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January 28, 2022

Why Washington Will Soon Dump Ukraine's President Zelensky

The U.S. has responded to the security demands Russia had laid out in two draft treaties. It has rejected all major ones and is only willing to negotiate on secondary issues. Russia will response to that within a few weeks.

Meanwhile the U.S. is still claiming that Russia intends to attack the Ukraine any moment now. But the Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky publicly disagrees with that false evaluation. He sees no war coming and wants to avoid one as much as possible. That might mean that he has to be removed before a war can be launched. 

Alastair Crooke sets this into the larger U.S. strategy:

The key to China’s security riposte to the U.S. is linked to two words that go unstated in U.S. formal policy documents, but whose silent presence nevertheless suffuses and colour-washes the text of the 2022 National Defence Authorisation Act.

The term ‘containment’ never appears, neither does the word ‘encirclement’. Yet, as Professor Michael Klare writes, the Act “provides a detailed blueprint for surrounding China with a potentially suffocating network of U.S. bases, military forces, and increasingly militarized partner states. The goal is to enable Washington to barricade that country’s military inside its own territory; and potentially to cripple its economy in any future crisis”.

The current attempt to isolate Russia is part of the overall scheme:

The point here is that ‘encirclement’ and ‘containment’ effectively have become Biden’s default foreign policy. The attempt to cement-in this meta-doctrine currently is being enacted out via Russia (as the initial step). The essential buy-in by Europe is the ‘party-piece’ to Russia’s physical containment and encirclement.

The EU is coming under intense pressure from Washington to commit to sanctions – the financial ‘mode’ to encirclement – as EU officials negotiate what would be considered their ‘red line’. Jake Sullivan however, made the new doctrine and what he expects from Europe very clear last November, when he said: “we want the terms of the [international] system to be favourable to American interests and values: It is rather, a favourable disposition in which the U.S. and its allies can shape the international rules of the road on the sorts of issues that are fundamentally going to matter to the people of [America] …”.

The above is by now quite obvious and it makes it a joke that the U.S. is urging China to push Russia to agree with the U.S. Beijing would do that to then become the next target?

I have written that there is no threat of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Others have come to similar conclusions:

Cont. reading: Why Washington Will Soon Dump Ukraine's President Zelensky

Posted by b at 17:36 UTC | Comments (24)

January 27, 2022

ICAO Report - Ryanair Plane That Landed in Minsk Was NOT Forced Down

On May 23 2021 anonymous emails were sent to several airports warning that a Ryanair passenger plane on its way from Athens to Vilnius had a bomb on board.

The plane was crossing the airspace of Belarus when it was informed of the bomb threat by the Belarusian air controller. The air controller recommended to land the plane in Minsk. After some back and force to gain more information the pilot declared an emergency and decided to land in Minsk.

After the plane had landed the passengers de-boarded, were searched and went into the airport building and through passport control. Two of them, Roman Protasevich and his girl friend Sofia Sapega, had outstanding arrest warrants against them. They were part of a group which had previously attempted to launch a color revolution in Minsk. The two were arrested.

The plane and all luggage was searched but no bomb was found. The passengers, except the two arrested and three who had Minsk as their final destination, boarded again and safely reached their destination.

The case led to accusations that the Belarusian security forces had created the threat against the plane and had forced it to land for the purposes of arresting the two people. There is however no evidence for that. Despite that several countries sanctioned Belarus and its national air carrier Belavia.

Belarus had asked the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to investigate the Ryanair incident. A preliminary report is now out and discussed below.

Moon of Alabama had followed the case in detail (The June 2 piece is probably the best one to catch up with the case):

Cont. reading: ICAO Report - Ryanair Plane That Landed in Minsk Was NOT Forced Down

Posted by b at 17:21 UTC | Comments (43)

January 26, 2022

Open Thread 2022-08

News & views ...

Posted by b at 18:43 UTC | Comments (347)

January 25, 2022

A 'Parthogenetic' Conflict - There Is No Russian Invasion Threat To Ukraine

With regards to the completely made up story of the 'imminent Russian invasion' of the Ukraine a commentator remarked to me:

What we are seeing is a 'parthogenetic' conflict/war/crisis. A first - to my recollection.

Indeed - the virgin birth of a conflict in which there is no enemy.

There is no threat of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine now or in the foreseeable future. Despite that today's New York Times has put no less than four 'invasion' stories at the top of its homepage.


Here is more evidence that there is absolutely no indication of any Russian invasion of the Ukraine:

Mujtaba (Mij) Rahman @Mij_Europe - 14:36 UTC · Jan 24, 2022

Senior Elysée source tells me: “There is a kind of alarmism in Washington and London which we cannot understand. We see no immediate likelihood of Russian military action. We simply want our interpretation to be taken into account before a common western approach is agreed.”

Richard Hadley @FranceVotes - 15:50 UTC · Jan 24, 2022

Replying to @Mij_Europe

Elysée briefed 'same' to @PhilippRicard (21 Jan @lemondefr): ‘France, like Germany, remain puzzled by USA & UK alarmism'. A source is quoted: 'We see same number of lorries, tanks and people. We observed same manoeuvres, but can't conclude offensive is imminent from all that.'

Yesterday the BBC interviewed the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov:

Some of our partners contribute to panic. This is beneficial to Russia - Danilov (machine translation)

Cont. reading: A 'Parthogenetic' Conflict - There Is No Russian Invasion Threat To Ukraine

Posted by b at 14:38 UTC | Comments (301)

January 24, 2022

A War In Ukraine Is Tactics - Putin Does Strategy

The 'western' media buildup for war in Ukraine was launched 63 days ago on November 22:

The U.S. has shared intelligence including maps with European allies that shows a buildup of Russian troops and artillery to prepare for a rapid, large-scale push into Ukraine from multiple locations if President Vladimir Putin decided to invade, according to people familiar with the conversations.

That intelligence has been conveyed to some NATO members over the past week to back up U.S. concerns about Putin’s possible intentions and an increasingly frantic diplomatic effort to deter him from any incursion, with European leaders engaging directly with the Russian president. The diplomacy is informed by an American assessment that Putin could be weighing an invasion early next year as his troops again mass near the border.

Nothing has happened since but there has been no letup:

Cont. reading: A War In Ukraine Is Tactics - Putin Does Strategy

Posted by b at 18:39 UTC | Comments (161)

January 23, 2022

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2022-007

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - OT 2022-007

Posted by b at 15:09 UTC | Comments (193)

January 21, 2022

U.S. - Russian Talks Show Signs Of Progress

It feels weird to watch the delusional talk of the United States towards Russia.

How can people who are as wrong as Biden and Blinken be at the top of a state?

President Biden said on Wednesday that he now expected President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia would order an invasion of Ukraine, delivering a grim assessment that the diplomacy and threat of sanctions issued by the United States and its European allies were unlikely to stop the Russian leader from sending troops across the border.

“Do I think he’ll test the West, test the United States and NATO, as significantly as he can? Yes, I think he will,” Mr. Biden told reporters during a nearly two-hour news conference in the East Room of the White House. He added, almost with an air of fatalism: “But I think he will pay a serious and dear price for it that he doesn’t think now will cost him what it’s going to cost him. And I think he will regret having done it.”

Asked to clarify whether he was accepting that an invasion was coming, Mr. Biden said: “My guess is he will move in. He has to do something.”

Has Biden even once asked the very simple question: "Why would Russia want to do that?"

Retired ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar points out that even U.S. allies do not believe Biden's bullshit:

Cont. reading: U.S. - Russian Talks Show Signs Of Progress

Posted by b at 18:08 UTC | Comments (371)

January 20, 2022

'Havana Syndrome' - CIA Can Not Rule Out That Cuban Crickets Chirped Russian

The CIA is using its mop-up man, NBC News 'reporter' Ken Dilanian, to refute a hoax it itself had created six years ago and which the mop-up man had long promoted:

CIA says 'Havana Syndrome' not result of sustained campaign by hostile power

In a new intelligence assessment, the CIA has ruled out that the mysterious symptoms known as Havana Syndrome are the result of a sustained global campaign by a hostile power aimed at hundreds of U.S. diplomats and spies, six people briefed on the matter told NBC News.

In about two dozen cases, the agency cannot rule out foreign involvement, including many of the cases that originated at the U.S. Embassy in Havana beginning in 2016. Another group of cases is considered unresolved. But in hundreds of other cases of possible symptoms, the agency has found plausible alternative explanations, the sources said.

This site has called out the CIA's bullshitting about the claimed 'Havana syndrome' on several occasions. To recap:

Cont. reading: 'Havana Syndrome' - CIA Can Not Rule Out That Cuban Crickets Chirped Russian

Posted by b at 15:34 UTC | Comments (91)

January 19, 2022

Open Thread 2022-06

News & views ...

Posted by b at 18:17 UTC | Comments (238)

January 18, 2022

Slanted Reporting Can Lead To Bad Foreign Policies

When reading this New York Times piece about economic growth in China one might come away with the impression that the country is trending towards a recession.


China’s Economy Is Slowing, a Worrying Sign for the World
Economic output climbed 4 percent in the last quarter of 2021, slowing from the previous quarter. Growth has faltered as home buyers and consumers become cautious.

BEIJING — Construction and property sales have slumped. Small businesses have shut because of rising costs and weak sales. Debt-laden local governments are cutting the pay of civil servants.

China’s economy slowed markedly in the final months of last year as government measures to limit real estate speculation hurt other sectors as well. Lockdowns and travel restrictions to contain the coronavirus also dented consumer spending. Stringent regulations on everything from internet businesses to after-school tutoring companies have set off a wave of layoffs.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Monday that economic output from October through December was only 4 percent higher than during the same period a year earlier. That was a deceleration from the 4.9 percent growth in the third quarter, July through September.

The world’s demand for consumer electronics, furniture and other home comforts during the pandemic has produced record-setting exports for China, preventing its growth from stalling.

Note all the negative attributes sprinkled into nearly every sentence. China's economy must be in really bad shape.

Up to that point the piece has not mentioned its core data point - which is sensationally good and should have been in the headline.

That follows only now, after the reader has been sufficiently prepared to think it is actually bad. The sensationally good data point gets immediately dampened with another negative sentence.

Over all of last year, China’s economic output was 8.1 percent higher than in 2020, the government said. But much of the growth was in the first half of last year.

8.1% growth, after 2.3% growth in Covid 2020 seems excellent to me. It is beyond the 6% target the government had set and higher than previous estimates. For China it is the fastest growth rate in a decade.

Cont. reading: Slanted Reporting Can Lead To Bad Foreign Policies

Posted by b at 18:30 UTC | Comments (132)