Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 05, 2019

Putin Trolls Trump

This is some high class trolling by Russia's President Vladimir Putin:

Putin said he offered U.S. President Donald Trump in a recent phone call the chance to buy one of the hypersonic nuclear weapons Moscow is developing. He said Trump spurned the offer and replied that Washington was making its own.

Hypersonic weapons fly faster than Mach 5 or five times the speed of sound. Their high speed leaves little warning time for the target. There are currently no practical defenses against them.

While the U.S. spent an enormous amount on developing large aircraft carriers, 'stealth' airplanes and useless missile defenses, Russia spent much less to developed weapons that can defeat all three. Carriers are today, at least for Russia, India and China, not threats but large and juicy targets.

Kh-47M2 Kinzhal Mach 12 capable missile carried by a MIG-31


Trump is wrong in claiming that the U.S. makes its own hypersonic weapons. While the U.S. has some in development none will be ready  before 2022 and likely only much later. Hypersonic weapons are a Soviet/Russian invention. The ones Russia now puts into service are already the third generation. U.S. development of such missiles is at least two generations behind Russia's.

That Russian radar can 'see' stealth aircraft has been known since 1999 when a Yugoslav army unit shot down a U.S. F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft. Russian air and missile defense proved in Syria that it can defeat mass attacks by drones as well as by cruise missiles. U.S.-made air and missile defense in Saudi Arabia fails to take down even the primitive missiles Houthi forces fire against it.

The new weapons Russia announced in March 2018 make strategic missile defense useless.

The U.S. military and its weapons are regularly hyped in 'western' media. But it has long been clear to (non-U.S.) experts that U.S. military technology is not superior to that of other countries. In several important fields Russian, Chinese and even Indian weapons have much better capabilities. The reason is simple. U.S. weapons are not developed or built with a real strategic need in mind. They don't get developed for achieving the most effect in an existential war against a capable enemy but to create profit.

The last is probably the only thing Trump knows about them.

Posted by b on September 5, 2019 at 16:53 UTC | Permalink

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@what did i just read:

"It is not a real plane."

That's just your assertion.

Will you be citing Wikipedia on the effectiveness of acupuncture next?

"The other radical plane you are talking about is just a mini space shuttle, the x-37."

Okay, there I admit that I confused the small space shuttle with something else rumored to exist. However there is an interesting rumor about the actual launch platform for the X-37.

It's okay, you believe Wikipedia. Most don't. Or most understand it's very limited picture.

Posted by: Jay | Sep 6 2019 2:02 utc | 101

""Look the best internet rumor is that it was a Mach 6 RS-85" So this is the rock solid evidence for your super duper plane. Your world seems to be inverted."

Be careful, you pulled some strawman crap. I said nothing about rock solid evidence.

I know you don't like it, but the rumors say the plane exists, this is very akin to claims about the SR-71 in say 1968.

Now yes, I thought your X-37 reference was something else.

Posted by: Jay | Sep 6 2019 2:06 utc | 102

Well, this is a fine thread. I came late and it's been pumped up to 115 comments as I write. Interesting that b's article is about trolling.

I have observed frequently that when a topic is military in some way, extra manpower appears out of nowhere to join the shift. Usually it comes rude and aggressive, and always with a ready willingness for personal attack. I assume it's because some supervisor is looking one's shoulder and one has to appear tough.

Indeed, appearing tough is a US specialty. But as we have learned in recent years, the real big sticks don't need to threaten. Like Russia, they simply act.


I actually had read that news report in Tass about Putin's offer to Trump and I didn't regard it as trolling until I saw b's article. Putin's logic was that Russia had already invested the money and could make some back, and meanwhile the US could save some money and move towards a strategic parity - which I believe Russia would actually prefer over a superiority, since a stable balance is far less frantic than an arms race.

So it all made sense to me.

This has been a fun thread but it's all a nonsense here tonight of course. Pity. I liked what I was reading from Putin:

Putin told the plenary session of the fifth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) on Thursday that at the last meeting with his American partners in Osaka, Japan "the issue was raised as to how and in what way it would be possible to count Russian modern weapons, including the hypersonic missile systems, into the common agreements, considering that so far not a single country in the world possesses these weapons, not even the US."

"I told Donald the following: "if you want, we can sell you some and this way we will balance everything out. But truth be told, they are saying that they will soon produce it themselves.

Perhaps they will, but why waste money when we already have spent some and can get something back, and at the same time not harm our security but rather create a situation where there is a balance," Putin elaborated.

G'night all.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 6 2019 2:14 utc | 103

No jay, listen. Whatever crap Wikipedia is, your claims about this plane's existence are mere assertions. Nothing will change that. The technology for a manned hypersonic plane did not exist 30 years ago and there is no evidence that it exists today. Claims require evidence, not just the desire to believe. This is an all too common American phenomenon, to have almost mystical faith in "super technology". Dig deep enough and you will find even wilder claims I am sure. But on the flip side I see others doubting the existence of these Russian hypersonic weapons with even less evidence for that claim than you present for yours, though there is nothing unbelievable about what Russia claims at all. It is a ridiculous situation. I see people climbing into their little bubbles and believing what they want based on how they feel about Putin, or Russia, or whatever the moment brings. Facts don't matter. Generally they are very vague or confused about them anyway. But it is the internet, so who cares? Right?

Posted by: what did I just read | Sep 6 2019 2:22 utc | 104

No, the x-15 was a rocket powered test vehicle and it has already been mentioned earlier. It had no range or duration and it led to nothing else. To have a hypersonic plane with range and abilities like he is claiming would require a power source they clearly dont posses even now, much less 30 years ago.

Posted by: what did I just read | Sep 6 2019 2:27 utc | 105

#jay all over the place,

From all that you have posted it is mighty clear to me how come the 'mighty' USA got its arse whipped in Vietnam and is now getting its arse whipped in Afghanistan.

The entire BS narrative about the hyper fighter is exactly what people comprehend about Trump and all his yankee predecessors. They are full of it, they have no guts and they couldnt negotiate for a bag of marbles as they have lost them.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 6 2019 2:37 utc | 106

No, the "tech" has not been around for a while. What "tech" do you even think you are talking about? Getting hypersonic speed is not a problem. That is old hat. Making a controllable and usable hypersonic vehicle is. The x-15 was just a rocket with a man strapped in it. It was released at altitude by another aircraft. Short range, no mission capability. Now tell me what technology will carry a manned aircraft from Nevada to Africa in an hour? You work on that. Maybe appeal to golly gee magic or something.

Posted by: what did I just read | Sep 6 2019 2:41 utc | 107


I was just pointing out that the S-300 would be a waste of resources based on the comparative effectiveness of the various Russian made missiles during the April 14th 2018 FUKUS attack on Syria. In this instance, of the 103 missiles launched, the Syrian missile defense forces shot down 71 and the S-300 had the poorest kill ratio of the defensive missiles fired and the Pantsier-S1/S2 had the highest kill ratio. As I remember the BUK-M2 systems came in a close second. Am I incorrect?

I recognized that I should have cited the articles rather than Zero Hedge after I pressed send.

My understanding was that the combined Syrian/Russian defense system includes the following launchers as of mid 2018. Perhaps it is not complete, in which case I would appreciate any corrections.

I also understand that radar tracking systems are what really causes FUKUS to pause in their tracks. Any comments on the Chinese quantum computing detection systems?

S-400 (SA-21) systems:
There are two S-400 complexes guarding Khmeimim consisting of 16 missile launchers per complex (32 launch ready missiles range 350 km)

S-300 (SA-20) systems
Russia has seven S-300VM missile systems defending Tartus and aboard some warships (range 350 km)

Bastion (K-300P) anti-ship coastal systems (Yakhonts)Russia has deployed perhaps two batteries of 18 launchers at their naval bases (72 launch ready missiles – range 350 km) Russia also has K-300P systems on it Project 11356 frigates
Syria has two batteries consisting of 18 launchers which carry two 3M55E Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles. (72 launch ready missiles -range 350 km)

Kalibr (SS-N-27 Sizzler)
Russia has Kalibr long range missiles on all their frigates either 3M-54E1/3M-14E: (300 km range) or 3M-54/3M-54T: (660 km range)

Russia had previously provided 40 Pantsier-1 missile systems to Syria with 12 missiles loaded per system (480 launch ready missiles – range 20 km)

Subsequently, Russia has also deployed an unknown number of Pantsir S2 air defense systems to its Khmeimim airbase in Syria (range of about 40 km)
The Pantsier-2 may have been upgraded to add four directed sub-rockets to each missile for a total of 48 missiles per Pantsier launcher.
Buk-M2E (SA-11)
Russia has an unknown number of Buk-M2E systems and perhaps the new Buk-M3 in Syria.
Syria has received a total of 48 launchers of Buk-M2 surface-to-air missiles. (192 launch ready missiles – range 40 km). I believe that there is a BUK-M3 variant under development that carries more launch ready missiles per vehicle.

S-125 (SA-3) (Pechora-2M)
Syria has about 145 Pechora and 12 Pechora-2M each with four missiles per launcher. (628 launch ready missiles- range 32 km).
Same as was used by Yugoslav Army 250th Air Defense Missile Brigade to shoot down a F-117

S-200 systems (SA-5) (upgraded)
Syria has two S-200 batteries consisting of 44 launchers at Kweires airport (range 350 km). A Syrian S-200 missile was used to shoot down an Israeli F-16.

Kvadrat (SA-6)
Syria has 195 2K12s systems with three missiles per launcher. (585 launch ready missiles – range 22 km))

Osa (SA-8)
Syria had 14 batteries consisting of 60 launchers with six short range missiles per launcher. (360 launch ready missiles – range 15 km))

Tor-M2E (SA-15D)
Russia has installed both the land based systems (SA-9) and integrated them in their ships at sea (SA-N-9). The launchers come with either 8 or 16 missiles with a range of 16 km

Syria has a number of the older Tor-M1(V) systems with 4-8 launch ready missiles – range 12 km.

Iskander (SS-26)
Russia has at least one Iskander nuclear capable ballistic missile systems in Syria -range 400-500 km. These are ship killers along with the Zircon missiles to take out carriers.
9K35 Strela-10 (SA-13)
Syria has 35 launchers – four missiles per launcher, reload time 3 minutes- range 5 km

Posted by: Krollchem | Sep 6 2019 2:41 utc | 108

More details on the current US development of hypersonic vehicles:

Posted by: Krollchem | Sep 6 2019 2:57 utc | 109

@karlof1 #75

It's not only that, but also what many people forget or even don't know about is the big theft of the German patents after WW2.
All and everything what Ameristani has is based on German Know-How, but let me make one thing clear in this case, though the Germans are big thinkers and their brains are filled with too many honesty (there might be some exceptions) they don't have enough or none space left for the criminal mind one needs to become a good bussiness man, so to say it easy: The Germans are to stupid to make money a thing where the Americans are the clear winner.

And about the American Military one should read the following report, to see that it looks like that they already understand what their place is:
also here:
PDF here:

Quote: "The US military is no longer the primary force in Asia, and missiles from a rapidly improving military could overwhelm its bases in hours, according to a new report.
The study by the United States Study Center, at the University of Sydney, in Australia, warned that America’s defense strategy in the Indo-Pacific region “is in the throes of an unprecedented crisis” and could struggle to defend its allies against China, CNN reported."

Posted by: Bob | Sep 6 2019 3:12 utc | 110

Following is an article about the Aurora project that seems pretty detail, but could be disinformation, as well.

Posted by: Bernalkid | Sep 6 2019 3:16 utc | 111

If the transmitted radar signal does not have too much directional gain, illuminating the ground at a shortish distance (15-30m?) would allow reflection to illuminate the object from a greater range of angles than directly illuminating the object, as the wavelength would be short (1.67-7.5cm) versus variation distances in topographic normal variation (e.g. variance of 10 degree squared over one m^2). Rather than place one's bets on one angle providing the return, spread the illumination out? The same logic could apply to flat ("stealthy") surfaces.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Sep 6 2019 4:05 utc | 112

Bob @129--

Thanks for your reply! You are the only one to address the underlying issues related to Putin's offer that I exposed. Most all else is trolling; some by trolls; some by known barflies. Your analogy about German minds can be flipped on its head for American minds--they are so full of evil schemes they can't design anything intricate. One might say Wally from Dilbert is the epitome of US engineers while Dilbert is the exception.

A funeral ought to be held as it's quite clear that Can-do Yankee Ingenuity has died. Sure, the old blueprints made while it still lived can be copied, but all the new efforts provide overwhelming proof of its demise.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 4:25 utc | 113

@131 Bolton …"but it demonstrates that although Russia's economy is roughly the size of the Netherlands,"...

Anyone who thinks that the Russian economy is roughly the size of the Netherlands economy is, to put it mildly, delusional.

Because anyone with any brains would immediately deduce that there is something seriously flawed with the way in which economic size is being measured if it is producing results that are so manifestly absurd.

A simple table would illustrate this:
1) have one column listing all the things that the Russians produce but the Dutchies can't.
2) have a second column listing all the things that the Dutch produce but the Russians can't.

Column (1) would be mighty long indeed.
Column (2) would list one item: tulips.

After all, it's not as if the Russians can't produce "wooden clogs", they just don't understand why anyone would want to.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 6 2019 4:33 utc | 114

Dear B, the most important point in Putin's offer, was that it was made in presence of Abe and Modi

“I told Donald, ‘if you want, we’ll sell them to you and that’s how we keep everything balanced right away’,” Putin said at the plenary session also attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Premier Narendra Modi."

As such the offer was directed to Abe and Modi to let them know that the US is far behind Russia-China alliance. The message to Abe is that he can squeak out of his vassal status; and to Modi, to forget about the Quad alliance.



Posted by: Houda | Sep 6 2019 4:42 utc | 115

Putin believes in official titles and ceremony for state business. Talk about trolling the yanks and winding them up with their russiagate bullshit. Rather than 'president Trump', Putin calls him Donald.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 5:28 utc | 116

Putin definitely trolling , but i think it is directed to the arrogant A-holes from pentagon as i doubt trump knew what 'hypersonic' meant. Basically Putin troll the whole US MIC to produce and show real hypersonic missile tech or just shut up because the only hypersonic in US arsenal only exist in propaganda media

as for the obvious troll 'O' the hasbara , it seem good people in this thread already exposed him and now he move from 'spreading lies mode' to 'wreak havoc in comment section' , please ban this hasbara B , it is an eyesore really lol..

another troll called 'jay' spread pure BS on fictional US hypersonic jet , brandishing the glory of SR71 when it is documented fact that SR71 operational cost are not worth the $$$ since satellite can do better and cheaper. Even the Soviet SA-5 SAM can down SR71 due to it's straight railroad flight track , alas it never dared to enter soviet airspace..

Posted by: milomilo | Sep 6 2019 7:00 utc | 117

jay @103: "sonic booms are only twice a flight"

So that's when the slow down to shoot the missiles and go through the sound barrier? And then when they go through it again to go fast and get away?

Got it, thanks.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 6 2019 7:01 utc | 118

they call it generation)- the m stands for mach and it isn't anything less than mach 25 single stage orbit basically, or moron depending on who is paying for it. of course, they could only build three, because one is all that is needed to win any war but especially against big opponents like yemen and the perennial venezuelian "regime".

if that turns out a failure, and that's a big if, the similar looking contractors from boeing and lockheed have a fusion reactor coming soon the size of a container. did i say coming soon? you hear that putin?

also i remember the day my teacher said when everything would become an acronym, people would be too stupid to fucking think..... guess who uses sop for ops that supposedly requires any integrity or honor. well i suppose two, the other one would be rappers.

Posted by: jason | Sep 6 2019 7:11 utc | 119

Meanwhile, in reality:

WASHINGTON: Yesterday, the Army awarded two key contracts to catch up to Russia and China in the race to field battle-ready hypersonic missiles. After years of one-off experimental prototypes, the US plans to produce and field actual weapons.

Hypersonics: Army Awards $699M To Build First Missiles For A Combat Unit

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 6 2019 7:23 utc | 120

SR-71 has about as much to do with "strike" as does F/A-117 has with "fighter". Which is to say nothing at all. It never overflew Soviet/Chinese territory because of explicit presidential order not to do so. It never flew any faster than M3.2 which makes it mid-supersonic at best. It never carried any kind of weapon.

But sure, US totally has a super duper hypersonic recon plane because existence of SR-71 was not disclosed right away and X-15 managed to fly straight once. One wishes those drunk on murrican hopium would explain already how any recon data of actual value could be gathered through plasma.

Posted by: WHAT | Sep 6 2019 7:36 utc | 121

I wouldn't much care to ever live in Russia, it appears they still have a long way to go domestically compared to our living standards and equality, but on the international stage, Putin and his Gov't are unparalleled in terms of professionalism and strategic acumen. What they have achieved in just 20 years is truly remarkable, we in the West could only dream to have such competent leaders.

Posted by: EtTuBrute | Sep 6 2019 9:47 utc | 122

Thank you Yeah Right #114, wooden clogs are likely useful somewhere and the Dutchies (as you put it) are keeping it secret from those pesky Ruskies.

I think they would be recommended when walking on hot coals as flip flops could become a problem. Then they might be essential attire in jay's hypersonic VW.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 6 2019 9:57 utc | 123

@ Bemildred | Sep 6 2019 0:12 utc | 78

Nope, that is not correct. A sonic boom is a continuous event as long as an object travels supersonic. This is due to continuous shock wave generation in 'front' of the object. Air in its initial state with a Mach speed=1 simply can not get out of the way fast enough and becomes ever more compressed until its material state allows it to achieve a higher Mach velocity - this generates the shock front visible as the Mach cone. The result is a pressure profile positive - negative - normal, a so called N-wave. Ref. Uwe Ganzer Gasdynamics. An observer recognizes this as a single event only because of him/her not 'comoving' with the supersonic object along its path.

Posted by: Hmpf | Sep 6 2019 10:02 utc | 124

So this is devolving into the Cold War Part II.

End of story.

Posted by: Oraneg | Sep 6 2019 10:32 utc | 125

steven t johnson @95 replied: "The only way it mounts any retaliation to speak of is if it launches before what the US does manage to get to Russia..."

Precisely, stevie, which is why with the nuke powered cruise missiles the rubble in the US will still be getting rearranged a week after the initial attack. It would be easy enough to program this sort of cruise missile with a list of five hundred different targets and just skip the ones that are already glowing craters and move to the next target, so command and control is irrelevant. They just fly around at their leisure looking for anything that isn't blown up yet and taking that out. If Russia's initial retaliation was successful then they will go for secondary or tertiary targets. If any high valued targets survive that initial retaliation (say San Francisco gets missed), then the atomic drone mop-up crew will be along to correct that oversight.

This is supposed to be frightening enough to prevent giving Russia a reason to use them, but I suppose that only works on people who are not stupid. Given that Mike Judge's movie Idiocracy (there is a movie that Americans need to have on heavy rotation on their Plato's Cave screens) has turned out to be more prophetic than comic, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that Americans look at the burevestnik as part of a pissing contest instead.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2019 11:11 utc | 126

Looked up gas dynamics as I had not heard of it before. An interesting section here showing the various speed regimes - supersonic, hypersonic and hypervelocity and the changes going up through the speed range.

Hmpf, there is a piece showing shockwaves at mach 1 and above mach 1 and is how I understood it to be. This appears different to your description.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 11:24 utc | 127

Hmpf @124: Thanks, you explained that very well. And the pressure wave gets bigger the faster you go, some sort of ugly power function I'd expect.

But I didn't say that, Jay did, I said going that fast is going to be very noisy, not good for spying, among other things. Mainly I think it's going to be good for going really fast just before you smack into something. All that energy shouldn't go to waste. Sort of a sub-meteorite.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 6 2019 11:26 utc | 128

re speculative US hypersonic aircraft

In March 2006 Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, whose industry contacts earned it the nickname "Aviation Leak and Space Technology", published a controversial article claiming the US had developed a 2-stage to orbit spaceplane capable of hypersonic speeds code named "Blackstar".

The 1st stage consisted of a large jet-powered supersonic aircraft based on the XB-70 Mach 3 bomber. The 2nd stage, carried beneath the fuselage, was a rocket powered lifting-body spaceplane. The spaceplane could undertake long hypersonic glides for reconnaissance purposes, or accelerate to orbital speeds to deploy small satellites or attack enemy space assets.

Unfortunately no more information emerged, and the whole episode was likely disinformation. However, the Soviet Union had such a system in development from the mid '60s onward. The Soviet Union's second cosmonaut, Gherman Titov, led a team of Red Airforce cosmonauts training to fly this "Spiral" system, designed by the legendary MiG design burea. While the large carrier aircraft (itself designed to reach hypersonic speeds) never made it off the drawing board, a prototype of the spaceplane (the MiG 105-11) flew subsonic tests in the atmosphere.

This design never made it to space in Soviet times, but NASA acquired the design under Yeltsin and produced its own test vehicle, the HL-10. The HL-10 inspired the Sierra Nevada Corp. "Dreamchaser" mini-shuttle, set to start ferrying cargo to the International Space Station in the early 2020s.

Posted by: Paora | Sep 6 2019 11:28 utc | 129

@ Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 11:24 utc | 127

Agreed in that regard that my description was a very basic one omitting a whole lot of stuff such as refraction and dilution waves etc., it was only meant to show that a sonic boom is no singular event as Bemildred has been told. It is an extremely complex topic that can not be covered properly in a comment, besides I'm not an expert in 'avionational' fluid dynamics though I own the book for its content dealing with the dynamics in rocket engines.

Posted by: Hmpf | Sep 6 2019 11:33 utc | 130


Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

The race for hypersonic missiles heated up last week when the US Army awarded two key contracts to catch up to Russia and China. After a decade of experimental prototypes, the Army is expected to get its hands on hypersonic missiles that will be fielded in the next four years, reported Breaking Defense.

Posted by: Barovsky | Sep 6 2019 11:35 utc | 131

Yeah, Right @ 114:

Column (2) should have no items: the native range of tulips (before they were cultivated) includes southern Russia.

There, I fixed that for you.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 6 2019 11:47 utc | 132

Yikes, should read 'aviational'

@ Bemildred
Yep, I know it wasn't you but thought better to address you directly.

Posted by: Hmpf | Sep 6 2019 11:49 utc | 133

Forgot to add the link @127,_wave_motion,_and_sonic_speed

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 12:05 utc | 134

Someone who obviously doesn't know what he is talking about claimed "The sonic booms are a twice a flight thing--perhaps 4 times if the a cruise missile is to be fired."

Why is it that Americans who clearly don't know what they are talking about talk so confidently out of their butt holes? The clown who made the claim quoted above is an idiot. Bemildred @78 is correct. Aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound generate their sonic boom continuously along their entire flight path. The ignorant notion that aircraft only make a booming sound when "breaking the sound barrier", that is when transitioning from subsonic flight to supersonic flight, is childish nonsense from 1930s pulp science fiction intended for elementary school kids. Adults who still believe this fiction confidently enough to actually announce it out loud should be publicly shamed. In order to discourage stupidity it should hurt a little.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2019 12:26 utc | 135

"Carriers are today, at least for Russia, India and China, not threats but large and juicy targets".
Gary Brecher 'the war nerd' said years ago that carriers were obsolete this article both informative and witty is a must read...
"The Chinese military has developed a ballistic missile, Dong Feng 21, specifically designed to kill US aircraft carriers: “Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes.” That’s the US Naval Institute talking, remember. They’re understating the case when they say that, with speed, satellite guidance and maneuverability like that, “the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased.”

You know why that’s an understatement? Because of a short little sentence I found farther on in the article—and before you read that sentence, I want all you trusting Pentagon groupies to promise me that you’ll think hard about what it implies. Here’s the sentence: “Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.”

Posted by: Harry Law | Sep 6 2019 12:36 utc | 136

@ Peter AU 1

here's another one in case you're interested in. The one I referred to seems to be available in German only.

Gas Dynamics

PDF is 12.6MB.

Posted by: Hmpf | Sep 6 2019 13:08 utc | 137

It appears the issue of U.S. supremacy brings a load of comments.

So given the apparent lacking in U.S. made weapons, why are they bombing Syria and Iraq at will?

Posted by: jared | Sep 6 2019 13:27 utc | 138

This is the most interesting doco I have seen on the SR-71 blackbird.

Interviews with the test pilot and pilots who flew it on missions plus others involved in the building. Some crap about protecting the free world and so forth at times but they are short.
The section on Israel is informative and very interesting. Seems like US was using the blackbird to gather intel on Egypt for the Israeli's plus check on how the Israeli's were going to see if they needed help. This is while Israel was shooting missiles at it.
There is also also a mention about halfway through, by one of the pilots, that the iron curtain became too dangerous without going into it further.

Something else I just noticed viewing it this time round. The drawings during the design were named Archangel. Archangel is just below the Kola Peninsular.
"European operations were from RAF Mildenhall, England. There were two routes. One was along the Norwegian west coast and up the Kola Peninsula, which contained several large naval bases belonging to the Soviet Navy's Northern Fleet."

Also this - "The first SR-71 to enter service was delivered to the 4200th (later, 9th) Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, California, in January 1966.[92]"

Mig 25 "The first prototype flew in 1964, and the aircraft entered service in 1970."

Sometimes US presidents tell little fibs.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 13:30 utc | 139

@ Posted by: jared | Sep 6 2019 13:27 utc | 138

Except for the fact they are not.

If that was the case, Assad would've already been dead, Damascus reduced to rubble.

What is happening is Israel is firing missiles from jets on Lebanese air space using commercial air planes as "human shield". Those missiles are hitting only non-strategic, often deserted areas so that Netanyahu can use as a campaign propaganda.

Idem for the USA: Trump phones Putin asking him a deserted area he can bomb so he can appease the domestic populace and prop up his re-election. Russian and Syria accept these kinds of things because it helps deescalate the conflict.

Iraq not only is not being bombed at will, but they have just elected its Communist Party as a government, strenghtening Iran's hand on the country in the process. This is the polar opposite of what the USA wanted.

Posted by: vk | Sep 6 2019 13:42 utc | 140


Would be nice if there were an “ignore name” button, so I can read comments by regular barflies and more easily skip the trash-talking noise from the “young” or “paid” people that occasionally show up.

Posted by: oglalla | Sep 6 2019 13:48 utc | 141

Entertainment. A couple of Mig 29's having fun. Well worth watching.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 13:54 utc | 142

Our stick is bigger than their stick. No it's not. Yes it is.

Whew, hard board to read this one.

Posted by: arby | Sep 6 2019 13:56 utc | 143

@steven t johnson #65
Sorry, but you just keep piling on the ignorance.
A missile with unlimited range can just fly in circles over a stretch of deep ocean or the Arctic or Antarctic, or over a desert like the Gobi or Sahara.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 6 2019 13:58 utc | 144

@ vk | Sep 6 2019 13:42 utc | 140

You are clearly over-looking several more recent events and distorting the reality (intentional or not).
I also see that B, for all his great insight, tends to slant his postings a certain way - can't quite say what is that way.

Separately, I wish the very intelligent commenters on the sight could show more tolerance for diverse opinions and manner of expression.
Having a different or unpopular or even uninformed opinion is not "trolling".
"Trolling" would be inflammatory, insulting, off-topic with intent to frustrate a commenters and take the comment chain off-track (I did not look it up so there may be a better "official" definition.)
The format here makes it easy to over-look off-topic or nonconstructive input - unlike say at ZH where the ability to reply in-line breaks the comment flow.

It's the internet for goodness sake - bunch of old farts in their underwear yelling at the computer.
Take a walk when it gets too much.

Posted by: jared | Sep 6 2019 14:10 utc | 145

@Jay #69
Jamming is possible but also highlights both the jamming source and the fact that it is occurring.
Since you say the plane you talked about isn't one of the publicly documented ones, either provide some evidence of what you speak or else I will have to assume it is bullshit.
Among many issues: any plane which flies has to land somewhere. Basic military intelligence means that there are people watching airfields everywhere.
A plane which overflies at Mach 5+ also generates all sorts of external signals including the sonic boom when it exceeds the speed of sound, a huge air compression wave in front of it (even at high altitude) due to its high speed path, and heat from friction on its surface. The SR 71 would get cherry red halfway through its USSR runs - not great once you get infrared homing missiles with sufficient speed.
Only a "space plane" would avoid these effects, but then why not just use a satellite? Because that's what happened in the real world.
As for your claim of this super high speed plane carrying 2 cruise missiles: If the plane is low or medium altitude - the missiles would disintegrate at launch because they're slow missiles being released/shot off a Mach 5+ vehicle - as well as endangering the launch vehicle. If it is high altitude, why bother with a cruise missile? Besides strobing the missile for tracking and interception, there's the question of why cruise missiles at all. A Mach5 plane that is not interceptable doesn't need to shoot cruise missiles - it should be dropping laser or GPS guided bombs, dumb bombs, or even a nice iron or DU bar. A 500 kg bar going Mach 5 has the kinetic energy of 172 tons of TNT - no warhead required.
All in all, you've been spouting a bunch of nonsense.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 6 2019 14:11 utc | 146

@ Posted by: jared | Sep 6 2019 14:10 utc | 145

So, you stand by your position the USA is bombing Syria and Iraq "at will"?

Assad travelled with his wife to London to accompany her in her treatment for breast cancer and nothing happened. Compare his situation with Assange's, where a fake Swedish rape accusation made him a political prisoner in Ecuador's embassy in the British capital for years. Remember: the West's machine downed a commercial airplane in Ukraine and murdered Russian ex-agents; they could've easily murdered Assad while he was on his plane to London or poisoned him at the hospital his wife was being treated at.

Again, why is Assad still alive, if the USA bombs "at will"? Prove your hypothesis, and I'll gladly admit I'm wrong.

Posted by: vk | Sep 6 2019 14:31 utc | 147

William Gruff@126 writes "It would be easy enough to program this sort of cruise missile with a list of five hundred different targets and just skip the ones that are already glowing craters and move to the next target, so command and control is irrelevant." No it would not be "easy." The landscape and the electronic environment and even the atmosphere itself will change in the aftermath of a nuclear exchange. Also, the assumption that the US first strike will essentially annihilate Russia gives the SF brochures the defense contractors put out far too much credit. In the aftermath, the last thing any sane person, including Putin, should want is an automatic continuation of war, with not possibility of ceasing hostilities, not even to fight for the physical survival of the people left. If a nuclear cruise missile was to bomb some city six weeks after the initial exchange, whatever is left retaliates. And there will be something left. Also it's one atmosphere and some of the fallout will eventually kill Russians, directly or indirectly. No, the missile needs to be under real-time control. I don't believe they have this missile or are anywhere close, but I think they are crazy to think this is a good strategic weapon.

C1ue@144 seems to have forgotten that there are boats in oceans and vehicles capable of crossing deserts and most of all, that there are satellites. The weeks of circling are weeks to find. There is a reason why the US military is so panicked at anti-satellite warfare capacity, and why it wants total mastery of cyberwarfare. Without recon and CCC, no nuclear weapons system is going to be much more than a kamikaze nation. That's why Trump wants a Space Force, to make true nuclear war a seeming possibility instead of a suicide pact. (And I'm still convinced he thinks nukes in orbit will make slaughtering enemy nations like shooting fish in a barrel.)

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 6 2019 14:34 utc | 148

c1ue - 146
You got me thinking here. Putin said nuclear first strike was a no-go for Russia. Now, if we consider a first strike by conventional bombs or even basic kinetic missiles, but nuclear-propelled ones flying at Mach 5, then it's not a nuclear first strike, but still a first strike that could do big damages if it actually hit strategic military infrastructure, US nuke silos, carrier groups and the like. The reverse would of course be just as true, if US managed to develop that kind of vehicles first, it could disable a sizable chunk of Russia's strike force without it being a nuclear strike.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 6 2019 14:40 utc | 149

Trump should have taken the offer...the Russian missile would be, by far, more cost effective. The cost of the US missile will be dominated by graft, corruption, kick backs and cost overruns.

Posted by: Realist | Sep 6 2019 14:45 utc | 150

@VK 147 Asma Assad was treated in Syria at a military hospital with help from Russia. She did not travel to London and her husband certainly did not go to London. This is a ridiculous post. Why are you making stuff up that is easily shown to be false? Western bogus media used her announcement that she has recovered from cancer to blame her and her husband for destroying Syrian hospitals and blaming them for the war and all the deaths. LOL.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Sep 6 2019 15:08 utc | 151

vk says:

Assad travelled with his wife to London to accompany her in her treatment for breast cancer and nothing happened

Asma al-Assad was treated for breast cancer in Damascus, and the last i heard there were calls in the UK to revoke her British citizenship. the idea that she would go there accompanied by her husband seems pretty absurd. better check your facts.

Posted by: john | Sep 6 2019 15:17 utc | 152

c1ue @146 is not exaggerating very much when he points out that a simple metal bar traveling at hypersonic speeds has tremendous kinetic energy. But where does that energy come from? Here's a hint that Bemildred @78 dropped on the matter: "They [hypersonic aircraft] eat a lot of gas too."

Every bit of kinetic energy in not just the bombs the aircraft might carry, but in the aircraft itself comes from burning fuel. Even when we disregard friction with the atmosphere and engines that are less than 100% efficient we are still talking about an aircraft that will be practically all fuel tank... a little payload and a big fuel tank.

Basically we are talking about a missile.

Can Sierra Nevada Corp's Dream Chaser (mentioned earlier in this thread and based upon old Soviet designs) go hypersonic? Sure! But the disposable fuel tank for that cute little thing is a beast! It is called the Atlas V and is one of America's biggest rockets.

Please do try to keep the Laws of Thermodynamics in mind when we are talking about these magical weapon systems America has hidden away.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2019 15:19 utc | 153

@ c1ue | Sep 6 2019 14:11 utc | 146

'A 500 kg bar going Mach 5 has the kinetic energy of 172 tons of TNT..'

Nope, you've miscalculated this one. E=1/2m*v² -> E=0,5*500kg*1665m/s²= 693 MJ

TNT's heat of combustion (H2Oliquid) is given at about 4 MJ/kg --< 4 GJ/metric ton.
Precise number for its heat of explosion (different to a slow and complete combustion process) is according to Meyer/Koehler 'Explosives' Edition 7:
3,335 kJ/kg (H2Oliquid). This makes absolute sense as given the time frame the reaction kinetics do not support 'ideal' combustion in that a short amount of time.

Thus, 693 MJ of energy represent roughly 173 kg of TNT (H2Oliquid).

In real life the numbers vary to a certain degree (higher but not in magnitudes) as once the detonation products cool below ~1200°K which happens very quickly due adiabatic expansion they stop contributing to the blast effect meaningfully.

Posted by: Hmpf | Sep 6 2019 15:19 utc | 154

iirc, a first strike is supposed to take out the opponents nukes, not damage it's military capability in general. It has to work very quickly.

Posted by: pretzelattacks | Sep 6 2019 15:24 utc | 155

@steven t johnson #148
Really, when you're in a hole, stop digging.
The ocean has a surface area of 361 million square kilometers. Let's say you can visually inspect 20 miles/30 kilometers, that's about 3000 square kilometers (a bit less). You'd need 120,000 ships to cover that, assuming they were perfectly evenly spread out. The US Navy has 300 ships.
The entire world's merchant fleet is a bit over 50,000 ships.
Surface area of the Gobi+Sahara is about 10.5 million square kilometers. You'd need 3,500 evenly spaced desert watchtowers.
Arctic and Antarctic is about 45 million square kilometers. Add another 15,000 watchtowers on ice.
You are stupid and ignorant.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 6 2019 15:27 utc | 156

@Clueless Joe #149
I'm no military or national defense policy wonk, but I am 100% sure that any first attack on another nation's nuclear capabilities is considered a first strike - regardless of whether nuclear explosions are involved.
It is simply generally assumed that nukes will be used.
150 tons of TNT sounds like a lot except the typical nuclear weapons are measured in megatons = millions of tons of TNT.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 6 2019 15:29 utc | 157

@Hmph #154
I don't think so.
KE = 1/2*mass*velocity squared where mass = grams, velocity = meters per second.
You left out the extra 1000 factor due to kilograms.
0.5 * 500,000 * 1700 * 1700 = 722500000000 J = 722.5 GJ, not MJ
0.00024 tons TNT to MJ = 722500*.00024 = 173.5 tons TNT.
Close enough for government work.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 6 2019 15:35 utc | 158

Putin warned Bush about impeding attack TWO DAYS before 9/11 – ex-CIA analyst

As we already know, Bush needed to invade Iraq.

Posted by: vk | Sep 6 2019 15:38 utc | 159

@ c1ue

Stick to electrical engineering please. Thanks

Posted by: Hmpf | Sep 6 2019 15:40 utc | 160

steven t johnson 148 "In the aftermath, the last thing any sane person, including Putin, should want is an automatic continuation of war, with not possibility of ceasing hostilities, not even to fight for the physical survival of the people left."

Putin speaking on the subject.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 15:40 utc | 161

Clueless Joe 149 "Now, if we consider a first strike by conventional bombs or even basic kinetic missiles"

The problem here is how do the Russians know its not a nuclear warhead. They must assume its nuclear. I could also dig up Putin's views on that subject if required.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 15:53 utc | 162

@Hmph #160
Yep, you're right. A joule is so puny, I assumed it should be grams. But the unit of KE is indeed KG/M/S-squared.
Absolutely the fault of my being a EE: a watt is 1 joule/second - and it really can't do hardly anything. But electrical power can push a lot!
In any case, .1735 tons of TNT is still comparable to twice the payload of a 500 lb bomb, and is still insignificant compared to a nuclear weapon.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 6 2019 15:56 utc | 163

Strategic Culture editorial illuminates what the West's BigLie Media refuses--the importance of the Eastern Economic Conference as a significant example of the rapidly blooming Multipolar World Washington and its vassals are trying hard to ignore, while pointing out the inanity of such a posture. The following speak to my synopsis:

"Evidently, multilateral relations flourish with mutual development and peaceful cooperation when nations engage in diplomacy and reciprocal respect. Billions of people benefit from the pooling of resources to materially uplift their daily lives, as well as from, ultimately, the dispelling of possible conflicts. All of the nations attending the EEF this week have at some time been involved in combative conduct, including disastrous wars. Yet today it is apparent, and indeed truly hopeful, that multilateralism can win over divisiveness and hostility.

"One notable observation from this week was the dearth of reporting by Western media on the Vladivostok conference. Even though delegates to the forum included European investors. For such a major event, involving significant world leaders, to be largely ignored by Western media is unconscionably derelict. Consumers of such media can hardly appreciate the reality of a multilateral world taking shape. Secondly, more cynically, for the Western media to give any normal coverage on the EEF would inevitably confound their stereotypical portrayal of Russia as somehow an isolated, malign power.

"Another notable observation is the stark contrast between the multilateralism on display at Vladivostok and the polarizing unilateralism of the United States. Scarcely a week goes by when Washington is not issuing more sanctions against one nation or another. This week, the Trump administration slapped further sanctions on Iran in a blatant attempt to shut down that country’s vital oil shipping industry. Washington even went as far as using bribes and blackmail in a bid to commandeer an oil tanker transporting Iranian export." [My Emphasis]

Indeed, the weakness of the Outlaw US Empire was accentuated over the past several weeks by the lies told by Bolton--Russia and China having stolen/copied US technology to produce their superior weapons systems--to cover for the gross ineptitude and deep corruption within the entire Military Congressional Industrial Financial Complex that had to resort to spin to try and hide its woeful lack of readiness and almost non-existent resilience.

I must presume due to the lack of attempts at rebutting my writings on this topic that the majority of barflies agree and silently nod their heads. If that's the case, then what does the future portend? Will the UK leaving the EU finally lead to its breakup and reconstitution within a larger geographical and organizational sphere--Eurasia--and thus also break free from the Outlaw US Empire's tentacles? Will the clear inability to deter the growing Multipolar World and resulting failure to achieve the longstanding #1 policy goal of Full Spectrum Domination finally cause the Current Oligarchy to reassess their policy, particularly in light of escalating domestic political pressure to do so?

As I wrote back at what's now 35, "To focus exclusively on weapons is to focus on the wrong aspect of a nation's strength," and all that followed from that premise. Houda's very important point made at 115 that Putin announced his offer to Donald in the presence of Abe and Modi at the Plenary Session provides an offhanded confirmation of the points I've tried to make on this thread--Russia and China are ascendant yet still ascending and the wave of the future is the model of multilateral development and interaction they're promoting as the citied editorial confirms. The unstated invitation is: Go ahead and keep your friendly relations with Donald, but rid your nation's of the unproductive yokes tied to you that prevent your increased involvement and advancement within our growing construct.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 15:58 utc | 164

America would be better off deploying its most deadly and expensive weapon against the rest of the world: The U.S. Health Care System. It kills and cripples more people annually for profit than all our weapons put together.

Posted by: RenoDino | Sep 6 2019 16:14 utc | 165

goldhoarder 151, John 152

Maybe he's confusing Assad's wife's cancer treatment with Assad himself having previously been a doctor living in London.

Posted by: Russ | Sep 6 2019 16:15 utc | 166


I recall a truly awful techno-espionage novel by that man who writes the Da Vinci Code books. Dan Brown is his name, i think, and the book is Deception Point, which I do not recommend. Anyway, in the novel, the hero gets a ride across the Atlantic, I think it was, in an hour or so, in a super-secret Aurora so that he can save his girlfriend. Not that it means anything, but when i read it, I remember thinking, "Oh, someone in the War Department has given Brown the Clancy treatment to get this aircraft into a public venue in a plausibly deniable format."
Your case would, I think, be strengthened with less coy, nudge-and-wink innuendo. If you are limited in what you can say about it, due to the usual oaths and NDAs, why not say that, otherwise your tone comes across as "War Department sock puppet."

Well, is it real or not real? Someone brought up a good point. If the US has a manned Mach 6 capable, now retired for something better, if I understand you correctly, why would making a hypersonic missile be all that difficult. Also, then the PGS would have been, what?, just another gigantic $400 hammer, I suppose, for the pigs at the trough.

Posted by: casey | Sep 6 2019 16:16 utc | 167

Increased Hysteria and Powerlessness clearly portrayed in Outlaw US Empire's attempts to enforce its illegal unilateral sanctions against Iran, Syria, Cuba, etc. When I read these sorts of items, I'm reminded of Don Quixote and some of his very humorous, ridiculous, jousts, and how utterly pathetic this entire affair's become. The imagery formed in my mind's eye is that of an out-of-control barking rabid chihuahua peeing all over itself and the furniture of the Oval Office while chasing its tail. Some responsible person needs to call the animal control police to have the dog captured and put down, and soon!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 16:39 utc | 168

karlof1 "Will the UK leaving the EU finally lead to its breakup and reconstitution within a larger geographical and organizational sphere--Eurasia--and thus also break free from the Outlaw US Empire's tentacles?'

I'll keep it short as it should be in the brexit thread. Something I have not seen mentioned is that UK is five eyes window and mouth into the EU. Europe has more chance of becoming an independent entity with UK out. Even then, the chances of Europe checking to see if it still has goolies are low.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 16:40 utc | 169

Russ says:

Maybe he's confusing Assad's wife's cancer treatment with Assad himself having previously been a doctor living in London

or maybe he's confusing it with the fact that she was born and grew up there...

or maybe he's confusing it with Bashar's and Asma's official visit to London in 2002, when they were welcomed with a guard of honor.

maybe he should understand that while he's entitled to his own opinions, he's not entitled to his own facts...

and gladly admit that he's wrong.

Posted by: john | Sep 6 2019 16:47 utc | 170

nope c1ue, what you describe is an attack. "first strike" refers to renouncing the first use of nuclear weapons, in this context.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 6 2019 17:07 utc | 171

In this era, weapons systems are a prerequisite for economic change.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 17:11 utc | 172

Lula Interview Installment 3 (and last! Where's the promised video with English subtitles?) is about the "Inside story of the first Iran nuclear deal," which some may have forgotten. Wow! Which juicy excerpt to tempt barflies? This helps set the context for what ensues in the interview:

"2) On dealing with George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: 'Bush accepted ideas with more fluidity than Obama. Obama was much tougher with Brazil. I’m certain that Hillary Clinton does not like Latin America, and she didn’t like Brazil. I had two big fights with her, one in a meeting in Trinidad-Tobago and another in Copenhagen [at the climate conference COP-15]. She arrived late, bossing everyone around. I said, ‘Lady, hang on. Wait for your turn. I’ve been here for three days.’ The petulance and arrogance of the Americans disturbs me, even if I think that the United States is always an important nation, and we should always maintain a good relationship.'"

This last bit shows that Trump's "Art of the Deal" differs little from previous US behavior, although it appears the Europeans learned something from their experience:

"'Later, I was at a G-20 meeting, I approached Angela Merkel and said, ‘Have you talked to Ahmadinejad?’ I talked to Sarzoky, said, ‘Have you talked to Ahmadinejad?’ No. Approached Obama, said, ‘Have you talked to Ahmadinejad?’ ‘No.’ ‘Damn, how come you want a deal, but you don’t talk? You subcontract the negotiation? Then I understood that the world in the past had had leadership much, much more competent, left and right, people who knew how to discuss foreign policy.'" [My Emphasis]

Lula's conclusion confirms lots of recent analysis here and elsewhere. What Pepe's provided us in his three interview segments is a very tempting appetizer. Here's the "rough cut" video in Portuguese Pepe linked to in the first installment; it has almost 7K comments. The Portuguese CC helps those of us like me whose facility with that language is poor. When you read this installment, you'll want to know the entirety of the interview as clearly much is omitted. Perhaps when the English subtitled version become available, b will feature it in an essay that connects more of the dots.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 17:31 utc | 173

@ Posted by: john | Sep 6 2019 16:47 utc | 170

My mistake: the breast cancer treatment really happened in Damascus...

... which reminds me something: Damascus is still standing and Bashar and Asma Assad are still alive!

So much for a country that is "bombing Syria at will", that country governed by a "butcher", a "dictator".

Posted by: vk | Sep 6 2019 17:57 utc | 174

Peter AU 1 @172--

Thanks for your multiple, if brief, replies. Regarding 172, I'd modify that to say political-economic or ideological change, or perhaps to ensure independence. But as noted not just by me, the production of advanced technology and its related weapon systems ultimately depends on the state of a nation's human capital as it comprises the fundamental raw material required before the inclusion of other resources. That need and its promotion was recognized by both JFK and LBJ, but has subsequently been ignored at best and had war waged upon it at worst by subsequent administrations, the worst of which is now in place, while other nations--Russia and China in particular--have concentrated on doing their utmost to promote their human capital's wellbeing, a value closely related to ideology.

Once upon a time, the health of a nation was judged by the health of its Army, as the brute force of arms and legs and capacity to think made the foot/mounted soldier THE primary weapon system. Much has changed since then, but as many here besides me have noted, such primary forces--infantry--are required to capture and hold territory or to protect a nation's sovereignty. I'd argue that the Outlaw US Empire defeated itself through its adoption of Neoliberalism and the resulting neglect of what ought to be thought of as its #1 most essential asset--its human capital.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 18:03 utc | 175

Posted by: (another) Realist | Sep 6 2019 14:45 utc | 150

Reality seems to be making an impact.
Realist handle is hereby retired.

Posted by: Realist | Sep 6 2019 18:23 utc | 176

Putin Promotes Technological Edge:

"Russia must be one step ahead of other countries in space exploration, says Putin."

Wish I'd seen this article earlier as I would've included it in 175 since it's an excellent example for the point being made. Indeed, almost the entirety of Putin's speech I linked above deals with the fundamental requirement to promote the wellbeing of human capital to facilitate technological and general economic development. Indeed, it's been his main point of emphasis for the last several years in almost every presentation he makes.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 18:40 utc | 177

karlof1@ what is now 164:

"... I must presume due to the lack of attempts at rebutting my writings on this topic that the majority of barflies agree and silently nod their heads. If that's the case, then what does the future portend? ..."

Thank you, karlof1, for your comments on the weaponry situation versus population concerns, on which I agree with you that most other countries put their people first. This countrty used to, even if how it did so seemed modestly skewed in favor of the wealthy - until all of a sudden those with wealth seemed to get the bit twixt their teeth and simply take off into the stratosphere.

I really wish they'd stayed there but the unfortunate thing was that they came back down and started lording it over our politics and over our science. Until now. Is it because David Koch began to noticeably fail and then passed on - we are now hearing from mainstream quarters that indeed global climate change is upon us, as if this were a completely new bit of news. Oh dear, the coral reefs are in dire shape! Well, duh.

A new bit of the story now is that it is September, when at least we could have hoped for cool nights if not rain in the mountain deserts of the southwest of the US - we did have such early and midsummer. We are now experiencing our warmest nights following indeed shorter days but really intense blazing sunlight. So, I'll add to your remarks with this subject - it's getting darned hot and dry at the wrong time of year - the lake where I live has an algae bloom for the first time since I've lived here, and maybe ever - the Rio Grande feeds in and that comes to us courtesy of Colorado's Rockies.

Indeed, as you say, What does the future portend? Shall all our oligarchs die off soon enough? Or shall they repent and bestow their illgotten gains somewhere that will really help people?

Bigger and better weapons isn't going to cut it with Mother Nature!

Posted by: juliania | Sep 6 2019 18:53 utc | 178

Why give these weapons to people who are already using their existing weapons in such shameful ways? RIP Uncle Bob

Posted by: Maximus | Sep 6 2019 19:00 utc | 179

Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 13:54 utc | 142

Entertainment. A couple of Mig 29's having fun. Well worth watching.

Yes, amusing but I doubt that these are full-size MIG 29s. These are, I think, RC models controlled by the bod on the rhs of the runway. The reasons I deduce this are the following:
1) the video is put out by a group whose interest is RC models.
2) The planes disturb no dust as they hover over the rough, sandy ground on the lhs of the runway and disturb the leaves of the trees and bushes not at all, as far as I could see.
3) They land exactly as one would expect model aircraft to land and the "pilots" seem to be entirely lifeless.

That is not to say that MIG29s are incapable of doing this, I just don't know, but I don't accept this as evidence one way or the other.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 6 2019 19:28 utc | 180

No it would not be "easy." The landscape and the electronic environment and even the atmosphere itself will change in the aftermath of a nuclear exchange.

I see in today's news that the Chinese are working on using pulsars to provide reference points for navigation systems. Any connection?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 6 2019 19:38 utc | 181

karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 18:03 utc | 175

Once upon a time, the health of a nation was judged by the health of its Army, as the brute force of arms and legs and capacity to think made the foot/mounted soldier THE primary weapon system. Much has changed since then, but as many here besides me have noted, such primary forces--infantry--are required to capture and hold territory or to protect a nation's sovereignty. I'd argue that the Outlaw US Empire defeated itself through its adoption of Neoliberalism and the resulting neglect of what ought to be thought of as its #1 most essential asset--its human capital.

One of the things that I think is often forgotten, is that the leaders of the US and the UK, in particular and to a lesser extent the leaders of many other western countries, have no knowledge or understanding of science. It must appear to them as something akin to magic.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 6 2019 20:03 utc | 182

Peter AU 1 and foolisholdman: if you read the description for that youtube video, it says: "Filmed action from the Aerofly RC 8 flight simulator."

It's CGI of RC. The (RC) planes are computer generated.

Posted by: Lurk | Sep 6 2019 20:11 utc | 183

juliania | Sep 6 2019 18:53 utc | 178

Bigger and better weapons isn't going to cut it with Mother Nature!

I don't know the figures for the power involved in a storm like Dorian, but my guess concerning Trump's idea of nuking such a storm to "disrupt" it, is that it would be a bit like a rabbit trying to "disrupt" a tiger.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 6 2019 20:14 utc | 184

Lurk I've spent too much time watching the super maneuverable sukhoi's. They can pretty much stand on their tailpipes. Have to remember to check its real next time I see something that looks as good or better than the Sukhoi's

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 20:28 utc | 185

@Yeah, Right | Sep 6 2019 4:33 utc | 114

The dutch produced not so much tulips, but a tulip BUBBLE, by financializing the tulips. When the market crashed spectacularly, it was a historic first. BTW Wall Street was named by the Dutch, when they owned the place called New Amsterdam. The Brits renamed it when they swapped it for a little patch of the Guyanas.

You fail to mention that The Netherlands produces many tax evasion loopholes. For example, did you know that IKEA is a Dutch company? All IKEA stores worldwide, including those in Sweden, pay all but a symbolic amount of their proceeds as licencing fees for using the IKEA brand to Inter IKEA Systems BV in Delft that owns the brand exclusively. The symbolic amount is then left for the tax men worldwide. The Dutch tax man is veeery lenient about income generated from licencing.

By the way, there is some real and quite unique engineering coming out of The Netherlands: ASML is a Dutch company.

Posted by: Lurk | Sep 6 2019 20:35 utc | 186

foolisholdman@181 may be right about the Chinese working on pulsar navigation for exactly the reasons hinted...but I guarantee you that is not easy.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 6 2019 21:07 utc | 187

C1ue@156 cheats by suddenly pretending we're only talking about visual inspeaction. Pleasure boats don't have radar. And again, satellites, the reason why anti-satellite warfare gives the US military conniptions is how vital they are to recon. It is precisely the days long movement in circles of nuclear cruise missiles that would make them stand out when you compare aerial views over a period of time. Astronomers for over a century have been pretty good at spotting moving objects even there. The blink comparator (over a hundred years old) has been superseded ( The earthly distances are as nothing.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 6 2019 21:22 utc | 188

juliania @178--

Thanks again for your reply! Yes, as I remarked to my partner about our area of Oregon becoming more like Santa Cruz, California so to is New Mexico being transformed. Although it's now 65 years-old, Wallace Stegner's Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West can still provide some lessons, IMO. The narrative is superb and much of it's about where you now reside.

As for my series of comments on this thread, I studiously avoided the Climate Crisis although its centrality really shouldn't be ignored; Putin didn't in his Vladivostok speech. As Lula pointed out in his interview, today's world lacks genuinely strong leaders with a holistic humanistic vision and an idea of how to attain it. I hope Escobar's correct that he'll be released and be able to be a factor in politics again. But far more than Lula's return's required; Corbyn must win, reform the UK and promote the cause of Eurasian integration to replace the failed neoliberal EU and confront the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 21:25 utc | 189

steven t Johnson @188--

Pleasure boats do have radar! Mine's a Furuno on my 26' Stripper, it works superbly, and I may well need to use it in tomorrow's fog.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 21:29 utc | 190

Peter AU @ 169

Has no one else noticed America’s interest in Ireland? Trump went there after London, Pence is there now. Preparing for the UK leaving the EU - probably, and it is not just me who thinks this.

Mind you, it wouldn’t make a lot of difference. The Naas Road looks like New Jersey already.

Posted by: Montreal | Sep 6 2019 21:59 utc | 191

Takes a bit of thinking about. Five eyes window or influence into the EU, Obama wanted UK in, Trump wants UK out.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 22:29 utc | 192


Sorry about the mixup. I was considering only cruise missiles ans air-to-ground missiles and neglected to quantify that the S300/400/500 are the primary missile defenses against ballistic missiles.

I was zeroed in on just the standard FUKUS and Israeli attacks on Syria as in the discussions where the S300 would be more cost effective in shooting down the missile platforms (planes), leaving the missiles to be downed by more close in defense systems.

Given that the US is developing explosive laden drone swarms it appears to me that the Pantsier-S2 missile systems with sub-munitions will become critical to thwarting the potential attacks.

Posted by: Krollchem | Sep 6 2019 22:44 utc | 193

Previous post was addressed to Montreal @191

A general question though - what is the importance of UK in the EU if any for five eyes.

Most people and myself until recently see the US a the hegemon. Building and maintaining hegemony requires good intel. I am now coming to think of five eyes as the hegemon, more so recently as Australia is happy to shout abuse at its main trading partner and risk isolating us in the region in which we live.

I did a bit of a search and ran onto this piece at the Independent.
"Before the referendum took place Sir John Sawyers, the former MI6 chief, and Lord Evans, a former head of MI5, pointed out that the EU was essential for sharing data.
The two chiefs wanted to stress that “intelligence work today relies on the lawful and accountable use of large data-sets to reveal the associations and activities of terrorists and cyber-attackers. The terms on which we exchange data with other European countries are set by agreement within the EU.” Sir John and Lord Evan stated a vote to leave “would create instability, worsening the existing economic difficulties, the migration crisis and a resurgent Russia”."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 23:07 utc | 194

Peter AU 1 @194--

Five Eyes work for the One Eye, and I don't mean Saruman. The network was initiated by the CIA and IMO is still controlled by and remains subordinate to that entity, the NSA being the Outlaw US Empire's Eye as I learned during my military service.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 23:25 utc | 195

@173 karlof1

Thanks for that distillation from Lula #3. We eagerly await the full interview with subtitles, without daring even to wish to hurry the translators and transcribers, who are the heroes of the revolution.


Your surmise is correct that many readers simply agree with your comments - the deafening silence is the thunderous agreement. You take the trouble to form coherent pieces, and so there's little to add. I do feel certain that if anyone disagreed with you, you'd hear about it ;)

Indeed, I continue to note that the discussion here seems to evolve over time. What one says to the group, if valuable after peer review, does indeed seem to change the discussion for the future. Yesterday's postulate becomes today's given point of departure. Tomorrow's possibility takes its first awkward steps.

Not to make too big a thing of this, but I find it very encouraging. It was never really a thing I thought to see, and yet it happens. And then we look around the world of commentary and even government policy, and find words repeated that we had never quite seen before, except in earlier postulates, in obscure little threads on obscure little sites, as we thought.

Butterfly wings. And so we must continue to discuss, because it seems to have an effect, and to do some good.


I notice the comment numbers have changed since I was here last. I won't bother to check to see who's gone, but perhaps some mouths were breaking the sound barrier?

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 7 2019 0:08 utc | 196

"You take the trouble to form coherent pieces, and so there's little to add. I do feel certain that if anyone disagreed with you, you'd hear about it"

That about covers it.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 7 2019 0:17 utc | 197

From what I have read in the past, information is generally a one way flow into the Saruman.
As far as I know, US has only pulled one very low key regime operation here. Plenty of media propaganda though to ensure 'loyal allies' are elected.

What I am seeing now though is that many of the good aussie voters are taking the anti china propaganda to heart and believe we need the US to protect us from the invading yellow hordes from the north.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 7 2019 0:25 utc | 198

Grieved @196--

Thanks as always for your reply! Out is what I suspected; Jay however, is brand new, and another I suspect.

We have an informal dialectic to name your description, and our memories continue to serve us well as we move forward.

Thanks to you and Peter AU 1 @197 for your critiques; the feedback's very welcome! I was once told by several accomplished writers that the well crafted is well remembered. I know longer commentary can become a bore particularly if excerpts aren't tied in well to the surrounding narrative.

Peter AU 1 @198--

When I did my study into the Chinese Diaspora in 1999-2000, I found their penchant for business a cause of resentment by the ethnic nationals where they resided, which is one of the reasons why they demurred from entering politics, Singapore being a notable exception. During the Indonesian Purge in the 1960s, many slaughtered were ethnic non-Communist Chinese and their businesses taken over by locals. My research informed me that ex-pat Chinese are rather sensitive to their positions in their adopted nations which helps to partly explain their affinity for their Motherland, and they are very much aware of the English speaking world's racist inclination toward them and Asians in general.

I try not to stereotype peoples as racist and such, but ignorant populations are subject to having such hysteria promoted within them rather easily as witnessed in the Western USA when Chinese labor was imported to build the transcontinental railroad--there weren't enough whites in the first place and they didn't want to do the dangerous work of blasting through the granite mountains of the Sierras--and they employed engineering and building techniques unknown and to the amazement of their white employers. Both the USA and Australia have histories of extreme racism which at times recurs, and you know your mates far better than I.

It's difficult to find good data on Chinese emigration. I know from my own inquiries about moving overseas that numerous requirements must be met. Too bad the fact that Aussies and Kiwis are the odd ethnics in their region isn't taught at a young age in an effort to staunch the rise of ethnic-based hatred. Indeed, the one most salient fact not taught everywhere is that there's only ONE RACE--The Human Race.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 7 2019 1:34 utc | 199

Just a minor correction: Saruman would be the tree destroying "white wizard", the one eye went by the unspeakable name of Sauron.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Sep 7 2019 12:32 utc | 200

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