Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 13, 2019

The Man Who Weaponizes And Loses Everything

Many news outlets documented that Putin's Russia weaponizes everything, including humor, health information, giant squids, robotic cockroaches, tedium and postmodernism.

At the same time these outlets tell us that Putin is losing many things, or already lost them.

Which bears asking: Is there a causality between weaponizing and losing stuff?

h/t Bryan MacDonald


Posted by b on August 13, 2019 at 12:46 UTC | Permalink

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It is hard to measure up to Churchills human rights abuses in today's world because colonialism is not as prevalent, or at least not as direct. Putin will never have the same opportunity to murder millions as Churchill did, it is a different world. Yes, by todays standards Churchill is a genocidal monster, but I always say one must judge a man by the times he lived in, not the current age. Go easy on old Winston, one can only eclipse the circumstances one is born into by so much.

That said, I think Churchill would be flattered to be compared to Putin, even with the qualifiers of being more flawed and having committed greater human rights violations.

Posted by: Hassaan | Aug 14 2019 1:35 utc | 101

Putin and Churchill: Zionist tools.

Posted by: O | Aug 14 2019 1:40 utc | 102

@41 @42

Emmanuel Goldstein, very possibly.

I haven't watched this video in over a decade but it remains one of the most powerful 1 3/4 hours on youtube. Damon Vrabel's Renaissance 2.0. I managed to trade a couple of comments with him on a long-departed forum years ago. Then he vanished.

I just happened to watch it again recently. At the 1 hour 2 min mark, he discusses the mystery role of Russia, an ambivalence we continue to discuss as recently as, well, today. I can't recommend the whole video enough. Keep in mind this is 2012. His thinking is very kindred I think to Sheldon Wolin's Inverted Totalitarianism.

Posted by: FSD | Aug 14 2019 2:31 utc | 103

The American Empire and its democratic vassals/groupies obviously have a very bad case of Putin Envy that is creepy in a sexual-stalker kind of way.

America's sexualized love/hate obsession with Putin makes Jeffery Epstein seem normal in comparison.

America: We Hate Putin. (But we secretly Love HIM).

Posted by: AK74 | Aug 14 2019 4:08 utc | 104

FZ @ 100:

What a loser ... Dedushka is a loser even against his grandson Volodya.

Who'da thunk it ... all those billions of Putin going into buying Camp Pendleton ... no wonder there were no money trails leading to Putin in those leaked Mossack Fonseca papers.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 14 2019 5:14 utc | 105

AK74 @ 105:

U.S. began their love affair (in earnest) with Putin during Obama's presidency because Obama is such a dreadful gash.

Posted by: Anacharsis | Aug 14 2019 5:56 utc | 106

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 14 2019 0:39 utc | 98



Posted by: Anacharsis | Aug 14 2019 6:00 utc | 107

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 13 2019 17:38 utc | 50
(Wow! (HK) sure seems like a democratic system to me! Perhaps that unnamed spokesperson ought to read about what the subject is before speaking!)

Especially when compared with the process by which the Outlaw US Empire declared Random Guaido to be the legitimate President of Venezuela...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 14 2019 6:56 utc | 108

And by the way, Oxygen doesn't (cannot) burn! It cannot happen. Other things can burn in oxygen, though.
Posted by: BM | Aug 13 2019 18:43 utc | 60

Thanks for launching your nuclear propulsion speculation from a platform of facts with which I am partly familiar.

I admit to being somewhat skeptical when Putin announced the long-range nuclear-fueled missile. I had assumed that the effective shielding required to make a conventional fission reactor FULLY controllable would make a missile too heavy to be capable of sustained flight. But the concept of using the interaction of carefully chosen, and positioned, isotopes to vary the output of the "furnace" would seem to have merit as a practical alternative to conventional heavy-weight shielding.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 14 2019 7:26 utc | 109

For a leader with very few aces up his sleeve, he certainly has made the most of the cards at his disposal, especially considering the opposition he is up against, certainly not in terms of brains, but in terms of reach, scale and resources.

Posted by: EtTuBrute | Aug 14 2019 7:42 utc | 110

Clearly Putin is an illuminati agent who is behind the protests in HK so China can justify a move to suppress Democracy in HK and put HK under its boot, and he makes it look like a US color revolution. Genius. He likely whisked Epstein away to pal around with his pal Snowden and pave the way for Trumps reelection. His getting Trump elected in the first place was sheer brilliance , destroying the reputation of the US and Democracy and making China and Putins Russia look utopian by comparison.

A powerful man who is being primed for Global Presidency by the illuminated ones

Half of this is in jest. Half is not.

Posted by: Pft | Aug 14 2019 8:00 utc | 111

You missed one more crime, Bernhard!

Putin killed Epstein!!!

Frankly, I would be upset and jealous would no one in US spill it!

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 14 2019 8:13 utc | 112

The US Media does not have a clue about Putin or his intentions, they frame his as a Cold War-era bogeyman, a definition that really does not fit in all but the most general terms.

But this nest of Putinversteher here also seems to have a view of him that overlook the exten to which he runs a corrupt, authoritarian, plutocratic, theocratic state.

He is no more or less of a bastard than our Western plutocrats, but he does little that is admirable or venerable.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 14 2019 8:29 utc | 113

> but he does little that is admirable or venerable.

compare Russian quality of life in Russia, from net income to safety in streets, to medical care, in 1998 and 2018, then show me a bunch of "same bastards" around the world.

That not accounting for stopping ethnocide in Osetia and preventing sex slaves markets in Syria. Raniere, Epstein and other American nuts of their kin could and still can buy female children in Libya, but not in Syria.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 14 2019 8:44 utc | 114

RT have swiped your story:

Posted by: Paul | Aug 14 2019 9:07 utc | 115

ralphieboy @ 114:

Not everyone here is a Putin apologist (nor to the same degrees), but what is more important is understanding Russian psychology historically: Russians need a "strongman" leader or else they fall apart (individually and collectively)--this is how it has always been for the Rus'--so it is futile to register complaint against the person called "Putin." As an individual he has his failings and his successes; most pertinently here, he gets the job done and keeps a far-flung and non-homogenous country relatively together: this is the most you can ask for in a Russian leader. Unless you're a utopian moralist, which in case: good luck in the world...

Posted by: Anacharsis | Aug 14 2019 9:11 utc | 116

I gotta a new one: Putin is weaponizing losing.

Posted by: Max | Aug 14 2019 11:18 utc | 117

Aah I see the misunderstanding here, simple !
The USA and there MSM define success as — how many country’s you can attempt to invade and totaly trash leaving city’s in heaps of rubble, dead and starving people every where, plus millions of refugees to blame. Copying Hitler!
Where as Putin defines success as truly protecting his country and improving his public standards of living.
The USA public are deprived of the truth and reality whilst Russian public are told the truth.
The USA politicians run there foreign policy on the orders of Israel who are blackmailing them, US politicians and advisers who are mostly pedophiles or duel National Israel’s.
Suppose success is in the eye of the beholder and the undeluded.
Give me Russia eny time !
USA regarding Israel = Stockholm syndrome!

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 14 2019 11:31 utc | 118

@Steven T Johnson #80
Concerning unstable nuclear reactors.
The civilian nuclear 'accidents' dont prove any unknown instability of nuclear reactors against exploding like atom bombs. The circumstances around both Three Mile Island and Chernobyl make sabotage a more realistic explanation. In the case of Three Mile Island the settings were not just wrong in one case and Hollywood had prepared the public just a week before with the film China Syndrom.
The concerned authorities in line with the Club of Rome mindset had already before expressed a negative view on nuclear power. Nuclear power was not wanted in Iran and other developing nations. There were grand plans for industrialisation of many poor nations using Soviet, French and Westgerman technology. Khomeini a Muslim Brotherhood partner with the Uk/Us (in that order) made sure Iran would cancel the nuclear power projects. And Chernobyl, where insiders behaved extremely suspiciously, had even deeper consequences for the elimination of peaceful forces for development. French engineers initially protested claiming the Chernobyl events could not have happened as claimed but they seemingly went silent about it. Maybe because it was during the cold war and the Afghan war biased the westerners.
Chernobyl was sabotaged with a mininuke. American experts confirmed that it exploded like an atombomb. But no-one with any understanding of the conditions for setting up a chainreaction seriously believes that could happen without very efficient implosion involved.
Coldwar logic made wellinformed physicists shut up about it.
Fukushima has been claimed by altmedia sources of uncertain quality to have been sabotaged and the purported motive was about Japans unofficial production of plutonium in large quantities.
I dont know what to believe in that case but I dont doubt that the failed safetysystems could have been sabotaged. Neither is there any doubt that there are plenty of 'lost' mininukes available somewhere since even the official Us tidings have written about their own lost mininukes although in that case without explicitly revealing where they went only saying they 'got away'. Those nukes could have had a magnitude low enough to not reveal any easily spotted signature of a nuclear bomb.

Posted by: Peter Grafström | Aug 14 2019 11:52 utc | 119

Historically speaking, (and this is recent not ancient history), The USA's entanglement with Russia began during the Yeltsin years, which were terrible years for Russia. And that could have been, very nearly was, the end of Russia for our lifetimes.

But it wasn't.

We have looked at those years on this forum. We have looked at them dispassionately, I do believe. But some would prefer to overlook the US complicity in the rape of Russia - the dismantling of the Communist system, which indeed was ripe for dismantling, and the US Big Boys were licking their lips at the prospect.

What we have seen since the arrival of Putin in the leadership of that seriously crippled nation has been Russia on the road back. Sure, lots of hardship on the way but each year a little more has been accomplished there with regard to safety and the general welfare. And not only that, but as it became possible Russia has reached out and helped other nations on that similar precipice.

It isn't, as some would like to frame it, some hollywood style hero-worship of one charismatic individual. I don't think Putin is charismatic except perhaps to Russians, and even there he might look less heroic, have faults we outsiders don't see. What we do see is that remarkable rebirth of a nation beset by ruthless attackers, and we marvel at it.

Putin envy? Yes, we would so love to have such a leader in the US! We would love to have a leader like Xi! What they are doing for their country (and when I say 'they' I mean all who are assisting them as well) is what we want for this country, have wanted for this country since this nation fell apart in that series of assassinations that began its own downward plunge.

We had integrity once. That song I posted - there were huge losses in that generation being sung about that are still percolating today. It isn't just the mysterious deaths that have continued as those in the know somehow found themselves to be targets - it's Assange, it's Manning, it's Snowden. It's all the jailed whistleblowers. And it is all those Vietnam young men and women who died. They would have been this generations elders. They are gone, or jailed, or otherwise silenced. And that hasn't been going on for ten thousand years; that has been going on since those first major assassinations here.

I thank God that Putin knows this. His greatest challenge is to bring this country back into the fold, back to reality, back to being a partner in world affairs. God bless him.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 14 2019 12:33 utc | 120

Corrupt Boris Yeltsin hand picked corrupt intelligence agent Putin as his successor.

Posted by: O | Aug 14 2019 12:55 utc | 121

Not unlike Chuck Norris, Putin is so eclipsingly powerful that he both wins and loses any contest he turns his hand to. Like a boulder hurled by Zeus himself, no eventualities exceed the grasp of raw omnipotence.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | Aug 14 2019 13:04 utc | 122

"...understanding Russian psychology historically: Russians need a "strongman" leader or else they fall apart (individually and collectively)--this is how it has always been for the Rus'--so it is futile to register complaint against the person called "Putin.".."Anacharsis@117

There may be a grain of truth in the sense that Russia, being large, landlocked and surrounded by enemies/danger, is compelled to react vigorously and quickly. And that this favours/favoured the foundation of a a strong central government.
That might be arguable.
But you go much further and rehash the pseudo-psychological 'explanation' that Russians yearn after dictators/tsars/strongmen.
For this is not a shred of evidence beyond the idle theorising of merchants in Muscovy and the projections of sado-masochists with pens in their paws.
The truth is, quite possibly, the opposite-that Russians are particularly inclined to rebel or run away if their freedom is threatened and that the ruling class has to use violence where in other countries 'brainwashing' is sufficient to convince the commonalty to lie still and be patient, while being abused and exploited. Hence successive uprisings, culminating in 1905/17. Hence the Cossacks and the Old Believers and the Narodniks....

Posted by: bevin | Aug 14 2019 13:12 utc | 123

MacVladimir a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw—
For he’s the master criminal who defies globalists with guffaws.
He’s the bafflement of Langley, the Neocon’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime—MacVladimir’s not there!

MacVladimir, MacVladimir, there’s no one like MacVladimir,
He’s broken every globalist law, he breaks economic laws of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a Keynesian fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime—MacVladimir’s not there!
You may search that dingbat’s server, you may look on board Trump Air—
But I tell you once and once again, MacVladimir’s not there!

MacVladimir’s a Moskovian cat, he’s very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;
His KGB coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.
MacVladimir, MacVladimir, there’s no one like MacVladimir,
For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him on Tverskaya Street, you may see him in Red Square—
But when a crime’s discovered, then MacVladimir’s not there!

He’s outwardly respectable. (They say he’s mean at chess.)
And his footprints are not found in any file of any Snowden hating wretch.
And when some data farm gets looted, or Hillary’s perm is rifled,
Or when the milk is missing, or Obozo’s golf’s been stifled,
Or some greenhouse gas gets farted, or the Bilderbugs despair
Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! MacVladimir’s not there!

And when State or the CFR find a Treaty’s gone astray,
Or DNC numbnuts lose plans and drawings by the way,
There may be a scrap of e-paper in the hall or on the stair—
But it’s useless to investigate—MacVladimir’s not there!
And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:
It must have been MacVladimir!’—but he’s 10,000 miles away.
You’ll be sure to find him resting in his dacha, or a-licking of his thumb;
Or engaged in doing complicated long army division sums.

MacVladimir, MacVladimir, there’s no one like MacVladimir,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.
He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:
At whatever time the deed took place—MACVLADIMIR WASN’T THERE !
And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known
(I might mention MungoTyler, I might mention MaxKat, StacyKat or GriddleTrump)
Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Globalist Crime!

[By someone called WilliamBanzai7]

Posted by: Trond | Aug 14 2019 13:15 utc | 124

How about that loser Putin getting his central bank to dump the awesome US buck and buy Gold with the money.
Hmmm, let me see, so far,

yearly gold up 29.26%

monthly up 7.2%

Not quite as good as US treasuries which are

yearly down 1.27%

monthly down .51%

Posted by: arby | Aug 14 2019 13:17 utc | 125

It is hilarious to watch the responses whenever anyone ridicules the obviously jingoistic bullshit propaganda that the western corporate mass media forcefeeds to the gullible masses concerning the boogeyman du jour. Invariably you will find protest posts from individuals who swallow with gusto the corporate media's feces dumps whole (and come back for seconds!) defending their brainwashing from cognitive dissonance with "But [boogeyman du jour] really is a bad man!"

These poor people cannot help it. Their cognitive dissonance drives them to making these public declarations. To face the reality that they have been deceived is to admit that their minds are not so strong as they imagine, and that their whole worldview has been cynically manipulated by cheap (though well paid) con men. The only defense they have the fortitude to muster is to cling more tightly to the false narratives they've been fed and more strenuously deny evidence they've been deceived in a vicious feedback loop that drives them ever further from reality.

People who feel the urge to respond to these kinds of discussions by regurgitating crap stuffed down their throats by corporate infotainment feeds should consider that the urge is actually their subconscious mind trying desperately to purge all of that artificial nonsense out of their heads. They should let those toxins go until all that is left is mental dry heaves. They will feel much better afterwards.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 14 2019 13:20 utc | 126

Posted by: juliania | Aug 14 2019 12:33 utc | 121

"It isn't, as some would like to frame it, some hollywood style hero-worship of one charismatic individual."

[--I wasn't sure if my assertion was being mis-included in your caveat, but I just wanted to clarify the difference between what I said @ 117 and the quoted line here: the historical (and collective psychological) need (as of about 1000 years ago) for the Rus' to have a "strongman" leader is entirely a different thing altogether than any hero-worship or charismatic thing. It doesn't matter if the leader is viewed as "Terrible (fear-inspiring)" or kind; it doesn't matter if they have the charisma of a piece of broken concrete with rusted rebar sticking out of it... if the leader holds shit together, they are effective and appreciated by Russians collectively. This is not a for-the-last-century phenomenon, it is a for-the-last-millennium phenomenon (and probably much longer if you look at the people groups from whom the Rus' descend). For clarification only.]

Posted by: Anacharsis | Aug 14 2019 13:20 utc | 127

One of the most important qualities of Putin is that he picks his battles and let's himself lose many of them. Because he knows you can't win everything. That is big contrast to US imperialism that with their weir idea of US exeptionalism, always intends to win everything. But in the end ends up losing much more. US leadership is its worst enemy as they are drunk with power and believe can bully anything to submission. But fail to see long term consequences of their stupidity.

For example, US support for terrorist factions in Syria to quickly depose of Assad and their hell bent stubbornness to not negotiate with Assad one but is what made them lose there. On the other hand Putin was willing to deal with anyone and still is on Syria and concede many things there and is winning.

Posted by: Comandante | Aug 14 2019 13:28 utc | 128

RTAmerica has an article similar to this, but they don't give "b" credit.

Posted by: SharonM | Aug 14 2019 13:45 utc | 129

For all that I have read from Vladimir Putin to this very date... from all we have heard and read from the others heads of state in the last 60 or 70 years...
I can t remember anyone in a long queue of western politicians no one can even by far compare to Mr Putin.
In fact I recall two of them who could perhaps try to reach hi shoulder: Nelson Mandela and Charles DeGaulle. Mandela cannot be deemed a root westerner, but a different breed. DeGaulle really is one France should be proud of. But he ran his post exactly by and through the OPPOSITE way of our formal so called democracies: he saved his country from dire problems precisely by ruling by DECREE - from special congress permission... Saved because and thru decrees where his personality and judgement were the supreme criteria.
Vladimir putin is from Jan.1st 2000, the first day of the new century the greatest statesman of our time. It is a matter of cold assessment and justice. No one of current times and from earlier behind can shadow him.

Posted by: augusto | Aug 14 2019 14:13 utc | 130

And when I read the most important statements and interviews of the likes of Macron, Obama, trump, Cameron, May, Merkel and remaining caterva I feel sorry and suffer from a strange third party 's shame.

Posted by: augusto | Aug 14 2019 14:17 utc | 131

Sharon #139.

It is more than just failure to give credit. is committing plagiarism, all they did was change the sentences around. This wasn't the first time either.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 14 2019 14:19 utc | 132

@bevin #124

If u want theorizing, there is some.

There is a model that societies consist of three parts: lowbreds/deplorables/peasants/serfs/plebs/proletariat and so forth; then there is upper class - aristocracy/landlords/warchiefs/oligarchs/tycoons/congressmen etc; then one way or another there is a ruler (or a tight clique) - very powerful but very little in numbers, that can not rule the land all alone without the second strata.

It does not matter if you would annihilate some of those shares totally, in few generations it would be recreated, because society is still there to be managed, and because "being defines thinking".

They said, in Chinese history it was tracked as frequent loops of strong emperor dynasty rotting, bandits emerging in the voids of rotting power, finally peasants lose hop and rise against bandits and corrupt local powers, finding new hero among themselves, who becomes next strong emperor, root of the dynasty that starts slowly rotting after him.

They said, Europe was formed in "Magna Charter" way, when upper classes joined deplorables to set limits for kings. This arrangement in that triangle more or less went through centuries, when kings were matched against both other angles.

They said, Russia was formed along salt riots and copper riots, when tops, jealous to much richer life in Golfstream-powered western Europe, despised lo-breds and sought to squeeze every blood drop of those. Which made deplorables sought to ally with king against those in the middle. And king who wished sovereignty also could rarely lean upon gold-thinking cosmopolitan elites, so had to ally with deplorables, even if he himself was born from elites.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 14 2019 14:23 utc | 133

It is hilarious to watch the responses whenever anyone ridicules the obviously jingoistic bullshit propaganda that the western corporate mass media forcefeeds to the gullible masses concerning the boogeyman du jour. Invariably you will find protest posts from individuals who swallow with gusto the corporate media's feces dumps whole (and come back for seconds!) defending their brainwashing from cognitive dissonance with "But [boogeyman du jour] really is a bad man!"

In a Fake Democracy like America, there is a Fake Dissent (or controlled opposition).

American's fake dissidents pose as critics of the US Regime or political establishment--even as they tacitly support the propaganda and demonization campaigns that the American Empire directs against its opponents around the world.

The American obsession with Putin is a prime example of this fake American dissent.

Deep down, Anglo-Americans in general simply cannot stand opposition to their unipolar world order and will instinctively smear anyone or anything that stands in the way of Anglo American world tyranny .... sorry... glorious Freedom and Democracy(TM).

Posted by: AK74 | Aug 14 2019 14:48 utc | 134

to # 125 - thanks much!!!! for WilliamBonzai7 (genius) and T S Elliot (genius) Usually I don't like paraphrased parodies of other people's writs, but this one is just too good. cheers.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Aug 14 2019 15:04 utc | 135

i am sure someone mentioned it already, but if not

RT reads MOA!!!

they really ought to pay b for all his hard work and insights...

Posted by: james | Aug 14 2019 15:11 utc | 136

paul mentioned it @116...

Posted by: james | Aug 14 2019 15:13 utc | 137

Deep down, Anglo-Americans in general simply cannot stand opposition to their unipolar world order and will instinctively smear anyone or anything that stands in the way of Anglo American world tyranny .... sorry... glorious Freedom and Democracy(TM).

Posted by: AK74 | Aug 14 2019 14:48 utc | 135

The "defense and spread of democracy" is tad inconvenient, with photo-ops and proudly displayed huge weapon contracts with such "democrats" as the absolute monarchies of the Persian Gulf. Hence "rule based world order", where the rules are promulgated in Washington and frequently altered.

Of course, democracy comes to fore when there is discussion how cruel and oppressive Putin arrested demonstrators for whopping 30 days etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 14 2019 15:19 utc | 138

and FSD mentioned as #123

but u have bronze :-D

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 14 2019 15:42 utc | 139

Vladimir putin is from Jan.1st 2000, the first day of the new century the greatest statesman of our time. It is a matter of cold assessment and justice. No one of current times and from earlier behind can shadow him.
Posted by: augusto | Aug 14 2019 14:13 utc | 131

Hey! Flattery will get you everywhere!
When Vlad reads your Ode To Leadership, don't be surprised if he gets on the blower to those Plagiarists at and orders them to acknowledge his New Best Friend - b of MoA. Forthwith.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 14 2019 15:51 utc | 140


And Politco is owned by headless morons who write all kind of conspiracy crap for "Jew-the-almighty" crowd of ignoramuses.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Aug 14 2019 16:03 utc | 141

hoarsewhisperer@109 says that the issue with nuclear cruise missiles is the weight of shielding. The shielding doesn't make it controllable, it makes it safe for humans to be near. A cruise missile that kills its handlers is a hazard, not a useful deterrent. There is how a lot of weight in the moderator that slows the neutrons so they are absorbed by nuclei they collide with (speeds up reactions, despite name,); the weight of the control rods that slow down reaction so they reactor doesn't melt as well as the devices that move them; the coolant that prevents overheating and circulates the heat from the reactor to the reaction mass which is what is presumably ejected from the missile to make it move (water is a decent moderator and coolant, hence light water reactors); the weight of the actual propellant and the warhead (rigging any reactor to also serve as a nuclear weapon means accepting that random event will eventually ensure detonation at the wrong time!); the command and control systems for prolonged flight thousands of miles away after days seem to require an expert system of great sophistication and great reliability to be useful, and last, none of this seems to take into account the possibility of counter-measures. Aside from electronic countermeasures, knowing that there is a nuclear cruise missile spending hours means there is much more time for a Patriot missile to get luck. Or from more imaginative efforts like moving or hardening as many assets as possible.

On the other hand, chosen radioisotopes are the "R" in "RTG" which some deny are nuclear cruise missiles at all. Again the shielding is only a problem if you care about soldiers, sailors or airmen serving with these imaginary devices for indefinite periods of time, until the war removes their radiation hazard. The shielding is not part of the control system of a reactor.

As far as I can tell, nuclear cruise missiles don't even make sense as second strike vehicles, as there would seem to be no way to target them. Command and control after the EMP from multiple nuclear devices is a dubious notion at best. This is also true for most of the nonsense peddled by the US military and government as well. The distinction between weapons of mass destruction and weapons of mass self-destruction is much, much less well-defined that people think.

Peter Grafstroem@119 is correct the notorious failures of TMI etc. are not the likely failures of these hypothetical nuclear cruise missiles. I also cited the fact that keeping nuclear reactors turned on, and performing at proper output is difficult enough to keep nuclear power reactors offline for a fairly high percentage of the time. An not very reliable power source for something used in combat conditions is a questionable choice. Worse yet, starting a controlled nuclear reaction, or even shutting one down, is a difficult and time consuming process. A cruise missile system in effect would be a weapon with a fairly large logistical tail.

Sorry, the likelihood that Putin's superweapons are anything but the equivalent of "vaporware," pie in the sky boasts, is extremely high. Correctly citing the bunch of nonsense spouted by hostile media doesn't change that. It's true that Putin hasn't "lost," but the real questions are: How does he win if he can't *finish* the war in Syria? He's just now getting to the real crunch, where the last enemies are Turkey and the US. And what does he win, besides Tartus, a base of dubious value?

Further, although at this point in time Lugansk and Donetsk are mostly free, they are still under attack. But the Russian people in Kharkhovsk (which almost went with Donetsk and Lugansk) and Odessa are still hostages to fortune. It is highly unlikely that Donetsk and Lugansk can continue fighting a standstill battle without being undermined and collapsing? What then? Of course it is also Ukraine that might collapse, but what then? Crimea is safe, but how can Putin make peace without resolving the madness about the "invasion" of Crimea? Moves against Kaliningrad enclave appear to be afoot so far as I can tell. The struggle over Transdnistria has never resolved either. The problem with the current stasis over these conflicts is that nothing is static, and any policy predicated on the belief a current stasis can be managed so that it continues indefinitely is either gross stupidity, or cowardly avoiding any thought for the future.

And yes, the economic sanctions do cause problems for Russia, mostly the masses of course, especially those outside the charmed circles of Moscow and St. Petersburg. But also among the righ, many of whom will come to support removing Puting in favor of an accommodationist who will not wait until any of Putin's pots boil over.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 14 2019 16:12 utc | 142

old text for nuancing the "Putin is same thugs as Western leaders" crescendo

“Putin has the luck of the devil,” said Mark Galeotti, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “He can just sit back and watch this richer, more powerful and legitimate values-based bloc tear itself apart.”

Here’s the thing about being cast as the villain – the more successful you are, the more determinedly the self-appointed do-gooders of the world harden themselves to have nothing to do with you

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 14 2019 17:00 utc | 143

@143 steven t johnson quote "..the real questions are: How does he win if he can't *finish* the war in Syria? He's just now getting to the real crunch, where the last enemies are Turkey and the US. And what does he win, besides Tartus, a base of dubious value?"

i think you are missing the big picture steven... the usa-israel-ksa agenda was to break apart syria... in that regard, russia won.. it hasn't happened... but that doesn't mean these same 3 or more shits can't continue to make life hell for syrians - with american bozos and etc - thinking they are getting at russia... this is why the west and its minions are so fucked in the head... they can't recognize a win from a loss... russia won, because the usa-israel-ksa lost... it is as simple as that... it doesn't mean these same 3 losers can't continue to be a pain in the ass on the people of syria.. that is the part - and a very big part - you are missing... keep on giving us the usa media talking points.. it really suits you..

Posted by: james | Aug 14 2019 17:07 utc | 144

Putin’s Chosen People
What’s behind the Russian president’s close relationship with an Orthodox Jewish sect?

"How exactly has Chabad reached its position of influence? For one thing, it has some influential backers. The Uzbek–Israeli billionaire diamond magnate Lev Leviev was an early and enthusiastic backer of FEOR. Roman Abramovich, the billionaire investor, governor, and owner of the Chelsea soccer team, has also been a backer, donating $5 million to build the Marina Roscha Synagogue."

Who Is Lev Leviev, the Israeli Billionaire With Ties to Jared Kushner and Putin

"In 2015, the Kushner real-estate company purchased four floors of the old New York Times building, on West 43rd St., for $295 million. The seller was Lev Leviev’s U.S. branch of Africa-Israel Investments, in partnership with Five Mile Capital. According to the Washington Post, Kushner took a loan from Deutsche Bank in October 2016 – a month before Election Day – to refinance the Manhattan property, which was now valued at $74 million above what he paid for it a year earlier.

Deutsche Bank staff flagged Trump, Kushner transactions for watchdog: NYTimes

Did Trump’s Campaign Have A Jewish Backchannel To Putin?

Berel Lazar, Putin's Rabbi-Chabad

Lev Avnerovich Leviev-Chabad
Beginning in the 1990s, Leviev avoided being directly involved with the Yeltsin family, and nurtured ties with Vladimir Putin."

Posted by: O | Aug 14 2019 17:27 utc | 145

Again with the sophomores putting on airs of being nuclear physicists and waxing at length on subjects they clearly know little about. The clown is obviously imagining the power source used by Russia's "Burevestnik" cruise missile to be something like a miniaturized Westinghouse AP1000 pressurized water commercial reactor or something equally ridiculous.

Early speculation about the "Burevestnik" cruise missile, though, is that it is powered by a molten salts or liquid metal cooled reactor, which indeed would be more compact and lighter than any pressurized water reactor. It also happens to be a technology in which the Russians are well ahead of the competition.

But even a a molten salts or liquid metal cooled reactor would be tough to miniaturize sufficiently to use for a relatively small cruise missile. Even the Japanese likely couldn't do it, though I'd hesitate to say such a thing is out of reach for the Chinese, since they are getting pretty good at engineering and they don't even need to issue green cards to hire people who can do their math like America does.

But there are alternatives to both the big and bulky pressurized water reactors and the expensive and complex liquid metal/molten salts reactors.

Specifically, there is a "new" technology from the 1960s called "High Temperature Gas Cooled" reactors. In practice this technology is used in "pebble bed" reactors in which the reactor core is nothing more than a fancy hopper that fuel encased in graphite/ceramic to be spherical "pebbles" are placed. The reaction in these types of reactors is controlled by a phenomenon known as "Doppler broadening", and the characteristic of this "Doppler broadening" are controlled by engineering the size of the pebbles used and the thickness of their graphite shells. No moving parts. No computers needed to move control rods about. As the collection of "pebbles" heat up past an engineered-in point, the rate of the reaction drops and they cool off, which in turn increases the reaction rate and heat output.

In other words, you design your radioactive "pebbles" to operate at some specific temperature and when collected together they quickly stabilize at that temperature with no intervention necessary. In fact, they can be cooled strictly by convection if that's what you want. All of the complexities of controlling the reaction are front-loaded into the engineering of the pebbles themselves.

It is important to note that the only reason spherical "pebbles" are used in commercial versions of this type of reactor is because it is easy to work with large numbers of them in that form. It simplifies periodically cycling them out of your reactor core to evaluate if they are exhausted and need replacement or not. The fact is that you can make your ceramic/graphite clad nuclear fuel in arbitrary shapes, assuming you are careful about how you engineer those shapes. This is particularly true if your reactor is intended to be disposable, which is generally the case with missiles. For example, a set of shapes that can be assembled by a simple mechanism into the "combustion chamber" of a scramjet engine shouldn't be too big a challenge for some relatively clever engineers. The shaped ceramic pieces just need to rest far enough apart to limit the chain reaction while the weapon is waiting for use, then be popped into the combustion chamber at the time of launch. They will heat up to 1500C or whatever they are designed to heat up to and start powering your scramjet. No complicated pumps, no fancy electronics, no control rods, no elaborate cooling systems. With all of the complexities front-loaded into the design they are simpler and more reliable than jet engines at the point of use.

This sort of stuff is easily within the reach of Russian engineers. Heck, even America could do it if they hired some Chinese folks to do the math for them.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 14 2019 18:26 utc | 146

Anacharsis@128 - No, I hadn't included your analysis in my 'rant' at all, given that I was limiting what I said to the recent history, Communism's demise, and the interference of the 'Chicago Boys' when the country was at a very low point. I don't really feel equipped to tackle your assertions, though I would point out that given the size of both Russia and China (the latter population-wise; the former land-wise) some of what you say may well apply.

There is, however, an adjustment to such far reaching analysis in modern day technological advances which make communication and education important elements of change in large and more sophisticated populations. I suspect that is happening in both countries more so than in the US. I'll just take the examples of the Sochi Olympics and Soccer World Cup as positives supporting that suspicion.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 14 2019 19:42 utc | 147

hoarsewhisperer@109 says that the issue with nuclear cruise missiles is the weight of shielding. The shielding doesn't make it controllable, it makes it safe for humans to be near. There is how a lot of weight in the moderator that slows the neutrons so they are absorbed by nuclei they collide with (speeds up reactions, despite name,); the weight of the control rods that slow down reaction so they reactor doesn't melt as well as the devices that move them; etc, etc.
Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 14 2019 16:12 utc | 143

Thanks, bigly, for hilighting my gaffe. I carelessly used the term "shielding" to describe the devices/ mechanisms by which the rate of output from a fission reactor could be controlled.

However, my response to BM | Aug 13 2019 18:43 utc | 60 wasn't to flaunt my non-existent nuclear propulsion expertise, it was to thank him for speculating that isotopes MAY open a window to the possibility that reactor output may be unconventionally controlled without the need for heavy-weight components. And that would make the project more feasible than I first imagined. BM hasn't corrected my interpretation of his/her isotope suggestion so I assume it was more or less correct.

From a broader perspective I imagine that the missile operates on the ramjet or scramjet principle because rockets only carry enough fuel for minutes of continuous thrust and ramjets and scramjets are best suited to supersonic flight and derive their thrust by heating the air passing through them. If the Russians think they've figured out a way to heat the air flow using a nuclear reactor then they probably have.
However (again) overcoming all the obstacles to a practical working prototype could prove as tedious and fraught as the pathway to perfecting chemical rockets during WWII.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 14 2019 19:44 utc | 148

juliania @ 148:

Generalizations can certainly become overgeneralizations with the passage of time. Excellent caution. Thank you.

Posted by: Anacharsis | Aug 14 2019 19:49 utc | 149

@steven t johnson
I comment on Bs blog because I think the his thoughts are interesting and outside the propaganda box most Westerners think inside. He is pointing out the insane obsession with all things Putin and the need of propagandized Westerners to mock him. You repeatedly make the same posts over and over again about what you perceive as Putin's military technology failures and about what you perceive his goals are. I don't think you are smart enough to know any of that. I do know you have the same bizarre obsession that B talks about in this post you are commenting on. You have proved it in these comment sections.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Aug 14 2019 20:53 utc | 150

Nuclear missiles do not seem infeasible. Americans were testing the concept back in 1960-ties, so it does not seem to require exotic isotopes. I would estimate that a nuclear engine under 10 tons can make it practical, why is it supposed to be a "small missile"?

If I understand the macro-strategic role, it would be a retribution weapon in the even of so-called 1-st strike. Americans try to design and build a huge fleet of highly precise hypersonic weapons that would be small but powerful enough to bury ICBM silos, with anti-missile defense taking care of the few survivors. In the long run (those systems will not be workable overnight) Russia and China need countermeasures, and preferably, several with vastly different characteristics. Cruising nuclear powered missile with hypersonic entry to the kill zone could potentially be a threat powerful enough to convince adversaries that 1-st strike is not worth it. Say, single vehicle knocking out a major metropolitan area. Several such vehicle in flight would be a survivable deterrent.

In this case, size does not have to be overly small, less than a strategic bomber, but the size of a fighter plane can be OK, I would thing that the total mass of, say, 30 tons should be OK. If they can be smaller and cheaper, it is obviously a plus, but not necessary for the concept.

It is assumed that they would cruise over oceans and capable to enter the territory of the adversary from so-many direction that building enough stationary defenses like Patriot battery (2-3 billion dollars each) would be hard, especially given that the current generation uses missiles that are too slow for hypersonic manouverable vehicles. And do not tell me that the hidden anti-missile system can be widely dispersed in the oceans. We are talking about multi-trillion boondogle, making Americans to do it would be an economic strategic feat in itself.

Concerning navigation, surely a retribution weapon cannot rely of satellites, but the technology of inertial guidance systems is mature, it can be improved for long cruises (feedback from geographic landmarks, moon and stars...), and you do not need to be very precise if the goal is to avoid defenses by swerving few time and detonate enough stuff to lay waste to an entire metropolis -- or half of it? It is scary too.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 14 2019 20:59 utc | 151

Hoarsewhisperer is very gracious about the shielding. I too have made gaffes on other occasions.

goldhoarder is incorrect that my criticisms have anything to do with the parade of nonsense in the OP. And I still think that was to distract from a genuine failure, the missile exposion.

William Gruff in an obsessive desire to be insulting seems to think that reminding me of a nuclear reactor that essentially turns itself off, after I have twice mentioned the problems in keeping a stable reaction going. Yes, it's potentially much safe...but suddenly decreasing heat production is not a desirable feature in a cruise missile. They need to not stop yet not overheat either. An automatic stop is not a solution to keeping it going stably. Even worse, the notion that a power reactor using hundreds of thousands of pebbles can be simply be scaled down is incorrect. If you have a trillion particles you can average the individual KE to get a meaningful temperature. If you have two particles, the temperature is a meaningless calculation. The control of a pebble reactor is something like that. It's the sampling problem: Too small a sample is too prone to be unrepresentative. Polling five people about whether they like Trump is pointless. The inevitable flaws in just a few pebble coatings for instance will be much more likely to have drastic effects when they are a much higher relative percentage. It is even possible that too few pebble will not permit a smooth neutron flow. If you don't have enough water flowing through a faucet, you get dripping. The equivalent is possible for a miniaturized pebble bed engine. (Google tells me that Adams atomic engines failed, though that might be capitalization...but as ever the best bet is vaporware.) There is as of now no actual reason to think these issues are resolved. I'm peeved enough to not that accepting what defense contractors say about their products is like believing pharmaceutical salesmen, or Popular Mechanics, which is as bad as believing mainstream media.

Piotr Berman I believe is viewing a nuclear cruise as a doomsday weapon, launched on first strike, irrevocable even is the first strike is far less decisive than feared because the US was foolish enough to believe its military contractors or Trump (see daydreams of Space Force.) I do believe even an incompetent first strike and initial retaliation will cause enough environmental effect, such as prolonged huge smoke clouds, especially vicious and abnormal weather, knockout of satellites, earthquakes and tsunamis that direction of such a device would be reliable. If the US nukes miss Moscow enough that central government isn't immediately annihilated, a retaliation that they've already lost control of would ensure a continued fight to the death, even if it would be like that knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I'm not sure how useful this would be. But I also don't believe there's been anywhere near enough years of testing to even have such a doomsday weapon, so I suppose it doesn't matter.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 15 2019 1:53 utc | 152

Heh "marching band going full tilt past the graveyard during the witching hour" is a shit hobby X= :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Aug 15 2019 2:47 utc | 153

@steven t johnson.......... i guess you missed my post to you @145... i am gone for the next 5 days, so will likely miss anything you do stay til i get back..

Posted by: james | Aug 15 2019 3:14 utc | 154

@ juliania # 121

Easily the best post of this thread and i agree with it completely. Thank you for ranting it so succinctly.

@ James # 155

" will likely miss anything you do stay til i get back.."

Personally, i'm hoping your 't' stands for typo?

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Aug 15 2019 3:42 utc | 155

Piotr Berman @152,

You really only need a small handful. Even without warheads, the shock waves from flying at low altitude are lethal in themselves. A missile too fast and nimble to intercept, with an effectively unlimited flight time, could easily send a country back to the Neolithic era without a single detonation. Washington, D.C. and New York City could be reduced to internally liquefied humans and rubble in an hour or two, and I suspect the vast majority of the US citizenry would respond with offerings of bread and roses.

Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 15 2019 4:05 utc | 156

@156 aye, m and m... meant - say, not stay, lol...good catch!

Posted by: james | Aug 15 2019 4:05 utc | 157

@William Gruff #146

Generating heat is one thing, generating reactive propulsion out of that heat is another.

The obvious way would be to use some liquid, like water, to be vaporized by reactor's heat and thus ejected.
The downside would be impossibility of "endless flight" that was once announced - as soon as water tank is over - it is over.

The direct air flow, scramjet-like, would be much less efficient (gas expansion volume increase is much less that liquid vaporization one or petro-fuel combustion one), and something should be done to prevent reverse flow of the air.

There can also be just a propeller fan or turbofan, but that would require conversion heat into mechanical rotational energy, which again would suit well for liquid/vapor thermal machine.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 15 2019 10:38 utc | 158

Frankly, just compare the volume of reactor vessel for UK/DPRK style Magnox and AGC reactors with PWR-style reactors (American ones or Soviet VVER line) at equal performance rate.

Gas-cooled reactors are HUGE. Because gas is much worse heat accumulator/conductor. So, placing one on missile?.. dunno...

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 15 2019 10:41 utc | 159

@156 I am old enough to remember watching a cold war era movie called "The Lost Missile".

That was an extraterrestrial rocket that Someone (implied to be the USSR) attempted to destroy with an interceptor missile, only to knock it into low Earth orbit. It then cooked everything in its path, including (if memory serves) much of Canada.

New York was next, only some plucky scientists rigged up a nuke-tipped rocket that took out that UFO in the nick of time (well, not as far as Canada was concerned but, hey, ya' can't have everything). Hurrah!

Who knew that nukes were the path to salvation?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 15 2019 11:54 utc | 160

Although James is not currently present, he invites a response I will post now.

"i think you are missing the big picture steven... the usa-israel-ksa agenda was to break apart syria... in that regard, russia won.. it hasn't happened... but that doesn't mean these same 3 or more shits can't continue to make life hell for syrians - with american bozos and etc - thinking they are getting at russia... this is why the west and its minions are so fucked in the head... they can't recognize a win from a loss... russia won, because the usa-israel-ksa lost... it is as simple as that... it doesn't mean these same 3 losers can't continue to be a pain in the ass on the people of syria.. that is the part - and a very big part - you are missing... keep on giving us the usa media talking points.. it really suits you.."

In the big picture, I see the US relying on endless wars against weak opponents to maintain its hegemony. If the cost of defying US hegemony is years of devastating war, physical as in Syria or economic as with Korea, Venezuela, Iran and to a lesser degree Russia and China, the intimidating effects of these wars are very real. In the big picture, I see the need to continue on a war footing as a cost imposed on the targets. I do not see Putin getting the return from the war in Syria commensurate with the costs. I see no sign of acceptance of the justice of a Russian Crimea. I see no sign of the stalemate in eastern Ukraine continuing indefinitely. But most of all, I do not see Putin's goal as fighting the US. He has declared he wants a multipolar world, yet there isn't the slightest indication he is succeeding in taming the US beast. For his professed program, he needs peace in Syria. Thus the US is not defeated till their spoiling operation stops. In Syria not only is Idlib still not yet reduced, the disposition of the jihadis is undetermined, the Turks are still in Afrin and Rojava is still an enemy of the national government. The whole point of Putin's dream of a multipolar world is that it's *not* a zero-sum game, where the US has to lose for Russia to win, that they are not really opponents.

In my view, Putin's greatest mistake was not fighting a fascist takeover in Ukraine. Annexing Crimea was worse than a crime, which it wasn't, it was stupid. And I do not think Tartus is the prize he believes. I don't think any mainstream media detractors of crowing about how Putin settled for a port while letting NATO across the Dniepr. The mainstream media is for US hegemony and they misunderstand Putin's (and XI's too) multipolar world program merely as cover for the rise of *their* hegemony. My criticism of the multipolar world hypoethesis is that I think the US hegemony is a verdict of WWII, which left the world with two victors, the US and the USSR. Yeltsin/Putin did what the Nazis couldn't and destroyed the USSR. That just leaves the US. It will take another war to reverse the judgment of arms. The problem with Putin and Xi as I see it is they are deluded about the capacity of the world wimperialist system to be a peaceful system. That most certainly is not a criticism of mainstream media.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 15 2019 15:06 utc | 161

Poor victimized America....
These days even "eye-opener" articles had to be groomed for the "safety rooms" consumption.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 16 2019 10:21 utc | 162

@James 14

It depends on which bears are doing the asking.

Posted by: Patricia Ormsby | Aug 16 2019 14:20 utc | 163

@161 steven t johnson.. hey steven.. thanks for the response... i can mostly go along with everything you say, except i do see it slightly different in some of the instances you articulate it... with regard to your comment on putin and xi are deluded about the capacity of the imperialist system to be a peaceful system - i think you might be wrong on that, but there is no way you or i can know for sure... as for the mistake of crimea on russias part - i get what you are saying, but again i don't see it that way myself.. i really think the actions of a country that is only interested in destroying, as opposed to building and creating - as a losing set up.. this is what the usa-west are presently involved in... the only exception is their commitment to neo-liberalism, which for the most part i also see as a destructive force that will ultimately be the center of its own demise...

whether putin and xi are able to get out from all that - maybe, and maybe not - but i do believe that putin sees the bigger picture here.. i don't know about xi.. until putin is no longer leader of russia, i think russia is playing the cards they have as best they can... we'll see how it unfolds in the next 10-20 years... i suspect it favours russia-china over usa-west - but i could be wrong... thanks again for your comments here at moa...

!163 patricia... it was a fun little thought exercise, but i am no george carlin! cheers.... ..

Posted by: james | Aug 19 2019 20:52 utc | 164

just for clarity - i don't think the imperialist system can be peaceful either, but with regard to putin and xi not being able to see this - that is the part i don't know that we can know for sure about what putin and xi think of that..

Posted by: james | Aug 19 2019 20:54 utc | 165

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