Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 10, 2014

Ukraine: Is The Crimea Referendum A Judoka's Ruse?

Yesterday I wrote:

Without any fulfillment of the Feb 21 deal the Crimea will soon be part of the Russian Federation. [...] Take THIS deal or the Crimea is gone. If you can't take THIS deal, well, then the Crimea is gone.

Thinking through that again it turns out that I may well have been wrong.

Putin has a black belt in judo and in several other martial arts. His demand for the "February 21 deal or the Crimea goes to Russia" may have been a ruse to set up the enemy for his winning throw.

Ukraine currently has a majority of Russian speakers. Without the Crimea they would likely be a minority. As Crimea is quite dry and poor the Ukraine subsidizes it with allegedly some $1 billion per year by delivering water, electricity and heavily subsidized gas. Whatever the exact sum it is certainly more than the $90 million Russia currently pays for the use of its Crimean bases. Getting the Crimea would cost Russia quite a chunk of money. Would it really be better for Russia to have the Crimea in its federation than to have it close by but as an autonomous area within the Ukraine?

Christopher Westdal, a former Canadian ambassador to the Ukraine and to Russia, argues that it would be better for Russia to let the Crimea in Ukraine as a "hook" to keep the Ukraine in its political realm:

Apart from the lease-secured Sevastopol base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Crimea would be quite a mixed blessing [for Russia] to receive. Sixty per cent of its people love Mother Russia, more or less – but forty per cent don’t, some decidedly, particularly the long-suffering Tatars, whom Stalin, recall, expelled and tormented. As well, it would cost a fortune to relieve the poor, arid peninsula’s natural dependence on the Ukrainian mainland for water, power and communications.

Why not instead, I’d ask the [Russian] president, keep uncontested control and the Fleet’s base, but let Kiev keep Crimea officially, in name alone – a chronic migraine for a weak neighbour?

Conversely Westdal argues that it would be better for the Ukraine and coup government in Kiev to let the Crimea go:

On the other hand, were I Ukrainian, advising President Arseniy Yatseniuk, I think I’d make the case that the country would be better off without Crimea, better off without its problems – and without its heavy hook. Ukraine without Crimea would still border Russia, of course, and would still have to eschew NATO, lest Moscow make use of its just-proven capacity to destabilize eastern regions and to make the economic and political life of the whole country miserable. Without Crimea, though, Ukrainians, protected by neutrality, would be freer to find their own way, to master more of their fate, to get on with their neighbours and their lives, to make them better, at last.

This makes a lot of sense to me. Russia would indeed be better off by letting the Crimea stay within Ukraine. The Ukraine would indeed be better off by letting the Crimea go.

But the Ukrainian government no longer has that choice. The coup prime minister and Victoria "fuck the EU" Nuland darling Arseniy Yatsenyuk has set the mark:

“This is our land,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a crowd gathered at the Kyiv statue to writer and nationalist Taras Shevchenko. “Our fathers and grandfathers have spilled their blood for this land. And we won’t budge a single centimetre from Ukrainian land. Let Russia and its president know this.”

Earlier Yatsenyuk had already conceded that the Crimea should get more autonomy:

Yatsenyuk said Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, but may be granted more local powers. He said was in favor of establishing a special task force "to consider what kind of additional autonomy the Crimean Republic could get."

The White House and its "western" allies have also insisted that Crimea stays with Ukraine. There is no way now that the puppet Yatsenyuk and his puppeteers can take that back. If they want Crimea why not make them take it (while adding some hefty conditions to it)?

And here comes the trick in the Russian plan. This is what voters in Crimea must decide on this Sunday:

The questions on the ballot, as released by the Crimean parliament on its website, will be: “Do you support reuniting Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation?” and “Do you support restoring the Crimean Republic’s 1992 Constitution and status within Ukraine?” The second option refers to a law that gives the region the right to determine how much authority to delegate to Kiev.

Those binary questions were certainly agreed upon in Moscow. What happens if the majority (as counted :-)) goes for option two: "Restoring the Crimean Republic’s 1992 Constitution and status within Ukraine". This would, if strongly negotiated with Kiev, give the Crimea back all the strong autonomy that was unilaterally taken away by Kiev during several constitutional revisions since 1992. What can the U.S., always preaching "democracy", say against a highly visible free vote if the result looks, on a cursory view, like its preferred outcome? Would it then call the vote illegitimate or illegal?

Such a Crimea, with additional autonomy that the puppet already somewhat conceded, could likely be able block a NATO membership for Ukraine. It could probably block the EU association agreement. It could hinder many overt moves the government in Kiev could otherwise take against Russian interests. Crimea  could make, autonomously, a new agreement for the Russian military bases and Russia would keep its troops on the ground.

For other issues, like influence over a new Ukrainian government, Russia has still many other cards to play - from gas (non-)deliveries and prices to a possible intervention to "save Russian compatriots" in eastern Ukraine.

So is the whole bluster about the Crimea from the Russian side the judoka's ruse to further, and for the longterm, bind the Ukraine to Russia via the even deeper hook that a more autonomous Crimea within Ukraine would be?

Posted by b on March 10, 2014 at 17:20 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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HnH

While I'm ready to thoroughly consider some of your arguments and I'm also recognizing that we both tend to look differently at some hard to judge issues, I object to some of your points.

For one you seem to rely too much ob publicly available information. This is sometimes misleading because zusa has tendency to exaggerate for diverse reasons and in diverse ways while Russia has a strong tendency to give out rather minimized information. Also I have oftentimes seen that weztern statements and comparisons are based on export versions of Russian systems which are typically very considerably weaker than the versions used by Russia.

As for jet airplanes I disagree. A jet airplane has certain parameters and capabilities no matter the doctrine. I think one would be hard pressed to find any (not zusa fanatic) knowledgeable person not recognizing Russia having clearly superior systems.

As for "projecting power outside their borders" (a typical zamerican phrase) I might be too positive in certain situations but your are definitely to negative. Russia has many airplanes with almost double the reach of zusa analogues, it has excellent and far reaching cruise missiles and other means like large air assault caps.
More importantly however,youare somewhat blinded by a purely american perspective. Yes, Russias capabilities to "project power outside their borders" *the zamerican way* are lower than zusa; but that's not Russias interest. Russias needs and doctrine are very much different. As an example suppose bandar had made his threat true and harmed vital Russian interests. If Russia wanted to punish zaudi arabia and seriously cripple them they could attack vital oil and mil. infrastructure and such severy harm and cripple zaudi arabia.
Again Russias point wouldn't be to take over that country but only to ensure their interests by sending a very strong signal and creating very bad damage at some few locations. More importantly zaudi arabia would have no chance whatsoever to do more about it than squeaking and calling zusa (who wouldn't go to war with Russia over another country).

Another point I often notice with zamericans is that they tend to see only one side of things. Yes, Russia has just very few external bases and those are small. But having so many bases zusa is also incurring a disadvantage, namely that pretty everywhere lots of zamericans are more or less sitting ducks. Iran, for instance, has tens of thousands of zamerican targets available.

Finally let's come back to now and here, ukraine. And there the situation is painfully clear (for zusa/zeu): they can't but fart and Russia can do whatever they fucking please.
Which leads me to the last point. I wouldn't know why Russia should attack poland (zato member) if alone for the reason that looking angrily at them would make the poles cave in. But *if* Russia felt a need to attack poland zusa wouldn't - and couldn't - do much about it. Couldn't because zusa needed more time to even bring in weapons and troups than Russia needed to completely destroy poland.

I do btw. not underestimate zusa. In fact, I'm convinced that prudence leads me to overestimate zusa, yet I still fail to see anything that should worry Russia. Although I confess that my interpretation also includes non-military but relevant facts such as the Russian president being a powerful man who can make decisions while zusas president is uncomfortably obviously just some remote controlled puppet serving financial and economic (haha) interests. And here the circle closes; many of zusa "power projection systems" are, due to the same factors, mil. rather insignificant gadgets, the design - and cost - of which is more driven by marketing and sales than by professional considerations. Accordingly those systems were just about good enough to terrorize some worn out 3rd rate opponents.
To put it differently: To win a war *against* ukraine might be feasible for zusa; to win a war *for* ukraine, however, against Russia, is beyond zusas capabilities.
And hence the weather around Bulgaria is too bad ...

(As a conciliatory remark I can say that I *do* respect the professionality of many of the higher officers of zusa).

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 11 2014 16:35 utc | 101

Also, Turkey has a very strong navy that is much more potent than the current Russian Black Sea Fleet that they are busy modernizing as fast as possible. Turkey is no friend of Russia and they also control the Bosporus. Without their assent, Russia will not be able to enter and exit the Black Sea. During a military confrontation
between the US and Russia, Turkey will certainly not agree.


You are joking, right?

a) Russia can in less than a day bring turkey basically to a halt by destroying some vital infrastructure around Istanbul. And there isn't much turkey can do against it.
turkey has many troups, yes, and they have a oh so important zusa base but that doesn't change the fact that they have no significant mil. weight.
Besides, Russia *is* a superpower, zusa was one, Russia is uncomfortably close, zusa is far away. I don't see turkey to openly put themselves against Russia and risking extreme pain and damage for zamericans (whom most turks despise anyway).

b) If zusa ever dared to send any not insignificant fleet through Bosporus, that strait would very soon be blocked by sunken zusa ships.

c) forget zusas allies. zuk might fight - but with what? France will not go against Russia for/with zusa. And your colony Germany will neither. So, what allies? australia? canada? moldavia?

And again: We don't need speculations. The current situations provides clear answers. zusa won't and can't dare to do more than talking angrily. Because zusa is an EX-superpower and a financial parasite and a terrorist regime not feeding its own people (who are so braindead to still believe in captain america).

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 11 2014 16:48 utc | 102

I'm not sure it's so easy to black the Straits with sunken ships. I've never seen the Dardanelles, but the Bosphorus -- which I have seen -- is quite wide, and the Sea of Marmara obviously much wider. When the British navy tried to force its way through the Straits to Istanbul before the landings at Gallipoli, Turkish mines sank a number of British battleships (I believe this was in the Dardanelles,) and I've never read that those sunken battleships blocked the Straits.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 11 2014 18:17 utc | 103

Slightly OT but it seems that more and more people are correctly beginning to see that the Boston Bombing narrative with the Chechen "terrorists" etc - is a stinky pile of dogshit.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 11 2014 18:23 utc | 104

" We don't need speculations. The current situations provides clear answers. zusa won't and can't dare to do more than talking angrily. Because zusa is an EX-superpower and a financial parasite and a terrorist regime not feeding its own people (who are so braindead to still believe in captain america)."

The truth is that, whether the USA is an ex-superpower or not, it is unquestionable that what it has been doing in the Ukraine is a lot more than "talking angrily." It is acting aggressively. Installing a fascist regime in Kiev is an aggression, close to being an act of war.

Driving out the President, because he seems equally open to Russian influence as to western diktats, is a lot more than talk.

From the neo-con point of view Russia is in retreat, being pushed back at will. Whenever they choose, the US Ambassador in Moscow can call in hundreds of his allies, creatures of the Pussy Riot-Kasparov type, and set up a demonstration against Putin. He hands out money at will to traitors. Chechen and other, Tatar, guerrillas are armed and equipped. With impunity. Mercenaries roam the streets of eastern Ukraine unmolested, beating up leftists or pro-Russians. Money from Congress pours into the pockets of Russia's enemies. It buys ammunition for the guns used against Russia's allies.

The Polish and Lithuanian (Latvian and Estonian too no doubt) governments send agents into Ukraine to agitate against Russian interests. And what does Russia say to Poland, Lithuania et al?

Don't mistake me.
I am not defending these actions-they are despicable.

Neither am I condemning the Russian government, which may well be acting sensibly and with an eye to the medium and long term.

What I am saying however, is that what the US is doing and has been doing, in opposition to Russia and Russian interests, from moving up missile bases to its borders to subverting neutral or friendly neighbours and replacing them, as in Kiev as in Tiflis, (though that didn't work out very well) with fascist puppets is much more than "angry speech."
This is a war in which only one side is fighting. And the other turns another cheek.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 11 2014 18:27 utc | 105

@Mr. Pragma

Funny that you seem to consider me being American. I am German, in fact. So I'm not nearly as convinced by the American way of doing things as you assume me to be. I am also appalled by the fact that the EU and Germany go along with Us propaganda and the vilification of Russia and Putin, although it is clearly detrimental on strategic, economic and energy security grounds. Europe has now a very dangerous situation at its hands that has the potential to develop into a full scale civil war, or even worse, a war directly at its doorstep.

We have a hardening of perspectives on every side involved in that conflict and the reemergence of the specter of war, and none of us has a clear way out to stop a potential explosion of hostilities from happening.

The Ukraine situation is a watershed moment for Europe. I am convinced that it is one of those defining developments in history that will be remembered for decades to come, and not in a good way.

I would also wish that US influence would decline much faster, but I am also realistic. The ability of the US to destabilize the Ukraine and to depose the corrupt but democratically elected Yanukovich is very telling. The ability to reduce the once stable and prosperous Libya is very telling. The ability of dominating the outcome on the nuclear talks with Iran is very telling. The ability to protect Israel from all and sundry recriminations is very telling. The ability to still have the global currency and having it pegged to the oil market despite their waning economic clout is very telling.

You get the gist. The US is still the most powerful country, and Russia and China have more than their hands full at keeping them at bay from their borders. We don't know how long the US will still stand at the top, but we should not be surprised if it is much longer than many observers would anticipate.

With regards to comparing US and Russian air fighter doctrines. Russian fighters are clearly superior in terms of maneuverability, but the US has a very clear edge in terms of AESA radars, information sharing and stealth capabilities. This is very much in line with their doctrines and how they anticipate these fighters to be used in a potential conflict.

Also, it depends very much on who you ask, but some would rate that US Air-to-Air missiles superior whereas others would point out the better characteristics of Russian AAM. As most of these data are classified, we can only assume and estimate the capabilities of each and every missile on a point by point basis, and how they interact within the specific context of a given confrontation. As a consequence, I think that general assumptions about whose military capabilities are better is not as easy as it seems.

The most important point by assessing the capabilities is, where and under what circumstances would they come to a clash, and with what kind of support equipment? What are the objectives of both parties?

For example, the soon to be introduced PAK FA has fewer stealth characteristics than either the F-22 or the F-35. Supported by Russian ground radars and AWACS, they have a good chance of coming out on top because of their maneuverability. However, the better stealth characteristics might give US fighters the edge without that support. That is, F22 and F35 have arguably better deep strike and beyond visual range capabilities, but near their home turf the PAK FA could play to its advantages and exploit its higher maneuverability.

WRT sending cruise missiles over to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others. Of course, Russia has the capability to do so, but either instance that would mean war, global war. Saudi Arabia is crucial for the global oil supply and attacking them would mean an instant economic crash of proportions not seen in history as of yet. Similarly, Turkey is NATO and an attack by Russia would force the US to retaliate, whether they wanted to or not. All of their allies in Europe and Asia would demand nothing less. The US cannot escape that binding contract.

So, we should all be careful what we wish for.


Posted by: HnH | Mar 11 2014 18:28 utc | 106

@ 104,

When I first heard the official fairytale of the Boston bombing, it sounded so ridiculous, so implausible, so much at variance with observable data...I thought surely the public would catch a clue this time.

Alas, it seems the PTB have concluded the people are so dim that there's no need to trouble themselves with a remotely credible narrative.

Posted by: Lysander | Mar 11 2014 18:42 utc | 107

HnH at 90 and 100: Thanks for gently setting Pragma straight on military capabilities.

And his point you refer to as pertinent in 90 really isn't. Thinking that NATO is busted and that it is certain it would not react to Russia rolling across Ukraine (and Poland for that matter) is nonsensical only three years after the US/NATO members turned Tripoli and many other Libyan cities into rubble. Putin is a responsible adult who calculates probabilities and takes them into account. He remembers Libya. He remembers the US eagerness a few months ago to bomb Damascus mercilessly. He has to think there is a reasonable possibility a Russian 'invasion' of Ukraine will be met with a limited but damaging US/NATO military response. The percentages may or may not be less than 50, we don't know and it's unlikely Putin knows, but if they're anything above 5 or 10% he has to take that seriously. NATO/US is attempting to indicate the chances of a damaging military response are very high, which they likely are not. But there's always a lot of military-industrial complex types (especially in the US) who need to have the military used fairly often. If it doesn't get used then Americans start thinking about cutting it back. So don't be surprised if that leads to another irrational but military-industrial complex profitable use of the US military.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 11 2014 18:49 utc | 108

brian 94 Off they go! To be elegantly and swiftly eliminated by the Russian and Ukrainian loyalist forces. Good riddance. Less burden on societies in crusaders' home countries. And total loss of the investment made by their GLADIO (NATO) operators (months of training, equipment,...).

Posted by: ProPeace | Mar 11 2014 19:12 utc | 109

@107

Perhaps my favorite part of that pathetic nonsense was the "confession" note scrawled into the side of boat in which he was hiding - y'know - after the authorities were worried that maybe they had gotten a confession out of him before he was allowed to see a lawyer, before he was properly informed of his rights and before they knew if he would be able to speak again. Lucky, huh?

Just like finding an intact passport from the 9/11 hijacker, huh?

F*cking stupid. Insulting.

And embarrassing that any one believes this crap.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 11 2014 19:15 utc | 110

JSorrentine :

Funny that "Uncle Tsarni", the CIA in-law, was left out of this "expose"; he's the BEST evidence that this whole thing was a cook-up! Or is that a rabbit hole that no one wants to go down?

Posted by: L Bean | Mar 11 2014 19:15 utc | 111

@111

Move along, nothing to see here!!! Move along.

Yup, for those who didn't follow it: not only was Uncle Tsarni involved in shady deals himself but his father-in-law was one of THE CIA masterminds behind the Mujahideen war against the USSR in the 80s. Tsarni just married lucky, huh?

Again: move along!!! Move along, people!!!

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 11 2014 19:47 utc | 112

LOL, just a COINKYDINK! BANNED FOR CT!!

Posted by: L Bean | Mar 11 2014 19:51 utc | 113

in the discussion between Mr.Pragma and HnH may I point to the syrian case on the third of september 2013.Why zusa who had the backing of France,the GCC zot,the zionist entity,Turkey had to retreat in the last minute?Why zuk invented the veto of Westminster?Isn't it for 2 facts:1/Syria,Iran,Hezbollah let it be known that they would all three retaliate in all the M.E(through Feltman and through the omanis);2/Russia brought down the 2 missiles fired from a zusa base in Spain.What does that shows?That zusa is in the stage of barking the biting part of the character is gone…As for the arguing of the lybian case or Iraq 2003 for that matter they were attacked because they had no army to speak of ,the lybians because it was a militia and the iraqi because they suffered 15 years of attrition and were completely ripe for a defeat.The moral?zusa never attacks the ones who are capable of defending themselves just the weak who are left as prey.It is almost darwininian(hyenas always attack corpses or the weakest of all) but that is zusa.And it has always been like this.There would never have been a Normandy landing hadn't the russians defeated Hitler.Post 1945 is also here to prove it.So were is all this chihuaha posturing of zusa when confronted with reality?

Posted by: Nobody | Mar 11 2014 21:29 utc | 114

2/Russia brought down the 2 missiles fired from a zusa base in Spain.

really?

Are you sure about that?

Posted by: brb | Mar 11 2014 22:05 utc | 115

I am not in russian Ghq but the arab media was full of the story,the russian army released a declaration stating that 2 missiles of zusa were brought down and russian media revealed that the head of russian army had called the zusan counterpart and suggested to them to say it was the zionist entity who did it.Sorry I don't have the quotations anymore but that is more or less the gist of the events on that day.

Posted by: Nobody | Mar 11 2014 22:52 utc | 116

@110-@112 etc

Then there was the assassination in Florida of the unarmed "friend" who was being interrogated by seven FBI men and had to be killed and you would have to be a real idiot to find anything in the tiniest bit fishy about that. I mean, the guy could have picked up the table and killed everyone of the Law Enforcement heroes.

To be fair to AlterNet there is a Part II coming soon.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 11 2014 23:15 utc | 117

 am not in russian Ghq but the arab media was full of the story,the russian army released a declaration stating that 2 missiles of zusa were brought down and russian media revealed that the head of russian army had called the zusan counterpart and suggested to them to say it was the zionist entity who did it.Sorry I don't have the quotations anymore but that is more or less the gist of the events on that day.

Posted by: Nobody | Mar 11, 2014 6:52:05 PM | 116

I think you will find, if you check again, the the Russians made no statement saying that "2 missiles of zusa were brought down"

"Brought down" is completely the wrong phrase to use, because official Russian statement said nothing of the sort.

This whole fairytale is based on one single report in one dodgy Arab language media publication. The only statement the Russian Military made was that a launch was detected and that missles were then detected coming down some miles away. Nothing more, nothing less.

Everything else is mere speculation or pure propaganda - or in the case of many, nothing but wishful thinking

Imo what happened was the US or israelis merely testing Russian capabilities by sending up a missile designed to ditch into the sea a few miles away, with no intention other than to test russian re-action

Posted by: brb | Mar 11 2014 23:33 utc | 118

Imo what happened was the US or israelis merely testing Russian capabilities by sending up a missile designed to ditch into the sea a few miles away, with no intention other than to test russian re-action
Posted by: brb | Mar 11, 2014 7:33:24 PM | 118


What was the result of the test, iyo?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 12 2014 0:41 utc | 119

The russian early warning defences detected the launch

Which is exactly what the russian military stated.

No big mystery, you could have found that out for yourself easily enough just by reading the statement put out by the russian military

Posted by: brb | Mar 12 2014 1:01 utc | 120

Official russian defence ministry statement, via russian state run news agency Ria-Novosti

Quote

"The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier Tuesday that its ballistic missile early warning system had detected the launch of two "ballistic objects,” traveling eastward from the central Mediterranean region.

The launch was detected at 10:16 Moscow time (06:16 GMT) by a radar in the southern Russian city of Armavir, a Defense Ministry spokesman said. The targets’ trajectories ran from the central to the eastern Mediterranean, the spokesman said."

UN-quote

That statement regarding trajectory, "eastward from the central med", completly negates any claim of Spain as the starting point for those "ballistic objects"

Posted by: brb | Mar 12 2014 1:29 utc | 121

Don't say bad things about American missiles, it upsets brb greatly. He is very quick to correct the talking point which makes the USA look less than "impressive", and even provide links and background info. You'll note the lack of a similar extended take down of, say, the Ukrainian Nazis or Israeli war crimes. These things don't seem to concern our western partner foff/brb in the same way.

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 12 2014 4:28 utc | 122

@bevin

"talking angrily" was, I concede, formulated somewhat loosely but you also took it out of context. It was a (possibly misleading) phrase to describe the absence of a military response - not to describe zusa actions per se. Those, you are completely right there, are of course criminal, despicable, terroristic and an act of war.


@HnH

You say "The US is still the most powerful country" and, somewhat earlier, you say "So I'm not nearly as convinced by the American way of doing things as you assume me to be".
If that describes your attitude, well ... no further questions.

Also you make a grave logical error. If "a powerful country" is defined merely as the capability to inflict damage on other countries, no matter how illegal the means, you might be correct. Most reasonable people, however, would not equate that with "powerful" but rather with "criminal".
I btw. don't think that you are evil or stupid but rather that you have a strong tendency to, without checking, accept and use zamerican reference frames, data, "logic", etc. (which wouldn't surprise me as Germany is known to be an occupied zusa colony.)

This is also clearly visible when you write "We don't know how long the US will still stand at the top..." - That's, Pardon me, Bullshit!
They are *not* at the top but - and that's where brainwashing comes to bear - they are successfully making many *believe* they're on top.
Again, this isn't about hitting at you as a person! But you just made the same error twice and gravely. Superpower and on top. Bullshit. But then, you have grown up in a completely pro-zamerican and zusa controlled environment, no matter whether in zusa or in Germany. Sure, having learned the zusa version of "history" in school, reading zusa controlled and abused media, watching state television, a poorly disguised propaganda operation, aso. aso. you are pretty much bound to *believe* the superpower and on-top crap.

Actually zusa is pretty much on the floor but somehow manages to keep its projections working, if badly flimmering. Chose your category. Education? Except for a thin top layer, zamericans are ridiculously low on the scale. 75% of high-shool graduates have difficulties reading, writing and basic calculations. Finance? zusa is the biggest - and worst - creditor on this planet living off a parasitical fraud and scam system. Economy? unemployment rates shocking, poverty rates shocking and increasing, most major production outsourced to other countries. That's not exactly what "on top" means.

"But their military!" I hear you saying. Nope. The whole system is broken. And so is their military. No questions about that. Both Iraq and Afghanistan were third rate opponents and both had been worn down by many years of wars and/or sanctions. Yet zusa did not manage to reach a victory in those 2 countries. Maximum destruction, yes. Relentless killing sprees, yes. Wanton mass murder, yes. But a victory? Nope, not by any usually applied standards.

And I'm sure you will agree that military power, in the end, is to be measured by results, right.
And *how* on earth *could* zusa be militarily powerful, when their country is broken and rotten, their finances are credits, fakes, and scams, their economy broken down for a large part, and their people stupid?

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 12 2014 4:30 utc | 123

HnH

"... but the US has a very clear edge in terms of AESA radars, information sharing and stealth capabilities."

Sorry to disappoint you but your are wrong (or outdated). Current Russian jets do have similar systems and those are actually better in some parameters (and worse in others). The point is: Nope, they're roughly on par.

Stealth capabilities? Sorry to disappoint you again. Yet another of those weztern fairy tales (which about everyone in the wezt seems to believe). For a starter, Stealth technology has been invented and developed by *Russian*. Funny, huh? Second, stealth technology is pretty much worthless nowadays. Even small (Russian and soon weztern, too) mobile air defense systems can detect an follow "stealth" fighters.
And again you are inmidst a weztern PR trap. Btw. "stealth" tech. isn't about invisibility, it's about minimizing radar surface. And it doesn't work against Russia because Russias radars can detect extremely small radar surfaces reliably (incl. cruise missiles).
So, yes , in a way you are right, modern Russian jets are less stealthy but *by design*; it simply wasn't considered an important feature and correctly so.

"...some would rate that US Air-to-Air missiles superior ...

Well, then those "some" should learn their profession and get real data. Fact is that even one of the involved leading professional had an angry tantrum because of the extremely poor performance of zusa anti-air missile systems. Hit rate < 5%. And there is another important point that the zamericans fail to mention, reach. If my air2surface missiles have a reach of, say, 100km and you anti-air missiles have a reach of 75km, I couldn't care less about you your hit rate, even if it was 100%. You air-defense systems will be worthless and blown up, simple as that.

"...However, the better stealth characteristics might give US fighters the edge..."
Fairy tale, as explained above.

"That is, F22 and F35 have arguably better deep strike and beyond visual range capabilities"

Bullshit squared. Typical zamerican PR bla bla. Even the wording is right out of zusa PR dictionary.
And additionally: F-35 are so lousy (according to *weztern* examinations) that even friends of zusa like australia get out of their contracts and cancelled their orders.
F-22 similarly is a very capable and blbla jet - if only it were really available and pilots didn't refuse to fly with it. Actually Russia even didn't need to shot at F-22 because zusa already lost some F-22 which simply fell out of the sky.
What zusa recently ordered were somewhat updated old F-18. And what they actually use (other than for purely political bla bla statements) are F-16 and F-15. And that's very reasonable.

As for zato contracts and similar: Funny that you assume zusa would finally honour a contract. They are widely known - in particular by Russia - to break contracts before the ink is dry. Furthermore: zato or not zato, zusa is not in any position to attack Russia proper or in their near abroad. And btw, for Russia turkey would be a high value target, for zusa it would be a 3rd rate slave, albeit at a strategically important location.

The *real* goal of zusas current actions is a) to weaken Russia (which they failed to do again) and to somehow keep their PR projection running and such their empire status at least from *obviously* breaking.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 12 2014 4:59 utc | 124

fairleft (108)

"Thanks for gently setting Pragma straight on military capabilities."

He didn't. But of course you were neither capable to understand that nor to shut the fuck up.

And don't you dare to put yourself next to HnH! He might be somewhat brainwashed having grown up in Germany (which can be excused and is not his fault) but, unlike you, he has a brain and knows at least roughly what he's talking about. That man HnH is *way above your level*.

Now, nuland yourself and pray to your shaddai.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 12 2014 5:03 utc | 125

122

What i'm quick to correct is stupidity, dishonesty and ignorance.

Which is of course why you hate me so much because i have corrected your stupidity dishonesty and ignorance many many times, thus far, and like any idiot when your stupidity, ignorance and outright blatant dishonesty is shown, you resent it greatly.

Since there is little of a factual nature for you the disagree with, like the dishonest asshole you are, you simply invent things to object to.

Thats known as lying, to most people.

No one forces you to lie, you choose to do it yourself.

Now f' off, like a good little puppy ,and stop polluting the comment section with your childish drivel

Posted by: brb | Mar 12 2014 7:56 utc | 126

Bloody H*ll.

@Mr Pragma. I had a major reply for you addressing your post and your arguments in a point by point fashion and, due to the timeout and a typo of consequence (ctrl-v instead of ctrl-c) it is all gone.

It was too long and too time intensive to type it all again. Sorry, some other time.

Posted by: HnH | Mar 12 2014 20:39 utc | 127

@HnH

Try re-writing your reply in small segments, of a 'to be continued type'.
I think both you as well as mr.Pragma were making good points. I think reality might be somewhat in
the middle of that road.
Mr.Pragma tends to exaggerate a bit in terms of Russian power and military might. But his non PC posts are a breath of fresh air.
Others go the other way and are taken in by ZUSA's PR that zusa is the strongest military force of all time, blah,blah, blah.
You were making some good points though. When time allows, I'll try to give my 2 cents worth on these issues.
Best regards.

Posted by: Luca K | Mar 13 2014 16:56 utc | 128

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