Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 04, 2019

How An Ever Sanctioning Superpower Is Losing Its Status

The Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke yesterday at the yearly Valdai Discussion Club meeting in Sochi. A video with English translations and excerpts of the transcript are here.

With regards to the global system Putin made an interesting historic comparison:

in the 19th century they used to refer to a “Concert of Powers.” The time has come to talk in terms of a global “concert” of development models, interests, cultures and traditions where the sound of each instrument is crucial, inextricable and valuable, and for the music to be played harmoniously rather than performed with discordant notes, a cacophony. It is crucial to consider the opinions and interests of all the participants in international life. Let me reiterate: truly mutually respectful, pragmatic and consequently solid relations can only built between independent and sovereign states.

Russia is sincerely committed to this approach and pursues a positive agenda.

The Concert of Europe was the balance of power system between 1815 to 1848 and from 1871 to 1914:

A first phase of the Concert of Europe, known as the Congress System or the Vienna System after the Congress of Vienna (1814–15), was dominated by five Great Powers of Europe: Prussia, Russia, Britain, France and Austria. [...] With the Revolutions of 1848 the Vienna system collapsed and, although the republican rebellions were checked, an age of nationalism began and culminated in the unifications of Italy (by Sardinia) and Germany (by Prussia) in 1871. The German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck re-created the Concert of Europe to avoid future conflicts escalating into new wars. The revitalized concert included France, Britain, Austria, Russia, and Italy with Germany as the main continental power economically and militarily.

Bismark's concert kept peace in a usually warring Europe for 43 years. If Putin wants to be the new Bismarck I am all for it.

Putin also made a rather extraordinary announcement:

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow is helping China build a system to warn of ballistic missile launches.

Since the cold war, only the United States and Russia have had such systems, which involve an array of ground-based radars and space satellites. The systems allow for early spotting of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Speaking at an international affairs conference in Moscow on Thursday, Putin said Russia had been helping China develop such a system. He added that “this is a very serious thing that will radically enhance China’s defence capability”.

His statement signalled a new degree of defence cooperation between the two former Communist rivals that have developed increasingly close political and military ties while Beijing and Washington have sunk into a trade war.

That is as good for China as it is for Russia. China has an immediate need for such a system because the U.S. is taking a significantly more bellicose posture against it.

The U.S. left the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia to build a nuclear missiles force in South Asia that will aim at China. It is now looking for Asian countries in which it could station such weapons. China is using its economic might to prevent that but the U.S. is likely to succeed.

While China has capable weapons and can defend itself against a smaller attack the U.S. has about 20 times more nuclear warheads than China. It could use those in an overwhelming first strike to decapitate and destroy the Chinese state. An early warning system will give China enough time to detect such an attack and to launch its own nuclear deterrent against the U.S.  The warning systems will thus checkmate the U.S. first strike capability.

Over the last two years Russia and China both unveiled hypersonic weapons. Currently the U.S. has neither such weapons nor any defensive system that can protect against these.

Russia was smart enough to develop both - the super fast offensive weapon and a defense against it. Via Andrei Martyanov we learn of a recent Russian press notice:

Translation: Combat crews of S-400, in Astrakhan Region, held combat exercises against hypersonic target-missiles "Favorit PM" and destroyed all targets. The statement of the press-service of Western Military District announced. The crews of S-400 Triumphs were from the units of air-defense of Leningrad Army of Air Force and Air Defense of Western Military District.

And what this "Favorit PM" missile-target complex is? Very simple, it is deeply modernized good ol' S-300 P series which allows to use missiles of types 5V55 which have their explosives removed and are capable of atmospheric maneuverable flight with the velocities of Mach=6 (in excess of 7,000 kilometers per hour). These are genuine hyper-sonic missile-targets and, evidently, and I don't have any reasons to doubt it, S-400 had very little problems shooting them down.

On top of the missile warning system China will also want to have that most capable air and missile defense system. Russia will make it a decent offer.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's talked a day earlier than Putin. His speech and the Q & A with him are here. The talk was mostly about the Middle East and Lavrov's tone was rather angry while he passed through a long list of U.S. sins in the region and beyond. There were also some interesting remarks about Turkey, Syria and the Ukraine. The most interesting passage was his response to a question about U.S. sanction against Russia to which some senators want to add even more. Lavrov said:

I have heard that Marco Rubio and Ben Cardin are two famous anti-Russia-minded members of the US Congress. I don’t think that this implies that they have any foresight. Those with a more or less politically mature opinion of the situation should have realised long ago that the sanctions don’t work in the direction they wanted them to work. I believe that they will never work. We have a territory and its riches that were bestowed on us by God and our ancestors, we have a feeling of personal dignity, and we also have the armed forces. This combination makes us very confident. I hope that economic development and all the investment that has been made and continues to be made will also pay off in the near future.

The U.S. loves to dish out sanctions left and right and the Trump administration has increased their use. But sanctions, especially unilateral ones, do not work. The U.S. has not recognized that because it has never assessed whether those sanctions fulfill their aims. A recent Government Accountability Office report found:

The Departments of the Treasury (Treasury), State (State), and Commerce (Commerce) each undertake efforts to assess the impacts of specific sanctions on the targets of those sanctions. [...] However, agency officials cited several difficulties in assessing sanctions’ effectiveness in meeting broader U.S. policy goals, including challenges in isolating the effect of sanctions from other factors as well as evolving foreign policy goals. According to Treasury, State, and Commerce officials, their agencies have not conducted such assessments on their own.

The U.S. sanctions and sanctions and sanctions but never checked if sanctions work to the intended purpose. The efforts to sanction Russia have surely led to some unintended consequences. They are the reason why the alliance between China and Russia deepens every day. The U.S. has the exorbitant privilege of having its own currency being used as the international reserve. The sanctioning of U.S. dollar transactions is the reason why the U.S. is now losing it:

Russia’s Rosneft has set the euro as the default currency for all its new export contracts including for crude oil, oil products, petrochemicals and liquefied petroleum gas, tender documents showed.

The switch from U.S. dollars, which happened in September according to the tender documents published on Rosneft’s website, is set to reduce the state-controlled firm’s vulnerability to potential fresh U.S. sanctions.

Washington has threatened to impose sanctions on Rosneft over its operations in Venezuela, a move which Rosneft says would be illegal.

Iran has taken comparable steps. It now sells oil to China and India in either local currencies. Other countries will surely learn from this and will also start to use other currencies for their energy purchases. As the transactions in dollars decrease they will also start to use other currencies for their reserves.

But the U.S. is not losing its financial or sole superpower status because of what China or Russia or Iran have done or do. It is losing it because its has made too many mistakes.

Those states who, like Russia, have done their homework will profit from it.

Posted by b on October 4, 2019 at 18:03 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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b: [Iran] now sells oil to China and India
Not to India, but India has said that that will change. India has to be deliberate because it is angling for a permanent seat in the UNSC.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 4 2019 18:33 utc | 1

Russia is building a network of missile defense, early warning, electronic weapons systems that will ring Greater Eurasia, not just the Russian Federation.

Russia may not produce smart phones and have their own Amazon or Alibaba scale e-commerce platform, but they have the world class defenses and leading edge counter-strike weapons that overwhelm anything the US has or will have for a decade to come.

Putin and Lavrov have laid out the diplomatic talking points for a safer, saner world.

And as the saying goes, if you don't talk to Lavrov, then you can talk with Shoigu (MOD).

The Russians have warned the West. Maybe the West is hard of hearing.
But what is clear, the rest of the world has heard it and they are gravitating toward Russia and China.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 4 2019 18:35 utc | 2

b: The U.S. sanctions and sanctions and sanctions . . .
It even sanctions itself, with tariffs. Free trade is dead!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 4 2019 18:36 utc | 3

It is losing it because its has made too many mistakes.

A statement that deserves to be unpacked. I think at the core of the "mistakes" is a certain exceptionalist attitude which carries with it a combination of greed and hubris that promotes moral turpitude.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 4 2019 18:38 utc | 4

When the re-alignment of Russia and China started, I compared them to two soldiers, standing back-to-back, defensively pointing their guns forward. This is becoming an integrated continental defense now. Do you think that the two missile warning system will remain separate? It is sad that it had to come to this, but the AngloZionist mindset of domination and exploitation is what it is. Russia and China are not benevolent, but a big majority of countries prefers their economic approach to the Western military - bombed and killed if you do not comply with master’s wishes. Simply, the West is a one-trick-pony in decline,

Posted by: Kiza | Oct 4 2019 18:38 utc | 5

As the U.S.A.slowly petrifies into an ever more fragile state of existence will the blow that finally causes it to fracture into a state of catastrophic impotence,( in it’s eyes ) mean that it will die with a whimper or a bang?
Will the politik of the U.S.A.wake up before it’s demise and re-orientate it’s ethos so as to integrate with the new order instigated from the east or, like an enraged, immature being try to bring the rest of the world down with it?
I hope wiser minds than those in the Senate prevail. However I’m not really that optimistic that they are capable of serious self reflection.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Oct 4 2019 18:39 utc | 6

Here is an article that looks at a WikiLeaks document that explains how the United States Army is preparing to help Washington achieve its national strategic objectives:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/04/us-power-wielding-unconventional.html

This Army manual gives us a very clear view of how Washington uses manipulation through its influence on the World Bank, IMF, OECD and other "global" groups to wage unconventional warfare on any nation that doesn't share its view of how the world should function and that threatens America's control of the globe, including nations like Venezuela, Iran, Russia and North Korea.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Oct 4 2019 18:39 utc | 7

While China has capable weapons and can defend itself against a smaller attack the U.S. has about 20 times more nuclear warheads than China. It could use those in an overwhelming first strike to decapitate and destroy the Chinese state.

b, in a nuclear exchange, all it takes is a tiny fraction of the US/China/Russia's nuclear arsenals to finish off human civilisation, so numbers are irrelevant. Radiation knows no borders.

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 4 2019 18:41 utc | 8

Such contributors and Don Bacon, Grieved and Karlof1 might help me (dis)confirm this, but my impression is that Russia is or could make a case for selling only or primarily defensive weapons, to pretty much anyone ... with the effect and, say, the intent, to make wars of aggression, particularly pre-emptive strikes, much less tempting.

By shifting the field advantage towards defense, can it be plausibly proposed that Russia is working to make the world, overall, a safer place (even if their primary intent might be to make it safer from attacks initiated by the Unipolar Axis)?

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Oct 4 2019 18:46 utc | 9

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 4 2019 18:36 utc | 3

b: The U.S. sanctions and sanctions and sanctions . . .
It even sanctions itself, with tariffs. Free trade is dead!

Don, there's NEVER been free trade, ever, no matter how far back you look in history. Free trade is imperial speak for the dominant economies dictating to the weaker.

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 4 2019 18:49 utc | 10

These Globalist maniacs we are supposed to fear are unbelievably stupid.

Posted by: William H Warrick | Oct 4 2019 18:50 utc | 11

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Oct 4 2019 18:46 utc | 9

my impression is that Russia is or could make a case for selling only or primarily defensive weapons, to pretty much anyone ...

Isn't this exactly what they're doing. Martynov's writings reveal this proces in detail. It's a process that has its origins in WWII, a process that also has economic implications for Russia.

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 4 2019 18:53 utc | 12

Thanks for the posting b

I agree with Barovsky in comment # 8 about the MAD nature of any nuclear war

I also want to posit that until China has its own air and missile defense system that Russia will use its to insure that any nuclear attack on China will result in global MAD

@ b who wrote
"
But the U.S. is not losing its financial or sole superpower status because of what China or Russia or Iran have done or do. It is losing it because its has made too many mistakes.
"
it is not the US necessarily that has the sole financial superpower status but the cult of global private finance ownership that is international and not just the US. And now that financial superpower status is not just being challenged from outside the Western nations of empire but from within as I continue to write about in the latest Open Thread. The US state of California has instantiated public finance for the state...it was signed into law this past Wednesday and the Western MSM has yet to report or comment on this game changing initiative.....speaks volumes to the threat it creates to global private finance because California has the 5th largest GDP in the world.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 4 2019 18:56 utc | 13

I had been leaning toward the scenario where the Empire would, eventually, have to be put down in a violent confrontation, with a CBG sunk, but I am really feeling now, given the Singapore deal in the EAEU with India and Iran in the wings and the missile-shield over PRC and Rosneft selling product in Euros and Syria and Iran and Venezuela not being wiped out, that maybe, just maybe, the Empire will be left in the dust, with no climactic confrontation required. Maybe I am being naive, but there seems to be evidence to support that idea.

Posted by: Casey | Oct 4 2019 19:09 utc | 14

I wish since a while for an US American Gorbachov. This kind of person only is able to bring down the still running war economy. You would expect some hero like spiritual leader is necessary. The only thing what was special about the russian version for that job, he was young. Able to imagine a world without that permanent pressure, that everybody can feel in every cell of society. Of course, I hoped that trump maybe will do this, but he is twisted in his own challenges, already old, no real love for the people around him in general. The actual task is to lead down US from the sole position of power to become the most important country in the world. I hope US Americans can fell save one day without spending half of world's expanses on war, which equals that US budget is more than half for this reason. Who will be able to explain to voters, this isn't a sound deal?

Posted by: rt4 | Oct 4 2019 19:31 utc | 15

Posted by: Casey | Oct 4 2019 19:09 utc | 14

I'm loathe to posit this but if the US follows the demise of previous empires, then only war will accomplish this but perhaps, just perhaps the mold (or is that mould?) has been broken? After all, WWI and WWII came about because of competition between dominant economies and ultimately a redivision of the world into new blocs. But then again, the emergence of the USSR changed everything, the most momentous event of the 20th century. So perhaps we need a new USSR but this time a transnational USSR?

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 4 2019 19:34 utc | 16

PS: Let's call it WUSR, the World Union of Socialist Republics?

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 4 2019 19:37 utc | 17

My country is in a sorry state of affairs indeed, and listening to those around me, a common theme occurs, a wish that that slow-coming line in the sand which will truly mark the end of our illusion of exceptionalism would just get here and be done, so we, or those of us who are left afterward, can work through those damnable five stages of grieving, and begin the process of reconstruction and healing what remains.

Judging by comments made here, I've withdrawn hope of either party having anything to present the citizenry as a way out of our demise, so coast toward that necessary line we do. Is that too negative?

Posted by: Summer Diaz | Oct 4 2019 19:39 utc | 18


Posted by: William H Warrick | Oct 4 2019 18:50 utc | 11

These Globalist maniacs we are supposed to fear are unbelievably stupid.

Stupid maybe but incredibly dangerous!

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 4 2019 19:39 utc | 19

Slightly off topic, but is not the Western use of children for nefarious purposes increasing? From the first Hong King rioter who got shot for attacking a policeman, at all of his 14 years of age, through Epstein’s sexual use of young girls for blackmail, to Greta and the climate change screaming kids. If you are younger than 18, and without or with weak parental oversight due to challenging economic conditions (struggle to survive), you are a fair game for the Western “elite”. Earn some pocket money by burning down Hong Kong.

This will only increase, because it runs parallel to the tactics of turning adults against each other to miss to notice the “elite’s” hand in all of their pockets. Fight each other people and send your children into the front lines. That is how they channel anger toward’s “elite’s” alternative-model enemies (China) and away from the real perpetrators and the real issues. This is why the images of Hong Kong riots overlap with the two minute hate from the movie 1984.

Finally, the Communist elite used children too, to do the dying in revolutions, to report their own parents the communist authorities and to severely punish ideological opponents. The use of children is nothing new, but it shows total moral depravity.

Posted by: Kiza | Oct 4 2019 19:49 utc | 20

@ Sally Snyder 7
Thank you for that! And I thought Special Forces was only interested in assassinations.

As you indicate, it's surprising that they put such self-damaging information in print. They think they're invincible, so we need more Lavrovs to set them straight.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 4 2019 20:02 utc | 21

re Paul Damascene #9, I see mutually assured defense as a highly desirable strategy emerging from Russia and China. If that new 'mad' is expanded to friendlies in the middle east then a very large sector of the planets continents can be enclosed in a single defensive frame.

I see this as a mighty good potential to arrest the lunatic tendency to war constantly being chanted by the five eyes and their vassal toadies.

Certainly the elimination of nuclear weapons entirely should be the global objective. Failing that, the prevention of ground blasts with the consequent dust and threat of nuclear winter is desirable in my view. High altitude interception may prevent premature detonation of attacking warheads but it will most likely lead to highly contaminated hot spots on ground.

There is an evil in warmongering that is utterly beneath contempt.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 4 2019 20:22 utc | 22

I see on AMN, the Syrian News site, an article speaking about a new KFC in terrorist-held Idlib ...

If this isn't a statement about who is collaborating in these wars I don't know what is !! It is partially about the globalists wanting to increase the extent of their reach (apart from all the religious and cultural issues too)

Posted by: imoverit | Oct 4 2019 20:46 utc | 23

...
...but my impression is that Russia is or could make a case for selling only or primarily defensive weapons, to pretty much anyone ... with the effect and, say, the intent, to make wars of aggression, particularly pre-emptive strikes, much less tempting.

By shifting the field advantage towards defense, can it be plausibly proposed that Russia is working to make the world, overall, a safer place (even if their primary intent might be to make it safer from attacks initiated by the Unipolar Axis)?
Posted by: Paul Damascene | Oct 4 2019 18:46 utc | 9

Imo that's a perfectly sane assessment. It's just an unfortunate prerequisite, and a sign of the times, that M.A.D. had to be looming in the background before the wisdom could be recognised and de-escalation could commence.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 4 2019 20:47 utc | 24

@ PD 9
shifting the field advantage towards defense

>Actually all nations are supposed to concentrate on defense. The US changed its War Dept to Defense Dept. --( to throw us off? ) There are few nations that have an overwhelming offensive capability. Its expensive and requires a lot of people, including mostly draftees.
>The F-35 jet fighter now goes for about $150 million per copy, in large part because it is stealthy and can get through enemy defenses. At least that's the plan. But after eighteen years (and counting) of development, the F-35 still has not been approved for full production. That's an offensive weapon.
> Another expensive piece of gear is the aircraft carrier, now going for $13 billion per copy, and several of the newfangled complex features on the new carrier design don't work. High maintenance, too. Of eleven carriers only two are deplorable currently, none on the east coast. Carriers have been mostly used to facilitate bombing runs over defenseless third-world countries. They need a cheap defense.
>Regarding soldiers, few countries have a draft, or a large draft, any longer. No more major land armies, required for offense. People are expensive, and 70% of US youth don't qualify for service.
>The US Marine Corps is now going through a change with a new commandant. The main US enemy now is China, and there's no thought of any war on China itself, only on allied islands they might grab. So the Marines want to back out of their land warfare stance and concentrate on Iwo-Jima type operations like the good old days. New USMC Commandant Berger: “We are too heavy, too cumbersome. We’re built for another Desert Storm. … We have to go on a diet. . .we’re not going to go head-to-head, tank-on-tank," he said
>The recent Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia was a wake-up call. Drones and missiles, inexpensive unstoppable and effective.
> So there's a lot of work to do, but yes one can say there is a trend from offense to defense, and little by little the world might be safer against offensive actions.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 4 2019 20:47 utc | 25

@25 - carriers
Make that deployable, not deplorable. Freudian slip.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 4 2019 20:54 utc | 26

@#9:

I see mutually assured defense as a highly desirable strategy emerging from Russia and China. If that new 'mad' is expanded to friendlies in the middle east then a very large sector of the planets continents can be enclosed in a single defensive frame.

Excellent observation Uncle! It's the Empire (and its vassals) versus the planet.

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 4 2019 21:03 utc | 27

@ Posted by: rt4 | Oct 4 2019 19:31 utc | 15

There will never be an American Gorbachev because the American system is completely different from the Soviet system.

In the USSR, the Communist Party was everything and commanded all the sociometabolical aspects of society through a centralized State. When the Gorbachev killed the Party, he killed the USSR. That's why it simply collapsed overnight and in a relatively peaceful way.

The USA is a pure-blood capitalist society. It functions through a confederation of capitalists, who command and owns different parts of the means of production. The State, albeit powerful, is just one instutition among many others in this free market anarchy. The USA, therefore, is a relatively decentralized society (for its size, it is incredibly decentralized). In this sense, the USA is more akin to the old Roman Empire than any other recent liberal or late-feudal empire.

My guess is the USA will degenerate slowly and very violently and chaotically, with a succession of weak POTUS over a course of at least many decades. It can or cannot lose territory in this process (I don't think it ever will, unless you're talking about Puerto Rico and other possessions in the Southwestern Pacific). It almost certainly will provoke many more wars against foreign nations in the process. It will be a very dangerous period of Humanity's History, if not mark its end (if a total nuclear war happens).

--//--

I don't think Putin wants to be "the next Bismarck". Bismarck's new Concert was a failure: it didn't relieve pressure between the imperialist powers in Europe and only gathered pressure overtime in order to create an even bigger meatgrinder (WWI), which generated an even bigger revolution (1917). By all intents and purposes, Bismarck's foreign polices were an abject failure. His domestic record, on the other side, is stellar, since he turned Germany into a world superpower which, by 1900, had already surpassed the UK in industrial terms to reach second place overall (behind only the much bigger USA).

Posted by: vk | Oct 4 2019 21:03 utc | 28

..."But the U.S. is not losing its financial or sole superpower status because of what China or Russia or Iran have done or do. It is losing it because its has made too many mistakes."...

The cadaver that is the USA, a ruptured spleen of financial criminality, is in it's end stage of sucking the life of the world, it's host. Russia, China, and like minded sovereign states are backstopping the US buck into oblivion with their gold purchases. Gold continues to show the absurdities of the financial status of the US dollar. Gold is inoculating these states that are being sanctioned and financially harassed. The USA, is a drunken bum in the gutter looking for his next drink. Time is running short as the world economies are now contracting into a spiral down the toilet drain taking the great financial criminal with it.

Posted by: Taffyboy | Oct 4 2019 21:03 utc | 29

If any politicians on the global chessboard can rival the statesmanship and intellect in strategy, it sure is Putin.
Before him maybe de Gaulle, Helmut Schmidt or Churchill. But now? No where in the western states.

To the growing ties with China and Russia: Irony is, Putin warned the western world, that if his and Russia's preference of joining the western states would be denied, Russia would be forced into China's arms, even though they are culturally and religiously much more tied to Europe and the western world.

US and NATO policy brought the Russians to see the former "yellow menace" as their only hope; Equally China was forced into the arms of its Russian neighbor, despite the Chinese tradition of seeing the Russians equally as a not much loved neighbor.
So the "social Imperialists" and "Barbarians" of Russia and the "Yellow Menace" were forced to overcome their old prejudices.

De Gaulle once said: "One day the Russians will realize again that they are white." Meaning, when the Soviet system would come crashing down, the Russians would realize, that they and their culture are European, and not Asian.
When this prophecy actually came true, and Yeltsin and Putin tried to rebuild the bridges back to their cultural fellow European states, the Neocons destroyed that historic chance of healing decades and century old wounds.

Putin and Russia actually tried for over a decade to avert this. Only most recently the fight in the Russian bureaucracy is leading into going into the partnership with China more broadly. It still is a partnership not of love or true desire, but of simple survival. And that won't likely ever change.

I am currently reading a great book of the legendary German-French journalists and author Peter Scholl-Latour about the new cold war against Russia. he published it IIRC over 12 years ago, with research since the 90s for it, and including previous reports from his visits in Russia since 1958.
He saw what he discusses here 20 years ago. And the strategic consequences of this idiotic rejection of Russia's wish to come back into the fold of European nations by the US will haunt us for generations to come, if it is not fixed.

Only way to that would be if we would have politicians in the EU and Europeans states like Putin; more concrete: With the backbone, strategic insight, and a strong stand on national sovereignty.

But with the current politicians in the EU and its states? Certainly no one on the left, as "sovereignty" is now seen as "Nazi", and left politicians at least here in Germany being "educated" by NATO think tanks, supporting military "interventions". The only ones who realize how important sovereignty is for any country, are the new right like Salvini, Le Pen, and the Nigel Farage. Which maybe a big part of why they are so hysterically attacked by the MSM and establishment.

But sovereignty is important for the left too, and historically e.g. the older generations social democrats here knew that. People like Helmut Schmidt realized that no people can be free, and exercise its self-determination as a nation, without true sovereignty.

But the time of politicians of this class and caliber in the west is long gone. Maybe another reason, why our politicians hate Putin so much. ;)

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Oct 4 2019 21:03 utc | 30

Apologies, @#22 not #9

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 4 2019 21:05 utc | 31

It should be obvious to anyone that we're going to see some kind of a joint Sino-Russian military organization like NORAD. I was wondering about this after Russia sold their S-400 to China. However, I'm not sure if the Chinese, or Russia, would be open to a Warsaw Pact version 2. IMO, the inevitable collapse would be like the Soviet Union as WMDs will prevent a war fought directly between the larger powers. In the meantime, expect more proxy wars fought globally.


Kiza | Oct 4 2019 19:49 utc | 20:

It's always been like this as that is the most impressionable stage of one's life. I don't know if this is an increase or not, but I see these useful idiots as activation of sleeper cells cultivated in educational institutions.

Posted by: Ian2 | Oct 4 2019 21:19 utc | 32

The "Concert of Powers" was marked by numerous wars. Great power conflict in Europe was avoided in favor of colonial wars. England against Indians, Africans and Asians, but Russia against Turks too. So much for "truly mutually respectful..." relations. Putin speaks gibberish. Today, "sovereign" means claiming the right to wage war at will. This is not a premise for solid relationships, but shifting alliances against the current enemy.

It is incidentally highly unlikely that a basket of currencies could possibly substitute for a single reserve. If people couldn't make bimetallism work, making bi-, tri-, poly-fiat currency work isn't happening either. The fluctuations in relative value will destabilize the financial systems of smaller powers.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 4 2019 21:20 utc | 33

Don
I don’t see possibility of India getting a UNSC permanent seat any time coming soon, it’s a permanent wishful thinking on India’s part. India will need to resolve her problems with Kashmir and Pakistan before even she be considered. Indian realist analyst know this well. As matter of fact I don’t see any hope that anytime soon we can see a structural change in UN. It’s more possible UN be dissolved like the League was before it be reformed. US and India only can be short term tactical allies against China, and not even strategic allies since they both have different postures toward the subcontinent’s, Indian Ocean states.

Posted by: Kooshy | Oct 4 2019 21:31 utc | 34

@ 27 Barofsky

Exactly, which is why I am both confused and frustrated by people taking a side in the Ukraine-gate farce. Does it matter which flavor of evil is currently provably less corrupt? They all have almost the same goals: peanuts and platitudes to placate the peasants at home and Full Spectrum Imperial Dominance abroad. I get trying to figure out the Gordian Knot, but the Make Believe of Good Cop/Bad Cop is annoying.

Posted by: Sorghum | Oct 4 2019 21:33 utc | 35

- No, when Rosneft is chosing the Euro as its trading currency then that will increase - IMO - the risk of a (MAJOR) war.

Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 4 2019 21:39 utc | 36

@23 It's true! A KFC opened in Idlib. Here is a video with some amusing comments.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread1247614/pg1

Posted by: dh | Oct 4 2019 21:40 utc | 37

- Wars like WW 1 & WW 2 are not going to happen anymore because such wars have simply too expensive. But instead we'll see a series of smaller wars or proxy wars.

Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 4 2019 21:51 utc | 38

Germany before Hitler was a pluralist capitalist society like America has been. Didn't stop Hitler from centralizing everything.

If Germany could have a Hitler, America can have its Gorbachev.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 4 2019 21:53 utc | 39

VK @ 28:

I should think that one reason for the failure of the Second Concert of Europe was that Britain was determined to eliminate Germany as an economic and political rival and as an example of what centralised government economic and social planning could do to improve people's lives and the conditions in which they lived and worked. The reforms that Bismarck brought to Germany, if only to keep 1848-style revolutions at bay, challenged the prevailing laissez-faire economic policies (precursor to neoliberalism in our day) in Britain that favoured the landowning and military elites.

The period 1871 - 1914 was one in which British aristocracy "revitalised" itself (for want of a better term) by taking brides from American families that made their wealth from investing in railway development across the US and in new American industries. (Perhaps "vampirising" American money is the better term.) The classic examples of such marriages are those of Consuelo Vanderbilt, of the wealthy Vanderbilt family, marrying into the Spencer-Churchill family; and of Winston Churchill's mother marrying his father. Acquiring American wealth in this way was one way in which British elites could maintain enough power to keep a grip on British politics and British colonial politics.

The same period was also one in which European powers competed to chop up Africa and Asia into colonies or "spheres of influence". So in a sense, the Europeans were already at war with each other (and the Second Concert was a facade, just as the Cold War of the late 20th century was a facade): they conducted this war away from their own publics, in areas distant and remote enough, that most incidents of mass violence or outright land theft could be covered up. The major exception was Belgian King Leopold's treatment of the area that is now the Democratic Republic of Congo / Congo (Kinshasa) as he ruled it in the manner of a mediaeval feudal lord and the atrocities committed there by his government were on a scale too huge to ignore.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 4 2019 21:54 utc | 40

@Paul Damascene #9
Not strictly true.
Two nations, one with sword and shield but the other with only a shield. The first nation can attack with little fear of reprisal.
Russia is still not going to sell defensive weapons to anyone unless there is a clear overall strategic benefit.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 4 2019 21:54 utc | 41

Norman Angell argued in "The Great Illusion" that a great war was no longer economically possible. Published in 1909.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 4 2019 21:57 utc | 42

Ironic that the Great War had to wait until 1914, when Britain's Liberal government was adopting many of Bismarck's social welfare measures.

I suspect that America's increasing hostility to China reflects a fear of contagion from the more successful and fairer Chinese system. Just like Britain and Germany in 1914.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 4 2019 22:06 utc | 43

A number of the S-300 standard missiles are just into the hypersonic range.
Missile spec section in wikipedia give missile velocity and maximum target velocity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-300_missile_system#Missiles

Two are listed as being good for target velocity up to 6,415 mph which is well into hypersonic range.
Another two, target velocities up to 11,185mph - mach 14.7 according mph to mach converter.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 4 2019 22:16 utc | 44

Helmut Schmidt's books on China are impressive, but it's striking that in the first one, "Nachbar China," of 2006, he totally failed to anticipate the economic collapse of 2008.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 4 2019 22:19 utc | 45

Posted by: lysias | Oct 4 2019 22:06 utc | 43

Actually, that's not true. When the UK went to war in 1914, they discovered that their soldiers were so undernourished and unfit to fight for the Empire, that a series of 'social reforms' were enacted to improve the lot of the working class (or cannon fodder).

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 4 2019 22:42 utc | 46

"While China has capable weapons and can defend itself against a smaller attack the U.S. has about 20 times more nuclear warheads than China. It could use those in an overwhelming first strike to decapitate and destroy the Chinese state."

B, I read your analysis of the China weapons parade and came away with the impression that US air & sea superiority was over. I thought China already had the S-400 too. I had no idea that the US was in possession of more nukes than China. I hope that China gets that system set up quickly, as well as the S-400.

The US is a psychopathic control freak, whose mask has slipped, yet the only one who doesn't know that is Washington, but when it realizes it, that's when it will become far more dangerous and may think that their time for a US first nuke strike is running out. Let's hope they are not that stupid.

Posted by: Annie | Oct 4 2019 22:50 utc | 47

Anybody that believes China have only 290 nukes are naive. Look at all those DF-41 and JL-2/3 missiles they've made. Some of those missiles have MIRV capability.

Posted by: Ian2 | Oct 4 2019 23:07 utc | 48

Ian2 @48

What point does lying that way about a deterrence weapon serve? China only has nukes to deter America from attacking them. The nukes are not intended to ever actually be used, so why would they lie and pretend to have less than they really have? That makes no sense. If anything they would lie and pretend to have more than they really do to enhance their deterrence.

Secret weapons do not make an effective deterrence.

On the other hand, like Japan China probably has big stockpiles of fissile materials sufficiently enriched that they could make many hundreds of additional nukes in a matter of a couple weeks, or maybe even just days, if they needed to.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 4 2019 23:21 utc | 49

Ian2 @48

Just to clarify, a 100kg solid chunk of iron traveling at hypersonic speeds and with decent accuracy would ruin the day for an American aircraft carrier. No nuke is needed.

Furthermore, if China has only 290 nukes, but 5,000 launch vehicles, which ones out of that 5,000 are armed and have to be destroyed if America does a first strike and wants to avoid several dozen of its biggest cities being turned into glowing craters in response? Hint: All 5,000.

So you see, China doesn't really need much more than 290 nukes to prevent America from attacking, assuming Americans are not stupid. Unfortunately that could very well be a losing bet.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 4 2019 23:42 utc | 50

Washington is not a nation. It is only a city. If the rest of the world wants an honest glimpse of what this city intends, all it has to do is look at what it has done, and is still doing, to America's population. Take an honest look, disregarding all testimony. When you completely disregard the narrative of dc and the media, the picture becomes quite stark quite quickly.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 4 2019 23:45 utc | 51

> Washington is not a nation. It is only a city.
Posted by: Josh | Oct 4 2019 23:45 utc | 51

The only "city" you should worry about is The City of London. The root of evil on this planet, for the past few centuries.

---
[Iran] now sells oil to China and India

Posted by b on October 4, 2019 at 18:03 UTC | Permalink

The exploitation of Iranian national wealth continues to support the Cabal's projects.

Posted by: FKA_Realist | Oct 5 2019 0:00 utc | 52

The reason for the constitutional crisis in Britain in 1910, which resulted in the House of Lords losing most of its power, was that the Lords refused to approve Lloyd George's People's Budget, which, according to Wikipedia, "introduced unprecedented taxes on the lands and incomes of Britain's wealthy to fund new social welfare programs." The upshot of the crisis was that the budget became law.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 5 2019 0:13 utc | 53

. . . picked this up on the web:
In his seminal work On War, Carl von Clausewitz famously declared that, in comparison to the offense, “the defensive form of warfare is intrinsically stronger than the offensive.”

The defender being in his homeland contributes to defensive strength. It's certainly contributed to US offensive failures in the last fifty years. It took the mighty US Army four years and over a thousand deaths to pacify Baghdad. So what to do, the US has reverted to high-level aerial bombing and long-range artillery to kill foreigners. This increases US opposition, creating more enemies. No shortage of them.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 5 2019 0:16 utc | 54

lysias @53--

Gotta give you a big Shout-Out for providing that ultra important fact as that marked the beginning of the reaction to Classical Economists in the UK which was already happening within the Outlaw US Empire, thus the seed of UK's Neoliberalism was planted and watered. It also brought the UK and US elite together mind-set-wise.

Josh @51--

Your observation is 100% on the mark! The utterly gross neglect of the USA's human capital's been ongoing for decades, and was given a great boost by the adoption of Neoliberalism as basic policy during Carter's presidency, which was subsequently turbocharged by Reagan/Bush. Profit before people had always been present; but after the "Saving the bond-holders" deliberately deep recession caused by Volker from 1979-1982, there would be no more policies aimed at improving social welfare. Instead, they were targeted for destruction as the Full Employment Act of 1946 was 100% ignored by both Rs & Ds as jobs went offshore and the Rust Belt oxidized.

--//--

Today, the hollowed-out Outlaw US Empire is a mere Paper Tiger reduced to using terrorists and terrorism as its policy tools. Slowly, the nations of the world are enacting a de facto form of containment that will eventually result in the diminishment of The Empire's abilities and force it to become a normal nation for the first time in its history--hopefully without a nuclear conflagration.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 5 2019 0:44 utc | 55

Putin is a voice of reason in a very sick and twisted world, one that is dominated by an evil empire whose only purpose seems to be global corporate hegemony.

His voice should be heard by the American people.

Posted by: ben | Oct 5 2019 0:46 utc | 56

@2 Red Ryder - Russia is building a network of missile defense, early warning, electronic weapons systems that will ring Greater Eurasia, not just the Russian Federation.

Always good to see your sweeping strategic view from the commanding heights. I quoted your opening sentence because it makes such total sense, and also sounds so good. Mackinder has no need to turn in his grave - the heartland has upended the world to save him the trouble ;)

There will be the invulnerable Eurasia, and the outside.

~~

I'm enjoying all the comments jumping onto the notion of Mutual Assured Defense. It seems a concept that many here can readily relate to - and sign me up for sure. Thanks to Paul Damascene for the concept, and uncle tungsten for coining the phrase.

Sharmine Narwani in her recent interview with Ross Ashcroft cited a Twitter comment somebody made, to the effect that the S-400 was Russia's foreign policy. She was struck by how perfectly this actually works as a policy. In a world where everybody has an S-400, no war. Mutually assured defense.

I have long theorized, without a grain of collateral to prove it, that there is only one security strategy for Russia. If I had a border as extensive as Russia's, I would see that the only security possible for me would rest in an entire world at peace.

Therefore Russia works towards peace. It's how she conquers the world. As we saw in Chechnya and in Syria, Russia builds and not destroys. Syria in particular over a long period showed us precisely how Russia fights - not to "win", not to destroy an enemy, but purely to lock down the peace and make everything safe. Only those restless souls who would not become still were killed.

China too shares this same understanding of the Tao - not surprisingly of course. The game is not to crush the opponent but to render the fight unnecessary. If China conquers the world it will mean the Mandate Of Heaven has come to rule everywhere. The fight will become unnecessary.

~~

Federico Pieraccini in his latest article had this to say about China's strategy:

Beijing’s strategy seems to be designed to progress in phases, modulating according to the reaction of the US, whether aggressive or mild; a kind of capoeira dance where one never actually hits one’s opponent even when one can.

I had to look it up, Brazil's amazing contribution to world peace, the capoeira. I had never heard of it and now I will never forget it. A brilliant comment from Pieraccini.

Peace is coming to the world faster than war is being left room to break out. And this is because peacemaking is as dynamic an activity as warmaking. But by its very nature of not breaking things, it is far less visible.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 5 2019 1:28 utc | 57

. . .from Putin
Truly mutually respectful, pragmatic and consequently solid relations can only built between independent and sovereign states.
. . .from the UN Charter
The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 5 2019 1:47 utc | 58

Putin is pointing backwards not forwards when you think it through.

No "souvereign" state can be independent in the age of global supply chains and markets, refugees and global warming. The world is interdependent and always has been since the evolution of the human species in Africa.

"Souvereignty" and statehood has always been achieved (and lost) by military power. It is a recipe for war.

This is for the theory. Now for the practice. Of course, Russia has been intervening in the affairs of other "souvereign" states. Of course Iran has been striving for dominance in the Middle East. And of course Eastern European states feel squeezed between Russia, the US and Germany. And of course China pressures Vietnam for the resources of the South China Sea.

Putin is talking about being polite.

Europe will have neither economic nor political or military power dealing with Russia, the US or China as individual "sovereign" states. And this is what this populist dance is about.

The US has not lost influence because of the sanctions, they have lost influence because they have no longer the technological edge and "souvereign states" have the alternative of allying with Russia and China. That is a binary choice, not souvereinty.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 5 2019 2:25 utc | 59

ciue @ 41:
An intelligent observation, thanks. Though I find myself wondering if the world in which everyone has a shield, and only one, a sword, is not, perhaps, a world quite changed.

In reading Don Bacon @ 58 and Grieved @ 57, something slid into place for me. As a child of the Enlightenment, pained as I have been--for all its failings--to see it slip under the waves, it has been especially painful to see the West despoiling its legacies of democracy and universal human rights. Nothing has done these more damage than our corrupt, cynical exploitation of them. When I look to the emergent multipolar model with not inconsiderable relief, I see it as one in which democracy will not necessarily be a central value or form of polity.

But if this multipolar principle of the sovereign equality among all of its members is considered from a certain vantage point, the principle's equivalent in a democratic system of individuals would be an acceptance of its various citizens as of fundamentally equal worth regardless of their ideologies or beliefs.

Perhaps if that feature of our own systems were not so close to being lost, a glimpse of this quality of an international comity wouldn't come to me now as a revelation.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Oct 5 2019 2:36 utc | 60

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 5 2019 1:28 utc | 57

I guess it is a Rorschach test. I don't see how anything in Syria has been resolved peacefully, I just don't. I am not blaming Russia for it. Putin virtually waited until it became clear that the US (Obama) would not intervene.

Russians had the worst WWI and WWII experience, plus Chechnya and Afghanistan. No Russian leader would be able to motivate them for anything else but defense. It took the Moscow apartment bombings to motivate them for the Chechen war.

Political power in China has grown out of the barrel of a gun - since Mao Tse Tung. It has grown out of the barrel of a gun world wide since the invention of gun powder.

Peace might come not because of defense systems but because of cheap and simple technology to defeat these defense systems.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 5 2019 2:44 utc | 61

weaponized economics …USA says it has ability to affect the economic environment, says it can influence international financial institutions .. says it can use such abilities and influence to cement multinational coalitions for unconventional warfare campaigns or dissuade adversary nation-state governments from supporting competitors"

financial blackmail .[nations either join/suffer], the stores of value can be exploited.. the economic space is a war zone the tax, interest rates, legal and bureaucratic measures used locally, by target states, can be [manipulated] to persuade adversaries, allies, and surrogates to modify their behavior.. Entire agencies specialize in identifying. opportunities where financial weapon(s) can be used to provide leverage [to achieve goals]? Thank you Sally Snyder @ 7 for that link and great explanation. I want to add that I see evidence the USA uses that same strategy domestically against the leaders of its states, its cities, its counties, its political parties and privately against the leaders and activist the world over. Americans rarely have the opportunity you afforded @7 to understand why things are happening in the USA the way they are.

new subject:
The Great War had to wait until 1914, when Britain's Liberal government was adopting many of Bismarck's social welfare measures.to Lysias @ 43 <==I certainly do agree with your reason.. Consider the following

The great war was on hold since 1897, waiting on the British and French bankers to create a means to finance the war. That financing required the warriors in Europe to invade and overthrow the US Constitutional prohibition (Article I, Section 9, paragraph 4) which prohibited Capitation or other direct taxes, not based in proportion to the population. Amendment 16 ratifed on February 3, 1913 reads, the Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Within minutes after the US. Supreme court took up taking non proportional taxes from the pockets of working Americans the privately owned Federal reserve bank was created, and made by congress the central bank of the world (1913). So to recap, British adoption of Bismarck's measures had little to do with the war in Europe, instead it was the the money to be taken by taxation from the pockets of every American that satisfied the bankers requirement of suitable and ample capital (Federal Reserve Act of 1913); USA taxes on Americans would collateral the FR lending, and the USA would guarantee the taxes would be collected and rendered as required. Once constitutional intent was thwarted, the federal Reserve could lend to the global warriors who wanted to destroy Germany and take the oil rich land (entire Middle East) from the Ottoman. It took two world wars and trillions of tax dollars, not to mention millions of lives, for the pubic nations states to enable the private theft of the oil rich Middle East lands owned by the Ottomans.

additionally .. Barovsky responded also to lysias @ 43 with "Actually, that's not true. When the UK went to war in 1914, they discovered that their soldiers were so undernourished and unfit to fight for the Empire, that a series of 'social reforms' were enacted to improve the lot of the working class (or cannon fodder).by: Barovsky @ 46

Posted by: snake | Oct 5 2019 2:49 utc | 62

@ somebody 61
I don't see how anything in Syria has been resolved peacefully, I just don't.
Russia's strategy of giving foes a choice of fighting or being bused elsewhere, a choice they took, was a truly unique peaceful resolution. Never been done before, to my knowledge. Revolutionary. Wonderful. Peaceful. I liked it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 5 2019 2:55 utc | 63

@ PD 60

If I may: A big part of national strategy is to have the populace focusing on "foreign threats" which takes citizens' minds of their domestic problems. Part of "sovereign equality" is (at the national level) to mind our own business, not somebody else's.

George Washington dedicates a large part of his farewell address to discussing foreign relations and the dangers of permanent alliances between the United States and foreign nations, which he views as foreign entanglements.

Later, we have "War is the Health of the State"
by Randolph Bourne (1918) . .here
". . .The republican State has almost no trappings to appeal to the common man's emotions. What it has are of military origin, and in an unmilitary era such as we have passed through since the Civil War, even military trappings have been scarcely seen. In such an era the sense of the State almost fades out of the consciousness of men. With the shock of war, however, the State comes into its own again. The Government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other Government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war. . ."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 5 2019 3:08 utc | 64

I think we are seeing more like russia/china using a strategy similar to Muhammad Ali's rope a dope against the u.s. They are both spending their money wisely on building effective military forces, both defensive and offensive, but they are not wasting their treasure on imperialist adventures. At the same time, everywhere U.S. has tried to corner a market or extend itself, they have been getting cut off at the knees by either Russia or China. Russia put a monkey wrench in U.S. goals in Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela. U.S. went after Iran and China stepped in with a huge oil purchase and development project. Now I'm reading that Russia is getting ready to assist Cuba in a major way.

Was it napoleon who said, "when you see your enemy making mistakes, let him"? (paraphrase) I think they are going to continue trying to avoid a fight while they wait for the U.S. to either come to its senses, collapse or come to blows, but they won't be the instigator.

U.S. is capitalist and this kind of society is more likely to destruct through a financial collapse or a civil war than declaring war on either China or Russia. Not that war with China or Russia can be ruled out, but if it occurred I think it would probably start as a result of U.S. accidental blowing something up with one of our smart missiles....

This (entertaining) article was written by some street fellow in ukraine around the time Yanukovich was ousted, but the similarities between Ukraine and US shares a common perspective of a lot of USA common folk. In usa,you don't ever get to own much (its all leased or financed) and even if you do, its not hard for them to find a way to liberate it from you.


b4real

Posted by: b4real | Oct 5 2019 3:10 utc | 65

Barovsky | Oct 4 2019 22:42 utc | 46

re WW1 UK malnourished soldiers

I recall US journalist George Seldes remarking his observations as he met the UK conscripts coming to the WW1 front. His on-the-scene notes of malnourishment and inability to handle repetitive lifting of ammunition to feed mortars/small cannon, relative to German conscripts, were telling. Explains the postwar emphasis on sports and diet just to prep for the next war. Lessons perhaps also applied to American emphasis on spoprts may just be the overt signs of underlying gov covert funding/subsidies and legislation enabling "league" monopolies.

Posted by: chu teh | Oct 5 2019 4:14 utc | 66

@William Gruff:

Why the understatement? It's the same reason why militaries don't showcase their latest greatest hardware to the public. Secrecy provides maneuvering room and is only revealed when appropriate. It's also about managing fear and public opinion in hopes of exerting some influence over your adversary.

AFAIK, China have not officially stated their holdings. The 290 figure is really an estimate given by various NGOs.

Posted by: Ian2 | Oct 5 2019 4:23 utc | 67

Time is on the side of the new eastern powers, that is, with each passing month the US military (& economic) superiority shrinks.
I think that is why China has been able to exercise such restraint with HK, they can put up with the tantrums till 2047.

The big danger is if those who own the USA try to use their advantage before they lose it.

They already assume that an apocalypse is inevitable;
When the elite retreat to bunkers and private islands in Hawaii, New Zealand, Tasmania or Patagonia, their main concern is how to keep the deplorable's grubby hands off their stuff when the shit finally hits the fan.

Posted by: ziogolem | Oct 5 2019 4:25 utc | 68

...re China's invention of gun powder. IIRC Marco Polo brought it back to Europe in 1400s at a time when China had already advanced it to hand-held-cannon status.

Note well that Europe itself was already in an advanced state of acquisitive madness, as much as could be enabled by formations of swords and horses occasionally being an overwhelming weapon .

With gunpowder, force-of-arms were now an overwhelming weapon in far more areas of the continent.

Then, and only then, could a Columbus et al have set out on voyages of discovery with confident ability to claim any "new" lands for some king who would fund the mission.

I submit, there is no way a Columbus could set-sail unless he had on-board such overwhelming weapons.

Else, landing anywhere without such would only permit some sly smiling and trading and scouting. Any overtly aggressive landing party would be slaughtered by the sheer numbers of home-team locals.

Re "power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely", gunpowder was the 1st overwhelming weapon that enabled conquest.

The 2nd overwhelming weapon was the atom-bomb. But IMO, some heroic figures understood the ramifications its overwhelming-nature; thus they felt motivated to force its sharing, bec a monopoly guaranteed its use to permit limitless conquering.

Then at that point, science was funded by .govs to invent the next overwhelming weapon and use it before any delicious target could duplicate it. We are here.

The acquisitive-syndrome.

Posted by: chu teh | Oct 5 2019 4:51 utc | 69

Lavrov: "Those with a more or less politically mature opinion of the situation should have realised long ago that the sanctions don’t work in the direction they wanted them to work."


Oswald Spengler is good here. What he called Western 'money-thinking' is moving at the moment in contrary, self-extinguishing, directions. Full spectrum dominance, bankrolled by reserve currency status, seeks the whole enchilada and potentially once had the wherewithal to achieve it --if not for the punitive subtractions necessitated by sanctions regimes. Compounding matters, the exiled nations, having escaped the comforts of the lab, develop fearsome powers of self-reliance (what North Korea proudly calls juche). Banded together, these hardened exiles will some day go on to decimate the King's Army:


"Spengler, more poet than historian, offers the penetrating eye of the stranger. His prescience for the Russian destiny is paraphrased by Kerry Bolton here:

The Russian soul is not the same as the Western Faustian, as Spengler called it, the ‘Magian’ of the Arabian civilization, or the Classical of the Hellenes and Romans. The Western Culture that was imposed on Russia by Peter the Great, what Spengler called Petrinism, is a veneer…The Russian soul expresses its own type of infinity, albeit not that of the Westerner’s Faustian soul, which becomes enslaved by its own technics at the end of its life-cycle.”

Many of those ‘technics’ fall under what Spengler called “money-thinking”. At the twilight of its life-cycle the West threatens to withhold its toxicity from all those who don’t ‘play fair’, plying its financial sanctions like an overused tool-set: fractional reserve banking, impudent debt-money that arrives ex nihilo seeking its keep from God-knows-where, leverage that belabors ever-narrowing denominators of intrinsic value."

https://thesaker.is/sins-without-recourse-beast-without-remorse/

The Western debt pyramid can ill-afford meting out the punishment of exile. On the contrary it needs everything on Earth plus the minerals of passing meteors and Martian water. However its petulance and hubris can't resist banishing nations that displease it. When its petulance exceeds its own diminishing critical mass, the seesaw tips against it.

Posted by: FSD | Oct 5 2019 4:54 utc | 70

Re ""power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely", gunpowder was the 1st overwhelming weapon that enabled conquest."
The history of empires is as long as the history of agriculture and herding, nearly ending with the advent of nuclear weapons and MAD.
Only one country left trying that needs some sense knocking into it.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 5 2019 4:58 utc | 71

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 5 2019 2:55 utc | 63

I don't think the bussing to Idlib was Russian strategy. The Syrian civil proxy war was a lot about demographics, Hezbollah tried to save Shiites from mixed areas, dito the Syrian state with their supporters. It was a local solution that was necessary as Jihadi fighters come with huge families. Turkey might have had a part as their interest was to have the Jihadis at the border to fight against the Kurdish groups. You may have noticed that the Syrian government with support of Russia now attacks the Jihadi fighters in Idlib.

Russia's strategy was to force Turkey on its side without alienating Iran or Syrians. Iran at one stage seemed ready to support a religious power share the type of Lebanon. The Russian intervention stopped that idea.

Russia saved the Syrian state and the Syrian state insisted on being secular and getting rid of all internal ennemies. That is a kind of peace but the peace of the graveyard.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 5 2019 6:05 utc | 72

Actually it is quite funny that Putin has started to go back to the 19th century, to "development models, interests, cultures and traditions " and the "concert of power".

After the Congress of Vienna there was the Russio-Persian war, the Russio-Turkish war, the battle of Warsaw against Poland, the Crimean war against the Ottoman empire, Britain and France, advancement in Central Asia and one of the tsars banned Ukrainian language in print. Never mind the tsars successfully fighting the rebellions of the Russian middle classes. Though in 1861 Russian serfs were finally freed as they were needed in newly developing industries. The century ended in 1900 with the Russification of Finland, making Russian the official language.

Never trust a historic reference.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 5 2019 6:27 utc | 73

@ Peter AU 1 who wrote about the history of empires
"
Only one country left trying that needs some sense knocking into it.
"
That is occurring as we write our textual white noise about the details but the approach is not a Western knocking some sense into it but an Eastern Art of War approach.

It came to me today that instead of WWIII we need to think of what the world is going through as a Civilization war or evolution, assuming we make it out the other side of the conflict. The current empire is trying everything in its quiver of arrows short of MAD to retain control over the form of social organization with private finance at its core.

But the social organization of the East does not think like that and wants to spread the wealth and ownership broadly. The East has been taken advantage of and maligned by the West for centuries and they are not going to continue to let that happen. So they have organized themselves to beat the West at its own game but are doing so according to the Art of War meme instead of trying to knock some sense into the West. Since the East is good at playing the long game in relation to the West they are incrementally wearing down and constraining the West until it collapses of its inability to bully and Might-Makes-Right itself forward.

As we are watching the end game of those efforts, IMO. I don't see the West holding its control on empire for much longer because the East is giving example of a better and more equitable way that will be and is winning over country after country that have been client states of empire held in place by the jackboot of global private finance.

We are witnessing a Civilization war of our species and it is quite the spectacle, eh?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 5 2019 6:29 utc | 74

Another example of the ever sanctioning superpower is losing its status. "Whistleblower accuses largest US military shipbuilder of putting ‘American lives at risk’ by falsifying tests on submarine stealth coating" Another day, another example of failure of the MIC to deliver.

Huntington Ingalls Industries, which spun-off from Northrop Grumman in 2011, "knowingly and/or recklessly" filed falsified records with the Navy claiming it had correctly applied a coating, called a Special Hull Treatment, to Virginia-class attack submarines which would allow the vessels to elude enemy sonar, the Sept. 26 complaint alleges.
Instead, the complaint said, Huntington Ingalls' Newport News Shipbuilding facility in Virginia took shortcuts that allegedly "plagued" the class of submarines with problems, and then retaliated against the employee who spoke up about the issues. At this rate most of the US navy will be tied up at their home port waiting for repairs.

According to the complaint, Lawrence, a senior engineer at Huntington Ingalls who has worked there since 2001, has provided evidence of the alleged issues at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding facility in Virginia. Stay safe Lawrence.

https://taskandpurpose.com/lawsuit-huntington-ingalls-whistleblower

Posted by: Tom | Oct 5 2019 6:52 utc | 75

psychohistorian

My thoughts also. And we do live in very interesting times for sure.
When I say knocking some sense into, that includes something along the lines of a soviet style collapse which is the preferable option.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 5 2019 6:53 utc | 76

@ b4real
re: napoleon quote

replace 'let him' with 'don't interrupt him'

Posted by: albagen | Oct 5 2019 7:11 utc | 77

~By The Western debt pyramid can ill-afford meting out the punishment of exile.~
71 FSD

Yeah, it is curious. You would think, with an understanding of its own system - infinite growth backed by debt - that empire would wisely choose to employ its tentacles, not deny them. Especially with most states outside of North Korea being open for business in some shape or form. At this rate the US Treasury will need to authorize the advance sale of mortgages to the burgeoning colonies on the moon.

To navigate to the summit for the best part of a century. And to squander those gains within the space of half a young lifetime.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Oct 5 2019 7:56 utc | 78

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 5 2019 4:58 utc | 71

"power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely"

Correction: It's the quest for power that corrupts....

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 5 2019 7:58 utc | 79

Putin's concept of strong defense is sound. You don't attack if the other side can defend itself. You negotiate. In Thailand, we rarely see street fights (except between drunk foreigners).
Why? The national sport is lethal Muay Thai (kick boxing), so you never start a fight, since the other side can fight, too. You talk it over, negotiate.

Posted by: Jack Garbo | Oct 5 2019 8:30 utc | 80

Lot of nonsense in this thread. From "gunpowder was the 1st overwhelming weapon that enabled conquest." When it is trivially simple to argue that the trained, uniformed and properly regimented Roman Army which came 1500 years earlier was both a better example and likely not the first.
Equally facile is the claim that "It's the quest for power that corrupts" Whilst its probably true that some have been corrupted reaching for power it is equally true that many who for various reasons were not corrupted in the quest, either because they acquired it through serendipity by way of hereditary or accident, came into power as naive or ideologically principled upstarts yet as with every leader, they were corrupted by power as they were convinced no one else could do it (be the bossfella) as well as they.

Emperor Claudius comes to mind as an earlyish big time boss destroyed by power, but callow youths thrust into power as clan leader when dad and/or older bros were killed in battle and went on to become bigger arseholes than Dad, are examples which go back to when us mob first walked upright.

Posted by: A User | Oct 5 2019 8:38 utc | 81

Barovsky
I quoted a sentence by chu teh and was replying to the piece about gunpowder.

As for the power corrupts part, take a look at the US prior to the fall of the Soviet Union and then what it has become during the time it held virtually absolute power..

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 5 2019 8:47 utc | 82

Yesterday night The Godfather was broadcasted in a foreign private channel....

I saw a comrade telling about that and arguing that this movie contains the world...and it is that indeed it encompasses the history of the USA...

“I have "worked" all my life for the welfare of my family, and I have always refused to be a puppet moved by the threads of the powerful. With you I had other projects Michael. I thought that one day you could move those threads. Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, or more”.

Even in the meeting of all the mafia families in New York for to reach a "pact of no agression" someone states:

"After all, we are not communists..."

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 5 2019 9:18 utc | 83

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 5 2019 8:47 utc | 82


As for the power corrupts part, take a look at the US prior to the fall of the Soviet Union and then what it has become during the time it held virtually absolute power

That's a myth.

In the decades since the 1972 Watergate scandal, more charges of corruption have been leveled against members of presidential administrations than in the preceding two centuries. Perhaps the most lasting achievement of Ronald Reagan's presidency was the astonishingly successful campaign to delegitimate government itself, at least in the eyes of many citizens, and to enshrine individual economic self-interest, manifested in unregulated “private enterprise,” as the paramount value of American life. That transformation, like the rise of so-called rational choice and utility maximization as the governing paradigms in the social sciences, has encouraged citizens to seek wealth—and to avoid paying taxes or participating in civil society—as the only sensible strategy. As a result, the homely virtues of self-discipline, moderation, and reciprocity preached by Enlightenment thinkers such as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Abigail Adams now strike many Americans as outmoded advice for suckers. If “greed is good,” as the Wall Street character Gordon Gekko asserted, then Donald J. Trump's career of swindling, debt dodging, and tax evasion might serve as a model to emulate rather than an object lesson in the mainstreaming of corrupt business practices.1

Posted by: somebody | Oct 5 2019 9:18 utc | 84

somebody
US has always been corrupt. Now it can scarcely function. Like a drug pusher consuming too much of the product.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 5 2019 9:29 utc | 85

No one familiar with Alexander Hamilton, Roger "open the purses of the people" Morris or the roots of the Shay's Rebellion, Whiskey Rebellion, North Carolina Regulator movement and other people's movements and actions, or the 1787-88 counter-revolutionary coup carried out by the Constitutional Convention for the purpose of centralizing economic and military power toward social control and building a continental empire (anyone in any doubt about that should read the proceedings and the Federalist Papers; Hamilton was especially forthcoming about the imperial motivation), would have any illusions about how deeply corruption is inherent in the US system.

Same for imperialism. And all subsequent US history starting and continuing with the genocide of the First Nations bears this out.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 5 2019 9:39 utc | 86

With respect to sanctions, the EU central power ( i.e. Germany ) impossed harsh sanctions that ended being implemented in full only by southern countries like Spain, who are those who have seen their commercial excahnges with Russia diminished to the least with the conseuqent loses for national business, while, in fact, German business continue their exchnage with Russia as if nothing had happened...

Now that Trump impose import tariffs to Europe, the most affected are, again, those who fulfilled the US sanctions plan towayds Russia at the letter, i.e. Spain and southern countries...

If these Southern European Countries would have a sovereign government with any respect for the people who vote them, they will extract the consequent lesson from all of this...and would apply the recipe for all this with respect to Russia, Iran, and so on...

The lesson would translate like "the more you comply with US mandate on sanctions against any other country you have nothing against, even at the price of harming badly your own economy, the more sanctions/import tariffs will be impossed on yourself at the first necessity...", which is the old lesson from primary school, "the more weak you would show in front of a bully...more beating will come..., oor already in grown mafiosi, "more "special tax" for "protection" to pay"...

Then it is Spain who hosts most of US nuclear deterrence and AFRICOM central command...If Spain would have a sovereign government with a hint of respect for the people who vote it, an ultimatum will be possed in front of the yankees, "eliminate import tariffs, stop meddling with national economy, or pack your things and go home"

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 5 2019 10:11 utc | 87

1.3 billion paper money to prevent the collapse of the Wall Street Stock Exchange.


The Federal Reserve of the United States has injected about 278,000 million dollars in the money market in four days. After injecting 53,000 million dollars earlier this week, the Federal Reserve renewed these operations three times for astronomical amounts representing 75,000 million per day, and has already announced that it will continue to do so daily until October 10.

The newspaper Le Figaro (1) describes as "astronomical" that jet of fiat money that, however, does not seem to worry the New York Stock Exchange, with a Dow Jones index that remained above 27,000 points throughout week. It is normal because, as the Efe agency says, “Wall Street feeds on the flexibility of the Fed” (2), that is, the massive emissions of paper money.

It has no different menu to nourish itself and, as specialists say, "the reasons that lead to lower interest rates are usually not good."

The resistance of Wall Street is explained because these operations only affect the interbank market, which is short of liquidity “temporarily”. Banks that are financed on a daily basis in this market would suffer a shortage of liquidity as a result of large debt issues by the Treasury and a strong demand for liquidity from companies facing fiscal maturities.

But there are more than enough reasons for speculators to worry. "The reasons may be not only technical," says the newspaper. Some financial institutions have refused to make their funds available to the market, indicating the possible vulnerability of a participant (bank or companies) who may not be able to repay the amounts borrowed on a day-to-day basis. If this situation is confirmed, which is synonymous with the loss of mutual trust in the interbank market, it could be a more serious crisis than in 2008.

The President of the Federal Reserve, Jerome H. Powell, who took office in February last year, has no different alternative. He has been a member of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve since 2012 and knows nothing more than routine: since the late 1970s he is the first president of the Federal Reserve that does not even have a bachelor's degree in economics. Does he need it?

The question is whether the gigantic mass of fiat money that it has put into circulation will be sufficient to avoid a collapse like that of 2007, or another even greater collapse will occur.

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 5 2019 10:27 utc | 88

Russ @ 86.. can you tell me more about the continental congress. where can the biographies and histories be had which might shed some real light on John Hanson first president(1781-1783) of the United States in Congress Assembled(1776-1789) .. and Samuel Huntington (Conn), and Thomas McKeen (Delaware) and the others who were elected and served as Presidents of the [Continental Congress<= the government that defeated the British and that existed between 1776 and 1789}, before the lobbyist imposed ratification to install the US Constitution {a document that cut off (terminated) the right of self determination and denied bottom up democracy to the people of the several nations that were in America at the time]. Before the constitution, the people could and did impose democracy on those who were in charge of the local, state and central governments (The Articles of Confederation, central government from 1776 to 1789] after the Constitution, [the governed were never heard from again. ]. ..

Posted by: snake | Oct 5 2019 10:38 utc | 89

@ snake 89

Here's a piece I wrote some years ago on the 1787-88 convention and its goals.

https://attempter.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/the-american-revolution/

Posted by: Russ | Oct 5 2019 12:47 utc | 90

somebody @59 sez: ""Souvereignty" and statehood ... is a recipe for war."

This is the mindset of the hegemon (or the servant of hegemony, whatever). They cannot even imagine "Truly mutually respectful, pragmatic and consequently solid relations" between nations any more than they can imagine others seeking that. They assume that everyone else is motivated to dominate as they are. They project their own damage from having been born into an intensely competitive, egotistical, identity-obsessed culture onto the rest of humanity out of sheer ignorance that things could possible be any different elsewhere.

Western culture, with the purest expression being in the United States, exalts in the individual. That sounds like a noble and wonderful thing on the surface, but the practical effect is to atomize society into isolated and competing hermetic entities. Community is displaced to accommodate the self. This environment favors the sociopath and the psychopath, which is why in the West sociopaths and psychopaths most easily accumulate power and rise to the tops of all of those societies' institutions. It is not surprising that those born into such an environment imagine it to be the natural order and human nature because that is all they know and experience.

But of course that is not human nature. The species would have died out far more than a hundred thousand years ago if it were. Human nature is to build community, and given the opportunity that is precisely what they do. Community, though, is a threat to the power of the psychopaths who ascend to the top of capitalist society, so in all institutions in which those psychopaths gain power they discourage and fight and dismantle community and replace it with social order built around themselves.

This psycho-driven culture grew to dominate in the West because, like slave-based societies before, it was economically progressive. Due to the immaturity of communication technology, individual psychos could assemble and coordinate larger social organizations directed at production than the population could naturally assemble on its own. But technology progresses and naturally formed human communities grow in scale and scope over time. This made slave-based economies obsolete, and is now in the process of obsoleting psycho-centric economies. It should come as no surprise that this replacement is occurring most rapidly in cultures where the psycho-centrism had not fully established itself.

Considering the above, my bet is that as we see China's BRI project mature in Africa, that continent will experience a Renaissance of epic proportions, perhaps even dwarfing China's accomplishments of the last half century. This is because African cultures are similar to the Chinese and other Asian cultures in that they have not yet been fully assimilated into the western worship of "individualism", so their natural human tendencies towards community-building are not yet corrupted and subverted.

If China's transition to the dominant progressive power on the planet doesn't shatter the dangerous American myth of exceptionality, then big portions of Africa moving into first world status surely will. That's still some decades away, but we should be able to see undeniable signs of movement in that direction by about 2030 to 2040 (growth in industrial output and movement up the value added chain, dramatic development of infrastructure, rapid increases in academic attainment, significant declines in poverty, etc).

Naturally, that is something that few westerners, particularly Americans, can wrap their heads around because they have a flawed (Hobbesian) understanding of human nature. As they do with China now, westerners will deny the evidence from their own eyes with regards to Africa for as long as they can.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 5 2019 13:19 utc | 91

wikipedia makes no mention of it but for a long time Thomas McKeen was famous as the villain in William Cobbett's The Democratic Judge or The Equal Liberty of the Press.
McKeen was a very nasty piece of work-his origins in Delaware are coincidental

Posted by: bevin | Oct 5 2019 13:27 utc | 92

"...that is not human nature. The species would have died out far more than a hundred thousand years ago if it were. Human nature is to build community, and given the opportunity that is precisely what they do. Community, though, is a threat to the power of the psychopaths who ascend to the top of capitalist society, so in all institutions in which those psychopaths gain power they discourage and fight and dismantle community and replace it with social order built around themselves..."
How true, if a little unfair to psychopaths.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 5 2019 13:33 utc | 93

Elora Danan @ 88

Very interesting.
I don't think it's the use of fiat money itself that's so important but what it's used for.  The money you describe as being used to support Wall Street is a great example of the wrong use.  Supporting a derivative led financial speculation benefitting the 1% vs the belt and road which is oriented to real economic development which would be a wise productive use of fiat.
-------------

In a famous critical remark directed at China’s heavy reliance on western-style, debt-led growth – an anonymous author (thought to be Xi or close colleague), noted (sarcastically) the notion that big trees could be grown ‘in the air’. Which is to say: that trees need to have roots, and to grow in the ground. Instead of the ‘virtual’, financialised ‘activity’ of the West, real economic activity stems from the real economy, with roots planted in the earth. The ‘Belt and Road’ is just this: intended as a major catalyst to real economics.When the music stops and the derivative structure starts unraveling showing multiple claims on ownership who will prevail. I think that there's a new sheriff in town with the power to back up the 'roots in the ground' team.Posted by: financial matters | Jan 22, 2019 8:46:28 AM | 100

Posted by: financial matters | Oct 5 2019 13:37 utc | 94

The 1776 Constitution was on a vector. By contrast, the 1788 Constitution was designed to foreclose any further democratic movement. On the contrary, its main vector was to concentrate power and wealth up the hierarchy, and to help build an empire for this new ruling class.] the empire class ...needed a constitution which would centralize government, strongly concentrate it, turn it into a versatile and brutal weapon on behalf of finance assaults, military aggression, and police repression. There’s only one path forward: We must resume the American Revolution. by Russ @ 90..


very interesting.. 2012 .. discussion.. your paper .thanks . but still no background on the people who brought about the 1776 government. and who operated it between its inception 1776 and the Bankers coup that regime changed the 1776 government into the 1788 Constitution of the United States of America.
As you said in your article, everyone should know about Article 6 in the constitution of the United States of America (the 1788 government) it saved British and French Aristocracy <=and kept in power the very people the Americans had sought to remove=> from the Americans who fought the war. It says All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, shall be as valid against the US under this Constitution, as under the confederation (but no where do I see court cases that say under the 1776 government, that claims to lands, granted by foreign kings and Queens (land grant estates) were valid? In fact, what I see is that the Articles of Confederation government was planning to deny title to, and confiscate the lands which traced to the land grants (G. Washington owned half of West Virginia and all of Virginia) and the AoC plan was to distribute the land grant lands so confiscated among the people who lived in America equally?

Posted by: snake | Oct 5 2019 13:42 utc | 95

@WG 91
. . . as we see China's BRI project mature in Africa, that continent will experience a Renaissance of epic proportions
Yes, and they've got a head start:
African countries with GDP growth rates above 5% in 2018
Libya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, The Gambia, Senegal, Uganda, Burkina Faso. Kenya, Guinea, Ghana, Egypt, Niger.
Also: China 6.5, US 2.8, France 1.5, Germany 1.4, UK 1.3 . . here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 5 2019 13:47 utc | 96

Lot of nonsense in this thread. From "gunpowder was the 1st overwhelming weapon that enabled conquest."
Posted by: A User | Oct 5 2019 8:38 utc | 81

...re China's invention of gun powder. IIRC Marco Polo brought it back to Europe in 1400s at a time when China had already advanced it to hand-held-cannon status.
Posted by: chu teh | Oct 5 2019 4:51 utc | 69

Agree with the lot of nonsense bit, although there is also a lot of interest. It is true that China discovered gunpowder, but not sure about the "hand-held-canon status". My version of reality had it that due to differences of perspective between East and West, China discovered gunpowder and used it for firecrackers, and (allegedly) never thought of using it for weapons. Similarly knowledge of the configuration of the stars in relation to location was discovered by the arabs, long before this knowledge was exploited by Europeans for navigation. The claim being, that the practical Europeans put scientific discovery to use for practical benefits while the East - which discovered important segments of that scientific discovery long before - had "merely" put it to spiritual, cultural and other transcendent uses.

I absorbed the above factoids (gunpowder and the stars) over half a century ago before I would have looked at such claims sufficiently critically; to what extent such factoids might be really true I am not quite sure, although I remain somewhat sceptical about the "hand-held-canon" claim. The broader claim though about the application of scientific discovery needs to be reexamined more impartially.

Posted by: BM | Oct 5 2019 13:52 utc | 97

Ian2 @67: "Secrecy ... is only revealed when appropriate."

And the appropriate moment to reveal a strategic doomsday arsenal that only exists to prevent attack is when that arsenal is fielded. This point is so obvious that it was raised with humorous intent in the 1964 Kubrick movie Dr. Strangelove.

You only keep weapons systems secret that you intend to use in attacks in order to surprise your victims. Since America is violently aggressive and regularly attacks other countries, the US maintains this sort of policy. America is exceptional in this regard, though. America's focus is on offensive weaponry to attack other countries with, so keeping those weapons secret helps limit America's victims' abilities to prepare and defend themselves. Military secrecy is therefore the tool of the aggressor intended to facilitate sucker-punching its victims. Weapons intended to discourage such attacks must be advertised loud and clear for their intended deterrence to succeed. This is why Russia openly announces their new weapons and why China shows theirs off in parades.

China does not intend to use their nukes. They are not like America which is building tactical nukes to make atomic weapons more palatable to use in practice. There are no countries in the world that China has shown any interest in attacking anyway, unlike America which maintains a list of target countries that it is working itself up to attacking.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 5 2019 14:03 utc | 98

aaaaand the 1 mirrion $ question is: who funds the army?

- the people in the tent cities
- the oligarchs
- none of the above

Posted by: braindead | Oct 5 2019 14:07 utc | 99

Who says V Putin doesn't have sense of humor as trolls Amerika.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATBSulMeXhU

Posted by: jo6pac | Oct 5 2019 14:22 utc | 100

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