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May 24, 2022

Flag Abuse And Other Bits On Ukraine

The Pentagon reports about the continuing efforts to sell new U.S. weapons to those nations which discard their old ones in Ukraine.

Austin Hosts Ukraine Defense Contact Group to Continue Support for Beleaguered Country

To express the seriousness of the situation in Ukraine the Pentagon decided to hoist Ukraine's blue-above-yellow flag upside down.


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Hanging a flag upside down is a sign of either dire distress or cultural ignorance. Given that this was a Pentagon event the later is the more likely to be the case.

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The Baltic nutters have a another great and of course completely impractical idea.

Cont. reading: Flag Abuse And Other Bits On Ukraine

Posted by b at 13:59 UTC | Comments (93)

May 23, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-72

Only news & views related to the Ukraine conflict ...

The open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 14:05 UTC | Comments (272)

White House Rejects President's Foreign Policy

U.S. President Joe Biden apparently pursues different foreign policies than the White House.

October 23 2021:

'Strategic Ambiguity' on Taiwan Apparent as White House Walks Back Biden Comments

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday appeared to walk back President Joe Biden's statement on Thursday that the United States was committed to defending Taiwan should it come under Chinese attack.

"The president was not announcing any change in our policy, nor has he made a decision to change our policy," Psaki said during a White House news briefing. "Our defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act."

The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act states that the U.S. will provide arms for Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability. It does not say the U.S. would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.

Psaki's statement stands in contradiction to Biden's comment at a CNN town hall Thursday night. When asked if the U.S. would come to the defense of Taiwan, Biden said, "Yes, we have a commitment to do that."

November 17 2021:

Biden Struggles to Stick to the Script on Taiwan

Cont. reading: White House Rejects President's Foreign Policy

Posted by b at 9:20 UTC | Comments (223)

May 22, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-71

Only news & views related to the Ukraine conflict ...

The open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 11:58 UTC | Comments (335)

The MoA Week In Review - (NOT Ukraine) OT 2022-70

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> Above all, this is an operation of necessity for Russia, not of choice. Paradoxically, the choice was entirely up to the US and NATO to appreciate that there is nothing like absolute security. Wasn’t it the former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who once said, “Absolute security for one state means absolute insecurity for all others.” <

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Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - (NOT Ukraine) OT 2022-70

Posted by b at 11:56 UTC | Comments (138)

May 21, 2022

No, The Ukraine War Has Not Stoked A Global Food Crisis.

Russia is falsely accused of blocking Ukraine's sea ports and thereby increasing a global food shortage:

The United Nations has warned that the war in Ukraine has helped to stoke a global food crisis that could last years if it goes unchecked, as the World Bank announced an additional $12bn in funding to mitigate its “devastating effects”.

UN secretary general António Guterres said shortages of grain and fertiliser caused by the war, warming temperatures and pandemic-driven supply problems threaten to “tip tens of millions of people over the edge into food insecurity”, as financial markets saw share prices fall heavily again on fears of inflation and a worldwide recession.

Speaking at a UN meeting in New York on global food security, he said what could follow would be “malnutrition, mass hunger and famine, in a crisis that could last for years”, as he and others urged Russia to release Ukrainian grain exports.
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Before the invasion in February, Ukraine was seen as the world’s bread basket, exporting 4.5m tonnes of agricultural produce per month through its ports – 12% of the planet’s wheat, 15% of its corn and half of its sunflower oil.

But with the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and others cut off from the world by Russian warships, the supply can travel only on congested land routes that are far less efficient.

It is not Russia that is withholding Ukrainian grain or cutting off its seaports. Ukraine does that all by itself. As the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine reports:

Cont. reading: No, The Ukraine War Has Not Stoked A Global Food Crisis.

Posted by b at 15:02 UTC | Comments (330)

May 20, 2022

Ukraine SitRep - Russians Break Through U.S. Bolsterism

On May 14 I noted that the U.S. had asked Russia for a ceasefire in Ukraine:

The U.S. readout of the call says:

On May 13, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu for the first time since February 18. Secretary Austin urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication.

Austin initiated the call and the U.S. is seeking a ceasefire in Ukraine!!!

Yesterday the top officers of the U.S. and Russia had a call which, again, the U.S. side had initiated:

Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff, held a conversation that the Pentagon declined to further detail beyond acknowledging it had happened.

Thinks must be bad in Ukraine for this to have happened. Indeed if one trusts the daily 'clobber list' the Russian Ministry of Defense puts out all positions of the Ukrainian army are under heavy artillery fire and it is losing about 500 men per day. There are additional Russian effective strikes on training camps, weapon storage sites and transport hubs all over the country.

On top of that the tactical situation at the eastern frontline has changed after Russian forces broke through the heavily fortified frontline.


Source: liveuamap.com - bigger

Cont. reading: Ukraine SitRep - Russians Break Through U.S. Bolsterism

Posted by b at 16:49 UTC | Comments (313)

May 19, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-69

Only news & views related to the Ukraine conflict ...

The open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 13:13 UTC | Comments (347)

Open Thread 2022-68 (Not Ukraine)

News & views NOT related to the Ukraine conflict ...

Posted by b at 13:12 UTC | Comments (162)

May 18, 2022

How Europe Was Pushed Towards Economic Suicide

With the active help from Europe's 'leadership' the U.S. is succeeding in ruining Europe.

As Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, wrote in early February, before Russia's intervention in Ukraine:

America no longer has the monetary power and seemingly chronic trade and balance-of-payments surplus that enabled it to draw up the world’s trade and investment rules in 1944-45. The threat to U.S. dominance is that China, Russia and Mackinder’s Eurasian World Island heartland are offering better trade and investment opportunities than are available from the United States with its increasingly desperate demand for sacrifices from its NATO and other allies.

The most glaring example is the U.S. drive to block Germany from authorizing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to obtain Russian gas for the coming cold weather. Angela Merkel agreed with Donald Trump to spend $1 billion building a new LNG port to become more dependent on highly priced U.S. LNG. (The plan was cancelled after the U.S. and German elections changed both leaders.) But Germany has no other way of heating many of its houses and office buildings (or supplying its fertilizer companies) than with Russian gas.

The only way left for U.S. diplomats to block European purchases is to goad Russia into a military response and then claim that avenging this response outweighs any purely national economic interest. As hawkish Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, explained in a State Department press briefing on January 27: “If Russia invades Ukraine one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” The problem is to create a suitably offensive incident and depict Russia as the aggressor.

In mid February OSCE observer noted that the artillery bombardment of Donbas by the Ukrainians increased from a handful to over 2,000 explosions per day. Russia reacted to these attack preparations by recognizing the Donbas republics, signing defense agreements with them and by finally coming to their help.

Shortly after the launch of the Russian military operation Professor Hudson further developed his earlier thoughts:

Cont. reading: How Europe Was Pushed Towards Economic Suicide

Posted by b at 14:01 UTC | Comments (424)