the fact that workers in the metropolis have also been facing an income squeeze under globalization, are important new developments; but they do not negate the basic tendency of the system to impose income deflation upon the working population of the Third World, a tendency that remains at the very core of the system.

Those who argue that imperialism is no longer a relevant analytic construct point to the multifaceted aspects of today's global economic exchanges and to a highly complex process involved in the distribution of value which, simply put, cannot be reduced to imperialism. How do you respond to this line of thinking?

Capitalism today is of course much more complex, with an enormous financial superstructure. But that paradoxically makes inflation even more threatening. The value of this vast array of financial assets would collapse in the event of inflation, bringing down this superstructure, which incidentally is the reason for the current policy obsession with "inflation targeting." This makes the imperialist arrangement even more essential. The more complex capitalism becomes, the more it needs its basic simple props.

I should clarify here that if "land-augmenting" measures [such as irrigation, high-yielding seeds and better production practices] could be introduced in the Third World, then, notwithstanding the physical fixity of the tropical land mass, the threat of increasing supply price -- and with it, [the threat] of inflation -- could be warded off without any income deflation. Indeed, on the contrary, the working population of the Third World would be better off through such measures. But these measures require state support and state expenditure, a fact that Marx had recognized long ago. But any state activism, other than for promoting its own exclusive and direct interest, is anathema for finance capital, which is why, not surprisingly, "sound finance" and "fiscal responsibility" are back in vogue today, when finance capital, now globalized, is in ascendancy. Imperialism is thus a specifically capitalist way of obtaining the commodities it requires for itself, but which are produced outside its own domain.

The post-decolonization dirigiste regimes [regimes directed by a central authority] in the Third World had actually undertaken land-augmentation measures. Because of this, even as exports of commodities to the metropolis had risen to sustain the biggest boom ever witnessed in the history of capitalism, per capita food grain availability had also increased in those countries. But I see that period as a period of retreat of metropolitan capitalism, enforced by the wound inflicted upon it by the Second World War. With the reassertion of the dominance of finance, in the guise now of an international finance capital, the Third World states have withdrawn from supporting petty producers, a process of income deflation is in full swing, and the imperialist arrangement is back in place, because of which we can see once more a tendency toward a secular decline in per capita food grain availability in the Third World as in the colonial period.

There is a third way -- apart from a greater obsession with inflation aversion and a yoking of Third World states to promoting the interests of globalized finance rather than defending domestic petty producers -- in which contemporary capitalism strengthens the imperialist arrangement. It may be thought that the value of imports of Third World commodities into the capitalist metropolis is so small that we are exaggerating the inflation threat from that source to metropolitan currencies. This smallness itself, of course, is an expression of an acutely exploitative relationship. In addition, however, the threat to the Third World currencies themselves from a rise in the prices of these commodities becomes acute in a regime of free cross-border financial flows as now, which threatens the entire world trade and payments system and hence makes income deflation particularly urgent. Hence the need for the imperialist arrangement becomes even more acute.

Not long ago, even liberals like Thomas Friedman of the New York Times were arguing that "McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas" (that is, the US Air Force). Surely, this is a crude version of imperialism, but what about today's US imperialism? Isn't it still alive and kicking?

The world that Lenin had written about consisted of nation-based, nation-state-supported financial oligarchies engaged in intense inter-imperialist rivalry for repartitioning the world through wars. When [Marxist theorist] Karl Kautsky had suggested the possibility of a truce among rival powers for a peaceful division of the world, Lenin had pointed to the fact that the phenomenon of uneven development under capitalism would necessarily subvert any such specific truce. The world we have today is characterized by the hegemony of international finance capital which is interested in preventing any partitioning of the world, so that it can move around freely across the globe.

Contemporary imperialism therefore is the imperialism of international finance capital which is served by nation-states (for any nation-state that defies the will of international finance capital runs the risk of capital flight from, and hence the insolvency of, its economy). The US, being the leading capitalist state, plays the leading role in promoting and protecting the interests of international finance capital. But talking about a specific US imperialism, or a German or British or French imperialism obscures this basic fact.

Indeed, a good deal of discussion about whether the world is heading toward multi-polarity or the persistence of US dominance misses the point that the chief actor in today's world is international or globalized finance capital, and not US or German or British finance capital. So, the concept of imperialism that [Utsa Patnaik and I] are talking about belongs to a different terrain of discourse from the concept of US imperialism per se . The latter, though it is, of course, empirically visible because of US military intervention all over the world, in order to acquire a proper meaning has to be located within the broader setting of the imperialism of international finance capital.

Some incidentally have seen the muting of inter-imperialist rivalry in today's world as a vindication of Kautsky's position over that of Lenin. This, however, is incorrect, since both of them were talking about a world of national finance capitals which contemporary capitalism has gone beyond.

... ... ...

One final question: How should radical movements and organizations, in both the core and the periphery of the world capitalist economy, be organizing to combat today's imperialism?

Obviously, the issue of imperialism is important not for scholastic reasons, but because of the praxis that a recognition of its role engenders. From what I have been arguing, it is clear that since globalization involves income deflation for the peasantry and petty producers, and since their absorption into the ranks of the active army of labor under capitalism does not occur because of the paucity of jobs that are created even when rates of output growth are high, there is a tendency toward an absolute immiserization of the working population. For the petty producers, this tendency operates directly; and for others, it operates through the driving down of the "reservation wage" owing to the impoverishment of petty producers.

Such immiserization is manifest above all in the decline in per capita food grain absorption, both directly and indirectly (the latter via processed foods and feed grains). An improvement in the conditions of living of the working population of the Third World then requires a delinking from globalization (mainly through capital controls, and also trade controls to the requisite extent) by an alternative state, based on a worker-peasant alliance, that pursues a different trajectory of development. Such a trajectory would emphasize peasant-agriculture-led growth, land redistribution (so as to limit the extent of differentiation within the peasantry) and the formation of voluntary cooperatives and collectives for carrying forward land-augmentation measures, and even undertaking value-addition activities, including industrialization.

Small Third World countries would no doubt find it difficult to adopt such a program because of their limited resource base and narrow home market. But they will have to come together with other small countries to constitute larger, more viable units. But the basic point is that the question of "making globalization work" or "having globalization with a human face" simply does not arise.

The problem with this praxis is that it is not only the bourgeoisie in the Third World countries, but even sections of the middle-class professionals who have been beneficiaries of globalization, who would oppose any such delinking. But the world capitalist crisis, which is a consequence of this finance-capital-led globalization itself, is causing disaffection among these middle-class beneficiaries. They, too, would now be more willing to support an alternative trajectory of development that breaks out of the straitjacket imposed by imperialism.

[Aug 13, 2018] If the world was a theater, Americans see themselves as the only performers -- the role of the rest of the world is to applaud their performance.

Aug 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

Cyrano , August 10, 2018 at 10:45 pm GMT

Americans see the Russians as greatness deniers. Their European lackeys are their greatness-acknowledgers -- even when it's detrimental to their own survival.

If the world was a theater, Americans see themselves as the only performers -- the role of the rest of the world is to applaud their performance.

Russia is not a part of the audience, it's not even a heckler. It's a performer, it has always been, and a very talented one too. To try to demote them to the role of spectators, or to try to usher them out of the concert hall can be suicidal, they have enough musical instruments to put on a remarkable concert -- even if afterwards no one is left to applaud.

[Aug 13, 2018] FBI Reveals Maria Butina Traded Sex In Exchange For All 62,984,828 Votes Trump Received In 2016

Jul 19, 2018 | politics.theonion.com
WASHINGTON -- Saying that their investigation indicated her involvement in election interference went deeper than previously believed, the FBI revealed Thursday that Russian agent Maria Butina traded sex in exchange for all 62,984,828 votes Donald Trump received for president in 2016. "Our inquiry into Ms. Butina

[Aug 13, 2018] Turkey blames Trump for attack on lira, says it won't 'kneel' and has counter-measures ready

Notable quotes:
"... "The currency of our country is targeted directly by the US president," ..."
"... "This attack, initiated by the biggest player in the global financial system, reveals a similar situation in all developing countries." ..."
"... "All of our action plan and measures are ready," ..."
"... "Together with our banks, we prepared our action plan regarding the situation with our real sector companies, including Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is the sector that is affected by the fluctuation the most," ..."
"... "Together with our banks and the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA), we will take the necessary measures quickly." ..."
"... "It is making an operation against Turkey Its aim is to force Turkey to surrender in every field from finance to politics, to make Turkey and the Turkish nation kneel down," ..."
"... "We have seen your play and we challenge you." ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | www.rt.com

Turkey has accused Donald Trump of leading an attack on its national currency. The lira lost about 40 percent of its value against the US dollar this year and, to reduce its volatility, Ankara has prepared an urgent action plan. "The currency of our country is targeted directly by the US president," Finance Minister Berat Albayrak told the Hurriyet. "This attack, initiated by the biggest player in the global financial system, reveals a similar situation in all developing countries."

The Turkish lira took a massive hit against the dollar on Friday following Trump's decision to double tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Turkey to 20 percent and 50 percent. Overall, the national currency lost roughly about 40 percent of its value this year.

Read more © Ozan Kose Erdogan urges Turks to dump dollar to support lira

To calm down the markets, the government instructed its institutions to implement a series of actions on Monday. "All of our action plan and measures are ready," Albayrak said, without elaborating.

"Together with our banks, we prepared our action plan regarding the situation with our real sector companies, including Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is the sector that is affected by the fluctuation the most," the minister said . "Together with our banks and the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA), we will take the necessary measures quickly."

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile slammed the US decision to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"It is making an operation against Turkey Its aim is to force Turkey to surrender in every field from finance to politics, to make Turkey and the Turkish nation kneel down," Erdogan said in Trabzon on Sunday. "We have seen your play and we challenge you."

[Aug 13, 2018] Cold War in the Sauna Notes From a Russian American by Pavel Kozhevnikov

Aug 13, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

I had just finished exercising and went to the sauna. The gym I go to is a modern facility with new equipment and is very popular in our city.

My favorite parts are the sauna and the steamer. Both remind me of my old country – Russia. Though, to be politically and geographically correct – I never lived in Russia: I was born and raised in one of the fifteen republics of the former USSR – the republic of Kazakhstan.

So, I am a Russian from Kazakhstan. It's kind of confusing for Americans, and when twenty-six years ago my American wife brought me here, the customs official gave me an alien card where my nationality was stated not Russian but Kazakh. My friends make fun of me, because Russians and Kazakhs are like apples and oranges. We look different

In 1992, when I arrived in America, the relationship between the two cold war rivals was excellent: Americans traveled to Russia, opening McDonalds, KFC's, Burger Kings, and other businesses, and Russians were opening not only their hearts but even the secrets of the overthrown KGB. Millions of Russians and Americans enjoyed such a "romance" between the two most powerful nuclear countries in the world.

Not anymore! Every morning I wake up to the words, "Russia is terrible," and go to sleep with the humiliating jokes of the "night-show-clowns" about "the dictator" Putin and "barbaric" Russians, whose 13 hackers changed the electoral minds of millions of naïve Americans. Wow! What a powerful "gasoline station country"- Russia, as Senator McCain calls it.

If in 1992 the people in my city who heard my accent were very nice to me and to Russia, now the usual reaction is to stare at me like a goat at the newly painted gates. One of my neighbors even yelled at me when I answered his question about my recent trip to Russia. I told him: "Russians like Putin because he saved their country from collapse. I saw with my own eyes how Russia has changed since my last trip there. I didn't see the impact of Obama's sanctions, Russians have better roads, than we have in Colorado; the shops, are filled with all kinds of products; the churches are restored "

My neighbor who didn't like Trump yelled at me: "If you like Russia go back to your country!" My answer was: "I love Russia but I am American – like your immigrant wife, like you. I love America for a lot of reasons, one of them – the right to speak! Nobody should privatize this right." He ran away, later coming to apologize

My wife, knowing my hard-tempered character asks me not to talk about policy – Putin-Trump anymore. And I don't, to a certain degree. However, when someone asks me about Russia or Putin I usually answer, giving my point of view; I just cannot be silent. I was silent for 40+ years living in the USSR, not anymore! Of course, not everyone likes my answers, like the man I am going to tell you about.

So, I went into the sauna; a stout man was sitting on the upper bench. He was the same age as I. Many of the older men in America call ourselves "old farts." The name is not offensive to us, because we really do not care about our image, and because we like to make jokes about everything, mostly about ourselves. Usually, we old farts are nice, we love to talk, even in the sauna. Young people nowadays do not talk. They turn on their phones even in the sauna – I bet they do not know how to talk with other people. They cover their "secrets" in towels while we do not – we do not have any secrets anymore.

Anyway, the man said hello to me, I answered, and he caught my slight accent.

"Where are you from?" It's a question I am usually asked.

"From here." I answered.

He was a little confused. I knew what usually followed if I had said – "from Kazakhstan." Usually, there would be an exchange of this type: "Where is it?" – "Between Russia and China," – "How do you like it here?" The silly film "Borat" helped me for a short period of time. People were smiling, as if they met Sasha Cohen, and I was happy that at least they knew some geography, though the film was silly and the geography in it was completely mistaken.

"No, I mean originally where are you from?" The guy, let's call him Tony, found the right question.

I decided not to check his geography skills and said that I came from Russia. The dialog that followed was remarkable. Here it is.

"Welcome to America! Your English is pretty good!"

"Yours, too." He didn't get my humor. "Just joking," I said, "As for welcoming, it's a little late: I have lived here for 25 years."

"Have you been in Russia lately?" He asked.

"Yes, I go there every year."

"Wow. So, what do you think about that crazy guy , Pyutin?"

"Sorry, honey," – I apologized to my wife in my thoughts and picked up the gauntlet. "You mean Putin? He is not crazy. Actually, he is one of the smartest rulers Russia ever had." I said.

Tony's eyes nearly leaped from their sockets. "But he is a dictator and kills people!"

"I wouldn't call him a dictator – he was just last week elected by nearly 67% of Russians. I would call him an authoritarian, strong ruler; but a weak ruler in Russia wouldn't survive a day. Besides, there were seven people opposed him in the election!"

Tony smiled. "You call it an election? He chose the opponents himself from his friends. The whole world knows that elections in Russia are a sham!"

"Who told you this nonsense, Tony? Did you listen to the debates? Did you hear how these people yelled at each other and cursed Putin, asking people to vote for them not for Putin. They really were as tough as Hillary to Donald! And besides, there were a lot of observers from 110 countries. They claimed the election was legitimate."

"No, I do not believe you."

"You may not believe me but I am citing the international organizations reports. You may check their reports on the Internet yourself. You may even sue these organizations if you wish."

Tony was silent for a minute, then turned his head to me and asked: "You know that Pyutin is evil even to his own people?"

"You mean Putin? Who told you? How many Russians share your opinion?"

"McCain."

"Is he Russian?"

"No, but he knows that Pyutin is KGB."

"His name is Putin!" I tried to correct at least this in his mind. "So, you do not believe me, a Russian, who just returned from Russia, but you believe this Senator, who hates Putin and Russia? Besides, there are no KGB anymore."

"But he used to be KGB?"

"Yes, and Bush H. was also a CIA agent. So, what? After the collapse of the Soviet Union there were no people who didn't work for government in that country, we all worked for government! Putin is good for Russia, he is the brightest politician nowadays. He is like a great Chess-master, and he is a dangerous player. We must be careful with him. Some Congressmen are underestimating Russia, calling it "a gasoline station with nukes," but I was there this summer and saw with my own eyes how much people love Putin, and how much he is doing to make that country great again."

"Yeh, yeh, yeh " Tony didn't know what to say. Then he recalled something and turned his red face to me. "Well, he invaded Crimea, and Ukraine!"

"No, he did not. Crimea was a harbor for the Russian navy, and according to the treaty between Ukraine and Russia there were sixteen thousand Russian troops stationed there on a permanent base. There were about twenty-three thousand Ukrainian troops there, too. So, when the thugs in Kiev took power, illegally kicking out president Yanukovych and killing the political opponents, the Crimean people decided to organize a referendum. Ninety-six percent decided to reunite with Russia, as they were Russians for nearly 400 years before the Communist dictator Khrushchev gave that peninsula to Ukraine as a present to his native land."

"But they had no right to secede from the main land of Ukraine!"

"Yes, they did. International law gives the right for self-determination to people. Remember, we split from the British Empire."

"But it was so long ago!"

"Okay, what about East and West Germany or Kosovo? The people in these countries also exercised their right of self-determination, but they didn't have any referendum as far as I know."

Tony looked at me attentively. "I don't believe you."

"You have the right not to believe me. You asked, I answered."

Tony was silent for a while. Then he threw out his last argument. "I hope you wouldn't deny that Putin killed British citizens recently, using KGB gas!"

Wow, he pronounced "Putin" correctly! I smiled. The nice face of my American wife appeared in my head again, and she was not happy! I kissed her in my thoughts and finished the conversation with my last knockout blow:

"I wouldn't deny it if the poisoning by Russians had been proved!"

"But it was proved by Teresa May!"

"Really? What did she say?"

"She said that it was Putin who poisoned the British citizens!"

"Not really, my friend. She said that it was "highly likely" that Russia did it! Besides, only Mr. Skripal is a British citizen, his daughter is a Russian citizen"

"Does it make any difference?"

"You mean, "highly likely" is proof to punish somebody? What about one of the main pillars of democracy – innocent until proven guilty?"

"But we believe our allies, not the Russians!"

That statement made me laugh. "You believe not facts but political statements without any facts? Wow! What kind of democracy is that?"

Tony's face became so red that I was afraid it would melt. He stood up from the bench and without looking at me firmly said:

"Russians are our enemies, and democracy does not apply to them."

He left, leaving me with a sudden fear of approaching nuclear war.

At night I prayed for peace. I prayed for American and Russian people-in-power who could easily destroy this fragile planet. If people refuse to understand each other, they fight. Kennedy and Khrushchev fortunately understood this. Will Putin and Trump understand?

Pavel Kozhevnikov was born in Kazakhstan. In 1992 he married an American woman and relocated to Colorado, USA, where he worked in a variety of business ventures and taught various subjects including Russian at Mitchell High School as well as at Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Pavel continues to enjoy teaching Russian at the local community college and university and devotes his free time to writing. He has published four books of stories and poems as well as numerous articles for newspapers and journals in Russia, Germany, Kazakhstan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

[Aug 11, 2018] President Trump the most important achivement

Highly recommended!
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @ nytimes , @ NBCNews , @ ABC , @ CBS , @ CNN ) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! ~ Donald Trump
On Thursday, Mr. Trump expressed his distaste for journalists in more populist terms, saying, "much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles in particular, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests."
"The public doesn't believe you people anymore," Mr. Trump added. "Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don't know. But they don't believe you."
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media. Never before has a President so forcefully identified the lies of the leading print and TV outlets. The NY Times , Washington Post , the Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the larger public. They have lost legitimacy and trust. Where progressives have failed, a war monger billionaire has accomplished, speaking a truth to serve many injustices.

[Aug 11, 2018] Rand Paul Against the World

Notable quotes:
"... But this part of the story was the most revelatory: "'Rand Paul has persuaded the president that we are not for regime change in Iran,' this person said, because adopting that position would instigate another war in the Middle East." ..."
"... This is significant, not because Trump couldn't have arrived at the same position without Paul's counsel, but because it's easy to imagine him embracing regime change, what with virtually every major foreign policy advisor in his cabinet supporting something close to war with Iran. "Personnel is policy" is more than a cliché. ..."
"... "So let's understand that the people pushing for regime change in Iran are seeking to destabilize and harm the country " writes TAC ..."
"... Most importantly, on arguably the most crucial potential foreign policy decision the president can make -- one that could potentially start another disastrous U.S. Middle Eastern war -- it appears to be Rand Paul who is literally keeping the peace. ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Not long ago, Donald Trump's national security advisor John Bolton was promising regime change in Iran by the end of this year . Uber-hawk Bolton has long wanted war with Tehran . Secretary of State Mike Pompeo isn't much different , and has even advocated bombing Iran . Secretary of Defense James Mattis has previously recommend U.S. airstrikes against Iranian targets .

Today, Bolton says the U.S. does not to seek regime change in Iran. So does Pompeo . So does Mattis .

Why?

President Trump has been known to be hawkish on Iran. Politico observed Wednesday: "Trump has drawn praise from the right-wing establishment for hammering the mullahs in Tehran, junking the Iran nuclear deal and responding to the regime's saber rattling with aggressive rhetoric of his own ." There are also powerful factions in Congress and Washington with inroads to the president that have been itching for regime change for years. "The policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran," says Senator Tom Cotton, once rumored to be Trump's pick to head the CIA.

Ron and Rand Paul Cut Through the Foreign Policy Noise A Madman on the National Security Council

So what, or who, is stopping the hawks?

Politico revealed Wednesday some interesting aspects of the relationship between Senator Rand Paul and the president, particularly on foreign policy: "While Trump tolerates his hawkish advisers, the [Trump] aide added, he shares a real bond with Paul: 'He actually at gut level has the same instincts as Rand Paul '."

On Iran, Politico notes, "Trump has stopped short of calling for regime change even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Bolton support it, aligning with Paul instead, according to a GOP foreign policy expert in frequent contact with the White House."

But this part of the story was the most revelatory: "'Rand Paul has persuaded the president that we are not for regime change in Iran,' this person said, because adopting that position would instigate another war in the Middle East."

This is significant, not because Trump couldn't have arrived at the same position without Paul's counsel, but because it's easy to imagine him embracing regime change, what with virtually every major foreign policy advisor in his cabinet supporting something close to war with Iran. "Personnel is policy" is more than a cliché.

Paul and Trump apparently like making fun of some White House staffers, as Politico also reported: "the Kentucky senator and the commander-in-chief have bonded over a shared delight in thumbing their noses at experts the president likes to deride as 'foreign policy eggheads,' including those who work in his own administration."

Eggheads indeed. For every foreign policy "expert" in Washington who now admits that regime change in Iraq was a mistake (and a whole slew of them won't even cop to that), you will find the same people making the case for regime change in other countries, including Iran , explaining how this time, somehow, America's toppling of a despot will turn out differently.

"So let's understand that the people pushing for regime change in Iran are seeking to destabilize and harm the country " writes TAC 's Daniel Larison. "Just as many of the same people did when they agitated for regime change in Iraq and again in Syria, they don't care about the devastation and chaos that the people in the country would have to endure if the policy 'works.'"

These are the same Washington foreign policy consensus standard bearers who would likely be shaping U.S. foreign policy unfettered if 2011 Libya "liberator" Hillary Clinton had become president -- or any other Republican not named Trump or Paul.

When it comes to who President Trump can turn to for a more sober and realist view of foreign policy, one who actually takes into account past U.S. mistakes abroad and tries to learn from them, at the moment it appears to be Paul against the Washington foreign policy world.

President Trump hired regime change advocates as advisors presumably because he wanted their advice, yet there's evidence to suggest that at least on Iran, certain hawks' wings might have been clipped .

Most importantly, on arguably the most crucial potential foreign policy decision the president can make -- one that could potentially start another disastrous U.S. Middle Eastern war -- it appears to be Rand Paul who is literally keeping the peace.

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.

Adam August 10, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Rand's father, Ron Paul is the greatest President America never had, and unlike Trump he told Americans what they needed to hear rather than what they wanted to hear.

The problem is that we don't consider Rand a neocon because we are comparing him to the warmongers and lunatics in the White House. Whereas comapred to his father, Rand is a neocon who time and time again has flip flopped on his morals and principals whereas his father never did.

And Rand is not the reason the US doesn't want war with Iran. Iran is the reason the US doesn't want war.

Iran simply has to flood A-stan with small arms, their respective ammo, and logistical equipment, and 15,000 US soldiers will 'Saigoned'

Combine the above with the distaste of European countries to NOT have refugees flood their borders and Turkey's increasing hatred for the US, and you have a perfect storm of potentially deadly but wholly justified anti-Americanism

[Aug 11, 2018] The USA never ratified Versailles, on the contrary, there came neutrality laws.

Aug 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

jilles dykstra , August 10, 2018 at 10:00 am GMT

After WWI there was revisionist literature etc galore, the USA people realised for what their sons had died overseas, what culminated in Versailles, at the time seen as a jewish conference.

Baruch and Frankfurter were there, the secretaries of Wilson, Clemenceau and Lloyd George are said to have been jews.

Wilson had won the elections by money from Morgenthau sr, a Germany hater. The USA never ratified Versailles, on the contrary, there came neutrality laws.

In 1932 Baruch financed the election of FDR, who had the problem of the neutrality laws. As Sol Bloom, a friend of FDR writes 'the great accomplishment of FDR was that he slowly prepared the USA people for war.

Beard explains it in detail. Anyone now can know the FDR deliberately provoked Pearl Harbour, he needed an attack, at his 1940 elections he had promised 'not to send boys oversees, unless the USA was attacked'.

In how far FDR already violated neutrality laws by using the USA Atlantic fleet for escorting convoys, since Sept 1939, is not clear to me. Anyhow, with FDR began a new period of USA belligerence, that continues to the present day, or stops at the present day, I still hope that Trump ends it, therefore the hysteria at CNN, Washpost and NYT.

But, with Bolton, it is said that the neocons, jews, are back in the White House
David Sinclair, 'Hall of Mirrors', London, 2001
Henry Morgenthau, 'Ambassador Morgenthau's Story', New York, 1918
Sol Bloom, 'The Autobiography of Sol Bloom', New York 1948
Charles A. Beard, 'American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932 -- 1940, A study in responsibilities', New Haven, 1946
Charles A. Beard, 'President Roosevelt and the coming of the war 1941, A study in appearances and realities', New Haven, 1948
Harry Elmer Barnes, ed., 'Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, A critical examination of the foreign policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and its aftermath', Caldwell, Idaho, 1953

jilles dykstra , August 10, 2018 at 2:07 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX

What the USA would have done had it not had jews is anybody's guess. The Monroe Declaration, as a USA correspondent wrote me, still taught in 'glowing terms', is of 1820 or so, in Europe is was seen as colonialism. Some Euopean countries considered waging war.
Manifest Destiny came around 1840. What seems sure to me that jews had little or nothing to do with both.

The Civil War had little to do with slavery, secession was seen by Washington as Brexit now by Brussels. At the time war was by shooting, war now is by economic measures.

The first USA imperial war was the Spanish war, also there I do not know of any jewish influence.

But this was different in WWI, Morgenthau financed the campaign of Wilson. The USA never was neutral in WWI, the British, at the time illegal, blockade of Germany by GB was tolerated. Morgenthau hated Germany, his parents had left the country because of antisemitism.

His 1918 book, anti German propaganda, inventing the German guilt for WWI, inventing the Armenian genocide. Henry Ford, because of Baruch's control of USA industrial production for war, called him 'the economic dictator of the USA'. Baruch's father or grandfather also left Germany, because of militarism, around 1870, read: he did not want to fight for the country in which he lived. So my conclusion, USA imperialism is not of jewish origin, but was strenghtened by jews. It is weard that Zuese does not know these facts, or ignores them.

Am reading a book about jews in Visigothic Spain and Gaul, they indeed were persecuted, anything was done to convert them to catholicism.
If one can blame jews in Visigothic Spain around 690 for a plot of letting Muslim warriors in, difficult to judge. In 711 it succeeded.

Yet, jewish behaviour there then reminds me of jews in tsarist Russia, where no attempt was made to convert them, and where, as Baruch's ancestor, jews also dodged military service.

Henry Morgenthau, 'Ambassador Morgenthau's Story', New York, 1918
Heath W. Lowry, 'The story behind Ambassador Morgenthau's Story', Istanbul 1990
Alexander Solschenizyn, ´Die russisch- jüdische Geschichte 1795- 1916, >> Zweihundert Jahre zusammen <<´, Moskau 2001, München 2002
Solomons Katz, 'The Jews in the Visigothic and Frankish Kingdoms of Spain and Gaul', Cambridge 1937

[Aug 10, 2018] "Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, scorn all others" ~ Emperor Septimius Severus to his sons

Aug 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

fnn , August 10, 2018 at 1:08 pm GMT

Emperor Septimius Severus said to his sons: "Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, scorn all others"

This is the stage the American Empire is at today. Except now the "soldiers" include the FBI, CIA and NSA. The deep state/permanent govt has the state security organs and Trump is trying to hold on to the loyalty of the uniformed military.

[Aug 10, 2018] America's Militarized Economy by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... Taxpayer-funded mass-slaughter is now routine and goes on year after year. ..."
"... "democracy" requires free access to unconstrained information. Otherwise the voter is like cattle free to chose which pre-determined path to take to the same slaughterhouse ..."
"... Wars being fought by the United States will continue to contribute to America's growing inequality, an issue that Washington is completely ignoring. ..."
"... In THE REPORT FROM IRON MOUNTAIN it is laid out that the business of the U.S. is war and that war is good for business and war we shall have and so it is that we are a nation of war and as in Orwells 1984 the wars are not meant to be won, the wars are meant to be continual for the profit of the elites and we the proles are to suffer. ..."
"... The sheeple are not only lead to slaughter, they are made totally unaware of the fact. Sad. ..."
"... "Why didn't Putin simply restore Yanukovych to power and leave it at that?" -- Michael Kenny, why have not you asked Brennan, the former CIA director who traveled "secretly" to Kiev to "organize" the ongoing civil war in Ukraine? ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

Donald Trump's biggest success, thus far into his Presidency, has been his sale of $400 billion (originally $350 billion) of U.S.-made weapons to the Saudi Arabian Government, which is owned by its royal family, after whom that nation is named. This sale alone is big enough to be called Trump's "jobs plan" for Americans. It is also the biggest weapons-sale in all of history. It's 400 billion dollars, not 400 million dollars; it is gigantic, and, by far, unprecedented in world-history.

The weapons that the Sauds and their friends, the 7 monarchies that constitute the United Arab Emirates, are using right now, in order to conquer and subdue Yemen, are almost entirely made in America. That's terrific business for America. Not only are Americans employed, in strategically important congressional districts (that is, politically important congressional districts), to manufacture this equipment for mass-murdering in foreign lands that never threatened (much less invaded) America, but the countries that purchase this equipment are thereby made dependent upon the services of those American manufacturers, and of the taxpayer-funded U.S. 'Defense' Department and its private military contractors such as Lockheed Martin, to maintain this equipment, and to train the local military enforcers, on how to operate these weapons. Consequently, foreign customers of U.S. military firms are buying not only U.S. weapons, but the U.S. Government's protection -- the protection by the U.S. military, of those monarchs. They are buying the label of being an "American ally" so that the U.S. news media can say that this is in defense of American allies (regardless of whether it's even that). American weapons are way overpriced for what they can do, but they are a bargain for what they can extract out of America's taxpayers, who fund the U.S. 'Defense' Department and thus fund the protection of those monarchs: these kings and other dictators get U.S. taxpayers to fund their protection. It's an international protection-racket funded by American taxpayers and those rulers, in order to protect those rulers; and the victims aren't only the people who get slaughtered in countries such as Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Libya, and Syria, and Yemen, and Palestine, but also (though only financially) are the American public, who get fleeced by it -- the American public provide the bulk of the real funding for this operation to expand the lands where America's allies rule, and so to serve both America's aristocracy and the aristocracies that are America's allies.

This is how today's America enforces its 'democracy' around the world, so that America can spread this 'democracy', at gunpoint, and at bomb-point, like America's allies, those Kings and Emirs, and the apartheid regime in Israel, are doing, to the people whom they kill and conquer, with help from the taxpayer-funded American military -- funded to protect those aristocrats, against their respective publics, and to further enrich America's own aristocrats, at the expense of America's own public.

The global 'aggressor' has been identified by America's previous President, Barack Obama , who won office like Trump did, by promising 'a reset' in relations with post-communist Russia, and by mocking Obama's opponent (Mitt Romney) for having called Russia "the number one geopolitical foe" -- which America's aristocracy has historically considered Russia to be, ever since the aristocracy in Russia fled and were killed in 1917, which caused America's and other aristocracies to fear and hate Russia and Russians, for having ousted its aristocracy, this being an act that aristocrats everywhere are determined to avenge, regardless of 'ideology' . (Similarly, America and its pro-aristocracy foreign allies, seek to avenge Iran's 1979 overthrow of the Shah.) As Obama's own actions during his subsequent Presidency made clear, and as he already had started in 2011 (if not from day one of his Presidency) secretly to implement, he privately agreed with what Romney said on that occasion, but he was intelligent enough (which his opponent obviously was not) to recognize that the American public, at that time, did not agree with it but instead believed that Islamic terrorists and aristocrats such as the Sauds who finance them are that); and Obama took full advantage of his opponent's blunder there, which helped Obama to win a second term in the White House (after having skillfully hidden from the public during his first term, his intention to weaken Russia by eliminating leaders who were friends or even allies of Russia, such as in Syria, and Ukraine).

This is American 'democracy', after all ( rule by deceit, lies ), and that's the reason why, when Russia, in 2014, responded to the U.S. coup in Ukraine (a coup under the cover of anti-corruption demonstrations) which coup was taking over this large country next-door to Russia and thus constituted a deadly threat to Russia's national security, Obama declared Russia to be the world's top 'aggressor' . Obama overthrew Ukraine and then damned Russia's leader Putin for responding to Obama's aggressive threat against Russia from this coup in neighboring Ukraine. Russia was supposedly the 'aggressor' because it allowed the residents of Crimea -- which had been part of Russia until the Soviet dictator in 1954 had arbitrarily handed Crimea to Ukraine -- to become Russian citizens again, Russians like 90% of them felt they still were, despite Khrushchev's transfer of them to Ukraine in 1954. The vast majority of Crimeans felt themselves still to be Russians. But Obama and allies of the U.S. Government insisted that the newly installed Government of Ukraine must rule those people; those people must not be permitted to rule (or be ruled) by people they've participated in choosing.

... ... ...

America has a militarized economy . It also currently has the very highest percentage of its people in prison out of all of the world's 222 countries and so certainly qualifies as a police state (which Americans who are lucky enough to be not amongst the lower socio-economic classes might find to be a shocking thing to assert). On top of that, everyone knows that America's military spending is by far the highest in the world, but many don't know that it's the most corrupt and so the U.S. actually spends around half of the entire world's military budget and that the U.S. 'Defense' Department is even so corrupt that it has been unauditable and thus unaudited for decades, and that many U.S. military programs are counted in other federal departments in order to hide from the public how much is actually being spent each year on the military, which is well over a trillion dollars annually, probably more than half of all federal discretionary (which excludes interest on the debt, some of which pays for prior wars) spending. So, it's a very militarized economy, indeed .

This is today's American 'democracy' . Is it also 'democracy' in America's allied countries? (Obviously, they are more democratic than America regarding just the incarceration-rate; but what about generally?) Almost all of those countries continue to say that America is a democracy (despite the proof that it is not), and that they are likewise. Are they correct in both? Are they allied with a 'democracy' against democracy? Or, are they, in fact, phonies as democracies? These are serious questions, and bumper-sticker answers to them won't suffice anymore -- not after invading Iraq in 2003, and Libya in 2011, and Syria right afterward, and Ukraine in 2014, and Yemen today, etc.

Please send this article along to friends, and ask for their thoughts about this. Because, in any actual democracy, everyone should be discussing these issues, under the prevailing circumstances. Taxpayer-funded mass-slaughter is now routine and goes on year after year. After a few decades of this, shouldn't people start discussing the matter? Why haven't they been? Isn't this the time to start? Or is America so much of a dictatorship that it simply won't happen? We'll see.


renfro , August 10, 2018 at 6:23 am GMT

I am very tired of the limp dick gutter trash that passes for leadership in this country trying to tell the rest of the world what they can and cant do. The Orange Clown is too big for his britches and is doing the donkey for his Jew Israeli gang. This is not America First.

China, Germany defend Iran business ties as U.S. sanctions grip

Reuters•August 08, 2018

BEIJING/BERLIN (Reuters) – China and Germany defended their business ties with Iran on Wednesday in the face of President Donald Trump's warning that any companies trading with the Islamic Republic would be barred from the United States. The comments from Beijing and Berlin signaled growing anger from partners of the United States, which reimposed strict sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, over its threat to penalize businesses from third countries that continue to operate there. "China has consistently opposed unilateral sanctions and long-armed jurisdiction," the Chinese foreign ministry said. "China's commercial cooperation with Iran is open and transparent, reasonable, fair and lawful, not...

Turkey to continue buying natural gas from Iran despite U.S. sanctions

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey will continue to buy natural gas from Iran in line with its long-term supply contract, Turkey's energy minister said on Wednesday, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened that anyone trading with Iran will not do business with America. NATO member Turkey is dependent on imports for almost all of its energy needs and Iran is a key supplier of Ankara's natural gas and oil purchases. While the Turkish refiner Tupras has already cut back on oil shipments from Tehran, a complete halt of energy imports would be near impossible. Energy Minister Fatih Donmez told A Haber broadcaster that he expected Ankara's talks with Washington on the issue to yield a positive outcome.

mijj , August 10, 2018 at 7:06 am GMT
"democracy" requires free access to unconstrained information. Otherwise the voter is like cattle free to chose which pre-determined path to take to the same slaughterhouse
Wizard of Oz , August 10, 2018 at 7:20 am GMT
I am in no position to contest much of the author's detail on matters of peripheral interest to me like Ukraine but I have an honest and expert source of information which makes me understand the unmentioned fact that, apart from the Crimeans, there is a very solid body of Ukrainians including those whose first language is Russian whose main objective would be for Ukraine to be and remain independent of Russia.

Correspondingly the idea that Yanukovich was "democratically elected" is humbug coming from someone who – rightly in my view – denies America's democratic credentials.

Akbar Ali , August 10, 2018 at 7:22 am GMT
LOL, Justin Trudeau is having a row with Saudi Arabia for jailing a female activist. But he care less about civilian being mascaraed in Yemen, especially children (school bus) being bombed .

Akbar Ali

Sally Snyder , August 10, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
As shown in this article there is a very interesting connection between wealth inequality and American wars:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/07/how-american-wars-lead-to-increased.html

Wars being fought by the United States will continue to contribute to America's growing inequality, an issue that Washington is completely ignoring.

anon [317] Disclaimer , August 10, 2018 at 12:42 pm GMT
@mijj

democracy requires more; it also requires voting power..

IN USA controlled America, Americans are not allow to vote on law at all and for law maker[Pharaoh directed slave drivers of Americans] each voter gets to check on the ballot whether he, she or it prefers the donkey Pharaoh or the Elephant Pharaoh to rule America by selecting (voting for) the next slave driver office holder. Real candidates selected by Americans in a true democracy do not happen.

Secondly, 527 positions in the USA are filled by voting outcome, Americans can Corporations and Foreigners can fund these guys vote for 1 to be your next slave driver

that's a total of five votes, each voter can caste, but there are 527 jobs to be filled? you vote is limited, what you say is ignored., what you are allowed to know or hear about is directed by private media corporations and highly paid psychologist and professional intelligence people.

Think about it, Americans have no power to control how they are Governed or whot will inflict the next pain Americans will be made to suffer, nor are Americans allowed access to the information needed to understand the environment or the issues important to that environment in which they live. True in many countries.

Seems to me there are two prisons in America: the larger unconfined prison and the highly confined jails.

The occupants of each are under 24/7 surveillance, not by government but by private corporations.

Neither is given access to important information, and those in the unconfined prison are threatened each day with confinement should the thoughts or behaviors of the threatened challenge those in control of the system.

The article is about Militarization of our economy, but that too is not within the control of Americans. Militarization is dictated by private corporations and their Pharaoh owners; it is they who control the USA, and it is the USA that Controls Americans in accord to the directives given by the Pharaohs.

BTW Pharaohs never stand for election.

DESERT FOX , August 10, 2018 at 1:18 pm GMT
The Zionist controlled U.S. gov is in the war business and has been ever since the Zionists took control of the U.S. via their privately owned money creation machine know as the FED and their IRS in 1913 so once they had the ability to create money out of thin air and the ability to tax Americans to pay for the debts that war incurred, the Zionists had control of America lock stock and gun barrel.

All the wars that the U.S. has been in since and including WWI and right down to the war in Syria , have been Zionist banker created wars and all the millions of lives lost and the trillions in debt from these wars can be laid at the feet of the Zionists who control every facet of the U.S. gov, and as said by General Smedley Butler in his book War Is A Racket, and that is what war is a Zionist racket.

In THE REPORT FROM IRON MOUNTAIN it is laid out that the business of the U.S. is war and that war is good for business and war we shall have and so it is that we are a nation of war and as in Orwells 1984 the wars are not meant to be won, the wars are meant to be continual for the profit of the elites and we the proles are to suffer.

Michael Kenny , August 10, 2018 at 2:15 pm GMT
Good God, what a hysterical rant! It's hardly worth bothering with the details but just a few points for the heck of it. He says that the Ukrainian coup "constituted a deadly threat to Russia's national security" but doesn't explain why that, even if true, gave Putin the right to invade Ukraine and annex part of its territory. Why didn't Putin simply restore Yanukovych to power and leave it at that? By the way, Ukraine has never at any time applied for EU membership.
AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT
MSM are doing their job of keeping Americans in the dark about anything of consequence. The State Department just posted on its site proposed new "sanctions" on Russia that essentially amount to a declaration of war. Lunatic asylum is the most appropriate place for the whole American "leadership", down to the last man/woman/tranny. The only thing that stands between us and WWIII, which would be a suicide of humanity, is unbelievably cool and reasonable position of Russian leadership.

But Americans are kept in the dark entirely, distracted with BS stories. The top "news" on the CNN site: "2 police officers among 4 killed in Canada shooting; a suspect is in custody"; "Ex-Ohio state wrestler clarifies comment about congressman's awareness of abuse". As if any of this would matter when nuclear missiles start flying.

The sheeple are not only lead to slaughter, they are made totally unaware of the fact. Sad.

DESERT FOX , August 10, 2018 at 3:24 pm GMT
@Skip Sullivan

Do some research, there is plenty of information available for example Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution by Anthony Sutton, can be had on Amazon.

annamaria , August 10, 2018 at 5:13 pm GMT
@Intelligent Dasein

So much irritation but zero refutation. The article certainly struck a nerve in an "Intelligent Dasein," a supporter of Zio-Nazism.

Meanwhile, here is a rational approach towards war reparations: http://www.voltairenet.org/article202370.html
"'the conflict that took place in Syria is a war of aggression organized by transnational financial interests – such as the investment fund KKR, Toyota, the global leader of Cement Lafarge, etc. Therefore it must be the transnationals involved and the States that worked with them that have to pay the damages."

The Jewish State must be unquestionably included in the list of "organized interests" guilty of the war of aggression and war crimes in Syria, which resulted in a massive loss of life and tremendous damage to Syrian infrastructure. Considering the sheer number of the war-cheerleaders among Israel-firsters and the influence of ziocons (the Jewish Lobby) on the US policies abroad, Israel owes a lot to Syria.

This is not some sort of inventive claims peddled by Holo-biz, but a fact-based demand that must be honored by the aggressors.

Every time a "chosen" makes a noise about "uncomparable sufferings" he/she must be reminded of the Jewish crimes in Russia, Ukraine, Syria, and Gaza Ghetto.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 5:22 pm GMT
@Skip Sullivan

I do mean rational factually supported arguments. But creationists and adepts of any other system of baseless beliefs, including various religions, communism, Nazism, etc., should be also allowed to air their arguments, however ridiculous they are. Let everyone show his/her true colors. Smart people will see through any BS, whereas fooling the fools is not a crime, the fools exist to be fooled, often by other fools.

Censorship is an admission that you have no arguments. That's why Western MSM are so heavily censored.

annamaria , August 10, 2018 at 5:26 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

"Why didn't Putin simply restore Yanukovych to power and leave it at that?" -- Michael Kenny, why have not you asked Brennan, the former CIA director who traveled "secretly" to Kiev to "organize" the ongoing civil war in Ukraine?

How old are you to ask such a naive question, 7 or 97?

Do you understand how much $5 billion is? -- This is how much the zionized US government had invested in regime change in Ukraine.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-14/white-house-admits-cia-director-brennan-was-secretly-kiev

annamaria , August 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

The rationale for the anti-Russian sanctions carries, of course, a "humanitarian" touch: bad Russia is punished by the righteous US for the alleged poisoning of Skripals. There is zero evidence to support the US/UK verdict re Skripals

On the same day when the US was showing its righteousness by "sunctioning" Russia for the alleged poisoning of Skripals (both Skripals are alive) the Saudi-American coalition had bombed, with the US provided WMD, a bus filled with school children in Yemen. http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/08/us-fine-tuning-of-saudi-airstrike-target-list-creates-results.html#comments

Here is what is left of the formerly alive and healthy children after the "righteous" US had sent a "legitimate" "humanitarian" help in the kids' direction:

Herald , August 10, 2018 at 5:47 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

So you are saying most Russian speaking Ukrainians are happy to be governed by a bunch of pro-US/Israel neo-nazi thugs. Sorry can't buy that one.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 6:17 pm GMT
@annamaria

Typical of the "defenders of human rights". The "shining city on a hill" did the same in Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and countless other countries. As Madeleine Albright put it, the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was worth it.

The US is always more arrogant, as opposed to super-hypocritical Europe. Hard to tell what's worse.

peterAUS , August 10, 2018 at 6:25 pm GMT
@Intelligent Dasein

If this article were any more poorly written, it would be banned by the FDA. The repetitious, tub-thumping tone should not be consumed while driving or operating heavy machinery.

Agree. Promising topic, disappointing delivery. Just the usual, shallow, propaganda. Simply a very bad article.

[Aug 10, 2018] Dozens of Yemeni Children Killed in Saudi Coalition Airstrike by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Coalition attacks on Yemeni markets are unfortunately all too common. The Saudis and their allies know they can strike civilian targets with impunity because the Western governments that arm and support them never call them out for what they do. ..."
Aug 09, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
There was another Saudi coalition airstrike on a crowded market in northern Yemen today. Dozens of civilians have been killed and dozens more injured. Many of the dead and injured were children whose school bus was hit in the attack:

Coalition attacks on Yemeni markets are unfortunately all too common. The Saudis and their allies know they can strike civilian targets with impunity because the Western governments that arm and support them never call them out for what they do. The U.S. continues to arm and refuel coalition planes despite ample evidence that the coalition has been deliberately attacking civilian targets. At the very least, the coalition hits civilian targets with such regularity that they are ignoring whatever procedures they are supposed to be following to prevent that. The weapons that the U.S., Britain, and other arms suppliers provide them are being used to slaughter wedding-goers, hospital patients, and schoolchildren, and U.S. refueling of coalition planes allows them to carry out more of these attacks than they otherwise could. Today's attack ranks as one of the worst.

Saada has come under some of the most intense attacks from the coalition bombing campaign. The coalition illegally declared the entire area a military target three years ago, and ever since they have been blowing up homes , markets , schools , water treatment systems, and hospitals without any regard for the innocent civilians that are killed and injured.

The official U.S. line on support for the war is that even more civilians would be killed if the U.S. weren't supporting the coalition. Our government has never provided any evidence to support this, and the record shows that civilian casualties from Saudi coalition airstrikes have increased over the last year. The Saudis and their allies either don't listen to any of the advice they're receiving, or they know they won't pay any price for ignoring it. As long as the U.S. arms and refuels coalition planes while they slaughter Yemeni civilians in attacks like this one, our government is implicated in the war crimes enabled by our unstinting military assistance. Congress can and must halt that assistance immediately.

Update: CNN reports on the aftermath of the airstrike:

The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said that a hospital it supports in Saada had received 29 dead bodies of "mainly children" under 15 years of age, and 40 injured, including 30 children.

"(The hospital) is very busy. They've been receiving wounded and dead since the morning and it is non-stop ," ICRC head of communications and spokesperson Mirella Hodeib told CNN.

Second Update: The Associated Press reports that the death toll stands at 43 with another 63 injured.

Third Update: The death toll has reportedly risen to 50 . 77 were injured.


an older america weeps August 9, 2018 at 11:30 am

School buses?

Good Lord above. School buses.

Of course I have no right to surprise or shock. They've already targeted hospitals, foreign doctors and nurses, first responders, wedding parties, and funerals.

School buses.

We used to make movies about killing people who do things like this. Now we help them do it.

Daniel O'Connor , says: August 9, 2018 at 12:54 pm
The repetitive frequency and intensity of these attacks on hospitals, schools, markets and other civilian gatherings, coupled with the indifference of the guilty national governments and their international enablers, signals that the world and human species is passing through a mass psychosis. This psychosis is playing itself out at all levels. Fascism, which is very current as a national psychology, is generally speaking, a coping strategy for dealing with nasty chaos. This coping strategy is designed around generating even more chaos, since that is a familiar and therefore more comfortable pattern of behavior; and that does provide a delusion of stability. A good example would be the sanctions just declared by the Trump Administration on Iranian commerce. In an intrinsically connected global market, these sanctions are so thorough that they qualify as a blockade, within a contingency plan for greater global conflict. But those who destroy hospitals, schools, school buses and public celebrations are not, otherwise, forward looking nice people. We are descending into a nasty fascist war psychosis. Just shake it. Live. Long and well.
b. , says: August 9, 2018 at 2:18 pm
"even more civilians would be killed if the U.S. weren't supporting the coalition"

If we did not hand them satellite images, did not service, repair and refuel their planes, and did not sell them the bombs, then they would . kill more civilians how? They could not even reach their targets, let alone drop explosives they do not have.

What Would Mohammad Do? Buy bombs from the Russians? Who have better quality control and fewer duds, hence more victims?

What Would Mohammad Do? Get the UAE to hire Blackwater to poison the wells across Yemen?

How exactly do the profiteers in our country, that get counted out blood money for every single Yemeni killed, propose that the Saudis and Emiratis would make this worse?

But, good to know that our "smart" and "precise" munitions can still hit a school bus. Made In America!

Great.

Hunter C , says: August 9, 2018 at 5:00 pm
The coverage in the media has been predictably cowardly and contemptible in the aftermath of this story. I read articles from CNN and MSNBC and they were variations on "school bus bombed", in the passive tense – with no mention of who did it or who is supporting them in the headline, ad if the bombings were natural disasters.

Fox, predictably, was even worse and led with "Biblical relics endangered by war", which speaks volumes about the presumed priorities of their viewership.

This, and not anything to do with red meat domestic politics, is the worst media malpractice of our time. "Stop directly helping the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks drop bombs on school children" should be the absolute easiest possible moral issue for our media to take a stand on and yet they treat it like it's radioactive.

Speaking as someone who considers themselves a liberal I am infuriated by the Democrats response. How can the party leadership not see that if they keep flogging the horse of Russian trolls and shrugging their shoulders over American given (not sold – *given*) bombs being dropped on schools and hospitals, no one is ever going to take the supposed Democratic anti-war platform seriously again. The Republicans can afford to be tarde by association with these atrocities. The Democrats can't.

I wonder how many Democrats are in the same boat as me right now: I may not like Trump or the Christian conservatives but fights over the Supreme Court or coal plants or a healthcare law look terribly petty compared to the apparent decision by Saudi Arabia to kill literally millions. For the first time in my life I'm seriously wishing there was a third-party candidate I could support and the congressional elections just so I could send a message on this.

Erik , says: August 9, 2018 at 10:13 pm
@Hunter C
Vote Libertarian Party. You won't agree with a lot of their domestic agenda, but they're not going to win, so it doesn't matter. The noninterventionist foreign policy is your message.

[Aug 10, 2018] There is also the documented presence of American forces and officers in the operations room of the Saudi coalition

Aug 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

annamaria , August 10, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT

@DESERT FOX

The ZUSA empire in action (for children, you know) on the other side of the globe: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/08/us-fine-tuning-of-saudi-airstrike-target-list-creates-results.html#comments

"Following an attack this morning on a bus driving children in Dahyan Market, northern Saada, (an ICRC-supported) hospital has received dozens of dead and wounded," the organisation said on Twitter without giving more details.

In a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, the coalition called the strike a "legitimate military action"

The Comment section:

"The US provides the in-flight refueling that makes these bombing sorties possible. The "Five Eyes" provides the surveillance that picks the targets, and the navigation to hit them.

KSA is doing precisely what the AZ Empire requires of it. Just as the British Royals and their banker sponsors dictated over a century ago, so does the Empire direct these heinous crimes today.

If the Saud Royals ever did go "rogue," they'd be taken out just as the AZ [American Zionist] Empire has done time and time again."
"There is also the documented presence of American forces and officers in the operations room of the Saudi coalition." https://twitter.com/abcdaee198/status/1027649243568386055

"Why is it that the Zionist media were up in arms every time White Helmets were digging Syrian children out of rubble or dousing them with hoses? Dozens of children were slaughtered in Yemen, and many more maimed and injured and hundreds of thousands are being subjected to famine but there's only deafening silence on the Zionist-run media."

"Imagine the reaction if the Russians or Syrians had blown up a busload of kids."

-- On the same topic: Israel demanded -- and BBC changed its headline. In a headline, BBC claimed that "Israeli air strikes 'kill pregnant woman and baby.'" After some time, BBC changed its title to "Gaza air strikes 'kill woman and child' after rockets hit Israel: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/250275

[Aug 10, 2018] U.S. 'Fine Tuning' Of Saudi Airstrike Target List Creates Results

Aug 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

occidentosis , Aug 9, 2018 3:03:23 PM | 1

I saw one video
there was nothing left of the children but bits
It was surreal
Kalen , Aug 9, 2018 3:17:53 PM | 2
Next Saudi Target: Ottawa.
MbS went beserk like Musk overdosed on juice.
Ian , Aug 9, 2018 3:22:53 PM | 3
One day, the West will reap the Karma it has sowed upon the world.
librul , Aug 9, 2018 3:35:10 PM | 4
Obama spoke about mothers sending their children to school in his acceptance speech for the
Nobel Peace Prize.

He contrasted reality vs hope
and we learned which one he would deliver.

Obama in Oslo, December 10, 2009,:

"Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty
still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what
few coins she has to send that child to school
-- because she believes that
a cruel world still
has a place for that child's dreams.

Let us live by their example.
We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us,
and still strive for justice .
We can admit the intractability of deprivation,
and still strive for dignity.
Clear-eyed,
we can understand that there will be war,
and still strive for peace.
We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the
hope
of all the world; and at this moment of challenge,
that must be our work here on Earth.

Thank you very much.
(Applause.)

One week later Obama shredded dozens of women and children in Yemen
and covered it up.

Here is ABC's Brian Ross using his most masculine baritone voice to boast about Obama's attack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHcg3TNSRPs

Wikileaks cable corroborates evidence of US airstrikes in Yemen
https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2010/12/wikileaks-cable-corroborates-evidence-us-airstrikes-yemen/

Cable itself:
https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10SANAA4_a.html

S , Aug 9, 2018 3:57:13 PM | 5
The comments under the Daily Mail article are disabled, lest someone mentions the U.S. involvement.
Lochearn , Aug 9, 2018 4:06:42 PM | 6
Imagine the reaction if the Russians or Syrians had blown up a busload of kids...
worldblee , Aug 9, 2018 4:08:36 PM | 7
Yes, they are fine tuning their ability to hit children, hospitals, etc.
Circe , Aug 9, 2018 4:16:06 PM | 8
@4

I've written many times Obama was Bush II - BUT F...KING TRUMP IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE NOW! So why are you giving us the ancient history deflection???????????

karlof1 , Aug 9, 2018 4:16:41 PM | 9
The pic provides an example of how the Outlaw US Empire implements its global population control policy--all bombs, no kids. Twitterverse is madder than a wet hen. One went to Trump's twitter to ask where's his outrage over these kid's real deaths, not the staged ones he launched missiles at Syria over. It deserves to be retweeted millions of times. Unfortunately, sadists are incapable of being shamed; they just grin at such pics while congratulating themselves. Betcha the Trump dossier got it backwards--It was Trump who pissed all over the Russian women.
librul , Aug 9, 2018 4:29:31 PM | 10
@8

It isn't about you.

Mark2 , Aug 9, 2018 4:38:58 PM | 11
Almasdarnews. Com. Are reporting a massive Israile army convoy heading for Gaza bigger than enything seen since 2014 ! This looks serious ! The whole dam world picture is looking way beyond serious !!!
james , Aug 9, 2018 4:41:56 PM | 12
kudos the exceptional nation in support of those other exceptional nations - ksa and israel...

everyone else on the planet want to know when this horror will end...

Ahh, thats why. The Saudis are incompetent and vile, but trust the us to be even more incompetent and even more vile and putrid.
This is horrible! I see it and can not really do much. It is a never ending story of innocent people being killed off. But it does nurture a solid and hot hate to those people who are architects of this. They feel safe and secured, but they are sitting on a volcano, and when it goes, they will go too. Maybe a Gadaffi end.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe , Aug 9, 2018 4:42:25 PM | 13

Ahh, thats why. The Saudis are incompetent and vile, but trust the us to be even more incompetent and even more vile and putrid.
This is horrible! I see it and can not really do much. It is a never ending story of innocent people being killed off. But it does nurture a solid and hot hate to those people who are architects of this. They feel safe and secured, but they are sitting on a volcano, and when it goes, they will go too. Maybe a Gadaffi end.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Aug 9, 2018 4:42:25 PM | 13 /div

Den Lille Abe , Aug 9, 2018 5:01:23 PM | 14
Hate is a hefty spice; it can make you blind to reason, it can make you oblivious to truth, and make you inoculated against love. But hate controlled, is also a drug that is powerful and useful, hate nurtured and fed can move mountains and empires. Hate is good in manageable doses and wrecking in large ones. But take it at own risk.
Christian Chuba , Aug 9, 2018 5:17:15 PM | 15
The KSA isn't even trying to hide their evil.

They are claiming these are legitimate military targets, they targeted 'militants', the Houthis use 'child soldiers', and use human shields. I bet Nikki Haley still thinks they are the most wonderful people ever, on the front lines, fighting against the real monsters, Iran.

Guerrero , Aug 9, 2018 5:26:14 PM | 16
This is terrible.
karlof1 , Aug 9, 2018 5:30:35 PM | 17
Here's the Twitter post I mentioned using the same pic b chose.
Circe , Aug 9, 2018 5:30:42 PM | 18
@10

What's that supposed to mean??? Trump is President! Aren't you excusing Trump by dredging up Obama's shet? That excuse not to criticize Trump is getting real old.

Yeah, Right , Aug 9, 2018 5:31:45 PM | 19
@15 Nah, Christian, you are clearly wrong. Nikki would consider KSA to have the 2nd most wonderful people ever, with the USA holding the Bronze Medal position. There is no doubt who she holds as The Chosen People.


Mark2 , Aug 9, 2018 5:52:53 PM | 20
Don't let this stuff get normalised ! That's why they do it in plain site. It desensitises the dumb public
i e trump supporters in u s, torys in uk. We should be feeling outrage and hatered towards the people that
do this . Including our own governments.
ToivoS , Aug 9, 2018 5:59:38 PM | 21
#10 circe

No one is excusing Trump. The point that needs to be emphasized is that the War Party has two wings: repubs and dems. Every last president since WWII has put the interests of imperial conquest over the interests of the American people. Bill Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump (as well as all of their wannabes Gore, Kerry, McCain HRC) were and are war mongers. They are united in their lust for killing children (don't forget Madeline Albright with her "it was worth it" over the 500,000 babies Clinton killed through sanctions).

Mark2 , Aug 9, 2018 6:14:14 PM | 22
This evening #switch off bbc is trending number one on Twitter and number four world wide! Time we all pushback. on the net,on the streets, everywhere we can.no justice no peace !
ToivoS , Aug 9, 2018 6:21:20 PM | 23
Mark2 opines It desensitises the dumb public i e trump supporters

Are you serious? You should listen to my college educated colleagues (more than half with professional degrees) most of whom are democrats and not one who voted for Trump. When it comes to war against Syria, Libya, threats against Russia they are true blooded war mongers. Actually worse than Trump supporters because they in general oppose those wars or war threats.

Bart Hansen , Aug 9, 2018 6:26:32 PM | 24
For more terrorist reading in the Middle East by Number 2 Democracy -

https://mondoweiss.net/2018/08/eyewitness-passengers-antibiotics/

Mark2 , Aug 9, 2018 6:32:10 PM | 25
Toivos @ 23
Dumb is as dumb does! They come in all shapes sizes and political party's . Trumps a greedy pig puts children in cages and is a kkk racist don't make excuses he's a monster full stop!
Don't give me eny of that o but, o but blah blah.!!!
Pft , Aug 9, 2018 6:33:12 PM | 26
Mark2@20

It already is normalized. Go look at many of the comments on MSM (left and right) and so called progressive sites. Hopefully those are all astroturfers but I suspect many are real folks. Its luny tunes. They live in the Matrix and are blissfully unaware. Like something out of 1984 during the 2 minute hate but its 24/7 , or maybe walking dead if the WD could type or talk.

Toxik , Aug 9, 2018 6:36:01 PM | 27
as a parent, I feel the loss. as an American, I feel disgusted.
Jen , Aug 9, 2018 6:40:31 PM | 28
Another sterling example of how the US teaches its allies to be incompetent, vicious and cowardly in targeting and killing those least able to fight back.
Piotr Berman , Aug 9, 2018 6:46:23 PM | 29
O Canada! Recently, I praised them as "New Trumpland". But why did they forget that silence can be golden? Apparently, it dawned on PM that his party is called "liberal" and thus it must make "liberal calls"*. But what cause should be selected? Massacres and starvation of cute emaciated children? Conservative predecessor of current PM got ca. 7 G USD contract for "vehicles" (motorized infantly?) for KSA, and Trudeau will not endanger precious Canadian jobs. After leaving the task to the Foreign Minister (Freedland, Feminazi**), the plight of women right activists in KSA with family members in Canada.

Canada cannot yield to Saudi Arabia's deranged overreaction
The regime's reaction to a couple of tweets is more about snuffing out its own country's voices of dissent
Iyad El-Baghdadi, Amarnath Amarasingam · for CBC News · Posted: Aug 09, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: August 9

If Canada folds, some fear that a line would be drawn in the sand, and behind that line, petty Arab dictators could do what they want with their activist communities, without as much as a complaint from the world. (Cliff Owen/Associated Press)

=====

Of course Canada cannot yield. For starters, it is unclear what would appease the irate Crown Prince. Perhaps Trudeau and Friedland coming together to KSA to submit to a public flogging. But judging from the titles I have seen, Canadians cherish "delicate balance", and they though that an occasional complaint that is not 100% aligned with USA and principal customers of Canadian products should be safe.

karlof1 , Aug 9, 2018 6:49:11 PM | 30
ToivoS @23--

Agreed. When it comes to knowing the Truth of the Outlaw US Empire's overseas deeds, most people are illiterate/ignorant. They hang the flag aside their front porch and feel righteous. The only reason we don't have multitudes of people saluting whoever's POTUS and chanting Sieg Heil is because in the back of their tiny minds they somehow know that's incorrect behavior but don't know why. Some provided feedback on Michael Hudson's going autobiographical saying his upbringing seemed unreal--faked--thus showing how little they know of WW2 Home Front US history when people were much more informed and politically savvy.

It seems safe to say that Animal Farm & 1984 have both put down extensive roots within the Outlaw US Empire to the point where digging up and destroying those weeds will cause major social damage. Can't make an omelet without breaking eggs is how the saying goes. But a positive outcome isn't the only possibility.

Mark2 , Aug 9, 2018 6:49:27 PM | 31
We need to remember this' the about left or right ! That's just devide and rule. This about the 1% killing off the 99%
Agend 21.what they are doing to Yemen people now they will do to you next.
karlof1 , Aug 9, 2018 7:01:30 PM | 32
jen @28--

The deliberate targeting of civilians is Outlaw US Empire policy since WW2 despite it being a War Crime. Guernica was an outrage, but Powell had it covered up since spoke directly to US actions since the paint dried in 1937. The School Bus was yet another of all too many Guernicas that have occurred since. Someone mentioned desensitized. Yes, on an International Scale. It was an act of Terror, but how many are describing it as such? BigLie Media? Not a chance if they show/mention it at all.

I know you feel as I do, but I needed to vent.

dh , Aug 9, 2018 7:06:13 PM | 33
@29 '...Canadians cherish "delicate balance",...'

I'm not sure we should generalize about Canadians. Trudeau is trying to satisfy his base and presumably staying true to his own liberal convictions. But I've met Canadians who dislike him intensely. They do not think gender politics, welcoming refugees, settling native land claims, lecturing Saudi Arabia etc. is the best way to maintain a high standard of living.

Peter Schmidt , Aug 9, 2018 7:08:48 PM | 34
Israel demanded - and BBC changed its headline. In a headline, BBC claimed that "Israeli air strikes 'kill pregnant woman and baby.'" After some time, BBC changed its title to "Gaza air strikes 'kill woman and child' after rockets hit Israel
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/250275
Peter Schmidt , Aug 9, 2018 7:13:26 PM | 35
A good comment from HistoryHacker (Guardian web page), I thought I share it:

"Let's see: in 1913 the British grabbed Iranian oil and made it their property. Six years later, Britain imposed another agreement and took over Iran's treasury and the army. During the Second World War, Britain's requisitioning of food led to famine and widespread disease. Shortly after that war, Iran's own efforts to establish its nascent democracy and nationalize the oil industry were thwarted. And by whom? Eisenhower joined the systematic British looting, and, sadly, by 1953, the blossoming Iranian democracy was completely destroyed by the covert operation of the American CIA and British MI6, known as Operation Ajax. In place of the democracy was installed Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, a US-British puppet, a despot deeply hated by his own people.
America picked up the baton, and here's Trump going bat crazy!
What could Iranians possibly think?! What do you think?"

Piotr Berman , Aug 9, 2018 7:40:19 PM | 36
@29 '...Canadians cherish "delicate balance",...'
I am not sure we should generalize about Canadians. Posted by: dh | Aug 9, 2018 7:06:13 PM | 33

I tried to make it clear that "Canadians" refer to my observations on titles from Canadian media as reported by Google News.

dh , Aug 9, 2018 7:58:27 PM | 37
@36 I knew that PB. Excuse my inadequate attempt to emulate your tone.

But I think it's true that Canadians enjoy a high standard of living mainly because of things like water, oil, minerals, wheat, lumber etc. and most prefer not to get involved in Saudi Arabian politics.

Virgile , Aug 9, 2018 8:03:42 PM | 38
I hope that Canada will finally lead heavy public condemnation of the Saudi-UAE coalition murderous actions in Yemen. Canada has nothing to loose anymore, it is high time it take a serious stand on the 3 years human rights abuse of the Yemenis.
It should indirectly send a dissaproval message to the USA on its complicity in these war crimes...
Maybe it is time for Canada, to reinstate diplomatic relation with Iran to snub the Saudis and the USA, but I am dreaming...
.
TG , Aug 9, 2018 8:04:08 PM | 39
"But I think it's true that Canadians enjoy a high standard of living mainly because of things like water, oil, minerals, wheat, lumber etc. "

Not quite. It's because of water, oil, minerals, wheat lumber, etc., AND they don't breed like rodents.

India has plenty of resources - adjusting for the cold climate in Canada, probably about as much as Canada, effectively. It's just that these resources don't go that far split up 1.4 billion ways and counting.

And Yemen? With very little water, and one of the highest fertility rates in the world, what do you expect?

CarlD , Aug 9, 2018 8:05:49 PM | 40
out of subject.

What to make of the new sanctions put in place by the State Dept against Russia?

What about those on Iran?

Are these implemented to generate WAR?

Whether it be against Russia, Iran or China, The US attitude is orchestrated by
Zion/Israel.

Why deal with the US when Israel is the culprit?

Wiping out Israel is the solution. Obliterating Israel will certainly ease
the World's woes.

Of course, targeted assassinations should be carried out.

Short of this, Netanyahu should be kept waiting for days whitout being able
to meet Putin. His ambassador should be expelled and the Russian Ambassador to Israel recalled.

Sanction Israel in every way possible. Break the Gaza Siege. Wipe out Israel's
Navy. Down its jets over Lebanon. Kill its Jericho rockets at lift off.

The World will certainly be a better place.

Sasha , Aug 9, 2018 8:05:52 PM | 41
@Posted by: Circe | Aug 9, 2018 4:16:06 PM | 8

I was going to say something in the same vein but you saved me the effort. I am really sick of this.

Is not this woman the spokesperson of the DoS of Trump administration?

https://twitter.com/walid970721/status/1027137513570414593

There is also the documented presence of American forces and officers in the operations room of the Saudi coalition....These guys have not been sent there by Obama...I guess....

https://twitter.com/abcdaee198/status/1027649243568386055

But what most makes me feel sick is not that American commenters out there, well payed or volunteer, insist after two years already on this cantinele, what takes me out of my nerves is that the Russians insist...in throwing balls out with certain issues....

https://twitter.com/mfa_russia/status/1027197665845673985


Sasha , Aug 9, 2018 8:20:02 PM | 42
@Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 9, 2018 4:38:58 PM | 11

But what could have really happened? Just yesterday or the day before I was reading that Israel and Hamas were in negotiations...From that to this...I wonder what could be the breaking point...

Anyone has any information/ link?

dh , Aug 9, 2018 8:23:24 PM | 43
@39 Well yes...er I mean no...er bluster bluster....here comes Malthus again.
karlof1 , Aug 9, 2018 8:44:37 PM | 44
Sasha @42--

Talks were a ruse as usual . Supposedly, a cease fire was in place but was broken as reported at the link. Ongoing protests against the "Nationality Law" continue and go unreported as usual. The continuing murder of Gazans serves as cover.

spudski , Aug 9, 2018 8:56:04 PM | 45
@37, "But I think it's true that Canadians enjoy a high standard of living mainly because of things like water, oil, minerals, wheat, lumber etc. and most prefer not to get involved in Saudi Arabian politics."

As a lifelong Canuckistani, my view is that Canada is the world's largest mine - and it is not mine.

dh , Aug 9, 2018 9:09:03 PM | 46
@45 But I understand it's not as easy to get mining permits as it used to be. Lot of environmentalists and first nations lawyers involved. Which is why Canadian mining companies move to Africa.
michaelj72 , Aug 9, 2018 9:12:39 PM | 47
the USA will perhaps suffer blowback, both at home and in many places 'strategic' to its Empire, for generation or two to come, for all the horrible and savage war crimes perpetuated by it and its allies on the poor people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, and especially now Yemen, the poorest of the poor - the sorrows of Empire
Pft , Aug 9, 2018 9:12:47 PM | 48
Spudski@45

Spending only 1% of GDP on military helps support your healthcare system too.

Neoliberalism will get you in the end. Trump going to push on NAFTA and our buddy the Saudis giving you a push.

Daniel , Aug 9, 2018 9:18:43 PM | 49
The US provides the in-flight refueling that makes these bombing sorties possible. The "Five Eyes" provides the surveillance that picks the targets, and the navigation to hit them.

KSA is doing precisely what the AZ Empire requires of it. Just as the British Royals and their banker sponsors dictated over a century ago, so does the Empire direct these heinous crimes today.

If the Saud Royals ever did go "rogue," they'd be taken out just as the AZ Empire has done time and time again.

Daniel , Aug 9, 2018 9:25:35 PM | 50
CarlD, the purpose of sanctions is to hurt the citizens of a country enough that they will rise up and revolt against their ruling class.

The AZ Empire has been striving for complete global dominance for a long time, and that means either destroying Russia and China or at least installing "friendly" governments. Hence, sanctions, "trade wars," and infiltration to foment "color revolutions."

CarlD , Aug 9, 2018 9:32:33 PM | 51
50 @ Daniel

And who is behind all of this?

Ian , Aug 9, 2018 9:49:38 PM | 52
Saudi state news agency: "strikes were carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law."

Ugh...

Chipnik , Aug 9, 2018 10:14:45 PM | 53
4

Pence's new Space Command is a blatant telltale that the twice-hacked and never-audited Pentagon has a massive hemorrhage of funds and Trump will be demanding ANOTHER $40B budget increase for Pentagon to paper over a huge Deep Purple Hole in the Bucket.

Chipnik , Aug 9, 2018 10:23:59 PM | 54
40

I was just saying something similar about a more direct way to change A-Z politics to a friend on FB today, with anecdotes from the past as examples, but within the hour, FB delinked our pages so we can't correspond. All part of the Perpetual Now© End of History campaign across pan-media towards a totally-scripted CGI-enhanced Marvel-ously fictional non-reality. With lizard people from Niburu, lol.

Pft , Aug 9, 2018 10:27:32 PM | 55
So Saudis sanction Canada but will still let the oil flow to them (2billion a year) and the US sanctions Russia but will still buy space rockets from them , and they will still sell them to us. Trade war with China but they still buy US Treasuries to finance US debt. British owned BBC rents out their studios to RT to help Russia with their propaganda

LOL. Enjoy the show, more to come

Circe , Aug 9, 2018 10:34:32 PM | 56
@21TS

You expressed it correctly, but @4, 10 I suspect is Trumpgod can do no wrong.

It's a Zionist-rigged system, where Kucinich and Ron Paul didn't stand a chance; to name a mere two of the uncorrupted.

To add to the insanity of this Saudi massacre, Israel's at it again in Gaza. Damn!

It's all Zionist-driven.

Pft , Aug 9, 2018 10:40:02 PM | 57
Carl D@51

Woodrow Wilson : "Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it."

Today some call them ruling or power elites, global elites for the most part. Elites is an interesting word whose origins come from the french word for chosen and latin word for elect.

Piotr Berman , Aug 9, 2018 10:51:43 PM | 58
Some general remarks about Canada:

1. Wealth from natural resources. This is a bit of mixed blessing, because with some exceptions, mining is very capital intensive, so the profit margins are so-so, and job creation is also so-so. Canada is blessed with nice mix of extracting industries, agriculture, "normal" manufacturing, financial centers etc. They also have somewhat reasonable spending in terms value for money in health and military sectors, saving ca. 10% of GDP between the two compared with the less rational southern neighbor Perhaps this is still short of 10%, but USA also wastes money and human resources on prison complex and other inanities.

2. Liberal Canada. Domestically, I do not know enough, but "harmonizing with USA" could please some conservatives while being too expensive to implement. On foreign policy they stick to the worst of liberalism, not standing much for anything, even for their beloved Vilna Ukrayina, although converting Ukraine to land of milk and honey with capable military and a reasonable level of corruption is beyond capacity of any foreign power. But they implemented what used to be totally unjustifiable insult, "feminazi". That said, conservatives learned from Trump to raise mind boggling issue and gain in polls, lately, how to stop hordes of "deplorables" crossing the border. I guess a cheapish solution would be to create a network of recreational trails with very confusing mapping (even GPS) and totally confusing signage, and plant some smilax = green briar or other thorny plants to impede hiking according to compass directions. A note on GPS maps based on satellite pictures: software has very hard time telling dead ends from actually passable trail connections.

3. Populist-progressive Canada of my dreams. Declare the conflicts with KSA and Trump to be matters of national dignity, punish KSA by stopping delivery of military vehicles per Harper's contract and purchases of oil, replace the latter with Iranian. Would Trump dare to impose secondary sanctions, fine American companies in Canada.

Circe , Aug 9, 2018 11:18:38 PM | 59
Why is it that the Zionist media were up in arms every time White Helmets were digging Syrian children out of rubble or dousing them with hoses?

Dozens of children were slaughtered in Yemen, and many more maimed and injured and hundreds of thousands are being subjected to famine but there's only deafening silence on the Zionist-run media.

Syrian children had propaganda value; Yemeni children have no value at all. Americans, Zionists and Saudis are sick and depraved.

Piotr Berman , Aug 9, 2018 11:38:00 PM | 60
A little correction to Circe, Aug 9 11:18:38 PM. SELECTED Syrian children were newsworthy, a recent massacre by ISIS in Sweida was newsworthy only as an example of a failure by "the regime". An earlier example, when majority of people of Greater Aleppo lived in the western part controlled by Damascus, "Aleppo" meant only the eastern part, controlled by the "moderate" rebels, and victims of moderate massacres and shelling were totally un-newsworthy.
Pft , Aug 10, 2018 12:06:44 AM | 61
Piotr@58

Natural resources drive 20 per cent of the economy -- and about 10 per cent of all the jobs in Canada. These natural resources also help Canada attract manufacturing and value added business that utilize domestically produced metals, fuel and timber (as opposed to more expensive imports) Profit motive is overstated, large companies are focused more on income growth and market share. The jobs that are produced are good paying jobs as well

I'd rather have more good paying capital intensive industries than low pay labour intensive service and manufacturing industries that may generate more profits but which end up mostly in CEO and top managements bank accounts

Frankly, the mystery is why America has not invaded Canada and taken over since we last tried in 1812. :>)

dh , Aug 10, 2018 12:10:13 AM | 62
@58 Support in Canada for Ukraine is mainly concentrated in Ukrainian communities in Alberta I believe. They form a quite significant voting block.
ben , Aug 10, 2018 12:21:33 AM | 63
Mark2 @ 31 said:"We need to remember this' the about left or right ! That's just devide and rule. This about the 1% killing off the 99% "

Yep, bottom line statement. From austerity to all neoliberal policies, and the world-wide wars now going on, are basically nothing more than class warfare directed at the 99% to enrich the already rich.

Profits uber alles. Avarice uber alles..

Piotr Berman , Aug 10, 2018 12:46:21 AM | 64
Frankly, the mystery is why America has not invaded Canada and taken over since we last tried in 1812. :>)

Posted by: Pft | Aug 10, 2018 12:06:44 AM | 61

Absorbing Canada could undermine political balance in USA leading to such calamities like socialized medicine, legal marijuana etc. Keeping them on Puerto Rico status is not tenable given the ethnic composition -- too many English speaking whites. If we could just annex Alberta...

Jen , Aug 10, 2018 12:50:16 AM | 65
Bang on cue, TG @ 39 uses a comment about Canada's standard of living (brought about in part by its governments' spending on transport infrastructure - in particular, transcontinental railways - that stimulated job growth and enabled the agricultural and manufactured wealth of the provinces to be spread across the nation and to be exported overseas) to push a racist opinion about how poor countries are at fault for being poor because their people don't have access to birth control measures made in rich countries.
Hoarsewhisperer , Aug 10, 2018 12:51:44 AM | 66
...
..for all the horrible and savage war crimes perpetuated by it and its allies on the poor people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, and especially now Yemen, the poorest of the poor - the sorrows of Empire.
Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 9, 2018 9:12:39 PM | 47

Kipling summed it up with grim irony in three words:
White Man's Burden
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Man%27s_Burden

Jen , Aug 10, 2018 12:56:00 AM | 67
Pft @ 61, Piotr Berman & 64:

The British and the Americans signed a treaty in 1819 to respect one another's borders in North America. The treaty was renegotiated in 1846.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_1818

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Treaty

Hoarsewhisperer , Aug 10, 2018 1:07:20 AM | 68
White man's burden...
A phrase used to justify European imperialism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; it is the title of a poem by Rudyard Kipling. The phrase implies that imperialism was motivated by a high-minded desire of whites to uplift people of color.
Amir , Aug 10, 2018 1:15:15 AM | 69
Part of the targeting assurance happens by looking at unexpected "gaps" in electronic communication signals. When there is a lot of cellphone communication noise" where is is suddenly absent, despite presence of humans, indicated an interesting anomaly for target acquisitions.
To confuse the enemy, these "silent spots" should be mirrored in different locations. They counter The selectief bias.

During WWII, RAF lost planes to German AAA. They wondered where armor them up?
Counterintuitively, the mathematician Abraham Wald explained that, if a plane makes it back safely despite a bunch of bullet holes in its wings, it means that bullet holes in the wings aren't very dangerous.
Where you really need the armor, are the areas that, on average, don't have any bullet holes.

Why? Because planes with bullet holes in those places never made it back. That's why you don't see any bullet holes there on the ones that do return.

Daniel , Aug 10, 2018 1:17:34 AM | 70
Posted by: CarlD @ 51 "And who is behind all of this?"

Wouldn't you agree that the PTSB are, as Paul Simon wrote, A Loose Affiliation of Billionaires?

The way I see it, the pinnacle of the pyramid are members of the dynasties that have controlled the finance system for centuries. Rothschilds, Warburgs, the Vatican, the European Royal Families and such. They profit off of everything, since all revenues generated by all industries pass through their sticky fingers, in addition to their Central Banking cabal that almost every country on earth is fully beholden to.

They are not a monolith, in that they compete with one another, but they all share interest in keeping this system in place.

Then, at the next level down there are the members of the Nouveau Riche, like the Rockefellers and Carneigies whose wealth was only generated a couple generations ago, and the even newer rich who do not have dynastic power (yet), but do wield enough wealth to influence the actions of the Empire, like the MIC "Daddy Warbucks" and tech industry newcomers.

And of course, there are the upper-level managers of Empire like Kissinger, Brzezenski, Soros, etc.

NemesisCalling , Aug 10, 2018 1:20:53 AM | 71
We have seen images of dead children of warfare before. I am not sure if it helps the antiwar cause. I will have to go read Susan Sontag's "The Pain of Others." In any case, thanks for posting it, b.

Will DJT order a retaliatory strike on KSA after being so moved by these photos like he was when the children of the fake gas attacks in Syria were being paraded around on the msm? I think not. Sad!

Daniel , Aug 10, 2018 1:38:19 AM | 72
Posted by: Pft | Aug 10, 2018 12:06:44 AM | 61:
"Frankly, the mystery is why America has not invaded Canada and taken over since we last tried in 1812. :>)"

Canada and the US are both members of the Five Eyes. Clearly, their roles in the great chessboard are different. But the way I see it, the nation-states are fictions that serve the charade of representative democratic self-rule.

[Aug 10, 2018] Russia blasts new US sanctions as 'theatre of the absurd'

Aug 10, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Russian officials reacted with outrage and markets slumped on Thursday morning following the announcement of tough new US sanctions over Russia's alleged use of a nerve agent in the Salisbury attack.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the sanctions were "absolutely unlawful and don't conform to international law", as politicians vowed to respond with countermeasures, which could include bans on the exports of rockets or resources for manufacturing.

"The theatre of the absurd continues," tweeted Dmitry Polyanskiy, first deputy permanent representative of Russia to the UN. "No proofs, no clues, no logic, no presumption of innocence, just highly-likelies. Only one rule: blame everything on Russia, no matter how absurd and fake it is. Let us welcome the United Sanctions of America!"

One senior Russian MP called the US a "police state".

A member of the Duma's foreign affairs committee, Leonid Slutsky, said Russia could block exports of RD-180 rocket engines to the US as a potential countermeasure, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The United States announced on Wednesday that it would impose restrictions on the export of sensitive technology to Russia because of its use of a nerve agent in the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.

The State Department said the new sanctions would come into effect on 22 August and would be followed by much more sweeping measures, such as suspending diplomatic relations and revoking Aeroflot landing rights, if Russia did not take "remedial" action within 90 days.

Moscow is not expected to agree to the response required by US legislation, which includes opening up Russian scientific and security facilities to international inspections to assess whether it is producing chemical and biological weapons in violation of international law.

"Certainly it is really up to Russia to make that decision, whether they meet this criteria," a senior administration official said. "The second round of sanctions are in general more draconian than the first round."

Another senior state department official said the US received in March "persuasive information" from the UK that Russia was behind the attack. It made its own determination last weekend and was now acting on the basis of "objective facts" and "legal requirements".

Russian markets took the news poorly. Stocks in Aeroflot, the country's national carrier, fell by 12% in trading before lunchtime on Thursday over concerns that its direct flights between Russia and the US could be halted entirely.

Russia's currency, the rouble, fell to below 66 to the US dollar, a 4% slide from Wednesday morning that began with the leak of a separate draft sanctions bill that could see Russia named a state sponsor of terror.

The US has already expelled 60 suspected Russian spies as part of a global response to the March attack in Salisbury against Sergei Skripal , a former colonel in Russian military intelligence, and his daughter, Yulia , in which a rare and potent Russian-made nerve agent, novichok, was found to have been used.

[Aug 10, 2018] Russian Ruble Leads World Currency Losses on New U.S. Sanctions

Notable quotes:
"... Earlier, Russia's Kommersant newspaper posted the draft introduced last week by a bipartisan group of legislators. The bill includes proposals to sanction new sovereign debt and block dollar transactions of the nation's biggest lenders. The bill includes proposals to sanction new sovereign debt and block dollar transactions of the nation's biggest lenders. ..."
"... Traders are particularly concerned by a clause that calls for prohibiting "all transactions in all property and interests in property" of some of the country's largest lenders. Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Promsvyazbank, Rosselkhozbank and Vnesheconombank are listed. ..."
"... The bill also seeks penalties on energy projects and a survey of President Vladimir Putin's net worth. It follows reports of Russia's ongoing efforts to sway U.S. elections, new efforts to hack U.S. senators, and intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | www.bloomberg.com

Earlier, Russia's Kommersant newspaper posted the draft introduced last week by a bipartisan group of legislators. The bill includes proposals to sanction new sovereign debt and block dollar transactions of the nation's biggest lenders. The bill includes proposals to sanction new sovereign debt and block dollar transactions of the nation's biggest lenders.

"The Kommersant publication was the straw that broke the camel's back," said Denis Davydov, an analyst at Nordea Bank in Moscow. "It's important to be able to read and assess the actual bill."

Market Jitters

No action will be taken on the draft until the House is back from summer recess in September, leaving room for more market jitters through the end of the month. But with President Donald Trump calling for closer ties with Russia, and the U.S. Treasury warning earlier this year against sanctioning the sovereign debt market, it's uncertain the bill will make it into law.

Traders are particularly concerned by a clause that calls for prohibiting "all transactions in all property and interests in property" of some of the country's largest lenders. Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Promsvyazbank, Rosselkhozbank and Vnesheconombank are listed.

The draft also includes Bank of Moscow, which was merged into VTB in 2016, while Vnesheconombank is listed twice in the text, without explanation.

'Crushing Russia'

"If you start crushing Russia by causing the banking system to collapse as a result of sanctions, it could actually lead to worse political outcomes than what you have right now," Khan said. "The key rule of sanctions is that you want to keep some in reserve because if you use your worst sanctions then what do you follow it up with?"

The bill also seeks penalties on energy projects and a survey of President Vladimir Putin's net worth. It follows reports of Russia's ongoing efforts to sway U.S. elections, new efforts to hack U.S. senators, and intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

Lawmakers from both parties have also been sharply critical of President Donald Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki last month, saying Trump hasn't done enough to hold Russia accountable.

[Aug 10, 2018] US slanders Russia with new sanctions over Skripal poisoning hoax

This is attack on ruble. Kind of Magnitsky II set of moves. Strange if view of Trump supposed attempt to split Russia and China in Helsinki. You should chose a single target in such cases.
Sanctions weaken the effect of Iranian sanctions. While the goal is to undermine the Russian economy -- the effect of negative expectations is always stronger than a onetime action -- 90 days allow to avoid big financial losses for major banks. The requirement of inspection of Russia objects is from Iraq war textbook.
Notable quotes:
"... Russian Ruble has fallen to a new 2018 low against the American dollar. Trading went over 66 rubles to the dollar. ..."
"... This marks almost a 20% devaluation in the currency since April of this year, and the worst valuation since mid-November, 2016. ..."
"... For our part, we reiterated our principle [sic] stands on the events in the UK, which the Embassy had been outlining in corresponding letters to the State Department. We confirmed that we continue to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury and for bringing the culprits to justice , ..."
"... This pattern of throwing out destructive slander while refusing to provide opportunity for a real answer has permeated American policy towards the Russian Federation with increasing intensity since 2013. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | theduran.com
sanctions was apparently enough to create jitters on the Russian stock exchanges, and the Russian Ruble has fallen to a new 2018 low against the American dollar. Trading went over 66 rubles to the dollar.

This marks almost a 20% devaluation in the currency since April of this year, and the worst valuation since mid-November, 2016.

This incident has not gone unanswered in Moscow. The Russian Embassy in the United States called for documentation about the source and reasoning behind these new sanctions, as reported by TASS:

The Russian embassy in the United States has called on the US Department of State to publish correspondence on the introduction of new sanctions on Moscow over the Skripal incident, the embassy said in a statement.

" For our part, we reiterated our principle [sic] stands on the events in the UK, which the Embassy had been outlining in corresponding letters to the State Department. We confirmed that we continue to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury and for bringing the culprits to justice , " the statement reads.

"We suggested publishing our correspondence on this issue. No answer has followed so far," the Russian embassy added.

This pattern of throwing out destructive slander while refusing to provide opportunity for a real answer has permeated American policy towards the Russian Federation with increasing intensity since 2013. It reveals the machinations of a very divided American government, with the "deep State" or establishment politicians and foreign policy makers completely unwilling to even give Russia a fair shake at representing itself. This policy is shared by the United Kingdom, as this piece by The Duran's Editor in Chief, Alexander Mercouris shows, with this summary of violations of due process the British authorities are committing with regard to Russia:

(1) The British government is interfering in the conduct of a criminal investigation, with Prime Minister Theresa May and especially Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pointing fingers at who they say is guilty (Russia) whilst the criminal investigation is still underway;

(2) The British government has said that unless Russia proves itself innocent within a specific time the British government will conclude that it is guilty. As I have explained previously this reverses the burden of proof : in a criminal case it is the prosecution which is supposed to prove the defendant's guilt, not the defendant who must prove his innocence;

(3) The British government refuses to share with Russia -- the party it says is guilty -- the 'evidence' upon which it says it has concluded that Russia is guilty, the evidence in this case being a sample of the chemical with which it says Sergey and Yulia Skripal was poisoned.

This violates the fundamental principle that the defendant must be provided with all the evidence against him so that he can properly prepare his defence;

(4) The British government is not following the procedure set out in Article IX (2) of the Chemical Weapons Convention to which both Britain and Russia are parties. This reads as follows

States Parties should, whenever possible, first make every effort to clarify and resolve, through exchange of information and consultations among themselves, any matter which may cause doubt about compliance with this Convention, or which gives rise to concerns about a related matter which may be considered ambiguous. A State Party which receives a request from another State Party for clarification of any matter which the requesting State Party believes causes such a doubt or concern shall provide the requesting State Party as soon as possible, but in any case not later than ten days after the request, with information sufficient to answer the doubt or concern raised along with an explanation of how the information provided resolves the matter.

(5) The British authorities are denying the Russians consular access to Yulia Skripal, though she is a Russian citizen who the British authorities say was subjected to a criminal assault on their territory.

This is a potentially serious matter since by preventing consular access to Yulia Skripal the British authorities are not only violating the interstate consular arrangements which exist between Britain and Russia, but they are preventing the Russian authorities from learning more about the condition of one of their citizens who has been hospitalised following a violent criminal assault, and are preventing the Russian authorities from carrying out their own investigation into the assault on one of their citizens which the British authorities say has taken place.

I would add that this obstruction of Russian consular access to Yulia Skripal has gone almost entirely unreported in the British and Western media.

The Americans are playing the same game here, and, regrettably, President Trump's overtures towards repairing this relationship are almost sure to be torn out from under him by the actions of this virulent group of people. It is quite possible that this is the very reason for these new sanctions.

The perspective of the American government as one divided, with a rabid force in favor of continuing to isolate and vilify a great power in the world for no good reason, is sure to have repercussions. However, given the gradual realignment of Russia and China to be in closer and closer partnership, and Russia's increasing prominence in Asian and Eastern Hemisphere affairs, the end result of this behavior is likely to damage the United States and its standing in the world over the long run.

Shadow1275 Thu, 08/09/2018 - 23:21 Permalink

The National Socialist Workers Party:

1. Implemented Health care

2. Outlawed firearms

3. Froze Wages

4. Focused on government work projects

5. Implemented controls on Free Speech

6. Focused on violence through brownshirt stormtroopers who beat up any who disagreed

7. Had an intelligence service which focused on crushing dissent and spying on its own people

8. Placed more power in the central government and state then any Nation before it.

All of the above are things proposed or carried out by leftists. It is almost as if the true parties espoused by people are those who support individualism and those who support collectivism. Spoiler alert for the Leftist retards: Power corrupts and Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Your Statist Sanders Utopia will never come to fruition. The "Kind Socialist Politicians" will sell you out to the elite in a heartbeat.

All you are doing is focusing the power of your society into one single glass for the Elite to sip as they assfuck you into oblivion, Death toll of all of these Statist Nations, IE Imperial Japan, Soviet Union, Communist China, the People's "Republic" of Korea, etc is over 200,000,000 and counting.

How is it that the acronym NAZI Literally has the word SOCIALIST in it and people still think they were right wing??? Why is this such a hard concept to grasp for the average individual?

.....And how is Trump like Hitler exactly???????

[Aug 10, 2018] Butina Case Neo-McCarthyism Engulfs America

Several US lobbing organizations leadership should probably also be arrested if the same criteria is applied...
Aug 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Phillip Giraldi via The Stratgeic Culture Foundation,

The United States Department of Justice would apparently have you believe that the Kremlin sought to subvert the five-million-member strong National Rifle Association (NRA) by having two Russian citizens take out life memberships in the organization with the intention of corrupting it and turning it into a mouthpiece for President Vladimir Putin.

Both of the Russians – Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin – have, by the way, long well documented histories as advocates for gun ownership and were founders of Right to Bear Arms, which is not an intelligence front organization of some kind and is rather a genuine lobbying group with an active membership and agenda.

Contrary to what has been reported in the mainstream media, Russians can own guns but the licensing and registration procedures are long and complicated, which Right to Bear Arms, modeling itself on the NRA, is seeking to change.

Maria Butina, a graduate student at American University, is now in solitary confinement in a federal prison, having been charged with collusion with Torshin and failure to register as an agent of the Russian Federation. It is unusual to arrest and confine someone who has failed to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, but she has not been granted bail because, as a Russian citizen, she is considered to be a "flight risk," likely to try to flee the US and return home. It is to be presumed that she is being pressured to identify others involved in her alleged scheme to overthrow American democracy through NRA membership.

Indeed, in any event, it would be difficult to imagine why anyone would consider the NRA to be a legitimate intelligence target. It only flexes its admitted powerful legislative muscles over issues relating to gun ownership, not regarding policy on Russia. In short, Butina and by extension Torshin appear to have done nothing wrong. Both are energetic advocates for their country and guns rights, which they appear to believe in, and Butina's aggressive networking has broken no law except not registering, which in itself assumes that she is a Russian government agent, something that has not been demonstrated. To put the shoe on the other foot, will every American who now travels to Russia and engages in political conversations with local people be suspected of acting as an agent of the US government? Once you open the door, it swings both ways.

One might dismiss the entire Affair Butina as little more than a reflection of the anti-Russia hysteria that has been sweeping the United States since Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, but that would be unfair to those remaining honest FBI agents who may have investigated Butina and Torshin and come up with what they believed to be a plausible case for an indictment . There were possibly suspicious money transfers as well as email intercepts that might be interpreted as incriminating.

But two important elements are clearly missing.

The first is motive. Did the Kremlin seriously believe that it could get anything substantial out of having a gun totin' attractive young Russian woman as a life member in the NRA? What did the presumed puppet masters in Moscow expect to obtain apart from the sorts of group photos including Butina that one gets while posing with politicians at the annual NRA convention? Sure, the photo might even evolve into a cup of coffee together, but what is the end game?

Second is the lack of any of the hallmarks of an intelligence operation, which is referred to in the business as tradecraft. Spies meet secretly or at least outside the public eye with prospective agents whereas Maria operated completely in the open and she made no effort to conceal her love for her country and her desire that Washington and Moscow normalize relations. Spies also communicate securely, which means that they use encrypted systems or various cut-outs, i.e. mis-directions, when maintaining contact with those who are running them. Again, Maria did none of that, which is why the FBI has her emails. Also spies work under what is referred to as an "operating directive" in CIA-speak where they have very specific information that they seek to obtain from their contacts. There is no indication that Maria Butina in any way sought classified information or intelligence that would relate either to the security of the United States or to America's political system. And finally, Maria made no attempt to recruit anyone and turn them into an actual controlled Russian agent, which is what spies eventually seek to do.

It has come down to this: if you are a Russian and you are caught talking to anyone in any way influential, there is potentially hell to pay because the FBI will be watching you. You are automatically assumed to be part of a conspiracy. Once "evidence" is collected, you will be indicted and sent to prison, mostly to send a message to Moscow.

It is the ultimate irony that how the old Soviet Union's judiciary used to function is now becoming standing operating procedure in the United States.

[Aug 09, 2018] Russian diplomat warns US sanctions against Iran to destabilize Middle East AMN

Aug 09, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Resumption of anti-Iranian sanctions by the US is a destructive step that might bring about destabilization in the Middle East, the Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday."

"Washington's course at bringing down the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] on the Iranian nuclear program and restoring full-scale pressure through sanctions is absolutely destructive," she said.

"There's scarcely any doubt these steps by the US administration will have long-term deplorable consequences for global nonproliferation [of the weapons of mass destruction] and will impart a destabilizing impulse to the situation in the Middle East."" AMN

---------

IMO Zakharova, the Russian spokesperson has it right.

The Israeli desire to have a less than 1% chance of an Iranian nuke existing has led us to adopt sanctions that may well bring down the present Iranian government. Unrest is growing across the country because of ever growing economic hardship. We claim that regime change is not our goal but I do not believe it. IMO Gina Haspel has been given a presidential finding that orders CIA to bring down the government and the sanctions are just part of that attempted coup.

The Iranians have every reason to distrust the US. First there was Mossadgh. Kermit Roosevelt brought him down by manipulating street mobs. Secondly there is the undoubted fact that we backed Iraq against them in the Iran-Iraq War. Now we have abandoned JCPOA, an agreement that IMO was good for everyone except the extreme right in Israel and their neanderthal friends in the US (Hannity, Varney, Keane, Pompeo etc.) Bolton I will not even mention in that list because he is such an extremist, a man who hungers for war, a man who hid from VN in the Maryland National Guard. The CIA is just doing its legally ordained task but the rest of them seem to have no comprehension of the chaos that will occur if Wilayet al-faqih falls.

Trump, Bolton and Giuliani seems to want the Mujahideen e Khalq to become the government of Iran. This passel of Islamic Marxists (spawn of Ali Shariati) actually fought against Iran as allies of Saddam's Iraq. That has never been forgotten. Why would it be? In fact they would be destroyed in short order of they attempted to form a government.

There is no other coherent body who could form a government. But, from the Israeli point of view that would be just fine. pl

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russian-diplomat-warns-us-sanctions-against-iran-to-destabilize-middle-east/


Jack , 4 hours ago

"There is no other coherent body who could form a government. But, from the Israeli point of view that would be just fine ."

Spot on, Sir. This is precisely what the Israelis want. Instability, domestic violence and chaos in all their adversaries. And they have us as their poodle to do the dirty deeds.

Pat Lang Mod -> Jack , 2 hours ago
Yup
richardstevenhack , 2 hours ago
I doubt very much that, despite any economic problems Iran may have, it is likely to have its government - still less it's form of government - overthrown. Iran has been under sanctions to one degree or another for the last fifty years. Every time the US claims the government is fraudulent or its elections are fraudulent, they've been proven wrong, most notably in 2009 when millions of Iranians took to the streets in support of the government and the election results.

The problem is this notion of "reducing Iranian oil exports to zero", as voiced by US officials. China has already dismissed that notion. So this time next year, at least China and probably India and others will be ignoring US sanctions and importing Iranian oil. Even the EU might do so.

What does Trump do then? Well, Obama suggested during his 2008 campaign to install a naval blockade, in that case to block Iranian imports of gasoline, since at the time Iran did not have enough refineries to process their own gasoline. That has since been corrected. But what if Trump is persuaded by Bonkers Bolton that this would be a good idea: a naval blockade to block Iranian oil exports?

Iran would correctly view that as an act of war and would start escorting its oil tankers, which would inevitably lead to conflict with US Navy ships ordered to interdict them. Bingo - nice way to start a war, with Trump blaming Iran and Israel sitting back blameless.

Walrus , 3 hours ago
Applying the Walrus law: "governments achieve the reverse of their stated intentions", leads me to believe that with a little help from those other pariah states, Russia and China, the Government and state of Iran will be renewed and strengthened as a result of current American policy.

To put that another way, the most effective American tools for corroding regimes are Ipads, Facebook, rappers and McDonalds.

Bill Herschel , 3 hours ago
Sanctions against Iran. Sanctions against Russia (more every day). Tariffs against China (more every day). China, Russia, Iran. These nations are going to fold and disappear. Yes, an alliance is being forced on them from without, but they are a collection of stupid people who are up against a stable genius.

Before you accuse me of being snide and flippant, remember that approximately 50%, at least, of the electorate agrees with me. And the Constitution? Why the Constitution is in my pocket.