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In her groundbreaking book The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism  Naomi Klein  has shown how From Chile in 1973 to Iraq today, neoliberals have repeatedly harnessed terrible shocks and violence to implement their radical policies or neoliberalization and debt enslavement of the weaker countries. This concept is closely related to the concepts of Military-Industrial Complex and Predator state. Amazon review of the book states:

Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn't just some relic from the bad old days. It's alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.

"At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq'' civil war, a new law is unveiled that will allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves… Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly outsources the running of the 'War on Terror' to Halliburton and Blackwater… After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts… New Orleans residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be re-opened." Klein not only kicks butt, she names names, notably economist Milton Friedman and his radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s which she notes "produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today." Stand up and take a bow, Donald Rumsfeld.

There's little doubt Klein's book--which arrived to enormous attention and fanfare thanks to her previous missive, the best-selling No Logo, will stir the ire of the right and corporate America. It's also true that Klein's assertions are coherent, comprehensively researched and footnoted, and she makes a very credible case. Even if the world isn't going to hell in a hand-basket just yet, it's nice to know a sharp customer like Klein is bearing witness to the backroom machinations of government and industry in times of turmoil. --Kim Hughes 

Publishers Weekly review adds to this:

The neo-liberal economic policies—privatization, free trade, slashed social spending—that the Chicago School and the economist Milton Friedman have foisted on the world are catastrophic in two senses, argues this vigorous polemic. Because their results are disastrous—depressions, mass poverty, private corporations looting public wealth, by the author's accounting—their means must be cataclysmic, dependent on political upheavals and natural disasters as coercive pretexts for free-market reforms the public would normally reject. Journalist Klein (No Logo) chronicles decades of such disasters, including the Chicago School makeovers launched by South American coups; the corrupt sale of Russia's state economy to oligarchs following the collapse of the Soviet Union; the privatization of New Orleans's public schools after Katrina; and the seizure of wrecked fishing villages by resort developers after the Asian tsunami. Klein's economic and political analyses are not always meticulous. Likening free-market shock therapies to electroshock torture, she conflates every misdeed of right-wing dictatorships with their economic programs and paints a too simplistic picture of the Iraq conflict as a struggle over American-imposed neo-liberalism. Still, much of her critique hits home, as she demonstrates how free-market ideologues welcome, and provoke, the collapse of other people's economies. The result is a powerful populist indictment of economic orthodoxy. 

Selected Amazon reviews

Steve Koss VINE VOICE on September 25, 2007

A Stunning and Well-Researched Indictment of Friedmanian Neoliberalism
 

Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE is a stunning indictment of American corporatism and institutionalized globalization, on a par with such groundbreaking works as Harrington's THE OTHER AMERICA and Chomsky's HEGEMONY OR SURVIVAL. Comprehensive in its breadth and remarkable for its well-researched depth, Klein's book is a highly readable but disturbing look at how the neoliberal economic tenets of Milton Friedman have been implemented across the world over the last thirty-plus years.

The author's thesis is simply stated: that neoliberal economic programs have repeatedly been implemented without the consent of the governed by creating and/or taking advantage of various forms of national shock therapy. Ms. Klein asserts that in country after country, Friedman and his Chicago School followers have foisted their tripartite economic prescription - privatization, deregulation, and cutbacks in social welfare spending - on an unsuspecting populace through decidedly non-democratic means. In the early years, the primary vehicle was dictatorial military force and accompanying fear of arrest, torture, disappearance, or death. Over time, new organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank were employed instead, using or creating impossible debt burdens to force governments to accept privatization of state-owned industries and services, complete removal of trade barriers and tariffs, forced acceptance of private foreign investment, and widespread layoffs. In more recent years, terrroism and its response as well as natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis have wiped clean enough of the slate to impose these Friedmanite policies on people too shocked and focused on recovering to realize what was happening until it was too late.

According to Ms. Klein's thesis, these revolutionary economic programs were the "medicine" deemed necessary by neoliberal, anti-Keynesian economists to bring underdeveloped countries into the global trading community. Ms. Klein argues her case in convincing detail a long chronological line of historical cases. Each chapter in her book surveys one such situation, from Chile under Pinochet and Argentina under military junta through Nicaragua and Honduras, Bolivia under Goni, post-apartheid South Africa, post-Solidarity Poland, Russia under Yeltsin, China since Tiananmen, reconstruction of Iraq after the U.S. invasion, Sri Lanka after the tsunami, Israel after 9/11, and New Orleans post-Katrina. Along the way, she lets various neoliberal economists and Chicago School practitioners speak for themselves - we hear their "shock therapy" views in their own words. As just one example, this arrogant and self-righteous proclamation from the late Professor Friedman: "Only a crisis - actual or perceived - producs real change...our basic function, to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable."

What the author makes inescapably clear is that the world economic order has been largely remade in Milton Friedman's image in the last few decades by adopting programs that would never have been democratically accepted by the common people. Military coups, violence and force, wars, induced hyperinflation, terrorism, preemptive war, climate disasters - these have been the disruptive vehicles that allowed such drastic economic packages to be imposed. Nearly always, they are developed in secrecy and implemented too rapidly for citizens to respond. The end results, as Ms.Klein again makes clear, are massive (and too often, continuing) unemployment, large price increases for essential goods, closing of factories, enormous increases in people living in poverty, explosive concentration of wealth among a small elite, and extraordinary opportunity for rapacious capitalism from American and European corporations.

Ms. Klein argues that from its humble beginnings as an economic philosophy, the neoliberal program has evolved (or perhaps devolved) into a form of corporatism. Particularly in America, government under mostly Republican adminstrations has hollowed itself out, using private sector contractors for nearly every conceivable task. Companies ranging from Lockheed and Halliburton to ChoicePoint, Blackwater, CH2M Hill, and DynCorp exist almost entirely to secure lucrative government contracts to perform work formerly done by government. They now operate in a world the author describes as "disaster capitalism," waiting and salivating over the profits to be made in the next slate-wiping war or disaster, regardless of the human cost. In an ominous closing discussion, Ms. Klein describes the privatization of government in wealthy Atlanta suburbs, a further step in self-serving and preemptive corporatism guaranteed to hollow out whatever is left of major American cities if it becomes a widespread practice.

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE is truly a head-shaking read. One can only marvel at the imperiousness of past (mostly) American governmental behavior, the grievous callousness of it all, the massive human despair and suffering created for no other reason than economic imperialism, and the nauseating greed of (mostly Republican) politicians, former political operatives, and corporate executives who prey like pack wolves on people's powerlessness and insecurity. Reading this book, one can no longer ask the question, "Why do they hate us?" The answer is obvious, and no amount of hyperventilation from Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, or Fox News can erase the facts and consequences of behavior that we as a country have implicitly or explicitly endorsed.

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE proves itself as shaming of modern American governmental policy as Dee Brown's epic of 19th Century America, BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. It is an essential read for intelligent citizens who want to understand the roots of globalization and its blowback effects on our lives.

Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 11, 2007

Format: Hardcover
**FYI** Please note to the best of my knowledge I am NOT related to Naomi Klein.**

If you wonder what happened to the middle class, why poverty is on the rise and what the economies in a democracracy, dictatorship and "communism" have in common, you'll find lots of food for thought in Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE. Tracing the rise of the "Chicago Boys" laissez-faire economic beliefs, their impact on South America, China, Russia, Poland and South Africa and how it impacted their form of government, Klein makes a compelling argument for the flaws in Milton Friedman's economic science.

Naomi Klein's book looks at the conflict between Milton Friedman's "laissez-faire" approach to business and government where business is largely unregulated running itself and government is little more than a bare bones system. According to Klein, Friedman believed that the economic theories he espoused would be perfect and that any problems with it would be due to outside forces interferring with his free market world. His approach was in complete contrast to Keynes who believed that the prime mission of politicians and economists was to prevent unemployment and avoid a depression or recession by regulating the market place. People like John Kenneth Galbraith (heir to Keynes' mantle)believed part of the purpose of economic regulation was to keep our captalist system fair and prevent a small group of businesses from dominating the market. Galbraith also believed in bills like the Glass-Steagall act which created a firewall between Wall Street and various banking institutions (which former President Clinton helped to eliminate). The net result would be to prevent recreating disasters like the Great Depression and 1929 stock market crash (the current version of which contributed to part of the economic mess we're in today).

It's the conflict between these two economic philosphies that allows our economic world to thrive. You'll have to decide for yourself how accurately she reflects each man's philosphy based on what you know about each respective philosphy but I found, for the most part, that the book gave a pretty accurate summation of the benefits and issues at the core of each, as well as which classes benefit the most.

Klein suggests that "disaster capitalism", i.e., introducing radical changes in terms of economic and government policy when a country is in "shock" (taking advantage of the fact that massed resistence is unlikely to that change), is allowing the rise of unchecked multi-national corporations that take advantage of and damage our society in the process. She suggests that Friedman's beliefs that the market will manage itself and that free market capitalism undermined the Soviet Union is an idealized and naive belief. The impact for good and bad is that a business functions like a plant. If it receives too much sunlight and water, it will overgrow and strangle out everything else in the economic ecosystem. The net result would cause the system to become unbalanced with human suffering and economic disaster as the result if left unchecked. She traces a parallel path between the rise of Friedman's economic philosphy and the rise of human rights violations, rise and fall of various governments throughout the world and the opportunism of the business world to exploit it.

She ties all of this together looking at the economic policies and beliefs that are reshaping American society--for good and bad--into a different society where the gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to expand and one where the free market society is being radically retooled. The result is a society where the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer. The pressured middle class continues to shrink. This undermines the foundation of our economic growth. This book will probably divide those along the more extreme political lines but has the ring of truth nevertheless.

Klein crafts a fascinating book. Although some of her observations might be a bit of a stretch and her arguments occasionally flawed, she provides compelling evidence to support her thesis and connects the dots of events that might otherwise appear to be unrelated. Whether or not you agree with Klein or are outraged by her evidence, you'll find plenty of food for thought in her book.

Justin M. Feldman on October 27, 2007

An important read with some shortcomings

Naomi Klein has written this book about the rise of what she calls "disaster capitalism": the global imposition/adoption of Chicago School (neoliberal) economics since the early 1970s. This is a particularly important book because, while many have written about the same topic, I have never seen it treated in a form that is both holistic (ie. a global history) and accessible (ie. largely free from the academic jargon of economics and social theory). The book does suffer from some problems however.

Klein's main thesis is problematic. She writes that the idea of economic shock therapy arose out of the same logic as Electric Convulsive Therapy (ECT). This idea is to create or exploit a destructive event in order to create regression, passivity, and a 'blank slate' on which to build a new order. In supporting this thesis, Klein uses all of Part I of her book to write about psychological torture and the CIA's mind control experiments. She attempts to develop a 'poetics of torture' that links the individual violence of ECT to the structural violence that occurs when neoliberalism is imposed as a governing strategy. Klein is no poet however, and the metaphor seems to die pretty early on in the book. She does thankfully offer a more implicit thesis that she invokes more regularly and supports more thoroughly: free markets did not develop through freedom, but through authoritarian or technocratic interventions.

Secondly, Klein treats capitalism as if it were only 35 years old. Her book however is thematically similar to the work of another woman who wrote on the same issues a century before: Rosa Luxemburg. By only going as far back as the rise of Keynsianism and developmentalism, Klein makes it seem as though neoliberalism is a radical historical exception. Yet it seems that, since the industrial revolution, it is Keynsianism that itself was the historical exception.

This book is mostly comprised of what are essentially case studies. Each case study could certainly be expanded into its own 600-page book, so simplification was necessary. I think that it is also necessary for the author to explicitly admit the complexity of any situation beyond just the power of market forces, which act strongly and ubiquitously but never alone. I think she does admit the shortcomings of her case studies for Israel/Palestine, South Africa, and Iraq (her best and most personally-involved ones), but not for the rest.

All in all, this book is worth a read and is a good introduction to one of the most powerful forces of our times. I just hope that it inspires people to read some other books that illuminate more of the complexities in regards to the theory and practice of neoliberalism in our communities, countries, and worlds.

 I particularly recommend David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism.

ByBrian F. "Nurse Ratched"on April 7, 2015

How shocking! (pun intended)

I have always been a bit of a history buff and have prided myself on knowing a lot of the history involving the US. Recently, I had an enlightening revelation; one which I think I always knew, but had never heard it articulated. Each of us looks at our place in the world in different ways. Some see the world sociologically, some see it economically and some see it politically. Obviously these three "slants" affect our interpretations, and I totally get that there is obvious cross-over. Within each of these areas there is a continuum and people line up (usually) to one side of center or the other. Until I read Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine, I had not realized just where I aligned. Obviously I was aware that my views tend to be colored with the politics of the world in which I find myself. Having studied some sociology I knew and could interpret things with that lens, as well. What I knew about economics, however, had never given me (that I know of) a different vantage point on history. Until now.

I read through a number of the one star reviews, as is my habit. I like to see what folks have to say who may not be a fan of leftist thought. Let's face it: There's thought (so-called "critical thinking") and then there's blind adherence to ideology. This seems to happen on a lot of levels and is a view shared by many with otherwise opposing world-views. Still, when I read the same old, re-hashed, regurgitated and repeated stuff.... maintaining the status quo, I have to cringe. When I read many of the one star "reviews", I saw a lot of this. One individual who offered quotes from founding father John Adams (among others) rightly pointed out that facts are annoying things. When Ms. Klein put words to paper, she obviously knew this might be an issue. She quotes not only people but documents in support of the argument at hand. Those who oppose her expose on idealogical grounds have often (not always) done so without having given the courtesy of reading the book. Of course, this happens all the time here, on Amazon. Those that have read the book seem to conveniently forget the documents and contemporary quotes of the individuals involved. Unfortunate.

So here's my synopsis (working from memory - I read the book a while ago): Free Market economy, imagined and theorized by Milton Friedman of the Chicago school (University of Chicago, school of economics) in the 50s got it's first real opportunity to prove its mettle in 1970 with Pinochet's coup in Chile. Adherents and followers saw "successes" and shortfalls with this first real-world experiment. The entire southern cone of South American nations experienced similar things, all of which Ms. Klein links through personnel involved to Friedman. They got the okay from Kissinger and the ball got rolling. After South America, then Poland, the USSR/Russia, South Africa, China, and a string of other economies fell into the Friedman fold. He was an advisor!

"Shock and Awe" is followed extremely closely by already laid plans being nearly instantly enacted in order to push through laws and edicts which stood no chance of being passed "democratically". Privatization is the mantra. Donald Rumsfeld was a HUGE Chicago school adherent/supporter who took the idea of privatization to the limit while Secretary of Defense under Bush II, cutting public sector jobs from the DOD with abandon. Iraq's "green zone" was a classic example of a nearly completely privatized entity. A country within a country. Katrina was dealt with in nearly the same manner.

I'll never look at history the same way again. My eyes have been opened. For those of you who will decry my review as leftist praise for a leftist writer... if you're in the 2% and are benefitting, financially, from all this privatization... I can understand you defending it. For ANYONE else, if you defend Laissez Faire / Free Market / or "Trickle Down" economics, you have my sympathy because you are supporting the means of your own suppression. Good Luck!

Pocketson February 20, 2015

Be Ready to be Shocked

This book explains how the CIA bankrolled and encouraged the exploitation and political overthrow of many countries around the world in the '60's, 70's and 80's including Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Iran, Nicaragua and many others. It helps one understand how the Neocons evolved into what their basic philosophy remains today. Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winning economist, played a major role in this evolution and remained unapologetic about the misery that resulted from his economic model of creating change through shock. This book is very thorough and detailed in its presentation and reads like an exciting novel even though it is a factual reporting of real events.


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[May 05, 2021] Capital power is over labor, and it extracts money from labor in various ways, but most especially during debt conversions after the financial crisis like crisis of 2008

May 05, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mefobills , says: May 5, 2021 at 1:44 pm GMT • 4.8 hours ago

@animalogic respasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us ." is the translation presented in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. What is lost in translation is the fact that Jesus came "to preach the gospel to the poor to preach the acceptable Year of the Lord": He came, that is, to proclaim a Jubilee Year, a restoration of deror for debtors: He came to institute a Clean Slate Amnesty (which is what Hebrew דְּרוֹר connotes in this context).

It is quite possible to have balanced civilizations that lasts for thousands of years; however it is impossible in the West, since the west is based on faulty assumptions about reality.

[Apr 25, 2021] The Ukraine Crisis Recedes - But A False Narrative Of It Leads To Bad Conclusions

Apr 25, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Ukraine Crisis Recedes - But A False Narrative Of It Leads To Bad Conclusions

Some two month ago we discussed how the U.S. focus on narratives will let it collide with reality . It is certainly not only the U.S. government that creates narratives, comes to believe in them, and then fails when it is confronted with reality. Carried by think tanks and media the narrative mold has grown throughout the wider 'western' world.

On the danger of this development the above piece quoted Alastair Crooke who wrote :

[B]eing so invested, so immersed, in one particular 'reality', others' 'truths' then will not – cannot – be heard. They do not stand out proud above the endless flat plain of consensual discourse. They cannot penetrate the hardened shell of a prevailing narrative bubble, or claim the attention of élites so invested in managing their own version of reality .

The 'Big Weakness'? The élites come to believe their own narratives – forgetting that the narrative was conceived as an illusion, one among others, created to capture the imagination within their society (not others').

They lose the ability to stand apart, and see themselves – as others see them. They become so enraptured by the virtue of their version of the world, that they lose all ability to empathise or accept others' truths. They cannot hear the signals. The point here, is that in that talking past (and not listening) to other states, the latters' motives and intentions will be mis-construed – sometimes tragically so.

Over the last weeks we passed through a crisis that easily could have had a tragic ending.

Since February the Ukraine built up a force to retake the renegade Donbas region in east-Ukraine by military force. After waiting several week to see the situation more clearly Russia started to assemble a counterforce backed up by statements that were sufficiently strong to deter the Ukraine from continuing its plans. The danger of a Ukrainian assault has now receded.

Today the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu gave orders for the troops to return to their bases. Much of the equipment though will stay on training grounds near Ukraine until the regular fall maneuvers later this year take place. That minimizes transport costs and gives a little time advantage should someone in the Ukraine again have silly ideas.

Russia has clearly won this round.

But that is not how it looks when seen from the 'western' narrative. In that version the Ukrainian plans and its assembling of heavy weapons and troops near the Donbas border never happened. The narrative says that the whole incident started as a 'Russian aggression' when Russia very publicly showed its potential force.

Only a few analysts on the 'western' side have rejected that narrative and stuck to reality. Dmitri Trenin of Carnegie's Moscow Center is one who got it right :

In February, Zelensky ordered troops (as part of the rotation process) and heavy weapons (as a show of force) to go near to the conflict zone in Donbas. He did not venture out as far as Poroshenko, who dispatched small Ukrainian naval vessels through the Russian-controlled waters near the Kerch Strait in late 2018, but it was enough to get him noticed in Moscow. The fact of the matter is that even if Ukraine cannot seriously hope to win the war in Donbas, it can successfully provoke Russia into action. This, in turn, would produce a knee-jerk reaction from Ukraine's Western supporters and further aggravate Moscow's relations, particularly with Europe. One way or another, the fate of Nord Stream II will directly affect Ukraine's interests. Being seen as a victim of Russian aggression and presenting itself as a frontline state checking Russia's further advance toward Europe is a major asset of Kyiv's foreign policy.

Russia intentionally over reacted to Kiev's opening move. It demonstrated its overkill capability and made it clear to Zelensky's western sponsors that any further provocations would have extremely harsh consequences.

As Putin said yesterday :

Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

Zelensky's plan did not work out. While he did get verbal statements of support from Biden and NATO everyone knew that those were empty promises.

But for people who have fallen for the false narrative the situation looks different.

Consider this reaction to Shoigu's return-to-barracks order today from a member of the European Council On Foreign Relations (a U.S. lobby shop in Europe):

Gustav C. Gressel @GresselGustav - 13:15 UTC · Apr 22, 2021

I have to congratulate (Flag of United States) @JoeBiden to deterence success and crisis management. The right warnings were sent to Moscow, the right intelligence to Ukraine. (Flag of Russia) could not extort concessions, could not provoke. Let's see w. these forces aren't just redeployed to (Flag of Belarus).

Indeed Biden's order last week to pull back two war ships that were supposed to go into the Black Sea to support Ukraine was really great deterrence. But that was not a warning to Moscow. It did not deter Russia from doing anything. But it did end Zelensky's illusions of U.S. support.

But for Gressel, who like others is stuck to the 'western' narrative, the sense is different. He really seems to believe that the U.S. deterred Russia from some nefarious plans which it never had. He ignores that Russia reacted to a Ukrainian provocation in a way that, in the end, has made NATO and the U.S. look weak.

The danger is that Gressel, and other 'political scientists' like him, may once take up government positions and use their learned illusions to handle the next crisis. Stuck in the idea that Russia will retreat if only 'deterred' enough they will lean to measures that are outright hostile to Russia and may have indeed very tragic consequences. To repeat Crooke's warning :

The point here, is that in that talking past (and not listening) to other states, the latters' motives and intentions will be mis-construed – sometimes tragically so.

Posted by b on April 22, 2021 at 17:25 UTC | Permalink


vk , Apr 22 2021 17:34 utc | 1

The Ukraine has now lost any notion of ridicule:

Act of war? Ukraine asks EU to consider cutting off Russia from SWIFT payment system as Kiev seeks more sanctions against Moscow

Stonebird , Apr 22 2021 18:02 utc | 2
The Russians have only partly gone. Heavy weapons will remain in place which can be reactivated easily. (Particularly in Crimea). However the Russian "Threat" to Zelnsky is still there. Logically he should now have more difficulty in stirring up the EU and US for cash and weapons as the "obvious and visble" threat is diminished. I don't think his troops can stay indefinitely where they are. How can he continue to pay for all his new mercenaries, new arms?

So how is the MSM going to react? They have a lot of "journalists" around there, waiting for something to happen.

One obvious factor is that the supply lines of both are within their own countries (Ukraine for Ukrainians, and Russia for the Russians). Those that have the longest supply lines are NATO, the UK and US.

An earlier ploy (Attempted violent assasination of Lukashenko and most of the Belarussian parliament), with Georgia and other close by countries getting involved too, is now unlikely. BUT the US is desperate to cut the Russian-Chinese access to Europe by any means. What's next? Plan ....F?

Someone_New , Apr 22 2021 18:18 utc | 3
The Western narrative was also very clearly visible in the latest printed "Der Spiegel" 16/2021 (News magazine in Germany). They had a 4 page article about Ukraine with the title "On the edge of war". They reported at length about russian troops near the border.

Explicitely they wrote about sabre rattling from russia and generally gave the impression that all action is solely on the russian side and must be seen negatively or with grave concerns.
But they failed completely to mention Ukrainian troop movements, bellicose rhetoric or even the Zelensky's decrete 117/2021 from march 23rd with the translated title "Strategy of de-occupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol".

james , Apr 22 2021 18:19 utc | 4
b... thanks.. yes - narrative and controlling the narrative is what so much of this is about.... people in the west are not told of ukraines role in any of this or how they are encouraged by the west... instead what they are told is how russia is building up along the ukraine border.... in other words only one side of the story is told, and not both..nor is the timing of all of it shared either... people are literally given a script or narrative tailor made for brainwashing.. and indeed it works on most...

for an example of this today - i was listening to cbc radio - national news show ''the currenct''.. the host matt galloway discusses the situation with Mark MacKinnon, senior international correspondent for the Globe and Mail; Nina Khrushcheva, professor of international affairs at the New School in New York; and Michael Bociurkiw, global affairs analyst, formerly with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

listen from 22:48" for a good example of script writing and narrative control here... CBC The Current for April 22, 2021

Nev , Apr 22 2021 18:35 utc | 5
I am not so sure that this is over. The Belarus coup was intended to be around May 9. Zelensky has called up the reserves who ever they might be. He just floated the idea of banning Russia from the SWIFT so that it is on everyone's mind when Ukraine claims they were attacked. The NS2 will likely be initially complete in May. The USS Cook and Roosevelt are waiting for the British boats and will likely enter together. They have not yet given notice that I have seen. Two frigates are transiting the Suez to join their fellow yanks. I see a perfect storm yet coming. Shoigu is bright and knows that it looks good to announce the return to barracks, but he has access to my data plus a ton more. He knows that the situation is still fluid and volatile.
Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 22 2021 18:52 utc | 6
...
But for Gressel, who like others is stuck to the 'western' narrative, the sense is different. He really seems to believe that the U.S. deterred Russia from some nefarious plans which it never had. He ignores that Russia reacted to a Ukrainian provocation in a way that, in the end, has made NATO and the U.S. look weak.

This delusion reminded me of a retort, from an astute observer, to a dopey remark made by Bush II soon after the start if the Iraq Fake War. Bush said "We're gonna turn EyeRack into fly-paper for ter'rists! To which the observer responded...
"If Iraq was fly-paper then the only bug that got stuck to it was Bush."

vk , Apr 22 2021 19:14 utc | 7
I'm one of the most ardent proponents of the "imbecilization of the West" hypothesis, but this is clearly a diplomatic style face-saving plausible deniability exit by the West.

The West knows time is not on its side in the Ukrainian issue, and its puppet president threw a Hail Mary. Russia correctly didn't swallow the bait, and the West fell back as it knew it would have to, since this was a long shot.

NS-2 is now getting finished, and the Ukraine will consolidate itself more than ever as a black hole of American resources. The West, however, has one last ace in the hole: the German Green Party, which is well positioned to form the next government after the December national elections. The NS-2 certainly won't be finished by then, if the American diplomacy is to do its job properly, and the Greens will have all the tools at hand to implode the project, thus giving the Ukraine some more years to ride on American finance by its gas leverage (over which all its sovereign T-bonds rest at this point).

The key to Ukrainian success is in Germany, not in Russia.

Bernard F. , Apr 22 2021 19:18 utc | 8
Thank you b.
More and more interesting links for a great nightshift!

Every body must read in UNZ an interview of Israel Shamir (posted it in the afternoon)

Who cares their narrative? Dummkopft
On the decision level a lot of people know the facts.
And Putin and al. ability to build fact is impressive. A lot more than "1962 Cuba missile crisis".
And Russia got good countermeasures with RT, VK...

And YOU'll be there

Piotr Berman , Apr 22 2021 19:20 utc | 9
One advantage that Ukraine has in military terms is the number of people who willingly and enthusiastically want to join the army for the sake of de-occupation (interesting why they invented a replacement of "liberation" that has at least two equivalents with Slavic roots, perhaps they do not like their current occupations). The best proof is that through their democratically elected representatives they voted for a huge increase of punishments for avoiding conscription.

The other proof is that, temporarily at least, Ukrainians abolished the system of rotation in which units were staying on the fortified lines literally dying of boredom and related risk (alcohol poisoning, explosions of stills making moonshine, drug overdoses, suicide, stepping over their own mines, to mention a few), instead the troops to be rotated stayed in place and the other units joined them nearby.

However, Russian conscripts without the advantage of Ukrainian enthusiasm have better weapons. Modernizing Ukrainian military is a tall order. The budget barely supports the troops without modernization, the domestic industry in its better years relied to selling parts to Russia and buying other parts, remnants of industrial integration of Soviet times. Supplying them with NATO weapons would require huge gifts that (a) could be unpopular in the West (b) raise risk of getting the best toys of NATO to Russian in exchange for non-toxic alcohol, fresh Afghan heroin etc. Did I mention mind-killing military service? And with not so best toys, like missile boats that are about to be de-commissioned, say, in Canada, they do not really change the strategic balance.

Thus Zelensky had to be saved from his own rhetoric and gestures -- the aforementioned change in "rotation". Kiev authorities have a good practice in "never mind". For example, they utilize fascist radicals to intimidate opposition, but they are what I call "pet cobras", biting the hand that feeds them is what is programmed into their reptilian minds that do not have circuits for "friends" and "gratitude". And because of some grievances they trashed the Presidential place of work, insulting graffiti, broken windows, a broken and burned door, so three ringleaders got arrested, Parliament spent a few hours being appalled (after thinking for a week what to say), and now one ringleader was let free, with the remainder probably joining him soon (one at the time, I think). See folks: nothing happened.

It is possible that Napoleonic rhetoric and gestures were planned to get a "street cred" with those hoodlums, or that they were discreetly encouraged by an embassy (some people think that UK is the leader here, USA having mental problems and distractions). Or some combination.

Eighthman , Apr 22 2021 19:21 utc | 10
I would like to see some reporting on liability for Germany if the Greens cancel NS2. It seems rather nebulous on Google searches.
Benedict Arnold Palm , Apr 22 2021 19:24 utc | 11
"What fools those morons be." - Bugs Bunny

Imagine a drunken red nosed music hall comedian having to be taken so seriously. It really grates that the West has been reduced to this; a Spam headed sham, so pilled up he rattles, as a President of the FSOA. This obvious, self professed clown, Zelensky as head of an SS Totenkopf militia. A tiny appendage of Russia called Europe being a colony of a country based on genocide and slavery, that is reputedly anti-colonial. and a parcel of rogues spanning three continents and two oceans that gobble up lies like dung beetles on excrement lean back on their laurels, ill gotten gains, genocide and lies, and feel themselves morally superior to the victims, actual and future.

Bernard F. , Apr 22 2021 19:25 utc | 12
Too much narrative, kills the narrative

Https://www.foxnews.com/world/russia-orders-troop-pullback-keeps-weapons-near-ukraine

Even Fox don't buy it

vetinLA , Apr 22 2021 19:27 utc | 13
Our problem here in the U$A is still the same as always. Mr. Z's announcement on 3/24 about his nation's intentions to take back the Crimea, were NEVER mentioned on our MSM. It's always Russian aggression, or China's aggression. It's NEVER our fault.

Somehow, someway, that scenario MUST change.

Piotr Berman , Apr 22 2021 19:28 utc | 14
listen from 22:48" for a good example of script writing and narrative control here... CBC The Current for April 22, 2021

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2021 18:19 utc | 4

Do you care to take responsibility for our mental health? I did provide a summary of a "narrative control" article once, I can do it once in few months, should we also have some rotation here?

james , Apr 22 2021 19:39 utc | 15
@ 14 piotr.... for your mental health i recommend unplugging from all western news outlets especially with regard to topics like russia, china, venezuala, syria, ukraine and etc. etc... free! no charge for you piotr! and okay - you're on next shift!
robert , Apr 22 2021 20:00 utc | 16
Just a couple of notes:
-The Greens, if they "win" will not win with a majority. That means they will need coalition partners. Neither the CDU or the SPD is going to go along with their plan to stop NS2. The Greens, in order to form a govt. will cave in on NS2 and probably other things.

-The Ukies are still fleeing the country to avoid going to the front. The Ukie brass says as much. These are not soldiers. They are farm kids. At the 1st sign of serious war, they will all head for the russians with hands in the air.

-V. Putin handled the western MSM narrative quite well, imo, when he said "Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time." It can't be clearer than that. And that tells me that the ussa is in the crosshairs. This may be the 1st time in history that the oceans will offer no protection for the warmongers that have been at war for 222 years of 237 years of their existence

The comedian is still flaying about and now trying to play the SWIFT card (last week it was nuclear weapons, before that it was...). Which, of course, the west will not honor because it would cripple the west as much or more than RU. I would imagine he needs to change his undershorts on an hourly basis these days. He is literally caught between a rock and a hard spot. No more support from DE, FR, US, NATO, TR except good wishes. And demands from his brain-dead Banderites are only growing more shrill. What's a poor comic to do?

The west is basically done with him and with the show of force by the russians they are more done with him than before. For his sake, i hope his khazarian passport app has been approved.

Another failed state compliments of the khazarians in DC.
And the beat goes on.

jared , Apr 22 2021 20:23 utc | 17
Being seen as a victim of Russian aggression and presenting itself as a frontline state checking Russia's further advance toward Europe is a major asset of Kyiv's foreign policy.

Wait...what?

I think B takes the "administration" too literally -
We know they are lying, they know they are lying, everyone knows they are lying but they are creating a virtual world in which their behavior is rational and justified. I am not sure why exactly such an artificial construct is seen as helpful. I suppose you could blame it on the voting public in the democratic west but we all realize by this point that the west is in no way democratic in a literal, functional sense - they less than do not give a damn what the little people think in fact they could well do with a lot fewer of them and really without the need of actual vote counting.

Possibly to their dog at night under the covers and after many martinis to help them forget what they are, they admit something like their best attempt at the truth.

And anyway, what did really happen to Seth Rich?

passerby , Apr 22 2021 21:17 utc | 18
Eighthman @10 North Stream 2 will be the last mayor cooperation between Russia and Europe for the next 10, 20 years. If you had to choose where to put your money, would you put it in a gas pipeline to China (Power of Siberia) or a gas pipeline to Europe (North Stream2)?

Putin will be the last Russian president who looked west, to Europe; the next president will look east, to Asia. It's where the money is.

oldhippie , Apr 22 2021 21:29 utc | 19
The militias with their supposed morale -- These are the grandkids and great grandkids of WWII collaborators. Middle class and hipsters. In a country where there basically is no middle class. Ukraine's economy is at African level. Only source of funds for anything is the US embassy. There is no agenda but the agenda of 1945. Any from the 2014 crop who had anything on the ball whatsoever is now my neighbor. What is left in Uke is the dregs. Hipsters do not hang around in failed states.

Entire political landscape is now centered on US Embassy. Oligarchs might have some input still, their wealth is out of country and so are they most of time.

Pure political vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum. CIA and their hired actors will fill the stage, journalists will report their antics. They are playing to an empty house. Ukraine could exist in same zone as Libya or Iraq for a long time. In end nothing fills the vacuum but Russian Federation.

JohninMK , Apr 22 2021 21:33 utc | 20
Piotr Berman 9

The Russian military's policy is not to use conscripts on the front lines, that role is far too important to trust to what are partially trained soldiers, they are used in support functions. The frontline is manned by professional soldiers.

Zelenski has got $300M of 'stuff' out of Congress this week so that was a result for him.

Russia might be pulling back but the Ukrainians haven't got the message. My understanding is there are 50,000 Ukrainian army and 20,000 Ukrainian security forces normally in the Donbass on the frontlines against 30,000 or so NAF. This crisis came when another 30,000 troops plus heavy weapons were moved into the area. Two days ago OSCE reported that two artillery battalions of self propelled 122mm and 152 guns have been moved up to the front. Then apparently earlier this week, two battalions of the Azov were moved up from Mariupol (their normal area) to the front lines facing Donetsk City. Most of these 20,000 security forces would be your Nazi wannabe's with the Azov unit being the largest. For those of you not watching in 2014/5 Azov are the evil bastards that make the Red Army in WW2 Germany look like angels.

So Kiev is still building an overpowering strike force with a probable objective of a thrust through the center to the Russian border, splitting the two 'rebel' states. Both US and UK and no doubt other advisors are on site. The Global Hawk is sucking up data overhead most days. There is NATO pride on the line here planning and directing. We await a false flag.

I think b is being a bit too optimistic. Somehow they have to stop NS2, in many ways their futures depend on transit gas and, as before, they won't care how many have to die to save their skins and wallets.

Bernard F. , Apr 22 2021 22:11 utc | 21
@ vk | Apr 22 2021 19:14 utc | 7
I agree
Once again Deutschland : أم كل المعارك

"The Mother of all Battles"

Germany, the biggest Tabaqui, surrounded by many petty tabaquies...
But
Germany, playing the two side...
Germany, so stark and so weak...
Germany, "So jung und doch so alt"

How long can Germany resist the narrative?
How long before the end of the show?

We must talk about Germania

Tom , Apr 22 2021 22:25 utc | 22
This tweet by circle jerker extraordinaire Anders Aslund, sums up todays essay by b.

"I tend to socialise with the elite in Kyiv (sic)" (not with the deplorables)

https://twitter.com/27khv/status/1385162324705783812

Oldhippie , Apr 22 2021 22:35 utc | 23
Tom @ 22

Scroll up on that to the original Aslund post. He is talking about his friends getting ready to flee to Western Ukraine (or further). Sounds likely enough. Maybe they know something. And if it is just a routine panic in a failed state amongst a nervous elite, it only repeats so many times before they all do get out of town.

Nick , Apr 22 2021 22:46 utc | 24
LOL The greens will not win in Germany. Wait to September and tons of pedophilia scandals to appear on the media about Robert Habeck, and they will be toast
Cesare , Apr 22 2021 22:47 utc | 25
There's no question that if and when push comes to shove, and the first hints of defeat waft from the frontlines despite all attempts to spin it otherwise, the Ukrainian people will drop any sense of unity, fold like a wet napkin, and demand peace. Only a small sector of the population is highly motivated to fight or turn out the vote for bellicose policy against Russia.
Nick , Apr 22 2021 23:00 utc | 26
Do the Greens have vote in Bavaria, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Eastern Germany? I don't think so. Greens are popular Baden-Württemberg due Kretschmann charisma. If they haven't vote in Bavaria, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Eastern Germany , so they aren't going to win..

I'm seeing a lot of anglo and america media trying to boost these guys. But I have a bad feeling that the child book writer Robert Habeck will get a 'Sebastian Edathy' treatament.

vk , Apr 22 2021 23:45 utc | 27
@ Posted by: Nick | Apr 22 2021 23:00 utc | 26

But:

1) Germany has a proportional representative system. You don't have to win it all to compose the government. The Greens are going to compose the next government; Germany, as a First World country, is socially stable enough so that we can already consider this a fait accompli .

2) Laschet's choice as Merkel's successor apparently backfired . The CSU-CDU will probably lose some 10% more on top of what they're already projected to lose in these next general elections, mostly to the Greens.

Nick , Apr 22 2021 23:52 utc | 28
I know how the German system works. Yet I am not seeing the Greens win or compose the next government if they threaten to cancel NS2. The NS2 is not about the CDU/CSU but about the German elite interest. No way they are going to give green light to the Greens. Speaking of someone which city is on the border.
arby , Apr 23 2021 0:07 utc | 29
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 22 2021 19:20 utc

"One advantage that Ukraine has in military terms is the number of people who willingly and enthusiastically want to join the army for the sake of de-occupation "

Not nearly as motivated as Russians who have dealt with Nazi Fascists once before. What happened last time is seared into their heads.

vk , Apr 23 2021 0:20 utc | 30
@ Posted by: Nick | Apr 22 2021 23:52 utc | 28

Yeah, but the American elite is stronger than the German elite.

Nick , Apr 23 2021 0:27 utc | 31
So Annalena Baerbock will be the next US chancellor beacuse the US wants.. haha. Not sure about that these days..
Sushi , Apr 23 2021 0:40 utc | 32
Russia has closed the Kerch Strait.
It is reported that the two US destroyers which were to have transited the Bosphorus are awaiting a pair of Britsh destroyers intended to join them with the flotilla of 4 ships to enter the Black Sea.
What happens if the UK and US decide on a FONOP which involves a transit of the Kerch Strait to make a port visit to Ukraine on the Sea of Azov?
Does Putin keep the Kerch closed?
If he stops the flotilla does this become "interference with international right of navigation?"
Does this asserted interference then result in Ukraine attack? Or a combined NATO / Ukraine action?
PokeTheTruth , Apr 23 2021 0:45 utc | 33
President Putin consulted with Minster of Defense Shoigu and asks if the troops can be scaled back from the lines of contact without significantly reducing tactical capability. Shoigu runs the numbers and delivers the answer that Putin was looking for.

Putin is offering an olive branch to Zelensky knowing full well his military can roll over the eastern and southern borders of Ukraine with impunity.

Does Zelensky do the same? No, instead he calls up reserve boys to make himself look tough.

A Russian proverb that is most appropriate in this case is this: Дурна́я голова́ нога́м поко́я не даёт. Translation: The stupid head doesn't leave feet in rest or in other words, no rest for the wicked.

Stephen T Johnson , Apr 23 2021 1:02 utc | 34
Sushi @32
How does Putin close the Kerch strait?
The same way as last time, park a largish ship or two in it.
FONOPS don't work so well as battering rams, and the straight is very narrow.
Bernard F. , Apr 23 2021 1:15 utc | 35

Dans l'œil du cyclone

The only antiwar party in Germany is AfD. They don't buy at all the "narrative" Die Linke is only " pacifistes bêlants ".

The meeting of German parliament was interesting. Unfortunately, only found german SNA report
https://snanews.de/20210422/bundestagsdebatte-ostukraine-parteienvertreter-gespalten-1826965.html

About green leadership in west Germany, it was a fake election, no meeting, no campaign...just ridiculous posters in the streets. Massive abstention.

A post Covid-19 election, with young people back, could be surprised. East Germany is to be analyse.

Germany often surprises the world for the better , SS-20 and Pershing II missiles crisis 1978-87 and Mauerfall 1989.


bill , Apr 23 2021 1:47 utc | 36

this pesky little problem of mud is the cause for the delay/ Russian troops given some rest

Grieved , Apr 23 2021 1:48 utc | 37
If all of this sound and fury is just to cancel North Stream 2, then it strikes me as a demonstration of terrible impotence, using a lot of leverage to achieve a fairly small end. Maybe it is exactly this. But I prefer Rostislav Ischenko's outline of several actions in several neighboring theaters as a concerted attack on Russia - with the objective of levering EU away from Russia. And the note here is that this is not over yet, the game is still afoot.

This larger ploy seems like a far more desirable objective for the US, given the expenditure of resources, rather than simply the NS2. But it still reeks of impotence, given how decisively Russia has countered each move (of the ones that are visible - no telling about the ones beneath the surface).

I have read somewhere, probably here, that if Germany were to cancel NS2 she would owe Russian billions of dollars in penalties. This project is after all, a matter of contract. And Germany must abide by its contracts if it is to remain in the business world. Or so it seems to me. Is Germany going to flout contract obligations with Russia, which supplies it with fuel for its industry and to stay warm in winter? It seems unlikely.

So, while the US acts to try to split Europe away from Russia, Germany is actually taking the least divisive path if it finishes NS2. Because if it is forced to cancel, and then to pay the billions in penalties, surely this causes a far greater split from the US and toward Russia than otherwise? Simply a split that plays out over a longer time, but much more finally.

If the US were capable of thinking all this through, it might understand how it pushes away everything it attempts to grasp. But we have watched for years, with some gladness, to see that this is exactly the fatal weakness of the US now. It simply doesn't understand reality, and simply cannot learn from it. Which I guess is b's point. Agreed.

Grieved , Apr 23 2021 1:52 utc | 38
@38 bill

Agreed, that Russia is not "withdrawing" troops, simply rotating them away according to the timetable and conditions of the battlefield.

Joshua , Apr 23 2021 1:57 utc | 39
For whomever may be under any illusion whatsoever,
Please,
Do not decieve yourselves,
The truth and the fact of the matter is very readily apparent.
All one must do is look objectively upon the reality of the situation in an honest manner.
Please do so.
Thank you.
Victor , Apr 23 2021 1:59 utc | 40
@Sushi | Apr 23 2021 0:40 utc | 32

The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world and has a maximum depth of 45 feet. An Arleigh Burke destroyer has a draft of 30 feet. Even if somehow NATO ships entered the Sea of Azov, there are not many places that they can go unless they are very small ships.

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:05 utc | 41
Mr. B

The situation around these unplanned military drills reminded me of 8 unplanned military drills by Iran during the last few months of Mr. Trump's government.

A likely preemptive responses, in both cases, to planned acts of aggression, nullifying them. Someone might have alerted them too.

Paul , Apr 23 2021 2:10 utc | 42
b, thanks for this post and thanks for the link to the excellent Alister Crook SCF article. I am sick of being told what to think and what opinions I should hold by the corporate and public MSM.

Narrative control is even more pervasive these days and the disconnect with the actual reality is more obvious.

How can the Anglo/Zionist captive nations talk about 'our values' while the grotesque horror show and slow motion genocide continues in occupied Palestine?

How can the Anglo/Zionist captive nations politicians talk about 'free trade' and 'liberalised trade'
while enforcing illegal trade embargoes on sovereign nations?

We were told by President Nixon that trade with China was good. Now the BRI railroad is portrayed as a 'threat' and 'controversial.' Ditto the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.

What is threatened is the cushioned pashas position to dictate hegemonic power throughout the world.

Australia is among the worst offenders of this moronic groupthink as shown by distinguished veteran correspondent Hamish McDonald:

https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/ ">https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/">https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/

This from a former Australian diplomat:

https://johnmenadue.com/five-eyes-anglo-sphere-is-not-our-best-bet/

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:10 utc | 43
Mr. Bernard F

During the Siege War against Iran, as well as during the hard times of the pandemic, Germany established herself to be of no consequence in the political arena or in the humanitarian one.

I was not surprised.

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:19 utc | 44
Mr. JohninMK

If Ukrainian government has indeed mobilized or otherwise has planned a war against Russia, then her life expectancy in her current format or within her current borders will be measured in years and not decades.

Russia will not tolerate an armed camp of enemy soldiers in Ukraine, she will be neutralized as an independent actor shortly.

The 3 Westernmost oblasts might survive as a rump Ukraine but she is finished now.

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:21 utc | 45
Mr. Paul

Everyone knows Australians have been boot lickers of US.

Nothing new there.

Paul , Apr 23 2021 3:07 utc | 46
Sorry about the bad link at 42. Here is the link:

https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 23 2021 2:21 utc | 45

Yes Fyi, it is shameful. What is not so well known is Australia and the US have a long history of bullying New Zealand with loud megaphone diplomacy on cherished policy issues. One example was when the Muldoon [NZ] government recognised the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people many decades ago. Muldoon told them to F off, diplomatically, of course.

The NZ superannuation fund recently decided to divest from Israeli banks citing 'repetitional damage.' among other relevant things. Another win for BDS but ignored by the MSM. How could they spin that together with the prevailing narrative? So they ignored it.

At least NZ has some self respect intact. In business it is a good idea to speak the language of the buyer. I prefer NZ white wine and Australian red wine, particularly Barossa Valley reds. Now Australia complains about coal fired power stations in China, forgetting it is Australia selling the coal. NZ can sell the wine.

jiri , Apr 23 2021 3:25 utc | 47
@Sushi | Apr 23 2021 0:40 utc | 32

My guess is that the Russians will create the conditions whereby the US/UK flotilla will be forced to get stuck in the shallow waters of the Azov Sea. Thus they will achieve their objective without firing a shot. The Russians know the spots with shallow waters. US/UK not so much.

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 23 2021 3:52 utc | 48
I wrote a long response and it disappeared. Oh well.
Fyi , Apr 23 2021 4:05 utc | 49
Mr. Paul

I have known, during my life, one single individual from New Zealand. He was the only English-speaker who could pronounce my name at first try. Very fine chap.

I do not know much about that country except that it is populated by serious Anglicans and is currently being led by a real statesman, unlike so many other countries.

I wish that country well, they are trying to do the right thing where larger more powerful countries, such as Germany, UK, or Italy, sold themselves for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver.

uncle tungsten , Apr 23 2021 4:44 utc | 50
JohninMK #20

Agreed, your proposition for an immediate fast rush to the Russian border to split the region is just as likely as a stand down. I would never be trusting NATO or FUKUS.

See Libya.

Paul , Apr 23 2021 4:51 utc | 51
Hi Fyi,

I am actually an Australian living in New Zealand. Lucky me. The two countries used to have a deal. Now that deal is observed by NZ but not observed by Australia. I tell some Kiwis, sometimes young in cheek, 'I am an Australian refugee boat person, fleeing from an oppressive government.'

As for the population, someone told me years ago ' it doesn't matter which party is in power, the country is always governed by Scottish Presbyterians so it always has some money put away'.

Most people can pick my Australian accent.

Race relations is far better in NZ than Australia. Australia is dysfunctional and utterly corrupt at all three levels of government. My American friend says that is like America. He moved to NZ. Both countries have rotten bureaucracy, perhaps a British hangover.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 23 2021 6:52 utc | 52
Posted by: Grieved | Apr 23 2021 1:48 utc | 37
(Germany will not walk away from NS 2)

Thanks for fleshing out the NS 2 'controversy' with additional "inconvenient truths". My confidence that NS 2 will proceed as planned is based 90% on Sarah Kelly's 2020 DW Conflict Zone interview with Niels Annen, Heiko Maas's 2IC. Annen pointed out to (deaf-in-one-ear, can't-hear-with-the-other) Sarah that Germany's trade relationship with Russia is "complicated" but works for both. By the end of the interview it looked as though he felt a bit sorry for Sarah being stuck in the awkward position of being obliged to argue that black is white.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 23 2021 8:11 utc | 53
I thought Zelensky was the Real Deal, a kind of Trump echo. But he ran into the same problem as Trump - a painful collision with the reality that the President is just a figurehead with very little Leadership autonomy, if any.

There's a new post-Trump 3-part BBC documentary series called Trump Takes On The World. Last night, ABC.net.au broadcast the first 1-hour Episode. It begins with Theresa May's visit to Trump's Washington. There's a formal meeting to discuss UK-US attitude to NATO. Before the meeting gets into stride, someone in Team Trump mentions that Putin phoned the White House and Team Trump is working out a schedule for the conversation to take place. Trump hits the roof.

"What!!?? Are you telling me that Putin, the only man who can destroy the United States, phoned the White House and you didn't tell me about it!!??"
Trump let's it slide, in deference to the presence of Ms May, but as the implications sink in he can't leave it alone and delves deeper into this weird event, Ms May's presence notwithstanding...

I think Zelensky ran into exactly the same problem - believing that the Prez is in charge of something important but realising that's just theatrical window-dressing. 'Democratic' window-dressing.
And with the Biden family having influence in Regime-changed Ukraine, it's probably safe to assume that the same Swamp Creatures which keep POTUS in check also 'manage' Zelenski's Presidential daydreams.

John Gilberts , Apr 23 2021 8:15 utc | 54
An excellent analysis. 'Blinkered' is the word on Washington. John Helmer's latest:

"State Department War Party has Led US Forces into their Worst Defeat Since Saigon - Without Russia Firing a Shot..."

https://twitter.com/bears_with/status/1385484105928876037

snake , Apr 23 2021 8:20 utc | 55
.. why ..artificial construct ... Passerby @ 18 < deep state reprograms what people remember about events.
planting misinformation 30 year study
Reprogamming what you remember about an event is technology embedded deep in MSM propaganda.

Passerby goes on to say "we all realize ...the west is in no way democratic in a literal,
functional sense - they .. do not give a damn what the little people think .. ..fewer of them .." <=is desirable.

Not true, the west is ~2.6 billion people [+ .010 billion can understand what you posted], but
<1,000,000 people are in the group you classify as the West. The governed masses are victim to
Oligarch owned nation states. The nation states are 1) tools, Oligarch's use, to compete in the
national and international markets (Article II), 2) each nation states includes a political
system (basically a consumer complaint department) to control the behaviors of the domestic
flocks and to keep the flocks distributed into their respective pastures.

Basically, the legislative and law making nation states are open air prisons that oversee the
domestic masses, but in foreign affairs, the nation states are economic weapons used by Oligarch
to engage in national and international profit making competition.
In other words,the only benefactors of the nation state system are the Oligarchs.

The 21st Century problem humans must resolve: "How to impose democratic principles,
human rights, and self-determination on the nation state system?"
It does not matter if we are talking East or West.
The nation state is the structure that confines the sheep so Oligarch can shear the wool.

A comment elsewhere alleged Lukashenko, of Belarus revealed how the world bank coerced sovereign nations to engage Corona virus lock down and vaccine scenarios; the same comment alleged Lukashenko fined the Soros foundation in Belarus 3.0 million for currency violations, and that the foundation left Belarus?
I am not sure about those claims. Can anyone authenticate those facts or elaborate on them . ?

Sunny Runny Burger , Apr 23 2021 9:13 utc | 56
Biswapriya Purkayast: if the comment isn't the recent one you wrote in the "Kipling" Russia thread it has probably been snagged by the link-checker and will appear later. It happens to everyone once in a while, a good idea to write and save any comment in a text editor before copying and posting it, unless it's short like this one :)
Renard , Apr 23 2021 9:37 utc | 57
Ukraine was not the target.

All this fuss around Crimea and Donbass was simply meant to distract attention from Belarus. (Did the Americans inform Zelensky or did they just manipulate him?)

The destabilization, collapse, invasion of Belarus failed (When did the Russians understand?), so the players disengage from this point of confrontation to find another one (Where?).

ftmntf , Apr 23 2021 9:58 utc | 58
A key aspect of propaganda is reversing the actual order of cause and effect to make the enemy falsely look like the aggressor. We see this in the recent case of Ukraine. The western pressitutes cynically ignored, and failed to report, the unprovoked Ukrainian military build up on the border, to which the Russian build was a defensive reaction. So that now, as far as the average western consumer of this propaganda is concerned, the Russian 'aggressor' 'bad guys' have been forced to back down. All BS of course.

The anti-imperialist movement needs to establish popular online hubs that aggregate/syndicate the writings of small blogs like this. It is beyond the abilities of any single blogger to keep up with news events to counter imperialist lies in real time but collectively they can do it if their work is made available at bigger hubs.

Paco , Apr 23 2021 10:28 utc | 59
Posted by: snake | Apr 23 2021 8:20 utc | 55

Searched for some info on that fine but that's an old story, the Soros Fund was fined and expelled from Belarus in '97. But recently there was a debate about the influence in education by the Soros foundations in the former soviet countries. Probably this has a lot to do with the comments made by Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly, he remarked that some history text books do not even mention the Stalingrad Battle while at the same time enhancing the second front influence in WWII outcome. In other words, the foundations might be out, there influence is not, money buys wills, and if anything else is missing in those influence institutions money is not one of them.

Do a machine translation for more info:

https://www.osnmedia.ru/politika/v-belorussii-rasskazali-o-neskonchaemom-vliyanii-fonda-sorosa/

jared , Apr 23 2021 13:59 utc | 60
UK was hoping to provoke an incident with its ships in Black Sea.
Russia has unilaterally withdrawn, leaving the British ships to cruise about at their leisure. Pardon me, but might you have any Grey Poupon?
m , Apr 23 2021 14:04 utc | 61
@43 Fyi
To my knowledge Germany has several times delivered medical equipment to Iran during the ongoing pandemic. I`m not familiar with the details, though. Germany is also heavily involved with COVAX which is one of the main sources of vaccines for Iran.
Tollef Ås اس طلف , Apr 23 2021 14:22 utc | 62
It bugs me how even well-informed critics of North Atlanticist regimes and their foreign policies write and talk of them as "western demoracies". The "Founding Fathers" of the USA feared nothing more than 'democracy' -- by which they thought of ancient Athens, or the ancient republic of San Marino or some Swiss Cantons. What they wanted was a republic in the mold of Ancient Rome, Venice, or like the Netherlands before Wilhelm of Orange, i.e. roled by rich men's clubs and throuh inherited wealth, be that from land ownership, slave-holding or from commercial gains and prate privatering -- plus of course exploiting colonies and controlled marketing opium and its derivats (plus cocaine).

None of the present-day Atlanticist nations call themselves "demomracies" in their name or constitutions. Only Greece does -- and only because they don't have the romance word "republic" in their language.

In observation of these linguistic and political facts, the governments of Central Europe east of Nato, China, Viet-Nâm and Chosôn ("North Korea") all called themselves "people's republics" -- as opposed the the states further west that were ruled by the elected representatives of Capital and Big Banking.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 14:42 utc | 63
Mr. m

That is news to me.

I will investigate.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 14:48 utc | 64
Mr. Tollef Ås اس طلف

There is a discernible fear of the common man permeating the works of the intellectuals of Islam as well as the Sufis.

One expression of that among Shia is the idea and practice of "Source of Emulation".

The framers of the American Constitution, I understand, were also suspicious of the plebian rule degenerating into mob rule.

So they created a representative republic - which has become the dominant form of governance all over the world.

I personally do not find anything wrong with the theory of such a government.

Any form of government can become corrupt over time since Man is in the State of Fall.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 14:54 utc | 65
Mr. m:

So far, I have found an announcement of 5 million Euros of medical aide to Iran from UK, France, and Germany in March of 2020.

Earlier, in April of 2019, Germany donated 4 boats and a number of tents for the victims of floods in Iran.

EU, at the same time, stated aide to Iran of 1.2 million Euros.

aquadraht , Apr 23 2021 14:55 utc | 66
@7 vk
I don't know how you come to that conclusion:
he West, however, has one last ace in the hole: the German Green Party, which is well positioned to form the next government after the December national elections. The NS-2 certainly won't be finished by then ..

In fact, the elections will take place Sep 26. The newly elected parliament will gather fist time ("constituting") 3-4 weeks after that date, so end of October. After that, coalition agreement has to be negotiated, usually taking 6 weeks or more (last time, it was nearly 5 months). If the outcome is as the polls indicate at the moment, with the Greens as the strongest faction, they will get the task to strike a coalition deal, negotioting probably with CDU, and SPD plus FDP, for a couple of weeks. A new government, elected by the Bundestag, is not to be expected before end of December.

Before anybody could act upon NS2, it will be 2022. If the project is not stopped at the last kilometres, it will be finished by May, 2021. Once operational, the government does not have much leverage to shut it down.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 15:01 utc | 67
Mr. Paul:

Yes, I can confirm reports of Australian racism against Indians, Iranians, Lebanese, Chinese, and Greeks.

One person told me that she was reluctant to travel to the United States because she had feared similar treatment there.

On the other hand, I know of a case of an abandoned Sikh mother & child (by her husband) in New Zealand - the social services stepped right in and helped stabilize their lives.

I think all of these evils start from the top.

The late General MacArthur tolerated racism and the African-Americans under his command suffered.

Some other Flag Rank officers did not tolerate racism and that made a huge difference to the experience of the African-American soldiers and sailors under their commands.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 23 2021 17:26 utc | 68
Addenda to Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 23 2021 8:11 utc | 53
(BBC doco Trump takes On The World)

Episode 1 spans events from Ms May's Trump White House visit, to Helsinki and Trump's 'betrayal' of AmeriKKKa in his private meeting with Putin.
During the closing moments of the doco (minute 55 - no ads on ABC) a bloke who looks like Mitch McConnell (R) Kentucky/Tel Aviv, says "That'll be the lar-yest time we ever have a President meet a foreign leader in private."

MrLenin , Apr 23 2021 17:26 utc | 69
Russia has not been idle as the US and allies have been pumping plane loads of weaponry to the ukropa army, this 'training deployment' was an opportunity for Russia to check, train and equip the Donbass militia. I would assume that an operation room is already setup, with spetnaz remaining in place to monitor the lines.
Nato is stumped at both the heavy response and language used by Russia, they are a paper tiger, and many of their members, would have opted out. The 'Belarus attempted coup' is another Red line for Russia, thus VVP stressed that Russia has the resources to put a stop to it.
The Czech hyenas have started walking-back(US State department word) accusations about the 2014 explosions https://www.rt.com/russia/521514-czech-blast-not-state-terrorism/

@B could you look into the issue of the Damona explosion, I believe a poster somewhere mention a retaliatory attack by Iran on missile factories in Jerusalem, I also doubt it was a stray AA missile.

JohninMK , Apr 23 2021 19:43 utc | 70
MrLenin 69

All the open source evidence does indeed point to it being an S-200/SA-5 missile.

The Israeli Defense Minister Beni Gantz has officially acknowledged that the attempt to shoot down the S-200PMT missile failed. Saying that 4 US and 6 Israeli Patriot SAMs & 2 Israeli SAMs "David Sling" missed the S-200 at 17 km.

So, not just IAF but US operated systems as well by the look of it.

This is now a huge problem for the US. At least when the Yeminis hit Saudi the US can mutter about the quality of the Saudi AD crews but here, in Israel they will be skilled and well trained crews from both countries i.e. the 'best'. This is very embarrassing for the US MIC. Their SAMs couldn't even down a Soviet era errant SAM.

No doubt today many countries will be re-evaluating their Patriot AD systems. Indeed, should existing customers be demanding their money back as the system is clearly shown to be faulty (it has to be a fault, it can't possibly be a design error)? Turkey and India must be feeling pleased.

JohninMK , Apr 23 2021 19:54 utc | 71
I meant to say that for a while now the Syrian rules of engagement have changed and they are now able to 'chase the launcher aircraft' home. Before that they were only targeting the incoming munitions. Putin confirmed the change.

The radars attached to the Syrian S-300s, plus freestanding units, give them a very good view of where the IAF aircraft are. Even better if they are plugged into the Russians IAD.

In a way this was a very good warning shot. It did no real damage so no excuse for Israel to seek revenge yet it must be giving the IAF second thoughts about their current attack strategy.

Sometimes accidents can be really beneficial.

james , Apr 23 2021 20:11 utc | 72
@ JohnMK... thanks for your comments on these matters... i appreciate it..
Paul , Apr 23 2021 20:38 utc | 73
Update on the Ukraine situation:

https://popularresistance.org/president-zelensky-says-ukraine-ready-for-war-with-russia/

When will they ever learn?

Jo , Apr 23 2021 21:17 utc | 74
I think along with Pres Putin address credit is also due to Lavrov's statement that Ukraine would cease to exist....a real dose of blunt sober reality.
uncle tungsten , Apr 24 2021 10:11 utc | 75
Here come the englanders turn Zelensky into David the Goliath killer. He will be all fired up by the British Embassy squad. Black Sea battle next week.
Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 24 2021 14:52 utc | 76
...
https://popularresistance.org/president-zelensky-says-ukraine-ready-for-war-with-russia/

When will they ever learn?

Posted by: Paul | Apr 23 2021 20:38 utc | 73

The Mouse That Roared redux?

Steverino , Apr 24 2021 19:08 utc | 77
Speaking of dangerous narratives... this is what scares the hell out of me...

"the plan which had been first described publicly in America's two most prestigious international relations journals, as being a suitable replacement for "M.A.D.": "Nuclear Primacy". That's the goal for America to blitz-nuclear attack Russia so quickly that Russia won't have enough time to launch a retaliatory response."

... that there are people who are so deluded they actually believe a nuclear war can be "won."

[Apr 19, 2021] Mr. Zelensky now has the opportunity to forge a partnership with Mr. Biden that could decisively advance Ukraine's attempt to break free from Russia and join the democratic West

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Apr 18 2021 0:52 utc | 62

NEO has the 'strategy nailed'.

Now that we've established who the aggressor is, let's take a look at Tsereteli's and Carafano's next brilliant takeaway point. The dynamic duo of war strategies says cosmetic measures against Russia will not do! The "west" (meaning NATO), they say, needs a more clear strategy. Which certainly means a massive arms buildup west of the Siverskyi Donets River. The Zelensky government is being pushed from Washington to take even more drastic measures to force Russia into a war stance. The editorial board of the Washington Post recently advised Zelensky:

"Mr. Zelensky now has the opportunity to forge a partnership with Mr. Biden that could decisively advance Ukraine's attempt to break free from Russia and join the democratic West. He should seize on it."

So, now that we've shown who is doing the pushing here, let's turn to the final takeaway from Heritage Foundation master strategists. Tsereteli and Carafano come right out and say "countries left outside of NATO will remain targets of Russian aggression and manipulations." So, the purpose of all this supposed spread of militaristic-based democracy is to expand NATO to? I mean, seriously. Washington is not reaching out with the Peace Corps to shore up a budding Eastern European democracy. The United States is kidnapping another former Soviet republic on the way to the big score. My country has military bases in almost every country in the world, has had more wars than the Mongols, and spends more on weapons than everybody else combined – but Russia is being aggressive!

Who believes this bullshit?


[Apr 19, 2021] This would be my plan if I were Zelensky

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 18 2021 10:11 utc | 107

Norwegian at 98 says:


"I'd like to know how Zelensky and the Kiev authorities are supposed to get out of this situation without falling apart."

Well, if I were Zelensky I might imagine getting myself out of this mess by the following steps:

1. Keep raising the ante. Scream about an imminent Russian invasion, keep your population panicked (by concocting a list of "bomb shelters" in Kiev, for example). Keep actual violence against the Donbass republics at just low enough a level to not be enough provocation for a Russisn intervention, for now .

2. Keep acquiring missiles from NATO, and trainers in how to use them. Negotiate with Sultan Erdoğan for headchopper mercenaries (especially Chechens and other Russian speakers).

3. Arrange for NATO exercises in Ukranazistan this summer.

4. Under cover of those exercises, using the NATOstanis as human shields in fact, attack the Donbass Republics, and only the Donbass Republics. Use the headchoppers as shock troops to minimise own losses. Capture the Donetsk and Lugansk main urban areas, leave slices right on the Russian border. Do not touch Crimea.

5. Present this as a huge victory, like Ilham Aliyev did in Nagorno Karabakh.

As I said, this would be my plan if I were Zelensky. Whether it would work depends on how much "restraint " Putin is willing to give up on, and how much risk he's willing to take.


Bernard F. , Apr 18 2021 10:41 utc | 108

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

@ Norwegian | Apr 18 2021 7:43 utc | 95


The present stand-off cannot last forever, so it is a question of time before something falls apart.
Russia used the aggressive move by NATO/Ukraine to perform a judo-like move

The speed of execution of the manoeuvre also calls for admiration when NATO can't even move an armoured division in Poland (inadequate road infrastructure)

But Evil is in the details. And as the greatest french dialogue writer: "Les conneries c'est comme les impôts, on finit toujours par les payer."
[Bullshit is like taxes, you always end up paying them.]

S.O. , Apr 18 2021 10:43 utc | 109

All of the NATO ATGM's in the world won't make a pick of difference against russian artillery or their strategic rocket forces.

Zelensky get's out of it by turning his squeaky clean nato trained troops against his own domestic nazis and upholding his end of the minsk agreement.

Who knows.. he might even survive it too.

[Apr 19, 2021] The British training program, Operation Orbital, has trained over 17,500 Ukrainian service members since its inception in 2015. Last year British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that the training mission would be extended until 2023. It is explicitly designed to transform the Ukrainian military in order to meet NATO standards: to be a NATO proxy army on Russia's western border."

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 18 2021 8:14 utc | 97

Norwegian at 94 says:

"Time is working for Russia here."

Unfortunately, I strongly disagree. Rick Rozoff says here:

https://antibellum679354512.wordpress.com/2021/04/17/nato-nations-train-arm-ukrainian-military-for-war-with-russia/comment-page-1/

"The British training program, Operation Orbital, has trained over 17,500 Ukrainian service members since its inception in 2015. Last year British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that the training mission would be extended until 2023. It is explicitly designed to transform the Ukrainian military in order to meet NATO standards: to be a NATO proxy army on Russia's western border."

To which my own response was:

"I strongly agree with Igor Strelkov: war now is preferable for Russia than (inevitable) war later. I also completely agree with him that the Ukranazi cancer should have been eliminated in 2014, or, failing that, the Donbass armies should have been permitted by the Putinist regime to liberate Slovyansk and Mariupol, or, even better, liberate Odessa and advance to the Dneiper. If that had been done then, there would have been no problem now.

"No wonder the Putinist regime hates him."

[Apr 19, 2021] The Empire is trying to surround and castrate Russia. Russian interests are being hit every day. Sanctions for ever, more and more.

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

jared , Apr 17 2021 20:33 utc | 29

It is characteristic signature of bureaucracy that they behave in manner inconsistent, because
- balkaniztion
- incompetence

Putin has Biden deep in his backfield. Rare opportunity. I would suggest split Ukraine on the Dnieper - it would benefit everyone.

Is Blinken really wanting war on three fronts?
Somebody wake Joe.


Bernard F. , Apr 17 2021 21:05 utc | 35

USA needs to build a bridge to its future and to common sense.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 20:20 utc | 24


Is Jake Sullivan supposed to coordinate?
https://youtu.be/1qz60D0tZPI
Condorpuma , Apr 17 2021 20:11 utc | 22

The Empire is trying to surround and castrate Russia. Russian interests are being hit every day. Sanctions for ever, more and more.

Putin has to come up with something exceptionally crazy and unexpected. another level of asymmetry. Russian stockpile is "officially" of about 6.400 nuclear heads of which 1600 operational, probably more than that. This Nuclear Capital should be "invested ". Putin should convince Iran to change policy and accept donation or lease of 200-300 nuclear heads. Siria,Venezuela and maybe Korea should be given a number of tactical nuclear weapons for self defence. China,as well,with Russian help,should double the Nuclear Potential. A political Earthquake would shake the Empire. Russia survival
is the Stake.

uncle tungsten , Apr 17 2021 20:20 utc | 24

USA givesall its manufacturing to then moans about China carbon emissions. Chine is worlds largest solar panel manufacturer, us moans about China carbon. USA blocks Nord Stream 2 gas supply to Germany then moans about Russian carbon emissions. USA hasthe poorest house insulation regulationa and moans about others carbon emissions.

China achieves major reafforestation targets and reclaims huge tracts of desert and USA ignores it, continues to strip forests at home and everwhere else.

USA needs to build a bridge to its future and to common sense.

norecovery , Apr 17 2021 20:23 utc | 25

@ pnyx -- It's not only that USians are unaware of much of what's happening in other countries, it's the fact they are misinformed and misled about current events by propaganda. This is also the case in Europe because their MSM also have been co-opted by the coordinated Intelligence Apparatus (CIA - MI6 - FiveEyes) that controls the flow of information in the U.S. MSM. We are witnessing censorship/control of Social Media, Search Engines, and formerly independent websites as well.

This is an all-out effort of Class War. One aspect of this is to broadcast a hidden personal message that if I feel oppressed, "it must be my own fault" because "success" supposedly is within everyone's grasp (note the emphasis on celebrity 'culture').

powerandpeople , Apr 17 2021 21:24 utc | 39

Russia has shown an astonishing amount of 'strategic patience' in the face of racism, lies, insults, seizure of diplomatic property, obstruction of officials coming to the UN, possibly a hand in the murder of their high rank military landing in Syria, perhaps the downing of their choir, US silence of US radar data 'highly likely' showing Ukraine downing the Malaysian aircraft, fabrications everywhere, and so very much more.

Well, the cup of patience runneth over.

"These steps represent just a fraction of the capabilities at our disposal. Unfortunately, US statements threatening to introduce new forms of punishment show that Washington is not willing to listen and does not appreciate the restraint that we have displayed despite the tensions that have been purposefully fuelled since the presidency of Barack Obama.

Recall that after a large-scale expulsion of Russian diplomats in December 2016 and the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the US, we did not take any response measures for seven months. We responded only when Russia was declared a US adversary legislatively in August 2017.

In general, compared to the Russian diplomatic missions in the United States, the US Embassy in Moscow operates in better conditions, enjoying a numerical advantage and actively benefitting from the work of Russian citizens hired in-country. This form of disparity frees up "titular" diplomats to interfere in our domestic affairs, which is one of the main tenets of Washington's foreign policy doctrine.

...the reality is that we hear one thing from Washington but see something completely different in practice... a proposed Russian-US summit. When this offer was made, it was received positively and is now being considered in the context of concrete developments. "/BLOCKQUOTE>

The last bit is deliberately ambiguous. Ha ha ha ha ha!

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4689067

Tom , Apr 17 2021 22:07 utc | 40

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 17 2021 21:21 utc | 38

I suspect Sullivan and Blinken's next gig will be something like that. "We came here to forget", but instead of the French Legion, it will be PMC Wagner.

Personally what I would do would be a Operation Bagration 2.0 at the slightest misstep by Ukraine. There is may too much on the table here. Bio labs, nests of NATO rats, nuclear power plants, NATO missiles on the Ukrainian and Belarus borders with Russia. Time to clear out the rats including Lviv. After disinfecting this part of eastern Europe (again) of that other far more dangerous virus, Nazism, life will be much more peaceful in that part of the world, and likely by the domino effect (yes I actually said that!) to other places in the world plagued by US exceptionalism.

[Apr 14, 2021] Kharkiv is culturally and economically as much Donbas, for a start. And Odessa is a major center of Russian population, too, even if not part of the Donbas.

Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

elephant , Apr 11 2021 11:00 utc | 113

"Why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

The apparent change in stance is unlikely a ruse because a ruse presumes that Russia would take the bait.

The change is unlikely due to a miscalculation on Ukraine's part because Ukraine was well aware of the strength of the juggernaut just to the east before Ukraine sent men and materiel that way.

The change is unlikely due to a miscalculation on Washington's part because a likely drubbing of Ukraine with Washington sitting on the sidelines would result in a loss of prestige vis a vis Russia and China.

I'd suggest the change -- if there really is such a change -- is more likely the result of Germany, and maybe France, exerting simultaneous pressure on Washington and Kiev, coupled with leading sectors of the bureaucracy in both Washington and Kiev agreeing with Merkel (Washington for its own reasons and Kiev because of Washington's instructions) that a war does not advance their interests.

Washington is in a position similar to that of Britain prior to the Suez Crisis: one loss away from losing its preeminence on the world stage. Losing that position over a conflict involving, essentially, a gas pipeline to Germany is not worth the risk.

It's likely that Washington's apparent stance is symptomatic of significant discord between the Neocons and the less belligerent of the foreign policy establishment. It appears that the Neocons may have lost this round. One can expect the schism to continue to play out over the coming years


steven t johnson , Apr 10 2021 19:21 utc | 41

vk@29 writes "[My comment@24] is nonsense: if Ukraine takes back the Donbas basin, it will have full control over Crimea. The option of
'trading' the Donbas for Crimea doesn't exist."

It's hard to know how seriously this is meant. Luhansk and Donetsk are not *the* Donbas. Kharkiv is culturally and economically as much Donbas, for a start. And Odessa is a major center of Russian population, too, even if not part of the Donbas. At any rate, insofar as the "Donbas" is essential to control Crimea, though, it is Kherson and Zaporizhye provinces that control the water supply. And it is Mariupol's port that contests the Sea of Azov. That's the part of Donbas that vk implies to be essential for full control of Crimea. But if Mariupol is essential for full control, then Putin neither has full control now, nor does he want it, because it is apparently Putin who pressured the rebels into leaving Mariupol in Ukrainian hands. By the criteria vk uses here, Putin doesn't have full control of Crimea now. This could be understood to show that in the long run Luhansk/Donetsk are untenable too, trapped in a race to collapse with Kyiv. And it would show too that Putin needs a genuine peace in Crimea, needs to do something, because in the long run, time is not on his/Russia's side. The thing is of course, is that either vk doesn't mean what is actually written, or vk won't draw the conclusions vk's own premises require.

SingingSam , Apr 10 2021 19:46 utc | 43

MarkU @26 got it right. It is a head fake.

Ukraine's leadership doesn't care about their civilians and soldiers. US and NATO leadership care even less for them. In the current context actions speak far louder than words.

Even the dimmest and most senile leaders can figure out some of the following:
• Russia is not bluffing. Bluffing is not their style.
• Neither the US nor NATO will put boots on the ground of Donbass or Crimea.
• Against Russia the US surface ships in the Black Sea are floating targets, as they are anywhere else in the world.
• There won't be a Minsk3 agreement.
• Nord Stream 2 will be completed no matter what. For the respect, Russia doesn't need the revenue so much.

If in fact Ukraine backs down, it will be a Biden continuation of Trump's off-repeated stunt of walking to the edge and then backing off. You can't expect innovation from senile players.

dh , Apr 10 2021 19:51 utc | 44

"why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

A little too much vodka in the Galician contingent would be my guess.

Stonebird , Apr 10 2021 20:31 utc | 48

Water, water, in the air but not a drop to drink.

Crimea needs water badly with summer coming on.
Any Ukrainian or Russian advance cannot happen across bogs and mud. Wait until the rain stops, or sink.

I saw somewhere that Zelensky actually thought of opening the canal sometime ago but was "stopped". It was never made clear WHO ordered him not to, or who ordered him to start an anti-Russian drive, or.....etc.

b's post undelines that the previous lines of cultural/liguistic division have not gone away, and have probably hardened. The Nasty brigade are actually in lands that probably do not appreciate them being there. (ie, the Russian speaking areas under Ukie control are probably not overjoyed to become "permanent collateral damage")

*

Anyone else notice the large movement of Chinese ships in the South China Sea? Doubled trouble for the Empire? They hardly get the time to concentrate on claiming "rights of passage" through Indian territoral waters, or in the Black sea, or in the Artic, without someone stirring the pot. Whatever next?

A diversion or just taking advantage of the limited scope of the attention span of whoever is in command in the US ?

blues , Apr 10 2021 20:37 utc | 49

-// Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. //- -- Henry Kissinger

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy

Mao Cheng Ji , Apr 10 2021 21:07 utc | 52

@vk "And that's the objective truth: if the Ukraine conquers the DPR and LPR, it will essentially cut off Crimea from Russia."

How so? It doesn't seem to me that a hypothetical merger of DPR, LPR, and Ukraine would have any effect on Crimea.

In fact, if DPR and LPR join according to the Minsk2 conditions, it could help, as they would (theoretically) become a significant political factor on the national level. Which is why Kiev is not interested in a peaceful unification.

And even a military conquest (which is what you're talking about) would create problems for Kiev, as disenfranchising (or expelling) most of the population there might be somewhat problematic.

William R Henry , Apr 10 2021 21:31 utc | 53

"One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse." --our host

Precisely. The US prefers to start its conflicts with a sucker punch, but that is only possible if the target is unprepared and looking the other way. Russia only needs to let its guard down and look away for a moment for the empire to take advantage of it. Notice how the ukrops are not moving their attack forces back? They will attack while the US ships are in the Black Sea to monitor the fighting and provide direction.

Donbass does not have strategic depth. The plan is to hit the republics with a suicide bum-rush. America doesn't care how many of the ukrop aggressors are exterminated in the attack so long as some units survive to take up positions in the city centers. The empire's strategists figure that with a sudden enough and massive enough assault, and given at least some element of surprise, this can be accomplished overnight. The ukrop cannon fodder will be given orders to not bother securing any areas they overrun and instead continue to charge forward.

Suicidal? Absolutely, because any Novorossiya troops that are overrun will regroup behind the ukrop aggressors and pull back, cutting off the units that penetrated into the cities. That's when those advance ukrop units will go all "Shock & Awe™" on the urban civilians to draw the Novorossiya units away from their established positions and demoralize them.

So long as the Russians are not caught with their pants down they should be able to easily repel the ukrop assault. If they are thinking this through clearly then the Novorossiya troops, with the Russians at their backs, should push for the Dniper in order to acquire that much needed strategic depth. At the same time the Black Sea should be completely cleared of any hostile vessels, and obviously that means the American ships.

aquadraht , Apr 10 2021 21:44 utc | 55

I disagree about DNR and LNR are of importance for Russia to keep hold on Crimea. Crimea secession was prior to the insurrection in eastern Ukraine, they tried to copy Crimean secession (even held referenda in 2014) To the frustration of DNR/LNR activists as well as many russian nationalists, the russian government has rejected all pleas to incorporate the breakaway regions or Ukraine into Russia. On contrary, it has repeatedly tried to broker a compromise, and the Minsk accords are part of. Putin even ostensibly bound his hands by forcing a Duma decree in 2015, revoking the "Medvedyev doctrine" from 2008 Georgian conflict which authorized use of force when ethnic Russians were threatened, Anyway, the russian government could not abandon the insurgency in Donbas without risking to be toppled by nationalists.

One should keep this in mind: Russia does not want the ethnically russian parts of Ukraine which would comprise of most of it. It was not Russia who escalated the inner ukrainian divide. And militarily, LNR and DNR are in no way helpful for Crimea. Normal relations between the RF and Ukraine would be in Russia's interest, would belp both countries. But that is what the West prevents at any cost, to the last Ukrainian. Only the dumb ukronazis don't realize that.

aquadraht , Apr 10 2021 21:53 utc | 56

@53 vk Ukraine will never get back DNR and LNR by military means, but, if at all, only via a compromise alongside the Minsk accords. And if you speak to realistic Ukrainians (there are not few, even in the nazi infested galicia and volyn), they all realize that Crimea is gone, and that it always only grudgingly agreed to be an autonomous republic inside Ukraine until 2014.

JohninMK , Apr 10 2021 22:43 utc | 59

fx @ 46

Its not just the Fortuna laying pipe now, the Akadamik Cherskiy has been on the job for about 10 day and she can lay pipe faster. According to the plans submitted to the Danes, in whose waters they are laying, Fortuna is expected to finish in May whilst the AC has permission until September but is expected to finish early.


As to the USN ships (Black sea regular USS Ross passed Gib inbound Med today) are not due in until the start of next week and will leave early May. What their role, apart from being a gesture of support for Ukraine, is is not clear. An obvious job of one, if not both, could be to be tied up at a berth in Odessa harbour as a poison pill to try to make sure that Russia does not attack that part of the coast. Were there to be an attack of course.

Seems to be a big mistake by the US to me. I can understand what they are trying to do but, given the option above, if they stay at sea it will be a clear statement that they don't want to get that involved. I'm sure it is not their intention to be so open in showing their true objective.

Another possible reason for a delay until May is that the Orthodox Church celebrates its Eater Sunday on the 2nd May.

William R Henry 52

There is no need to go to the Dneiper to gain sufficient strategic depth, not only would that be a political nightmare but just stopping at the oblast borders should be sufficient. Included in that would be Mariupol, the only Ukrainian port on the Sea of Azov. That would make Donbass economically viable.

No need to clear the Black Sea, Russia totally dominates over, on and under it.

jared , Apr 10 2021 22:52 utc | 61

@ Posted by: bevin | Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 13

Wouldnt this be the second time that Zelinski used thread of conflict to help himself in election?

It seems an important point. Why would B over look it, I wonder.

Declaring war and then declaring peace. I guess one cannot chose ones neighbors.

I thought Russia stood to benefit from war. They should keep pressure on Zelinski - training, preparations and support of Donbass. Seems Russia is very measured with assistance.

Bernard F. , Apr 10 2021 22:58 utc | 63

b. :
"It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now."


The Postman Always Rings Twice


Bloomberg:
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to return to Brussels next week for more meetings with NATO and European officials, according to people familiar with the matter, as the U.S. grows increasingly concerned about Russian troop movements near Ukraine.

The meetings will take up most of the week,[...]
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be in Brussels at the same time, for a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"Frank muses that just as the postman always rings a second time to make sure people receive their mail, fate has made sure that he and Cora have both finally paid the price for their crime.


"Schöne Wochenende".
Next week will be interesting as last 3 were.

Dr. George W Oprisko , Apr 10 2021 23:19 utc | 65

Maybe I missed it but there were elections in Ukraine last Sunday and
"The new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the Ukraine, elected on Sunday, will have an overwhelming national mandate to negotiate peace terms to end the five-year civil war.

You misssed it....

Those elections were in 2019....

Zelenski has been compromised since then... most notably via loss of his plutocrat mentor...

The CIA/NSA/RightSector are firmly in charge, because Zelenski did not use his mandate to throttle them.

The best he could have done, was to invite Russia in for the purpose of "stabilizing" ukraine.

That, of course, did not happen.

INDY

Bernard F. , Apr 10 2021 23:48 utc | 70

"Europe" ask Russia to negociate


Western nations chided Russia for failing to turn up at talks in Vienna on Saturday aimed at defusing tension over Ukraine, where a Russian troop buildup close to the border between the two countries has sparked fears of renewed conflict.


Don't you remember?

https://youtu.be/VYM0oL6RPvg

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference Friday following talks with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

"Therefore, we organize our life coming from the premise that the EU is not a reliable partner, at least at this stage,"

"I hope that the strategic review which is coming will finally pay attention to vital interests of the European Union in its closest vicinity " Lavrov stressed.

"I hope that today's talks will help us reach a more constructive trajectory. We are ready for it."

Grieved , Apr 11 2021 0:45 utc | 75

@b - "...why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

J Swift offered a good clue in his comment in the previous thread:

"the Nuland crowd have played right into Russia's hands, because the Ukraine is definitely a place where Russia has escalation dominance. I suspect that when some of those famous military channels began chatting, the Russians were not so friendly, and made it clear that an offensive by the Ukies would not only free Russia's hand toward the Nazis and provide a perfect excuse to rid the East and South of them, but that Russia would be specifically targeting US/NATO "advisers," command centers, resupply aircraft or any aircraft entering Ukrainian airspace, and would be just waiting for any US ship in the Black Sea to do something remotely involving it in the conflict, such that it would be on the bottom in minutes."

We know from Pepe Escobar's latest article , presenting highlights from the recent important interview with Nikolai Patrushev (Secretary of the RF Security Council), that Patrushev, a very dangerous and serious man, enjoys undiminished communications with Washington, including a March phone discussion with Jake Sullivan, White House security advisor. If his interview is anything to go by, his candid discussions with US leadership could have scared them totally awake.

Once again, it could well be that the neocons talked up a blazing firestorm that the generals and security professionals ultimately had to pour water on.

Patrick Armstrong in his latest article gives us ample evidence that Victoria Nuland, back in power and riding high, is also vastly ignorant and imperceptive, incapable of learning or reflection, and mediocre in her intelligence. The neocons, as Armstrong points out, have always failed. And they have led the US down a path of loss.

If in fact this Ukraine adventure is over for the moment (if in fact it ever was real in the first place), then it bears total resemblance to every other neocon stupid idea, that goes as far down the path to ruin as it can, sometimes being stopped by wiser heads, sometimes simply charging over the edge, into the abyss.

If Russia gets to choose, one assumes Russia would prefer no military activity in Ukraine. And if Russia is forced into military action, one also assumes as best guess that Russia will reshape the map to a better end for all. It could just be that Russia managed to communicate this to the US, and that the US managed to hear.

dh , Apr 11 2021 1:14 utc | 77

@74 Yes but that doesn't really address b's question. Why was this allowed to happen in the first place? We know all about Nuland and her cookies and encouragement from Washington. But why was the Minsk agreement broken? Why do the Ukies keep lobbing shells into Donbass?

Those troops are bored. I'm sticking with my vodka theory.

vk , Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 78

@ Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 10 2021 21:53 utc | 55

Just to clarify: Russia has already officially stated (many years ago) that it doesn't want any other piece of the Ukraine (i.e. any other piece beyond Crimea). It wants the Ukraine to survive in the form of a federalized State with the DPR and LPR enjoying high levels of autonomy (a la Spain).

Ukraine is not profitable to Russia. It would drain its coffers were it to have to conquer and absorb it entirely.

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, and they gave it some relief from its chronic negative population problem - all of that without having to advance one inch over continental Ukraine.

michaelj72 , Apr 11 2021 1:39 utc | 79

Germany vetoed any more provocations by the US or nato against the Donbass/Crimea that would clearly call in massive Russian support. Crimea is now part of the Russian Federation; an end of that part of the story - and there are several hundred thousand people in the Donbass that now have Russian passports. Russia won't stand for any of it. No matter how much the dumb Ukrainians or the lackey Poles or their US/nato masters huff and puff and bellow.....

it is also not in the slightest German interests for a war to break out right in the middle of Europe that might escalate into a nuclear confrontation, nor is it in their national interest to lose the Nord Stream 2 project... at all.

I don't know about France's position in all this but either France or Germany could/would exercise veto over any nato troops/intervention in the Ukraine.

time to return to the Minsk agreements. in spite of the incredible stupidity of the US foreign policy Establishment and those jackass war-mongers Blinken, Nuland and Austin et. al.

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 11 2021 2:17 utc | 81

Do you really expect the Amerikastani Empire's puppet Ukranazi coup regime to say "we will attack"? Instead it will attack and then claim Russia attacked it. Just like Hitler's Gleiwitz radio station false flag attack that started WWII.

Lozion , Apr 11 2021 2:18 utc | 82

Zelensky in Istanbul. Erdogan to refuse to recognize Crimea as Russian territory..
Saw a tweet today saying something along the lines of Russia preventing flights to Turkey this summer for "Covid" reasons, read between the lines..

https://sputniknews.com/world/202104101082593169-erdogan-zelensky-confirm-strategic-partnership-between-turkey-and-ukraine-after-istanbul-meeting/

Piotr Berman , Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 83

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, ...

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 77

This is rather sketchily related to reality.

1. Ukraine is not a "black hole for the IMF". They got a smallish credit, and now they are being denied extensions on rather preposterous grounds, and Ukraine is charged for the unused credit line. Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget.

2. There is no clear distinction between migration patterns. The one time I was in Russia, the tourist guide on a one-day bus trip was from Rivne -- in Poland in years 1918-39. And as Polish medical workers go to Spain etc., Ukrainian once fill the vacant positions, and they may come from any place. Ditto with the "quality of workers". Poland has more of seasonal jobs in picking crops (while Poles do it further West) than Russia, Russia perennially seeks workers ready to accept extra pay in less than benign climes. The closest to truth is scooping engineers and highly qualified workers from factories that before worked for Russian market, including military, replaced with Russian factories and, when needed, Ukrainian know-how. That is pretty much accomplished -- predominantly from the Eastern Ukraine. As a result, the remaining workforce is so-so from east to west.

Cesare , Apr 11 2021 2:29 utc | 84

It's been made clear that a Ukrainian attack on the D & L republics would be met with a direct Russian intervention into the conflict and likely would result in the loss of the whole of the disputed oblasts to the separatist republics. Russia has no intention of eliminating Ukraine or occupying Kyiv, but that kind of defeat in the east would spell the end of what political stability remains in Ukraine and likely lead to a new Maidan against Zelensky and possibly further secessions. That's the real downside of this for Russia. Ukraine is threatening to immolate itself as a form of brinksmanship.

Failing that death wish, only if Moscow somehow agrees to stay out of the war does this have the remotest possibility of achieving what the Kyiv government needs. Otherwise it will not attack.

psychohistorian , Apr 11 2021 2:31 utc | 85
@ Lozion | Apr 11 2021 2:18 utc | 81 with the link about the Ukraine/Turkey meeting today..thanks

Interesting position by Erdogan and I would think it would effect Turkey's purchase of Russian defense equipment but who knows where the complexity balance resides in the ME.

Lots of tinder just waiting for a spark to point the blame at for world conflagration. I will believe this situation is cooling when I read about the US ships turning around and not going into the Black Sea.

Virgile , Apr 11 2021 2:56 utc | 86
Erdoğan has several goals in Ukraine. Show Russia that he is strong and important for Russia as he has influence on Ukraine. Show the USA that he is an active participant of NATo. Sell his military drones to whoever wants them as well as other turkish products.
He appears as a king maker and gets business and approval from russia,the EU and the Usa to avoid a war. A very successful move needed to rehabilitate Erdoğan seriously in trouble with both the usa and the EU...
jayc , Apr 11 2021 3:18 utc | 87

The western press is portraying the events of the past few weeks as representing an unmotivated unilateral Russian troop buildup.

Canada's Globe and Mail yet again deliberately deceives its readers with omission-plagued reporting which the author must know is wrong. This includes describing the Minsk agreements as "the Kremlin's version of how to make peace" which are being utilized in an "enforcement operation" featuring a "coercive use of force" meant to "induce Kyiv, Berlin and Paris" to accept "Moscow's terms." Awful reporting by any objective measure.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-ukrainian-commander-sees-parallels-with-2014-as-russian-military-build/

Meanwhile, a Heritage Foundation flunky describes "spontaneous" Russian deployments designed to "keep Ukraine out of organizations such as the EU or NATO".

Russia should be opposed because: "Modern Ukraine represents the idea in Europe that each country has the sovereign ability to determine its own path, to decide with whom it has relations, and how and by whom it is governed."
https://www.arabnews.com/node/1840341

Both reporters make the same observation in opening paragraphs, supporting the notion that these pieces are derived from a distributed script or collection of talking points:

1) "For weeks, Russian social media accounts have been flooded with videos showing long convoys of tanks, troop trucks and artillery pieces "

2) "Dozens of videos in social media posts show hundreds of Russian tanks and armored vehicles pouring into the region."

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 11 2021 12:10 utc | 119

I have a feeling, it's only a feeling right now, that the looted black hole that's Ukranazistan after 7 years of "freedom " is such a drain that the EUNATO gangsters behind the Maidan would love to palm the ruins off to Russia. "Here, you broke it, you own it."

Lozion , Apr 12 2021 1:30 utc | 140

Saker's latest from Martyanov is a must-read. One can imagine Milley's reaction to Gerasimov's little reminder of what awaits any invading force..

psychohistorian , Apr 12 2021 4:49 utc | 143

Below is the latest I have read about Ukraine

"
MOSCOW, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Russia does not seek a war with Ukraine but is concerned for the Russian-speaking population in the country's eastern Donbass region, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday.

"No one is going to move towards a war, and no one at all accepts any possibility of such a war," Peskov told a Russian TV program.

"Russia has never been a party to this conflict (between Kiev and insurgents in Donbass). But Russia has always said that it will not remain indifferent to the fate of Russian speakers who live in the southeast of Ukraine," he added.

According to the spokesman, Kiev refuses to fulfill its responsibilities under the Minsk agreements on a Donbass settlement, with government forces intensifying "provocative actions" in the region.

Russia, Germany and France are "bewildered" by Kiev's recent claims that the Minsk agreements are useless, Peskov said, adding that there are no alternatives to the pacts for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Political advisers of the Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders are working towards holding a summit on eastern Ukraine, he said.
"

uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 8:14 utc | 144

Skiffer #122

but I do see this situation more as having put the Maidan-coalition on the back-foot and having to disentangle themselves, rather than a carefully pre-planned and coordinated operation.

Thank you and I humourously appreciated your allusions to the asylum that has captured Ukraine. The Maidan Murder Coalition has discovered its karma that was always lying in wait. These villainous rsoles will seriously collapse under the weight of it all, particularly the sniper trick shooters on the Maidan crowds.

uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 8:44 utc | 145

Lozion #140

Thank you. Martyanov is direct and unambiguous in the main. I take it that this was the item at the Vineyard of the Saker you cited?

I loved this line: "Everyone can recall a wide-spread (spread most likely by some overly zealous, but not very literate, Russian "patriots") rumor about DDG-75 USS Donald Cook having her electronics "burned" by a couple of intrepid Russian Su-24s in April of 2014, who allegedly forced this American ship to fast return to Constanta, where, allegedly some of her crew expressed a desire to abandon the ship. NYT and other US media, not without justification, called those rumors to be Russian "propaganda". They have a point."

Tuyzentfloot , Apr 12 2021 9:20 utc | 147

Which seems as good a moment as any to plug my new product (!!). Since that picture of Col. Brittany visiting Donbass in uniform of 72th mechanized division with a prominent skull badge reminded me so of the sketch 'Are we the Baddies' it is time to market my new velcro badges with rainbows and BLM logos. Stick them anywhere to show you're part of the right camp! If you shoulder badges may offend leftist softies, just stick these badges on top of them for the perfect photo op! HTS already ordered a large batch. Now 20% off and buy two get one free!

Tuyzentfloot , Apr 12 2021 9:41 utc | 148

Turkey wants to build on its successes in Nagorno Karabach to sell its weapon systems to Ukraine. Whether they also explicitly wish the conflict to explode is less clear.

uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 10:11 utc | 149

Tuyzentfloot #148

Turkey was not alone in Azerbaijan. Its mate Israel was supplying toys and tricks as well as I recall.

Bemildred , Apr 12 2021 11:26 utc | 150

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 12 2021 9:41 utc | 148

Erdogan needs money, cash. The same seems to be true of most if not all Western politicians. But some, like Erdogan and Bibi, need lots of money.

Putin on the other hand, does not need cash. He has a healthy fiat currency at his disposal and sells a lot of food, oil, lumber, weapons etc. internationally.

I don't think Ukraine is going to be a good source of cash for Erdogan, or Bibi. They need a lot of cash too.

Stonebird , Apr 12 2021 12:47 utc | 151

So there is a massive build-up on both sides in Ukraine? ( The following comment was provoked by info from a tweet that the Ukrainians have "found" a secret plan by the Kremlin for a union with Donbas .. unconfirmed )

What if......?
... The Russians and the Dondbas/Luhansk actually DO declare a union with Russia? There is no "need" for the Russians to physically "invade" the area. They can just sit there and wait for the Ukrainians to do something. Then IF Zelensky decides, it is he who has to "start" the conflict. As a plan it is the perfect reversal of the usual Russian "aggression".

Zelensky's bluff called?

A "union" is just another way of saying "it is ours EVEN IF the title is nominally someone elses, stuff you".

The massive forces on the "frontlines" are there to remind the Ukes and their backers what "might" happen, IF they "invade" Donbas/Luhansk. What can they do about it? Make rude noises in the background?

The US, Israel and Turkey are all examples of one country simply "taking over" parts of another country - without any legality whatsoever. US in NE Syria, Turkey with it's advance of 32km all along a new frontline, with a wall between itself and Syria. Israel with the Golan. None of them have the slightest legal reason to be there. (Chinese claim the Spratleys, which is a legal fig-leaf).

Lateral thinking by Putin? Would he even need a legal fig-leaf?

Bemildred , Apr 12 2021 14:26 utc | 152

What if......?
... The Russians and the Dondbas/Luhansk actually DO declare a union with Russia?

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 12 2021 12:47 utc | 151

It is an interesting idea, and I would not want to say it will not happen, but it seems un-Putin-like to me based on past performance. He's been very comfortable with frozen conflicts in the past. And I think he probably still wants Ukraine as a buffer, friendly but not Russia, and to keep it whole minus Crimea.

Stonebird , Apr 12 2021 16:45 utc | 155

Bemildred | Apr 12 2021 14:26 utc | 152

This way he would still "keep" Ukraine on a tether, and avoid being accused of aggression.

OK, it may go that way but the silence (from Putin) and the refusal of the Russians to give more than vague reasons for their actions, does mean that the west's MSM have nothing to froth at the mouth about- Let Zelensky stew in his own juice.

As well as the regular Army and volunteers, He is going to end up with seven thousand ex-jihadists employees, multiple "mercenaries" from the US and the other parts of the world, orders for Drones, arms etc. BUT he is losing $3 billion revenue from gas (the transit of which has been "slowing down") since the 1st April. I don't know what he has contracted to supply to those futher along the pipeline. Plus the debts to the WB and IMF.

So how long can he keep up the expense of having a standing army of 105'000 or more at the ready?

The Russians can wait them out. If they just don't "talk" or give any PR leeway to the west, then with the attention span of the goldfish in the EU and US citizens, it will drop once again from view. (20 seconds for a goldfish otherwise they would get bored going round and round in a bowl ?)

karlof1 , Apr 12 2021 18:07 utc | 156

Diesen in his book, Russia's Geoeconomic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia , provides the rationale for the Outlaw US Empire's actions in Ukraine, that are actually aimed at NATO members, which it fears will be enticed by Russia and fracture the alliance:

"This susceptibility to outside sabotage of regional unity [NATO] can be mitigated by centralizing power by, for example, instigating more overt military tensions to strengthen alliance unity." [Pg. 22]

This also serves to provide additional energy to the Russophobic Narrative and the unfounded rationale for anti-Russian sanctions. The Empire must at all costs continue NATO's viability for that ensures the Empire's geoeconomic and geopolitical control of the EU. The same is true in East Asia where the anti-China narrative must be continued to keep Japan and South Korea under the Empire's thumb, although South Korea is slowly slipping away.

[Apr 14, 2021] Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget

Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 83

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, ...

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 77

This is rather sketchily related to reality.

1. Ukraine is not a "black hole for the IMF". They got a smallish credit, and now they are being denied extensions on rather preposterous grounds, and Ukraine is charged for the unused credit line. Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget.

2. There is no clear distinction between migration patterns. The one time I was in Russia, the tourist guide on a one-day bus trip was from Rivne -- in Poland in years 1918-39. And as Polish medical workers go to Spain etc., Ukrainian once fill the vacant positions, and they may come from any place. Ditto with the "quality of workers". Poland has more of seasonal jobs in picking crops (while Poles do it further West) than Russia, Russia perennially seeks workers ready to accept extra pay in less than benign climes. The closest to truth is scooping engineers and highly qualified workers from factories that before worked for Russian market, including military, replaced with Russian factories and, when needed, Ukrainian know-how. That is pretty much accomplished -- predominantly from the Eastern Ukraine. As a result, the remaining workforce is so-so from east to west.

[Apr 09, 2021] Can Ukrainian forces capture Donbass without heavy losses?

Apr 09, 2021 | www.unz.com

Aaron Hilel , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:58 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago

@AH14 t turns tail (as usual).

NATO commissars chase Ukrainian conscripts into RU artillery and machinegun fire until they lose control over their units, which immediately flee the battlefield (as usual).
If V.V. Putin feels merciful, there's no Buratino rocket barrages on troop concentration points, as happened during Ilovaisk debacle.

Now, hopefully NATO will puff up and use their vaunted Israeli drones during the attack, so RU can study the remains.
You never, ever attack entrenched, prepared and boresighted Russians in tank country, without air superiority, because if you do you get Kursk.
In the best case.

In worst, and most probable case, NATO will get another Saur Mogila disaster.

Schuetze , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:16 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Rurik

Yes, Russia could have some aces hidden up their sleeve. So could the US. So could Nato. So could even Ukraine...

Alfred , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:39 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Zarathustra urriculum. The Russians must stop protecting the Jews who control the narrative everywhere. Jews must no longer control more than 10% of the media. They are only 1-2% of the population.

Like the Jews, Galician Ukrainians are always victims. What they did to the Poles during the German occupation is forgotten.

Ukrainians deported from Poland in 1944 recall mass killings, explain paths to historical reconciliation

Desert Fox , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:45 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago

The zionists are in control in the Ukraine and if they start a war with Russia the Ukraine is going to be destroyed, Russia has warned Ukraine over and over but being the typical zionists that they are, they will accept nothing but destruction and bloodshed as long as it is someone elses blood and destruction.

The zionists have destroyed Iraq and Syria and Libya and Yemen and America.

Avery , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:31 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@alwayswrite ous Regions/Republics had the legal right to secede from the given SSR they were attached to. Furthermore, once USSR dissolved, any legal basis for a given (former) SSR to have sway on the given Autonomous Soviet Republic ended.

In fact most of original Ukraine was artificially "fattened up" by various Russian and Soviet leaders.
[Territories Annexed to Ukraine]
https://external-preview.redd.it/Ac69B2pvCGyFG9VcPAlyC-7dqI5V3h33vqf2URyOvGo.jpg?width=927&height=485.340314136&auto=webp&s=063b7385b544833a187844f9e198422

Herald , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:34 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@Miro23 Germans are surely going to become tired of all this CIA/Neo-con BS.

Merkel and Macron know just what the US is playing at. If the Ukraine does get the deserved thrashing, that it is literally begging for, then of course there will be German and French knee jerk condemnations along with the ritual imposition of token sanctions. However this dangerous episode, will likely harden the resolve of both countries to escape the grip of the flailing hegemon, which is now in its death throes. So perhaps in the slightly longer term, the whole episode will backfire on the US and big time at that.

Russia might feel that war in Ukraine is inevitable and perhaps it would be better now, rather than later.

Majority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:51 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@Levtraro ganovich, henchman to Stalin, but with an agenda of his own, had his troops and secret-police agents seize essentially ALL the food stocks from perhaps 2 million peasant families, resulting in death by starvation for multi-millions.

Thirdly, the heaviest battles in the Second World War were mostly fought in Ukraine. Again, the death totals of the civilian population were huge. The land was ravaged. Essentially the entire population were deeply traumatized.

Consequently one should not wonder that to the average Russian Ukrainians appear to be dazed and dumbed-down. So next time you see your Russian friends, kindly remind them that their brethren to the south and west should be regarded and treated with considerable compassion.

Ukraine Tiger , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:14 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Majority of One

Good comment. Basically what I have been saying since Maidan. I understand why it has not happened but the time has definitely come. I think the demarcation would be Odessa, Kherson, Mykolaev and then north along the Dnipro including Khortiskia and up to East Sumy. I know it sounds warmongerish but I hope this happens. Get this shit over with. There is so much happening in this country that discriminates against ethnic Russians more each day.

EugeneGur , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:15 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Quartermaster s military is nothing like they were in '14.

No, it isn't; it's worse. The Ukrainian army suffers huge non-combat losses every day: accidents from drinking or narcotics, desertion, suicides. Their commanders are incompetent and super-dumb as well as first-rate scumbags.

They well remember the Russian reconquest after the revolution and Holodomor.

That they do not remember, for that never happened, at least, not as described. What they do remember, however, are the caldrons in 2014-2015 and their horrendous losses.

Ukraine will not be easily swallowed again.

If anyone cared to swallow it, it would be. Alfred Muscaria , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:17 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago

@Quartermaster

"They well remember the Russian reconquest after the revolution and Holodomor. Ukraine will not be easily swallowed again."

Ummmmm . it would appear that the grandchildren of the architects of the Holodomor are the ones currently in power in Ukraine. Pretty amazing level of cucking and submission if you ask me.

canspeccy , says: Website April 8, 2021 at 4:18 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago

Did no one think of letting the people of each Ukrainian oblast decide for themselves to which country they wished to belong?

Oh, but wait a minute, that's what those Russian bastards did in Crimea.

So sure, WWIII, bring it on, if that's what it takes to restore Crimea to the rule of the legitimate kleptocrats in Kiev.

Majority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 5:46 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Levtraro vernment of Ukraine and that the current regime is nothing more than a puppet state which does NOT represent the best interests of the Ukrainian people and particularly of those particularly Russian speaking folks in Crimea and the Donbass region.

The illegitimate regime in Kiev is almost entirely Khazarian Talmudist dominated and in cahoots with the fascistic Uniates in Galicia. That group should be entirely divorced from any future Ukrainian state as their history has a long involvement with Western Roman Catholic cultures and consequently is an alien entity within the body politick of Ukraine, Belarus or Russia. Let them go their own way and not infect their neighbors to the south and east with their culturally indigestible attitudes.

[Apr 09, 2021] Turkey Confirms 2 US Warships To Enter Black Sea As Ukraine Posturing Grows - ZeroHedge

Apr 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Turkey Confirms 2 US Warships To Enter Black Sea As Ukraine Posturing Grows BY TYLER DURDEN FRIDAY, APR 09, 2021 - 10:29 AM

Turkey's foreign ministry on Friday confirmed that it's granted permission for US warships to use the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to enter the Black Sea at a moment tensions with Russia over Ukraine are spiraling higher with tit-for-tat threats. Given it revealed the initial notification was two weeks ago, a pair of American warships are expected imminently to enter the Black Sea .

The foreign ministry said in a statement while referencing the treaty that regulates passage through the straits: "A notice was sent to us 15 days ago via diplomatic channels that two U.S. warships would pass to the Black Sea in line with the Montreux Convention. The ships will remain in the Black Sea until May 4. "

Typically the US gives 14-days notice prior to sending warships into the Black Sea, according to the long established treaty with Turkey regarding use of the Bosporus to enter the waters.

And Reuters notes the significance of the timing as follows : "The United States has informed Turkey that two of its warships will pass through Turkish straits to be deployed in the Black Sea until May 4, Ankara said on Friday, as Russia has bulked up its military forces on Ukraine's eastern border."

Late Thursday an unnamed US defense official had told CNN the warships would be deployed "in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine ," and further the deployment would "send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching," according to the report .

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1380513089393680386&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fturkey-confirms-2-us-warships-enter-black-sea-ukraine-russia-posturing-grows&sessionId=c8517f7904d99c6821557864c562f8ab372026a0&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=1ead0c7%3A1617660954974&width=550px

Importantly, all of this comes just days after Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky personally urged NATO to immediately expand its Black Sea presence. He had said in a phone call with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, "Such a permanent presence should be a powerful deterrent to Russia , which continues the large-scale militarization of the region and hinders merchant shipping," the president's press service indicated in a readout.

Zelensky had also traveled to the site of frontline renewed fighting in the Donbas region on Thursday in a show of support to Ukrainian national forces who are clashing with Russia-backed separatists.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1380409336212680705&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fturkey-confirms-2-us-warships-enter-black-sea-ukraine-russia-posturing-grows&sessionId=c8517f7904d99c6821557864c562f8ab372026a0&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=1ead0c7%3A1617660954974&width=550px

While American vessels have long operated in the Black Sea, even semi-regularly conducting drills there, this time the US ships are being sent there specifically as a "warning" to Moscow .

But Russia's Defense Ministry on Thursday announced naval maneuvers of its own, confirming that it's moving more than 10 navy vessels from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea in order to conduct naval exercises.

With the rival naval build-up on the Kremlin and Ukraine's doorstep, and with the mutual amassing of troops on either side of the border... what could go wrong?


Bdubs 49 minutes ago

And Trump was the bloodthirsty war monger?

Is there ANYTHING the left disparages the right for that is not a psychological projection?

These f-ers need therapy.

Misesmissesme 1 hour ago (Edited)

Man, we're doing everything we can to turn Ukraine into Poland circa 1939.

Maybe we can find an Archduke to assassinate so we can turn the clock all the way back to 1914.

USAllDay 1 hour ago remove link

Joe sent his kid to Ukraine to blow lines. He'll send yours to blow up.

GreatCaesar'sGhost 1 hour ago

No nato troops will ever set foot in Ukraine. They're trying to pressure Russia into doing something so they can force the Germans to stop nordstream. The Ukrainians can't win here and they're being used. Not good.

BeePee 1 hour ago

There were NATO advisors in Ukraine. Even that should be stopped.

Selling arms to Ukraine, most likely will continue. That's what companies do.

GreatCaesar'sGhost 58 minutes ago

The Ukrainians are being pushed to make a move against Donbass and even Crimea. It is a poor country buying expensive weapons, doesn't end well.

[Apr 07, 2021] Escalation in Donbass might well be about blocking North Stream 2

Highly recommended!
Apr 07, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

LIKBEZ 04/03/2021 at 3:04 pm

> Russia isn't going to invade Ukraine, much as their leaders and press seem to lose sleep endlessly over it.

This is about blocking North Stream 2. Ukrainian government is a puppet in a bigger geopolitical game and will do what they are told to do.

If they were ordered to invade Donbass Russia might intervene. I think Russia movement of troupes was a pre-preemptive move to block a joint plan of the USA and some Eastern(Poland) and Western European states to create a crisis and bury North Stream 2 by the attempt to retake the territory by force (Georgian scenario).

While writing resolutions in which they essentially declare war on Russia (retaking Crimea by force as a new Ukrainian government policy) Ukrainian government clearly understands that any significant military move in Donbass might be the end of Ukraine as we know it. So they are afraid to do anything without strong Western support, including military. That's why Biden administration made a statement about the support of Ukrainian sovereignty and, at the same time, probably pushing Ukrainians to make a move in Donbass.

There are two parts of Ukraine with different history and affiliations: Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine.

The regime in Kiev represents Western Ukrainian nationalism and it is/was to a certain degree resented in Eastern Ukraine (where manufacturing is concentrated) as provincial, incompetent and corrupt. It is controlled by a handful of oligarchs -- a classic neoliberal oligarchic republic so to speak.

That does not mean that Eastern Ukraine would welcome Russians now (after seven years of anti-Russian propaganda by the government), but please do not write about things you have no clue: in 2014 the situation was different with several uprisings against Provisional government in Eastern Ukraine.

IMHO it was Putin's decision to limit Russia role that led to the current situation. As far as I know the only large city which supported Provisional government in the East in 2014 was Dnepropetrovsk ( the home town of oligarch Kolomoyskyi, and nationalistic politicians Kuchma and Tymoshenko.)

IMHO Putin has the ability to occupy all Eastern Ukraine without a single shot and establish separate "Eastern Ukrainian republic" government. But he decided not to do as the it would result in crushing Western sanctions (which was Washington's policy from the very beginning (google Nulangate); and that's why 2014 EuroMaidan putsch was organized and financed by the USA with Poland, Germany and Sweden in supporting roles).

Add to this the necessary to feed pensioners (mentioned above) and the amount of money necessary to resurrect the manufacturing which would compete with Russian's own. Which Russia probably could not afford at the time. REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 4:44 am

Putin just went shit scared into his basement with a bottle of vodka on seeing this photo of defense ministers of some NATO members . 🙂
https://media.gab.com/system/media_attachments/files/070/421/209/original/be1c4bc547657d60.jpeg REPLY LIKBEZ IGNORED LIKBEZ IGNORED 04/03/2021 at 3:04 pm

> Russia isn't going to invade Ukraine, much as their leaders and press seem to lose sleep endlessly over it.

This is about blocking North Stream 2. Ukrainian government is a puppet in a bigger geopolitical game and will do what they are told to do.

If they were ordered to invade Donbass Russia might intervene. I think Russia movement of troupes was a pre-preemptive move to block a joint plan of the USA and some Eastern(Poland) and Western European states to create a crisis and bury North Stream 2 by the attempt to retake the territory by force (Georgian scenario).

While writing resolutions in which they essentially declare war on Russia (retaking Crimea by force as a new Ukrainian government policy) Ukrainian government clearly understands that any significant military move in Donbass might be the end of Ukraine as we know it. So they are afraid to do anything without strong Western support, including military. That's why Biden administration made a statement about the support of Ukrainian sovereignty and, at the same time, probably pushing Ukrainians to make a move in Donbass.

There are two parts of Ukraine with different history and affiliations: Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine.

The regime in Kiev represents Western Ukrainian nationalism and it is/was to a certain degree resented in Eastern Ukraine (where manufacturing is concentrated) as provincial, incompetent and corrupt. It is controlled by a handful of oligarchs -- a classic neoliberal oligarchic republic so to speak.

That does not mean that Eastern Ukraine would welcome Russians now (after seven years of anti-Russian propaganda by the government), but please do not write about things you have no clue: in 2014 the situation was different with several uprisings against Provisional government in Eastern Ukraine.

IMHO it was Putin's decision to limit Russia role that led to the current situation. As far as I know the only large city which supported Provisional government in the East in 2014 was Dnepropetrovsk ( the home town of oligarch Kolomoyskyi, and nationalistic politicians Kuchma and Tymoshenko.)

IMHO Putin has the ability to occupy all Eastern Ukraine without a single shot and establish separate "Eastern Ukrainian republic" government. But he decided not to do as the it would result in crushing Western sanctions (which was Washington's policy from the very beginning (google Nulangate); and that's why 2014 EuroMaidan putsch was organized and financed by the USA with Poland, Germany and Sweden in supporting roles).

Add to this the necessary to feed pensioners (mentioned above) and the amount of money necessary to resurrect the manufacturing which would compete with Russian's own. Which Russia probably could not afford at the time. REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 4:44 am

Putin just went shit scared into his basement with a bottle of vodka on seeing this photo of defense ministers of some NATO members . 🙂
https://media.gab.com/system/media_attachments/files/070/421/209/original/be1c4bc547657d60.jpeg REPLY LIKBEZ IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 2:15 pm

I would run scared too ;-). They probably have a deep sense of inferiority and as such are extremely dangerous.

04/04/2021 at 2:15 pm

I would run scared too ;-). They probably have a deep sense of inferiority and as such are extremely dangerous.

[Apr 07, 2021] Paris-Berlin Oppose Ukrainian Offensive, Call on Kiev to De-Escalate

Apr 07, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Norwegian , Apr 5 2021 17:12 utc | 30

Alexander Mercouris
Paris-Berlin Oppose Ukrainian Offensive, Call on Kiev to De-Escalate

[Apr 02, 2021] The US wants to stop Nordstream 2 and roping NATO into a war situation with NATO would make it almost impossible to continue

Military actions might be suicidal for Ukraine. But this exactly what the USA wants in order to achieve its geopolitical objectives.
The danger for Ukraine in Georgia war scenario.
Notable quotes:
"... Yesterday (Ist April) the Russians stopped sending Gas via Ukraine. ..."
"... A hot war in eastern Ukraine/Crimea appears unlikely. Ukraine no doubt perceives that such a conflict means almost certain defeat. Military defeat would likely raise existential issues for Ukraine and its leadership, given the present adverse economic conditions. The Ukrainian leadership has very little to gain by waging a war and has much to lose. ..."
"... Assuming the truth of reports of a Russian military buildup along its relevant borders, such a buildup appears to be more of a warning to Kiev - and to the U.S. - not to make any rash moves. ..."
Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Skuppers , Apr 2 2021 7:44 utc | 1

Cute /funny, but for me this points to the script that the "west" has laid out before hand: Washington has dialed up an attack by Ukraine, has been concentrating ukrop forces along the line of contact, and has kept its media muzzled, total media blackout, until the Russians respond. Then let loose with the media to make it appear that the Russians are threatening Ukraine. And per the 08/08/08 Georgia attack, if they push the button and attack donbass, and the Russians respond, blame it on Russian aggression. Russia attacks!! Russian aggression!! Who's to know it isn't so? They'll all be singing from the same hymn sheet. Not like in '08 when the EU was still semi autonomous. If Washington doesn't order an attack, then they can still point to Russia massing troops and score a propaganda victory as Russia is intimidating poor Ukraine. Russian aggression!! And "sell" more weapons to Ukraine and move more "advisors" in. The cost? Who cares? They'll just keep the printing press rolling.


powerandpeople , Apr 2 2021 7:58 utc | 2

April 1, 2021

"Vyacheslav Nikonov: ...How dangerous is the situation in Ukraine in light of the ongoing US arms deliveries, the decisions adopted in the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday, and the statements made by the Ukrainian military, who are openly speaking about a war? Where do we stand on the Ukrainian front?

Sergey Lavrov: There is much speculation about the documents that the Rada passed and that President Zelensky signed. To what extent does this reflect real politics? Is it consistent with the objective of resolving President Zelensky's domestic problem of declining ratings?

I'm not sure what this is: a bluff or concrete plans.

According to the information published in the media, the military, for the most part, is aware of the damage that any action to unleash a hot conflict might bring.

I very much hope this will not be fomented by the politicians, who, in turn, will be fomented by the US-led West. ...

Like President Vladimir Putin said not long ago; but these words are still relevant, – those who try to unleash a new war in Donbass will destroy Ukraine. "

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4662534

Not much more to be said.

Stonebird , Apr 2 2021 8:19 utc | 3

Yesterday (Ist April) the Russians stopped sending Gas via Ukraine.

The day before Zelensky "invited" NATO into Ukraine for military exercises.
In the face of the amassing of Russian troops near Ukraine's borders, setting up joint exercises involving Ukraine Army and Allied forces, including joint air patrols with NATO aviation in Ukraine's airspace, will help stabilize the security situation in the region, Mashovets has told his counterpart.
UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/donbas-kyiv-invites-nato-to-hold-joint-military-drills-11374195.html
(Disclaimer; I don't know much about this site)

(The day before that there was a top level meeting of NATO "to discuss the situation in Ukraine, which might have provoked/told Zelnsky to do the former).

Talking of provocation; here is a "twit" showing a Polish, it looks like fishing vessel, ramming a supply ship to NordStream II pipe layers. Gangster warfare?
https://twitter.com/I30mki/status/1377821400325480451

Although b says that the "Russian threat" is overdone, this buildup is certainly part of the problem as the US wants NATO in Ukraine. Therefore the more the threat is hyped the more they can use it to "justify" changing the facts on the ground.

One side observation is that Biden is totally absent. This situation is being run by the US High Command (Milley et al) and others who always want moar war for the cash it brings in.
The US Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Chairman of the JCS, and National Security Advisor have all had phone calls with their Ukrainian counterparts over the past three days, and General Milley spoke with General Gerasimov.

powerandpeople , Apr 2 2021 8:30 utc | 4

Ukraine - and the West's - main problem with Russia over the Donbass is that Russia is NOT a party to the Minsk agreement. With both France and Germany, it is a guarantor.

The signatures on the Minsk document are that of Ukraine and the so-called republics.

Ukraine can create as many laws stating it is in an 'International armed conflict' with Russia as it likes, it does not alter the fact that no such conflict exists, nor has it been brought to the Security Council.

But the Minsk accord HAS been approved by the Security Council.

"On March 29, the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) adopted a draft of so-called resolution on the situation in Donbass. It seems that there is noting new in such a document, however, it puts at stake Kiev's obligation on implementation of the Minsk Agreement...

Such a document is not the first to be adopted in Ukraine in the last years. However, this draft has a specific feature. It is for the first time that Ukrainian Rada adopted the draft statement, which says that the war in Eastern Ukraine is a Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

Previously, the phrase "aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine" was used in Kiev's official documents. Today, the war in Donbass was designated as an international armed conflict, that is, war.

Such a definition has significant juridical impact. This statement completely blocks Kiev's implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Paragraph 2 of the Package of Measures clearly defines that the parties to the conflict are Kiev on the one hand, Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic (LDPR) on the other.

Today the Ukrainian Parliament officially declared, at the highest level, that the parties to the conflict are Ukraine and Russia.

The resolution ensures the immediate forwarding of the text of this statement to the national governments and parliaments of foreign states, international organizations and their parliamentary assemblies."

https://southfront.org/kiev-builds-up-legal-conditions-to-justify-its-upcoming-aggression-in-donbass/

Dogon Priest , Apr 2 2021 9:39 utc | 5
A few more...
US general calls Ukrainian, Russian counterparts over reported Russian troop movements
https://americanmilitarynews.com/2021/03/us-general-calls-ukrainian-russian-counterparts-over-reported-russian-troop-movements/

Russian Armor Floods Toward Border With Ukraine Amid Fears Of An "Imminent Crisis"
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40016/russian-armor-floods-toward-border-with-ukraine-amid-fears-of-an-imminent-crisis

PJB , Apr 2 2021 9:41 utc | 6
The propaganda may never change but that doesn't mean the events can't be different this time. There's video of large amounts of heavy weapons heading to the border.

A few weeks ago the US sent 350 tonnes of armoured humvees etc to Odessa. Then On 23rd March video shows Ukraine sending trainloads of tanks etc. On 24th March Kiev passed a decree claiming a right to retake Crimea. It's always said so but this seemed to really ratchet up the rhetoric as it virtually commits the government to trying to retake Crimea by force.

Several videos from 29th March show different Russian trains with scores of tanks etc heading across the Kerch bridge to Crimea, and to the Donbas border. Plus other videos of numerous helicopters & endlessly long lines of tanks & armoured vehicles on roads as well.

This is a buildup not seen since the hit war days of 2014.

Meanwhile a NATO Fleet enters the Black Sea for exercises with Ukraine.

elephant , Apr 2 2021 9:44 utc | 7

A hot war in eastern Ukraine/Crimea appears unlikely. Ukraine no doubt perceives that such a conflict means almost certain defeat. Military defeat would likely raise existential issues for Ukraine and its leadership, given the present adverse economic conditions. The Ukrainian leadership has very little to gain by waging a war and has much to lose.

Assuming the truth of reports of a Russian military buildup along its relevant borders, such a buildup appears to be more of a warning to Kiev - and to the U.S. - not to make any rash moves.

True, there is a possibility of war. Hot heads in Kiev and Washington appear always to want war. But insofar as Washington is concerned, its domestic agenda presently appears to hold far greater sway than does a failing outpost on the periphery of Washington's influence.

At this juncture, then, the possibility of a significant conflict seems low by comparison.

MarkU , Apr 2 2021 10:14 utc | 9

@ elephant (7)

You are completely ignoring the overall picture. The US wants to stop Nordstream 2 and roping NATO into a war situation with NATO would make it almost impossible to continue. Already physical provocation is being used against the pipe-laying ships (see Stonebird's post (2))

Ghost Ship , Apr 2 2021 10:27 utc | 10
Personally I blame all this shit on the Nazi scum moved to the United States by Washington after World War 2 and "weaponised". Desperate to destroy Russia and no doubt keen to acquire Lebensraum, these Hitler fanboys and their handlers in Washington are doing everything they can to apply Hitler's racial beliefs to Russia and make them seem like others when Russians are as European as Hungarians, the British and the Irish and certainly more European than Americans, Canadians and Australians. This is to make war with Russia more acceptable among Europeans. Perhaps the Hitler fanboys in Washington need to work to improve their understand of the Napoleonic Wars and World War 2 .
As Field Marshall Montgomery (a decent but fallible and somewhat egotistical British general) said in 1959:
Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: "Do not march on Moscow". Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule. I do not know whether your Lordships will know Rule 2 of war. It is: "Do not go fighting with your land armies in China". It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives.

A few years later he repeated his Rules of War and even claimed ownership for himself:
The United States has broken the second rule of war. That is: don't go fighting with your land army on the mainland in Asia. Rule One is, don't march on Moscow. I developed those two rules myself.

They are rules that the Hitler Fanboys and "Lost China" morons in Washington should have tattooed on their foreheads along with a free prefrontal lobotomy.
BTW, who are the more civilised:
The use of the procedure increased dramatically from the early 1940s and into the 1950s; by 1951, almost 20,000 lobotomies had been performed in the United States and proportionally more in the United Kingdom. The majority of lobotomies were performed on women; a 1951 study of American hospitals found nearly 60% of lobotomy patients were women; limited data shows 74% of lobotomies in Ontario from 1948–1952 were performed on women. From the 1950s onward, lobotomy began to be abandoned, first in the Soviet Union and Europe.
.
The idea of "weaponized immigration" in the sense of bringing in immigrant hostile to their source state and using them to overthrow their source state was applied by Washington and largely publicized by Yasha Levine.
johnf , Apr 2 2021 10:56 utc | 11
Ghostship

I always thought the 3rd rule of war was not to invade Afghanistan.

Piotr Berman , Apr 2 2021 11:12 utc | 12
As some of us are superannuated, it is good to know the views of younger generation . Top general of Ukraine addressed the deputies of Verkhovna Rada (parliament), declared readiness of Ukrainian army to attack with the aim of "re-integrating the temporarily not-under-control territories", but then he somberly added the perspective of huge civilian casualties, and then started to described Russian forces currently to the north, east and the south of Ukraine. That was taking some time, so Anna Kolesnik, at 26 one of the youngest deputies of the ruling party, texted "We are listening to Khomchak. We need to get out from this country."
Fran , Apr 2 2021 11:41 utc | 13

Looks like Zelensky signed a document or Decree No. 117/2021 the other day, to recapture the Donbas and Crimea which could also be seen as a declaration of war towards Russia, more in the link below:

As Russian Tanks Move Toward Ukraine, The Globe Braces For World War 3

I expected for something to happen in the Ukraine once Biden become President, but I am surprised by the speed.

PJB , Apr 2 2021 11:43 utc | 14

Look at the videos of massive troop build ups. Also the conscription in both the Donbas republics & Ukraine Donetsk & Lugansk militia veterans of 2014/15 returning from Russia to region.

To say nothing is going to happen this time seems wishful thinking.

https://mobile.twitter.com/colonelhomsi

https://mobile.twitter.com/ASBMilitary

Jen , Apr 2 2021 12:25 utc | 15

Of course US and European concern about Russian military build-up along Russia's borders with European nations serves a purpose: justifying even more NATO military build-up along the other side of the Russian border which in turn generates profit for US, British and EU arms corporations and their shareholders in the banking and finance industries (and politics as well), and helps NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg to think he is important.

Several nations that have borders with Russia probably need the money that NATO soldiers might spend (mostly on entertainment like watching pole-dancing performers) while stationed on their territories. Latvia and Lithuania among others haven't done too well since joining the EU with something like 18 - 20% of their people living in poverty and many families dependent on remittances sent by their relatives working overseas. Instead of their resident Russian-speaking population being a bridge between their economies and the Russian economy, these countries prefer to deny their Russian-speaking minorities social welfare benefits and the right to vote, unless they can speak and read their host nations' languages at postgraduate level, and to harass them in various petty ways.

As for Ukraine, the Zelensky govt has its work cut out trying to get Crimea back so the US military can take over the base at Sevastopol and turn the Black Sea into a US lake, and to clear out the Donbass region of those pesky Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and make it secure for oil and natural gas exploration and exploitation. The Bidens depend on Zelensky to get those oil and natural gas resources so they can get their cut.

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 12:29 utc | 16

Anna Kolesnik, cited by Piotr Berman @ 12 has it exactly. The emigres are already arriving. Ukraine is and has been entirely a failed state. The Uke army is a joke. So they have a new boatload of Humvees. Probably already sold. Humvees were going to stop T72 and up. Right. High probability Ukraine simply vanishes, local residents invite stability and the Russian army.

The normalcy bias expressed by host and commenters is extreme. Start believing in defeat. Defeat is going to change your outlook.

imo , Apr 2 2021 12:40 utc | 17

Decree No. 117/2021


Translation etc here as-russian-tanks-move-toward-ukraine --

Also on ZH


"So what made the Russians suddenly move a massive invasion force toward Ukraine?
Well, it turns out that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky essentially signed a declaration of war against Russia on March 24th. The document that he signed is known as Decree No. 117/2021, and you won't read anything about it in the corporate media.

I really had to dig to find Decree No. 117/2021, but eventually I found it. I took several of the paragraphs at the beginning of the document and I ran them through Google translate

In accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I decree:
1. To put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of March 11, 2021 "On the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol" (attached).

2. To approve the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (attached).

3. Control over the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, enacted by this Decree, shall be vested in the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

4. This Decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication
.
President of Ukraine V.ZELENSKY
March 24, 2021


Basically, this decree makes it the official policy of the government of Ukraine to retake Crimea from Russia. Of course the Russians will never hand over Crimea willingly because they consider it to be Russian territory, and so Ukraine would have to take it by force."
abee , Apr 2 2021 13:29 utc | 19

Russia, France & Germany had a call on Tuesday 3/30 & they asked Putin to address the situation in Ukraine - Russia is doing them a favor....

"Russia to act resolutely to secure a cease-fire in the east that has been routinely violated."

https://apnews.com/article/europe-ukraine-angela-merkel-moscow-coronavirus-pandemic-665012871c56b339ebc262d1140c9d57

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20

Librul @ 18

That was more than a week ago. See how much Ukraine has done about it so far? That is as much as they are able to do. Also quoted in #17 by imo, Mike Whitney/ZH "I really had to dig to find Decree 117"... That would be because you have been trained to look away. That decree was well reported, just not in the house organs of the idiots.

Martyanov has a new post up. Worth reading. He cites Michael Hudson on the overwhelming influence Russian Jews have had on US policy. I would add Polish Jews. Zbig Brezinski gets mentioned. Ever taken a look at his pamphlet, The Grand Chessboard? It has been required reading for all students at Thomas Pickering School (State Department) for a generation. Theme is Ukraine is center of universe. And this is because Zbig is a Polish aristocrat with lost family estate on outskirts of Lvov. Any fool knows emigre info is useless and emigre aristocrat most useless of all. Any in US policy establishment who should have known better were blinded by Russophobia. (Just a note, spellcheck on this box changed my spelling to 'Lviv' multiple times before allowing old spelling. The thought control is total.)

The deployed Russian forces are not about overwhelming the Uke army. It is an occupation force. They will be taking territory.

Don Harder , Apr 2 2021 13:46 utc | 21
I don't see mention of Ukrainian build up and increased aggression on the border of Donbass. That's why Russian troops are building up. They are posturing defensively. It's US-backed Zelensky that is taking the aggressive position here.
librul , Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22
@Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20

Are you one of the fucks that voted for Biden?

And what does your last sentence mean? "They will be taking territory."

Piotr Berman , Apr 2 2021 14:13 utc | 23

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22

77 millions that voted for Biden are not all "f....s". Everyone has some priorities, imperfect choices etc.

That of course applies to countries, something that "responsible media" never considers, but this is not a good role model for us.

Russia has to rely on her resources, so defending them from military and/or financial takeover or even nuclear blackmail is a vital interest. While there are no perfect choices, they try to choose the better ones. And not leaving people who speak Russian to repressions and even massacres is another vital interest.

In the current situation, Russia clearly needs a deterrence for any possible blitzkrieg type of plan by Ukraine. But pre-emption would not be the best choice.

In turn, Ukrainian government/elite has to bet on a patron and at least make some appearance of diligently following what the patron wants. And for that, they need to raise/maintain tensions with Russia (and China? hard is our fate now that we are underlings).

J Swift , Apr 2 2021 15:03 utc | 27

I'm sure oldhippie means that if the Ukies are subservient enough to the US to actually attack, this will almost certainly be reminiscent of Georgia (rather than just some cruise missile strikes, as some had speculated). The buildup means Russia is prepared to sweep into the Ukraine, and probably make a special point of killing as many Nazi battalions as possible, along with any Ukie troops who don't surrender quickly enough. I don't see them entering Kiev, just like they didn't try to take Tblisi, but I imagine they will try to take most of the pro-Russian territory in the East and possibly even South, until Kiev begs for a cease-fire (just like last time), but this time the conditions of cease fire will likely be much more strongly enforced, and then I would imagine Russia will try to establish some assemblage of peace-keeping troops from countries they can trust (maybe Shanghi Coalition?) so that they can withdraw their troops as soon as possible, for political reasons. Not that it will help, but then again, I think Russia sees they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they might as well do it. But they damn sure don't want to take ownership of the Ukraine, just like they didn't want to own Georgia.

Roger , Apr 2 2021 15:07 utc | 28

@22

The Dems and Republicans are two heads of the same hydra, voting for one or the other is a charade played on the American people and is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The US is a state run for the benefit of the economic elite that owns the media and from which the political elite is chosen/sponsored and which is aligned with the military elite. Presidents will come and go, policy pretty much stays the same, its the same as CEOs of corporations - if they don't follow profit maximization they will be booted out.

The US elites all went to the same schools (or military academy) where they were inculcated with "American Exceptionalism" and the need for "America to be the Global Policeman", ending up with mediocrities such as Blinken and Pompeo that thrash around as the world moves to multipolarity and the US becomes just another important nation. It will take at least decades for the US elite to get their heads around this, the British still haven't as seen by their wasting of resources on showy projects such as the two useless aircraft carriers (know as "targets" by submariners and missile batteries) to assuage its "size" envy.

Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 15:13 utc | 29
Granted I am just an armchair observer but I have been watching since before the Maidan coup. Something feels different this time, as if the positions of the players involved have changed somehow. I realize that the multipolar world has been incubating for some time now and that Russia, China et.al. have been waiting patiently for USA to collapse from exhaustion, but I rather doubt that it will do so with a wimper. There may come a time when the RF armed forces may opt to use a quick bone crushing response to say 'enough'. While this is never an great option to have to take due to potential reprecussions, it can sometimes be better than being slowly swallowed by the serpeant of Mission Creep.....
vk , Apr 2 2021 15:19 utc | 30
Russia's official position, as of today morning:

Kremlin says situation along engagement line in Donbass frightening

"Our rhetoric [over Donbass] is absolutely constructive," Peskov said in reply to a question. "We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them."

Ukraine's economy is collapsing. Even the IMF (USA) is getting tired of giving it free money:

The IMF is in a panic: Ukraine has been doing without its money for ten months

Prospects for Ukraine this year to receive even the second tranche of the IMF under the $ 5 billion credit line, which Kiev agreed with the Fund last June, remain vague. Although according to the schedule, Ukraine should have already mastered the second and third tranches for a total of $ 1.35 billion and is about to receive the fourth tranche in the amount of $ 0.55 billion, in fact, the first June tranche of 2.1 billion is still the only one.

Commenting on this situation on television, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko said this week: "The IMF does not give money, because, unfortunately, as a country, we have crumpled up some obligations and must renew them."

[...]

So far, budget holes have been bridged by historically record borrowings in December last year (over $ 6 billion) and an increase in interest rates on domestic borrowings this year. But last year's reserves and domestic borrowing are insufficient either to cover the $ 9 billion budget deficit or to service the external public debt, which will cost at least $ 8.1 billion this year (excluding the cost of securing new loans).

The IMF, by the way, is not interested in getting its money back - they already knew the black hole they were entering into when the coup happened in 2014 - but in social engineering: the American Empire wants a brand new province:

According to the aforementioned Sergei Marchenko, the IMF puts forward five main conditions for returning to consideration of the issue of allocating the second tranche of the loan.

First , the Fund requires the restoration of liability, including criminal liability, for the declaration of false information by officials and other persons for whom such is provided in the framework of anti-corruption procedures. This type of responsibility was actually abolished by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) in October last year as part of the recognition of a number of provisions of the anti-corruption law as unconstitutional. Although almost the entire so-called anti-corruption infrastructure in a format imposed by the West contradicts the Constitution, the judges are concerned about this problem mainly because of the infringement of their rights. Since then, Zelenskiy has effectively blocked the work of the KSU, making a number of decisions that clearly go beyond his constitutional powers. And last December, the Verkhovna Radaeven restored responsibility for declaring inaccurate data. But within the framework of the struggle for control over the anti-corruption infrastructure, the "seven-embassy" (the ambassadors of the G7 countries) did not even think that responsibility had been restored.

Secondly , we are talking about the restoration of the so-called independence of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), that is, the accountability of the body to Western curators, their actual appointment and accountability of the head of NABU, etc. and imply the legal consolidation of the full control of the West over the entire anti-corruption infrastructure, which in its essence is a parallel structure of government in the state. After amending the law on NABU and recognizing as unconstitutional the appointment of Artem Sytnik, a protege of the West, by the head of NABU Zelenskiy never dared to fire him. But even such a manifestation of loyalty to the "seven-embassy" seemed not enough.

Thirdly , the Fund demands urgently to "reform" the High Council of Justice, that is, to transfer the judicial branch of power under the control of the West - by analogy with anti-corruption bodies. In this issue, Ukraine is showing the greatest resistance so far. Moreover, it comes both from the judges themselves and from representatives of other branches of government. For obvious reasons: the surrender of the judicial system will destroy even the miserable remnants of sovereignty, and most importantly, it will carry serious risks both for judges and for various top-level officials.

Fourth and fifth - issues of the gas market and the electricity market. In the context of these markets, the Fund is interested in the abolition of tariffs [n.t. - probably it means here "subsidies"] for the population with a corresponding increase in prices. The Ukrainian, let's say, elites just do not care about the problems of the population - that is why the refusal to regulate gas prices for the population last year became one of the first fulfilled requirements of the IMF. However, when winter came, gas prices skyrocketed and social protests broke out across the country , and gas price regulation had to be urgently returned. Of course, only for a while - first until April, now until May. But the Fund did not like this either: just the other day, the head of the IMF office in Ukraine, Jost Lyngman, called a return to gas price control in an ineffective way of subsidizing households. Exactly the same applies to electricity prices - the tariff for the population was raised in winter, but the Fund wants the regulated tariff to disappear altogether. The Ukrainian authorities are, of course, ready to meet the IMF halfway on these issues. But so that social protests do not completely reset her ratings.

The article also mentions that Ukraine effectively cannot borrow elsewhere in the "free market" because its bonds are rated "junk" (this we already knew, since it's been so for some years now) and that its "borrowing rates" (interest rates) are at 12% (bonds) and 6.5% (central bank's). In other words, Ukraine will disappear as a sovereign country, one way (outright loss of the Eastern regions, reduction to a impoverished para-Polish rump state) or the other (become a proto-colony of the USA a la Puerto Rico). My guess is Zelensky is calculating an all-out war to reconquer the richer eastern regions, followed by a triumphal accession to NATO, to be the only way out for Ukraine as a nation-state.

Prof , Apr 2 2021 15:27 utc | 31
If Ukraine attacks the eastern provinces, there will be a repeat of Georgia 2008. The Russian counter will be ferocious.

But Ukraine is just a puppet for America, which will use, abuse and even lose Ukraine for *other purposes*.

Those other purposes are fortifying European subordination to NATO, cancelling Nord Stream 2 and breaking any German and French rapprochement with Moscow. US hegemony is in fact conditional on a climate of hostility between Europe and Russia in general, and between Germany and Moscow in particular. Hence the need to provoke Germany to cancel NS2. The Navalny operation didn't work, and the sanctions didn't work either. So it's on to Plan C, which might sacrifice Ukraine for the greater project of US empire.

In the bigger picture, the strategy is to globalize NATO against China. This is the Biden regime's specific strategy of provoking minor conflicts to fortify alliances and bloc politics for taking on China and Russia. Ukraine is just disposable trash in this game.

elephant , Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32

That Merkel and Macron just met with Putin is further evidence of the unlikeliness of war. Frau Merkel in particular has an interest in preventing a war because it is Germany who needs the Nordstream pipeline (to Washington's displeasure); the Russians can just as easily sell their natural gas to China if Nordstream falters. Thus the Germans are more likely to exert pressure on Ukraine to forebear than they are to let Ukraine loose the dogs of war.

juliania , Apr 2 2021 15:34 utc | 35

I agree with you, oldhippie @ 20. And thanks to b and other posters here who have kept us well apprised of the events in Ukraine as the buildup commenced on the Ukrainian side, supported by US munitions.

Actually, as far as I can understand it, if the Russians do enter Ukraine it will be at the behest of the Ukrainians themselves, just as it was in Crimea. They will be as supportive as possible of the Donbass, which is already back in the Russian Federation in every way except the formal declaration.

But Russia wants the country of Ukraine to remain whole. That's a big ask, but it surely must include all areas like Odessa in order to be viable as a member of the Federation. I don't know if that is possible yet, but rule by force has existed for so long under such duress there, that I do believe the entire civilian population would be happy to have this happen. And in will come the Russian aid, pouring in on tanks if need be, to a population weary of hardship.

Russia certainly doesn't want to be on a war footing with Ukraine, since it considers the citizenry to be its own people historically speaking, as Putin has said many times. It will not force the issue; it can be patient. But if its troops do enter, they will only do so if they are welcome; and I think that welcome mat is fast being woven, as fast as Penelopes in the Donbass can weave it. And as for the rest of Ukraine, plenty of Penelopes there as well.

It may not be Ukraine will enter the Federation immediately - there will have to be talks and so much restructuring politically speaking before that can happen. But if the hand of Russia is still extended in friendship to places like the US, it most certainly would be to a sane and peaceful Ukrainian government.

Let it be!

Petri Krohn , Apr 2 2021 15:35 utc | 36

This time the buildup is very real. But NATO has no reason to be "concerned", as it is they who have the initiative. Russia will only move in response to a Ukrainian attack on Donbass. Ukraine will only attack after it gets approval or direct orders from Washington.

Work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is progressing fast. I estimate that pipelaying may be finished by the end of May. To prevent it from happening, Ukraine has to attack in April. Rumors claim that the planned date of the attack is April 15, 2021. The problem on the Ukrainian side is that there is no sensible war plan, apart from attacking Donbass and then immediately withdrawing to defensive position on the western shore of the Dnieper River.

Christelle Néant from Donetsk published this on March 16th, citing Ukrainian sources.

IF RUSSIA INTERVENES, THE UKRAINIAN ARMY WILL HAVE TO ABANDON ITS OFFENSIVE IN THE DONBASS

In an enlightening article, the Ukrainian media outlet Strana revealed that not only is the Ukrainian army preparing for an offensive in the Donbass, but that there is an emergency plan to stop the attack if Russia were to send its own army in. This information is nothing less than a debunking of seven years of Ukrainian propaganda, which claims that Ukraine is fighting Russia in the Donbass.

The article is based on sources in the Ukrainian army and the Defence Ministry, and begins by questioning the reality of Kiev's preparation for an offensive against the Donbass.

Strana's sources on the front line confirm that there is no longer a ceasefire, nor a withdrawal of troops and equipment. The source even makes it clear that it was Ukraine that first violated this provision of the Minsk package of measures, and that the DPR and LPR (Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics) did so only afterwards, in response to the violation by the Ukrainian army.

...

BUT, because there is a but in this kind of rather too pretty plan, if Russia sends its army to intervene then the Ukrainian army will have to give up its offensive against the Donbass and withdraw.

"In this case, the AFU offensive will be stopped. With a high degree of probability, the troops will then have to withdraw, so as not to fall again into cauldrons," says the Strana source in the Ukrainian Defence Ministry.

In other words, for the Ukrainian army's offensive in the Donbass to work, Russia must not intervene. The problem for Kiev is that Russia has no intention of letting several hundred thousand of its citizens die on its border without reacting. A problem that Strana's source is well aware of.

Duncan Idaho , Apr 2 2021 15:56 utc | 41

I always thought the 3rd rule of war was not to invade Afghanistan.

If it isn't, it should be.

Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 16:18 utc | 45

J.Swift#38
Nice riff on 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'!
Excellent take on the situation as it has unfolded. I agree with your observations re: a change in tone coming Russia and China in regard to their criticizms of the USA. It's likely that they have indeed run the numbers on both how much damage they can absorb and what their counter move would be as compare to the long drawn out decline that seems to be atking forever.

The line (or really one of the several) is when the USA get more directly involved and sustains losses at the hands of Russian forces. Nobody really wants to find out what happens when the The Darkness behind the might of the Pentagram has a hissy fit. The yapping dog might just beable to run the numbers itself and see the outcome as being very disadventageous to itself and it's minions. Who am I kidding, the USA doesn't care a whit about it's minions....

Norwegian , Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 55

@elephant | Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32

I believe you are right. A war is unlikely, but with madmen in Washington you never know. Some of them would like to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

ADKC , Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 57

But, Russia is moving substantial troops and equipment to the Ukrainian border to deter the Kiev authorities from invading the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) - so this is real not a made-up story (it is not what 'normal' troop movements as the b's article implies). Russia is drawing a red line and it should be seen as such!

Russia's actions will probably be enough to dissuade Kiev but what have they got to lose? The Kiev regime is failing, its economy is in freefall, disaster beckons - a glorious military defeat might be considered preferable to inevitable social and economic collapse.

Kiev may also have well-founded belief that the US/West will be forced to support them militarily to keep the secrets of western involvement in the downng of MH17 out of Russian hands.

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 17:15 utc | 58

Thank you for all the compliments. I am not and will not be angry with librul for more than one moment, in the past. Same Biden/Trump barbs are tossed daily on a face to face basis. It has become how Americans are.

Ghostship does make some good points. Not theoretical to me. Here in Chicago FuhrerTag is still celebrated at many bars. Large group sings of Horst Wessex song occur for a variety of occasions. When at University of Illinois (70s) there was a sizable contingent of OUN children in the History Department. They freely Indulged in Sieg Heil and Slava Ukraina to greet each other publicly. There was also an Ustache contingent who did return to Croatia, not to fight but to govern. Shall we say that these groups were insane. Some did go to military careers.Some did go to State Department. Some did go to think tanks. If the subject is Russia clinical insanity is not a career impediment in America.

For two days I owned the Rainbow, Bugsy Siegel's old joint 1900 N. Damen. . That was Ukrainian Village. My money was refunded. The alternative was death. Yes, they put guns in my face. Yes, they could do that. No, I do not like these people.

None of us predicts future with any accuracy. Will keep pointing out that downsides for Russia will vanish with victory. They have a lot of choices in how they could construct that victory. Every choice US/NATO has available is nothing but a defeat.

Thomas Minnehan , Apr 2 2021 17:17 utc | 59

Oldhippie@20:

Thanks for that note.

It is a very important reminder as to how insane and mindless the neo con hatred is of Russia and Putin. It is indeed alarming that this rabid hatred controls the neo cons and what passes for us foreign policy. How can on expect rational policy when the people in charge are completely irrational.

Link to the article:
http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/04/they-neocons-may-have-anger-issues.html#disqus_thread

If nothing else, just note the quote in the article from Hudson-it is beyond alarming as to the description by hudson of the mindless and controlling irrationality of the neo cons in the dimo biden admin!

Copeland , Apr 2 2021 17:25 utc | 62

I watched a video by Alexander Mercouris China Warns Ukraine on Crimea Ties which shows how coordinated this present crisis may be, as Washington may be maneuvering its Ukrainian proxy into nationalizing a corporation there that manufactures a variety of turbine engines, built to power both warships and aircraft. Zelensky is applying pressure on both China and Russia at once. The Russians have overcome some manufacturing problems and have had to build up their own stocks of turbines for military use. Responding to Zelensky's seizure of their assets and investments in Ukraine, the Chinese have sent an economic mission that involves serious investments in Crimea .

A coordinated threat to the culturally Russian Donbas and Lugansk region and the nationalizing of Chinese assets will place China and Russia again on the same path in their diplomatic response. It would not be a surprise if China officially recognizes Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

ptb , Apr 2 2021 17:35 utc | 63

@59 etc

To be fair, the neocon's feel that way about everyone - they embrace the role of paranoid imperialist because that's a relatively accessible way to get funded in the DC policy world. The striking thing is the hubris - they're just going to fight everyone all at the same time and it will somehow be okay in the end, no cost to them.

ADKC , Apr 2 2021 17:51 utc | 66

Just to add to my post @57.

Russia doesn't need "troops" to defend Donetz and Luhansk; Russian can destroy Ukrainian forces using stand-off weapons and then DNR and LNR forces can easily cope with what remains. Russian doesn't need forces to "occupy" Donetz and Luhansk because these areas will remain under the control of the republics. What Russia needs "troops" for is to advance and capture Kiev and this is what Russia's troop deployments threaten. If the conflict starts in Ukraine then Russia will demonstrate its ability to do whatever it wants in all areas of Ukraine; then Russia will withdraw and leave what is left for the West/EU and US to deal with.

Rationally, nothing will happen because Kiev will be deterred. But, many elements in the Kiev regime may desire war because they believe the West will (because they "have to") support them (or, as I already said, glorious defeat may seem preferable to the slow-burn collapse of their regime). The US/West may encourage Kiev because they are posturing for war and the plandemic is envisaged as the best time for such an event (I feel the likelihood of this is underestimated), or compelling a demonstration of Russian "aggression" may have overriding propaganda value (regardless of the outcome for the Kiev regime) for their own populations (everyone can really hate on Russia for the next 10 years - hate is a great unifier).

Kapusta , Apr 2 2021 18:38 utc | 74

All of this is to be expected after weeks and weeks of UAF buildup along the Donbass border. In fact, they've been shelling villages in the Donbass for some time now since they re-instigated aggression in February. Even today they were shelling the infamous Donetsk airport. On top of that you've got US aerial vehicles flying around the Black Sea right underneath Crimea and next to Krasnodar. Kiev's posturing has signaled their supposed willingness to attack the Donbass and attempt to retake Crimea, so Russia's reaction to protect Russian citizens would be entirely reasonable.

The defense ministers of Ukraine and the United States held their second conversation in a month and a half on the situation in Donbass. According to Andriy Taran, the Americans promised Kiev "support measures" in the event of a direct military conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

The US will not come to the aid of Ukraine. That is a pipe dream, pun intended.

Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 18:38 utc | 75

@JohninMK et al:
On the surface this seems to be a continuation of the provocation game, which has been the tactic since the beginning. The Ukies are definitely upping the ante by threatening Crimea. I can only assume that they are deep into thinking wishfully that the USA will "come to rescue" when they poke the bear. But in both their cases I have to wonder: with WHAT? The Ukies dont have an effective army as demonstrated by mass defection and surrender last bout. Other than "punishment battallions" there do not seem to be many troops willing to fight. As for the USA, they are not shock troops, they are an occupation force. So then is it to be some sort aerial ballet of stand-off weapons over the skies of the Donbass??

As stated above, the Western MSM is going to shriek like flock of terrified Karens no matter what Russia does so they may as well earn it. My mind wanders over the demonstration of the Iskander in Syria most recently. Ten or so of those simultaneously in the right places would bring a Ukrops offensive to sudden halt if there were the will to do so.....

Per/Norway , Apr 2 2021 19:24 utc | 80

"Zelensky recent declaration of intent to interdict in Crimea"


doc

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 20:08 utc | 89

Zelensky is making de-escalation noises. Bit late for that. Should this all ratchet down it will be the end of Zelensky. Bear in mind he is there only because there is no one else. As an actor and a comedian he has been impersonating a President. He did that for the sitcom cameras and then he did it in real life.

It will also be the last time Ukraine ever pretends to field an army. Conscripts will make their way home somehow, they won't be played again. Heavy equipment and ammo will be auctioned off cheap to any who can arrange transport. Transport will be questionable, arms will be sold very cheap.

Ukraine army is heavily larded with mercs and Wahabi jihadis from all over the planet. Idiots could still start something big even if the "leadership" calls it off. Shelling has been happening all day up and down the line. Artillery is mostly mercs. Russia is holding fire so far, one shell chances to fall on a concentration of Russian troops and it is on.

Poles and other idiots could also blow this up. Way too many moving pieces and no one in charge, either in Kiev or Washington.

If this excitement just ends Ukraine will go from a comic opera government to no government at all. Russia will move in for humanitarian reasons. Western Ukraine will die or flood to Europe.

Stonebird , Apr 2 2021 20:16 utc | 90

I see we are back to the "fog of war".
There has been artillery/mortar fire around Horlivka and elsewhere. (50 shells) These mortar attacks were conducted by the 58th motorised rifle brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the areas of Avdeevka and Pervomaisky.
A Global Hawk is presumed to have flown over both Donetsk and Luhansk - various altitudes to test the Russian radars. This is the same type that was shot down by Iran. Maybe the US wants to order a few more replacements?
One vid that is supposed to show a train full of Tor systems of the 56 airborne has already been debunked as filmed a long way away on the other side of Russia, (The 56th do not have Tors)

It is clear that there is a definite push to provoke a Russian reaction. The threats about Crimea mean that any movement in that area will be taken seriously, as "several" high ranking Russian Generals have arrived there. Russian Generals lead from the front, not the back as do the UK or US versions. (see Syria)

It is the details that are showing that this will escalate (Burning houses and villages) and civilians in bunkers. I was going to show you the picture of an old man still in the firing area, because he has nowhere else to go . Someday the human cost must be counted.

***

Interesting tie ups with the BRI and Afghanistan from Karlof1's post @70. One mention of a canal between the Sea of Azof and the Caspian, via Russsia. The "anything but Suez" canal?

More than that, I realised that the Saudi Arabian NOEM (Straight Line road) across the Gulf of Aqaba to Sharm el-Sheik, will eventually give it access to the Med via Egypt and Africa, without going through Israel. (Or Lebanon, Syria or Turkey)

Syria is in a mess because of lack of fuel. Their stolen fuel is/was bought by Israel cheaply. Are you sure that the EverGiven WAS an accident?

*****

Biden has Zelenskys back - if he is thinking of his back pocket there is nothing left in it.

Dr. George W Oprisko , Apr 2 2021 20:26 utc | 94

I'm sure oldhippie means that if the Ukies are subservient enough to the US to actually attack, this will almost certainly be reminiscent of Georgia (rather than just some cruise missile strikes, as some had speculated). The buildup means Russia is prepared to sweep into the Ukraine, and probably make a special point of killing as many Nazi battalions as possible, along with any Ukie troops who don't surrender quickly enough. I don't see them entering Kiev, just like they didn't try to take Tblisi, but I imagine they will try to take most of the pro-Russian territory in the East and possibly even South, until Kiev begs for a cease-fire (just like last time), but this time the conditions of cease fire will likely be much more strongly enforced, and then I would imagine Russia will try to establish some assemblage of peace-keeping troops from countries they can trust (maybe Shanghi Coalition?) so that they can withdraw their troops as soon as possible, for political reasons. Not that it will help, but then again, I think Russia sees they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they might as well do it. But they damn sure don't want to take ownership of the Ukraine, just like they didn't want to own Georgia.

A fair and balanced analysis, as far as it goes.

We must remember the Stavka is in charge....

What makes the most sense to them??? Where should the cease fire line be??? The best place to put it is the midline of the Denieper River. It is a natural boundary. It is wide enough so anything less than 155 mm artillery can't reach across. It resolves permanently water supply to Crimea.

NATO will use this action to censure, villify, and sanction Russia. She might as well get something for that.

Will this happen?? Last year, I'd say no.... but now.... anything goes...

INDY

Erelis , Apr 2 2021 21:07 utc | 97
I thought Biden would not start a war until next year to save the 2022 mid-term elections. My speculation is that Merkel is standing firm on Nord Stream 2 so the Biden administration is going to use the Ukrainians to start up a war against Russia to physically shut down the construction of the pipeline and introduce sanctions like against SWIFT, Aeroflot, etc.
Lozion , Apr 2 2021 21:20 utc | 98
Reports of use of Bayraktars TB2 in Donbass:

https://twitter.com/theragex/status/1378091551671398406?s=21

Jo , Apr 2 2021 22:07 utc | 111

Today


During a meeting with Defense Minister of Ukraine Andriy Taran and the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the defense attaches of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom assured Ukraine of the support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity. "US, Canada's, and UK Defense Attaches met with Minister of Defense [of Ukraine] Taran, Deputy Minister Petrenko, Deputy Minister Polishchuk, Joint Forces Commander Lieutenant General Naiev, and Colonel Budanov," the U.S. Embassy posted on Twitter. The Embassy assured Ukraine of support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity: "We stand with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity and are watching the situation in Ukraine closely."

librul , Apr 2 2021 22:08 utc | 112

@Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2021 21:49 utc | 106

Could be.

The story is number one or two all over the place (The Hill, Politico, Reuters, The Washington Times,...).

No mention of Ukraine except perhaps in minor side stories.

"Biden holds first call with Ukrainian president amid Russian buildup"

By NATASHA BERTRAND and LARA SELIGMAN

04/02/2021 09:39 AM EDT

Updated: 04/02/2021 11:24 AM EDT

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on Friday morning for the first time since Biden took office, amid reports of a Russian military buildup in eastern Ukraine that has alarmed U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

The leaders spoke for 30 to 40 minutes, according to a person with knowledge of the call. A White House readout of the conversation said Biden "reaffirmed the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea."


[Mar 30, 2021] Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of "al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".

Mar 30, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as
a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred
dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of
"al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".
.
The war crime immediately became a dirty Obama secret, covered up
with the help of the MSM, in particular ABC.
.
An enthusiastic White House had leaked to their contacts at ABC that
Obama had escalated the War on Terror, taking it to another country,
Yemen. This was December 17, 2009 only days after Obama had returned
from his ceremony in Oslo where he proudly accepted the Nobel Peace
Prize.
.
ABC was thrilled with their scoop and in manly voices announced
the escalation in the War on Terror.
.
The very next day ABC went silent forever about it, joining the cover up
of a war crime.
.
Hillary Clinton, by the way, committed her own act of cover up.
Covering her butt by backdating a memo.
.
The designation of a organization as a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)
is not official nor legal until it is published in the Federal Register.
An oversight? Obama attacked Yemen before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
had done the paperwork to make the killing legal?
.
The designation was not published until a month later, January 19, 2010.
Hillary Clinton back dated the memo she published in the Register with the date of
December 14, 2009, to somewhat cover her butt.
.
Obama's acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize was December 10th.
.
Yemen leaders agreed to participate in Obama's coverup saying it was their
own Yemen forces that had accidentally shredded dozens of women and children.
.
Obama was grateful to the Yemen leaders. The Yemen leaders were not
honored in Oslo. But, ironically, Obama ended his speech honoring women
and children, days before he ordered their slaughter.
.
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 voice to boast about Obama's attack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHcg3TNSRPs
.
Wikileaks cable corroborates evidence of US airstrikes in Yemen (Amnesty Intl)
https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2010/12/wikileaks-cable-corroborates-evidence-us-airstrikes-yemen/
.
Actual cable at Wikileaks:
https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10SANAA4_a.html
.
More at ABC [12/18/2009]:
https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
https://web.archive.org/web/20190624203826/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236 ">https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236">https://web.archive.org/web/20190624203826/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
https://web.archive.org/web/20190725171012/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr ">https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr">https://web.archive.org/web/20190725171012/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr

Norwegian , Mar 30 2021 15:09 utc | 10

@librul | Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

You can thank Thorbjørn Jagland for the Obama Nobel Price. He and Stoltenberg were buddies in the same party.

[Mar 28, 2021] The Brewing Conflict In Ukraine - ZeroHedge

Mar 28, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

Enter The Putinator

When Biden called Russian President a soulless "killer" on ABC News, Putin responded with the most deft bit of diplomacy I've seen in quite a while, openly challenging Fungal Joe to a publicly broadcast debate of substantive issues, which Biden, of course, declined.

For those that don't remember the context, here's the article from Zerohedge on the subject .

There can be no question now that all the disparate interests within The Davos Crowd are aligned at this point (see this month's Newsletter for more discussion on this). All guns point at Russia.

Putin tried to defuse the situation with an offer that was at once an epic troll of Biden, who is clearly no match for his Russian counterpart cognitively, and a warning to Americans that this situation has gotten far more dangerous than they are being told.

And sometimes you win simply by taking the high road. Make no mistake the fact that Putin went here this early in Biden's presidency is a bad sign. It tells us things are horrific between the world's most prominent nuclear powers and that there's been zero diplomatic effort put forth by the Biden administration since the election.

The problem is rapidly becoming that indiscriminate use of all weapons all the time -- diplomatic, economic, military, propaganda -- creates a kind of dopamine addiction. In order to keep the public interest in the threat they have to keep raising the stakes and the rhetoric to eventually absurd levels.

As I like to say all the time, it's the first rule of screenwriting : Be forever raising the stakes lest the audience gets bored.

But there comes a point where people begin to realize that they are being asked to back a war where the existential threat to the elite's power is transferred onto them. Remember folks, government's fight and spend billions propagandizing you into believing their wars are for your own good.

It's rarely the case, if ever. More often than not the war being ginned up in the media and by government officials is one that either feathers their own nest directly, supports the goals of other powerful folks indirectly, or covers up past corruption.

The brewing conflict in Ukraine is all of these and more. The project to add Ukraine to NATO and the EU is a long-held dream of neocons like Victoria Nuland and neoliberals like Biden. It's an important cog in the World Economic Forum's desire to expand the EU to both encircle Russia thereby disrupting any dreams of Eurasian integration which could form a bulwark against their brave new world.

What's got Biden's Depends in a bunch is that he's neck-deep in the corruption in Ukraine. In Obama's own words, Ukraine is Joe's project. And Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky is not fully subsumed into the morass of Biden's (and the rest of the usual suspects') problems.

Putin's deft and cordial handling of Biden's indiscriminate use of language was masterful here. Biden's initial remarks are, at best, him trying to hold onto the Amy Poehler demographic (see reruns of Parks and Recreation for her slavish obsession with him as Vice-President) as a vibrant, macho man, while he implements every bad idea that that same demographic rejected from all the other Democrats during primary season.

But we can all see he's nothing of the sort. He's a barely coherent, rapidly fading bully with no discernible achievements in life other than being available to be a placeholder for someone else's plans.

So, it was never a question as to whether Biden would ever talk to Putin under those conditions. They can't even get him to talk with reporters for real, having to green screen him into backgrounds to make it look like he's out in the world, doing stuff.

And don't get me started on that embarrassment of a press conference held the other day. Running for re-election in 2024? This guy's not going to be alive in 2024. Then again, since he didn't run in 2020, what does it actually matter?

Elections are just Hollywood productions anymore anyway.

Biden's counter is to now invite Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping the big Climate Summit in late April where the WEF controls the agenda and Biden's anti-diplomatic corps led by the completely over-matched Secretary of State Antony Blinken can further embarrass the U.S. on the world stage.

Since both Putin and Xi told the WEF to go scratch on both Climate Change, Agenda 2030 and, most notably from Putin, the Fourth Industrial Revolution , I don't see how this summit ends any better than virtual Davos did earlier this year.

In fact, with Biden's approach to both China and Russia so far, this summit is shaping up to be a colossal waste of time while also threatening everyone the world over with what they can expect policy-wise from the West until someone finally puts these insane people out of our misery.

With each day that passes the U.K., for example, under tyrant Boris Johnson sinks further into a complete totalitarian nightmare (see here , here , here , and here from the last 24 hours) thanks to COVID-19, while ramping up the anti-Russian rhetoric to eleven.

But, back to Ukraine, because it's tied directly to all this climate change nonsense. Putin understands as well that Biden will allow every escalation in Ukraine because he's shackled by it and they need to complete the job started with the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.

That means we'll see something far worse than Victoria Nuland's latest Cookie Campaign for freedom. We're going to see a war for the Donbass soon, likely right after Orthodox Easter and the end of the snow melt.

Putin tried to go directly to the people to end this destructive spiral to the bottom, because he knows where this ends.

It will be a confrontation that one side will have to commit to completely or allow it's bluff to be called. The game Biden's handlers have played to this point has been a massive escalation of rhetoric while continually moving real pieces into position for a real conflict. I just don't see cooler heads prevailing here because there is no upside for the U.S., the EU and the WEF if China and Russia stand their ground and Biden et.al. back down.

Russia has to be destroyed or subjugated if the Great Reset is to happen and Europe is to remain a relevant global player. That means control of the Black Sea, which means taking back Crimea. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently reiterated publicly that Russia has had zero diplomatic contact with the European Union since the 2014 vote by Crimea to rejoin Russia.

Diplomacy is nearly over between the major powers. Biden's simple refusal to talk to Putin publicly is a major event.

In the end everything we've lived through since COVID-19 began boils down to the need to destroy the global economy built on oil and coal, otherwise all major energy production stays under Eurasian control as it strengthens not Atlanticist as it peaks in global power and their grand dreams wither.

Time is getting short for this to happen. Public opposition to this program is rising. It happens now or not at all.

If there is a war in the Donbass this spring it won't be a happy ending which extends U.S. primacy into the future but the moment when we realized its acceleration into irrelevancy.

* * *

Join my Patreon to access the notebook.


Alice-the-dog 3 hours ago

In both the current major conflicts between Russia and the US Psychopaths In Charge, Russia holds the moral high ground. In Ukraine the US promoted, financed, helped organize, and encouraged the overthrow of a democratically elected government. When the citizens of Crimea exercised their natural right of self determination and voted to return to being a part of Russia, the US called it a coup. In Syria, the US has illegally invaded a sovereign nation without that nation's sovereign government's permission or request. Russia got both. Not only does Russia hold the moral high ground, but the legal high ground as well.

vic and blood PREMIUM 3 hours ago

Well stated.

The role reversal is complete. We are now the Evil Empire.

gmrpeabody 1 hour ago

" . In Ukraine the US promoted, financed, helped organize, and encouraged the overthrow of a democratically elected government. "

They did the very same thing here...

Clint Liquor 1 hour ago

Putin understands the Hegemon's Achilles Heel.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-china-usa-idUSKBN2BE0XH

muldoon55 2 hours ago

Have been for quite some time.

Marine General Smedley Butler knew his forces were being used back in the thirties to enforce American bankster interests in central and South America.

eyewillcomply 1 hour ago (Edited)

"We are now the Evil Empire."

As soon as we allowed the cousins of the same Bolsheviks who made Russia into a communist basket case to control our currency and thus, government, we became an "Evil Empire". It has been a slow process and hard to recognize early on. The founding principles of the United States are moral and admirable. What we have morphed into at the behest of this satanic cabal is the exact opposite of that ethos.

chunga 3 hours ago

Many people hate the US and have many very valid reasons to fight and kill all of us.

BlindMonkey 2 hours ago (Edited)

A large swath of Americans just want to live life as a people. They harbor no ill will to other people's, we just want our space in the world respected. Of these, they also have a beef with the insane people that have got us to this point.

jeff montanye 2 hours ago

the u.s. government has not been mine since vietnam.

dead hobo 1 hour ago (Edited)

Funny, but look at the big picture. How could all these foreign horrors be contemplated if only a few people voted for Biden? Agree the election was stolen, but it still took a massive number of Libtards and Woketards to provide enough actual votes to make the fake votes count.

We are seeing what happens when a massive amount of Accumulated Stupid runs daily life in the US. No amount of talk will make a difference and most people don't read. Combined, this makes them impervious to common sense. Things will get worse, then much worse, before they get better. This is a big deal. Democrats are going all in at 110% effort because they know they will fail and and never get another chance if they don't take over now. Expect outrageous takeovers followed by more outrageous takeovers. We haven't seen anything yet. Expect to be Amazed.

chunga 2 hours ago

I'm afraid those people will not be exempt from the harmful, malicious actions of the US govt and do not deserve to be. I put myself in this category.

Sandmann 23 minutes ago

Most Americans are great and generous people but so were most people in the Soviet Union

Lordflin 2 hours ago

You don't seriously believe we would sit on the sidelines of such a conflict...

When was the last time that happened...?

Deep State wants war... and they are now firmly in charge in a capital protected by armed troops and razor wire...

JPHR 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link

This article seems mistaken in treating Biden as somehow being in charge nor is this Harris.

The most concerning aspect of this fake presidency is that non-elected and not accountable people behind the scenes are running this farce.

The US always selects weak corrupt leaders as front men for their color revolutions abroad and it should not be a surprise that the color revolution at home now follows exactly that very same pattern.

Carlin was RIGHT 2 hours ago (Edited)

It is not just the author of this article that is mistaken, it is also 95% of the murican public. What you see on your tee veee and read in media is 100% pure theatre - all agenda driven, of course.

Dumfknation will begrudgingly go along with ANYTHING tptb dictates - that has been proven beyond any doubt over the last year. So expect nothing but misery and quite possibly death for the foreseeable future, because (((they))) most certainly have NO CONCERN WHATSOEVER for you happiness and prosperity, and only seek to make the world a better place for (((them))).

Sandmann 4 hours ago

Much of the Hitler-Stalin War was fought in Ukraine. Ukraine was always the centre for Soviet weapons production to ensure The West stayed away.

Brzezinski set up a cat's paw which he hoped would ensnare Russia but it will destroy USA. The West kept Bandera groups funded and armed in Ukraine into 1950s. Poland wants to seize Gailicia. The simple fact is Ukrainians are emigrating for work to Poland and Turkey and Western Europe if they can get forged papers. Ukraine is dead - US wants to force West Europeans to pay transport levies to Ukraine for Russian gas instead of North Stream so Europeans fund Ukraine corruption and backfunding to US Democrats.

Russia will fight when it is ready as will China. Seems stupid to risk Atlanta or Dallas or LA or Chicago for Kiev

Craven Moorehead 3 hours ago

The Soviet Union economically collapsed trying to match NATO military strength, too much of their resources and productivity were directed to military, the West effectively outspent them.

Now the tables have turned, The US may be on the road to the same fate, and the current government of morons may just bring it about

BlindMonkey 2 hours ago remove link

The Ukraine war might be kept under wraps solely because Russia has clearly signaled they will enter it. An attack is a suicide play for Ukraine. I don't expect this to stop the warhawks from trying but Zelensky must know this is a death trap for him. If this kicks off, expect Poland to be sacrificed to try to take Kaliningrad in retribution.

SwmngwShrks 1 hour ago remove link

I remember being in school in 2014, in a UN class specifically, learning about how the US backed coup in the Ukraine led to them wanting to join the EU. However, as part of the treaty during the dissolution of the USSR, if any of the barrier states went to join the EU, Russia would annex Crimea, as its only warm-water port.

This is what happened, and what was executed, however it was propagandized here in the US that Russia had "invaded" Crimea. It explains why reporters on scene found the locals welcoming the Russians.

The thing is, I remember so explicitly finding this on the web, because I was surprised it was true. I read the actual treaty, and can no longer find it online, anywhere. Sigh, down the memory hole, thanks Brave New World.

Savvy 24 minutes ago

It's hard to believe the Americans could be so short sighted, but Ukraine was 'liberated' to control Russia's access to the EU market. Pretty stupid if so because that's when construction on NS2 began and Ukraine is a US quagmire now. Another shining example of US intervenyionism.

SoDamnMad 2 hours ago remove link

Search for the "March of the Immortal Regiment" on Youtube and understand that if you attack either the Crimea or the Donbass you will fight seasoned soldiers as well as civilians ready to smash your face in with a shovel. Unlike the US woke crowd those that chose Russia are not willing to lay down for the corrupt private Nazi militias of Ukraine. The shipment of up-armored humvess are worthless in this fight. Half the stuff will be stolen and wind up on the black market. No more mister nice guy. "Remember, you asked for it."

deep-state-retired 3 hours ago remove link

With the successful Biden Coup and full media / tech blackout of election fraud the Globalists are ready to take on one of the last few nation states. They think like Napoleon and Hitler just kick in the door and the house will collapse. We will see.

de tocqueville's ghost 1 hour ago (Edited)

the industrialized military complex and deep state stole our vote and election...they need war to survive. Biden was always their "boy"...he voted yay for every war in the last 42 years. They had to get rid of Trump...he wasn't starting any wars.
We knew Biden would start beating the war drums soon after being in the WH, and he is.

JackOliver5 3 hours ago (Edited)

Luongo is not too sharp - THIS is about the energy future - NATURAL GAS !

So was the deal between Iran and China today !

Russia already has over over 1000 CNG service stations - Iran will provide CNG pipelines to China - the Rothschilds will have NO place in this NEW world !

THAT is why we are seeing what we are seeing NOW !

Time will prove that I am right !

Five_Black_Eyes_Intel_Agency 4 hours ago (Edited)

The psychopathic cabal loves creating frozen conflicts that they can "switch on" - such as the one in Ukraine. The only problem is that they always keep choosing losers as their friends.

The CIA and MI6 are working hard on "switching on" the Ukraine conflict, because peddling conflict is all they know. Russia will wipe the floor with them.

The world is waking up fast to the US-UK-israeli racket of depravity. The world except those pitiful vassals still stuck in the honeymoon phase with their oppressors like the EU.

Propaganda Ripper 2 hours ago (Edited)

At this point, if you are politically correct, you cheer for World War 3. What could be more normal in a world gone mad ?

US Banana Republic 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Russia AND China need to make sure the US has skin in this game.

When I was IN Ukraine recently for three months a friend asked when the continental US was last involved in a real war. It was, of course, the US Civil War and that ended in 1865. The US is far removed from the people it disturbs and massacres. We have no problem singing how proud we are to be Americans because we are situated in a place that we can do anything to anybody and they can't touch us. That needs to end.

I don't know exactly how but Russia and China need to make the US pay some consequences for this ******** aggression.

Oldwood 2 hours ago

When you say "US", exactly WHO are you referring?

When you say "Chinese" who are you referring.

Most people of this planet are dominated by their leadership.

otschelnik 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Donbass is another example of a successful 'frozen conflict' tactic which the Russians use in ethnicly charged border conflicts or strategically important territories. North Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transdnestr are some of the other ones. There's one big chanage in that now a lot of the residents of the Donbass region have obtained Russian passports under an expedited system, about 400,000 reportedly by the beginning of the year. Unlike US politicians Putin is not limited by time. This can go on for decades.

Russia is keeping their options open, and they're willing to withdrawl from Donbass if the region is given autonomy in Ukraine if they can keep Crimea. This is their favorite option but that's not acceptable for the Ukraine government. If that doesn't work they can go all the way and annex Donbass too and have the forces to go all the way to the Dnepr river. Ukraine can't do anything, they're too weak.

The neocon's running the Biden administration would definitely like to push Ukraine into a hot war with Russia but our NATO allies are not going to support it.

vasilievich 2 hours ago

If I may ask, how do you know what Russia is willing to do?

otschelnik 22 minutes ago

Listen to Lavrov and read between the lines.

SoDamnMad 2 hours ago

"if they can keep Crimea". I stopped reading after that. The road and railway links over the Kerch Strait told me they were there for good.

BinAnunnaki 1 hour ago remove link

Can Putin annex Donestsk and not expect full western sanctions, esp. on energy or is that a bluff?

Will Merkel let her people freeze for Eastern Ukraine?

indus creed 30 minutes ago (Edited)

At the minimum Russia will take the eastern portion and the entire southern region, thus cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea.

El_Puerco 1 hour ago

https://southfront.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/28march2021_Eastern_Uk_Ukraine_War_Map-1363x1536.jpg

MILITARY SITUATION IN EASTERN UKRAINE ON MARCH 28, 2021 (MAP UPDATE)

European Monarchist 1 hour ago (Edited) remove link

Biden is just like Obama, an unsophisticated and blundering WARMONGER.

El_Puerco 1 hour ago

Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Biden's War?

European Monarchist 59 minutes ago (Edited)

Who knows, but here is my list of likely suspects: the military industrial complex, the CIA, the deep state, Mossad, hubris, dementia, and demons.

The Vel 1 hour ago

I like this article. Some wonderful quotes:

' They can't even get him to talk with reporters for real, having to green screen him into backgrounds to make it look like he's out in the world, doing stuff.' - Check

In the end everything we've lived through since COVID-19 began boils down to the need to destroy the global economy built on oil and coal, otherwise all major energy production - Check

If there is a war in the Donbass this spring it won't be a happy ending which extends U.S. primacy into the future but the moment when we realized its acceleration into irrelevancy. - Check Mate

That's the key point of covid - it will take the US Federal Government into irrelevancy along with Dementia Joe. And all you good folks and me will get to witness this transition to irrelevance (if you don't die off from the vaxx sooner).

BubbaBanjo 1 hour ago remove link

Ukraine would be very wise to find a diplomatic way to be a neutral nation and not be a pawn. Russia will take the pawn if it is played. Nothing will stop that. A pawn needs to know its role in the game.

Aquamaster 10 minutes ago

Always remember, Biden did not put anyone into his administration based on qualifications. Most were picked for either their racial, sexual, or LBGTQ... bonafides. The rest were picked as paybacks for financial, and media/tech support during the campaign. Also, many are Obama retreads, and we know how poorly they performed in those eight years of the Obama reign of error.

This is going to be a horrible four years and I have no doubt that OBidens ideologues will blunder us into at least one war. Hopefully it won't be WW3.

flyonmywall 23 minutes ago

The idiot-in-chief is being told by his handlers that they can win this without American boots on the ground, with cannon fodder provided by conscript Ukrainians.

When the Russians finally unleash their armor divisions, they will cut through their opposition like a hot knife through butter, while being covered by the Russian aerospace forces.

If these idiots unleash long range misiles, World War 3 will be just around the corner.

Aquamaster 7 minutes ago

Indeed. We saw this exact thing happen in the ill fated Georgia conflict during the Bush presidency.

QABubba 2 hours ago remove link

Putin is, and has been, playing a waiting game. With each year that passes the West gets weaker and Eurasia gets stronger. The goal is with deft diplomacy to stretch this period out long enough for the balance of power to become obvious.

Again, whoever thought that Russia would pay billions in transit fees to Poland and Ukraine for them to turn around and spend with Lockheed, Ratheon. etc., to buy weapons to point at Russia was an idiot. A first class idiot. The kind of idiot that will be the death of us.

Tom Green Swedish 2 hours ago

WIth each year Putin becomes older and weaker. He will age out, and they will fall. I don't like Russia. Who would?

Victor999 1 hour ago

Lots of people like Russia - all over the world. And lots of people absolutely hate America - all over the world. How do you explain that? And if you knew anything about Russia, you would understand why you should fear the day that Putin finally steps down.

blumenthal 2 hours ago (Edited)

In contrast to the attempted coup in Turkey, in which Erdogan acted decisively, it was a serious mistake on Yanukovich's part not to deploy the military in Ukraine. The Russians made a subsequent mistake by not marching straight into the capital Kiew. Now it will be much more difficult to control the situation in Ukraine. A further conflict will escalate very quickly, because the Russians have a lot at stake and China will not hesitate for long.......

Propaganda Ripper 2 hours ago (Edited)

Yanukovich did not deploy the military in Ukraine because he was threatened with sanctions... The result is that he almost got himself (and his family) killed. It was a very narrow escape from Kyiv.

BinAnunnaki 2 hours ago remove link

Remember this all happened while Putin was concluding a successful Olympics

morefunthanrum 2 minutes ago

Zerohedge and the Republicans are awful sympathetic to trumps buddy putin....why is that?

TRUMP WON 2 minutes ago

Putin loves his country...

Biden does not.

Only a few years difference in their ages... Jesus, what a contrast.

One, sharp as a tack... the other, a urine-soaked imbecilic pedo clown

rtb61 1 hour ago

The Ukraine no longer seems willing to self destruct being part of Europe a lie, they should never have shot down the passenger jet, they will never be forgiven for that.

Right now the worst thing the USA could do to Russia, dump the Ukraine back on them and force Russia to pay to fix and and create chaos with regard to the Crimea.

The Ukraine is a mess and getting worse, it is a booby prize for whom ever gets stuck with it. The Ukraine even managed to say the stupidest thing they could, when they said the Crimea returned to Russia, really stuck their foot in there. Should never have said that because yes, it was stolen by a Ukrainian leader of the Soviet Union and logically at the end of the Soviet Union should have demanded it's return to Russia because soviet union evil.

The Ukraine government should have never said, the Crimea returned to Russia because they immediately lost their case in doing so.

Global Hunter 1 hour ago remove link

The pro-Soros, pro NATO Ukrainians (baby Russians) who are rebelling against their Russian brethren shot the plane down ya stooge.

fosfor 37 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Many thanks to Biden and Nuland for the Russian Crimea!

Vladymyr Zhirinovsky - The division of Ukraine will take place in the near future

The flight of Viktor Yanukovych from Kiev turned out to be the most profitable option for Russia. Otherwise, one would have to spend a lot of money and be left without Crimea.

"Why didn't Yanukovych stay in Kiev? How would we take Crimea if Yanukovych stayed in Kiev? We would have thrown an army into Kiev, we would have given a lot of money, Yanukovych would have sat there and continued to rule Ukraine, and Crimea would have remained Ukrainian and died. Yanukovych played along with us. Now Biden is playing along with us. Let him continue to help the allegedly Ukrainian army. "

Zhirinovsky presented the ongoing actions as a multi-step combination for the creation of Novorossiya.

"It is beneficial for us that Biden gave the command through his Ukrainian accomplices to launch an attack on Donbass. Yes, we will crush this entire army completely, and a movement will begin towards the creation of Novorossia, the entire South-East of Ukraine, and the North - we will see. Maybe we'll come to an agreement with the Germans and the Poles, maybe we'll do a little differently there. "

Let it Go 3 hours ago remove link

Biden putting more weapons into the hands of those unmotivated to fight for their corrupt state is merely adding fuel to this fire and doing more harm than good. Remember Ukraine is a financially failed state and while we can point to its potential, its massive oil and gas reserves by all rights should belong to the Ukrainian people. These reserves do not belong to people like Joe and hunter Biden. More on this subject in the article below.

https://Ukraine War Is About Money Energy And Power.html

J J Pettigrew 3 hours ago remove link

Recall all the "concern" that Trump might be blackmailed by those who had dirt on him...(Russia)

never happened

So what of Biden and Burisma, Ukraine, Hunter, China deals, money wired, ...??

Any stories that might be told, or withheld, on the Bidens?

Southern_Boy 21 minutes ago

I believe living anywhere near the DC Swamp will become rather dangerous (it's probably dangerous now because of BLM/Antifa and the "woke" mobs) once the nuclear ballistic missile exchange starts. Even the big blue cities and state capitals are probably going to be targets.

The globalist elites of the Medical-Military Industrial Complex really believe the homeland is invulnerable to and will never be subjected to a real damaging attack.

Don't forget the historical wild card is Pakistan, India and Iran with nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction.

gzorp 24 minutes ago (Edited)

After the nazis bounced Kennedy's brains (and your democracy) off the trunk of his limo on 11/22/63, the Right of Return side as opposed to Containment side won the argument. There would be no cooperation with the Soviet Union... Nixon (Dulles/nazi protege) used the ukrainian (Bandera faction) Romainian Iron Guard, Croation Ustashi etc . to get the ethnic vote for the Republipigs promosing right of return to their countries for the nazi collaborators given refuge here in the US. Brought into the Republipig party as an official wing of the party by HW Bush when he was chairman of the Republipig party as the "Ethnic Outreach" wing of the party. Seen the USSA returning any former nazis to Croatia or Ukraine?...

Kat Daddy 49 minutes ago (Edited)

If a plebiscite is called in the Donbass, the people will vote to join the Russian Federation. Any actions taken by NATO and the Atlanticist interests will appear illegal under international law. So much for promoting democracy and humanitarian interests. There need not be a war, but I know you're secretly hoping for one.

[Mar 26, 2021] Stavridis "oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria."

Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: March 24, 2021 at 8:07 pm GMT • 2.0 days ago

@Anonymous that a strong American military and national security posture is the best guarantor of peace and the survival of our values and civilization.

Stavridis has been at the forefront of the mass slaughter known as the implementation of the Oded Yinon Plan for Eretz Israel:

From 2002 to 2004, Stavridis commanded Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Persian Gulf in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Stavridis "oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria." In short, this prominent racketeer is dripping with the blood of hundreds of thousands of the victims.

[Mar 14, 2021] Why The War In Ukraine May Soon Resume

Mar 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Why The War In Ukraine May Soon Resume

Several Russia watchers - Patrick Armstrong , Andrei Martyanov and Andrei Raevsky - are musing about a renewed attack by the government of Ukraine on its eastern Donbass region. The Donbass separated in 2014 after the U.S. driven coup in Kiev installed an anti-Russian government which then waged a war on its ethnic Russian east.

There have been a number of reports about heavy Ukrainian equipment moving east and other hints of military preparations . Russia has seen enough such signs to issue a strong warning :

"I would like to warn the Kiev regime and the hotheads that are serving it or manipulating it against further de-escalation and attempts to implement a forceful scenario in Donbass," [Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova] said, commenting on the statement of head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group for settlement in Donbass Leonid Kravchuk on some "radical steps" of Kiev if Russia refuses to recognize itself as a conflict side in eastern Ukraine.
...
Zakharova recalled that the Minsk Agreements clearly outline the conflict sides in Donbass as Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. "The unwillingness of Ukrainian negotiators to recognize this fact and their refusal to find agreements with Donbass is the reason that hinders the establishment of long-lasting peace in the region," the diplomat noted.

The main catalyst for such a war is the sorry state of the government in Kiev. The country is in in the midst of a constitutional crisis :

[T]he Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) recently plunged the country into one of its deepest crises in its 30-year history. Specifically, on October 27, 2020, the Court declared that the main elements of Ukraine's anti-corruption legislation, adopted between 2014 and 2020, were unconstitutional. In response, President Zelensky introduced legislation calling for the early termination of all Constitutional Court judges. Later, in December, he suspended the chairman of the Court for two months.

The result was widespread chaos in Ukraine's political system. Zelensky's actions were of questionable legality and provoked harsh criticism from all political sides. The ramifications of the Court's decision include the cancellation of over 100 pending corruption investigations, a development that potentially could endanger future EU-Ukraine trade and economic cooperation Ukraine under the 2014 Association Agreement.

After the 2014 Euromaidan coup an 'independent' National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) was created to oversee the investigation and prosecution of corrupt state officials. The NABU has since been used by the U.S. embassy to bring criminal cases against those oligarchs it dislikes and to cover for those it likes. The constitutional court found that NABU is a criminal investigation agency outside the control of the executive branch which is a contradiction to the Ukrainian constitution.

The crisis has since escalated:

President Zelensky has now taken several provocative steps, including proposing legislation that voids the Constitutional Court's anti-corruption rulings and begins the process of dismissing and replacing those justices who supported that decision. None of these actions are supported under present-day Ukrainian law. The rhetoric between the president and the Constitutional Court is also escalating, with Constitutional Court Chairman Tupitskyi warning that the president's actions threaten the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Calls for impeachment proceedings are being raised in the Rada, and Zelensky yet again escalated the crisis on February 3, 2021 by blocking pro-Russian TV channels controlled by Victor Medvedchuk. The legality of the latter action was even questioned by the EU, who told Zelensky that while Ukraine possessed the right to protect itself from disinformation, it still had to comply with international standards and "fundamental rights and freedoms."

The pressure on Zelensky is growing as he tries to navigate the fine line of obeying the law as written while simultaneously claiming that the very integrity of the country is at stake. And Zelensky's problems are only mounting, with the Cabinet of Ministers recently calling for the dismissal of the head of NABU and the IMF delaying the next tranche of financial support, in part because of Ukraine's failure to implement a comprehensive anti-corruption program.

Polling numbers for Zelensky have sharply declined . Right wing city councils call on Zelensky to outlaw the largest opposition party . Meanwhile the pandemic puts a record number of people into hospitals while a meager vaccination campaign is failing .

A war against the eastern separatist could be a Hail Mary attempt by Zelensky to regain some national and international support.

But nothing will happen on the frontline without the consent or even encouragement from Washington DC. The Biden administration is filled with the same delusional people who managed the 2014 coup in Kiev. They may believe that the NATO training the Ukrainian army received and the weapons the U.S. delivered are sufficient to defeat the separatist. But the state of the Ukrainian military is worse than one might think and the separatist will have Russia's full backing. There is no question who would win in such a fight.

As a commentator at Turcopolier remarked :

If the US is not careful it is going to give the Russians another opportunity to show to the World their military prowess, the flexibility of their Military District system allowing multi front operation and their unfailing support for an ally. As well as potentially letting the Russians show to Europe that they have nothing to fear, if they stop at 30 miles or so and basically go back home. All whilst the US demonstrates the opposite, but then reinforcing DC may trump the World.

Posted by b on March 13, 2021 at 17:30 UTC | Permalink


Mar man , Mar 13 2021 17:49 utc | 1

If Ukraine is not careful, they could easily lose all their territory up to the Dnieper River. With Russian support the separatists could launch offensives and gain massive territory west. If pro-Russian separatists managed to capture that much territory, that would solve alot of problems for Russia.

1. A land bridge to Crimea.
2. No more water/power distribution problems to Crimea.
3. Less chances for the ongoing sabotage efforts against Crimea from the northern border.
4. Permanent exclusion of Ukraine from NATO unless Ukraine simply gives up and recognizes all the lost as sovereign independent republics. A win/win for Russia.

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 13 2021 17:57 utc | 2
"A war against the eastern separatist could be a Hail Mary attempt by Zelensky to regain some national and international support." It would be an odd way to 'regain national support', as he was elected on precisely the opposite platform, the peace platform.

Meh. Whatever the calculations - to suppress pro-peace opponents and compete against the pro-war parties for their electorate? - it seems unlikely to succeed. A case of totally fucked up attempt at populism, methinks.

Bluedotterel , Mar 13 2021 18:07 utc | 3
The Saker also has an interesting article on this: https://thesaker.is/is-the-ukraine-on-the-brink-of-war-again/

"Just a few weeks ago I wrote a column entitled "The Ukraine's Many Ticking Time Bombs" in which I listed a number of developments presenting a major threat to the Ukraine and, in fact, to all the countries of the region. In this short time the situation has deteriorated rather dramatically. I will therefore begin with a short recap of what is happening.

First, the Ukrainian government and parliament have, for all practical purposes, declared the Minsk Agreements as dead. Truth be told, these agreements were stillborn, but as long as everybody pretended that there was still a chance for some kind of negotiated solution, they served as a "war retardant". Now that this retardant has been removed, the situation becomes far more explosive than before.

Second, it is pretty obvious that the "Biden" administration is a who's who of all the worst russophobes of the Obama era: Nuland, Psaki, and the rest of them are openly saying that they want to increase the confrontation with Russia. Even the newcomers, say like Ned Price, are clearly rabid russophobes. The folks in Kiev immediately understood that their bad old masters were back in the White House and they are now also adapting their language to this new (well, not really) reality.

Finally, and most ominously, there are clear signs that the Ukrainian military is moving heavy forces towards the line of contact. Here is an example of a video taken in the city of Mariupol:

Besides tanks, there are many reports of other heavy military equipment, including MLRS and tactical ballistic missiles, being moved east towards the line of contact. Needless to say, the Russian General Staff is tracking all these movements very carefully, as are the intelligence services of the LDNR."

William Gruff , Mar 13 2021 18:12 utc | 6
"Why The War In Ukraine May Soon Resume" ?

Because the establishment was successful at installing one of their own into the White House. In fact, the empire's need to secure total victory in Ukraine was part and parcel of why Biden had to "win" regardless of how blatant the scamming of the election ended up being.

Not only will the wars in Ukraine and Syria heat up to a boil again, but we will begin to see terrorist attacks in western China start up once more after several year hiatus. We all knew that this is what would come of a Biden win.

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 13 2021 18:16 utc | 7
"Otherwise, good article on the dangerous build up that is motivated in the US."

Incidentally, I hear that Ukrainian officials are getting their orders from the UK embassy these days; the US has distanced itself.

Whether this is happening because it's still the transitional period, or this is a deliberate new M.O., god only knows.

oldhippie , Mar 13 2021 18:31 utc | 11
Ukraine still has a flotilla of functioning nuclear power plants. The Zaporozhye complex is the largest in Europe by far. Anything goes wrong and Chernobyl comes back, in spades. So what if we have a little war and Russia stops at Donbass, the rump of Ukraine is in chaos?

An atomic bomb requires 3 kilos of fissile material. A reactor will have tons. Hundreds of tons of highly radioactive spent fuel. There is a lot to be said for stability. Lots of trouble with high stakes poker.

John Gilberts , Mar 13 2021 18:31 utc | 12

Canada's Banderite lobby prepares... https://twitter.com/HMcPhersonMP/status/1370417322687565826
Oldhippie , Mar 13 2021 18:51 utc | 15
#14
Right. What could possibly go wrong?

When history repeats itself there are never any annoying transcription errors.

ptb , Mar 13 2021 19:03 utc | 16
Ukraine's relations with China might be about to deteriorate as well... Ukraine Plans To Nationalize Jet Engine Producer Motor Sich From Chinese Investors
Fyi , Mar 13 2021 19:21 utc | 17
Mr. Mar man

I agree, and further to your points, I suspect Russians are engaged in a long term project of re-absorbing Ukraine minus the Catholic oblasts. The tactic is intermittent episodes of limited war, in response to a Ukrainian provocation, real or manufactured, or imagined - followed by the loss of more territory by Ukraine.

Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 13 2021 19:30 utc | 18
The most interesting thing about this story is ... Myanmar.

Since the coup in that country began the Fake News (most MSM news) has given Myanmar saturation coverage. EVERY "news" broadcast in Oz AND the so-called International News has led with some tosh about Myanmar. It's an effing rowdy riot for Christ's sake. Guess how surprised I wouldn't be to hear that MI6 & CIA are behind Myanmar? It's a Boring, same every day, story and it's going nowhere.

Imo, Myanmar was always cover for prep for something more nefarious elsewhere. And anything with shooting involved would be MORE nefarious than Myanmar. Now the real stories are seeping out.
I hope they start with Ukraine. Putin is an asshole. But he's my kind of asshole and certain people, who don't listen, are going to wish they hadn't been born. And when VVP has finished with Ukraine, some of them may as well not have been born.

James2 , Mar 13 2021 19:43 utc | 19
What ever I read I never hear the views of the people of Ukraine - the country is at risk of being broken up by the actions of all governments since independence. I bet the Hungarians and Poland are watching closely as they also have interests in Ukraine.
steven t johnson , Mar 13 2021 19:59 utc | 20
You people need to get your stories straight. If Biden is so senile, then manipulating him slows down the full-court press and makes all policies erratic, the product of the last person to whisper in the ear. (Which is why Dr. Jill would be Edith Wilson and Nancy Reagan.) Plus, saving the zombie corps are higher on his agenda. Most of all of course, the theory that Biden has already ordered the MSM to bury the bodies in Ukraine means he has zero need to do favors for anyone there. (There is zero evidence Hunter was selling real favors, instead of scamming crooked Ukrainians who thought they could buy influence. But it is an article of faith, a tenet of Trumpian theology, that Ukraine was something, something, something and therefore Biden is a traitor.)

It is in fact the transitional period that is apt to allow all unresolved disasters to boil over while no one (not literally) is watching. Only a fool ever thought Ukraine and Syria could continue indefinitely. (Putin may be that big of a fool, if he ever had an endgame he's never showed any sign of it.) The economic crisis and the epidemic and the US elections I think have tended to put people into a holding pattern to see how things develop. But now, the epidemic is starting to shake out---the end of the beginning is in sight!---and the world depression is entering a new phase with threatened mass bankruptcies and now is the time to present the new US administration with a fait accompli.

In Syria, Trump had four years to end things but deliberately committed to stealing the oil. Putin never had a plan I think to lever out the US and Turkey or even the Kurds, so he never had a hope of ending the war in Syria. It can't go on forever.

Kharkov province came within a hair of joining Lugansk and Donetsk in rebelling. But it is the only contiguous territory that can plausibly be joined. Odessa is majority Russian but it is isolated. Artificially dividing the westernmost provinces from the rest of Ukraine will not resolve the problem, not even if they were sacrificed to Poland. Poland's appetites include western Belarus and Kaliningrad and probably parts of Lithuania too. One problem with re-drawing borders in Europe is German revanchism for Silesia and Prussia. It may not be loud now, but it's astonishing how fast these ideas come back.

Stonebird , Mar 13 2021 20:09 utc | 22
Some updates.
There is a battle in the area of #​​Donetsk airport. The #Ukrainian Armed Forces
are shelling DPR positions with heavy weapons.
Around 19.30 local time, a series of kicks took place in the direction of the DAP.

I would expect a False Flag to start thing off. (The shelling has been going on for months, but seems to be more serious this time round.)

The Russians are ready. 6 Divisions said to be on high alert. Structural subdivisions of electronic warfare (EW) of special forces of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have been redeployed to the territory of the #DPR & #LPR

Electronic suppression & electronic protection goes to all points of contact with #Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The Ukranians started flying Bayraktar TB2 drones (As used against Armenia) (Two drones "Rece" downed (?unconfirmed) and a US drone seen in the vicinity.)

An Inhabitant of Donbas thinks that this time the Ukrainians will go for city centers. (Thinking about the mess they made by going through the rural areas and finishing in "cauldrons")
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iixZn9r8z8
(26 minutes)

Turkey's deputy foreign minister [annexation of Crimea]: "The situation in Crimea continues to threaten regional security." "We adopt a clear, coherent policy. We strongly support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We don't recognize illegal annexation."

The Ukes have slightly more then 100'000 men and the Donbas has about 30'000.

There are three (?) Nato force ships in Odessa. (Minesweepers, if my memory is correct - older report) The US destroyers have left. But. The US has a carrier in the Med, and the Charles de Gaulle (carrier) is also around.

Jen , Mar 13 2021 20:22 utc | 23
I wonder who is pulling Ukrainian President Zelensky's strings as his actions as described by B in his post don't match what the fellow has been doing (basically faffing about and trying to please everybody since he was elected in 2019) up to now. There must be several puppetmasters pulling him this way and that: the CIA and SBU certainly, the US State Dept certainly, and Zelensky must also be feeling some heat now Uncle Creepy Joe and son Hunter over Hunters past involvement with Burisma Holdings.
NemesisCalling , Mar 13 2021 20:40 utc | 24
Re: Biden's "policies"

Biden does not have any policies. At this point, it should be clear that the term "Biden" be used to designate the consortium of neocon and neoliberal technocrats, both veterans from the Obama-admin and neophytes who are operating in place of a failing POTUS.

Biden is a whimpering, pathetic character who should be left alone to handle his fleeting mind in dignity. But we all know this is not what he truly deserves.

They would not allow him to do this, however, and he was instrumental in being the most milktoast and boilerplate candidate where only pure hatred of the other (deplorables) would suffice to win 2020.

Biden was essential to win. Now he is the equivalent of a 6' ft+ doorstop or paperweight.

james , Mar 13 2021 20:45 utc | 25
thanks b... and many good insights from the posters starting @ 1 and moving down, excepting little stevies comment on putin.. can't have everything...

@ Gerhard | Mar 13 2021 18:22 utc | 9.. uranus is on an 84 year cycle... thanks for the data..

@ 23 jen... i was wondering about that myself... who is pulling zelenskys strings?? if biden can get rid of the chief prosecutor as vp to help his son out, i suspect he can do a wee bit more now as president... i don't think he is that bright though, and others behind the scene are pulling the strings here...

Jackrabbit , Mar 13 2021 20:58 utc | 26
24 comments and no mention of Nord Stream II

Isn't that the likely target of any Russian-Ukraine conflict? The U.S. Is Close to Killing Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline But it's a race between slow construction and slower sanctions.

!!

Jackrabbit , Mar 13 2021 20:58 utc | 27
24 comments and no mention of Nord Stream II

Isn't that the likely target of any Russian-Ukraine conflict?

The U.S. Is Close to Killing Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
But it's a race between slow construction and slower sanctions.

!!

passerby , Mar 13 2021 21:14 utc | 29
Gerhardt @9:
"The Ukraine 2021 is the same as Poland 1938."
You're going to invade Czechia?
lex talionis , Mar 13 2021 21:22 utc | 30
@22 stonebird - I watched the linked video. The Texan said that the Ukrainians bought winter fuel from Belarus. Is Lukashenko still playing both sides? How sad. I wouldn't want to be on a commercial jet flying over Ukrainian territory right now. Especially one manufactured by Boeing.
Boeing...Boeing...gone.
God help the fine people of the DNR LNR.

RIP Givi, Motorola, Zharakansheko and all the patriots.

Piotr Berman , Mar 13 2021 21:27 utc | 31
I am not sure if "the state of Ukrainian army" is properly illustrated by the link. The military is almost 300,000 strong and 60,000 is deployed on the Donbass frontline. They suffer quite a bit of losses, almost all "non-combat". For example, food poisoning, stepping or driving over mines laid by their colleagues, poisoning with improperly made samogon (moonshine), few killed when a samogon still exploded (strong alcohol has to be separated from propane flames, or it explodes, "still" as a noun is a device to distill alcohol), one soldier was so stoned that walked over the other side -- somehow not stepping on the mines, other stoned soldiers fight with each other etc. etc.

Somehow this war machine survives on 500 million dollars per month (a half what Polish military consumes).

karlof1 , Mar 13 2021 21:30 utc | 33
I see no reference to this yet, "'How Dare They!' How 'Pro-Russia' Report Shattered Pillars of US Old Atlanticist Think Tank'" :

"The row was triggered by a 5 March report written by the think tank's two senior members, Dr. Mathew Burrows and Dr. Emma Ashford, urging the Biden administration to 'avoid a human-rights-first approach' towards Moscow and warning that new anti-Russia sanctions would only 'further damage productive relations for the sake of an effort that is unlikely to succeed.'

"On 9 March, 22 think tank's staffers and fellows issued a tough statement distancing themselves from Burrows and Ashford and arguing that the report in question "misses the mark." The statement was signed by individuals known for their longstanding criticism against Moscow, including Swedish economist Anders Aslund and former US ambassadors John E. Herbst, Alexander Vershbow, and Daniel Fried."

Each paper is linked at the original. There's much to chew on as the Pragmatists/Realists make their move. I'll be back later to stick my oar in, although it ought to be clear who're the sane and insane.

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 13 2021 21:38 utc | 34
@Jen: "and Zelensky must also be feeling some heat now Uncle Creepy Joe and son Hunter over Hunters past involvement with Burisma Holdings."

About a year ago (February 6, 2020) the investigating judge of the Pecherskyi district court of Kyiv city I.V. Lytvynova ordered to open a criminal investigation of "the big guy" Joe. Case number 62020000000000236.

The authorities tried to stall it for a while (see here: https://justthenews.com/sites/default/files/2020-05/UkraineCourtRulingEngTranslation4-21-20ShokinCase.pdf ), and when they figured out which way the wind blows, they came to their senses and closed the case.

But as far as I know, Mr Shokin, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general removed by "the big guy" Joe (Burisma's krysha ), is still there, hasn't had a car accident or anything like that. So, for "the big guy" Joe (and The Family) Ukraine is still somewhat dangerous. To be handled with care.

vetinLA , Mar 13 2021 21:43 utc | 35
I suspect Zelensky is owned and directed by the same forces and people that own and directed DJT, Clinton, Obama, and now Biden.

What happens next, will be up to them. Probably something, anything, that will keep the $ flow directed to the "right" class of people.

Pass the popcorn...

Passer by , Mar 13 2021 22:02 utc | 36
There will be no war between Ukraine and Russia. Russia is playing for time, knowing that the West is getting weaker and will be in worse position later. NS 2 is also not yet completed. Why would one want to start a war now if they will be in better position later?

What may happen though, in the case of provocation, is that the rebels may get newer, fancy weapons, inflicting heavy casualties on the Ukrainian Army.

Same with Taiwan. No one is going to attack it right now. It could still happen, but around 2050, when China is at peak power, and not today.

MarkU , Mar 13 2021 22:13 utc | 37
@ Jackrabbit (26) Re: Nordstream 2

I agree but I also believe its going to be bigger than that.

@ Nemesis (24) & William Gruff (28)

Both right.

@ Stonebird (22)

The information is much appreciated.

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 13 2021 22:19 utc | 38
@Passer by,
that NS2 is not operational only means that Europe can't afford a long, serious crisis there.

Russia still could: being able to pump gas to Europe non-stop is hardly a critical factor. But of course the Putin administration repeated many times that it will not fight Ukraine. So, yes, it's unlikely.

The approach there appears to be 'wait and see'. "If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by."

[Mar 07, 2021] SEC Issues Devastating Risk Alert on Private Equity Abuses; Effectively Admits Failure of Last 5+ Years of Enforcement by Yves Smith

Notable quotes:
"... In the Risk Alert below, the itemization of various forms of abuses, such as the many ways private equity firms parcel out interests in the businesses they buy among various funds and insiders to their, as opposed to investors' benefit, alone should give pause. And the lengthy discussion of these conflicts does suggest the SEC has learned something over the years. Experts who dealt with the agency in its early years of examining private equity firms found the examiners allergic to considering, much the less pursuing, complex abuses. ..."
"... Undermining legislative intent of new supervisory authority the SEC never embraced its new responsibilities to ride herd on private equity and hedge funds. ..."
"... The agency is operating in such a cozy manner with private equity firms that as one investor described it: It's like FBI sitting down with the Mafia to tell them each year, "Don't cross these lines because that's what we are focusing on." ..."
"... Advisers charged private fund clients for expenses that were not permitted by the relevant fund operating agreements, such as adviser-related expenses like salaries of adviser personnel, compliance, regulatory filings, and office expenses, thereby causing investors to overpay expenses ..."
"... Current SEC chairman Jay Clayton came from Sullivan & Cromwell, bringing with him Steven Peikin as co-head of enforcement. And the Clayton SEC looks to have accomplished the impressive task of being even weaker on enforcement than Mary Jo White. ..."
"... On the same side though, fraud is a criminal offence, and it's SEC's duty to prosecute. And I believe that a lot of what PE engage in would happily fall under fraud, if SEC really wanted. ..."
"... Crimogenic: Producing or tending to produce crime or criminality. An additional factor is that, in the main, the criminals do not take their money and leave the gaming tables but pour it back in and the crime metastasizes. AKA, Kleptocracy. ..."
"... You might add that the threat of consequences for these crimes makes the criminals extremely motivated to elect officials who will not prosecute them (e.g. Obama). They're not running for office, they're avoiding incarceration. ..."
"... Andrew Levitt, for instance, complained bitterly that Joe Lieberman would regularly threaten to cut the SEC's budget for allegedly being too aggressive about enforcement. Lieberman was the Senator from Hedgistan. ..."
"... More banana republic level grift. What happens when investors figure out they can't believe anything they are told? ..."
"... Can we come up with a better descriptor for "private equity"? I suggest "billionaire looters". ..."
"... Where is the SEC when Bain Capital (Romney) wipes out Toys-R-Us and Dianne Feinstein's husband Richard Blum wipes out Payless Shoes. They gain control of the companies, pile on massive debt and take the proceeds of the loan, and they know the company cannot service the loan and a BK is around the corner. ..."
"... Thousands lose their jobs. And this is legal? And we also lost Glass-Steagal and legalized stock buy-backs. The Elite are screwing the people. It's Socialism for the Rich, the Politicians and Govt Employees and Feudalism for the rest of us. ..."
Jun 26, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

We've embedded an SEC Risk Alert on private equity abuses at the end of this post. 1 What is remarkable about this document is that it contains a far longer and more detailed list of private abuses than the SEC flagged in its initial round of examinations of private equity firms in 2014 and 2015. Those examinations occurred in parallel with groundbreaking exposes by Gretchen Morgenson at the New York Times and Mark Maremont in the Wall Street Journal.

At least some of the SEC enforcement actions in that era look to have been triggered by the press effectively getting ahead of the SEC. And the SEC even admitted the misconduct was more common at the most prominent firms.

Yet despite front-page articles on private equity abuses, the SEC engaged in wet noodle lashings. Its pattern was to file only one major enforcement action over a particular abuse. Even then, the SEC went to some lengths to spread the filings out among the biggest firms. That meant it was pointedly engaging in selective enforcement, punishing only "poster child" examples and letting other firms who'd engaged in precisely the same abuses get off scot free.

The very fact of this Risk Alert is an admission of failure by the SEC. It indicates that the misconduct it highlighted five years ago continues and if anything is even more pervasive than in the 2014-2015 era. It also confirms that its oft-stated premise then, that the abuses it found then had somehow been made by firms with integrity that would of course clean up their acts, and that now-better-informed investors would also be more vigilant and would crack down on misconduct, was laughably false.

In particular, the second section of the Risk Alert, on Fees and Expenses (starting on page 4) describes how fund managers are charging inflated or unwarranted fees and expenses. In any other line of work, this would be called theft. Yet all the SEC is willing to do is publish a Risk Alert, rather than impose fines as well as require disgorgements?

The SEC's Abject Failure

In the Risk Alert below, the itemization of various forms of abuses, such as the many ways private equity firms parcel out interests in the businesses they buy among various funds and insiders to their, as opposed to investors' benefit, alone should give pause. And the lengthy discussion of these conflicts does suggest the SEC has learned something over the years. Experts who dealt with the agency in its early years of examining private equity firms found the examiners allergic to considering, much the less pursuing, complex abuses.

Undermining legislative intent of new supervisory authority the SEC never embraced its new responsibilities to ride herd on private equity and hedge funds.

The SEC has long maintained a division between the retail investors and so-called "accredited investors" who by virtue of having higher net worths and investment portfolios, are treated by the agency as able to afford to lose more money. The justification is that richer means more sophisticated. But as anyone who is a manager for a top sports professional or entertainer, that is often not the case. And as we've seen, that goes double for public pension funds.

Starting with the era of Clinton appointee Arthur Levitt, the agency has taken the view that it is in the business of defending presumed-to-be-hapless retail investors and has left "accredited investor" and most of all, institutional investors, on their own. This was a policy decision by the agency when deregulation was venerated; there was no statutory basis for this change in priorities.

Congress tasked the SEC with supervising the fund management activities of private equity funds with over $150 million in assets under management. All of their investors are accredited investors. In other words, Congress mandated the SEC to make sure these firms complied with relevant laws as well as making adequate disclosures of what they were going to do with the money entrusted to them. Saying one thing in the investor contracts and doing another is a vastly worse breach than misrepresentations in marketing materials, yet the SEC acted as if slap-on-the-wrist-level enforcement was adequate.

We made fun when thirteen prominent public pension fund trustees wrote the SEC asking for them to force greater transparency of private equity fees and costs. The agency's position effectively was "You are grownups. No one is holding a gun to your head to make these investments. If you don't like the terms, walk away." They might have done better if they could have positioned their demand as consistent with the new Dodd Frank oversight requirements.

Actively covering up for bad conduct . In 2014, the SEC started working at giving malfeasance a free pass. Specifically, the SEC told private equity firms that they could continue their abuses if they 'fessed up in their annual disclosure filings, the so-called Form ADV. The term of art is "enhanced disclosure". Since when are contracts like confession, that if you admit to a breach, all is forgiven? Only in the topsy-turvy world of SEC enforcement.

And the coddling of crookedness continued. From a January post :

The agency is operating in such a cozy manner with private equity firms that as one investor described it: It's like FBI sitting down with the Mafia to tell them each year, "Don't cross these lines because that's what we are focusing on."

Specifically, as we indicated, the SEC was giving advanced warning of the issues it would focus on in its upcoming exams, in order to give investment managers the time to get their stories together and purge files. And rather than view its periodic exams as being designed to make sure private equity firms comply with the law and their representations, the agency views them as "cooperative" exercises! Misconduct is assumed to be the result of misunderstanding and error, and not design.

It's pretty hard to see conduct like this, from the SEC's Risk Alert, as being an accident:

Advisers charged private fund clients for expenses that were not permitted by the relevant fund operating agreements, such as adviser-related expenses like salaries of adviser personnel, compliance, regulatory filings, and office expenses, thereby causing investors to overpay expenses

The staff observed private fund advisers that did not value client assets in accordance with their valuation processes or in accordance with disclosures to clients (such as that the assets would be valued in accordance with GAAP). In some cases, the staff observed that this failure to value a private fund's holdings in accordance with the disclosed valuation process led to overcharging management fees and carried interest because such fees were based on inappropriately overvalued holdings .

Advisers failed to apply or calculate management fee offsets in accordance with disclosures and therefore caused investors to overpay management fees.

We're highlighting this skimming simply because it is easier for laypeople to understand than some of the other types of cheating the SEC described. Even so, industry insiders and investors complained that the description of the misconduct in this Risk Alert was too general to give them enough of a roadmap to look for it at particular funds.

Ignoring how investors continue to be fleeced . The SEC's list includes every abuse it sanctioned or mentioned in the 2014 to 2015 period, including undisclosed termination of monitoring fees, failure to disclose that investors were paying for "senior advisers/operating partners," fraudulent charges, overcharging for services provided by affiliated companies, plus lots of types of bad-faith conduct on fund restructurings and allocations of fees and expenses on transactions allocated across funds.

The SEC assumed institutional investors would insist on better conduct once they were informed that they'd been had. In reality, not only did private equity investors fail to demand better, they accepted new fund agreements that described the sort of objectionable behavior they'd been engaging in. Remember, the big requirement in SEC land is disclosure. So if a fund manager says he might do Bad Things and then proceeds accordingly, the investor can't complain about not having been warned.

Moreover, the SEC's very long list of bad acts says the industry is continuing to misbehave even after it has defined deviancy down via more permissive limited partnership agreements!

Why This Risk Alert Now?

Keep in mind what a Risk Alert is and isn't. The best way to conceptualize it is as a press release from the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. It does not have any legal or regulatory force. Risk Alerts are not even considered to be SEC official views. They are strictly the product of OCIE staff.

On the first page of this Risk Alert, the OCIE blandly states that:

This Risk Alert is intended to assist private fund advisers in reviewing and enhancing their compliance programs, and also to provide investors with information concerning private fund adviser deficiencies.

Cutely, footnotes point out that not everyone examined got a deficiency letter (!!!), that the SEC has taken enforcement actions on "many" of the abuses described in the Risk Alert, yet "OCIE continues to observe some of these practices during examinations."

Several of our contacts who met in person with the SEC to discuss private equity grifting back in 2014-2015 pressed the agency to issue a Risk Alert as a way of underscoring the seriousness of the issues it was unearthing. The staffers demurred then.

In fairness, the SEC may have regarded a Risk Alert as having the potential to undermine its not-completed enforcement actions. But why not publish one afterwards, particularly since the intent then had clearly been to single out prominent examples of particular types of misconduct, rather than tackle it systematically? 2

So why is the OCIE stepping out a bit now? The most likely reason is as an effort to compensate for the lack of enforcement actions. Recall that all the OCIE can do is refer a case to the Enforcement Division; it's their call as to whether or not to take it up.

The SEC looks to have institutionalized the practice of borrowing lawyers from prominent firms. Mary Jo White of Debevoise brought Andrew Ceresney with her from Debeviose to be her head of enforcement. Both returned to Debevoise.

Current SEC chairman Jay Clayton came from Sullivan & Cromwell, bringing with him Steven Peikin as co-head of enforcement. And the Clayton SEC looks to have accomplished the impressive task of being even weaker on enforcement than Mary Jo White. Clayton made clear his focus was on "mom and pop" investors, meaning he chose to overlook much more consequential abuses by private equity firms and hedgies. The New York Times determined that the average amount of SEC fines against corporate perps fell markedly in 2018 compared to the final 20 months of the Obama Administration. The SEC since then levied $1 billion fine against the Woodbridge Group of Companies and its one-time owner for running a Ponzi scheme that fleeced over 8,400, so that would bring the average penalty up a bit. But it still confirms that Clayton is concerned about small fry, and not deeper but just as pickable pockets.

David Sirota argues that the OCIE was out to embarrass Clayton and sabotage what Sirota depicted as an SEC initiative to let retail investors invest in private equity. Sirota appears to have missed that that horse has left the barn and is in the next county, and the SEC had squat to do with it.

The overwhelming majority of retail funds is not in discretionary accounts but in retirement accounts, overwhelmingly 401(k)s. And it is the Department of Labor, which regulates ERISA plans, and not the SEC, that decides what those go and no go zones are. The DoL has already green-lighted allowing large swathes of 401(k) funds to include private equity holdings. From a post earlier this month :

Until now, regulations have kept private equity out of the retail market by prohibiting managers from accepting capital from individuals who lack significant net worth.

Private equity firms have succeeded in storming that barricade. The Department of Labor published a June 3 information letter that allows private equity funds, or more accurately funds of funds, to be included in certain 401(k) plan offerings, namely, target date funds and balanced funds. This is significant because despite the SEC regularly calling out bad practices with target date funds, they are the strategy used to manage the majority of 401(k) assets .

Moreover, even though Sirota pointed out that Clayton had spoken out in favor of allowing retail investors more access to private equity investments, the proposed regulation on the definition of accredited investors in fact not only does not lower income or net worth requirements (save for allowing spouses to combine their holdings) it in fact solicited comments on the idea of raising the limits. From a K&L Gates write up :

Previously, the Concept Release requested comment on whether the SEC should revise the current individual income ($200,000) and net worth ($1,000,000) thresholds. In the Proposing Release, the SEC further considered these thresholds, noting that the figures have not been adjusted since 1982. The SEC concluded that it does not believe modifications to the thresholds are necessary at this time, but it has requested comments on whether the final should instead make a one-time increase to the thresholds in the account for inflation, or whether the final rule should reflect a figure that is indexed to inflation on a going-forward basis.

It is not clear how many people would be picked up by the proposed change, which was being fleshed out, that of letting some presumed sophisticated but not rich individuals, like junior hedge fund professionals and holders of securities licenses, be treated as accredited investors. In other words, despite Clayton's talk about wanting ordinary investors to have more access to private equity funds, the agency's proposed rule change falls short of that.

Moreover, if the OCIE staff had wanted to undermine even the limited liberalization of the definition of accredited investor so as to stymie more private equity investment, the time to do so would have been immediately before or while the comments period was open. It ended March 16 .

The New York Times reported that Senate Republicans deemed Clayton's odds of confirmation as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York as remote even before the Trump fired Geoffrey Berman to clear a path for Clayton. So the idea that a technical release by the OCIE would derail Clayton's confirmation is a stretch.

So again, why now? One possibility is that the timing is purely a coincidence. For instance, the SEC staffers might have been waiting until Covid-19 news overload died down a bit so their work might get a hearing (and Covid-19 remote work complications may also have delayed its release).

The second possibility is that OCIE is indeed very frustrated with the enforcement chief Peikin's inaction on private equity. The fact that Peikin's boss and protector Clayton has made himself a lame duck meant a salvo against Peikin was now a much lower risk. If any readers have better insight into the internal workings of the SEC these days, please pipe up.

______

1 Formally, as you can see, this Risk Alert addresses both private equity and hedge fund misconduct, but on reading the details, the citing of both types of funds reflects the degree to which hedge funds have been engaging in the buying and selling of stakes in private companies. For instance, Chatham Asset Management, which has become notorious through its ownership of American Media, which in turn owns the National Enquirer, calls itself a hedge fund. Moreover, when the SEC started examining both private equity and hedge funds under new authority granted by Dodd Frank, it described the sort of misconduct described in this Risk Alert as coming out of exams of private equity firms, and its limited round of enforcement actions then were against brand name private equity firms like KKR, Blackstone, Apollo, and TPG. Thus for convenience as well as historical reasons, we refer only to private equity firms as perps.

2 Media stories at the time, including some of our posts, provided substantial evidence that particular abuses, such as undisclosed termination of monitoring fees and failure to disclose that "senior advisers" presented as general partner "team members" were in fact consultants being separately billed to fund investments, were common practices. Yet the SEC chose to lodge only marquee enforcement actions against one prominent firm for each abuse, as if token enforcement would serve as an adequate deterrent. The message was the reverse, that the overwhelming majority of the abuses were able to keep their ill-gotten gains and not even face public embarrassment.


skippy , June 26, 2020 at 4:27 am

Peter Sellers I'll say now – ????

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TtZgs8k8dU

vlade , June 26, 2020 at 4:35 am

TBH, in the view of Calpers ignoring its advisors, I do have a little understanding of the SEC's point "you're grown ups" (the worse problem is that the advisors who leach themselves to the various accredited investors are often not worth the money.

On the same side though, fraud is a criminal offence, and it's SEC's duty to prosecute. And I believe that a lot of what PE engage in would happily fall under fraud, if SEC really wanted.

Susan the other , June 26, 2020 at 11:43 am

Yes, the SEC conveniently claims a conflicted authority – 1. to regulate compliance but without an "enforcement authority", and 2. report egregious behavior to their "enforcement authority". So the SEC is less than a permissive nanny. Sort of like "access" to enforcement authority. Sounds like health care to me.

Yves Smith Post author , June 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm

No, this is false. The SEC has an examination division and an enforcement division. The SEC can and does take enforcement actions that result in fines and disgorgements, see the $1 billion fine mentioned in the post. So the exam division can recommend enforcement to the enforcement division. That does not mean it will get done. Some enforcement actions originate from within the enforcement division, like insider trading cases, and the SEC long has had a tendency to prioritize insider trading cases.

The SEC cannot prosecute. It has to refer cases that it thinks are criminal to the DoJ and try to get them to saddle up.

Maritimer , June 26, 2020 at 5:04 am

Crimogenic: Producing or tending to produce crime or criminality. An additional factor is that, in the main, the criminals do not take their money and leave the gaming tables but pour it back in and the crime metastasizes. AKA, Kleptocracy.

Thus in 2008 and thereafter the criminal damage required 2-3 trillion, now 7-10 trillion.

Any economic expert who does not recognize crime as the number one problem in the criminogenic US economy I disregard. Why read all that analysis when, at the end of the run, it all just boils down to bailing out the criminals and trying to reset the criminogenic system?

(Can I get my economics degree now?)

Adam Eran , June 26, 2020 at 1:33 pm

You might add that the threat of consequences for these crimes makes the criminals extremely motivated to elect officials who will not prosecute them (e.g. Obama). They're not running for office, they're avoiding incarceration.

The Rev Kev , June 26, 2020 at 5:17 am

The SEC has been captured for years now. It was not that long ago that SEC Examination chief Andrew Bowden made a grovelling speech to these players and even asked them to give his son a job which was so wrong-

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/regulatory-capture-captured-on-video-190033/

But there is no point in reforming the SEC as it was the politicians, at the beck and call of these players, that de-fanged the SEC – and it was a bipartisan effort! So it becomes a chicken-or-the-egg problem in the matter of reform. Who do you reform first?

Can't leave this comment without mentioning something about a private equity company. One of the two major internal airlines in Oz went broke due to the virus and a private equity buyer has been found to buy it. A union rep said that they will be good for jobs and that they are a good company. Their name? Bain Capital!

Yves Smith Post author , June 26, 2020 at 5:44 am

We broke the story about Andrew Bowden! Give credit where credit is due!!!! Even though Taibbi points to us in his first line, linking to Rolling Stone says to those who don't bother clicking through that it was their story.

Plus we transcribed his fawning remarks.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/03/secs-andrew-bowden-regulator-sale.html

And he resigned three weeks later.

The Rev Kev , June 26, 2020 at 5:56 am

Of course I remember that story. I was going to mention it but thought to let people see it in virtually the opening line of that story where he gives you credit. More of a jolt of recognition seeing it rather than being told about it first.

Jesper , June 26, 2020 at 6:36 am

Of the three branches of government which ones are not captured by big business? If two out of three were to captured then does it matter what the third does?

In my opinion too much power has been centralised, too much of the productivity gains of the past 40 years have been monetised and therefore made possible to hoard and centralise. SEC should (in my opinion) try to enforce more but without more support then I do not believe (it is my opinion, nothing more and nothing less) that they can accomplish much.

Susan the other , June 26, 2020 at 11:57 am

The SEC is a mysterious agency which (?) must fall under the jurisdiction of the Treasury because it is a monetary regulatory agency in the business of regulating securities and exchanges. But it has no authority to do much of anything. The Treasury itself falls under the executive administration but as we have recently seen, Mnuchin himself managed to get a nice skim for his banking pals from the money Congress legislated.

That's because Congress doesn't know how to effectuate a damn thing – they legislate stuff that morphs before our very eyes and goes to the grifters without a hitch. So why don't we demand that consumer protection be made into hard law with no wiggle room; that since investing is complex in this world of embedded funds and glossy prospectuses, we the consumer should not have to wade through all the nonsense to make decisions – that everything be on the table. And if PE can't manage to do that and still steal its billions then PE should be declared to be flat-out illegal.

Yves Smith Post author , June 26, 2020 at 4:08 pm

Please stop spreading disinformation. This is the second time on this post. The SEC has nada to do with the Treasury. It is an independent regulatory agency. It however is the only financial regulator that does not keep what it kills (its own fees and fines) but is instead subject to Congressional appropriations.

Andrew Levitt, for instance, complained bitterly that Joe Lieberman would regularly threaten to cut the SEC's budget for allegedly being too aggressive about enforcement. Lieberman was the Senator from Hedgistan.

Edward , June 26, 2020 at 7:16 am

More banana republic level grift. What happens when investors figure out they can't believe anything they are told?

RJMc, MD , June 26, 2020 at 8:43 am

It should be noted that out here in the countryside of northern Michigan that embezzlement (a winter sport here while the men are out ice fishing), theft and fraud are still considered punishable felonies. Perhaps that is simply a quaint holdover from a bygone time. Dudley set the tone for the C of C with his Green Book on bank deregulation. One of the subsequent heads of C of C was reported as seeing his position as "being the spiritual resource for banks". If bank regulation is treated in a farcical fashion why should be the SEC be any different?

Susan the other , June 26, 2020 at 12:08 pm

I was shocked to just now learn that ERISA/the Dept of Labor is in regulatory control of allowing pension funds to buy PE fund of funds and "balanced PE funds". What VERBIAGE. Are "PE Fund of Balanced Funds" an actual category? And what distinguishes them from good old straightforward Index Funds? And also too – what is happening before our very glazed-over eyes is that PE is high grading not just the stock market but the US Treasury itself. Ordinary investors should be buying US Treasuries directly and retirement funds should too. It will be a big bite but if it knocks PE out of business it would be worth it. PE is in the business of cooking its books, ravaging struggling corporations, and boldly privatizing the goddamned Treasury. WTF?

Kouros , June 26, 2020 at 12:27 pm

I want to bring this to Yves' attention: the recent SCOTUS decision on Thole v. U.S. Bank that opens the doors wide for corporate America to steal with impunity from the pension plans: https://www.unz.com/estriker/corrupt-supreme-court-gives-green-light-to-corporations-to-steal-from-pensioners/

Glen , June 26, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Can we come up with a better descriptor for "private equity"? I suggest "billionaire looters".

Olivier , June 26, 2020 at 2:00 pm

What about the wanton destruction of the purchased companies? If this solely about the harm done to the poor investors? If so, that is seriously wrong.

flora , June 26, 2020 at 3:27 pm

If, you know, the neoliberal "because markets" is the ruling paradigm then of course there is no harm done. The questions then become: is "because markets" a sensible paradigm? What is it a sensible paradigm of? Is "because markets" even sensible for the long term?

flora , June 26, 2020 at 3:19 pm

an aside: farewell, Olympus camera. A sad day. Farewell, OM-1 and OM-2. Film photography is really not replicated by digital photography but the larger market has gone to digital. Speed and cost vs quality. Because markets. Now the vulture swoop.

Stan Sexton , June 26, 2020 at 8:17 pm

Where is the SEC when Bain Capital (Romney) wipes out Toys-R-Us and Dianne Feinstein's husband Richard Blum wipes out Payless Shoes. They gain control of the companies, pile on massive debt and take the proceeds of the loan, and they know the company cannot service the loan and a BK is around the corner.

Thousands lose their jobs. And this is legal? And we also lost Glass-Steagal and legalized stock buy-backs. The Elite are screwing the people. It's Socialism for the Rich, the Politicians and Govt Employees and Feudalism for the rest of us.

[Mar 07, 2021] Bank Regulation Can not Be Heads Banks Win, Tails Taxpayers Lose

Notable quotes:
"... Kane, who coined the term "zombie bank" and who famously raised early alarms about American savings and loans, analyzed European banks and how regulators, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, backstop them. ..."
"... We are only interested observers of the arm wrestling between the various EU countries over the costs of bank rescues, state expenditures, and such. But we do think there is a clear lesson from the long history of how governments have dealt with bank failures . [If] the European Union needs to step in to save banks, there is no reason why they have to do it for free best practice in banking rescues is to save banks, but not bankers. That is, prevent the system from melting down with all the many years of broad economic losses that would bring, but force out those responsible and make sure the public gets paid back for rescuing the financial system. ..."
"... In 2019, another question, alas, is also piercing. In country after country, Social Democratic center-left parties have shrunk, in many instances almost to nothingness. In Germany the SPD gives every sign of following the French Socialist Party into oblivion. Would a government coalition in which the SPD holds the Finance Ministry even consider anything but guaranteeing the public a huge piece of any upside if they rescue two failing institutions? ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
... ... ...

Running in the background, though, was a new, darker theme: That the post-2008 reforms had gone too far in restricting policymakers' discretion in crises. The trio most responsible for making the post-Lehman bailout revolution -- Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, and Henry Paulson -- expressed their misgivings in a joint op-ed :

But in its post-crisis reforms, Congress also took away some of the most powerful tools used by the FDIC, the Fed and the Treasury the FDIC can no longer issue blanket guarantees of bank debt as it did in the crisis, the Fed's emergency lending powers have been constrained, and the Treasury would not be able to repeat its guarantee of the money market funds.

These powers were critical in stopping the 2008 panic The paradox of any financial crisis is that the policies necessary to stop it are always politically unpopular. But if that unpopularity delays or prevents a strong response, the costs to the economy become greater.

We need to make sure that future generations of financial firefighters have the emergency powers they need to prevent the next fire from becoming a conflagration.

Sotto voce fears of this sort go back to the earliest reform discussions. But the question surfaced dramatically in Timothy Geithner's 2016 Per Jacobsson Lecture, " Are We Safer? The Case for Strengthening the Bagehot Arsenal ." More recently, the Group of Thirty has advanced similar suggestions -- not too surprisingly, since Geithner was co-project manager of the report, along with Guillermo Ortiz, the former Governor of the Mexican Central Bank, who introduced the former Treasury Secretary at the Per Jacobson lecture.

Aside from the financial collapse itself, probably nothing has so shaken public confidence in democratic institutions as the wave of bailouts in the aftermath of the collapse. The redistribution of wealth and opportunity that the bailouts wrought surely helped fuel the populist surges that have swept over Europe and the United States in the last decade. The spectacle of policymakers rubber stamping literally unlimited sums for financial institutions while preaching the importance of austerity for everyone else has been unbearable to millions of people.

Especially in money-driven political systems, affording policymakers unlimited discretion also plainly courts serious risks. Put simply, too big to fail banks enjoy a uniquely splendid situation of "heads I win, tails you lose" when they take risks. Scholars whose research INET has supported, notably Edward Kane , have shown how the certainty of government bailouts advantages large financial institutions, directly affecting prices of their bonds and stocks.

For these reasons INET convened a panel at a G20 preparatory meeting in Berlin on " Moral Hazard Issues in Extended Financial Safety Nets ." The Power Point presentations of the three panelists are presented in the order in which they gave them, since the latter ones sometimes comment on Edward Kane 's analysis of the European banks. Kane, who coined the term "zombie bank" and who famously raised early alarms about American savings and loans, analyzed European banks and how regulators, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, backstop them.

Peter Bofinger , Professor of International and Monetary Economics at the University of Würzburg and an outgoing member of the German Economic Council, followed with a discussion of how the system has changed since 2008. Helene Schuberth , Head of the Foreign Research Division of the Austrian National Bank, analyzed changes in the global financial governance system since the collapse.

The panel took place as public discussion of a proposed merger between two giant German banks, the Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, reached fever pitch. The panelists explored issues directly relevant to such fusions, without necessarily agreeing among themselves or with anyone at INET.

But the point Robert Johnson, INET's President, and I made some years back , amid an earlier wave of talk about using public money to bail out European banks, remains on target:

We are only interested observers of the arm wrestling between the various EU countries over the costs of bank rescues, state expenditures, and such. But we do think there is a clear lesson from the long history of how governments have dealt with bank failures . [If] the European Union needs to step in to save banks, there is no reason why they have to do it for free best practice in banking rescues is to save banks, but not bankers. That is, prevent the system from melting down with all the many years of broad economic losses that would bring, but force out those responsible and make sure the public gets paid back for rescuing the financial system.

The simplest way to do that is to have the state take equity in the banks it rescues and write down the equity of bank shareholders in proportion. This can be done in several ways -- direct equity as a condition for bailout, requiring warrants that can be exercised later, etc. The key points are for the state to take over the banks, get the bad loans rapidly out of those and into a "bad bank," and hold the junk for a decent interval so the rest of the market does not crater. When the banks come back to profitability, you can cash in the warrants and sell the stock if you don't like state ownership. That way the public gets its money back .at times states have even made a profit.

In 2019, another question, alas, is also piercing. In country after country, Social Democratic center-left parties have shrunk, in many instances almost to nothingness. In Germany the SPD gives every sign of following the French Socialist Party into oblivion. Would a government coalition in which the SPD holds the Finance Ministry even consider anything but guaranteeing the public a huge piece of any upside if they rescue two failing institutions?

The full article of Edward Kane

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WheresOurTeddy , March 29, 2019 at 11:49 am

Enforcement of financial laws is not our thing. Just ask Chuck Schumer of the #Non-Resistance:

https://theintercept.com/2019/03/28/sec-democratic-commissioner-chuck-schumer/

Louis Fyne , March 29, 2019 at 12:17 pm

There needs to be an asset tax on/break up of the megas. End the hyper-agglomeration of deposits at the tail end. Not holding my breath though. (see NY state congressional delegation)

To be generous, tax starts at $300 billion. Even then it affects only a dozen or so US banks. But would be enough to clamp down on the hyper-scale of the largest US/world banks. The world would be better off with lot more mid-sized regional players.

thesaucymugwump , March 29, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Anyone who mentions Timmy Geithner without spitting did not pay attention during the Obama reign of terror. He and Obama crowed about the Making Home Affordable Act, implying that it would save all homeowners in mortgage trouble, but conveniently neglected to mention that less than 100 banks had signed up. The thousands of non-signatories simply continued to foreclose.

Not to mention Eric Holder's intentional non-prosecution of banksters. For these and many other reasons, especially his "Islamic State is only the JV team" crack, Obama was one of our worst presidents.

chuck roast , March 29, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Thank you Yves and Tom Ferguson.

Fergusons graph on DBK's default probabilities coincides with the ECB's ending its asset purchase programme and entering the "reinvestment phase of the asset purchase programme".
https://www.ecb.europa.eu/mopo/implement/omt/html/index.en.html
The worst of the euro zombie banks appear to be getting tense and nervous.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKpzCCuHDVY
Maybe that is why Jerome Powell did his volte-face last month on gradually raising interest rates. Note that the Fed also reduced its automatic asset roll-off. I'm curious if the other euro-zombies in the "peers" return on equity chart are are experiencing volatility also.

Craig H. , March 29, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Apparently the worst fate you can suffer as long as you don't go Madoff is Fuld. According to Wikipedia his company manages a hundred million which must be humiliating. It's not as humiliating as locking the guy up in prison would be by a very long stretch.

Greenspan famously lamented that there isn't anything the regulators can really do except make empty threats. This is dishonest. The regulations are not carved in stone like the ten commandments. In China they execute incorrigible financiers all the time.

John Wright , March 30, 2019 at 10:31 am

Greenspan was never willing to counter any problem that might irritate powerful financial constituencies. For example, during the internet stock bubble of the late 1990's, Greenspan decried the "irrational exuberance" of the stock market. The Greenspan Fed could have raised the margin requirement for stocks to buttress this view, but did not. As I remembered reading, Greenspan was in poor financial shape when he got his Fed job.

His subsequent performance at the Fed apparently left him a wealthy man. Real regulation by Greenspan may have adversely affected his wealth. It may explain why Alan Greenspan would much rather let a financial bubble grow until it pops and then "fix it".

Procopius , March 31, 2019 at 12:30 am

Everybody forgets (or at least does not mention) that Greenspan was a member of the Class of '43, the (mostly Canadian) earliest members of the Objectivist Cult with guru Ayn Rand. Expecting him to act rationally is foolish. It may happen accidentally (we do not know why he chose to let the economy expand unhindered in 1999), but you cannot count on it. In a world with information asymmetry expecting markets to be concerned about reputation is ridiculous. To expect them to police themselves for long term benefit is even more ridiculous.

rd , March 29, 2019 at 3:06 pm

I think Finance is currently about 13% of the S&P 500, down from the peak of about 18% or so in 2007. I think we will have a healthy economy and improved political climate when Finance is about 8-10% of the S&P 500 which is about where I think finance plays a healthy, but not overwhelming rentier role in the economy.

Inode_buddha , March 29, 2019 at 4:51 pm

I think things will be much better when finance is about ~3% of the S&P 500, but no more than that.

[Mar 07, 2021] Regulatory Capture: The Banks and the System That They Have Corrupted

Notable quotes:
"... She soldiered through her painful stomach ailments and secretly tape-recorded 46 hours of conversations between New York Fed officials and Goldman Sachs. After being fired for refusing to soften her examination opinion on Goldman Sachs, Segarra released the tapes to ProPublica and the radio program This American Life and the story went viral from there... ..."
"... In a nutshell, the whoring works like this. There are huge financial incentives to go along, get along, and keep your mouth shut about fraud. The financial incentives encompass both the salary, pension and benefits at the New York Fed as well as the high-paying job waiting for you at a Wall Street bank or Wall Street law firm if you show you are a team player . ..."
Mar 14, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"But the impotence one feels today -- an impotence we should never consider permanent -- does not excuse one from remaining true to oneself, nor does it excuse capitulation to the enemy, what ever mask he may wear. Not the one facing us across the frontier or the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers' enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. The worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this Apparatus, and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others."

Simone Weil

"And in some ways, it creates this false illusion that there are people out there looking out for the interest of taxpayers, the checks and balances that are built into the system are operational, when in fact they're not. And what you're going to see and what we are seeing is it'll be a breakdown of those governmental institutions. And you'll see governments that continue to have policies that feed the interests of -- and I don't want to get clichéd, but the one percent or the .1 percent -- to the detriment of everyone else...

If TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car... I think it's inevitable. I mean, I don't think how you can look at all the incentives that were in place going up to 2008 and see that in many ways they've only gotten worse and come to any other conclusion."

Neil Barofsky

"Written by Carmen Segarra, the petite lawyer turned bank examiner turned whistleblower turned one-woman swat team, the 340-page tome takes the reader along on her gut-wrenching workdays for an entire seven months inside one of the most powerful and corrupted watchdogs of the powerful and corrupted players on Wall Street – the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The days were literally gut-wrenching. Segarra reports that after months of being alternately gas-lighted and bullied at the New York Fed to whip her into the ranks of the corrupted, she had to go to a gastroenterologist and learned her stomach lining was gone.

She soldiered through her painful stomach ailments and secretly tape-recorded 46 hours of conversations between New York Fed officials and Goldman Sachs. After being fired for refusing to soften her examination opinion on Goldman Sachs, Segarra released the tapes to ProPublica and the radio program This American Life and the story went viral from there...

In a nutshell, the whoring works like this. There are huge financial incentives to go along, get along, and keep your mouth shut about fraud. The financial incentives encompass both the salary, pension and benefits at the New York Fed as well as the high-paying job waiting for you at a Wall Street bank or Wall Street law firm if you show you are a team player .

If the Democratic leadership of the House Financial Services Committee is smart, it will reopen the Senate's aborted inquiry into the New York Fed's labyrinthine conflicts of interest in supervising Wall Street and make removing that supervisory role a core component of the Democrat's 2020 platform. Senator Bernie Sanders' platform can certainly be expected to continue the accurate battle cry that 'the business model of Wall Street is fraud.'"

Pam Martens, Wall Street on Parade

[Mar 06, 2021] This proposition requires the occupied bartering away their land and amending their borders, always for the benefit of the illegal occupier. These 'negotiations' are expressly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions. Every functioning government in the world knows this.

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Paul , Mar 4 2021 21:57 utc | 37

Thanks b for the research and journalism.

One of the favourite tropes of the transparent cabal who have seized power in the US and other captive nations is that the solution to the Palestine/Israel problem is "the path to peace is through direct negotiations.'

This proposition requires the occupied bartering away their land and amending their borders, always for the benefit of the illegal occupier. These 'negotiations' are expressly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions. Every functioning government in the world knows this.

The alien invaders are under an obligation to simply get out. Every 'agreement' is null and void.

The New Zealand government and the NZ superannuation fund has recently decided to divest their investments in Israeli banks citing international law, the Geneva Conventions and reputation damage as key factors.

Read the decision making document here:

https://www.nzsuperfund.nz/assets/documents/responsible-investment/R-GNZS-IC-Paper-Exclusion-of-Israeli-Banks-January-2021.pdf

Expect a MSM wall of silence on this one.

It is sheer hypocrisy for the usual suspects to talk about human rights, rules based international law, democracy and our values, while advocating the opposite policies in the middle east.

Is it possible they actually believe their own propaganda and their own lies through Bernays like repartition?

[Feb 21, 2021] Inclusive means, don't let usurers like the IMF get you on the debt hook and immiserize your people. Sustainable means no pillage of national wealth or resources and no imposition of externalities (like Chevron did to Ecuador, for instance.)

Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

anon [384] Disclaimer , says: February 11, 2021 at 5:42 pm GMT • 9.3 days ago

Don't be spooked by those words. Do you know where the words sustainable and inclusive come from? Tycoons didn't think them up. They're just parroting them to try and twist their meaning. Those words are from the Addis Ababa consensus. Tycoons give lip service to those words because if they don't, no one will give them the time of day.

https://www.un.org/esa/ffd/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AAAA_Outcome.pdf

AA is the consensus of the ECOSOC bloc, treaty parties of the ICESCR, 171 of them, the overwhelming majority of the world. ECOSOC reports to the UNGA, the most participative and least controllable UN organ. US UN delegates don't even dare mention the AA outcome – they fixate on the Monterrey Consensus, two documents ago.

Inclusive means, don't let usurers like the IMF get you on the debt hook and immiserize your people. Sustainable means no pillage of national wealth or resources and no imposition of externalities (like Chevron did to Ecuador, for instance.) You will see that the outcome document subordinates everthing the tycoons or the US want to human rights and rule of law. Economic rights too. The outcome curbs US "Western" corporatist development by pulling WTO and IMF under the authority of G-192 organizations like UNCTAD and ILO.

It's hard for people in US satellites to interpret this stuff because the underlying intitiatives of the G-192 (that is, the world) are hidden from you and buried in US propaganda. Xi is quoting his Five Principles, four of which are straight out of the UN Charter. China has ratified the ICESCR. So China is not communist. China is not capitalist. China is a member of the ECOSOC bloc. People in the US or its satellites have no idea what that is, but it's vastly bigger than the Third International was. It's development based on human rights. Tycoons and the US hate that shit but they can't stop it.

Realist , says: February 12, 2021 at 2:36 pm GMT • 8.4 days ago

A couple of things that would go a long way to correct the goddamn stupidity running rampant in this country are.

Correcting the following horrendous actions: The SCOTUS has passed down egregious decisions that abridge the First Amendment and show contempt for the concept of representative democracy. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1976 and exacerbated by continuing stupid SCOTUS decisions First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.
These decisions have codified that money is free speech thereby giving entities of wealth and power total influence in elections.

And-

Making it absolutely impossible for anyone to amass more than 100 million dollars extreme wealth concentrates too much power.

[Feb 10, 2021] The IMF system was designed to impoverish debtors

Feb 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The IMF system was designed to impoverish debtors. The purpose of the IMF was to make other countries so poor and dependent on the United States so they could never be militarily independent. In the discussion of the British loan for instance, in the 1930s the discussion in the London Economic Conference was, "Yes, we're bankrupting Europe, but if we give Europe enough money to avoid austerity, they're just going to spend the money on the military." That was said by the Americans in the State Department and the White House again and again, especially by Raymond Moley who was basically in charge of President Roosevelt's foreign policy towards Europe.

The question is: how do you create an international financial system designed to promote prosperity, not austerity? The Bretton Woods is for austerity for everybody except the United States, which will have a free ride forever. The question that I'm involved with in the work I'm doing in China and with other countries is how to create a system based on prosperity instead of austerity, with mutual support between creditors and debtors, without the kind of financial antagonism that has been built in to the international financial system ever since World War I. Financial reform involves tax reform as well: how do we end up taxing economic rent instead of letting the rentiers take over society. That is what classical economics is all about: how do we revive it?

Oscar Brisset

Final question: these austerity and anti-labor policies which the IMF imposes on countries of the global South seem to be well known practices from before the IMF was created, from what you've discussed. Did the IMF invent anything new? In addition, in the 19th century, was predatory lending something common, or was direct invasion always the go-to method for subjugating a territory?

Prof Hudson

The 19th century was really the golden age of industrial capitalism. Countries wanted to invest to make a profit. They didn't want to invest in dismantling an existing industry, because there wasn't much industry to dismantle. They wanted to make profit by creating industry. There was a lot of investment in infrastructure, and it almost always lost money. For instance, there was recently a criticism of China saying, "Doesn't China know that the Panama Canal went bankrupt again and again, and that all the investments in canals and the railroads all went broke again and again?" Of course China knows that. The idea is that you make investment not to make a profit on basic large infrastructure. The 19th century was basically inter-state lending, inter-governmental lending, public sector lending. That's where the money was made. The late 20th century was one of financialization, dismantling the industry that was already in place, not lending to create industry to make a profit. It's asset-stripping, not profit-seeking

[Jan 28, 2021] Diana Johnstones "Fools Crusade" goes into the destabilization efforts made by various EU and Nato entities to precipitate the break up. It's where the Clintons beta tested the nation breaking tools Bush/Cheney began deploying around the world.

Jan 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 7:18 am

It's part & parcel here especially from DUP types who sometimes appear to be living in a fantasy world – Shinners not so much but I imagine that SF dissidents have similar extreme positions & all of this comes from some intelligent & professional people not just the malleable mobs. Meanwhile there is a turf war for the gangster versions of both UVF & UDA hitting the streets in Belfast.

I recall a few years back reading an account from a British Army general who was familiar with both Northern Ireland & the former Yugoslavia before they blew up, who in both instances was shocked by how people who had for the most part lived happily side by side within a relatively short space of time became sworn enemies. All of that had a religious background with the latter including ethnicity, but to him both sides in both cases spiraled down through negative reactions into extremes, becoming in the end each others sworn enemies.

Politics & Class have I believe caused the same fractures & after all the successful & presumably intelligent PMC also have their deplorable others that are largely a construction based on generalisations & stereotypes, while sadly peace & reconciliation efforts as far as I can tell always appear to arrive as an epilogue to a very bad book.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 8:33 am

Yugoslavia definitely didn't live happily side by side. Its tensions were hidden under Tito, but existed before (cf WW2 Croats vs Serbs, as most visible example), and blew up after, to a great extent because they were so supressed before w/o any reasonable outlet. It might have given a semblance of "happines", but it wasn't really there.

Can't comment on NI.

Wukchumni , January 27, 2021 at 9:11 am

I was only in Yugoslavia once for about a week in 1982, and you could see what a mess it was in the making. I'm used to Europeans drinking, but Belgrade made em' look like teetotalers. Add in age old tensions and kaboom!

One of the biggest hyperinflationary episodes came out of their civil war, only to be eclipsed in the numbers game by Zimbabwe after the turn of the century.

The Rev Kev , January 27, 2021 at 9:46 am

I was going through Yugoslavia by train in 1981 and the one thing that struck me looking out the windows was flags. You had Yugoslavian flags everywhere you looked to the point that it was almost a fetish. It was only years later that I wondered if the point of those flags was to encourage the different groups to think of themselves as Yugoslavians first and foremost.

Robert Gray , January 27, 2021 at 12:26 pm

> flags everywhere you looked to the point that it was almost a fetish.

Erm that sounds just like the US of A.

a different chris , January 27, 2021 at 9:21 am

> to a great extent because they were so supressed before w/o any reasonable outlet.

But this seems to excuse the fighting? If everybody was "suppressed" then why did they kick sideways, rather than up? As I think I said once before, my friend from Serbia would say "I'd be on "my" side of the street and "they" would be shooting at me, and then I'd cross the street and "my" people would be shooting at me".

He, like so many nowadays, came to the US not because this was some beacon of hope but because where he lived, a place he loved for many reasons, was that messed up.

Reading Wikipedia I come across this tiresome sentence: "The Croat quest for independence led to large Serb communities within Croatia rebelling and trying to secede from the Croat republic. Serbs in Croatia would not accept a status of a national minority in a sovereign Croatia, since they would be demoted from the status of a constituent nation of the entirety of Yugoslavia."

Croats? Serbs? Like they are fundamentally different species? It's as bad as the Reconstruction South, but per my example above people didn't even have different colored skin, heck they were physically indistinguishable. They just wanted something they themselves couldn't even describe without foaming at the mouth.

To be considered above somebody else by birth was what it really was.

Oh, and another head-banging quote: "the "Croatian Spring" protest in the 1970s was backed by large numbers of Croats who claimed that Yugoslavia remained a Serb hegemony and demanded that Serbia's powers be reduced .Tito, whose home republic was Croatia,"

An iron-fisted dictator runs the country, he is from Croatia, yet the country is considered by Croatians to be "Serb hegemony". Ok whatever, hey it does make more sense than following a normal-height dark-haired dark-eyed man because he says that tall blond-haired blue eyed people are superior. And that was a short-by-American-standards drive away

We can give the globe a spin and find the same idiocy in Asia, where "they all look alike" to western eyes but oh boy they slaughter each other just as regularly as we do.

Ok I'm done ranting. What a plague on the planet this species is.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 9:51 am

Kicking sideways (or downwards) is always easier than kicking upwards, especially if people were doing it for years.

Otherwise, you're just accentuating my point – and I agree with you. It was incredible watching people in pub who were getting on very well until one of them asked where the other was from, and that has changed the whole atmosphere.

Wukchumni , January 27, 2021 at 9:59 am

My cousin from Prague came to America in the late 90's to live on a genuine ranch for a spell and go on a long roadtrip in search of

So he gets pulled over for speeding in a red state and gives the officer his Czech drivers license, and he told me the officer went into a harangue over all the ethnic cleansing that was going on in his country, and how sorry he was about it, and let him off.

Cousin was torn between telling the copper, nah that's a few countries over, but went for the victim card instead.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 11:23 am

Hah, do you know the Western press brain-melt induced by having Slovakia and Slovenia (which, moreover have very similar flags..) in the same World Cup (soccer) 2022 qualification group?

ex-PFC Chuck , January 27, 2021 at 11:26 am

Croats? Serbs? Like they are fundamentally different species?

Not different species, but different religions; Roman and Orthodox Catholicism, respectively. Think German-speaking Europe during the Thirty Years War.

km , January 27, 2021 at 1:33 pm

The irony of course is that, in 1992, Croats for the most part didn't go to mass, Serbs did go to Liturgy, and Bosniak Muslims thought beer went well with their pork chops.

Think of it not as a religious war, but a re-hash of WWII.

jsn , January 27, 2021 at 4:19 pm

Diana Johnstones "Fools Crusade" goes into the destabilization efforts made by various EU and Nato entities to precipitate the break up. It's where the Clintons beta tested the nation breaking tools Bush/Cheney began deploying around the world.

Karl Von Hapsburg and the Pope were both involved in prying the Catholic portions loose from the Yugoslav federation and bringing them back into the Mont Pelerin orbit of the former Habsburg empire.

The Orthodox regions have been left to the Russians with black markets to everyone's benefit and the Bosnians given the standard settler/colonial treatment of designated "races."

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Vlade – perhaps I should not have used the word happily but basically neighbours were not killing each other as was also mainly the case in NI, although there were tensions gradually building up in tandem with the Civil Rights movement based on the MLK. model.

I don't know what the tipping point was in the Balkans, but in NI it was the treatment received by the marchers & the likes of the Bogside at the hands of the B specials & RUC in Derry which gradually spread elsewhere in mass battles between mobs from both sides & the above armed cops. All of this capped off in 72 by the Provos most successful recruiting campaign courtesy of the Parachute regiment on Bloody Sunday, while about that time around 10,000 Catholic refugees crossed into the Republic.

PlutoniumKun , January 27, 2021 at 12:02 pm

If the General thought that people in NI lived happily side by side before the Troubles, then he was sorely misinformed. Tensions were always very strong, although not just religious ones. In Dublin growing up I had neighbours who were Belfast protestants but had been driving out of Belfast because their grandfather was involved in a shipyard trade union and that was sufficient for him to have been labeled as a communist and Taig lover.

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 12:43 pm

Yes happily was the wrong word but in the North outside of the cities there was mixing & occasionally mixed marriages.

You are very correct in relation to the troubles in the shipyards, which I read a few books about in prep for a statue. Funny thing is that during my 2 stints at the Titanic studios for GoT I was informed by the top man that many of the tradesmen were ex paramilitaries from both sides who managed to work well together for a decade, but in separate teams. That was also tjhe case during the yearly Wraps where they all took full advantage of the free bars but besides a few scuffles, there was never any real trouble.

A lot of the work would have been carried out in the original paint hall.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 2:56 pm

Oooh.. Reminds me of E.T. Setton's Two Savages and the difference between "Emmy Grants" and "Passengers"..

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 7:58 pm

You have lost me there Vlade ( If you were indeed commenting on my post ) as I don't know the book, but you have reminded me of one very violent incident on location in Spain between 2 Catholics in a bar. It was due to one of them being a member of another group of savages that plagued Belfast as the other 2 wound down.

They were called the Hoodies who were part of the huge crime wave that hit Belfast as a consequence of the Troubles. It was cleaned up in Catholic areas over about 7 years under the command of Bobby Storey.

[Dec 21, 2020] The USAID, Clintons and disaster capitalism in action

Notable quotes:
"... USAID led at that time by someone named Rajiv Khan, I think it was, and directed by Hill, comandeered the few landing spots at the airport for themselves preventing planes carrying Actual Aid -- you know, food, clothing, meds -- from landing and unloading. ..."
"... I have friends who lived in Haiti at the time and years after the disaster only 6 new residences had been built and the promised factories? As far as I know, never did get built. ..."
"... USAID seems to be about anything but AID. ..."
"... When pressed about the lack of progress made in the (housing) rebuilding efforts, including inabilities to provide shelter, Secretary of State Clinton said "Those who expect progress immediately are unrealistic and doing a disservice to the many people who are working so hard. ..."
Dec 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

NYCVG on Fri, 12/18/2020 - 1:55pm

USAID's misbehavior in Haiti

was mammoth and memorable.

USAID led at that time by someone named Rajiv Khan, I think it was, and directed by Hill, comandeered the few landing spots at the airport for themselves preventing planes carrying Actual Aid -- you know, food, clothing, meds -- from landing and unloading.

Then Bill was named "Ambassador to Haiti" and the situation Never improved.

I have friends who lived in Haiti at the time and years after the disaster only 6 new residences had been built and the promised factories? As far as I know, never did get built.

USAID seems to be about anything but AID.

wendy davis on Fri, 12/18/2020 - 4:58pm
oh, thank you for another

@NYCVG

good example! I vote Power and Sunstein to head USAID! i was a bit more than surprised that ann garrison never mentioned it's a CIA cut-out, to say the truth.

on edit: ach; you'd meant Bill Fuck over haiti Clinton!

' F*cking the Haitian 99%: Another Clinton Family Project ', October 27, 2015 by wendyedavis (longish, but this key excerpt)

"Sure, Bill and Hill love sweatshop industrial complexes (from nacla.org) more than houses for Haiti, and love HELP™ (comically ironic acronym):

"On September 20, Haitian prime minister Jean-Marc Bellerive, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation announced their partnership with the South Korean garment firm Sae-A Trading Company to establish an industrial park that will create 10,000 garment assembly jobs in Haiti. Without a doubt, earthquake-ravaged Haiti needs jobs, mainly to provide the country's 1.3 million homeless with the means necessary to rebuild their destroyed homes.

While little progress has been made on Haiti's immense housing needs since the January 12 earthquake, Clinton assured the investing public that factory development was moving full steam ahead. These 10,000 jobs, she assured critics "are not just any jobs. These are good jobs with fair pay that adhere to international labor standards, . . . Haiti is open for business again."

Well, sure; at a $3.09 daily minimum wage (upped later to $5, but almost no one actually gets paid at that rate), what's not to love?

"When pressed about the lack of progress made in the (housing) rebuilding efforts, including inabilities to provide shelter, Secretary of State Clinton said "Those who expect progress immediately are unrealistic and doing a disservice to the many people who are working so hard."

Bill Clinton, UN Special Envoy to Haiti, has been equally optimistic about Haiti's cheap labor prospects, especially since the passing of the Haitian Economic Lift Program (HELP) in May. The bill would increase the amount of Haitian assembled goods that could be imported into the United States duty free. "This important step," Clinton said, "responds to the needs of the Haitian people for more tools to lift themselves from poverty, while standing to benefit U.S. consumers."

But my, oh, my; the Big Dog loves high-end resort tourism, too. The Marriott opening was well-attended by toffs, including Senn Penn, as I remember it.

[Dec 21, 2020] We have a system of "neo-feudalism" in which all of us and our national governments are enslaved to debt.

Dec 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Dec 20 2020 0:51 utc | 32

@ uncle tungsten #24 with the appreciated link containing this quote
"
A former insider at the World Bank, ex-Senior Counsel Karen Hudes, says the global financial system is dominated by a small group of corrupt, power-hungry figures centered around the privately owned U.S. Federal Reserve.
"
The posting ends with this quote

"We have a system of "neo-feudalism" in which all of us and our national governments are enslaved to debt. This system is governed by the central banks and by the Bank for International Settlements, and it systematically transfers the wealth of the world out of our hands and into the hands of the global elite.

But most people have no idea that any of this is happening because the global elite also control what we see, hear and think about. Today, there are just six giant media corporations that control more than 90 percent of the news and entertainment that you watch on your television in the United States."

What an ugly way to run a society. Moving society to public finance and abolishing private finance is what is needed to save our species and what we can of the world we live in. I am with China in advocating for Ad Astra because we can see the end of our ability to live on this planet because of historical faith-based disrespect of it.

Fyi , Dec 20 2020 1:25 utc | 33
Mr. psychohistorian

No we are not dealing with the analogue of the feudalism of Western Europe, with its interlocking panoply of mutual obligations that was built around God.

No, we are witnessing the re-birth of the Asiatic mode of production in the Euro-American countries as the absence of manufacturing production makes itself felt. To wit, like South American countries, one sees the emergence of two classes, Masters and their Service Servants (needed for performing all manner of useful but tedious manual service labor, from dog-walkers to barbers to cooks...)

Significantly, as Americans, French, English and many others sold their jobs to Mexico, China, Korea, Singapore, and Japan, it was precisely those countries that were given an extra shot in the arm for breaking from the chains of the Asiatic Mode of Production.

It is particularly interesting that in America, the long-hair guy driving a 50-dollar Chevy, is supporting Republicans, who have no better future for him than being a servant to Financiers.

[Nov 25, 2020] Nagorno-Karabakh is Tragic but Not America's Problem - Antiwar.com Original

Nov 25, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

Nagorno-Karabakh is Tragic but Not America's Problem

Let Other Governments Try To Resolve the Intractable Conflict

by Doug Bandow Posted on November 25, 2020

In Washington foreign conflicts are to policymakers what lights are to moths. The desire to take the U.S. into every political dispute, social collapse, civil war, foreign conflict, and full-scale war seems to only get stronger as America's failures accumulate.

There may be no better example than the battle between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the latter's claim to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, contained within Azerbaijan but largely populated by ethnic Armenians. Distant from the US and Europe, the struggle matters most to nearby Georgia, Turkey, Iran, and Russia.

The impact on Americans is minor and indirect at best. Yet there is wailing and gnashing of teeth in Washington that the US is "absent" from this fight. Send in the bombers! Or at least the diplomats! Candidate Joe Biden predictably insisted that America should be leading a peace effort "together with our European partners," without indicating what that would mean in practice.

The roots of the conflict, like so many others, go back centuries. Control of largely Muslim Azerbaijan and Christian Armenia passed among Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Russian Empire. After the Russian Revolution the two were independent and fought over N-K's status, before both were absorbed by the Soviet Union. Nagorno-Karabakh's ethnic Armenian population began pressing for transfer to Armenia during the U.S.S.R.'s waning days. After the latter collapsed in 1992 the two newly independent nations again fought, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of refugees, and Armenia grabbed the disputed land as well as even larger adjacent territory filled with ethnic Azerbaijanis.

A ceasefire froze the bitter conflict, leaving the conquered territory under Armenian control. Although Yerevan's gain was tenuous, unrecognized by the rest of the world and dependent upon a geographic corridor between Armenia and N-K, the government, largely in response to internal political pressures, grew steadily more aggressive and unwilling to honor previous commitments. Violent clashes mixed with ineffective talks between the two states.

With no prospect of resolution, despite long-standing diplomatic efforts through the so-called Minsk Process, involving America and France, among others, Azerbaijani forces, relying on Turkey, employing Syrian mercenaries, and utilizing Israeli-made drones, launched an offensive in September. With Yerevan losing troops and territory, Moscow brokered a new ceasefire, which required Armenia's withdrawal from areas conquered a quarter century ago. The transportation corridor is to be policed by Russian peacekeeping forces; Turkish officials will help monitor the ceasefire.

The result was jubilation in Baku and riots in Yerevan. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, under political siege, declared: "This is not a victory, but there is no defeat until you consider yourself defeated, we will never consider ourselves defeated and this shall become a new start of an era of our national unity and rebirth." More accurate was Azerbaijani President Ilham Alyev's assessment: "This [ceasefire] statement constitutes Armenia's capitulation. This statement puts an end to the years-long occupation. This statement is our Glorious Victory." With Pashinyan's authority in tatters and Alyev triumphantly enjoying a surge in popular support, hostilities could easily explode again.

Why would any sane American want to get in the middle of this fight?

Demands that Washington "do something" ignore three important realities. The first is that the conflict has nothing to do with the US and threatens no serious American interests. The fighting is tragic, of course, as are similar battles around the world. However, this volatile region is dominated by Iran, Russia, and Turkey. Iran previously supported Armenia, Turkey strongly backed Azerbaijan, and Russia has good relations with both, including a defense treaty with Yerevan which Moscow deemed not to cover contested territory, meaning N-K.

Which of these powers, all essentially American adversaries – despite Ankara's continued membership in the transatlantic alliance – dominates which neighbor is a matter of indifference to Washington. It simply doesn't matter, and certainly isn't worth fighting over. Once US officials would have preferred Turkey over Iran and Russia, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken his nation in an Islamist and authoritarian direction, warmed relations with Russia, the only serious target of NATO, and begun aggressively expanding Turkish influence and control in Syria, Libya, and the eastern Mediterranean. Ankara encouraged the current military round by enhancing Azerbaijani capabilities.

Georgia also shares a border with both combatants but is only a bit player in the ongoing drama. However, it has lobbyists in Washington whose mission is to get Tbilisi into NATO and thus turn Georgia into another US defense dependent. Doing so would create a direct border conflict with Russia, made much more dangerous by the volatility of Georgian politics. The irresponsible and reckless President Mikheil Saakashvili triggered the brief yet disastrous 2008 war with Russia and remains active politically. Tbilisi's dubious role is another reason for the US to avoid deeper involvement in the region's disputatious politics.

The second point is that there is nothing sensible America for do, despite cacophonous demands otherwise. In October Washington Post columnist David Ignatius complained: "The global power vacuum invites mischief. The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan has escalated over 10 days of fighting. Armenian leaders initially hoped that US diplomacy could produce a ceasefire; now they look to Moscow."

Translated, Yerevan wanted Washington to save Armenia from both its original aggression and later intransigence. Like many other governments have desired in other conflicts. But how was the US to restrain Azerbaijan, which was able to recover long-lost territory only by resorting to force? America's regional policy has been a disaster. Washington already demonstrated its impotence in Ankara as Erdogan charted an independent course. The US turned a difficult relationship with Moscow into a mini-Cold War. The Trump administration foolishly declared economic war on Iran, creating regional instability and precluding negotiation.

As for Azerbaijan, military intervention would risk war for no good reason. Economic sanctions would punish Baku, but to what end? So far, the president's constant resort to "maximum pressure" has failed to induce political surrender in Havana, Caracas, Damascus, Pyongyang, or Moscow. Whatever the economic price, Aliyeh could ill afford to retreat and anger an entire population currently celebrating his triumph. Anyway, the issue is not worth another failed American attempt at global social engineering. Which means Washington had nothing to offer but words.

Certainly the US should encourage a peaceful settlement and negotiation, but this is a conflict for which there is no obvious diplomatic answer. It is easy to insist that Baku should not have restarted hostilities, but the Alyev government struck because diplomacy had frozen along with the dispute. And Baku's success dramatically reshaped the balance of power, leaving Armenia in a far worse position than before. Creative mediation might help, but Azerbaijan, on offense, showed no interest in such an effort. Nor has Washington demonstrated the ability to reign in Baku's main backer, Turkey, anywhere else. Washington is filled with magical thinking, the belief that the president merely need whisper his command and the entire world will snap to attention. Alas, America long ago lost that ability, if it ever had it.

Moreover, US officials share some blame: On the presumption that Azerbaijan was committed to a peaceful settlement, Washington provided it with arms and aid to combat terrorism. Unfortunately, weaponry, like money, is fungible. And that mistake cannot be unmade.

An equally mistaken belief in the Trump administration's commitment also might have helped lead Armenia astray. Since taking power in the Velvet Revolution two years ago, Pashinyan sought to move westward. However, in the present crisis neither America nor Europe did anything to assist Yerevan – whose occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh remains illegal under international law. Some US interest groups attempted to turn Armenia into a cause celebre of religious persecution, but the Muslim-Christian clash is incidental to broader geopolitics which little concerned the West.

The horrid genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against ethnic Armenians a century ago is constantly cited but remains irrelevant to today's conflict. Around three decades ago Armenia invaded Azerbaijan to seize incontestably Azerbaijani land. Baku struck back for reasons of nationalism, not religion. The essential irrelevance of religion is reflected in Christian Russia's good relations with Muslim Azerbaijan, Jewish Israel arming Muslim Azerbaijan, and Muslim Iran's long backing for Christian Armenia, though these ties ebbed in the last couple years. The US should no more be a crusading Christian republic than a crusading republic.

Finally, Russia demonstrated that other powers have an interest in peace and stability and are able to act. That is a tough lesson for the denizens of Washington to learn, given their irrational hatred of Russia. Vladimir Putin is no cuddly liberal but most American policymakers make hypocrisy and sanctimony the foundations of their approach to Moscow. After all, Putin has killed fewer innocent people than Trump administration's favorite dictator, Mohammed bin Salman, whose aggression against Yemen has resulted in more than five years of murder and mayhem and created the worst humanitarian disaster on the planet. Yet Washington continues to sell Saudi Arabia more weapons and munitions with which to kill more Yemeni civilians.

Moreover, though Moscow has behaved badly, in Georgia and Ukraine in particular, so has the US in Russia's eyes. Washington misled Moscow over NATO expansion, dismantled longtime Russian friend Serbia, pushed NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, embraced Tbilisi, which fired on Russian troops guaranteeing security in neighboring secessionist territory, encouraged a street putsch against an elected, Russophile government in Kiev, and sought to push Moscow out of Syria, an ally of nearly 70 years. The expectation of American policymakers that they can use military force to push the Monroe Doctrine up to Russia's border without triggering a sharp response is unrealistic at best, deadly at worst.

Of course, the Russia-brokered accord was a clear diplomatic triumph and likely will solidify Moscow's influence. However, with success has come responsibility, which could prove costly to Moscow. The accord remains fragile and unstable, and might collapse.

By its nature the agreement is short-term and does not address the fundamental issue, the status of N-K. Indeed, on its own terms either party, which would most likely be Azerbaijan in this case, can order the withdrawal of Russian monitors in five years. However, the modus vivendi might not last even that long. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev posited: "I hope that today's ceasefire and our further plans to normalize relations with Armenia, if perceived positively by the Armenian side, can create a new situation in the region, a situation of cooperation, a situation of strengthening stability and security." With Yerevan aflame after angry mobs took over the National Assembly building, severely beat that body's speaker, trashed the prime minister's home, and forced him into hiding, "positive" probably is not the right word to describe Armenians' perception of the settlement. In fact, those who abandoned their homes in territory turned over to Azerbaijan adopted a scorched earth policy, destroying everything.

Both sides probably view the latest agreement a bit like French Gen. Ferdinand Foch presciently saw the Versailles Treaty: "This is not peace. It is an armistice for 20 years." Only the N-K time frame might be much shorter. Nevertheless, no one else has offered any better alternative. Unfortunately, zero-sum disputes over territory are among the most difficult disputes to resolve. Either Armenia or Azerbaijan will control N-K. Either ethnic Armenians or Azerbaijanis will live in N-K. Yes, the ideal would be people from both lands to live together in a democratic state, joining hands around a bonfire to sing Kumbaya every night. However, no one believes that is even a remote possibility.

With nothing meaningful to offer to solve the current firefight, it was best for Washington to stay out. In fact, Armenia's old guard, pushed out of power by Pashinyan two years ago in the Velvet Revolution, blame their nation's defeat on his government's subsequent turn West, from which it received little support. Brokering the current defeat would merely have reinforced anger against America.

Russia acted because it has far more at stake. Let it undertake the burden of seeking a settlement. Let it accept the cost of enforcing a settlement. Let it bear the blame if the system again crashes.

US policymakers have trouble imagining a world in which a sparrow falls to earth, to borrow Biblical imagery, without the US responding. If the bird falls in Nagorno-Karabakh, at least, Americans should allow someone else to pick it up. It is not Washington's purpose to make every conflict on earth America's own.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. A former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire .

[Nov 25, 2020] Dangerous Precedent- Military Force Works (For Some) - Antiwar.com Original

Nov 25, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

Dangerous Precedent: Military Force Works (For Some)

by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) Posted on November 25, 2020

Predictions are tricky matters in world affairs – and as it turns out, prescience produces little in the way of public or personal vindication. There's scant satisfaction when one's subjects tend towards the tragic. Take the (for now) paused 44-day war in the South Caucasus. Back in an October interview , I offered this (then) seemingly provocative prognosis:

"If this thing gets solved, or put back in the freezer, which is about the best we can hope for right now, it will be Putin playing King Solomon and cutting the Nagorno-Karabakh baby in half."

Think Moscow will merit plaudits from mainstream media? After all, four weeks ago, a U.S.-brokered truce held a whole few hours !

Snark aside, intellectual merriment loses luster when it amounts to dancing on thousands of fresh graves filled with family members of the tens of thousands more newly displaced . Only the implications of the ceasefire's terms – under which Armenian troops withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh after a 26 years occupation and replaced by Russian peacekeepers – are also disturbing. The outcome also set potentially long-lasting precedents.

Make no mistake this was no small victory for the initiator – if not aggressor – nation of Azerbaijan. That under the agreement , Azeri troops stay in place within areas of Nagorno-Karabakh they seized in battle, has profound ramifications. War worked. Furthermore, seven odd weeks of combat proved – once again – that it often does, at least in certain contexts.

What are those (not-so) special situations, you ask? Easy: be in the esteemed and wealthy Western camp. Kow-tow diplomatically and play ball economically – especially in energy sales – with multinational corporations headquartered in North American and European capitals. Thus, win powerful friends and influence prominent people and nearly anything is permissible.

Anyway, both people and leaders in Baku – especially the mini-Stalinist Aliyev dynasty running the family fiefdom – are thrilled with the outcome. Same goes for folks in Ankara, and madcap Erdogan – the man who would be sultan – himself. Instructively, there's no less enthusiasm in Tel Aviv – not just by Bibi Netanyahu's dominant rightist ethnocrats . Because this much you can't make up: pro-Baku rallies and the waving of Azeri flags in Israel!

Look, Ankara hates their Armenian late genocide victims for surviving to tell the Turk-indicting tale. Besides, Erdogan is pursuing neo-Ottoman adventurism region-wide, and more than happy to tap in into ethno-Turkic and co-religionist solidarity to grease those grandiose wheels. Israel's self-styled Jewish and Democratic hybrid state support for Shia Islamic majority Azerbaijan seems stranger – unless one's in the know on the lengthy and sordid ties between Bibi and Baku.

Not so among Armenians in Yerevan – where protesters stormed the parliament, physically accosted the speaker and reportedly looted the prime minister's own office. Something tells me we haven't heard the last of Armenia's army in Nagorno-Karabakh – given the soreness and inherent instability of losing sides in long-standing and externally-escalated ethno-religious conflicts.

And here's the troubling rub: if not quite smoking guns there's plenty of smoke indicating that Turkey – and to a lesser but significant extent, Israel – conspired with Azerbaijan's petty autocrats to conquer (or reconquer) Nagorno-Karabakh. The preparatory collusion was years in the making, ramped up mightily in the months before D-Day – yet unfolded largely under the U.S. and broader international radar. Consider a cursory recitation of the salient sequence.

Ankara's support for its Azeri Turkic-brethren has grown gradually more overt for years. So have its long-standing arms-sales to Baku. Then came a decisive pivot – according to one report , a six-fold jump in weapon's transfers to Azerbaijan over the last year. Then, this past summer, Turkish troops trained and did joint exercises with Azeri forces. Consider it a pre-invasion capstone.

Finally – now here's a cute catalyst – Ankara reportedly moved those implausibly-deniable Syrian mercenaries into Azerbaijan two weeks before Baku's attack. Don't take my radical word for it, though. Consider the conclusions of the decidedly establishment-friendly Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's resident Caucasus expert. Fellow longtime NK-watcher Tom de Waal was as clear as he was concise:

"It's pretty obvious that Azerbaijan has been preparing for this. Azerbaijan decided it wanted to change the status quo and that the Armenian side had no interest in a war " and "Clearly, the decisive factor in this conflict is Turkey's intervention on Azerbaijan's side. They seem to be heavily coordinating the war effort."

All told, that indirect intervention, coordination, and the combat- proven capabilities of allied arms sales bonanzas – especially Turkish Bayraktar TB2 and Israeli kamikaze drones – were decisive. Thousands of Yerevan's troops were killed, about a third of its tanks were destroyed, and at least 50,000 Armenians have fled in the face of Azeri gains.

Then, in the eleventh hour breach – as if to force friendly peace terms from Russia – Turkey threatened to intervene outright. Just how did big, bad, unhinged and the 10-foot-tall Putin of Democrat-delusions respond to Erdogan's provocation? Well, he essentially folded – or settled – in the interest of temporary tranquility in Russia's restive near-abroad. Recall that Moscow eschewed even much menacing – let alone actual intervention – on behalf of its official Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Armenian ally.

That this was all so represents nothing less than a paradigm-shifting precedent-setter. Or at least a reminder of force's forever utility for some. Boost your batch of backers, gather the tech-savvy arsenal that's thus available, and ready your patron-trained troops for war. Invade only once the green-light comes from on-external-high, and the "rules-based" international order that isn't – but is dominated (for now) by Washington – will avert eyes long enough to enable Nuremberg's " supreme crime " of armed aggression to work its magic.

So force pays if your government has coveted energy resources, the cash they produce, the weapons they buy – plus powerful patrons willing to sell you the cutting edge stuff. Just ask sundry Gulf Arab autocrats! (Though it rarely turns out as well for internal – especially Shia dissidents or, you know, Yemeni kids).

To take it a step further, maybe your benefactor even tosses in some third-party mercenaries, trains and advises your army just before game-time, and threatens outright intervention if your little-bro-government doesn't get it's way. It also helps if your patron's patron is still a hyper-hegemon that bullies – I mean, "leads" by principled example – much of the wealthy world into silence or complicity, and looks the other way long enough for facts on the ground to turn your way. Now there's a formula for force as solution to frozen conflicts!

No doubt other parties paid attention. Heck, they want in on the violent game-changing game! Believe you me, there are plenty of neo-fascists, adventurist American "allies," and frenemies – all in need of a little citizen-distraction from Covid, corruption, and economic collapse – who are all in for applying the new NK-formula. Ukrainian fascists, Georgian Euro-aspirants, frightened and ever-opportunist Baltic bros or Taiwanese troops, Egypt's military coup-artists, Arabian princely theocrats, and no doubt Israel's Bibi bunch – yea, they all took careful Caucasus-notes.

So where does America's president-elect, Joe Biden, stand on the Russian-brokered truce, you ask? About as you'd suspect from a fella inside the beltway cult of "collusion." Biden picked partisan point-scoring over principled consistency. He " slammed " Trump's supposed slow response to the NK-fighting and accused him of "delegating the diplomacy to Moscow." In fact, his campaign's initial statement singled out Moscow's ostensibly "cynical" arms sales to both conflict parties and failed to name even once the war's Beetlejuice of bellicosity – Turkey.

Never known for nuance, the gut-player-elect failed to couch his rather bold critique with admissions of US security assistance to both sides, acknowledge the Tel Aviv and Ankara accelerants, nor the circumscribed options for any administration in an unfrozen conflict in which Washington has no real " dog in the fight ." Well, that's strange – seeing as the Russian-led settlement pushed past achieving one of Biden's publicly stated goals: to "make clear to Armenia that regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh cannot be occupied indefinitely."

Well, so it goes with Russia-obsessed Democratic administrations beset with the clinical -narcissism of American exceptionalism. No matter how distant the conflict, no matter how far off the citizenry's obscurity-radar: the maelstrom must be about us . See everything, everywhere , is apparently about US interests, anxieties, and obsessions. Today's obsessive flavor of the moment – and for most of the century since Bolshevik Red October – is Moscow.

Therein lies the problem, and what I've been boy-who-cried-wolfing about regarding the real risk regarding the coming Democratic administration. That is, after making everything about Trump and Russia for four years, they might begin believing their own exaggerated alarmism and follow through with legit escalation and acceleration of theater numero uno of a dual-front, Eurasia-spanning Cold War encore. If Moscow and Beijing are forever branded bad boys – in motive and machinations – then on shall continually churn the war state, with all the pecuniary and professional benefits to both the outgoing Trump team and incoming Biden bunch alike.

Few Americans will notice, or bother to bother themselves about it – pandemic preoccupied and social media distracted as they be – until the fruits of folly flash in front of their eyes (pun intended).

Forget Condi Rice's farcical foreboding of a mushroom cloud as smoking gun . Even the Bushies' bald-faced lies rarely reached past Saddam's singular nuclear blasts – Washington and Moscow might end the world in an afternoon.

So permit me one final prediction: if they do, some staunch US"ally" learned-of the latest Caucasus-conclusions will be the one to drag us down to oblivion.

Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army officer, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy (CIP), contributing editor at Antiwar.com , and director of the new Eisenhower Media Network (EMN). His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, The American Conservative, Mother Jones, Scheer Post and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge and Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War . Along with fellow vet Chris "Henri" Henriksen, he co-hosts the podcast " Fortress on a Hill ." Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet and on his website for media requests and past publications.

Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen

[Nov 13, 2020] Neocons Poised to Join New Government by Phil Geraldi

Notable quotes:
"... It would not be overstating the case to suggest that the neoconservative movement has now been born again, though the enemy is now the unreliable Trumpean-dominated Republican Party rather than Saddam Hussein or Ayatollah Khomeini. ..."
"... The transition has also been aided by a more aggressive shift among the Democrats themselves, with Russiagate and other “foreign interference” being blamed for the party’s failure in 2016. ..."
"... The unifying principle that ties many of the mostly Jewish neocons together is, of course, unconditional defense of Israel and everything it does, which leads them to support a policy of American global military dominance which they presume will inter alia serve as a security umbrella for the Jewish state. ..."
"... That change has now occurred and the surge of neocons to take up senior positions in the defense, intelligence and foreign policy agencies will soon take place. In my notes on the neocon revival, I have dubbed the brave new world that the neocons hope to create in Washington as the “Kaganate of Nulandia” after two of the more prominent neocon aspirants, Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland. ..."
"... A Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton protégé, Nuland openly sought regime change for Ukraine by brazenly supporting government opponents in spite of the fact that Washington and Kiev had ostensibly friendly relations. Her efforts were backed by a $5 billion budget, but she is perhaps most famous for her foul language when referring to the potential European role in managing the unrest that she and the National Endowment for Democracy had helped create. The replacement of the government in Kiev was only the prelude to a sharp break and escalating conflict with Moscow over Russia’s attempts to protect its own interests in Ukraine, most particularly in Crimea. ..."
"... A lot of the neocons are Russian Jews who grew up in households that were Bolshevik communists. They're idea of spreading democracy goes back to Trotsky who tried to spread communism through the Soviet Union. Their hatred toward Russia dates back to their ancestors feudal days under the Tsars and the pogroms they suffered and the ice pick Trotsky got to the head. ..."
"... Obama's deep state lied, people died: https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2020/11/outgoing-syria-envoy-admits-hiding-us-troop-numbers-praises-trumps-mideast-record/170012/ ..."
"... I've never quite figured out the "neocon" ideology, beyond the fact that neocons seem devoted to the sort of status quo present in Washington, D.C. during the three administrations prior to Trump. Military adventurism, nation-building, and interventionist foreign policy, all based on nebulous concepts which are applied unevenly around the world. ..."
"... The Neocon movement seems to have morphed into nothing more than a club for bullies trying to one up each other. ..."
"... "It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other way." ..."
"... Neocons don't really prefer war, so much as they prefer overseas "engagements" that may look like war and smell like war. All that's missing in neocon military operations is a defined end state. ..."
Nov 13, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Donald Trump was much troubled during his 2016 and 2020 campaigns by so-called conservatives who rallied behind the #NeverTrump banner, presumably in opposition to his stated intention to end or at least diminish America’s role in wars in the Middle East and Asia. Those individuals are generally described as neoconservatives but the label is itself somewhat misleading and they might more properly be described as liberal warmongers as they are closer to the Democrats than the Republicans on most social issues and are now warming up even more as the new Joe Biden Administration prepares to take office.

To be sure, some neocons stuck with the Republicans, to include the highly controversial Elliott Abrams, who initially opposed Trump but is now the point man for dealing with both Venezuela and Iran. Abrams’ conversion reportedly took place when he realized that the new president genuinely embraced unrelenting hostility towards Iran as exemplified by the ending of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. John Bolton was also a neocon in the White House fold, though he is now a frenemy having been fired by the president and written a book.

Even though the NeverTrumper neocons did not succeed in blocking Donald Trump in 2016, they have been maintaining relevancy by slowly drifting back towards the Democratic Party, which is where they originated back in the 1970s in the office of the Senator from Boeing Henry “Scoop” Jackson. A number of them started their political careers there, to include leading neocon Richard Perle.

It would not be overstating the case to suggest that the neoconservative movement has now been born again, though the enemy is now the unreliable Trumpean-dominated Republican Party rather than Saddam Hussein or Ayatollah Khomeini.

The transition has also been aided by a more aggressive shift among the Democrats themselves, with Russiagate and other “foreign interference” being blamed for the party’s failure in 2016. Given that mutual intense hostility to Trump, the doors to previously shunned liberal media outlets have now opened wide to the stream of foreign policy “experts” who want to “restore a sense of the heroic” to U.S. national security policy. Eliot A. Cohen and David Frum are favored contributors to the Atlantic while Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss were together at the New York Times prior to Weiss’s recent resignation.

Jennifer Rubin, who wrote in 2016 that “It is time for some moral straight talk: Trump is evil incarnate,” is a frequent columnist for The Washington Post while both she and William Kristol appear regularly on MSNBC.

The unifying principle that ties many of the mostly Jewish neocons together is, of course, unconditional defense of Israel and everything it does, which leads them to support a policy of American global military dominance which they presume will inter alia serve as a security umbrella for the Jewish state. In the post-9/11 world, the neocon media’s leading publication The Weekly Standard virtually invented the concept of “Islamofascism” to justify endless war in the Middle East, a development that has killed millions of Muslims, destroyed at least three nations, and cost the U.S. taxpayer more than $5 trillion. The Israel connection has also resulted in neocon support for an aggressive policy against Russia due to its involvement in Syria and has led to repeated calls for the U.S. to attack Iran and destroy Hezbollah in Lebanon. In Eastern Europe, neocon ideologues have aggressively sought “democracy promotion,” which, not coincidentally, has also been a major Democratic Party foreign policy objective.

The neocons are involved in a number of foundations, the most prominent of which is the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), that are funded by Jewish billionaires. FDD is headed by Canadian Mark Dubowitz and it is reported that the group takes direction coming from officials in the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Other major neocon incubators are the American Enterprise Institute, which currently is the home of Paul Wolfowitz, and the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at John Hopkins University. The neocon opposition has been sniping against Trump over the past four years but has been biding its time and building new alliances, waiting for what it has perceived to be an inevitable regime change in Washington.

That change has now occurred and the surge of neocons to take up senior positions in the defense, intelligence and foreign policy agencies will soon take place. In my notes on the neocon revival, I have dubbed the brave new world that the neocons hope to create in Washington as the “Kaganate of Nulandia” after two of the more prominent neocon aspirants, Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland.

Robert was one of the first neocons to get on the NeverTrump band wagon back in 2016 when he endorsed Hillary Clinton for president and spoke at a Washington fundraiser for her, complaining about the “isolationist” tendency in the Republican Party exemplified by Trump. His wife Victoria Nuland is perhaps better known. She was the driving force behind efforts to destabilize the Ukrainian government of President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych, an admittedly corrupt autocrat, nevertheless became Prime Minister after a free election. Nuland, who was the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department, provided open support to the Maidan Square demonstrators opposed to Yanukovych’s government, to include media friendly appearances passing out cookies on the square to encourage the protesters.

A Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton protégé, Nuland openly sought regime change for Ukraine by brazenly supporting government opponents in spite of the fact that Washington and Kiev had ostensibly friendly relations. Her efforts were backed by a $5 billion budget, but she is perhaps most famous for her foul language when referring to the potential European role in managing the unrest that she and the National Endowment for Democracy had helped create. The replacement of the government in Kiev was only the prelude to a sharp break and escalating conflict with Moscow over Russia’s attempts to protect its own interests in Ukraine, most particularly in Crimea.

And, to be sure, beyond regime change in places like Ukraine, President Barack Obama was no slouch when it came to starting actual shooting wars in places like Libya and Syria while also killing people, including American citizens, using drones. Biden appears poised to inherit many former Obama White House senior officials, who would consider the eager-to-please neoconservatives a comfortable fit as fellow foot soldiers in the new administration. Foreign policy hawks expected to have senior positions in the Biden Administration include Antony Blinken, Nicholas Burns, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Samantha Power and, most important of all the hawkish Michele Flournoy, who has been cited as a possible secretary of defense. And don’t count Hillary Clinton out. Biden is reportedly getting his briefings on the Middle East from Dan Shapiro, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, who now lives in the Jewish state and is reportedly working for an Israeli government supported think tank, the Institute for National Security Studies.

Nowhere in Biden’s possible foreign policy circle does one find anyone who is resistant to the idea of worldwide interventionism in support of claimed humanitarian objectives, even if it would lead to a new cold war with major competitor powers like Russia and China. In fact, Biden himself appears to embrace an extremely bellicose view on a proper relationship with both Moscow and Beijing “claiming that he is defending democracy against its enemies.” His language is unrelenting, so much so that it is Donald Trump who could plausibly be described as the peace candidate in the recently completed election, having said at the Republican National Convention in August “Joe Biden spent his entire career outsourcing their dreams and the dreams of American workers, offshoring their jobs, opening their borders and sending their sons and daughters to fight in endless foreign wars, wars that never ended.”

Polish Janitor , 13 November 2020 at 11:34 AM

It should be noted that the return of "neocons" does not mean the return of people like Wolfowitz, Ladeen, Feith, Kristol who are more "straussian" than "liberal/internationalist", but those like Nuland, Rice, Sam Powell, Petraeus, Flournoy, heck even Hilary Clinton as UN Ambassador who are CFR-type liberal interventionist than pure military hawks such as Bolton or Mike Flynn.

These liberal internationalists, as opposed to straussian neocons, will intervene in collaboration with EU/NATO/QUAD (i.e. multilaterally) in the name upholding human rights and toppling authoritarianism, rather than for oil, WMDs, or similar concrete objectives. In very simple terms, the new Biden administration's foreign policy will be none other than the return to "endless wars" for nation-building purposes first and last.

fakebot , 13 November 2020 at 11:43 AM

The name Kagan is the Russianized version of the name Cohen. He was going to be McCain's NSA had he been elected. They pulled a stunt with the Bush admin to make Obama look weak by pushing Georgia into war with Russia in 2008. Sakaasvili, the president of Georgia, was literally eating his own tie:

https://cdn1.img.sputniknews.com/img/102445/69/1024456927_0:98:1000:639_1000x541_80_0_0_d2bb118481dc653ec7d2a8b170b8f6bf.jpg

A lot of the neocons are Russian Jews who grew up in households that were Bolshevik communists. They're idea of spreading democracy goes back to Trotsky who tried to spread communism through the Soviet Union. Their hatred toward Russia dates back to their ancestors feudal days under the Tsars and the pogroms they suffered and the ice pick Trotsky got to the head.

I don't think they have that much influence. They pushed a lot of nonsense in the late 70/early 80s about how the Taliban were George Washingtons and here we are today, they're worst than the Comanche. The last time I saw Richard Perle make a TV appearance, he was crying like a baby. Robert Novak, the prince of darkness, was a Ron Paul supporter. The only ones really kicking around are Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin, but Kristol was almost alone when he was talking about putting 50,000 boots on the ground in Syria. Rubin is a harpie who only got crazier and crazier. Kagan had his foot in the door with Hillary only because of his wife. Those two might get back in with Biden on Ukraine, but Biden would do well to keep them at a distance.

Mark K Logan , 13 November 2020 at 11:57 AM

Thanks.

The lone bright spot is Biden's stated intention of restoring the JCPOA. And, I guess, the pending defenestration of Pompeo The Great.

I suspect the condition of the US economy and the massive deficits will assist in discouraging rash actions elsewhere. Have to wait and see.

Fred , 13 November 2020 at 12:36 PM

Obama's deep state lied, people died: https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2020/11/outgoing-syria-envoy-admits-hiding-us-troop-numbers-praises-trumps-mideast-record/170012/

It's great when career professionals sabotage the elected president's foreign policy.

JM Gavin , 13 November 2020 at 01:00 PM

I've never quite figured out the "neocon" ideology, beyond the fact that neocons seem devoted to the sort of status quo present in Washington, D.C. during the three administrations prior to Trump. Military adventurism, nation-building, and interventionist foreign policy, all based on nebulous concepts which are applied unevenly around the world.

It seems now that there is a new breed of neocons, unified by opposition to Trump's messaging, but not much else. Odd to find people like Samantha Power, John Bolton, Jim Mattis, and Paul Wolfowitz marching together in perfect step.

The Beaver , 13 November 2020 at 02:49 PM

Mr Geraldi

A good perspective by Philip Weiss on the same subject. Eliot A Cohen must be communicating a lot with the Kagan brothers , Dennis Ross and Perle to see who can be parachuted either to the WH or Foggy Bottom.

https://mondoweiss.net/2020/10/neoconservatives-are-flocking-to-biden-and-lets-forget-about-the-iran-deal/

BrianC , 13 November 2020 at 03:08 PM

@JM Gavin

I've never quite figured out the "neocon" ideology

The revolutionary spirit (see E. Michael Jones' work). From communism to neoconservatism it's ultimately an attack on the Beatitudes and Christ's Sermon on the Mount. "The works of mercy are the opposite of the works of war" -- Servant of God Dorothy Day

Mark K Logan , 13 November 2020 at 03:23 PM

JM Gavin,

Sir,

I hold the Cold Warriors like Scoop a species distinct from those of the post-USSR era. The current version started at the end of the cold war. We felt like kings of the world after Gulf War 1 and the shoe seemed to fit.

The HW Bush administration pondered how best to use this power for good. I've read some things which report there was a debate within the administration on whether to clean up Yugoslavia or Somalia first. They got Ron to "do the honors" for the invasion of Somalia at Oxford: About 20 minutes in. https://www.c-span.org/video/?35586-1/arising-ashes-world-order

That was played as part of the pep-talk on the Juneau off the coast of Somalia. Stirring stuff.

In some small way I never stopped sipping that Kool Aid. It's hard to stand by and watch unspeakable evil go down when you have the power to stop it...or think you do. Time will tell if the Neocons are capable of perceiving the limits of force. Certainly had some hard lessons in the last few decades.

EEngineer , 13 November 2020 at 03:57 PM

@JM Gavin

Hogs lining up for a spot at the trough? The Neocon movement seems to have morphed into nothing more than a club for bullies trying to one up each other.

Dan , 13 November 2020 at 04:35 PM

I think its generally shocking that Trump or the republicans didn't make a bigger issue of Biden's history of supporting disastrous intervention, especially his Iraq War vote. Maybe they felt like its not a winning issue, that they would lose as many votes as they gain by appearing more isolationist. But overall, Trump favoring diplomacy over cruise missiles should have been a bigger point in his favor in the election.

jerseycityjoan , 13 November 2020 at 04:52 PM

It is distressing to read that we will have people in the government who are looking for a fight. That is especially true in view of China's aggression in recent years and the responses we will have to make to that. I think we will have more than enough to do to handle China. What do the neocons want to do about China?

Here is an article about China that really startled me and made me realize how much of a threat is was becoming. The Air Force chief of staff talks about the challenges of countries trying to compete militarily with us in ways that have not occurred for awhile. Here are two quotes that really got me:

"Tomorrow's Airmen are more likely to fight in highly contested environments, and must be prepared to fight through combat attrition rates and risks to the nation that are more akin to the World War II era than the uncontested environments to which we have since become accustomed," Brown writes."

And

"Wargames and modeling have repeatedly shown that if the Air Force fails to adapt, there will be mission failure, Brown warns. Rules-based international order may "disintegrate and our national interests will be significantly challenged," according to the memo."

https://www.airforcemag.com/brown-air-force-must-speed-up-change-or-face-harsh-consequences/#.X02DjeMiZQM.mailto

The article doesn't say we will have another arms race but that is an obvious response to China's competition with us. I thought all that was done and gone. I do not want to resume it. I don't want another period of foreign entanglements, period. We still haven't paid for the War Against Terrorism. I look into the future and all I see is us racking up bills that we have no ability to pay. And then there is the human cost of all this, I don't want to even think about that.

turcopolier , 13 November 2020 at 05:40 PM

jerseycityjoan

"I thought all that was done and gone. I do not want to resume it." Childish. "Only the dead have seen the end of war."

JM Gavin , 13 November 2020 at 05:54 PM

EEngineer,

Snouts in the trough accounts for a certain amount of neocons, I'm sure. There is, however, a unifying vision beyond that which puzzles me, given the very different political orientations of various neocons. Neocons are found in academia and the media as well. Those types are less dependent on taxpayer dollars in exchange for their views (they'll get whatever tax money gets pushed their way in grants, etc regardless).

I find Polish Janitor's "straussian" and "liberal/internationalist" flavors of neocon intriguing, as I hadn't considered that before.

JMG

JM Gavin , 13 November 2020 at 05:59 PM

COL Lang's quote from Plato reminds me of another (from Cormac McCarthy): "It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other way."

Neocons don't really prefer war, so much as they prefer overseas "engagements" that may look like war and smell like war. All that's missing in neocon military operations is a defined end state.

JMG

JM Gavin , 13 November 2020 at 06:10 PM

Mark K. Logan,

I concur with your thoughts about standing by as evil occurs. We just have a habit of jumping into complex situations we don't understand, and making things worse. I suspect you feel the same way.

The military misadventures during my career (Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria) were marked by our own black and white thinking. The more successful adventures (Colombia, Nepal) were marked by our appreciation (to a certain extent) of the complex nature of the environments we were getting involved in...and the fact that we weren't involved in nation-building in the latter two locales. There were viable governments in place, and we weren't trying to replace them.

JMG

Deap , 13 November 2020 at 06:53 PM

Here is another Biden clip that should have been exploited too - way back when - when the media was a little more trusted, but no less pompous. However, Biden The Plagerizer had it coming.

Now tell me America is not the Land of Opportunity, when one can continuously shoot themselves in the foot and then rise from the dead yet again, and again: https://rumble.com/vb3c09-resurfaced-video-of-joe-biden-should-destroy-him.html?mref=23gga&mrefc=2

Though I am warming more and more to Trump Media becoming the real soul of America. Plus someone, in time. will need to pick up Rush Limbaugh's empire. America needs a counter-weight to fake news more than it needs the keys to the White House, with all its entangling webs, palace intrigues, chains and pitfalls.

Godspeed President Trump. If someone with as few talents s Biden can rise like Lazarus, just think what you can do with your little finger. No wonder the Democrats want Trump destroyed; not just defeated in a re-election. We have your back, Mr President.

TV , 13 November 2020 at 07:03 PM

Mark Logan:
Iran celebrates "Death to America" as a national day.
So let's give them a path to nuclear weapons.

Deap , 13 November 2020 at 07:11 PM

Ex-CIA analyst, Mich Rep. Elissa Slotkin refuses to back Pelosi for Speaker - anyone know her? https://www.newsmax.com/politics/elissa-slotkin-nancy-pelosi-democrat-house/2020/11/13/id/996905/ She wants more mid-West, and less Calif and NY, as the new face of the Democrat Party.

Fred , 13 November 2020 at 07:14 PM

Mark,

"It's hard to stand by and watch unspeakable evil go down when you have the power to stop it...."


I hear Trump is evil/Hitler/worse. I wonder if anyone who thinks that is true has the power to rig an election, or thinks they do?

jerseycityjoan , 13 November 2020 at 07:50 PM

Colonel,

You are right of course.

Are the people of America up for another arms race and a more or less cold war with China? I think the Chinese will give us a lot more trouble than the Soviets ever did.

And yet we allow their students to come here and learn all we know and their elites to bring their dirty money here and we give them green cards and citizenship and protect the money they took from the Chinese people. Not so smart on our part.

I am very concerned about all of this.

Serge , 13 November 2020 at 07:57 PM

What is the next theater of war that Biden's new friends will involve us in? I noticed lots of Cold War era conflicts are heating up lately, Ethiopia Morocco Armenia being recent examples. IS in Syria/Iraq is still castrated due to the continued mass internment of their population base in the dozens of camps, but they have established thriving franchises in Africa and their other provinces continue to smolder.

[Nov 07, 2020] The Ukros smelling victory by their satrap Biden last night heavily attacked Donetsk, a taste of things to come.

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Paco , Nov 6 2020 17:41 utc | 92

@ 66 arby

Yes, the earth keeps spinning no matter who "wins" the election.
Armenia, apparently the skies are clear of turkish drones with a little help from Russian EW, so the Artsakh army is deploying armor again to defend Shusha, they almost lost control of the road to their capital Stepanakert.

Another relevant piece of information, the Ukros smelling victory by their satrap Biden last night heavily attacked Donetsk, a taste of things to come.

Posted by: vk | Nov 6 2020 16:33 utc | 76

That's a good one, Evo calling for Almagro, the OAS will take care of Georgia and Pensilvania.

[Nov 06, 2020] Did the Iraq War Cause the Great Recession?'

Highly recommended!
Iran war might be too much for the US economy
Apr 07, 2013 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile ,

April 7, 2013 at 12:46 am
Western hypocrisy revealed 10 years after the event in today's Independent: "Tony Blair and Iraq: The damning evidence" . And they go on and on about those wicked, evil Russians and their tyrannical leader causing death and destruction Syria by their "support" of the Assad government whilst the West arms the "freedom fighters" there.

[Nov 02, 2020] Jackrabbit

Nov 02, 2020 | jackrabbit.blog

| Nov 1 2020 16:17 utc | 5

[Nov 02, 2020] Do Something, regardless of how dumb, damaging and even making the situation much worse for those who they supposedly are claiming to help. DO SOMETHING! My response is 'WTF don't YOU do something youselves? Put your body, blood and mind on the line if you really care so much rather than typing on a keyboard thousands of miles away in great comfort. Keyboard warrior wankers!

Nov 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL November 2, 2020 at 2:14 am

I agree with all you points PO, rather those complaining about Russia are throwing a bunch of contradictory self-serving and ultimately emotional accusations and complaints that very much echo western foreign policy after the Cold War of Do Something, regardless of how dumb, damaging and even making the situation much worse for those who they supposedly are claiming to help. DO SOMETHING! My response is 'WTF don't YOU do something youselves ? Put your body, blood and mind on the line if you really care so much rather than typing on a keyboard thousands of miles away in great comfort. Keyboard warrior wankers!

Those actually running the west aren't much different which is why they go for the easy option of flying above 20,000ft and dropping bombs rather than sending very large numbers of troops to hold ground and have a quick result. Why? Because they are afraid of bodybags and how they might look. That is the crux. They're more afraid being turned against by the electorate so 'easy solutions' that look good but don't deliver are the order of the day. They just can't stand the real cost or be courageous enough to spell it out to the public that their words if taken at face value means quite a lot of death. It doesn't sell.


[Nov 02, 2020] The Near-Global Collapse of Critical Thinking The New Kremlin Stooge

Nov 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

PATIENT OBSERVER October 31, 2020 at 5:35 am

I don't understand the current situation in full context but it seems that Armenian leadership has whored themselves to Western interest. And the whore-wanabe's pictured above are eager to sell their souls as well.

Russia's take may be to let Armenia face consequences of that decision to align with the Western empire. And, it will be up to the Armenian population to remove the leadership that chose Western allegiance if they so chose.

Russian leadership (showing great wisdom in my opinion) shuns imposition of the-right-thing-to-do on a population that is too lazy or too fearful or too accommodating of a whoring leadership. Russia has learned its lesson about helping other nations at great expense to itself and then expecting gratitude or loyalty. As noted by others, the only nation to do such has been Serbia.

The above Russian strategy is likely predicated on the belief that the Western empire is wobbly and nearing the tipping point. Russian leadership appears to have concluded that it now time to disconnect Russia from the Western economic system to escape the coming calamity.

MOSCOW EXILE October 31, 2020 at 9:20 am

Moscow to provide assistance to Yerevan if hostilities spill over to Armenia

MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. Moscow will provide all necessary assistance to Yerevan in accordance with the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the two countries, if hostilities spill over to Armenia's territory, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

I am sure word will soon arrive here from Finland about this matter, namely about what Russia should do but, as a result of its inherent weakness, most certainly will not do.

MARK CHAPMAN October 31, 2020 at 11:30 am

You may find things different by mid-November, as Armenia has – allegedly – formally asked for Russian help. Here's a particularly pithy and realistic quote;

"In the modern world, you must either have your own heavily armed army combined with a strong economy that can support it, or you must be friends with those who have it (here's a hint, either Russia or China, because we see the results of Pashinyan and Lukashenko's friendship with Europe and the US online today). The usual liberal mantras of "Russia-Armenia-Belarus have no enemies" are good exactly as long as you are not attacked in reality, and not on the Internet or in the media. And no assurances of American and European friendship will save you. You'll be lucky if they don't take you apart themselves."

https://www.stalkerzone.org/pashinyan-started-to-understand-the-modern-world-order/

Remember when Pashinyan was elected, and the protests which swept him to power? Remind you of anybody? Poroshenko, maybe? Not to suggest Pashinyan is a powerful oligarch – to all appearances he is not. But he came to power by the same mechanisms – playing public naivety like a violin, quoting hopeful citizens who really believe a different face is the magic bullet which will blow away corruption, and receiving the benevolent blessing of the west that the election was just as fair as fair could be. It always is, so long as the western-preferred candidate gets 'elected'.

"Historically, Armenia's elections have been marred by fraud and vote-buying.

However, international observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said the elections had respected fundamental freedoms and were characterised by genuine competition."

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46502681

You'd think that kind of boilerplate would have lost its power to make me laugh, but by God, it still tickles me; "characterised by genuine competition" – oh, 'pon my word, yes! You, like others, may have noticed by now that all it takes in certain countries to eliminate any possibility of 'genuine competition' is advance polls which indicate the western-disliked incumbent will win easily. That's how the people plan to vote, but that counts for nothing – it's only 'genuine competition' if there is a realistic possibility the west's man (or woman) will get in, and the more likely that looks to happen, damned if the competition does not get more genuine. Nobody seems to notice that the 'competition' reaches the very zenith of 'genuineness' just about the time nobody has a chance of holding off a landslide win by the preferred candidate.

I think by now everybody who reads here knows how I feel about it; you can't really blame the west and its media outlets for behaving the way they do. The western countries are mostly run by wealthy venture capitalists, and what wealthy venture capitalists like best is acquiring and controlling more wealth. This should not be a surprise to anyone. Even when western venture capitalists are dead altruistic and benevolent, what they want is for more wealth and capital to be acquired and controlled by the country to whom they feel the most sentimental attachment, so that a few of their countrymen might do all right out of their maneuvering as well – these are the people who come to be regarded as 'philanthropists', like George Soros. But generally they are mostly in it for themselves.

No, what I find the most objectionable is the veneer of holier-than-though goodness which always covers western exploitation ops. They always have to pretend like a smash-and-grab crime is some kind of fucking religious moment just because it is they who are doing it, as if they bring rectitude to even the most blatant self-interest. When the truth of the matter is that what the powerful do not give even the tiniest trace of a fuck about – Locard himself could not detect it – is what life is going to be like afterward for the average citizen in the country targeted for exploitation by changing its leadership. You know, the ones jumping up and down in Independence Square (there's always an Independence Square), or walking around with big dumb grins on their faces as if they have just felt the planet shift under their feet.

It's worth mentioning here that the period during which the west – led, of course, by the United States and its government/venture-capital institutions – was the most optimistic about Russia was the moment when it looked like a class of wealthy venture capitalists was going to take over the running of what was left of the Soviet Union; the Khodorkovskys and the Berzovskys and the Abramovitches. The wealthy Boyars who, albeit they spoke a different language, really spoke the same language to the letter as their western counterparts.

And the official western perspective on Russia made an abrupt turn to the South, and grew progressively grimmer, the more evident it became that that was not going to happen.

PATIENT OBSERVER October 31, 2020 at 7:06 pm

"Venture capitalists" may not be the most accurate terminology for those who run the West. There are a lot of old power blocks including the Vatican, the British royals, Zionists and other groups who get along well enough not to openly attack each other but will protect their particular areas of dominance. Their glue are narcissistic/messianic beliefs of their right to rule humanity. There may be deeper and murkier layers in the ruling hierarchy. I say "ruling" but their rule is only to the degree that we do not care enough to resist.

The interesting thing is that these demonic forces are nearly entirely of a Western origin. Is there a genetic factor that has become concentrated in the ruling elites? Some other self-propagating driver of their beliefs?

I do believe that Russia and China are sorting and identifying the real actors in the Western ruling elites.

MARK CHAPMAN November 1, 2020 at 11:50 am

A very interesting and thought-provoking reply. I think we must be careful to not just 'study it, judiciously as you will', while 'history's actors' reshape reality around us.

ET AL November 1, 2020 at 2:28 am

It seems to me that whatever the behavior of Armenia, Russia is still expected to protect/save christians in the region regardless of all the s/t that is thrown at them and particularly knowing the blood thirsty history of Az/turcoman/whatever behavior against Armenians.

There is a point here as Russia presents itself as the leader of the Orthodox Christian world it is its actual duty to rise above (pthe etty nasty s/t) and protect christendom in the hood regardless

But, and as we all know, the having the cake and eat it crowd has only but expanded, most notably those who are pro-west. They are owed it and thus they demand it as they are considered and have been told that they are a cut above the rest. It's the same western 'benefit of the doubt' that allows its intellectuals to support successive foreign policy adventures that have ended in catastrophic failure but even worse left those that they pledged to help in a much worse position.

I also think that in this case most people really do not know that Armenia is run by a pro-western government. It's not exactly hot news. And its still not widely reported let alone. After all, the western media is not exorciating Washington, Berlin, Paris and London for doing f/k all to help Armenia. They've been mostly silent. No need to point out yet again that the west picks and choses which countries/territories to carve up in contravention of long standing international law, and which others it strictly abides by, in this case Nagorno-Karabakh.

This may well be in part of being stung by the highly successful and bloodless return of the Crimea to Russia which was done in line with international law regardless of western protestations. It really put their carving off Kosovo by extreme violence in an very bad light by comparison and cannot be denied any longer as 'not a precedent' if they claim Russia took over Crimea illegally. The West has really tied itself in to a gordian knot at the international and state level despite doing its best to ignore it at home. The rest of the UN members don't buy it in the least.

So back to the beginning, who to blame? Russia is the easiest target. Surely not the west who is also selling weapons to Azerbaidjan, buys its gas and give the dictatorship a free pass. And even less so i-Sreal selling weapons, another people that has suffered the fate of genocide. No. Russia has to do something!

ET AL November 1, 2020 at 2:51 am

And, or, is it also their argument that despite 'Russia not respecting international law' that in this case it is an 'exception' (but not a 'precedent' (!)) and their failure to do so is inexcusable? It really is the most gigantic load of bollocks.

PATIENT OBSERVER November 1, 2020 at 7:54 am

Just a few points – Russia's defense of Christendom may be limited to Orthodoxy as the rest are spinoffs or spinoffs of spinoffs. Christian religious values in the west hardly resemble core Christian values so why should Russia give a damn about protecting such Christians? If the Armenia Orthodox church is comfortable with, if not endorsing, LGBT? life styles, then they would likely be considered as non-Christian. I do not know if the forgoing is the case; just discussing implications.

Russia will fulfill its obligations to defend Armenia from armed attack. However, once Azerbaijan has gotten what it wants, there will be no incentive for an attack on Armenia and especially so considering the dire consequences of a Russian military response.

MOSCOW EXILE November 1, 2020 at 9:16 am

I remember when my wife asked an old priest here after our youngest's christening into the ROC if we could get wed in said church. He told her we couldn't because I wasn't a Christian.

She begged to differ, but he insisted that I was a heretic and would have to baptized according to ROC rights and after having had ROC catechism lessons.

He was right too and twofold: (i) all "Christian" faiths are heresies, aberrations of the true, correct liturgy as passed on from the apostles and (ii) I am a heretic of a pagan nature.

PATIENT OBSERVER November 1, 2020 at 9:57 am

I have a soft spot for pagan beliefs as well. There are nonphysical entities that we interact, mostly without awareness, on a daily basis. No big deal, we just need to be mindful of such realities to better understand why things happen the way they do. The Woke folks could not possibly understand such, being isolated in their hall-of-mirrors tight little self-contained world of self-importance with the firm conviction that they are the be-all and end-all. A peasant toiling in the fields or a kid in the slums understand reality better the the Wokest of the Woke. Am I serious? I don't know.

ET AL November 1, 2020 at 12:56 pm

I like trees.

There's a report the other day that China's massive planting of trees is estimated to soak up to 35% of the carbon dioxide it produces industrially. The data comes from ground level station, satellite and other sources.

Which leads me to this question. If farmers (in u-Rope) are now being paid not to grow food, then wtf not just plant forests of trees that can also be farmed and managed? Is it because it is too easy and there's not much profit in it?

I'm looking forward to steam Woodpunk.

MOSCOW EXILE November 1, 2020 at 9:29 pm

Trees are central to Germanic paganism. How can one not respect a tree such as the mighty oak that is at least 500 years old when mature and may live for 1,000 years and more? Such living things interact with us -- of course, they do, if "only" in the maintainance of an ecological balance of the gas that is necessary for our existence.

That bastard Charles "the Great" of the Franks waged relentless war for over 30 years against the Saxons (not the "Anglo-Saxons, but my kinfolk in what is now Lower saxony in Germany) because of their refusal to accept Christianity.

Too right they didn't, for they knew full that if they had, the would have fallen under the thrall of the person who styled himself as emperor of the Western Roman Empire that had fallen into dissolution some 300 years earlier, which reborn "Roman Empire" had as its state religion Christianity -- Roman Christianity that is, and its emperor, much later styled as the "Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation", was guess who? That's right, Charles the Great/Carolus Magnus/ Karl der Grosse/Charlemagne.

One of Charles' favourite tricks in subduing the Saxons was making public spectacles of hacking down their "holy" trees or " Irminsul . After one victory against rebellious Saxon pagans whose lands the Franks had invaded, Charles had them all baptised -- then had them beheaded, all 4,500 of them!

IN HOC SIGNO VINCES

That'd learn 'em!

See: Massacre of Verden

Einhard, Charlemagne's biographer, said on the closing of the conflict:

The war that had lasted so many years was at length ended by their acceding to the terms offered by the King; which were renunciation of their national religious customs and the worship of devils, acceptance of the sacraments of the Christian faith and religion, and union with the Franks to form one people.

Saxon Wars

So the Saxons started eating small pieces of bread that they were to believe was god, which is far more reasonable than believing that trees and rivers and forests and storms were worthy of their respect.

Right! I'm off to my holy grove in order to pay my respects to Woden.

Liked by 1 person

JULIUS SKOOLAFISH November 1, 2020 at 9:59 pm

Okay, you've baited me (love to spend more time here but I do appreciate the occasional glance and many great comments and discussions)

"But veneration is inherent in the human breast. Presently mankind, emerging from intellectual infancy, began to detect absurdity in creation without a Creator, in effects without causes. As yet, however, they did not dare to throw upon a Single Being the whole onus of the world of matter, creation, preservation, and destruction. Man, instinctively impressed by a sense of his own unworthiness, would hopelessly have attempted to conceive the idea of a purely Spiritual Being, omnipotent and omnipresent.

Awestruck by the admirable phenomena and the stupendous powers of Nature, filled with a sentiment of individual weakness, he abandoned himself to a flood of superstitious fears, and prostrated himself before natural objects, inanimate as well as animate. Thus comforted by the sun and fire, benefited by wind and rain, improved by hero and sage, destroyed by wild beasts, dispersed by convulsions of Nature, he fell into a rude, degrading, and *cowardly Fetissism*, the *faith of fear*, and *the transition state from utter savagery to barbarism*."

• "The Jew, The Gypsy and El Islam" by Richard Francis Burton

Like

MOSCOW EXILE November 1, 2020 at 10:57 pm

. . . Presently mankind, emerging from intellectual infancy, began to detect absurdity in creation without a Creator, in effects without causes

So what created the creator?


[Oct 28, 2020] Wall Street Banks, And Their Employees, Now Officially Lean Democrat

Highly recommended!
They understand who will serve them better... After all they are dependent on the continuation of neoliberal globalization.
Oct 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

You'd think that voting Republican would be an easy decision if you work on Wall Street, especially given the lower taxes and the removal of burdensome regulations. But Democrats have entangled themselves so deeply in the web of Wall Street, that the industry is now leaning to the left, according to a new report from Reuters .

The Center for Responsive Politics took a look at how the industry, and its employees, break down for the 2020 election cycle.

It has been obvious that Democratic candidate Joe Biden has been outpacing President Trump when it comes to fundraising, and this is also true of "winning cash from the banking industry," Reuters notes.

Biden's campaign has been the beneficiary of $3 million from commercial banks, compared to the $1.4 million Trump has raised. This is a far skew from 2012, where Mitt Romney was able to raise $5.5 million from commercial banks, while Barack Obama only raised $2 million. In 2012, Wall Street banks were among the top five contributors to Romney' campaign.

In 2020, campaign contributions to congressional races from Wall Street banks are about even. Republicans have raised $14 million while Democrats have brought in $13.6 million. About four years ago, Republicans pulled in $18.9 million, which was about twice as much as the Democrats raised. In 2012, Republicans raised about 61% of total bank donations.

Interestingly enough, when Biden and Trump are removed from the equation, the highest recipient from Wall Street is none other than Bernie Sanders, who has raised $831,096. Sanders often tops contributions in many industries due to his grassroots following.

When you remove the employees from the equation and only look at how the bank's political arms donate, the picture turns more Republican-friendly.

House of Representatives lawmaker Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri, one of the senior Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee, which is key for the banking industry, tops the list, hauling in $226,000. Next up is Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, the top Republican on that panel, with $185,500 in cash from bank political committees.

The top 20 recipients of bank political funds comprise 14 Republicans and six Democrats. Representative Gregory Meeks of New York, a senior member of the House banking panel, received the most among Democrats, with $140,000.

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The shift in data shows that while Wall Street's top brass may still understand the value of Republican leadership, bank employees themselves may overwhelmingly favor progressives.

ay_arrow

tonye , 3 hours ago

It's obvious. Wall Street is part of the Deep State...

Le SoJ16 , 3 hours ago

How can you hate capitalism and work for a Wall Street bank?

tonye , 3 hours ago

Because Wall Street is no longer capitalist.

Main Street is capitalist, they create the GNP.

Wall Street is a casino owned by globalists and bankers. They don't create much anymore.

Macho Latte , 2 hours ago

It has nothing to do with ideology. The Biden is FOR SALE!

Any questions?

Lord Raglan , 2 hours ago

It is because the majority of Wall Street are Jewish and **** overwhelmingly support Democrats.

David Horowitz has said that 80% of the donations to the Democrat Party come from ****.

KashNCarry , 2 hours ago

What a bunch of ****. Wall St. elites are in it up to their necks casting their lot with the globalists who want total control NOW. Trump is the only thing in their way....

artvandalai , 3 hours ago

Wall street people don't know much about the real economy. They also know little, nor do they care about, the real problems faced by business people who have to work everyday to overcome the policies put in place by liberals.

They do understand finance however. But all that requires is the ability to push paper around all day.

But let them vote for the Libotards and have them watch Elizabeth Warren take charge of the US Senate Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Committee. They'll be jumping out of windows.

FauxReal , 3 hours ago

Wall Street favors free money?

sun tzu , 1 hour ago

Wall Street wants bailouts. 0bozo gave them a yuge bailout

American2 , 2 hours ago

Based on the massively coordinated MSM suppression of the Biden corruption scandal, now I know why these folks back Biden.

CosmoJoe , 2 hours ago

Democrats as the party of the big banks,

bgundr , 2 hours ago

Of course banksters favor policies that make the average person a slave with less agency

Homie , 2 hours ago

Especially if you like the endless bailouts, give-aways, and freedom from those pesky rules limiting the Squid's diet

You'd think that voting Republican would be an easy decision if you work on Wall Street, especially given the lower taxes and the removal of burdensome regulations.

mtl4 , 2 hours ago

The shift in data shows that while Wall Street's top brass may still understand the value of Republican leadership, bank employees themselves may overwhelmingly favor progressives.

The banks are big on corruption and that's one poll the Dems are definitely leading by a longshot.......thick as thieves.

tunetopper , 2 hours ago

Wall St youngsters dont realize their job is to whore themselves out as much as possible to the few remaining classes of folk they dont already have accounts with. The few Millennials and Gen Xers that have enough capital saved up are their target market. Ever since the take-down of Bear Stearns and Lehman, and the exit of many others from their Private Client Groups- the Whorewolves of Wall St are very busy pretending to be Progs and Libs.

And like this post says: " who really cares, they all live in NY, NJ and CT which are guaranteed Dem states anyway"

So in essence- they have nothing to lose while pretending to be a Prog/Lib. in order to ge the clients money.

radar99 , 36 minutes ago

I arrived to wall st in 2010. My female boss at a large investment bank hated me from the moment I criticized Obama. I was and still am absolutely amazed you can work on wall st and be a democrat

moneybots , 59 minutes ago

"The shift in data shows that while Wall Street's top brass may still understand the value of Republican leadership, bank employees themselves may overwhelmingly favor progressives."

So 50 Cent alone went Trump after finding out NYC's top tax rate would be 62% under Biden?

Flynt2142ahh , 1 hour ago

also known as MBNA Joe Biden friends, you mean the privatize profits but liberalize losses crowd that always looks for gubment money to bail out failures - Shocking !

invention13 , 1 hour ago

Wall St. just knows Biden is someone you can do business with.

Loser Face , 1 hour ago

Wall Street leans towards anyone who passes laws that benefit Wall Street.

Obamaroid Ointment , 1 hour ago

The Wally Street crowd has always been a bunch Globalist Mercedes Marxists and Limousine Liberals, this article is ancient history.

Sound of the Suburbs , 2 hours ago

US politicians haven't got a clue what's really going on and got duped by the banker's shell game.

When you don't know what real wealth creation is, or how banks work, you fall for the banker's shell game.

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy towards a financial crisis.

On a BBC documentary, comparing 1929 to 2008, it said the last time US bankers made as much money as they did before 2008 was in the 1920s.

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

At 18 mins.

The bankers loaded the US economy up with their debt products until they got financial crises in 1929 and 2008.

As you head towards the financial crisis, the economy booms due to the money creation of bank loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

The financial crisis appears to come out of a clear blue sky when you use an economics that doesn't consider debt, like neoclassical economics.

That's what the banker's shell game does to your economy.

Bankers are playing a shell game, which you can't see if you don't know how banks actually work like today's policymakers.

The real estate shell game.

Watch this video of the S&L crisis to refresh your memory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwFXvc1rJDw

They were just cutting their teeth messing about transferring financial assets around in those days.

It's all pretty straight forward.

Bank loans create money out of nothing.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

Money and debt come into existence together and disappear together like matter and anti-matter.

It's a shell game; you have to keep your eye on the money and the debt.

The speculators pocket the money, and the debt builds up in the S&Ls until the ponzi scheme collapses.

US taxpayers then bail out the bust S&Ls.

The shell game only works when no when is looking at the debt building up in the financial system like the UK from 1980 – 2008.

https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png

Money and debt come into existence together and disappear together like matter and anti-matter.

The money flows into the economy making it boom.

The debt builds up in the financial system leading to a financial crisis.

Banks – What is the idea?

The idea is that banks lend into business and industry to increase the productive capacity of the economy.

Business and industry don't have to wait until they have the money to expand. They can borrow the money and use it to expand today, and then pay that money back in the future.

The economy can then grow more rapidly than it would without banks.

Debt grows with GDP and there are no problems.

The banks create money and use it to create real wealth.

Caliphate Connie and the Headbangers , 2 hours ago

https://youtu.be/U06jlgpMtQs Democrat President, Republican Senate, Democratic House equals Deflation

medium giraffe , 3 hours ago

The banks and corporations of America have been welfare queens since 2008. Regardless of who wins, they will be the beneficiaries of moar US-style corporate welfare socialism.

Victory_Rossi , 3 hours ago

Wall Street loves globalism and hates the entire ethos of "America First". They're people with dodgy loyalties and grand self-interests.

FreemonSandlewould , 3 hours ago

What a surprise. The Banking Cartel faction of the Jish Control Grid sent Trotsky and company to Russia to implement the Bolshevik revolution. Should I be surprised they lean left?

Well I guess not. But they are at base amoral - that is to say with out moral philosophy. Their real motto is "Whatever gets the job done".

I know you human fungus in Wall St banks read Zh.

[Oct 25, 2020] The Ukrainians fired severl Tochka-M misshles into cities in Donbass. Kiev's Apologists Don't Think it Did Anything Wrong

How Donbass conflict started in 2014 ...
Dec 30, 2014 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Kiev's Apologists Don't Think it Did Anything Wrong. Posted on December 30, 2014 by marknesop Uncle Volodya says, "Just because evil liars stand between us and the gods and block our view of them does not mean that the bright halo that surrounds each liar is not the outer edges of a god, waiting for us to find our way around the lie.

Uncle Volodya says, "Just because evil liars
stand between us and the gods
and block our view of them
does not mean that the bright halo
that surrounds each liar
is not the outer edges of a god, waiting
for us to find our way around the lie."

The Kyiv Post has always been pretty nationalistic, and never had too much time for Russia. It has an inconsistent record on the Ukrainian oligarchy, showing occasional flashes of frankness in which it castigates the idle rich, and depressing runs of puff pieces in which it canonizes Petro Poroshenko and gnashes its teeth with righteous anger at his detractors. Several of its regular writers are activists, and their material shows it. Overall, it is the newspaper of record for Kiev's apologists, and draws a reliable audience of Russophobic Maidanites hoarsely crying "Yurrup!!!", as if it were some sort of magic answer to all their problems. But if the paper's material is often delusional, the comments section takes rollie-eyed psychosis to a whole new level. This is where you get to interact with the low-information voter, likely from a Ukrainian diaspora in North America, who buys the western propaganda line wholly and eagerly. Making any remark which appears defensive of Russia is like a red rag to a bull.

Here, every once in awhile, you run across a different kind of commenter – not just the usual "Shut your mouth, you Putin troll asswipe!!" who assumes the right to proselytize his own opinions to his heart's contentment, but will entertain no notion of a dissenting opinion without shouting that it must have been paid for by Putin and anyone who expresses such opinions is an employee of the FSB. Get it? Everyone who argues for a free and undivided Ukraine delivered whole and breathing to Yurrup and its austerity agenda is a patriot who sounds off because it's the right thing to do; everyone else is paid to lie. Occasionally, you run across a true apologist; one who is apparently not ignorant, but one who applies his/her intellect to running interference for the Kiev junta and doing battle on its behalf through insults, fabrications and assumption of a certain mantle of authority, while devising excuses for those actions by Kiev that he/she cannot explain away.

I recently did run across just such a person. Attracted to the article " Ukraine Overturns its Non-Bloc Status. What Next With NATO? " by the sheer zaniness of the Ukrainian leadership – which keeps bulling ahead with trying to referendum itself into NATO despite its ongoing border disputes so that it can immediately pull NATO into an Article 5 war with Russia – I read it, and then perused the comments.

I was moved to get involved in the discussion by a comment from Michael Caine – not the British actor, I'm pretty sure; this individual is not particularly literate but compensates with stubbornness – who seemed sincere enough, but is fixated on the idea that Russia (personified, of course, by Putin, as it is whenever it does anything the western world does not like) has broken international law by acceding to Crimea's request to join the Russian Federation. This process is invariably described in the Anglospheric press as "annexation", and we can hardly blame Michael, because high-profile chowderheads all the way up to and including President Obama have expressed the same opinion, which is completely unsubstantiated. As we have often discussed, the lifeblood of law is precedent, and a precedent was established on unilateral declarations of independence with the acceptance of that premise for the independence of Kosovo. Poland's opinion just happened to be the first I came across, written by then-Foreign-Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, and it announced smugly that a unilateral declaration of independence is outside international law and therefore unregulated by that authority. A state-in-being, saith Radek, is a matter of reality rather than law, and if you have a population which is distinct by virtue of its language, customs and cultural attributes, which has its own government, civil institutions and financial institutions, you are – or you can be – a state by way of a unilateral declaration of independence.

The Polish opinion was pivotal to the broad recognition of Kosovo, because Poland was the first East European and the first Slavic nation to recognize it. However – and this is important – not one other world opinion which supported the recognition of Kosovo challenged Poland's contention that a unilateral declaration of independence is not an instrument regulated by international law. Even The Economist , no friend of Russia and Putin, declared in advance of the vote that if Crimea chose to detach itself from Ukraine's rule, no court would be likely to challenge it, while RFE/RL – still less a friend of Russia and Putin – opined that the Budapest Memorandum (the document in which all the thunderers that Putin has broken international law vest their hopes) is a diplomatic document rather than a treaty, and while it is international law, is not enforceable . Even, if you can imagine, The Hague weighed in, expressing the legal opinion ,

"Therefore, is the Crimean Parliament vote to join the Russian Federation illegal? The answer here is no, albeit with the above clarifications and observations. Can the Crimean population legally exercise its right to external self-determination? The author is of the opinion that − on the basis of existing international case law − this question can neither be answered affirmatively or negatively."

All this went about four feet above Mr. Caine's head, because my polite request that he elaborate on specifically which international law Mr. Putin (who apparently managed the "annexation" of Crimea singlehandedly) broke received the response that Putin had violated the law that says Thou Shalt Not Steal, not to mention that other bad one, Thou Shalt Not Kill.

These are ummm not international laws. Although they apply to all observers of the Christian faith, these are Commandments, and I have yet to see a lawyer hold forth in an international court on a case in which the Book Of Authorities and Precedents is a stone tablet, although I should not speak too soon. You never know.

At about this point, The Apologist entered the fray. Under the banner of Swift69, and plainly one of the protagonists for The Budapest Memorandum, he announced that there was no unilateral declaration of independence because it was all engineered in Moscow, which allegedly is a fact that everyone admits.

In point of fact, the Crimean Parliament and City Council of Sevastopol did declare Crimea's independence, in writing ( here's the English translation ), and specifically citing the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo as precedent. That was actually in advance of the referendum, which asked respondents if they did or did not favour Crimea applying to join the Russian Federation. So far as I am aware nobody has admitted or otherwise affirmed in any way that Crimea's declaration of independence originated in Moscow. Russia admitted in April 2014 that it had conducted advance polling in Crimea to determine the level of support for independence, an issue which had been raised on and off since the 90's. Kind of hard to interpret that as unacceptable interference in a reality that seems to see nothing wrong with political-activist NGO's operated in Moscow and paid by American think tanks attempting to amass support for overthrowing and replacing the Russian government, what?

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Up to this point it was just an amusing academic tussle – Clash Of The References, if you will, although Swift69 actually didn't supply any. But it turned ugly from there.

I wrote, " Meanwhile Ukraine has no room at all to be preaching about international law, nor do any of its defenders. Indiscriminate attack such as firing short-range ballistic missiles into civilian population centers is a war crime. "

Swift69 replied, " Ballistic Missies"( sic ) – the word "ballistic" simply means that it is "on a ballistic trajectory." Every bullet ever fired and every grad ever launched is a "ballistic missile." While you're clearly trying to use the term to elicit sympathy based on people's association of the word n the phrase "intercontinental ballistic missile" or somesuch, it's nonsense. Use of ballistic weapons is no more a "war crime" than use of gravity is "into civilian centers." what nonsense. "Many of the shocking cases, particularly those published by the Russian media are greatly exaggerated There's no convincing evidence of mass killings or graves." – Amnesty International report."

Let's just ponder that for a moment. Swift69 is implying an equivalency between a bullet which might kill two or three people if it ricochets and hits more than its intended target, and a fucking ballistic missile which has a warhead that weighs more than half a ton (1,058 pounds). CNN reported live that U.S. officials had confirmed Ukrainian forces fired "several" Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab) missiles "into areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists". The same source reported it could kill "dozens". The Tochka-U has a Circular Error Probability (CEP) of 160 meters. That means even in the unlikely event that you were aiming it at a cluster of 20 armed combatants – from as much as 70 km away – you could only count on the weapon landing somewhere within 160 meters of them. The Ukrainians fired them into cities in Donbass. And this shitbag is saying I merely tacked on the word "ballistic" to make it sound scary, and to win sympathy for those it was fired at which they did not really deserve. Take a look at the crater – that look like a bullet hole to you?

So, let's review. In fact, Indiscriminate Attack is a war crime, in accordance with Customary International Humanitarian Law, Rule 12. Indiscriminate Attack is defined as attack which is (a) not directed at a specific military objective, (b) employs a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective, or (c) employs a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

Explain to me, if you can, how you can fire a ballistic missile with a circular error probability of 160 meters (524 feet) into a city which contains both civilians and paramilitaries, and be reasonably confident you will not kill or injure any civilians, or even that you know from as far away as 70 km from the city that is your target, what you are shooting at? How are you going to limit the effects of your attack with a 1000 lb+ warhead so that it only kills military combatants?

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Even the bullet Captain Sarcastic implied was also a "ballistic missile" could get you in front of a war crimes tribunal, if you just loosed off some of them into a crowd which was a composite of civilians and combatants without attempting to differentiate between the two. The weapon is not the concern – aimed shots in a scenario in which you are attempting to confine your fire to military targets is. Love of God, how hard is that to grasp?

Swift69 goes on to accuse me of sensationalizing further with the implication that the Ukrainian army is firing into civilian population centers, and proceeds to conflate that with an Amnesty International report which accused Russia of propagandizing mass graves, saying there was no credible evidence of that. The two issues have nothing to do with one another. I said the Ukrainian army is firing heavy weapons into Donbass cities at a range beyond which it can discriminate between civilian and military targets, and that considerable loss of life and tremendous damage has resulted. That is absolutely an accurate portrayal of the state of affairs .

For a grand finale, Swift69 proceeds to attack the source of an article which reports that Ukrainian forces or agents of the Ukrainian government have cut off the civilian populations of cities in eastern Ukraine from water and food and medicines in an attempt to force their surrender, and that this is also a war crime. That's a good tactic, and I use it sometimes myself – if you're not comfortable that you can refute what was said, imply the person who reported it is a lunatic. In this instance, I think there is plenty of corroborating evidence that forces acting on Kiev's direction did just what I accuse them of doing .

Kiev is committing war crimes against Ukrainian citizens with the vociferous approval of the Kyiv Post , the tacit approval of the leadership of NATO countries and the slobbering whitewash of Kiev's loony-fringe supporters. Shamelessly, right under your nose, and in the clear presence of condemnatory evidence that should have the lot of them swinging from the gibbet.

[Oct 21, 2020] Col. Brittany Stewart, Military Attach to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and Donbass reconciliation

Such a diplomat.
Oct 21, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOW EXILE October 20, 2020 at 11:16 pm

Did you not see this little gem from the US Embassy in Kiev last week?

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-13&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1316258685916573697&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fthenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com%2F2020%2F09%2F18%2Fthe-near-global-collapse-of-critical-thinking%2F&siteScreenName=wordpressdotcom&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

The woman speaking above is a certain Col. Brittany Stewart, Military Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. Yet another American woman doing a man's job! The Russian Ministry of Defence was none too pleased with Colonel Stewart's little performance:

16.10.2020 (14:30)
Defence Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has been informed about the position of the Russian Ministry of Defence

On October 16, the Defence Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow was invited to the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation.

The US Department of Defence representative was informed about the position of the Russian Ministry of Defence with regards to a recent statement made by the Military Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Air Force Col. Brittany Stewart, on the joint efforts of the US and Ukrainian Armed Forces in countering so-called "Russian aggression".

The American side was briefed on the false claims of the statement and its provocative nature, which compels the Ukrainian side to a military resolution of the internal conflict in the Donbass.

The above mentioned statement is contradictory to previous declarations made by Pentagon officials on a settlement of the situation in the Ukraine by peaceful means only.

[Edited by Moscow Exile because of grammatical and punctuation errors in the above-linked Russian -English statement, although the Russian Ministry of Defence did spell "defence" correctly! :-)]

"We congratulate the defenders of the Ukraine. Thank them for their self-sacrifice and for taking risks every day", she says in an East Slav dialect, noting that during their visit to the Ukraine, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bigan and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo had visited memorials to fallen soldiers, "because it was these soldiers who had sacrificed themselves to help protect the democracy, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukraine".

"The USA is and will be your indestructible partner", emphasized the Colonel Stewart.


Have a nice day, suckers!

[Oct 21, 2020] How Trump Got Played By The Military-Industrial Complex by Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Highly recommended!
Tramp was essentially the President from military industrial complex and Israel lobby. So he was not played. That's naive. He followed the instructions.
Oct 21, 2020 | www.huffpost.com

On March 20, 2018, President Donald Trump sat beside Saudi crown prince Muhammed bin Salman at the White House and lifted a giant map that said Saudi weapons purchases would support jobs in "key" states -- including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Ohio, all of which were crucial to Trump's 2016 election victory .

"Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend and a big purchaser of equipment but if you look, in terms of dollars, $3 billion, $533 million, $525 million -- that's peanuts for you. You should have increased it," Trump said to the prince, who was (and still is) overseeing a military campaign in Yemen that has deployed U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Trump has used his job as commander-in-chief to be America's arms-dealer-in-chief in a way no other president has since Dwight Eisenhower, as he prepared to leave the presidency, warned in early 1961 of the military-industrial complex's political influence. Trump's posture makes sense personally ― this is a man who regularly fantasizes about violence, usually toward foreigners ― and he and his advisers see it as politically useful, too. The president has repeatedly appeared at weapons production facilities in swing states, promoted the head of Lockheed Martin using White House resources, appointed defense industry employees to top government jobs in an unprecedented way and expanded the Pentagon's budget to near-historic highs ― a guarantee of future income for companies like Lockheed and Boeing.

Trump is "on steroids in terms of promoting arms sales for his own political benefit," said William Hartung, a scholar at the Center for International Policy who has tracked the defense industry for decades. "It's a targeted strategy to get benefits from workers in key states."

In courting the billion-dollar industry, Trump has trampled on moral considerations about how buyers like the Saudis misuse American weapons, ethical concerns about conflicts of interest and even part of his own political message, the deceptive claim that he is a peace candidate. He justifies his policy by citing job growth, but data from Hartung , a prominent analyst, shows he exaggerates the impact. And Trump has made clear that a major motivation for his defense strategy is the possible electoral benefit it could have.

Next month's election will show if the bargain was worth it. As of now, it looks like Trump's bet didn't pay off ― for him, at least. Campaign contribution records, analysts in swing states and polls suggest arms dealers have given the president no significant political boost. The defense contractors, meanwhile, are expected to continue getting richer, as they have in a dramatic way under Trump.

Playing Corporate Favorites

Trump has thrice chosen the person who decides how the Defense Department spends its gigantic budget. Each time, he has tapped someone from a business that wants those Pentagon dollars. Mark Esper, the current defense secretary, worked for Raytheon; his predecessor, Pat Shanahan, for Boeing; and Trump's first appointee, Jim Mattis, for General Dynamics, which reappointed him to its board soon after he left the administration.

Of the senior officials serving under Esper, almost half have connections to military contractors, per the Project on Government Oversight. The administration is now rapidly trying to fill more Pentagon jobs under the guidance of a former Trump campaign worker, Foreign Policy magazine recently revealed ― prioritizing political reasons and loyalty to Trump in choosing people who could help craft policy even under a Joe Biden presidency.

Such personnel choices are hugely important for defense companies' profit margins and risk creating corruption or the impression of it. Watchdog groups argue Trump's handling of the hiring process is more evidence that lawmakers and future presidents must institute rules to limit the reach of military contractors and other special interests.

"Given the hundreds of conflicts of interest flouting the rule of law in the Trump administration , certainly these issues have gotten that much more attention and are that much more salient now than they were four years ago," said Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good-government group.

The theoretical dangers of Trump's approach became a reality last year, when a former employee for the weapons producer Raytheon used his job at the State Department to advocate for a rare emergency declaration allowing the Saudis and their partner the United Arab Emirates to buy $8 billion in arms ― including $2 billion in Raytheon products ― despite congressional objections. As other department employees warned that Saudi Arabia was defying U.S. pressure to behave less brutally in Yemen, former lobbyist Charles Faulkner led a unit that urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give the kingdom more weapons. Pompeo pushed out Faulkner soon afterward, and earlier this year, the State Department's inspector general criticized the process behind the emergency declaration for the arms.

Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention cente MOHAMED AL-SAYAGHI / REUTERS
Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention center in Yemen on Sept. 1, 2019. The Saudis military campaign in Yemen has relied on U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Even Trump administration officials not clearly connected to the defense industry have shown an interest in moves that benefit it. In 2017, White House economic advisor Peter Navarro pressured Republican lawmakers to permit exports to Saudi Arabia and Jared Kushner, the president's counselor and son-in-law, personally spoke with Lockheed Martin's chief to iron out a sale to the kingdom, The New York Times found.

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When Congress gave the Pentagon $1 billion to develop medical supplies as part of this year's coronavirus relief package, most of the money went to defense contractors for projects like jet engine parts instead, a Washington Post investigation showed .

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"It's a very close relationship and there's no kind of sense that they're supposed to be regulating these people," Hartung said. "It's more like they're allies, standing shoulder to shoulder."

Seeking Payback

In June 2019, Lockheed Martin announced that it would close a facility that manufactures helicopters in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and employs more than 450 people. Days later, Trump tweeted that he had asked the company's then-chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, to keep the plant open. And by July 10, Lockheed said it would do so ― attributing the decision to Trump.

The president has frequently claimed credit for jobs in the defense industry, highlighting the impact on manufacturing in swing states rather than employees like Washington lobbyists, whose numbers have also grown as he has expanded the Pentagon's budget. Lockheed has helped him in his messaging: In one instance in Wisconsin, Hewson announced she was adding at least 45 new positions at a plant directly after Trump spoke there, saying his tax cuts for corporations made that possible.

Trump is pursuing a strategy that the arms industry uses to insulate itself from political criticism. "They've reached their tentacles into every state and many congressional districts," Scherb of Common Cause said. That makes it hard for elected officials to question their operations or Pentagon spending generally without looking like they are harming their local economy.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat who represents Coatesville, welcomed Lockheed's change of course, though she warned, "This decision is a temporary reprieve. I am concerned that Lockheed Martin and [its subsidiary] Sikorsky are playing politics with the livelihoods of people in my community."

The political benefit for Trump, though, remains in question, given that as president he has a broad set of responsibilities and is judged in different ways.

"Do I think it's important to keep jobs? Absolutely," said Marcel Groen, a former Pennsylvania Democratic party chair. "And I think we need to thank the congresswoman and thank the president for it. But it doesn't change my views and I don't think it changes most people's in terms of the state of the nation."

With polls showing that Trump's disastrous response to the health pandemic dominates voters' thoughts and Biden sustaining a lead in surveys of most swing states , his argument on defense industry jobs seems like a minor factor in this election.

Hartung of the Center for International Policy drew a parallel to President George H.W. Bush, who during his 1992 reelection campaign promoted plans for Taiwan and Saudi Arabia to purchase fighter jets produced in Missouri and Texas. Bush announced the decisions at events at the General Dynamics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis that made the planes. That November, as Bill Clinton defeated him, he lost Missouri by the highest margin of any Republican in almost 30 years and won Texas by a slimmer margin than had become the norm for a GOP presidential candidate.

President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July MANDEL NGAN VIA GETTY IMAGES
President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July 12, 2019. Trump does not appear to be winning his political bet that increased defense spending would help his political fortunes.

Checking The Receipts

The defense industry can't control whether voters buy Trump's arguments about his relationship with it. But it could, if it wanted to, try to help him politically in a more direct way: by donating to his reelection campaign and allied efforts.

Yet arms manufacturers aren't reciprocating Trump's affection. A HuffPost review of Federal Election Commission records showed that top figures and groups at major industry organizations like the National Defense Industrial Association and the Aerospace Industries Association and at Lockheed, Trump's favorite defense firm, are donating this cycle much as they normally do: giving to both sides of the political aisle, with a slight preference to the party currently wielding the most power, which for now is Republicans. (The few notable exceptions include the chairman of the NDIA's board, Arnold Punaro, who has given more than $58,000 to Trump and others in the GOP.)

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that's the case for contributions from the next three biggest groups of defense industry donors after Lockheed's employees.

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One smaller defense company, AshBritt Environmental, did donate $500,000 to a political action committee supporting Trump ― prompting a complaint from the Campaign Legal Center, which noted that businesses that take federal dollars are not allowed to make campaign contributions. Its founder told ProPublica he meant to make a personal donation.

For weapons producers, backing both parties makes sense. The military budget will have increased 29% under Trump by the end of the current fiscal year, per the White House Office of Management and Budget. Biden has said he doesn't see cuts as "inevitable" if he is elected, and his circle of advisers includes many from the national security world who have worked closely with ― and in many cases worked for ― the defense industry.

And arms manufacturers are "busy pursuing their own interests" in other ways, like trying to get a piece of additional government stimulus legislation, Hartung said ― an effort that's underway as the Pentagon's inspector general investigates how defense contractors got so much of the first coronavirus relief package.

Meanwhile, defense contractors continue to have an outsize effect on the way policies are designed in Washington through less political means. A recent report from the Center for International Policy found that such companies have given at least $1 billion to the nation's most influential think tanks since 2014 ― potentially spending taxpayer money to influence public opinion. They have also found less obvious ways to maintain support from powerful people, like running the databases that many congressional offices use to connect with constituents, Scherb of Common Cause said.

"This goes into a much bigger systemic issue about big money in politics and the role of corporations versus the role of Americans," Scherb said.

Given its reach, the defense industry has little reason to appear overtly partisan. Instead, it's projecting confidence despite the generally dreary state of the global economy: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has said he expects similar approaches from either winner of the election, arguing even greater Democratic control and the rise of less conventional lawmakers isn't a huge concern.

In short, whoever is in the White House, arms dealers tend to do just fine.

[Oct 19, 2020] How COVID-19 may help IMF to reshape global economy (Full show) -- RT The News with Rick Sanchez

Oct 19, 2020 | www.rt.com

How COVID-19 may help IMF to reshape global economy (Full show) 16 Oct, 2020 20:42 17 Follow RT on RT

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is offering loans to the world's poorest 81 countries to help them rebuild their devastated economies, still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. But accepting such loans paves the way for increased austerity, privatization, and greater income inequality. RT America's Alex Mihailovich explains. Then former UK MP George Galloway joins RT America's Faran Fronczak (in for Rick Sanchez) to weigh in. RT's Peter Oliver examines the skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases across Europe and the reimposition of harsh restrictions to stymie its spread. Legal and media analyst Lionel and civil rights attorney Robert Patillo debate proposals aimed at mitigating the perceived influence of the Federalist Society in US courts. RT America's Trinity Chavez reports on the recent flyby of Venus where the BepiColombo probe captured amazing new images of the planet. Plus, RT America's Steve Christakos joins for "Jock Talk."

[Oct 19, 2020] Banking has an odd and opaque history of global control of money/finance and inciting wars

Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

chu teh , Oct 17 2020 22:10 utc | 65

This in reply to your #131 yesterday re JP Morgan, oligarch power and method used to create Federal Reserve:

There is more. Banking has an odd and opaque history of global control of money/finance. It was clear by ca. 1900 that the global keystone was control of USA banking...but how?, because any USA legislation had to be signed-off by a President...the ONLY exception being overriding a pres. veto. It could not be done in USA by pres. decree.

So the riddle is how could this rip-off be done in a freak nation that was an open society of free public discourse full of very active politician? Even if Congress could be bribed and otherwise cajoled to pass such legislation, how could any President be "arranged" to sign it?

CLUE -- W. Wilson -- headmaster of Princeton University suddenly rose to Governor of New Jersey , then suddenly ran for Pres of US. A most weird election resulted in WW becoming Pres and in his first year signed the Fed Res Act. Boom! Done!

CLUE -- How did the bankers, Warburg et al, manage to put WW under their control? How did they select WW and get hooks so deeply into headmaster WW and get him elected Pres.? What was their secret?...and that could be kept secret? and never in writing.

The ANSWER might well be known only to surviving members of families of those involved in WW's mysterious medical maladies. Though WW's doctors never disclosed publicly all his medical data, related family members of consulted medical experts would likely have it as a family secret...that WW had an "unspeakable" malady whose diagnosis was quietly handed down to successive generations.

And IMO it is so.

[Oct 19, 2020] New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanks

Highly recommended!
Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 17 2020 23:20 utc | 76

New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanks
Esper's speech demonstrates a confluence of policies, ideas, and funds that permeate through the system, and are by no means unique to a single service, think tank, or contractor.

First, Esper consistently situated his future expansion plans in a need to adapt to "an era of great power competition." CNAS is one of the think tanks leading the charge in highlighting the threat from Beijing.

They also received at least $8,946,000 from 2014-2019 from the U.S. government and defense contractors, including over $7 million from defense contractors like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Huntington Ingalls, General Dynamics, and Boeing who would stand to make billions if the 500-ship fleet were enacted.

It's all about the money. Foreign and domestic policy is always all about the money, either directly or indirectly. Of course, the ultimate goal is power - or more precisely, the ultimate goal is relief of the fear of death, which drives every single human's every action, and only power can do that, and in this world only money can give you power (or so the chimpanzees believe.)

[Oct 16, 2020] WilliamRD WilliamRD

Oct 16, 2020 | disqus.com

12 hours ago

Jacques Chirac President of France told Jr Bush if the United States finds WMDs in Iraq you put them there. The CIA and MI6 knew Iraq had no WMDs because Tariq Aziz Saddam's long time number 2 was a CIA asset. Back in the 1980s Aziz was a regular on the Washington cocktail party circuit and a frequent guest on CNNs Crossfire with Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak vs Tom Braden and Michael Kinsley. Finally Dick Armey Republican and House Majority leader was going to vote against authorizing the war in the fall of 2002. Cheney goes up to Capitol Hill pulls Armey into the Vice Presidents office in the Capitol and tells him that Iraq is close to having suitcase nukes and has very close ties to Osama bin Laden. Both lies of course.

On one occasion when Jr Bush was talking to Chirac he told him that the war on terror is Biblical prophecy. Needless to say Chirac was stunned. Yes the Republican establishment lied the country into one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in our history. Almost as bad as Woodrow Wilson taking us into World war 1 which led to the rise Bolshevik revolution and Nazi Germany

[Oct 16, 2020] Why the West Fuels Conflict in Armenia -

Oct 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Fazal Majid 15 hours ago • edited

Britain created Saudi Arabia? They supported the westernized Hashemites rivals of the Saud to the hilt. Just one of the many factual errors in a muddle-headed article that seems to draw its inspiration from the reflexive anti-Americanism of the European loony left.

The Caucasus, like the former Yugoslavia, or India before partition, is made up of many populations coexisting. When ethno- or religious nationalism rears its ugly head, violence and ethnic cleansing inevitably ensue. The Armenians prevailed militarily due to Azerbaijani incompetence, not because of any intrinsic moral righteousness, but the thing about military gains is they can be reversed when the other side gets its act together, specially if it enjoys an overwhelming advantage in population and resources.

Foreign powers like Russia, Turkey, Iran, France or Israel are pouring oil on the fires of revanchism for political or mercantile reasons, instead of pushing both sides to meaningful negotiations (let's not forget the Armenians are perfectly happy with the status quo and have not exactly been eager to negotiate it away). The last thing the US should be doing is taking sides, and since this is Russia's backyard there is not much we can do other than pressuring Turkey to stop making things worse, but we all know how little real sway we have with Erdögan.

S A Chaplin Fazal Majid 12 hours ago

@Majid - Very insightful comment, thank you. (And better written than the article.) You also taught me a new word: revanchism.

Blood Alcohol Fazal Majid 8 hours ago • edited

The article seems to me to be disjointed and I have feeling the damage was done during editing. There's no egregious mistake is saying the Brits created "Saudi" Arabia. That is a historical fact and which family/tribe they supported is irrelevant in historical terms. Your charge of "reflexive anti-Americanism of the European loony left." because of a few inaccuracies in the article is way off the wall. The article is badly written but it is informative.

Regarding your claim, "Foreign powers like Russia, Turkey, Iran, France or Israel are pouring oil on the fires...", I agree with you with the exception of Iran's role in this mess. The very first official announcement by the IRI, which I posted to another article on the site, warned Turkey is pouring fuel to the file. There's no disagreement there. Iran has no military personnel nor funding going to either country. Azerbaijan has about 700 Kilometers of common border with Iran, and Armenia shares about 32 Kilometers of borders with Iran. Iran has a substantial, vibrant and patriotic Azari population. Many are in top IRI leadership including Khamenei. Iran also has a very substantial and vibrant Armenian population. Iran does recognize the Turk's genocide of its Armenian population. Iran is connected to Armenia via oil and gas pipelines, as well as power grids. Iran is the most important of energy supplier for Armenia.

A bit of recent history will shed some light on Iran's behavior and attitude towards each country. While Armenia remained one of Iran's stalwart neighbors, Azerbaijan took the path of endearing itself to the US and Israel axis of war mongering and destabilizing policies. This put Azerbaijan on Iran's list of "unfriendly" governments, I'm not talking about Azerbaijan's Shia population in this context. There's nothing for Iran in this war. Therefore Iran's latest announcement is to end the war as soon as possible through diplomatic means. The shells and missiles have started landing on Iranian soil but no casualties fortunately.

Fazal Majid Blood Alcohol 7 hours ago • edited

The British had literally nothing to do with the creation of Saudi Arabia. Abdulaziz Ibn Saud took back his family fief of Riyadh in 1901 from the rival al-Rashid of Ha'il, then waged war over the other tribes of Arabia, enlisting a fanatical proto-ISIS like militia called the Ikhwan to conquer in 1924 the British-supported Hejaz ruled by Sharif Hussein of the Hashemite dynasty. He did not extend his conquests to Yemen, Oman, Kuwait or Transjordan and Syria because that would have meant waging direct war on the British and French empires, and in fact had to quell a rebellion of the Ikhwan who wanted to do exactly that.

The Saudis draw great pride in being the one nation in the Middle East that was not colonized by Western powers (mostly because it was worthless until the discovery of oil). Just because William Shakespear or Gertrude Bell toured the region does not make the al-Saud British puppets like the Hashemites were, whatever their many faults. While Abdulaziz bided his time and tactically made treaties with the British like temporarily accepting a protectorate status or agreeing to fight the al-Rashid (like he would do otherwise, they being his family's hereditary enemies....), they never provided him with any significant assistance, and in fact tried ineffectually to contain his rise.

Blood Alcohol Fazal Majid 4 hours ago • edited

I think if we remove "Saudi" from the discussion and just talk about "Arabia" our difference of opinion will evaporate. The country is mistakenly, in my opinion, was named "Saudi Arabia" for the Western colonizers' special interest. The rest of your argument about who did what to whom in Arabia is inside baseball to me.

By the way, stay tuned. We many start hearing about the al-Rashid as soon as the "king" passes and mBS tries be big cheese of Arabia.

redfish Blood Alcohol 5 hours ago

Of course Iran would just like the conflict to go away; its leaving them with only bad choices, whether that to be appearing to support Azerbaijan and alienating Armenia, with whom they have an important relationship, or appearing to support Armenia and alienating much of its local Azeri population. I think Iran publicly is walking a fine line and trying to stress diplomacy to solve the conflict as much as possible, though its still hard for them to extricate themselves from the politics of the situation.

Though, in that regard, its a bit wrong to compare the Azeri population in Iran to the Armenian population; its completely different in scale and importance. Iran has some concern that the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, if handled wrongly, would become regional or spill over into their borders, and they're less concerned about Armenia in that part.

Also wrong to not point out that Israel formed ties with Azerbaijan and Iran formed ties with Armenia around the same time; these were complementary moves, and its just as possible to explain Israel's ties with Azerbaijan as being as a result of Iran's ties with Armenia, rather than just the reverse. Just as well, Israel at the time had friendly relations with Turkey, which have since deteriorated. Its also true that the relationships are based on reasons independent of those kind of geopolitical moves, and are largely based on self-interest on both sides. Azerbaijan is also Israel's top oil supplier. Simply blaming all this on the US and Israel, and making Iran's stance towards Azerbaijan as a result of them being the victim of these types of deals, is a bit much.

Blood Alcohol redfish 2 hours ago

I doesn't seem Iran can or even thinks about extricate herself from "the situation". Iran is situated right there and whether things spill over to Iran or not will play a big role in Iran's perception of the regional security.

No sure where I inferred any comparison between the Azari and the Armenian population of Iran. They are BOTH Iranians. After the breakup of the USSR, the Azerbaijani dictator Heydar Aliyev established relation with Israel and later the US, while refusing to join any of the several post-Soviet economic arrangements. That was accompanied by Azerbaijan making noises about "unification" of Azerbaijan. That pushed Iran to throw all its support behind Armenia then. The situation has changed and IRI and Azerbaijan have normal relations.

Iran cannot simple afford to consider the Armenian Iranians less "important" than her Azeri Iranians, if that's where you are going.

Kindi 14 hours ago

The author may have been a banker, but he clearly was neither an historian or diplomat. He knows neither the details of what he writes, nor does he have a framework.

The decision to assign Karabakh to Azerbaijan was taken in 1921, not 1923 and was taken by the Bolshevik Caucasus Bureau, not by Stalin. General clashes between Azerbaijanis and Armenians took place in 1905, and the fighting for Karabakh proper erupted in 1918 with the formation of independent Armenian and Azerbaijan republics. Both well before the Bolsheviks or Stalin could do anything about Karabakh (although the Bolsheviks did join with the Armenian Dashnaks in March 1918 to seize Baku and butcher Azerbaijanis in the process. Yes, Azerbaijanis retaliated in September, but the Armenians did start it and got their hands plenty bloody, outside Baku as well).

The author's contempt for Azerbaijanis comes through in his comment that the Azerbaijanis have lost every time against the Armenians. He never reflects that the possible reason might be that the Armenians have been both better organized and more aggressive than the Azerbaijanis. He deliberately leaves out that Armenian expelled 800,000 Azerbaijanis from the territories surrounding Karabakh. He is stunning in his disingenuousness and ignorance. As for his framework, he has none. Where does he get the idea that Kosovo and Karabakh are interlinked and that they can be resolved through tradeoffs? Does he imagine that Muslims are one people and constitute a single union? Apparently.

An Arab world moving toward Pan-Arabism and socialism in 1924?!

As to the "Armenian settlement area" – the author might reflect on the Kurds' claims to 90% of that same area, and the bloody history of Kurdish-Armenian relations. If turning over old borders what do you do about Abkhazia, Circassia, and multiple places in the Balkans from where Muslims were expelled. Bring Greeks back into Turkey, too, while we are it? This article was not analysis, but uninformed blathering laced with ethnic invective. The Armenians have suffered enough to deserve such shoddy argumentation. AmCon should be ashamed to have run this.

BluStateConservative 12 hours ago • edited

Turkey regularly threatens Europe with opening the gates with their "refugees" as leverage in negotiations. Erdogan travels to the heart of Europe to encourage the Turkish diaspora to perpetuate their grudges on European soil and encourage them to flex their political muscle to further an Islamist agenda. They slaughtered Armenians, Greeks, and Syriac Christians- never acknowledging the crime or showing remorse. Now they seek to finish what they started with the Armenian Genocide- and the world sits on its hands claiming that both sides are equally responsible.

This is outrageous! Turkey has proved time and time again that it is the aggressor, using threats to get what it wants, and does not behave as an ally. Turkey has single-handily destabilized entire countries in its dream of Neo-Ottoman domination over the region. Time to heavily militarize the Greek- Turkish frontier, kick Turkey out of NATO, and put it on notice that it's adventurism in Libya, Syria, and Armenia will be met overwhelming force. Feeble responses made by the West will only encourage the mad-dog Erdogan.

M Orban BluStateConservative 11 hours ago

I don't think our (US) interest is threatened in those parts. Russia can handle it,it is their back yard.

BluStateConservative M Orban 3 hours ago

It calling for military action by any means, but we can apply pressure on Turkey.

former-vet 10 hours ago • edited

Explains well why Biden spent the other day criticizing the President for not taking a more active role in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Warmongers gonna warmonger. I assume that's one of the main attractions for Biden's supporters - more dead women and children in Asia. They spent eight years driving around with "Support America's Foreign Invasions" yellow ribbon stickers on their SUVs under the last administration Biden was part of.

With not a new war for nearly four years, I can understand why the establishment and Democrat voters are pissed. At least the fake "neoconservatives" are back in the party they belong in.

Blood Alcohol former-vet 9 hours ago • edited

War mongering is like Herpes. You can suppress it, but it's virus never goes away. Biden has had it for years. He supported W's war of choice in Iraq, which led to the carnage of thousands of American 20-somethings, thousands of mental illness sufferers and MILLIONS of dead Iraqi people of ALL ages. He is an unrepentant old neo-con war criminal.

[Oct 11, 2020] Islamist-Marxist MEK's history, including spying on Iran on behalf of Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran, destroying its western cities. After murdering Americans - but the Lobby always gets what it wants, so MEK is now off the terrorist list and instead being funded by the U.S., and housed in a training camp in Albania.

Oct 11, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

>

mick a month ago

MOSSAD UNIT 8200 at work, the tail that shakes the dog. Trying to get the US to start another war for their further domination of the Middle East.

Carpenter E a month ago

Islamist-Marxist MEK's history, including spying on Iran on behalf of Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran, destroying its western cities. After murdering Americans - but the Lobby always gets what it wants, so MEK is now off the terrorist list and instead being funded by the U.S., and housed in a training camp in Albania.

The MEK was founded in 1965 by three Islamic leftists with the goal of toppling the U.S.-supported regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

In the 1970s it undertook a campaign of assassinating U.S. advisers and bombing U.S. corporations in Iran. It supported the 1979 Revolution in Iran, but in 1981 it turned its guns against the Tehran government and began a campaign of assassinations and terrorist operations that resulted in the death of thousands of Iranians, including the executions of its own supporters by government officials, soldiers, police officers, and ordinary people.

It then moved its headquarters to Iraq, made a pact with the regime of Saddam Hussein, which was fighting a ferocious war with Iran. The MEK spied on Iranian troops for Iraq, attacked Iran at the end of Iran-Iraq war with Hussein's support, and helped Hussein put down the uprisings by the Iraqi Kurds in the north and Shi'ites in the south after the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91.

The MEK is despised by the vast majority of Iranians for what they consider to be treason committed against their homeland.

kouroi a month ago

So funny. I remember reading Gore Vidal's novel "Creation", which deals with the Persian Empire, Zoroastrism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Socratic philosophy and morals.

The historical details in the book are relatively well researched, albeit one does get some literary licence for building up characters and story lines, etc. Now the Persian Imperial court is presented in the novel as being choke full of Greek Dissidents clamoring to the King of Kings to attack and subdue Greece/Athens, or what not. Marathon, Salamina, Thermopylae, Plateia follow... The Iranian "dissidents" should learn from their past...

The Athenian "wooden wall" (their ships) is Iran's missile force...

reaganite88 21 days ago

IF TRUE... a big if... this would be somewhat disturbing. One would hope that news outlets in their never-ending search for "content" would vet the authors just a tad.

But still... the rationale for going to war (with Iran or anyone else) rises or falls on its own merits. The arguments raised by these authors are of far more importance than whether the authors are real or fake. Think of how often we have seen academic credentials or military service exaggerated by AMERICAN academics and authors to goose their relevance. They may fall to the wayside as proponents of one thing or another when exposed but their arguments may still be true or false. Same goes for people who do NOT exaggerate their credentials.

I would think it would be far more dangerous if Twitter and other outlets were allowing our ADVERSARIES to create fake personalities promoting PEACE when in fact we need to take action against them.

[Oct 10, 2020] Tell me again how Trump "doesn't want to start a new war": If Trump thinks that he can win re-election by panding to Zionist lonny, he might be mistaken

It time to make him accountable at the election box. Not that it matter much as Biden is yet another neocon and Zionist, but stil...
American people are tied of sliding standard of living, permanent wars and jingoism. Trump might share Hillary fate in 2020, because any illusion that he is for common fold, who voted for him in 2016 now disappeared. So he is not better then neocon Biden and Biden is new bastard. So why vote for the old bastard if we have new, who might be slightly better in the long run
This is a very expensive foreign policy, that doesn't benefit the USA. It has potential to raise the price of oil significantly.
Notable quotes:
"... Behind the move was pressure from the Zionist lobby. President Trump is in need of campaign funds and the lobby provides those. ..."
"... I can also see this green lighting Israeli or joint American-Israeli strikes on alleged Iranian nuclear weapons development sites and other military and petro-state assets. ..."
"... It's disgusting to watch the people of the US/UK/EU go along with this. Western elites are fat, lazy, vicious, and cruel. ..."
"... Paul wrote: "Perhaps a Biden administration would be just as much a Zionist captive as the Trump administration." Yes at least as much or more zionist. Nothing about Harris or Biden (or the DNC) says they won't be. ..."
"... I nominate president Eisenhower as slightly less zionist on one occasion: during the Anglo,French, Zionist Suez invasion of 1956 Eisenhower remarked after numerous UN resolutions condemning the bandit state's aggression ' Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its withdrawal?' ..."
"... "The EU is trying to prop up the US Empire in response to its decline, instead of trying to free itself. " ..."
"... Donald Trump talked up his Iran policy in a profanity-laden tirade on Friday, telling conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh that Tehran knows the consequences of undermining the United States. ..."
"... "Iran knows that, and they've been put on notice: if you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are going to do things to you that have never been done before." ..."
Oct 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
" Why U.S. Elections Do Not Change Its Foreign Policies | Main | The Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh Is Unlikely To Hold " October 09, 2020 Europe And The New Sanctions On Iran

The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on Iran which will make ANY trade with the country very difficult:

[T]he Trump administration has decided to impose yet further sanctions on the country , this time targeting the entirety of the Iranian financial sector. These new measures carry biting secondary sanctions effects that cut off third parties' access to the U.S. financial sector if they engage with Iran's financial sector. Since the idea was first floated publicly , many have argued that sanctioning Iran's financial sector would eviscerate what humanitarian trade has survived the heavy hand of existing U.S. sanctions.

Behind the move was pressure from the Zionist lobby. President Trump is in need of campaign funds and the lobby provides those. The move is also designed to preempt any attempts by a potentially new administration to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran:

This idea appears to have first been introduced into public discourse in an Aug. 25, 2020, Wall Street Journal article by Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg urging the Trump administration to "[b]uild an Iranian [s]anctions [w]all" to prevent any future Biden administration from returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear accord between Iran and the world's major powers on which President Donald Trump reneged in May 2018.

The new sanctions will stop all trade between the 'western' countries and Iran.

The Foreign Minister of Iran responded with defiance:

Javad Zarif @JZarif - 17:30 UTC · Oct 8, 2020

Amid Covid19 pandemic, U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine.

Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties.

But conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity. Culprits & enablers -- who block our money -- WILL face justice.

In response Iran will continue its turn to the east. Russia, China and probably India will keep payment channels with Iran open or will make barter deals.

The Europeans, who so far have not dared to counter U.S. sanctions on Iran, are likely to be again shown as the feckless U.S. ass kissers they have always been. They will thereby lose out in a market with 85 million people that has the resources to pay for their high value products. If they stop trade of humanitarian goods with Iran they will also show that their much vaunted 'values' mean nothing.

The European Union claims that it wants to be an independent actor on the world stage. If that is to be taken seriously this would be the moment to demonstrate it.

Posted by b on October 9, 2020 at 16:37 UTC | Permalink


Thomas Minnehan , Oct 9 2020 17:11 utc | 3
Unconscionable but what is new with pompass and his ghouls; treasury dept responsible for cranking up the sanctions program was formerly headed by a dual citizen woman who resigned suddenly after being exposed as an Israeli citizen-not hard to understand that sentiment in that dept has not changed.

The other aspect here is the FDD as key supporter of these severe sanctions; very virulent anti-Iranian vipers nest of ziocons with money bags from zionist oligarch funders.

karlof1 , Oct 9 2020 17:14 utc | 4
Ho-hum. As I wrote earlier, just the daily breaking of laws meaning business as usual. As noted, Russia has really upped the diplomatic heat on EU and France/Germany in particular, and that heat will be further merited if the response is as b predicts from their past, deplorable, behavior.

Much talk/writing recently about our current crisis being similar in many ways to those that led to WW1, but with the Outlaw US Empire taking Britain's role. I expect Iran's Iraqi proxies to escalate their attacks aimed at driving out the occupiers. IMO, we ought to contemplate the message within this Strategic Culture editorial when it comes to the hegemonic relationship between the Outlaw US Empire and the EU/NATO and the aims of both. The EU decided not to continue fighting against the completion of Nord Stream, but that IMO will be its last friendly act until it severs its relations with the Outlaw US Empire. With the Wall moved to Russia's Western borders, the Cold War will resume. That will also affect Iran.

james , Oct 9 2020 18:33 utc | 13
thanks b... it is interesting what a pivotal role israel plays in all of this... and why would there be concern that biden would be any different then trump in revoking the jcpoa? to my way of thinking, it is just pouring more cement and sealing the fate of the usa either way, as an empire in real decline and resorting to more of the same financial sanctions as a possible precursor to war.. frankly i can't see a war with iran, as the usa would have to contend with russia and china at this point... russia and china must surely know the game plan is exactly the same for them here as well.. as for europe, canada, australia and the other poodles - they are all hopeless on this front as i see it... lets all bow down to the great zionist plan, lol...
Daniel , Oct 9 2020 18:48 utc | 14
Yeah but at least Trump didn't start any new wars. /s

The Eurotools in Brussels are absolutely disgusting. A weaker bunch of feckless, milquetoast satraps is difficult to imagine. The EU perfectly embodies the 21st century liberal ethic: spout virtue signaling nonsense about peace, freedom, human rights and the "rules based international order" while licking the boots of Uncle Scam and the Ziofascists and going along with their war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Russia and China need to step up their game and boldly circumvent the collective punishment sanctions that are choking the life out of Iran, Syria and Venezuela. They still let the rogue states of the west get away with far too much.

augusto , Oct 9 2020 18:52 utc | 15
The Teheran men will not surrender to the yankee herds and hordes. And less so the telavivian.
It s easy to see that in the medium run this cruelly extended crime plays in chinese, russian and shia hands.
And they must start immediately a backlash handing hundreds of special forces and weapons opver to the Houthi hands.
Paco , Oct 9 2020 18:54 utc | 17
the Cold War will resume

The Cold War never ended.

Stonebird , Oct 9 2020 19:20 utc | 20
Of course there is a war on, and it has been gathering force for some time.

Iran is but one more skirmish or battle. However, Xi and Putin are using what I call the "Papou yes". You must always say "yes" as this way you avoid direct conflict, but then you go and do exactly what you were going to do in the first place . The person who does the demanding - having had his/her demands "met" has nothing further to add and will go away. (I have seen this effective technique in action).

At the moment it appears that the aim of the subversive (military/CIA/NGO) wings of the Empire are to start as many conflicts as possible. To isolate and overextend Russia, leading to it's collapse. (As they claim to have done before.)

The "Alternative axis" is just carrying on with it's own plan to overextend and eventually let the US dissolve into its own morasss. The opposition are trying to follow their own plan without giving an opening for the US/NATO to use its numerical military advantage, by not taking the bait.

The ultimate battle is for financial control of the worlds currency, or in the case of the US, to halt the loss of it's financial power. To avoid that The next step could be the introduction of a Fed. owned controlled and issued "digi-dollar", When all outstanding "dollar assets" are re-denominated into virtual misty-money which is created exclusively by the Fed. Banks become unnecessary as the Fed becomes the only "lender" available, Congress redundant, debts no longer matter and so on. Who cares about the reserves held by China and overseas "investors" if their use or even existence can be dictated by the Fed?
They have already published a "trial balloon" about introducing a digi-dollar.

Iran? the US is throwing ALL its cards into what looks like it's final battle to preserve the dollars supremacy. Why cut ALL the Iranian financial system out of their sphere of influence? Because it (thinks) it can and by doing so cower the wavering into obeying.

AtaBrit , Oct 9 2020 19:28 utc | 21
Thanks 'b', very well timed. I was actually heading to the open thread with this article until I saw your piece. This Asia Times article focuses on three key points:

- Iran has replaced the dollar with the Yuan as its main foreign currency
"This may become the east wind for the renminbi (yuan) and provide a new oil currency option for traders in oil-producing countries, including Iran," an editorial on qq.com said. "

- Several large banks in Iran are developing a gold encrypted digital currency called PayMon and had issued more than 1,000 crypto-currency mining licenses, which could promote the development of crude oil. Domestic traders use cryptocurrency to import goods and bypass American banks.

- The Iranian-Swiss Joint Chamber of Commerce
"Switzerland had received a special exemption from US supervisory authorities to allow the SHTA operations."

It remains to be seen how effective the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Agreement actually is. Some say it is nothing but a US propaganda stunt. Hopefully, that is not the case.

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 9 2020 20:37 utc | 31
Sure. Tell me again how Trump "doesn't want to start a new war." Morons.
William Gruff , Oct 9 2020 20:50 utc | 32
What does Iran need that they cannot get from China and Russia? The USA has cheap corn, and the EU has... what, cheese? Other than that I don't see why Iran needs to trade with the empire and its more servile vassals anyway.
Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Oct 9 2020 20:55 utc | 33
Strange, that ther is a jewish or Israeki ´ animosity agains Iran (or agains tthe Medtans -- as thy are all named in all Greek records(H, that theer is a jewish animosity against, that ther is a jewish anikisit agains Iran (or the Medtans -- as thy are old ptt in all Greek Strenge(Hellemistic) tales, Cyrur+s the Great is reported to have liberatet the Jews of Babilon end sent them back to Jerusalem . So, "PRIMO SON VENETANO, SECUNDO SON CHRISTANO" -- STILL A COMMONLY ACCEPTED SAYING INVENEZIA WHEB I VISITED ABD AKED IT IN THE THE YEAR OF 1´2917! Iran (or the Medtans -- as thy are old ptt in all Greek Strenge(Hellemistic) tales, Cyrur+s the Great is reorted to have liberatet te´he Jews of Babilon end sent them back to Jerusalem . So, "PRIMO SON VENETANO, SECUNDO SON CHRISTANO" -- STILL A COMMONLY ACCEPTED SAYING INVENEZIA WHEB I VISITED ABD AKED IT IN THE THE YEAR OF 1´2917! ellenistic) tales, Cyrur+s the Great is reorted to have liberatet te´he Jews of Babylon end sent them back to Jerusalem . So, "PRIMO SON VENETANO, SECUNDO SON CHRISTANO" -- STILL A COMMONLY ACCEPTED SAYING INVENEZIA WHEB I VISITED ABD AKED IT IN THE THE YEAR OF 2017
Paco , Oct 9 2020 21:05 utc | 34
Quite impressed with all the theories about Europe and its behavior. The answer is very simple, Europe is occupied by a foreign power, it is a colony. And all the qualifiers are quaint.
davenitup , Oct 9 2020 21:09 utc | 35
It's the world's loss that great cultures like the Persians have been suppressed for so long. The madness needs to end.
Passer by , Oct 9 2020 21:11 utc | 36
Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 9 2020 20:06 utc | 23

I disagree. What did the EU did on Iran, compared to Russia and China? It stopped most trade with Iran, including the purchase of iranian oil, and it stopped all investment projects. INSTEX is a joke. Meanwhile Germany recently banned Hezbollah.

Yes, they did vote for the JCPOA in the UN. I look at actions rather than words though, and EU has imposed de facto sanctions on Iran.

Moreover, German FM Maas told Israel recently that efforts are underway to keep the Iran arms embargo. (He is also a big "Russia fan" - sarc off)

In other words, we "support" the JCPOA, but in practice with arms and trade embargoes on Iran continuing.

Yeah right.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Oct 9 2020 20:15 utc | 24

No, its not so simple, unless you claim that european russophobia started with the US and did not exist before it. Guy Mettan has a good book on it. It is a thousand years old issue, involving Catholicism, France, Germany, Sweden, Britain, and others.

Yes, the US wants to divide the EU and Russia. But the EU itself is rotten from within.

Politics are more important than the economy, German Chancellor Merkel said in relation to Russia.

"Drang nach Osten" - "Drive to the East".

Germany dreams of capturing Eastern Europe and using is as some sort of colonised labor pool similar to what Latin America is for the US.

And this is why the EU, without any prodding, eagerly took the lead in the attempt of colour revolution in Belarus, where it played far bigger role than the US.

m , Oct 9 2020 21:24 utc | 37
I have to disagree with your assessment.

Signing and adhearing to the JCPOA turned Europe and Iran from opponents into partners. This is a great diplomatic achievement. However, no part of the JCPOA made the two allies or obliged the European side to wage an economic war with the USA on behalf of Iran. On the contrary, the Iranians would be the first to say they are no friends of Europa. They have been complaining about "Western meddling" in their region for years. (Note that they don`t differentiate but always speak collectively of "the West").

So that`s their chance to show the world how much of a sovereign nation they are and that they can handle their problems without the "meddling" of the "despicable" Europeans. There is no obligation - neither legal nor moral - for Europe to take the side of Iran in the US-Iran conflict.

And actually it is both sides - both Iran and the USA - who are unhappy with the current European neutrality.

_K_C_ , Oct 9 2020 21:31 utc | 38
Thanks to MoA for being one of the only honest brokers of news on Iran in the English language. As an American citizen living abroad (in EU) I have a more jaded and at the same time worried feeling about this.

Along with all the other stuff, including the current threat to close the U.S. embassy in the Iraqi "Green Zone" and the accompanying military maneuvers, which would spark war in the region, I see this hardening and expansion of sanctions as yet the next clue that the U.S. and Donald Trump's regime are looking toward re-election and a hot war with/on Iran. Rattling the cage ever more and backing Iran into the corner with brutal, all-encompassing sanctions is already an act of war, usually the first prior to bombs falling. I can also see this green lighting Israeli or joint American-Israeli strikes on alleged Iranian nuclear weapons development sites and other military and petro-state assets.

I hope I'm wrong but we've all seen this before and it never ends well. If the EU shows a spine, or more likely Russia and/or China step in directly, perhaps the long desired neocon/neolib/Zionist hot war against Iran can be avoided.

Perimetr , Oct 9 2020 21:32 utc | 39
I think it is very important for the US to kill another 500,000 children via sanctions, in order to demonstrate the importance of freedom and democracy and observing international law.
AriusArmenian , Oct 9 2020 21:48 utc | 40
While reading this post I was thinking what MoA wrote in the last two paragraphs. And also that Iran will just continue to turn to China, Russia, and others in the East.

It's disgusting to watch the people of the US/UK/EU go along with this. Western elites are fat, lazy, vicious, and cruel.

claudio , Oct 9 2020 22:17 utc | 41
@17 passer by
(and others)
"Europeans can not be helped. Ironically, it is their own rejection of their WW2 past that causes them to reject the multipolar world and sovereignty as "primitive things from the past"

plus, as you point out elsewhere, there are longer histories at play: the Crusades against the Slavs, the Moors and the Turks (and the Arabs, in fact), the invention of "western civilization" in the 19th century (Arians vs Semites, Europe vs Asia, ecc) ...

plus, there is the persisting aspiration for world domination, partly frustrated by WW1 and the upheavals of the XXth century, which transformed the UK and the whole of Europe (with Japan, Australia, etc) in a junior partner of the new US Empire

(that's the other lesson learned from WW2: no single european power could dominate the continent and the world, but they could dominate as junior partners under the new young leader of the wolf pack, the US)

plus, there are is a class war that can be better fought, by national oligarchies, within globalist rethoric and rules

plus, there are the US deep state instruments of domination over european national states

but Europeans (and Usaians) do understand the language of force, and they have - at the moment - encountered a wall in their attempts at expansion, in Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, ecc; an alternative multipolar alliance is taking shape

so they might attempt to win a nuclear war by 20 million deaths to 2 (or 200 to 20, who cares), but they might also decide to tune down their ambitions and return to reality; maybe

wj2 , Oct 9 2020 23:28 utc | 45
@m (#35)
EU promised to uphold JCPOA. They can't because of the US and they are doing next to nothing to change that. EU isn't neutral. They are stooges. Iran is right to complain about it, the US isn't.
Boss Tweet , Oct 9 2020 23:54 utc | 48
Trump is a man of peace, he hasn't started any new wars - whatever that means, lol.

As far as I know economic blocade is tantamount to war. If he wins reelection expect renewed kinetic attacks on venezuela and Iran. He's already lined up his zionist coalition with arabic satraps to launch his Iran quagmire. Trump is a deal maker, he understands the economy and will bring back manufacturing jobs to Murikkka, lol. I'm sure Boeing execs in deep trouble would love to sell plane to the Iranians but Mr. MIGA just made that impossible. Nothing to worry about, there's always the next socialist bailout for Boeing funded by taxpayers - suckers as Trump would call them. So much for winning, can't fix deplorable and stupid...

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/08/iran-deal-fallout-boeing-may-lose-20-billion-in-aircraft-deals.html

Btw b, Trump's opposition to the Iran deal has nothing to do with money or the zionist lobby. Stable genius opposed JCPOA in 2015 even before announcing his run for the presidency. It's not about the mula but all about the mollah's, lol: The Donald in his own words at a tea party event in 2015
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIDNonMDSo8

kooshy , Oct 10 2020 0:00 utc | 49
Ever since the Iranian revolution of 1979 multiple US regimes in DC have been totally successful in making majority Iranian people everywhere in the world, understand that the US is their chronic strategic enemy for decades to come. At same time, these US regimes have equally been as successful in making American people believe Iran is their enemy.
The difference between this two side's belief is, that, Iranian people by experiencing US regime' conducts have come to their belief, but the American people' belief was made by their own regime' propaganda machinery. For this reason, just like the people to people relation between the US and Russian people, Before and after the fall of USSR the relation between US and Iran in next few generations will not come to or even develop to anything substantial or meaningful. One can see this same trajectory in US Chinese relations, or US Cuban. Noticeably all these countries relation with US become terminally irreparable after their revolutions, regardless of the maturity or termination of the revolution. As much as US loves color revolutions, US hates real revolutions. The animosity no longer is just strategic it has become people to people, and the reason and blame goes to Americans since they never were ready to accept the revolutions that made nations self-servient to their interests. The bottom line truth is the US / and her poodles in europe know, ever since the revolution Iran no longer will be subservient to US interests.
Hermius , Oct 10 2020 0:23 utc | 51
This is leverage to bargain away the oil pipeline to germany. That is what is behind it. You scratch my back, the US is saying to the EU, in particular, Germany....
karlof1 , Oct 10 2020 0:25 utc | 52
It's an Economy based on Plunder! , so that's why sanctions here, there and everywhere!! But the real problem is we aren't participating in the Plunder!! Sometimes you gotta use extreme sarcasm to explain the truth of a situation, and that's what Max and Stacey do in their show at the link. 13 minutes of honest reporting about the fraudulent world in which we live. As for Jerome Powell, current Fed Chair, he's complicit in the ongoing criminal activity just as much as the high ranking politicos. Bastiat laid it out 180 years ago, but we're living what he described now. And that's all part of what I wrote @40 above. The moral breakdown occurred long ago but took time to perfect.
joey_n , Oct 10 2020 0:34 utc | 54
Patrick Armstrong did a Sitrep article last month
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2020/09/24/russian-federation-sitrep-24-september-2020/
where he cited an article on Sputnik titled "Macron: Europe 'Will Not Compromise' With Washington on Iran Sanctions"
https://sputniknews.com/world/202009221080541258-macron-europe-will-not-compromise-with-washington-on-iran-sanctions/
Make of it what you will.
Xingu , Oct 10 2020 0:46 utc | 55
I think it is crazy that EU allows US to manage SWIFT to the point they invent new entities to sidestep SWIFT and US sanctions (which are weak and ineffective, but that is the trajectory of their weak attempts at independence). Force SWIFT to equally service all legal transactions according to EU law, and let US cut itself off from all international financial transfers if it doesn't like using EU's SWIFT. US corps won't allow that to happen, it's just that EU refuses to call US bluff. Of course they are now praying for Biden presidency, but if they can't assert themselves it is all ultimately the same thing.
dh , Oct 10 2020 1:17 utc | 58
These 'foreign policy experts' think the trade war with China has been a mistake. But they think Trump is too soft on Russia and he hasn't been tough enough on NK, Iran and Venezuela.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/foreign-policy-experts-rebuke-trump-administration-for-policies-that-emboldened-rivals-alienated-allies-135205214.html

Paul , Oct 10 2020 1:34 utc | 59
It has become a standard trick for outgoing US administrations to saddle the incoming administration with set in stone policies and judicial appointments.

"Behind the move was pressure from the Zionist lobby. President Trump is in need of campaign funds and the lobby provides those. The move is also designed to preempt any attempts by a potentially new administration to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran."

Perhaps a Biden administration would be just as much a Zionist captive as the Trump administration.

The danger for the world is the Trump administration may go even further than additional sanctions. So I refer to the previous post, US policy remains the same whatever bunch are the frontmen.

Theodore Herzl even tried to drag Kaiser Wilhelm11 into the Zionist spider web: https://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2008/07/theodor-herzl-first-photoshopper.html

When that attempt failed they worked on convincing the Sultan of Turkey to give them someone else's homeland. The Zionist Zealot Mr Kalvariski became the administrator of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association with the aim of establishing a jewish suprematist ghetto. Following that flop the Zionists turned to the hapless British and were rewarded by Balfour with his notorious British government double cross of the Arabs. Now it's the turn of the US and assorted captive nations to uphold and support tyranny and Talmudic violence.

Crush Limbraw , Oct 10 2020 1:59 utc | 60

I am SLOWLY coming to the conclusion that DaTrumpster understands DaDeepState better than any of us armchair pundits. His patient - and yes, perhaps faulty strategy - he's still standing after ALL DaCrap that's been thrown at him.
All the 'EXPURTS' - including MoA - can only see part of DaPicture at best.

I've been as hard on DaTrumpster as anyone on DaConservative side - but I am SLOWLY coming to understand WTF just might be going on.

Point - don't be too sure of your immediate inclinations - we ALL see through DaGlass DARKLY!

Don Bacon , Oct 10 2020 2:27 utc | 61
SWIFT is only a messaging system – SWIFT does not hold any funds or securities, nor does it manage client accounts. Behind most international money and security transfers is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system. SWIFT is a vast messaging network used by banks and other financial institutions to quickly, accurately, and securely send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions.
Sunny Runny Burger , Oct 10 2020 2:29 utc | 62
Paul wrote: "Perhaps a Biden administration would be just as much a Zionist captive as the Trump administration." Yes at least as much or more zionist. Nothing about Harris or Biden (or the DNC) says they won't be.

And hasn't it always been that way from one president to the the next? Was there ever one that was less zionist than the predecessor? (Maybe they're all so close this is an impossible question to answer, that too could be the case).

The sitting executive branch gives the favors right now and anyone incoming gives the favors after they win and thus each election becomes a double windfall for the lobby group?

A zionist double dip . Maybe most US voters could grasp it like that.

I can't back this up (much like my previous comment in this thread) but it's my impression. It would probably take a lot of work to make sure it's right; one would have to scrutinize so much over so many decades.

Paul , Oct 10 2020 3:29 utc | 63
@Sunny Runny Burger 60

I nominate president Eisenhower as slightly less zionist on one occasion: during the Anglo,French, Zionist Suez invasion of 1956 Eisenhower remarked after numerous UN resolutions condemning the bandit state's aggression ' Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its withdrawal?'

This could be a useful quote for todays world.

Later, in 1964, Eisenhower approved his hand picked emissary's US $150 million so called Johnston Plan to steal the waters of the Jordan River and further marginalize the Palestine Arabs and surrounding Arab states.

ARI , Oct 10 2020 3:36 utc | 64
Sanctions aren't the story. Once all the players have left the JCPOA, either Israel or the US can claim Iranians are at the point of producing a nuclear weapon. Without the JCPOA and inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities it will be impossible to prove or deny the allegations. Thus giving either the US or Israel justification it wants to conduct military strikes against Iran. The only things stopping this from happening is if the EU stays in the JCPOA...
_K_C_ , Oct 10 2020 3:53 utc | 65
Fully agree with ARI | Oct 10 2020 3:36 utc | 62

Exactly the aim. I said so in an earlier post. This is all part of the program to create a false justification to conduct military strikes inside Iran. At this point, I'm really surprised that the U.S. even tries to construct these narratives after Obama's Syria and Libya operations didn't even really bother, save for a few probably fake "chemical weapons" attack they alleged Assad committed. Libya I don't remember hearing anything. The embassy maybe? After the Soleimani strike and the shootdown of the U.S. drone, not to mention the alleged Iranian attacks on ARAMCO's oil facilities, I'm really quite surprised something more serious (not to minimize the awful acts of war which the sanctions definitely are) hasn't already happened. It will soon, especially if Trump gets re-elected. Wonder what all of his "no new wars" supporters will say then?

Everybody reading knows what SWIFT is. That's a nice attempt to circumscribe the overall sanctions regime and paint it as "no big deal."

Crush Limpbro - Checked out your site. You've got a long way to go before you can criticize MoA. Hope that comment draws a few clicks to keep you going, but I would caution other barflies to use a proxy; could be a honey trap to collect IP addresses.

El Cid , Oct 10 2020 4:10 utc | 66
This United States imposed and Zionist inspired siege on Iran and its people will only further strengthen the political and economic bonds with Russia and China. Meanwhile, the US collapses from its internal social limitations and its abandonment of public healthcare responses to the Corvid 19 pandemic. Europe it close behind the US in this respect.
ARIES , Oct 10 2020 4:17 utc | 67
IRGC Commander-In-Chief: U.S. Is Incapable Of Waging War Against Iran, Its Weapons Are Outdated:

https://toranja-mecanica.blogspot.com/2020/10/irgc-commander-in-chief-us-is-incapable.html

Paul , Oct 10 2020 4:20 utc | 68
ARI @62

What exactly is this 'Justification'.. . 'to conduct military strikes against Iran' that you refer to hasbara boy? Failure to obey foreign imposed zionist diktats?

Would this 'justification' apply to the bandit state if it refused to abide by the NNPT for example?
No double standards pass the test here.

kiwiklown , Oct 10 2020 4:42 utc | 69
Yet another proof that "Western values" and their "rules based international order" mean exactly nothing.

In the past, the West at least kept up some pretense that it was wrong to target unarmed civilians (still, they flattened Driesden; Hiroshima; North Korea, Vietnam, Laos). Today, they do not care to be seen openly, cruelly, brutally, sadistically killing civvies. These American bastards say, "... it is not killing if the victims drop dead later, like, not right now. " Or, "... it became necessary to destroy Iran in order to save Iran."

Iran is perfectly correct to call this a crime against humanity for the West to starve a population of food and medicine. This will boomerang just as the opium-pushing in China will boomerang on the West.

Meanwhile, just as those drug-pushing English bastards earned themselves lordships and knighthoods; just as presidential bastards retire to their Martha Vineyard mansions; so the current crop of bastards in American leadership will retire to yet more mansions, leaving the next couple generations to meet Persian wrath. The American way is to "win" until they are tired of winning, no?

But in truth, in objective reality, only those who have lost their human-ness are capable of crimes against humanity.

michaelj72 , Oct 10 2020 4:50 utc | 71
The US is cruising for a bruising in the middle east fucking with Iran like this. Not that the US hasn't deserved a good knockout punch the past 19 years since invading and destroying Afghanistan and Iraq, etc, etc. Regardless of their rhetoric, how the European rogues and rascals (France, Germany and the UK) can sleep at night is beyond me.
snake , Oct 10 2020 7:00 utc | 75
Yes Psychochistorian @ 1, At the nation state level, EU support for blockade terror and sanction torture (BT&ST), against reluctant nation states and non compliant individuals within those nation states, logically suggests EU nation states are not independent sovereign countries <=EU nation states exist in name only? Maybe its just like in the USA, these private monopoly powered Oligarcks (PMPO), own everything (privately owned copyrights, patents, and property) made possible by rules nation states turn into law. The citizens of those privately owned EU nation states are victims <=in condition=exploitable. Maybe PMPOs use nation states <=as profit support weapons, to be directed against <=any and all <=competition, whereever and however <=competition appears.

The hidden suspects <=capital market linked crowds through out the world..

Media is 92% owned by six private individuals, of the seven typical nation state layers of authority and power: 5 are private and two are public. Additionally, few in the international organizations have allegiance to historic cultures of the nation state governed masses. It is as if, the named nation states are <=threatened by knee breaking thugs, but maybe its not threat, its actual PMPO ownership.

If one accepts PMPO <=to be in control of all of USA and all of allied nation state, one can explain <=current BT&ST events. But private Oligarch scenarios <=raise obvious questions, why have not the PMPO challenged East eliminated <=Israel, MSM propaganda repeatedly blames or points to Israel <=to excuse the USA leaders for their BT&ST policies. Seems the PMPO are <=using the nation states, they own <=to eliminate non complying competition.

What is holding the East back? Russia and China each have sufficient oil, gas and technology to keep things functional, so why has not the competition in the East taken Israel out, if Israel is directing the USA to apply BT&ST against its competitors? Why is the white House so sure, its BT&ST policies will not end up destroying Israel? Maybe because Israel has no real interest <=in the BT&ST policy <=Israel is deceptions:fall guy? The world needs to pin the tail on the party driving USA application of BT&ST because no visible net gain to Governed Americans seems possible from BT&ST policies?

I think Passer @ 17 has hit the nail on its head. "The EU is trying to prop up the US Empire in response to its decline, instead of trying to free itself. "

Norwegian , Oct 10 2020 7:11 utc | 76
@ARI | Oct 10 2020 3:36 utc | 62
Sanctions aren't the story. Once all the players have left the JCPOA, either Israel or the US can claim Iranians are at the point of producing a nuclear weapon.

So you put that forward as a justification for attacking Iran militarily, but that means according to your logic you also have justification for attacking Israel or the US militarily. The rules are the same for all, right?

robin , Oct 10 2020 8:12 utc | 77
Economic warfare is certainly effective. However, time is running out for these weapons as America's lock on the world economy grows weaker. With a rapidly approaching expiry date, the word out may be to use em or lose em.

In a zero-sum great game, it makes sense to deploy such weapons now insofar as an opponent's loss is always a gain for oneself.

jscott , Oct 10 2020 9:26 utc | 79
Donald Trump talked up his Iran policy in a profanity-laden tirade on Friday, telling conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh that Tehran knows the consequences of undermining the United States.

"Iran knows that, and they've been put on notice: if you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are going to do things to you that have never been done before."

Uncle Samuel is setting up a provocation for war.

uncle tungsten , Oct 10 2020 9:45 utc | 81
psychohistorian #1
What a shit show we are seeing. What is the next phase of this civilization war that is not a war because there are not enough dead bodies for some I guess?...but it sure looks like war to me.

Well for the first time in history Iran's symbolic "Red Flag" is still flying above the popular Jamkaran Mosque Holy dome. Perhaps the USA and its running dogs body count has risen in Iraq and Afghanistan? How would we know. These things are disguised from the fearless press in those countries ;)

Perhaps the dead and mangled are many but we do know that the US chief killer in Afghanistan was reduced to ashes immediately following General Shahid Qassem Suleimanis murder by the USA whilst on a diplomatic mission in Iraq.

In respect of b's observation above, the illegal occupier of Palestine is more likely tipping millions into the Harris Presidency as well as the possible Trump Presidency. I doubt either Harris or the biden bait and switch stooge would restore the JCPOA. Besides they would not be invited to sit at the table any time soon IMO. They would likely refuse to any conditions of reversing the sanctions and then carry on about all that 'unreasonable demands by a terrorist state' stuff etc etc.

No, Iran will be getting on with its future in a multilateral world where the United Nations has been reduced to pile of chicken dung by the USA while most other nations go along with global lunacy.


Circe , Oct 10 2020 12:56 utc | 87
You know what's telling about the bootlickers who hem and haw about U.S. policy with the T Administration, but never mention Trump as the real source of it even when profuse Zionist shit spills from his mouth on Limbaugh's show proving he's a Ziofascist pig?

What's telling is that these usual suspects jumped all over ARI @64 for zeroing in on Trump's precise intentions with Iran but they gave a pass to the real HASBARIST in the room, Crush Limbraw @60, exposing himself, putting his HARD-ON FOR TRUMP on full display.

@60 we ALL see through DaGlass DARKLY!
Speak for yourself- you Zionist MORON!

Ahhhhhh, you can always count on the DUPLICITY of MOA'S weathervane james and friends. Me, I ain't here to win a popularity contest like weathervane; I'm here to kick ass when I witness duplicity in action. My friend here is the truth that I'll defend to the grave.

********

Noooo, dum-dums Putin will not come to Iran's rescue when he's warm in bed with his Zionist Oligarchs and Russian squatters whom he pays homage to from time to time when he visits Ziolandia thanking them for choosing the stolen West Bank over Russia.

Iran knows that, and they've been put on notice. That's Trump blowhard driving the drumbeat.

Just rescue me from my self-destructive self for 4 more years, oh kings of Zion and Wall Street, and I'll give you WAR!!! all in CAPS with three exclamation points. The GREATEST war you've ever seen.

Linda Amick , Oct 10 2020 13:07 utc | 88
When I read the Great Reset article on the World Economic Forum website it seems to me that the western Globalists, in concert align the US and EU. That accounts for the basic vassal arrangements that predominate but allow for some nonalignments on certain issues.
Paco , Oct 10 2020 13:24 utc | 89
Posted by: vk | Oct 10 2020 0:58 utc | 56

That is precisely what the Belarusian authorities announced when Tikhanovskaya left Minsk, that she was helped in her way out, but we know how the MSM acts, they stick to their own script, just like a Hollywood movie.

The Belarusians must be watching with great attention what is happening in Kirguizia, riots and complete chaos, and thinking how lucky they were to avoid the color rev that was in the menu for them, which the same methods, discredit the oncoming election, claim fraud after it, use similar symbols like the clenched fist and the heart, new flag, start transliterating family and geographical names to a mythical and spoken by a very small minority language and then nobody knows if to spell Tikhanovskaya, Tsikhanouskaya or like the politically incorrect but street wise Luka called her, Guaidikha. And that is Kirguizia, how about a shooting war in Armenia and Azerbaijan, all those conflicts were unimaginable when the USSR existed, but the empire even on his way down is insatiable.

Circe , Oct 10 2020 13:25 utc | 90
@88 Linda Amick

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=RDPIAXG_QcQNU&feature=share&playnext=1

Paco , Oct 10 2020 13:35 utc | 91
Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2020 12:56 utc | 87

There is over a million jews of Russian origin living in Israel, 20% of the population, with deep roots in Russia, language, culture and relatives. Do not let partisanship for the Dems blind you, a true successful leader is someone that defends his country's interests while at the same time tries to have good relations with everybody else, obviously that balance is not easy to achieve in a world full of conflicting interests, but so far Putin seems to be balancing his act while not loosing sight of the main thing, Russia.

Circe , Oct 10 2020 13:52 utc | 92
Paco, strange name for a Russiabot, oh well...

Nice way of putting: Putin belongs to the Zionist Club.

FYI, I'm not blind. I'm one of those special beings who was born with two extra eyes...in the back of my head.

Jackrabbit , Oct 10 2020 13:56 utc | 93
Circe @Oct10 12:56 #87
Putin will not come to Iran's rescue when he's warm in bed with his Zionist Oligarchs

If Putin is so close to Zionists, then why does Russia block the Zionist regime-change in Syria? Why has Russia denied Israel and USA entreaties to allow them to bomb Iran?

Russia Warns U.S. and Israel That Iran Is Its 'Ally' and Was Right About Drone Shoot Down

!!

Paco , Oct 10 2020 14:03 utc | 94
Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2020 13:52 utc | 92

Not as strange as a mythological demigoddess that turned sailors into swain and that now enjoys to plunge into the mud with her creatures. A bot, what an easy label, it has lost any meaning.

Paco , Oct 10 2020 14:12 utc | 95
special beings who was born with two extra eyes...in the back of my head.

Alaska yellow fin sole, not bad, from Bristol Bay, but the Melva -a tunafish species with more oil in its meat- I cooked for lunch, just caught, has a lot more fish oil with its rich contents of vitamin D, add sunny Mediterranean weather and that is my pill for today, trying to keep the bug at bay.

expat , Oct 10 2020 14:39 utc | 96
Circe, why don't you do what your namesake would have done and whip yourself up some meds to calm down? You're starting to lapse into excessive use of upper case, italics, exclamation points, bolding, profanity, and of course, insults.

This may help. It looks like the orange man is in fact going down, so you will soon have Joe and Kamal empowered to dismantle the evil Putin-Netanyahu-Trump axis, and put the US back on the path to truth and justice.

Circe , Oct 10 2020 14:41 utc | 97
@93 Jackrabbit

It's called... lip service.

@94,95 Fransisco

A bot by any other name will smell as fishy. 🤭
Just messing with you!

ptb , Oct 10 2020 14:44 utc | 98
The unilateral and illegal-under-JCPOA sanctions mean it's time for EU to either confront the extraterritorial US policy it has clearly rejected in principle, or (more likely) acknowlege that it remains in practice just a collection of 'client states'. A sad moment for me, but useful for clarity.
Paco , Oct 10 2020 14:48 utc | 99
Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2020 14:41 utc | 97

Hard to understand but you guys are incapable of spelling the name of a once great US city, San Francisco. I heard it has changed a lot, got to see long time ago, before the digital craze.

juliania , Oct 10 2020 15:51 utc | 100
This is a brief but subtle post by b, with quiet but telling headline. Perhaps, just guessing, a new take on the post he was having difficulty with earlier? The question of the EU is an interesting one - not to be considered as virulent as the former Soviet Union, but somehow as tugged at by the components thereof...

Sanctions on Iran? We do know what Iran is capable of; surely we have not forgotten? Indeed, by pressing these sanctions at this late date, the Trump administration surely has not forgotten either the effect sanctions had on Russia. They were postive to that country's independent survival, though the immediate effect was demonstrably harsh. So now, sanctions on Iran? One doesn't have to be a world leader to suppose similar cause, similar effect.

Ah, Paco has a wonderful meal of a beneficial fish called the Melva! Bravo, Paco; all is not lost! But you have hooked the sea-serpent as well -- take care! That one - carefully remove the hook and set it free ;)

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[Oct 10, 2020] psychohistorian

Oct 10, 2020 | www.lettinggobreath.com

1

next page " Nice posting b

Yes, it is time for EU countries to show their true colors which will be ass kissers for empire, most likely.

Folks are saying Nord Stream II is being finished but will it ever go into use?

And of course this is not war because Trump hasn't started any wars, right?

What a shit show we are seeing. What is the next phase of this civilization war that is not a war because there are not enough dead bodies for some I guess?...but it sure looks like war to me.

bevin , Oct 9 2020 17:07 utc | 2
The next phase would appear to be Kyrgyzstan: from Belarus east to Sinkiang and Hong Kong the subversion and the attempts at regime change are constant.

While Eurasia seeks to unite for peace and prosperity, the United States and its sleazy satrapy is constantly trying to divide and weaken, to undermine and to intimidate. In doing so it relies heavily on abusing the tattered lineaments of democracy- electioneering and propagandising, the relics of a western culture which has become nothing more than a hollow shell containing an increasingly totalitarian plutocracy.

Joseph Dillard , Oct 9 2020 17:32 utc | 5
All this simply moves Iran into closer confederation with Russia and China and strengthens its resolve to send US middle eastern troops packing. Soon there will be a strong Russia-China-Iran axis that is immune to all Western sanctions. Those countries who are part of the BRI will get privileged economic treatment. The advantages will become increasingly apparent and the economic disadvantages of staying allied with the US will become increasingly apparent as well, particularly in light of the approaching collapse of the dollar. As long as we manage to avoid a hot war the civilizational die is cast; the US has chosen its destiny, in the dustbin of history, at least as a neoliberal oligarchy. When and how it will reinvent itself is an open question, but it is not unreasonable to think it will take decades. While Europe will eventually align with Eurasia, it will take another generation of politicians before that happens.
Loftwork , Oct 9 2020 17:36 utc | 6
If Iran isn't self-sufficient now, it will be by the time the US is finished with it. That isn't a comfortable place to be but with key sector support from the Eastern bloc it's at least as manageable as Cuba. The question is whether and how fast the Eastern bloc can consolidate its resources by e.g. petrodollar replacement and better shared infrastructure. The Eastern bloc isn't ideal, but when the West is apparently encouraging something like a holocaust of suffering humanity, it's the only other game in town.
Nathan Mulcahy , Oct 9 2020 17:39 utc | 7
No, this is not the moment. This is the last chance. Oh, these vassals with zero integrity and character!
Hoyeru , Oct 9 2020 17:40 utc | 8
High time for both Russia and China and Iran/Cuba/Venezuela to really get together and start speaking with one voice and show the despicable USA/West/NATO that they will stand together and defend each other. Otherwise it's all over.

Specific steps to implement:
1. create and begin using an alternative to the SWIFT and invite anyone who is being sanctioned by USA/West to join them
2. openly and officially declare that their currencies are backed by gold
3. openly and officially begin to speak against USA's actions around the world at the UN and invite anyone who is being sanctioned by USA/West to join them
4. get together and openly declare to the world they stand as one and to invite
anyone else who is being harassed by USA/West/NATO to join them
5. immediately begin clean up of all the terrorists/CIA Operatives in in Central Asia otherwise they will be in deep trouble

what are Putin and Xi doing?? Come on guys, wake up!

MichaelW , Oct 9 2020 17:46 utc | 9
EU and US. Just playing classical
And Trump don't make Amerika "Too big to fail" alone. But double down
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-a510221c9228a7d1b9f383b3428db349
When you owe 5000€, you're afraid of your crédit or but when You owe 5000 T$, Who is afraid ?

Financial House of Card let them no choice but to S***MyD***, and wait

David G , Oct 9 2020 18:14 utc | 10
In March, Germany announced that the first transaction had been completed using Europe's INSTEX system to skirt sanctions -- more than a year after the scheme had supposedly been put in place.

I haven't seen anything further about it. Has it enabled any significant level of trade?

One Too Many , Oct 9 2020 18:20 utc | 11
Now I understand why Javad Zarif is in China for a two-day meeting:

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-10/08/c_139426303.htm

I guess it wasn't for the National Holiday?

Don Bacon , Oct 9 2020 18:28 utc | 12
Why would anyone need anything not Made in China? Plus China is the EU's second highest trade partner (after US) so Iran could have access to some of that if for some reason they needed an EU product. . . .Meanwhile Iran will be even more self-sufficient, as Russia has become with EU sanctions. . . .The US has been trying self-imposed "sanctions" (China uncoupling) to become more self-sufficient but it's not working.
Caliman , Oct 9 2020 18:53 utc | 16
EU continues its self-imposed slide into irrelevance. I suppose a servant's life is an easier life: you don't have to think for yourself and just need to please master. But it can hardly be a satisfactory experience, can it? Especially when the collar is held by such as Trump and Pompass.

The winds of change are coming and they will be interesting. China's economy is already greater than the US and that will expand many fold over the next few decades. The $ economy will not survive this, especially not as the US has shown it will use its power corruptly. The EU batter consider this; do they want to be part of the past or the future?

Passer by , Oct 9 2020 19:09 utc | 19
There is something much more significant happening with Europe, that is more than the Iran issue.

The EU is trying to prop up the US Empire in response to its decline, instead of trying to free itself.

The EU has chosen the side of the US against the multipolar world. It will be trying to prop up the Empire.

It is becoming increasingly hostile to any country that isn't a puppet to the US, like itself, and is lashing out at those countries. Like a zombie, it wants to infect others with its infection, and turn every other country into US puppets too. It thinks that this is normal and it wants to spread that "normality" to the rest of the world too.

Many analysts are already mentioning that the EU is becoming increasingly hostile to Russia.

Recently, serious statements came from Russian officials:

"Russia will not follow EU and US rules".

"There will be no more business as usual between Russia and France and Germany".

"France and Germany are now leading the anti-russian block within Europe".

"Russia will no longer be dependent on the EU".

"Europeans have delusions of grandeur".

These are all statements by Lavrov and Zacharova.

Recently, we have seen Germany and France banning Huawei, Europe together with US blocking the OPCW investigation at the UN, and Germany leading the charge at the UN stage against China. EU also took the lead in the colour revolution in Belarus.

There are two recent statesments by the french foreign minister and by the EU commision chief:

"Europe needs to unite against Russia and Turkey".

Surveys also show rising levels of anti-chinese hatred in Europe, and not only in the US.

What has happened is far more serious than the europeans being "feckless U.S. ass kissers". It is worse than that.

The EU chose the side of the US against the multipolar world. It does not want to free itself from the US. Actually it thinks that it is normal to be a puppet, that others should be US puppets too, and that a joint EU-US Empire should be supported, so that some kind of world wide liberal utopia can be build by it.

Europeans are psychologically damaged by WW2 and this is affecting their geopolitical behavior, turning them into forever puppets of the US.

They can not free themselves because when they were free once, they "did very bad things". Therefore they should always follow their "better" and "Big Daddy" US, who "freed them from themselves" and "put them in the right way".

Europeans can not be helped. Ironically, it is their own rejection of their WW2 past that causes them to reject the multipolar world and sovereignty as "primitive things from the past", and thus support a transnational globalist western empire that is here "to bring Utopia on Earth". For them Russia, China, Iran, India, Turkey etc. are just a bunch of primitives that are tryng to turn back the clock.

And thus it will increasingly start to lash out at any country that isn't a US puppet as those countries prevent the coming of Utopia.

[Oct 06, 2020] What's at stake in the Armenia-Azerbaijan chessboard by Pepe Escobar

Oct 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

Yevardian , says: October 2, 2020 at 1:23 am GMT

And I suspect that Azerbaijan will do no harm to the Armenian civilians that stay. They'll be model liberators. And they'll take time to bring back Azerbaijani civilians (refugees/IDPs) to their homes, especially in areas that would become mixed as a result of return."

I never read such rubbish in my life.

AJ , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:02 am GMT
@Yevardian

Agreed, this is rubbish. "Mr. C" – assuming someone like this even exists, is either terribly misinformed or an outright liar. Basically, if we follow Escobar's logic, Armenian's are making a mistake by not agreeing to surrender their lives to the peace loving and rather humanistic dictatorship of Azerbaijan. While he touches on some relevant points, overall, Escobar has not done his homework and has come up with quite a bit of drivel.

Ann Nonny Mouse , says: Website October 2, 2020 at 3:39 am GMT

Pepe, you didn't mention the Armenian Genocide, the Greek Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide, all perpetrated by Turkey.

Why not? Would the Azeris, all Turks, be different? You say the Azeris if they won, Turks, would treat the Armenian population nicely. Huh?

I remember from Runciman's book on the First Crusade that the Turks had already taken over much of Anatolia but he seems to mention Armenians at every turn (from memory -- don't have the book handy).

My impression is that before the Genocide the Armenians were all over Anatolia. There was a narrow coastal strip at the western end that was historically part of Greece, and many different peoples of Asia Minor are mentioned in the NT, but they arguably were all Armenians, making the Armenians the indigenous people of Anatolia.

How is it that Turkey was allowed to keep part of Europe after WWI when they were losers? And did they keep faith? Is the current St Sophia turmoil the norm of Turkish good faith?

Time for all the Turks to get out of Anatolia, give it back to Armenia, and head for Azerbigan.

Aking , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:23 am GMT

Good article. What a web of " frenemies"

Anon [166] Disclaimer , says: October 2, 2020 at 6:00 am GMT
@Yevardian having been disciplined for some years now is, once again, at the throat of the west. Europe spent millions of lives and huge resources throwing the Moors out last time. If they don't take a stand and support Armenia they may very well have to do it again. As far as the mythical Mr C is concerned he comes across, to me, as yet another apologist for the Religion of Peace. Obviously cucked NATO will not help Armenia, they have neither the intestinal fortitude nor the will, so it will be left to Russia and the Visigrad nations, in the mean time Turkey is attempting to take Greek territory, Syrian territory, Libyan territory and anything else that it can get it's mitts on and the West does absolutely nothing. This will not end well.
true.enough , says: October 2, 2020 at 7:20 am GMT

I found this piece difficult to read: lots of data and suppositions scattered about.

Ankara, oh Ankara! Erdogan is overstretched, that's a fact.

Wielgus , says: October 2, 2020 at 7:26 am GMT
@Yevardian

I think few Armenian civilians will take the chance but I very much doubt Azerbaijanis will be "model liberators". The new Azerbaijani state was born from the Sumgait and Baku pogroms. I also don't think they will delay in moving Azeris into areas formerly inhabited by Armenians – their role model Erdoğan has been trying to change facts on the ground by moving ethnic Turks into Kurdish areas in his own country.

Tommy Thompson , says: October 2, 2020 at 10:15 am GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse endeavor, even if they were the majority, though most accounts say they were 40%.

I would strongly urge the Armenians to get off their nationalist high horse and solve the problem diplomatically and learn to live with their neighbors. Super nationalism is a dangerous and fake mantra that usually leads to disaster. My understanding was that the Azeris and Armenians always got along before this debacle. They should try to work out things and get back to a their original multi-cultural paradigm, that is living side by side instead of fighting and dying over territory and national flags. Live is short and when we pass to the other side you dont carry your flag with you.

Rahan , says: October 2, 2020 at 11:48 am GMT

The Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence in 1991: but that was not recognized by the "international community"

Just to throw in quickly that if Kosovo is "recognized", then bleeding Karabakh should also long since have been recognized. Especially since the Armenians have an actual holocaust in their 20th century past.

reezy , says: October 2, 2020 at 2:43 pm GMT
@Anon

I believe that it was Winston Churchill who said that the Turk was either at your feet or at your throat

Actually he said that about the Germans. Though it sounds like one of those patronizing aphorisms that can easily apply to anyone.

Lin , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:29 pm GMT

Sabre dance–A famous piece of Armenian music composed by Khachaturian

https://www.youtube.com/embed/aH2Gpdr-WrA?feature=oembed

Aking , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:35 pm GMT
@Rahan

So, seems like the way to get sympathy to rob territory is to make full use of any "genocide" one had suffered as excuse . worked very well ( in fact, spectacularly well) so faR with the Chosen ones .

Showmethereal , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:19 pm GMT

Well i admittedly dont know enough about the situation to try to critique this piece as some of the other comments on here But i am skeptical about Armenia and their stated intent. If it is reallly about protecting an ethnic group – then why not offer them citizenship to move into your territory??? That would lead me to believe it is more about land and resources

Showmethereal , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:23 pm GMT
@true.enough

Yeah i dont know the nitty gritty in this conflict – but i do agree Edrogan seems to be biting off more than he can chew He has too many pots on the fire it seems. Kurds – Qatar/Saudis – Libya – Syria – Greece – Cyprus – and now this..?

Derer , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:33 pm GMT

Aside from refusing to participate against their Muslim cousins (Afghanistan, Libya), Turkey is using NATO doctrine quite effectively. It is a useful bullet prove vest for Erdogan. The Brussels morons will be sorry for not expelling Turkey from their military club long time ago.

SZ , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:37 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse driven to the Syrian desert AFTER some of them had aligned with the Russians who were about to invade eastern Anatolia in 1915. Similarly, most of Crimean Tatars were expelled from Crimea AFTER some of them had aligned with the invading Germans in 1941. As another comparison, American-Japanese living at the Pacific coast were banished to camps in the interior AFTER the Japanese army had attacked Pearl Harbor and not before.
When a group of people kill or drive out another group it's usually not for the fun of it but rather due to necessities of survival, whatever evil that might require at that particular time depending on the particular circumstances.
Surprised , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:50 pm GMT

It would be interesting to read a scholarly exposition on what the USSR and governments in Eastern Europe proper did or did not do to educate people away from their ancient hatreds, and why whatever they did do appears not to have been particularly successful. Or was it mostly successful and the hatreds were much more intense before 1917?

Tommy Thompson , says: October 2, 2020 at 8:04 pm GMT
@SZ

The ethnic cleansing of the Armenians was pretty bloody and barbaric and was meant as a public spectacle for reasons that are argued about till today.

It was well recorded by the inhabitants of Syria.

Uprising against your rulers does not give the rulers right to carry out genocide or ethnic cleansing in any case.

Anonymous [334] Disclaimer , says: October 3, 2020 at 2:52 am GMT

The entire Jewish American lobby and Israel are on Azerbaijan's side and anti-Armenian, just as when they were working with Turkey to deny the Armenian genocide.

Israel has also sold billions of dollars of weapons to Azerbaijan which the latter is using against Armenians. Israel gets oil from Azerbaijan

Of course, Azerbaijan and Turkey have imported jihadists from Syria and Libya to fight Christian Armenians now.

Apparently, Pepe, you and the Jewish lobby, Israel, Turkey, and the jihadists are on the same side.

Congratulations.

P.S. It would take a hundred pages to list all the factual errors you made. For example, Armenians were still the clear majority in Artsakh/Karabagh in 1988 and 1991. Armenians there had been grossly mistreated by Azerbaijan for decades.

The fighting occurred in the late 1980s only because Azerbaijan, backed by the Russian military, killed and harrassed Armenians. The Azeris also committed massacres of Armenians who were living in Baku and Sumgait in the late 1980s.

Stalin also placed Nakhichevan, an Armenian territory, inside Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan kicked out every Armenian from Nakhichevan. Azerbaijan was doing that to Artsakh/Karabagh too.

No wonder Artsakh voted to be independent from Azerbaijan, something you don't want to understand.
Better luck next time trying to fool readers, Pepe.

Felix Keverich , says: October 3, 2020 at 6:46 am GMT

The key fact remains that as long as Armenia proper is not attacked by Azerbaijan, Russia will not apply the CSTO treaty and step in. Erdogan knows this is his red line. Moscow has all it takes to put him in serious trouble – as in shutting off gas supplies to Turkey.

Russia isn't going to shut off gas to Turkey. Russia never does that (shutting off gas). It's a Western canard.

Russia could, however, impose a no-fly-zone over Georgia, effectively blocking resupply and reinforcements to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is almost completely surrounded by Russian allies and bases. They rely on Georgia for military transit.

Druid , says: October 3, 2020 at 7:29 am GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse

Ignorant post. Armenian nationalist were active in Russia prior to ww1, then supported Russian entrance into Turkish territory because they shared a religion. They stabbed the ottomans , of which they were a big part, in the back. The young Turks , who were actually donmeh jews, had them marched off to Syria and lebanon, etc, causing many deaths! The Armenian is still causing trouble for the Turks. They sided with the mongols in their battles against the Muslims, along wit the Georgians, repeatedly. More to a small story

anon [154] Disclaimer , says: October 3, 2020 at 11:51 pm GMT

What's going to happen to USA? The poverty and racial intolerance ,both seem to be undermining the stability and the ideological integrity of the country . I see many states emerging from the body of America.But the problems will not be resolved . It might just like like Caucasian territory or Balkan .

Anonymous [231] Disclaimer , says: October 4, 2020 at 3:25 am GMT
@Yevardian

Pepe appears to be on the side of Azerbaijan, and thus also on the side of Turkey, Israel, the Jewish lobby, and jihadists.

Nice company.

vot tak , says: October 4, 2020 at 11:58 pm GMT

Reading this, my suspicion is this "mr. c" is part of the western disinformation machine, probably operating for the israelis.

Semiogogue , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:47 am GMT

1. BTC is described as 'bypassing Iran'. One could easily argue it also bypasses *Russia* . Perhaps that's what made it necessary for Soros & others to peel Georgia off from Russian control back in the day? Look how Russia responded by recapturing the Georgian Military Highway (South Ossetia).

2. Look in general at how Russia is willing to give up huge areas of territory so long as she keeps key strategic points of control: South Ossetia, Crimea, Transnistria, Abkhazia and Armenia. Smell the coffee.

3. 2. 'Mr. C' is quick to mention Baku/Ankara joint exercises in August, but fails to mention Kavkas 2020 exercises led by Russia. Uh duh.

4. 'Mr. C' seems to ignore the fact that Armenia couldn't have taken that territory in first place, or kept it, w/out Russian assistance. And idea 'Russia can do nothing' is absurd. As is the idea that Russia can't supply Armenia because there's no land connection. Did the allies have any problem keeping West Berlin supplied by air? Of course not. All nonsense.

5. The idea that there is a 'Russia/Turkey' strategic partnership is also silly. Where is this partnership? Turkey buying S-400s? So what? Are they in partnership in Syria? In Libya? No. So why would they be in N-K?

6. Weird. No mention of China and it's growing relationship with Turkey. This probably tells you all you need to know about the author. Unless of course the author is just a fool, which is also possible.

Jivinski , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:04 am GMT

"Yet even before the collapse the Azerbaijani Army and Armenian independentists were already at war (1988-1994), which yielded a grim balance of 30,000 dead and roughly a million wounded."

This is a wounded-to-killed ratio of thirty-three to one. Doesn't make sense.

Majority of One , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:35 am GMT

Were Russia to be as devious and underhanded as the puppet regime in the Di$trict of Corruption, they would arrange for an overthrow of the present NATO/EU/U$ regime in Yerevan. With those bastards out of the way and Armenia no longer playing double jeopardy, it might be possible for a new Orthodox oriented Armenian government to come to some sort of arrangement with Baku.

At the same time, perhaps Syrian spetsnaz units could practice some infiltration tactics into Turkish semi-occupied "greater" Idlib and Ghurka style, behead a few Turkish officers running the show there.

"Sultan" Erdogan is playing loose and wild with his shattering economy and massive military. It is high time he was given a black-eye–one that would cause him to lose face among his own countrymen.

Mactoul , says: October 5, 2020 at 5:08 am GMT
@SZ

How many of the Japanese-American deportees died as consequence of deportation vs how many Armenians that died as consequence of their deportation.

It is not deportation that is alleged to be the Turkish crime but genocide. Please keep it mind.

Yukon Jack , says: October 5, 2020 at 5:16 am GMT

This is my educated guess, the Anglo-Zionists led by Rothschild and Netanayahu destablize the oil in the Middle East to keep their prices of oil in USD above 100 $/barrel

They have also blown up oil derricks in the North Sea, shut down Iranian and Iraq and Syria oil production. The game is clear, low oil prices are being met with wiping out the competition.

And causing hell in Iran and Venezueala. Back in 1954 Operation Ajax took out Mossadeq and installed the Shah – puppet of big oil. Before it was BP it was the Persian Gulf Oil Co. BP is owned mostly by the crown.

Trump's secretary of state was Rex Tillerson CEO Exxon just like GW Bush picked Condoleeza Rice CEO Chevron to be his national security advisor.

The Israel angle is to get Iran and to goad Russia into war with the USA, the eventually goal is that USA-Russia-China are reduced while Jews rule the world from Jerusalem.

How much you wanna bet Bibi Satanyahu has a hand in this war? And Evangelical Christians will support Israel even if this war kills lots of Armenian Christians just like in Syria.

Since this war in on Russia's doorstep Putin an Lavrov will try negotiations first then what will they do next. Putin has vowed the war will never come to Russia which means Russia will enter the theater on the anti-Zionist side.

Have you noticed every state within a few hundred miles of Israel is being torched and the natives driven out?

Ghali , says: October 5, 2020 at 6:17 am GMT

Back again to Pepe Escobar's distortions of reality. Nagorno-Karabakh is an Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory. In fact, no country in the world recognises it as an "Independent" as Escobar likes to mislead us. Armenia should do the right thing and withdraw its forces, including foreign militants from there. Like Israel, Armenia is playing the role of a victim of a "holocaust".

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:20 am GMT

Considering that the 2nd largest US/NWO Embassy in the World is in Armenia – a country of 2.9 million people, and that the new President was put in power by the West – the end game is to continue to surround Russia, screw up the New Silk Road, and be at Iran's back door too. As said before , the domestic USA can totally look like the USSR in the 90s, but the NWO Foreign policy money is 100% – guaranteed. What do all those thousands of workers in that huge Embassy compound do ?

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:30 am GMT
@Tommy Thompson

Actually, once the Armenians were genocided , the Jewish bankers were the big shots left in Turkey. H Morgenthau, our Turkish ambassador along with being jewish himself, wrote about it in his reports. The Game hasn't changed much – it stays the same. Thanks.

J , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:44 am GMT

About a third of Iran's population is Azeri. Should they develop interest in the conflict, Iran may become involved. That would align Turkey and Iran vs Russia. That would be something.

ARemo , says: October 5, 2020 at 8:48 am GMT
@Yevardian

Damn right. We already have experience what happens when Turks get control of Christian Armenians – systematic gang rapes and death marches are the rule of the day. Turks are animals and letting them control any portion of Armenia is basically turning that place into a concentration camp.

Ming Shih-tsung , says: October 5, 2020 at 10:58 am GMT
@Yevardian

"Mr. C" probably stands for Cemal, given how biased he is.

anon [229] Disclaimer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@Yukon Jack Pahlavi ruled post 1953.

Fact: 1979 was the year that "big oil" LEGAL contracts were to expire and the "puppet" Shah had threatened as early as 1973 (when he was instrumental in making OPEC a powerful entity) that in 1979 Iran "would sell Iranian Oil to any buyer, at market prices".

Fact: Iran, in 1978 produced 6 million barrels per day. It has never been permitted to reach those levels again.

Fact: Chinese, Indian, Syrian, Venezuelan, and God knows who else, all projects of the Global Cabal have been getting Iranian Oil (under their engineered boxing of Iranian nation) at levels that very likely are equal if not LOWER than the terms the Qajar idiots gave the insatiablely greedy and slimey English.

Alfred , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:05 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse Genocide, all perpetrated by Turkey.

And you did not mention that the only quarters of Smyrna/Izmir that were not torched in a fire in 1922 were the Jewish and Turkish quarters – what a surprise! An antecedent to 9/11. Here is the Jewpedia hiding the real story – as usual.

The Armenian and Greek quarters were destroyed and the Jews got a monopoly on the commerce. Done deal!

Great fire of Smyrna

Wielgus , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:09 pm GMT
@GMC

If the "colour revolution" assumptions were in force, there would be a host of denunciations of Azerbaijan and Turkey (the latter perhaps the real prime mover in this) by the USA and EU etc. There aren't. The USA and EU may even tacitly support the Azerbaijanis, perhaps they hope the Russians and Iranians will become entangled in this affair and so forth.

Ugetit , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:14 pm GMT
@vot tak

my suspicion is this "mr. c" is part of the western disinformation machine, probably operating for the israelis.

While I know nothing about the situation, after reading the article and the mostly excellent comments, I suspect your suspicion is correct.

Alfred , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:38 pm GMT

I have a suggestion.

How about swapping Nagorno-Karabakh for North Cyprus. I am sure the Greeks would be very happy to live with the Armenians. But the Sultan's dreams of owning the Eastern Mediterranean would come to naught.

anon [137] Disclaimer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:45 pm GMT
@Lin

I've always associated that piece with the circus not knowing the title or its origin.

Stebbing Heuer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Stalin did nasty things like that to keep the republics feuding with each other rather than pushing back against Moscow. The mixed-up borders of the 'stans, further east, are testament to this. Fergana Valley?

Divide and rule. Still costing lives in pointless wars almost 100 years later.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:07 pm GMT

At stake is the very existence of the Armenian people. Turkey is trying to finish what remains of them after the genocide last century. Both Erdoghan and Aliev have stated, that they want a "final solution" to the "Armenian problem".

It's an existential battle for the Armenians.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:09 pm GMT
@Yevardian

We all know what they did to the Armenians in 1915.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:11 pm GMT
@Alfred

Exactly. The history of Turkey since 1880-s is full of ethnic cleansings and genocides of the non-muslim people such as Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians.

MLK , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:16 pm GMT

My thanks to Escobar for taking on a subject rather obviously not susceptible to 2,700 word essays, along with attention worthy links.

His biases are not my own but he's thoughtful and certainly doesn't hide them.

In this and so many other incidents we can see how thoroughly Trump has moved the American ship of state despite the relentless efforts of foreign and domestic resistance to neutralize America First and destroy him.

It's really quite something the way Obama's presidency in all its disastrous fullness has been memory-holed. The defense of it being that it merely extended Bush's world-historical incompetence and malefactions.

Could you have turned US unipolarity following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact into a "moment" if you tried? I couldn't.

You will be way ahead of most everyone if you get your mind around that and the geopolitical sad story that is CCP China winning the post-Cold War quarter-century hands down.

We inevitably come back to the point that the whole drama can be interpreted from the perspective of a NATO geopolitical hit against Russia – according to quite a few analyses circulating at the Duma.

Ukraine is an absolute black hole. There's the Belarus impasse. Covid-19. The Navalny circus. The "threat" to Nord Stream-2.

To pull Russia back into the Armenia-Azerbaijan drama means turning Moscow's attention towards the Caucasus . . .

I confess that I get no end of enjoyment over bellyaching on behalf of those powers the Obama administration was turning the world over to. Nord Stream II was merely the down payment on Russia's assistance/acquiescence in throwing the electron to Hillary, with the sky the limit for China, Russia and Iran once Democrats and their foreign allies had neutralized free and fair elections.

Now all of these powers must deal with a real POTUS who asks "What have you done for the US lately?"

The USG and Russia have cooperated where geopolitical interests align. More will follow once Trump takes the oath again. As I've explained previously, despite its high-risk position in the Resistance matrix, Russia/Putin have (unsurprisingly, to me) acted skillfully and with circumspection.

The same cannot be said for Iran. Nor China, particularly since the end of last year.

Ashino Wolf Sushanti , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:27 pm GMT

https://www.putin-today.ru/archives/109463
https://vz.ru
Михаил Мошкин

Why Russia needs Azerbaijan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The aggravation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh has raised a number of questions. In particular, why Moscow is in no hurry to stand up for Armenia and why it does not sharply criticize
Azerbaijan. The answer is that Moscow and Baku have very close relations, and not only economic relations. So what is the value and irreplaceability of Azerbaijan for Russia?

[MORE]
Z-man , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:52 pm GMT

Border and population changes are in order. A quarter of N-K goes back to Azerbaijan and the rest closer to Armenia proper plus the capital city goes to Armenia with a 50 mile wide band connecting it with the rest of Armenia. The Azeris get the rest of their lands now occupied by the Armenians. Will it happen? Probably not, just look at Kosovo..

God's Fool , says: October 5, 2020 at 2:05 pm GMT

There is a province between Ngorno Karabakh and Armenia proper of roughly of the same size belonging to Azerbaijan, so why not just exchange it with each other to avoid further conflict and bloodshed?

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 2:57 pm GMT
@God's Fool

There is no guarantee that Turkey will not try to then eliminate whatever remains of Armenia.

Remember, Turkey genocided Armenians and wiped out close to 80% of them in 1915 through 1922. Armenian populated areas stretched from what is now Armenia until the shores of Eastern Mediterranean. The only thing that is left of it is Kessab in modern day Syria.

Majority of One , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:14 pm GMT
@Ghali nial borders are fake, false and fraudulent, whether in Asia or Africa. Over time, justice will prevail and borders will reflect the ethno-national composition of its long-term inhabitants.

That said, the current regime in Yerevan needs to be overthrown, as it was established in conjunction with the interests of the Cabal/Nato and their various puppet regimes. Armenia is the oldest Orthodox Christian nation in the world and was severely genocided by the Donmeh covert Jewish Masons who called themselves the "Young Turks" who were led by Enver Pasha.

By the way, who are you, Ghali? Do you have a dog in the fight? Are you connected with an intel agency?

anaccount , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:21 pm GMT

Excellent article, normally I pass over Pepe for the naughty articles on Unz but I might have to take another look.

My only critique is that the article feels pro-Azeri but that's balanced with an informative description how this started in July, including an accurate appraisal of Turkish behavior.

I'm not Azeri or Armenian so I didn't have a dog in this fight until I noticed Israel's support for Azerbaijan. It's nothing personal, I have only one hate.

Shaman911 , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:27 pm GMT

Jewish Bankers shifting profits to other Jewish bankers. Funding all sides and profiting from the mass graves again. 5000 years and nothing has changed.

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:36 pm GMT
@Wielgus

The Turks are the US Army in this – with their proxy armies sent to help the Azerbaijanis, just like the US Army /Israelis and their proxies Isis, al Nusra, al Qaeda etc. in Syria. The US and their 6000 employees at the Embassy, don't have to say anything – they back both sides – just like the Zionists do – in the US political parties. Things don't change , Tactics don't change. Thanks.

A.R. , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:30 pm GMT
@Majority of One

You are asking him if he has a dog in this fight? What about yourself? You very clearly have a dog in this fight yourself, haven`t you?
Try to cut down on the hypocrasy, why don`t you, and at the same time maybe moderate your "holier than thou" attitude.

[Oct 05, 2020] What's at stake in the Armenia-Azerbaijan chessboard

Notable quotes:
"... "the EU and Russia find common cause to limit Azerbaijani gains (in large part because Erdogan is no one's favorite guy, not just because of this but because of the Eastern Med, Syria, Libya)." ..."
"... "Iran favors Armenia, which is counter-intuitive at first sight. So the Iranians may help the Russians out (funneling supplies), but on the other hand they have a good relationship with Turkey, especially in the oil and gas smuggling business. And if they get too overt in their support, Trump has a casus belli to get involved and the Europeans may not like to end up on the same side as the Russians and the Iranians. It just looks bad. And the Europeans hate to look bad." ..."
Oct 05, 2020 | unz.com

It's important to remember that there was no "Azerbaijan" nation-state until the early 1920s. Historically, Azerbaijan is a territory in northern Iran. Azeris are very well integrated within the Islamic Republic. So the Republic of Azerbaijan actually borrowed its name from their Iranian neighbors. In ancient history, the territory of the new 20 th century republic was known as Atropatene, and Aturpakatan before the advent of Islam.

How the equation changed

Baku's main argument is that Armenia is blocking a contiguous Azerbaijani nation, as a look in the map shows us that southwest Azerbaijan is de facto split all the way to the Iranian border.

And that plunges us necessarily into deep background. To clarify matters, there could not be a more reliable guide than a top Caucasus think tank expert who shared his analysis with me by email, but is insistent on "no attribution". Let's call him Mr. C.

Mr. C notes that, "for decades, the equation remained the same and the variables in the equation remained the same, more or less. This was the case notwithstanding the fact that Armenia is an unstable democracy in transition and Azerbaijan had much more continuity at the top."

We should all be aware that "Azerbaijan lost territory right at the beginning of the restoration of its statehood, when it was basically a failed state run by armchair nationalist amateurs [before Heydar Aliyev, Ilham's father, came to power]. And Armenia was a mess, too but less so when you take into consideration that it had strong Russian support and Azerbaijan had no one. Back in the day, Turkey was still a secular state with a military that looked West and took its NATO membership seriously. Since then, Azerbaijan has built up its economy and increased its population. So it kept getting stronger. But its military was still underperforming."

That slowly started to change in 2020: "Basically, in the past few months you've seen incremental increases in the intensity of near daily ceasefire violations (the near-daily violations are nothing new: they've been going on for years). So this blew up in July and there was a shooting war for a few days. Then everyone calmed down again."

All this time, something important was developing in the background: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who came to power in May 2018, and Aliyev started to talk: "The Azerbaijani side thought this indicated Armenia was ready for compromise (this all started when Armenia had a sort of revolution, with the new PM coming in with a popular mandate to clean house domestically). For whatever reason, it ended up not happening."

What happened in fact was the July shooting war.

Don't forget Pipelineistan

Armenian PM Pashinyan could be described as a liberal globalist. The majority of his political team is pro-NATO. Pashinyan went all guns blazing against former Armenian President (1998- 2008) Robert Kocharian, who before that happened to be, crucially, the de facto President of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Kocharian, who spent years in Russia and is close to President Putin, was charged with a nebulous attempt at "overthrowing the constitutional order". Pashinyan tried to land him in jail. But even more crucial is the fact that Pashinyan refused to follow a plan elaborated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to finally settle the Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh mess.

In the current fog of war, things are even messier. Mr. C stresses two points: "First, Armenia asked for CSTO protection and got bitch slapped, hard and in public; second, Armenia threatened to bomb the oil and gas pipelines in Azerbaijan (there are several, they all run parallel, and they supply not just Georgia and Turkey but now the Balkans and Italy). With regards to the latter, Azerbaijan basically said: if you do that, we'll bomb your nuclear reactor."

The Pipelineistan angle is indeed crucial: for years I have followed on Asia Times these myriad, interlocking oil and gas soap operas, especially the BTC (Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan), conceived by Zbigniew Brzezinski to bypass Iran. I was even "arrested" by a BP 4X4 when I was tracking the pipeline on a parallel side road out of the massive Sangachal terminal: that proved British Petroleum was in practice the real boss, not the Azerbaijani government.

In sum, now we have reached the point where, according to Mr. C,

"Armenia's saber rattling got more aggressive." Reasons, on the Armenian side, seem to be mostly domestic: terrible handling of Covid-19 (in contrast to Azerbaijan), and the dire state of the economy. So, says Mr. C, we came to a toxic concourse of circumstances: Armenia deflected from its problems by being tough on Azerbaijan, while Azerbaijan just had had enough.

It's always about Turkey

Anyway one looks at the Armenia-Azerbaijan drama, the key destabilizing factor is now Turkey.

Mr. C notes how, "throughout the summer, the quality of the Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises increased (both prior to July events and subsequently). The Azerbaijani military got a lot better. Also, since the fourth quarter of 2019 the President of Azerbaijan has been getting rid of the (perceived) pro-Russian elements in positions of power." See, for instance, here .

There's no way to confirm it either with Moscow or Ankara, but Mr. C advances what President Erdogan may have told the Russians: "We'll go into Armenia directly if a) Azerbaijan starts to lose, b) Russia goes in or accepts CSTO to be invoked or something along those lines, or c) Armenia goes after the pipelines. All are reasonable red lines for the Turks, especially when you factor in the fact that they don't like the Armenians very much and that they consider the Azerbaijanis brothers."

It's crucial to remember that in August, Baku and Ankara held two weeks of joint air and land military exercises. Baku has bought advanced drones from both Turkey and Israel. There's no smokin' gun, at least not yet, but Ankara may have hired up to 4,000 Salafi-jihadis in Syria to fight -- wait for it -- in favor of Shi'ite-majority Azerbaijan, proving once again that "jihadism" is all about making a quick buck.

The United Armenian Information Center, as well as the Kurdish Afrin Post, have stated that Ankara opened two recruitment centers -- in Afrin schools -- for mercenaries. Apparently this has been a quite popular move because Ankara slashed salaries for Syrian mercenaries shipped to Libya.

There's an extra angle that is deeply worrying not only for Russia but also for Central Asia. According to the former Foreign Minister of Nagorno-Karabakh, Ambassador Extraordinary Arman Melikyan, mercenaries using Azeri IDs issued in Baku may be able to infiltrate Dagestan and Chechnya and, via the Caspian, reach Atyrau in Kazakhstan, from where they can easily reach Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

That's the ultimate nightmare of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) -- shared by Russia, China and the Central Asian "stans": a jihadi land -- and (Caspian) sea -- bridge from the Caucasus all the way to Central Asia, and even Xinjiang.

What's the point of this war?

So what happens next? A nearly insurmountable impasse, as Mr. C outlines it:

1. "The peace talks are going nowhere because Armenia is refusing to budge (to withdraw from occupying Nagorno-Karabakh plus 7 surrounding regions in phases or all at once, with the usual guarantees for civilians, even settlers -- note that when they went in in the early 1990s they cleansed those lands of literally all Azerbaijanis, something like between 700,000 and 1 million people)."

2. Aliyev was under the impression that Pashinyan "was willing to compromise and began preparing his people and then looked like someone with egg on his face when it didn't happen."

3. "Turkey has made it crystal clear it will support Azerbaijan unconditionally, and has matched those words with deeds."

4. "In such circumstances, Russia got outplayed -- in the sense that they had been able to play off Armenia against Azerbaijan and vice versa, quite successfully, helping to mediate talks that went nowhere, preserving the status quo that effectively favored Armenia."

And that brings us to the crucial question. What's the point of this war?

Mr. C: "It is either to conquer as much as possible before the "international community" [in this case, the UNSC] calls for / demands a ceasefire or to do so as an impetus for re-starting talks that actually lead to progress. In either scenario, Azerbaijan will end up with gains and Armenia with losses. How much and under what circumstances (the status and question of Nagorno-Karabakh is distinct from the status and question of the Armenian occupied territories around Nagorno-Karabakh) is unknown: i.e. on the field of battle or the negotiating table or a combo of both. However this turns out, at a minimum Azerbaijan will get to keep what it liberated in battle. This will be the new starting point. And I suspect that Azerbaijan will do no harm to the Armenian civilians that stay. They'll be model liberators. And they'll take time to bring back Azerbaijani civilians (refugees/IDPs) to their homes, especially in areas that would become mixed as a result of return."

So what can Moscow do under these circumstances? Not much,

"except to go into Azerbaijan proper, which they won't do (there's no land border between Russia and Armenia; so although Russia has a military base in Armenia with one or more thousand troops, they can't just supply Armenia with guns and troops at will, given the geography)."

Crucially, Moscow privileges the strategic partnership with Armenia -- which is a member of the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) -- while meticulously monitoring each and every NATO-member Turkey's movement: after all, they are already in opposing sides in both Libya and Syria.

So, to put it mildly, Moscow is walking on a geopolitical razor's edge. Russia needs to exercise restraint and invest in a carefully calibrated balancing act between Armenia and Azerbaijan; must preserve the Russia-Turkey strategic partnership; and must be alert to all, possible US Divide and Rule tactics.

Inside Erdogan's war

So in the end this would be yet another Erdogan war?

The inescapable Follow the Money analysis would tells us, yes. The Turkish economy is an absolute mess, with high inflation and a depreciating currency. Baku has a wealth of oil-gas funds that could become readily available -- adding to Ankara's dream of turning Turkey also into an energy supplier.

Mr. C adds that anchoring Turkey in Azerbaijan would lead to "the creation of full-fledged Turkish military bases and the inclusion of Azerbaijan in the Turkish orbit of influence (the "two countries -- one nation" thesis, in which Turkey assumes supremacy) within the framework of neo-Ottomanism and Turkey's leadership in the Turkic-speaking world."

Add to it the all-important NATO angle. Mr. C essentially sees it as Erdogan, enabled by Washington, about to make a NATO push to the east while establishing that immensely dangerous jihadi channel into Russia: "This is no local adventure by Erdogan. I understand that Azerbaijan is largely Shi'ite Islam and that will complicate things but not render his adventure impossible."

This totally ties in with a notorious RAND report that explicitly details how "the United States could try to induce Armenia to break with Russia" and "encourage Armenia to move fully into the NATO orbit."

It's beyond obvious that Moscow is observing all these variables with extreme care. That is reflected, for instance, in how irrepressible Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, earlier this week, has packaged a very serious diplomatic warning: "The downing of an Armenian SU-25 by a Turkish F-16, as claimed by the Ministry of Defense in Armenia, seems to complicate the situation, as Moscow, based on the Tashkent treaty, is obligated to offer military assistance to Armenia".

It's no wonder both Baku and Yerevan got the message and are firmly denying anything happened.

The key fact remains that as long as Armenia proper is not attacked by Azerbaijan, Russia will not apply the CSTO treaty and step in. Erdogan knows this is his red line. Moscow has all it takes to put him in serious trouble -- as in shutting off gas supplies to Turkey. Moscow, meanwhile, will keep helping Yerevan with intel and hardware -- flown in from Iran. Diplomacy rules -- and the ultimate target is yet another ceasefire.

Pulling Russia back in

Mr. C advances the strong possibility -- and I have heard echoes from Brussels -- that

"the EU and Russia find common cause to limit Azerbaijani gains (in large part because Erdogan is no one's favorite guy, not just because of this but because of the Eastern Med, Syria, Libya)."

That brings to the forefront the renewed importance of the UNSC in imposing a ceasefire. Washington's role at the moment is quite intriguing. Of course, Trump has more important things to do at the moment. Moreover, the Armenian diaspora in the US swings drastically pro-Democrat.

Then, to round it all up, there's the all-important Iran-Armenia relationship. Here is a forceful attempt to put it in perspective.

As Mr. C stresses, "Iran favors Armenia, which is counter-intuitive at first sight. So the Iranians may help the Russians out (funneling supplies), but on the other hand they have a good relationship with Turkey, especially in the oil and gas smuggling business. And if they get too overt in their support, Trump has a casus belli to get involved and the Europeans may not like to end up on the same side as the Russians and the Iranians. It just looks bad. And the Europeans hate to look bad."

We inevitably come back to the point that the whole drama can be interpreted from the perspective of a NATO geopolitical hit against Russia -- according to quite a few analyses circulating at the Duma.

Ukraine is an absolute black hole. There's the Belarus impasse. Covid-19. The Navalny circus. The "threat" to Nord Stream-2.

To pull Russia back into the Armenia-Azerbaijan drama means turning Moscow's attention towards the Caucasus so there's more Turkish freedom of action in other theaters -- in the Eastern Mediterranean versus Greece, in Syria, in Libya. Ankara -- foolishly -- is engaged in simultaneous wars on several fronts, and with virtually no allies.

What this means is that even more than NATO, monopolizing Russia's attention in the Caucasus most of all may be profitable for Erdogan himself. As Mr. C stresses, "in this situation, the Nagorno-Karabakh leverage/'trump card' in the hands of Turkey would be useful for negotiations with Russia."

No question: the neo-Ottoman sultan never sleeps.


Yevardian , says: October 2, 2020 at 1:23 am GMT

And I suspect that Azerbaijan will do no harm to the Armenian civilians that stay. They’ll be model liberators. And they’ll take time to bring back Azerbaijani civilians (refugees/IDPs) to their homes, especially in areas that would become mixed as a result of return.”

I never read such rubbish in my life.

AJ , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:02 am GMT
@Yevardian

Agreed, this is rubbish. “Mr. C” – assuming someone like this even exists, is either terribly misinformed or an outright liar. Basically, if we follow Escobar’s logic, Armenian’s are making a mistake by not agreeing to surrender their lives to the peace loving and rather humanistic dictatorship of Azerbaijan. While he touches on some relevant points, overall, Escobar has not done his homework and has come up with quite a bit of drivel.

Ann Nonny Mouse , says: • Website October 2, 2020 at 3:39 am GMT

Pepe, you didn’t mention the Armenian Genocide, the Greek Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide, all perpetrated by Turkey.

Why not? Would the Azeris, all Turks, be different? You say the Azeris if they won, Turks, would treat the Armenian population nicely. Huh?

I remember from Runciman’s book on the First Crusade that the Turks had already taken over much of Anatolia but he seems to mention Armenians at every turn (from memory—don’t have the book handy).

My impression is that before the Genocide the Armenians were all over Anatolia. There was a narrow coastal strip at the western end that was historically part of Greece, and many different peoples of Asia Minor are mentioned in the NT, but they arguably were all Armenians, making the Armenians the indigenous people of Anatolia.

How is it that Turkey was allowed to keep part of Europe after WWI when they were losers? And did they keep faith? Is the current St Sophia turmoil the norm of Turkish good faith?

Time for all the Turks to get out of Anatolia, give it back to Armenia, and head for Azerbigan.

Aking , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:23 am GMT

Good article. What a web of “ frenemies”…

Anon [166] • Disclaimer , says: October 2, 2020 at 6:00 am GMT
@Yevardian having been disciplined for some years now is, once again, at the throat of the west. Europe spent millions of lives and huge resources throwing the Moors out last time. If they don’t take a stand and support Armenia they may very well have to do it again. As far as the mythical Mr C is concerned he comes across, to me, as yet another apologist for the Religion of Peace. Obviously cucked NATO will not help Armenia, they have neither the intestinal fortitude nor the will, so it will be left to Russia and the Visigrad nations, in the mean time Turkey is attempting to take Greek territory, Syrian territory, Libyan territory and anything else that it can get it’s mitts on and the West does absolutely nothing. This will not end well.
true.enough , says: October 2, 2020 at 7:20 am GMT

I found this piece difficult to read: lots of data and suppositions scattered about.

Ankara, oh Ankara! Erdogan is overstretched, that’s a fact.

Wielgus , says: October 2, 2020 at 7:26 am GMT
@Yevardian

I think few Armenian civilians will take the chance but I very much doubt Azerbaijanis will be “model liberators”. The new Azerbaijani state was born from the Sumgait and Baku pogroms. I also don’t think they will delay in moving Azeris into areas formerly inhabited by Armenians – their role model Erdoğan has been trying to change facts on the ground by moving ethnic Turks into Kurdish areas in his own country.

Tommy Thompson , says: October 2, 2020 at 10:15 am GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse deavor, even if they were the majority, though most accounts say they were 40%.

I would strongly urge the Armenians to get off their nationalist high horse and solve the problem diplomatically and learn to live with their neighbors. Super nationalism is a dangerous and fake mantra that usually leads to disaster. My understanding was that the Azeris and Armenians always got along before this debacle. They should try to work out things and get back to a their original multi-cultural paradigm, that is living side by side instead of fighting and dying over territory and national flags. Live is short and when we pass to the other side you dont carry your flag with you.

Rahan , says: October 2, 2020 at 11:48 am GMT

The Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence in 1991: but that was not recognized by the “international community”

Just to throw in quickly that if Kosovo is “recognized”, then bleeding Karabakh should also long since have been recognized. Especially since the Armenians have an actual holocaust in their 20th century past.

reezy , says: October 2, 2020 at 2:43 pm GMT
@Anon

I believe that it was Winston Churchill who said that the Turk was either at your feet or at your throat

Actually he said that about the Germans. Though it sounds like one of those patronizing aphorisms that can easily apply to anyone.

Lin , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:29 pm GMT

Sabre dance–A famous piece of Armenian music composed by Khachaturian

https://www.youtube.com/embed/aH2Gpdr-WrA?feature=oembed

Aking , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:35 pm GMT
@Rahan

So, seems like the way to get sympathy to rob territory is to make full use of any “genocide” one had suffered as excuse…. worked very well ( in fact, spectacularly well) so faR with the Chosen ones….

Showmethereal , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:19 pm GMT

Well i admittedly dont know enough about the situation to try to critique this piece as some of the other comments on here… But i am skeptical about Armenia and their stated intent. If it is reallly about protecting an ethnic group – then why not offer them citizenship to move into your territory??? That would lead me to believe it is more about land and resources…

Showmethereal , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:23 pm GMT
@true.enough

Yeah i dont know the nitty gritty in this conflict – but i do agree Edrogan seems to be biting off more than he can chew… He has too many pots on the fire it seems. Kurds – Qatar/Saudis – Libya – Syria – Greece – Cyprus – and now this..?

Derer , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:33 pm GMT

Aside from refusing to participate against their Muslim cousins (Afghanistan, Libya), Turkey is using NATO doctrine quite effectively. It is a useful bullet prove vest for Erdogan. The Brussels morons will be sorry for not expelling Turkey from their military club long time ago.

SZ , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:37 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse iven to the Syrian desert AFTER some of them had aligned with the Russians who were about to invade eastern Anatolia in 1915. Similarly, most of Crimean Tatars were expelled from Crimea AFTER some of them had aligned with the invading Germans in 1941. As another comparison, American-Japanese living at the Pacific coast were banished to camps in the interior AFTER the Japanese army had attacked Pearl Harbor and not before.
When a group of people kill or drive out another group it’s usually not for the fun of it but rather due to necessities of survival, whatever evil that might require at that particular time depending on the particular circumstances.
Surprised , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:50 pm GMT

It would be interesting to read a scholarly exposition on what the USSR and governments in Eastern Europe proper did or did not do to educate people away from their ancient hatreds, and why whatever they did do appears not to have been particularly successful. Or was it mostly successful and the hatreds were much more intense before 1917?

Tommy Thompson , says: October 2, 2020 at 8:04 pm GMT
@SZ

The ethnic cleansing of the Armenians was pretty bloody and barbaric and was meant as a public spectacle for reasons that are argued about till today.

It was well recorded by the inhabitants of Syria.

Uprising against your rulers does not give the rulers right to carry out genocide or ethnic cleansing in any case.

Anonymous [334] • Disclaimer , says: October 3, 2020 at 2:52 am GMT

The entire Jewish American lobby and Israel are on Azerbaijan’s side and anti-Armenian, just as when they were working with Turkey to deny the Armenian genocide.

Israel has also sold billions of dollars of weapons to Azerbaijan which the latter is using against Armenians. Israel gets oil from Azerbaijan

Of course, Azerbaijan and Turkey have imported jihadists from Syria and Libya to fight Christian Armenians now.

Apparently, Pepe, you and the Jewish lobby, Israel, Turkey, and the jihadists are on the same side.

Congratulations.

P.S. It would take a hundred pages to list all the factual errors you made. For example, Armenians were still the clear majority in Artsakh/Karabagh in 1988 and 1991. Armenians there had been grossly mistreated by Azerbaijan for decades.

The fighting occurred in the late 1980s only because Azerbaijan, backed by the Russian military, killed and harrassed Armenians. The Azeris also committed massacres of Armenians who were living in Baku and Sumgait in the late 1980s.

Stalin also placed Nakhichevan, an Armenian territory, inside Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan kicked out every Armenian from Nakhichevan. Azerbaijan was doing that to Artsakh/Karabagh too.

No wonder Artsakh voted to be independent from Azerbaijan, something you don’t want to understand.
Better luck next time trying to fool readers, Pepe.

Felix Keverich , says: October 3, 2020 at 6:46 am GMT

The key fact remains that as long as Armenia proper is not attacked by Azerbaijan, Russia will not apply the CSTO treaty and step in. Erdogan knows this is his red line. Moscow has all it takes to put him in serious trouble – as in shutting off gas supplies to Turkey.

Russia isn’t going to shut off gas to Turkey. Russia never does that (shutting off gas). It’s a Western canard.

Russia could, however, impose a no-fly-zone over Georgia, effectively blocking resupply and reinforcements to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is almost completely surrounded by Russian allies and bases. They rely on Georgia for military transit.

Druid , says: October 3, 2020 at 7:29 am GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse

Ignorant post. Armenian nationalist were active in Russia prior to ww1, then supported Russian entrance into Turkish territory because they shared a religion. They stabbed the ottomans , of which they were a big part, in the back. The young Turks , who were actually donmeh jews, had them marched off to Syria and lebanon, etc, causing many deaths! The Armenian is still causing trouble for the Turks. They sided with the mongols in their battles against the Muslims, along wit the Georgians, repeatedly. More to a small story

anon [154] • Disclaimer , says: October 3, 2020 at 11:51 pm GMT

What’s going to happen to USA? The poverty and racial intolerance ,both seem to be undermining the stability and the ideological integrity of the country . I see many states emerging from the body of America.But the problems will not be resolved . It might just like like Caucasian territory or Balkan .

Anonymous [231] • Disclaimer , says: October 4, 2020 at 3:25 am GMT
@Yevardian

Pepe appears to be on the side of Azerbaijan, and thus also on the side of Turkey, Israel, the Jewish lobby, and jihadists.

Nice company.

vot tak , says: October 4, 2020 at 11:58 pm GMT

Reading this, my suspicion is this “mr. c” is part of the western disinformation machine, probably operating for the israelis.

Semiogogue , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:47 am GMT

1. BTC is described as ‘bypassing Iran’. One could easily argue it also bypasses *Russia* . Perhaps that’s what made it necessary for Soros & others to peel Georgia off from Russian control back in the day? Look how Russia responded by recapturing the Georgian Military Highway (South Ossetia).

2. Look in general at how Russia is willing to give up huge areas of territory so long as she keeps key strategic points of control: South Ossetia, Crimea, Transnistria, Abkhazia and… Armenia. Smell the coffee.

3. 2. ‘Mr. C’ is quick to mention Baku/Ankara joint exercises in August, but fails to mention Kavkas 2020 exercises led by Russia. Uh duh.

4. ‘Mr. C’ seems to ignore the fact that Armenia couldn’t have taken that territory in first place, or kept it, w/out Russian assistance. And idea ‘Russia can do nothing’ is absurd. As is the idea that Russia can’t supply Armenia because there’s no land connection. Did the allies have any problem keeping West Berlin supplied by air? Of course not. All nonsense.

5. The idea that there is a ‘Russia/Turkey’ strategic partnership is also silly. Where is this partnership? Turkey buying S-400s? So what? Are they in partnership in Syria? In Libya? No. So why would they be in N-K?

6. Weird. No mention of China and it’s growing relationship with Turkey. This probably tells you all you need to know about the author. Unless of course the author is just a fool, which is also possible.

Jivinski , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:04 am GMT

“Yet even before the collapse the Azerbaijani Army and Armenian independentists were already at war (1988-1994), which yielded a grim balance of 30,000 dead and roughly a million wounded.”

This is a wounded-to-killed ratio of thirty-three to one. Doesn’t make sense.

Majority of One , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:35 am GMT

Were Russia to be as devious and underhanded as the puppet regime in the Di$trict of Corruption, they would arrange for an overthrow of the present NATO/EU/U$ regime in Yerevan. With those bastards out of the way and Armenia no longer playing double jeopardy, it might be possible for a new Orthodox oriented Armenian government to come to some sort of arrangement with Baku.

At the same time, perhaps Syrian spetsnaz units could practice some infiltration tactics into Turkish semi-occupied “greater” Idlib and Ghurka style, behead a few Turkish officers running the show there.

“Sultan” Erdogan is playing loose and wild with his shattering economy and massive military. It is high time he was given a black-eye–one that would cause him to lose face among his own countrymen.

Mactoul , says: October 5, 2020 at 5:08 am GMT
@SZ

How many of the Japanese-American deportees died as consequence of deportation vs how many Armenians that died as consequence of their deportation.

It is not deportation that is alleged to be the Turkish crime but genocide. Please keep it mind.

Yukon Jack , says: October 5, 2020 at 5:16 am GMT

This is my educated guess, the Anglo-Zionists led by Rothschild and Netanayahu destablize the oil in the Middle East to keep their prices of oil in USD above 100 $/barrel

They have also blown up oil derricks in the North Sea, shut down Iranian and Iraq and Syria oil production. The game is clear, low oil prices are being met with wiping out the competition.

And causing hell in Iran and Venezueala. Back in 1954 Operation Ajax took out Mossadeq and installed the Shah – puppet of big oil. Before it was BP it was the Persian Gulf Oil Co. BP is owned mostly by the crown.

Trump’s secretary of state was Rex Tillerson CEO Exxon just like GW Bush picked Condoleeza Rice CEO Chevron to be his national security advisor.

The Israel angle is to get Iran and to goad Russia into war with the USA, the eventually goal is that USA-Russia-China are reduced while Jews rule the world from Jerusalem.

How much you wanna bet Bibi Satanyahu has a hand in this war? And Evangelical Christians will support Israel even if this war kills lots of Armenian Christians just like in Syria.

Since this war in on Russia’s doorstep Putin an Lavrov will try negotiations first then what will they do next. Putin has vowed the war will never come to Russia which means Russia will enter the theater on the anti-Zionist side.

Have you noticed every state within a few hundred miles of Israel is being torched and the natives driven out?

Ghali , says: October 5, 2020 at 6:17 am GMT

Back again to Pepe Escobar’s distortions of reality. Nagorno-Karabakh is an Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory. In fact, no country in the world recognises it as an “Independent” as Escobar likes to mislead us. Armenia should do the right thing and withdraw its forces, including foreign militants from there. Like Israel, Armenia is playing the role of a victim of a “holocaust”.

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:20 am GMT

Considering that the 2nd largest US/NWO Embassy in the World is in Armenia – a country of 2.9 million people, and that the new President was put in power by the West – the end game is to continue to surround Russia, screw up the New Silk Road, and be at Iran’s back door too. As said before , the domestic USA can totally look like the USSR in the 90s, but the NWO Foreign policy money is 100% – guaranteed. What do all those thousands of workers in that huge Embassy compound do ?

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:30 am GMT
@Tommy Thompson

Actually, once the Armenians were genocided , the Jewish bankers were the big shots left in Turkey. H Morgenthau, our Turkish ambassador along with being jewish himself, wrote about it in his reports. The Game hasn’t changed much – it stays the same. Thanks.

J , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:44 am GMT

About a third of Iran’s population is Azeri. Should they develop interest in the conflict, Iran may become involved. That would align Turkey and Iran vs Russia. That would be something.

ARemo , says: October 5, 2020 at 8:48 am GMT
@Yevardian

Damn right. We already have experience what happens when Turks get control of Christian Armenians – systematic gang rapes and death marches are the rule of the day. Turks are animals and letting them control any portion of Armenia is basically turning that place into a concentration camp.

Ming Shih-tsung , says: October 5, 2020 at 10:58 am GMT
@Yevardian

“Mr. C” probably stands for Cemal, given how biased he is.

anon [229] • Disclaimer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@Yukon Jack p>

Fact: 1979 was the year that “big oil” LEGAL contracts were to expire and the “puppet” Shah had threatened as early as 1973 (when he was instrumental in making OPEC a powerful entity) that in 1979 Iran “would sell Iranian Oil to any buyer, at market prices”.

Fact: Iran, in 1978 produced 6 million barrels per day. It has never been permitted to reach those levels again.

Fact: Chinese, Indian, Syrian, Venezuelan, and God knows who else, all projects of the Global Cabal have been getting Iranian Oil (under their engineered boxing of Iranian nation) at levels that very likely are equal if not LOWER than the terms the Qajar idiots gave the insatiablely greedy and slimey English.

Alfred , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:05 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse perpetrated by Turkey.

And you did not mention that the only quarters of Smyrna/Izmir that were not torched in a fire in 1922 were the Jewish and Turkish quarters – what a surprise! An antecedent to 9/11. Here is the Jewpedia hiding the real story – as usual.

The Armenian and Greek quarters were destroyed and the Jews got a monopoly on the commerce. Done deal!

Great fire of Smyrna

Wielgus , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:09 pm GMT
@GMC

If the “colour revolution” assumptions were in force, there would be a host of denunciations of Azerbaijan and Turkey (the latter perhaps the real prime mover in this) by the USA and EU etc. There aren’t. The USA and EU may even tacitly support the Azerbaijanis, perhaps they hope the Russians and Iranians will become entangled in this affair and so forth.

Ugetit , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:14 pm GMT
@vot tak

…my suspicion is this “mr. c” is part of the western disinformation machine, probably operating for the israelis.

While I know nothing about the situation, after reading the article and the mostly excellent comments, I suspect your suspicion is correct.

Alfred , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:38 pm GMT

I have a suggestion.

How about swapping Nagorno-Karabakh for North Cyprus. I am sure the Greeks would be very happy to live with the Armenians. But the Sultan’s dreams of owning the Eastern Mediterranean would come to naught.

anon [137] • Disclaimer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:45 pm GMT
@Lin

I’ve always associated that piece with the circus not knowing the title or its origin.

Stebbing Heuer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Stalin did nasty things like that to keep the republics feuding with each other rather than pushing back against Moscow. The mixed-up borders of the ‘stans, further east, are testament to this. Fergana Valley?

Divide and rule. Still costing lives in pointless wars almost 100 years later.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:07 pm GMT

At stake is the very existence of the Armenian people. Turkey is trying to finish what remains of them after the genocide last century. Both Erdoghan and Aliev have stated, that they want a “final solution” to the “Armenian problem”.

It’s an existential battle for the Armenians.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:09 pm GMT
@Yevardian

We all know what they did to the Armenians in 1915.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:11 pm GMT
@Alfred

Exactly. The history of Turkey since 1880-s is full of ethnic cleansings and genocides of the non-muslim people such as Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians.

MLK , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:16 pm GMT

My thanks to Escobar for taking on a subject rather obviously not susceptible to 2,700 word essays, along with attention worthy links.

His biases are not my own but he’s thoughtful and certainly doesn’t hide them.

In this and so many other incidents we can see how thoroughly Trump has moved the American ship of state despite the relentless efforts of foreign and domestic resistance to neutralize America First and destroy him.

It’s really quite something the way Obama’s presidency in all its disastrous fullness has been memory-holed. The defense of it being that it merely extended Bush’s world-historical incompetence and malefactions.

Could you have turned US unipolarity following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact into a “moment” if you tried? I couldn’t.

You will be way ahead of most everyone if you get your mind around that and the geopolitical sad story that is CCP China winning the post-Cold War quarter-century hands down.

We inevitably come back to the point that the whole drama can be interpreted from the perspective of a NATO geopolitical hit against Russia – according to quite a few analyses circulating at the Duma.

Ukraine is an absolute black hole. There’s the Belarus impasse. Covid-19. The Navalny circus. The “threat” to Nord Stream-2.

To pull Russia back into the Armenia-Azerbaijan drama means turning Moscow’s attention towards the Caucasus . . .

I confess that I get no end of enjoyment over bellyaching on behalf of those powers the Obama administration was turning the world over to. Nord Stream II was merely the down payment on Russia’s assistance/acquiescence in throwing the electron to Hillary, with the sky the limit for China, Russia and Iran once Democrats and their foreign allies had neutralized free and fair elections.

Now all of these powers must deal with a real POTUS who asks “What have you done for the US lately?”

The USG and Russia have cooperated where geopolitical interests align. More will follow once Trump takes the oath again. As I’ve explained previously, despite its high-risk position in the Resistance matrix, Russia/Putin have (unsurprisingly, to me) acted skillfully and with circumspection.

The same cannot be said for Iran. Nor China, particularly since the end of last year.

Ashino Wolf Sushanti , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:27 pm GMT

https://www.putin-today.ru/archives/109463
https://vz.ru
Михаил Мошкин

Why Russia needs Azerbaijan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The aggravation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh has raised a number of questions. In particular, why Moscow is in no hurry to stand up for Armenia and why it does not sharply criticize
Azerbaijan. The answer is that Moscow and Baku have very close relations, and not only economic relations. So what is the value and irreplaceability of Azerbaijan for Russia?

[MORE]
Z-man , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:52 pm GMT

Border and population changes are in order. A quarter of N-K goes back to Azerbaijan and the rest closer to Armenia proper plus the capital city goes to Armenia with a 50 mile wide band connecting it with the rest of Armenia. The Azeris get the rest of their lands now occupied by the Armenians. Will it happen? Probably not, just look at Kosovo..

God's Fool , says: October 5, 2020 at 2:05 pm GMT

There is a province between Ngorno Karabakh and Armenia proper of roughly of the same size belonging to Azerbaijan, so why not just exchange it with each other to avoid further conflict and bloodshed?

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 2:57 pm GMT
@God's Fool

There is no guarantee that Turkey will not try to then eliminate whatever remains of Armenia.

Remember, Turkey genocided Armenians and wiped out close to 80% of them in 1915 through 1922. Armenian populated areas stretched from what is now Armenia until the shores of Eastern Mediterranean. The only thing that is left of it is Kessab in modern day Syria.

Majority of One , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:14 pm GMT
@Ghali e fake, false and fraudulent, whether in Asia or Africa. Over time, justice will prevail and borders will reflect the ethno-national composition of its long-term inhabitants.

That said, the current regime in Yerevan needs to be overthrown, as it was established in conjunction with the interests of the Cabal/Nato and their various puppet regimes. Armenia is the oldest Orthodox Christian nation in the world and was severely genocided by the Donmeh covert Jewish Masons who called themselves the “Young Turks” who were led by Enver Pasha.

By the way, who are you, Ghali? Do you have a dog in the fight? Are you connected with an intel agency?

anaccount , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:21 pm GMT

Excellent article, normally I pass over Pepe for the naughty articles on Unz but I might have to take another look.

My only critique is that the article feels pro-Azeri but that’s balanced with an informative description how this started in July, including an accurate appraisal of Turkish behavior.

I’m not Azeri or Armenian so I didn’t have a dog in this fight until I noticed Israel’s support for Azerbaijan. It’s nothing personal, I have only one hate.

Shaman911 , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:27 pm GMT

Jewish Bankers shifting profits to other Jewish bankers. Funding all sides and profiting from the mass graves again. 5000 years and nothing has changed.

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:36 pm GMT
@Wielgus

The Turks are the US Army in this – with their proxy armies sent to help the Azerbaijanis, just like the US Army /Israelis and their proxies Isis, al Nusra, al Qaeda etc. in Syria. The US and their 6000 employees at the Embassy, don’t have to say anything – they back both sides – just like the Zionists do – in the US political parties. Things don’t change , Tactics don’t change. Thanks.

A.R. , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:30 pm GMT
@Majority of One

You are asking him if he has a dog in this fight? What about yourself? You very clearly have a dog in this fight yourself, haven`t you?
Try to cut down on the hypocrasy, why don`t you, and at the same time maybe moderate your “holier than thou” attitude.

[Oct 04, 2020] Is The War Over Nagorno-Karabakh Already At A Stalemate-

Oct 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Moon of Alabama Brecht quote " U.S. President Trump Has Caught 'The Flu' | Main October 03, 2020 Is The War Over Nagorno-Karabakh Already At A Stalemate?

Seven days after Azerbaijan attacked the Armenian held Nagorno-Karabakh territory it has not made any territorial progress.

Overview map

Iran and Georgia have both large Azeri and Armenian minorities within their territories.
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Detail map

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The highlands of Nagorno-Karabakh are ethnically Armenian. The light blue districts were originally Azeri but have been ethically cleansed during the war in the early 1990s.

Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan by supplying it with Turkish drones and with 'moderate Syrian rebel' mercenaries from Syrian and Libya . All are flown in through Georgian air space. Other mercenaries seem to come from Afghanistan . Additional hardware comes by road also through Georgia. Another supporter of the attacker is Israel. During the last week Azerbaijani military transport aircraft have flown at least six times to Israel to then return with additional Israeli suicide drones on board. These Harop drones have been widely used in attacks on Armenian positions. An Israeli made LORA short range ballistic missile was used by Azerbaijan to attack a bridge that connects Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. Allegedly there are also Turkish flown F-16 fighter planes in Azerbaijan.

Turkey seems to direct the drones and fighter planes in Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh through AWACS type air control planes that fly circles at the Turkish-Armenian border.

The attack plan Azerbaijan had in mind when it launched the war foresaw to take several miles deep zones per day. It has not survived the first day of battle. Azerbaijan started the attack without significant artillery preparation. The ground attack was only supported by drone strikes on Armenian tanks, artillery and air defense positions. But the defensive lines held by Armenian infantry were not damaged by the drones. The dug in Armenian infantry could use its anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons to full extend. Azerbaijani tanks and infantry were slaughtered when they tried to break into the lines. Both sides had significant casualties but overall the frontlines did not move.

The war seems already to be at a stalemate. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan can afford to use air power and ballistic missiles purchased from Russia without Russian consent.

The drone attacks were for a while quite successful. A number of old air defense systems were destroyed before the Armenians became wiser with camouflaging them. The Azerbaijani's than used a trick to unveil hidden air defense positions. Radio controlled Antonov AN-2 airplanes, propeller driven relicts from the late 1940s, were sent over Armenian positions. When the air defense then launched a missile against them a loitering suicide drone was immediately dropped onto the firing position .

That seems to have worked for a day or two but by now such drone attacks have been become rare. Dozens of drones were shut down before they could hit a target and Azerbaijan seems to be running out of them. A bizarre music video the Azerbaijanis posted showed four trucks each carrying nine drones. It may have had several hundreds of those drones but likely less than one thousand. Israel is currently under a strict pandemic lockdown. Resupply of drones will be an issue. Azerbaijan has since brought up more heavy artillery but it seems to primarily use it to hit towns and cities, not the front lines where it would be more useful.

It is not clear who is commanding the Azerbaijani troops. There days ago the Chief of the General Staff of Azerbaijan was fired after he complained about too much Turkish influence on the war. That has not helped. Two larger ground attacks launched by Azerbaijan earlier today were also unsuccessful. The Armenians are currently counter attacking.

In our last piece on the war we pointed to U.S. plans to 'overextend Russia' by creating trouble in the Caucasus just as it is now happening. Fort Russ notes :

The current director of the CIA, Gina Haspel , was doing field assignments in Turkey in the early stages of her career, she reportedly speaks Turkish, and she has history of serving as a station chief in Baku, Azerbaijan , in the late 1990s. It is, therefore, presumable that she still has connections with the local government and business elites.

The current Chief of the MI6, Richard Moore , also has history of working in Turkey -- he was performing tasks for the British intelligence there in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Moore is fluent in Turkish and he also served as the British Ambassador to Turkey from 2014 to 2017.

The intelligence chiefs of the two most powerful countries in the Anglosphere are turkologists with connections in Turkey and Azerbaijan. It would be reasonable to assume that a regional conflict of such magnitude happening now, on their watch, is far from being a mere coincidence.

Before President Trump stopped the program the CIA had used the Azerbaijani Silk Way Airlines in more than 350 flights to bring weapons from Bulg