Moon of Alabama Brecht quote

Monthly Archives

April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
April 12, 2021

CNN - Ukrainian Trains With Heavy Weapons Going East Are 'Russian Aggression'

Today CNN continued its long stint of publishing anti-Russian propaganda. But this video 'report' falls on several levels.

Unprecedented footage shows front line of Ukrainian conflict with Russia

As tensions with Russia continue to rise in eastern Europe, CNN gains unprecedented access to the Ukrainian president on the front line in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian military officials tell CNN they estimate more than 50,000 Russian troops are massing near the border. CNN's Matthew Chance reports.

First - this isn't news. Zelensky visited the troops at the frontline on Thursday. Second - the tensions are not 'on the rise' but have moved down a tack or two since Friday when Zelensky gave up and filed for peace.

In the video Zelensky and the CNN correspondent and camera team enter a helicopter. The voice over says: "CNN has gained this unprecedented access to the Ukrainian president on a carefully planned troop visit flying with him fast and low to avoid ground fire."

Where please is that 'ground fire' supposed to come from when Zelensky is flying over Ukrainian held grounds towards some Ukrainian command post near the frontline? This is followed by scenes in which Zelensky,  a trained actor, does telegenic hops over ditches.

Two minutes into the video CNN shows some military transports. The voice over says: "With growing tensions a dramatic buildup of Russian forces near the Ukrainian border and in Crimea. Cellphone footage has emerged of armored columns like this one. And military hardware being transported by rail towards the border."

It is a quite interesting what footage CNN is using at that point.


bigger

Cont. reading: CNN - Ukrainian Trains With Heavy Weapons Going East Are 'Russian Aggression'

Posted by b at 16:59 UTC | Comments (59)

April 11, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-027

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

---
Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-027

Posted by b at 12:23 UTC | Comments (153)

April 10, 2021

After The Bear Showed Its Teeth The Ukraine Filed For Peace?

First the Ukraine said it would use force to recover the renegade Donbass region as well as Crimea. It then moved heavy troops towards the contact lines. The ceasefire at the contact line was broken multiple times per day. Several Ukrainian soldiers died while attempting to remove a minefield in preparation of an attack.

It became clear that a war in Ukraine's east was likely to soon braek out. A successful war would help Ukraine's president Zelensky with the ever increasing domestic crises. A war would also give the U.S. more influence in Europe. The U.S. and NATO promised "unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty”.

Russia gave several verbal warnings that any Ukrainian attack on the renegade provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk or Crimea would cause a serious Russian intervention. There was never a chance that the U.S. or NATO would intervene in such a war. But it was only after Russia started to move some of its troops around that sanity set in. It dawned on the Ukrainian leadership that the idea of waging war against a nuclear armed superpower was not a good one.

Late yesterday it suddenly decided to file for peace (machine translation):

The Armed Forces ruled out the use of force to "liberate" Donbass

KIEV, April 9 - RIA Novosti. "Liberation" of Donbass by force will lead to mass deaths of civilians and servicemen, and this is unacceptable for Kiev, said Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak.

"Being devoted to universal human values ​​and norms of international humanitarian law, our state puts the lives of its citizens in the first place," the General Staff's press center quoted him as saying.

According to Khomchak, the Ukrainian authorities consider the political and diplomatic way to resolve the situation in Donbass a priority. At the same time, he added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready for an adequate response both to the escalation of the conflict and to "the complication of the military-political and military-strategic situation around the country."

Zelensky himself chipped in (machine translated):

Zelensky spoke for a truce in Donbass

MOSCOW, April 9 - RIA Novosti. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the need for a new truce in Donbass after visiting the contact line.

The head of state wrote on Facebook that shooting at the front lines had become "a dangerous routine." "After several months of observing a complete and general ceasefire, we returned to the need to establish a truce," Zelensky said.

As the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak emphasized earlier, the use of force to "liberate" Donbass is unacceptable for Kiev, as it is fraught with casualties among the civilian population and military personnel. At the same time, last week he said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will strengthen the grouping of troops in the Donbass and in the Crimean direction - in response to the "build-up" of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.

It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now. U.S. reconnaissance flights near Russia's border continue. One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse.

But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?

Posted by b at 14:44 UTC | Comments (164)

April 09, 2021

Why The U.S. Might Want War In Ukraine

Yesterday CNN said that the US is considering sending warships to the Black Sea amid Russia-Ukraine tensions. That the U.S. is 'considering' this is however disinformation:

The United States has notified Turkey that it intends to deploy two warships to the Black Sea amid rising tensions with Russia, Turkish Foreign Ministry sources said on Friday.

Washington made the notification just over two weeks ago, as required under the Montreux Convention on passage through the Straits.

The warships will stay in the Black Sea until 5 May.

"One US warship will arrive on 14 April, and another on 15 April to the Black Sea. And they will leave on 4 May and 5 May, respectively," a source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

The tensions in the Ukraine have built up after the Ukraine transferred heavy forces to the borders of Donetsk and Luhansk, raised Nazi flags and made a lot of noise about reconquering the renegade provinces as well as Crimea.


bigger

Russia has also started some movement of troops and equipment towards its western border. For now these units are just training and not in a position to attack:

Although the US does not see the amassing of Russian forces as posturing for an offensive action, the official told CNN that "if something changes we will be ready to respond." Their current assessment is that the Russians are conducting training and exercises and intelligence has not indicated military orders for further action, the official said, but noted that they are well-aware that could change at any time.

A few weeks ago we explained why the Ukrainian president Zelinsky is under pressure to start a war. The country is bankrupt and in a constitutional crisis. On top of that:

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.

Russia has since made its position clear:

Cont. reading: Why The U.S. Might Want War In Ukraine

Posted by b at 16:41 UTC | Comments (111)

April 08, 2021

U.S. Iran Conflict In Iraq Put On Pause

During their recent strategic dialogue the U.S. and Iraq agreed to relabel U.S. combat troops in the country into train and assist forces. A common statement said:

Based on the increasing capacity of the ISF, the parties confirmed that the mission of U.S. and Coalition forces has now transitioned to one focused on training and advisory tasks, thereby allowing for the redeployment of any remaining combat forces from Iraq, with the timing to be established in upcoming technical talks. The transition of U.S. and other international forces away from combat operations to training, equipping, and assisting the ISF reflects the success of their strategic partnership and ensures support to the ISF’s continued efforts to ensure ISIS can never again threaten Iraq’s stability.

The timing of the actual relabeling is still open. Technical meetings, to be held sometime in the future, are supposed to decide on that.

This however will not satisfy the Iraqi parliament which had decided that all foreign troops have to leave Iraq. Nor will this satisfy the 'resistance axis' of Iran, Syria and the aligned Shia militia groups in Iraq and Lebanon. As long as U.S. troops are still in Iraq, they will also continue their war on Syria. Those troops must leave:

Prior to the US-Iraq strategic talks, the Coordinating Committee of the Iraqi Resistance Factions, which includes all Iran-backed militias, issued a statement demanding a clear timetable for departure of all US forces from Iraq. The committee said it supports the strategic talks only if they lead to setting a clear timetable for a US departure, and that otherwise militias will return to attacking US bases and forces in Iraq.

Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, who became Prime Minister in May 2020, had promised to fulfill the parliament demand. He is however known to be leaning to the U.S. side. He has also worked deftly to diminish the influence of militia groups which lean towards the Iranian side:

In recent years, the Iranian-backed political and armed factions and their allies have occupied high-ranking offices in various sensitive security services, giving them wide-ranging power.

The National Intelligence Service, the National Security Agency, the national security adviser, the Internal Intelligence Agency, the elite Falcons Cell, and the Supreme Technical Committee for Information and Communication Security are among the most important official security agencies that the Tehran-allied armed factions and political forces controlled until last year.

But Kadhimi has managed to prize them all from the factions’ hands under one pretext or another, security officials told MEE.

The Interior Intelligence Agency and the Falcons Cell, the most prominent domestic intelligence units in terms of technical and human capabilities, which had not previously used their resources to pursue the Iranian-backed factions, have been in the prime minister’s hands since January.

Despite these losses of influence the various forces aligned with Iran are still powerful. Iraq also depends on electricity and gas which Iran provides to it. Kadhimi must therefore take Iranian interests into account:

Al-Kadhimi has walked a tightrope as he negotiates with the Americans while coming under growing pressure from local militias loyal to Tehran.

Last week, a convoy of heavily armed Shiite militiamen drove openly through Baghdad, denouncing the U.S. presence and threatening to cut off al-Kadhimi's ear, a display that clearly sought to undermine the premier.

Angered, al-Kadhimi asked Iran's leaders to rein in Iran-backed militias in Iraq and suggested he would confront the factions, two Iraqi officials said Wednesday. In the note, al-Kadhimi threatened to "announce clearly who backs these groups," the officials said.

It was not immediately clear who the message was given to. The timing suggested al-Kadhimi, who has appeared powerless in confronting the militias, was looking to appease the Americans ahead of Wednesday's talks.

The message led to a two-day visit this week by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force chief Ismail Qaani to Baghdad, where he met with militia and Shiite political leaders and called for calm, according to a senior Iraqi Shiite politician.

While Iran still wants the U.S. to leave the Middle East it is currently not interested in an immediate conflict. That is why Ismail Qaani told the Iran aligned militia groups to stand down. A priority for now is the return of the U.S. to the nuclear deal and the lifting of U.S. sanctions. Should that process fail it will again be open season. Kadhimi will then have to leave and the U.S. 'trainers' in Iraq will again come under direct attacks.

All this is political movement on the tactical level. On the strategic level Iran's aim is still to remove the U.S. from the Middle East. That will however take much more time.

Posted by b at 16:20 UTC | Comments (46)

April 07, 2021

Open Thread 2021-026

News & views ...

Posted by b at 16:27 UTC | Comments (202)

April 06, 2021

Will There Be A Global Resistance Economy?

Alastair Crooke's latest is, as usual, very interesting:

China and Russia Launch a ‘Global Resistance Economy’

What is ‘it’? It is not just a trade and investment pact with Tehran; neither is it simply allies helping each other. The ‘resistance’ lies precisely with the way they’re trying to help each other. It is a mode of economic development. It represents the notion that any rent-yielding resource – banking, land, natural resources and natural infrastructure monopolies – should be in the public domain to provide basic needs to everybody – freely.

The alternative way simply is to privatise these ‘public goods’ (as in the West), where they are provided at a financialized maximum cost – including interest rates, dividends, management fees, and corporate manipulations for financial gain.
...
The point is that – at the economic plane – the U.S., hyper-financialised sphere is fast shrinking, as China, Russia and much of the ‘World Island’ turn to trading in their own currencies (and do not buy U.S. Treasuries). In a ‘war’ of economic systems, America therefore starts on the back foot.
...
China has spectacularly made its entrance in the Middle East, and is challenging the U.S. with a resistance agenda. FM Wang, when he met with Ali Larijani, special adviser to the Supreme Leader Khamenei, framed it all in a single sentence: “Iran decides independently on its relations with other countries, and is not like some countries that change their position with one phone call”. This single comment encapsulates the new ‘wolf warrior’ ethos: states should stick with their autonomy and sovereignty. China is advocating a sovereigntist multilateralism to shake off “the western yoke”.

Wang did not confine this political message to Iran. He had just said the same in Saudi Arabia, before arriving in Tehran. It was well received in Riyadh. In economic development terms, China earlier had linked Turkey and Pakistan into the ‘corridor’ plan – and now Iran.

How will the U.S. react? It will ignore the message from Anchorage. It will likely press on. It is already testing China over Taiwan, and is preparing an escalation in Ukraine, to test Russia.

While I do not agree with every point - Iran and Russia are less socialist than the above assumes - the core push is IMHO correct as far as it is relevant to China, Russia and Iran. But can it go beyond them?

Anyway, there is more food for thought in it.

Posted by b at 17:52 UTC | Comments (114)

April 05, 2021

How Many Songs? How Many Glasses?

The crazies at Hamburg's miniature wonderland used the lockdown to create a classical music medley and quiz.

Astonishing that they spent time to built such a magnificent background for this video.

The making of the above with English subs is also on their Youtube channel. My personal favorite of their modelscapes is the airport.

Posted by b at 16:38 UTC | Comments (38)

How Russia 'Weaponized' 111 Times

Last night Bryan MacDonald, an Irish journalist currently working for RT, picked up on a theme we previously noted here.

Bryan MacDonald @27khv - 19:21 UTC · Apr 4, 2021

With the US/UK press in full Russia hysteria mode, right now, it's time for a thread on things the Anglo-American media has accused Moscow of "weaponising."
We shall start with Charlie Sheen.
Yes. Really. Not a joke.
Take a bow, @ak_mack & @ForeignPolicy


bigger

Bryan MacDonald's thread is a good opportunity to update our list of all the issues, ideas and things Russia has weaponized.

Even while the list below now includes 111 entries - like robotic cockroaches, postmodernism and 14.legged squids - it is likely far from being complete.

Cont. reading: How Russia 'Weaponized' 111 Times

Posted by b at 10:53 UTC | Comments (75)

April 04, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-025

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> CF: Do they want to take on our global dominion and hegemony role? No, but we assert that they do. We posit that China thinks and behaves like us: “We had Manifest Destiny and it took us across the Pacific to the Philippines. Therefore, China must have a Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny in mind.” This is wrong. Things don’t work like that. So I would argue that we have inhaled our own propaganda, and we are living in the appropriately stoned state that that produces. If we have sound policies, we can out-compete anyone. But we’re not looking at sound policies; we’re looking at pulling down our competitor. <

---
Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-025

Posted by b at 8:54 UTC | Comments (154)